Holy Spirit - Our Best Friend!
Before we get started, I really want to pray! Because, I know that the only way I am going to be able to teach anything or pass on any kind of spiritual truth or wisdom is through the Holy Spirit, so let's pray to get me out of the way and you out of the way, so he can do his work.
I think for most of us, the Holy Spirit is pretty much an unknown, or thought of as as a mysterious force (Star Wars). For some of us, there has even been a fear regarding the Holy Spirit. “Maybe I committed the unforgiveable sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit?” We need a paradigm shift in the way we think about the Holy Spirit.
He is a person. Part of the trinity, the triune Godhead. From the beginning of creation in Genesis to the end of times in Revelation, God refers to Himself as "us" or "our" and thus describes the doctrine of the Trinity. The word trinity comes from "tri" meaning three and "unity" meaning one. God is three distinct individuals - God the Father, the Son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit - in one true God.
Just as Jesus shows us God and demonstrates God's love for us by living among us as one of us, so the Holy Spirit demonstrates God's love for us by living inside of us.
He has feelings and intentions. He does work in our lives. He is a person, like God, like Jesus. Now, we understand that God wants a relationship with us. We get that Jesus loves us. We get that God and Jesus chose us first, that they loved us first, that they are on our side, that they want us to be saved. But, when it comes to the Holy Spirit? Have you ever thought of him that way before? As a person who loves you?
He is on our side. From the beginning, the Holy Spirit was there with God and Jesus when they said let us make man in our own image
Genesis 1:26-27 “And God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
So, God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God, he created them;
male and female he created them."
Just as God desired a relationship with us and wanted all men to be saved and to know the truth, so is the heart and mind of the Holy Spirit. I always read the creation account and thought of God and Jesus working together. But, the Holy Spirit? Where was he? Oh, yeah, hovering over the waters. Admit it. You probably read Genesis and pictured God and Jesus having that conversation, and the Holy Spirit was not even in the picture. But, he was there with them wanting to create us and to have a relationship with us. Let us make man in our image...
Think about all the things about God and Jesus that you love and realize, the Holy Spirit is one with them. All those beautiful things you love about God that you saw in Jesus are there in the Spirit.
Listen to how Jesus describes the Spirit to his disciples...
"And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), to be with you forever— the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive [and take to its heart] because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He (the Holy Spirit) remains with you continually and will be in you."
“I will not leave you as orphans [comfortless, bereaved, and helpless]; I will come [back] to you. After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also. On that day [when that time comes] you will know for yourselves that I am in My Father, and you are in Me, and I am in you. The person who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who [really] loves Me; and whoever [really] loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and reveal Myself to him [I will make Myself real to him].”
Just as God is love and Christ embodies love, so also the Holy Spirit
In Romans, chapter 15, verse 30, Paul says, "I urge you, believers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join with me in your prayers to God in my behalf,"
".. the love of the Spirit." The Holy Spirit is a Person. He loves us. It is wonderful to think about the Spirit of God who is within us, loving us and caring for us all the time.
In Romans 8:14–17, Paul teaches that we are adopted through the Holy Spirit, and that as God's adopted children, we become heirs. “The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory."
- Romans 8:15 The Greek word for adoption to sonship is a term referring to the full legal standing of an adopted male heir in Roman culture; also in verse 23.
- Romans 8:15 Aramaic for father - it is by the Holy Spirit we can cry out to Him as our Dad.
Just as we know God is the source of light and truth and love and all good gifts come from him and just as we know that Christ came full of grace and truth and mercy and forgiveness and love, so also the Holy Spirit is our source in this life of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, and faithfulness.
Galatians 5:22 Amplified Bible
But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
Galatians 5:22 New International Version
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
He prays for us, when we do not even know what to pray! Romans 8:26
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.
Did you catch that? He is not only praying for us, but interceding for us.
Romans 8:27 “And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.”
Just as in any relationship, we can hurt, grieve our friend, the Holy Spirit
Paul understands that we can grieve, hurt the Holy Spirit
Ephesians 4:30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
How? Sin - just as it grieves God, just as it crucified Christ, so sin grieves the Holy Spirit - Gossip and slander, impurity and all kinds of sexual sins, pride and jealousy, envy and greed, a lack of forgiveness or compassion, all hurt our friend, the Holy Spirit.
He is our helper, our advocate, our friend and he wants us to be filled to overflowing with his presence –
Ephesians 5:18 “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit,”
Or we can be filled with the Spirit! Yes, we have the indwelling of the Spirit, but in the Bible, you will find the phrase, “full of the Spirit” or "filled with the Spirit". Paul urges the disciples in Ephesus to be filled with the Spirit instead of being drunk and debaucherous.
How do we do that? Again, I think most of us have an idea that it is by reading the Bible more, and by praying more fervently, or by fasting. While these are all good things, I believe it is by faith that we can be filled with the Holy Spirit. How did you come to know Christ and get saved? Through faith. How did your life so radically transform? By faith. How are we to live? By faith. You see, right now, you friend is on your side urging you from within to claim all the riches that he has to offer! All the joy, all the peace, all the goodness, just waiting for us to claim it right now together by faith.
Let's cast off anything that is hindering us tonight from being filled with the Spirit and let us allow our advocate, our helper, our comforter, our best friend fill us with his sweet presence.
1. Did this message change the way you view or think about the Holy Spirit, and his being your friend, your advocate, your helper, comforter, and, if so, how?
2. Is there anything you still need to cast off, confess, resolve that might be hindering you from being filled with the Spirit?
3. Is there something the Holy Spirit is urging you to do that you are reluctant to follow through on or act on?