Transcript from MacWhisper
(audience applauding) All right, for the past, this is week three of studying forgotten God, the work of the Holy Spirit in the church.
By way of review, week one, we were thinking about, is he really forgotten?
Who is this God in the first place?
The second week, we were asking the question, what are you afraid of?
And week three, I get the topic of the theology of the Holy Spirit.
Because you know you can do that in 20 minutes.
So buckle in, I'm gonna do the best I can to explain some topics that have been debated for 2,000 years, and it's gonna be fun.
If you have your Bible, take your Bibles, turn to the book of Genesis, chapter one, verse one.
If you're unfamiliar with the Bible, it's gonna be towards the beginning.
Yeah, there's Bibles in the back if you don't have one.
Feel free to pull out your Kindle, iPad, Nook, Sony reader, Android, iPhone device, whatever it takes.
We're gonna get into the Word together.
Genesis 1 chapter 1 verse 1 through 3.
It says, "In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters.
And then God said, "Let there be light.
" Genesis chapter 1, from the very first page of Scripture, gives us this great hint about Trinity.
"In the beginning God created," the Hebrew word for created is "Baraa.
" Let me hear you say "Baraa.
" Nice strong word.
God created, and this is the God we're probably most familiar with.
A God who is a creator God, a God who is still at work in creation, bringing it to its fulfillment.
The God that we know from the very first page of Scripture, the Creator God.
In verse 2 though, we get a second word.
"The earth was formless, void, and darkness covered face of the deep while a wind or some of your translations say spirit from God swept over the face of the waters.
This is the Hebrew word "ruach".
Let me hear you say "ruach".
And this is the word for spirit.
We'll come back to this.
And then in verse three we get "then God said".
God said a word.
And this word represents a third part of the Trinity, which some of you are thinking, "No, he just said something.
It's just a word.
" But then we skip ahead to the book of John, New Testament, and John kind of is copycatting, he's almost quoting the book of Genesis, and he says, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
He was in the beginning with God.
All things came into being through him, and without him not was one thing that was made.
" And so even in Genesis 1 when the author is just saying God said it, John, the writer of the Gospel, John, takes it a little bit further and says it was more than just saying something, there was there was some substance to it.
This word was a person, this word was God, and things happened through him.
And so within Genesis 1-1 we get Creator God, Spirit God, and Word God.
And from the beginning, beginning from page one of the Bible, we're introduced to the concept of Trinity.
Now Trinity is one of those things that like I said has been debated for about 2,000 years.
Nobody's really been sure how to how to say it.
How do you how do you somehow sum up this idea of a three-in-one God?
On the one hand, you had the Romans who said that we were, Christians were atheists because we only had one God and that's basically atheism compared to the Romans who worshipped hundreds if not thousands of God, gods.
And then a couple hundred years later, then you had other religions such as Islam and they said, "You guys, you guys are polytheists.
You believe in multiple gods because you have creator God and spirit God and were God and you guys believe in so many gods it's not even right and so uh.
islam religion would just kind of cast this aside because we were polytheists and so people throughout uh.
throughout the years would try to figure out ways of how do you sum this up of course uh.
saint patrick is most famous for his three leaf clover and uh.
one example uh.
one of the church fathers came up with was the candle And so if I brought one of you up here, I would ask, "Okay, so does this candle give off smell, heat, or light?
" (laughs) Yeah, somebody said, "Yes.
" (audience laughs) No, no, no, no, no, no, no, you can only give one answer, come on.
Smell, heat, or light.
And so if a candle can't be reduced to this one thing, How much more should we not be able to reduce God?
One of the church fathers said, "If you can grasp it, if you can understand it, "it's not God.
" And so if we already are so reduced in our language, we can't only say one thing about this candle.
How much more true is that of God?
Now, from the very first page of Scripture, we find this concept of Trinity.
But let's go back, we're studying forgotten God, we're studying the Holy Spirit, let's go back to the idea of spirits, of ruach.
Ruach in the Hebrew meant three things usually.
It wasn't a word that you could just reduce to one meaning.
It meant wind, it meant breath, and it meant spirit or gift or something even harder to translate.
From when do we get that from the very first chapter from Genesis one, what we looked at already, the idea that this wind of God or something blew over the surface of this void, this formless earth.
In Exodus 14, Moses and the Israelites are standing in front of the Red Sea and they are scared and they are nervous and they are terrified.
And then Exodus 14 says, "And God sent his wind to blow over the Red Sea and split it in two.
" And the word is rulak.
It's a wind, but God sent it.
There seems to be something special about it.
And then if we skip ahead to Acts 2, the scene from Pentecost, which we celebrated last week, the disciples, they are in the upper room and they're waiting for this Holy Spirit, this advocate that Jesus said that he was gonna send, and then it says, "From heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind.
" And so that's the first meaning of ruach.
The second meaning is breath.
In Genesis 2, the second chapter of the Bible, it says, "Then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and then man became a living soul.
" And so in Genesis 1, we see the wind of God sweeping over creation, forming it into something beautiful.
In Genesis chapter 2, we see man and God face to face, and God breathes into him, and man becomes a living soul.
Later on in Scripture, we see in Job 33, Job says, "The Spirit of God has made me.
" And so we see "ruach," the Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.
" And so Job makes no qualifications.
He says, "It's the Spirit of God.
It's God's breath that even grants me life.
" And then the third is a word, third meaning for Ruach, is a word that we call charism.
That's where we get the word charismatic.
And charis by itself means grace and charism is a gift of grace and this word starts getting used a lot in the New Testament but we see the Hebrew kind of equivalent the version of it in the Old Testament and so we see charism used in three different ways we see it in wisdom in Genesis 41 Pharaoh said to Joseph who can find one like you Joseph filled with the Spirit of God there is no one discerning and as wise as you.
In Judges 14 says of Samson, "The Spirit of the Lord came up powerfully upon him so that he tore the lion apart with his bare hands as he might have torn a young goat.
" Because you know we're all tearing young goats and so the you know the next step is a lion.
I YouTubed trying to find some some clips of Samson tearing a young goat and found this absolutely cornball movie that I couldn't even bring myself to show to you of just, yeah, this weird looking guy who had put on some sort of body suit ripping apart a lion and it was just terrible.
But this is the idea, the Spirit of God came upon Samson and he could usually tear a young goat as most of you can do, but he could do so much more than that, he could tear apart a lion.
But the most common occurrence of spirits in the Old Testament is the idea prophecy.
And so in Ezekiel chapter 2 we see God saying to Ezekiel, "God said to me, 'Son of man, stand up on your feet and I will speak to you.
' And as God spoke, the Spirit, Ruach, came into me and raised me to my feet, and I heard him speaking to me.
" And so we see Ruach used as wind, rushing over creation, making it into something beautiful.
The wind parting the Red Sea, this idea of deliverance.
We see roar his breath, breathing face to face with man, giving him a living soul.
And then we see the Spirit as this gift for wisdom or strength or prophecy.
And so with the Old Testament we begin to wonder what is this Spirit?
Is it just a force?
Is it just this kind of thing, this special liquid or gas that God kind of pours over us when we need to be exceptionally exceptional.
So we ask these questions, and that's why the Hebrews, before Jesus came, they didn't really have a huge theology of spirit.
They knew that there was this part of God that would do something special every once in a while.
But they couldn't categorize it, and they definitely didn't call it God.
And so then we have to ask the question, Is the Spirit just an impersonal force?
We get to the book of John, chapter 16, and John 14 through 16 is one of these final speeches that Jesus gives to his disciples.
And this is one of the few places in scripture where we can find an extended conversation about the Holy Spirit.
And in John 16, we come across Jesus explaining how he will come and when he will come and why he will come.
So if you have your Bibles, turn to the book of John, chapter 16.
We'll start at verse 12.
It says, "I," this is Jesus, "still have many things to say to you, "but you cannot bear them now.
But, verse 13, "When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth, for He will not speak on His own, but will speak whatever He hears, and He will declare to you the things that are to come.
He will glorify Me, because He will take what is Mine and declare it to you.
" So in John 16, as Jesus is wrapping up this great conversation about what the disciples are supposed to do when Jesus is gone, we get to this part where Jesus introduces the Spirit of Truth.
Now the word for Spirit is the word "pneuma".
Let me hear you say "pneuma".
I'm throwing all sorts of new vocab words at you today.
Now "pneuma" is a Greek word, and Greek was the the language that the New Testament was written in.
And Greek is a little, it's a lot different than English, but it's a lot it's a little bit more like maybe Spanish, French, Latin, and that if you've ever studied these languages they have what's called masculine, feminine, and neuter nouns.
Now, what that means is that they would have special endings that would decide how you would use a verb or pronoun or something else with that word.
So like in English, you know that if I say "I", I need to follow it with "am".
"I am hungry".
But if I say "we", you gotta follow it with "we are hungry".
So we have the same kind of concept in English when it comes to number, but they not only had number, they had masculine and feminine and neuter.
The word "pneuma" is a neuter noun, which meant any words that went along with "pneuma" had to be neuter pronouns, an "it" or a neuter verb.
Okay, I know this is really back to high school English, really bizarre stuff, but follow me.
Jesus uses the word "spirit," "pneuma.
" We expect him to refer back to it as an "it," but he doesn't.
He says, "When the spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth.
And so Jesus introduces us to the fact that the Spirit of God is a person.
Now I don't mean a person as in a human being, okay?
A person as in He has a personality.
He's not an object, He's a living person.
Are you tracking with me?
Okay, I'm seeing some nods.
Any quizzical, anybody dare to say no?
Okay, so he's a person, not a human being, that's not what I'm saying.
He is a person, he has a personality.
He's not an object that God just kind of throws around haphazardly.
He is a person.
Now, usually we define a person as something that has a mind, a will, and emotions.
And we see this throughout scripture.
In John 14, Jesus says, "The Counselor, "the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, "will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
Next slide, please.
So we see that this spirit is a teacher.
He has a mind.
In 1 Corinthians 12, we see Paul writes that he determines who the spiritual gifts go to.
The work of one and same spirit, and he gives these spiritual gifts as he determines.
And we see that the spirit has emotions.
Paul writes in Ephesians 4, do not grieve or bring grief to the Holy Spirit.
And so the Spirit of God, Jesus refers to him as a he, and then we see in scripture that the Spirit can teach, he has a will, he determines where the spiritual gifts go, and he can suffer grief, he has emotions.
Now back to the previous slide, thanks.
Now, one more thing about this Holy Spirit.
Skip back a page or two to John 14, verse 16 and 17.
Jesus, this is towards the beginning of his speech, says, "I will ask the Father, "and he will give you another advocate "to be with you forever.
" And so as the slide says, the word for another means another of the same kind.
So Jesus, when he says that he's going to send an advocate for us.
Jesus will depart, he'll die, he'll be resurrected, he'll ascend, he will send another advocate.
It means another of the same kind, a person, something like Jesus.
Now not necessarily flesh and blood, but someone who cares, who loves, who has compassion, just as Jesus did.
And so we understand that in the beginning, God created the world and the wind of God swept over creation and it swept over the Red Sea and it breathed life into man and it gave gifts for wisdom and for strength and for prophecy and to tear apart young goats and lions and all of that.
But it's not just this force that God kind of pours out like a bucket of water.
The Spirit of God is a person, has a personal pronoun.
It's a he, not meaning you know it's necessarily a masculine kind of guy, but it's a person and it has a mind and it has a will and that has emotions, and it can feel, and it can have compassion for people.
And it's another of the same kind, it's like Jesus.
Jesus goes so far to say as, "It's good that I go away so I can send him.
" In the 1980 film, Academy Award winning film, "Elephant Man," you can go ahead and flash that picture up, Jodi, portrays the true story of Joseph Merrick, a severely deformed man in 19th century London, the 1800s.
Frederick Treves, played by Anthony Hopkins in this film, a surgeon at the London Hospital, finds Merrick at a Victorian freak show and rescues him for treatment at a hospital.
Despite the claim to be an imbecile, he is shown to be sophisticated and articulate.
However, Joseph Merrick is kidnapped once again to be profited from in yet another freak show.
He manages to run away with a sheet over his head back to London.
When he makes it back to the train station, a group of boys begin to harass him, asking again, again, again, and again, "Why is your head so big?
"Why is your head so big?
" In his haste, trying to run away from this group of boys, he accidentally trips over and knocks over a little girl and soon finds himself chased and trapped by a mob in a train station's bathroom.
As they rip the sheet off his head and gasp at his disfiguration, he pants out, "I am not an animal!
I am a human being!
I am a man!
" and collapses to the ground.
Do we sometimes, too, treat the Holy Spirit as a sideshow to our Christian faith.
Some of us treating him as something that we can profit from.
Well look at the Holy Spirit.
He can do this, and he can do that, and he can make our Christian life seem more exciting and more fulfilling.
But that's all we treat him as.
as some sideshow exhibit to our Christianity?
Or do some of us go the other way and treat him as less than and just ignore him and don't talk about him and don't even think about him?
He's just kind of over there and we know that over there there's some freaks that just can't stop talking about him, that's all they ever talk about, but we'll just be fine without him.
Is it possible that the Holy Spirit is saying to you, I'm not an animal.
I'm not a sideshow freak.
I am a person who wants to know you.
I don't want to be profited from.
I don't want to be this proof that you're God, some magical God.
I want to do things in your life to make you better, to fulfill you, to fill you up with God's presence.
Now, the next question we have to ask is the Holy Spirit more than a person?
Is the Holy Spirit God?
Gravity still works.
You know, it's really funny Whenever you have to get up to preach you should try it sometime That you find yourselves doing things that you normally don't do and so you find yourself going to the bathroom about three times as much As you would because you don't want to be standing up on stage and realize oh And then because you're going to the bathroom three times as often as you would you're checking your fly about six times as often as you would Jerry Seinfeld has a bit.
He says the number one fear of people is public speaking The number two fear of people is dying That means at a funeral you would rather be in the casket than giving the eulogy Is the Holy Spirit God Aleister McGraw, a theologian, writes, "The Holy Spirit has long been the Cinderella of the Trinity.
The other two sisters may have gone to the theological ball, the Holy Spirit got left behind every time.
" And so we have to ask this question, is the Holy Spirit more than just a force?
Is the Holy Spirit more than just a person?
Is the Holy Spirit God?
And again we find ourselves in Genesis 1.
The Holy Spirit, this Ruach, this wind, is part of creation.
In Job 26, it says, "By his Ruach, the skies were made fair.
" In Psalm 104, it says, "When you sent your Ruach, all creatures are created, and you renew the face of the earth.
" God, the Spirit is a creator.
But we also see that the Spirit is Savior.
In Titus 3, 5 it says, "But when the kindness "and the love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, "not because of the righteous things we had done, "but because of His mercy.
"He saved us through the washing of rebirth "and the renewal by the Holy Spirit, "whom He poured out on us generously "through Jesus Christ our Savior.
" He saved us through the washing of rebirth and the renewal by the Holy Spirit.
And so we see Ruach as creator, we see spirit as savior, and we also see spirit as equal with God.
In Matthew 28, as Jesus is commissioning the disciples, he says, "Therefore go and make disciples "and teach them and baptize them "in the name of the Father and of the Son "and of the Holy Spirit.
" In 2 Corinthians 13, as Paul closes his words to the letter to the Corinthians, he says, "May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
In 1 Corinthians 12, we see Paul explaining spiritual gifts.
He says there's all kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them.
There's different kinds of service, but the same Lord gives them.
There's different kinds of working, but all of them and everyone, it is the same God at work.
And in 1 Peter 1, Paul opens his letters to the scattered exiles and he says, you who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood.
" And so in these scripture verses we see the Holy Spirit is not, is not, is not put on some lower stool than God the Father and God the Son.
The Spirit is right up there with them, to be worshipped as God, to be acknowledged as God, more than a force, more than a person, but God Himself.
So the question we ask ourselves whenever we hear sermons like this is, "So, I need three volunteers, three adult volunteers.
Adult volunteers, where are you?
All right, there's one.
I have second.
Bill, you'll do, come on up.
I have third.
Bill, come on up.
Come on and take the stage with me.
Let's go ahead and turn on the piano.
Very nice, very nice.
So if you could sit here.
(Laughter) And Heather, you're perfect.
If you could come up here.
(Piano music) I'm going to give you these, and you're just going to sit right there.
And where's Dave Granstra?
Do you mind if he picks up your guitar?
Okay, you be careful.
You're going to hold it with both hands.
Yeah, why don't you put the strap on just in case.
Just in case.
Now here we go.
I want you guys to play the chords of G, D, and C in 4/4, okay?
One, two, three, four.
[ Music ] G, D, and C.
G, D, and C.
Okay, okay, yeah.
Got to get warmed up.
Here we go.
G, D, and C.
A one, two, three, four.
[ Music ] Well done.
Give them a round of applause.
[ Applause ] That's it.
(audience laughing) There we go, there we go.
Thank you, I appreciate it.
Now, there are some who will tell you, if you know Jesus, if you've been saved, then you don't need theology because you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and you're okay.
What does theology do for us in the day by day?
What does theology do for us as Christians, as people who go out and work normal jobs in the American life?
To say that you've got Jesus, you don't need theology.
It's like saying you've got a really nice guitar.
You don't need to know music.
Because, not to toot anybody's horn, I pulled up the band members and said GDC 4-4 1-2-3-4.
They know the music.
They can do it.
They can hear the words and they can say, "Ah, that's what he means.
" To say that we don't need theology, to say we don't need to think through these intricate aspects of a trying God, means you're walking through life singing songs not knowing the music, with your really fancy guitar, and you don't know what the strings are.
Now, This brings us to the question if the Spirit of God is a force But more than a force but also a person but more than a person but also God Where's the Spirit now, what is he doing?
Genesis chapter 1 verse 27 says so God created humankind and his image in the image of God He created them and so from again for the very first page of scripture.
We see this concept of a God who's with humanity, made in his image.
In Exodus 25, we find God saying, "Have them make me a sanctuary.
"So that I might dwell among them.
" And so from Genesis 1, God has put himself inside humanity, made in his image.
And the next book, Exodus 25, where humanity has pulled themselves away from God, God says, "Build me a tabernacle so I may dwell with them.
And in 1st Kings 6 it says concerning the house that you are building, if you walk in my statues, obey my ordinances, and keep all my commandments by walking in them, then I will dwell among the kingdom of Israel and will not forsake my people.
And so God is within humanity and God says build a tabernacle so I may dwell with them.
And then he says "Build a temple and keep my law, "so I may not forsake my people.
" In Zechariah 2, then we get this really bizarre passage, "Sing, rejoice, for lo, I will come "and dwell in your midst," says the Lord.
"Many nations shall join themselves to the Lord "on that day and shall be my people, "and I will dwell in your midst.
" And now we're not talking about a tabernacle or a temple.
Now God's just saying, "I'm gonna dwell in your midst.
" And then John 14, back to Jesus' speech to the disciples, he says, "And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate, and will be with you forever.
This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him.
You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.
" And then we get to 1 Corinthians 6.
And in this letter, Paul is talking to the Corinthians about sexual sin.
And the Corinthians have decided, "You know, let's think about this.
If our bodies really don't matter, and if it's only our souls that matter, then it really doesn't matter what we do with our bodies.
" And so there's all of these cases and instances of the Corinthian church doing wacky, bizarre, and wrong things with their bodies because they said, "Ah, it doesn't matter.
" And so Paul writes, "The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.
By his power God raised Jesus from the dead, and he will raise us also.
Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself?
Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute?
Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body?
For it said the two will become one flesh.
But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.
Therefore flee from sexual immorality.
All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually sins against their own body.
And then the kicker, do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you've received from God?
You are not your own, you are bought at a price, therefore honor God with your bodies.
Here we discover the absolutely, utterly groundbreaking, ground-shaking, revolutionary truth that there is no difference, no distinction between your spiritual life and your normal life.
There's just life.
There should not be a separation between what we do with our bodies and what we do with our souls.
Because the truth of the matter is what we do with our bodies affects our souls.
Or more properly put, because the Spirit of God dwells in our bodies, then our bodies should reflect that the Spirit dwells within them.
And this is where theology and life meet.
That there is a Spirit, a Ruach, blowing creation to a beautiful form.
That there is a Rurak breathing life into you.
That there is a spirit who is a person who wants to know you.
And there is a God dwelling in you as a temple who wants to use you.
When you grasp somehow even the bit of this information, life should look utterly different.
Let me give you three really quick things.
One, treat the Holy Spirit as a person.
Don't treat Him as a sideshow.
Don't treat Him as just some accessory to life.
Pray to Him, talk to him, allow him to talk to you.
Quite simply, don't try to call him "it.
" Two, honor, worship the Holy Spirit as God.
The Holy Spirit deserves your worship.
He is equal with God because he is God and no less.
And three, realize that you are the temple of the Holy Spirit and not just in some nebulous ghostly sense.
He's inside your body, your very being, and he wants you to get rid of this silly assumption that there's no difference with what you do with your soul and with what you do with your body.
If Paul says this affects who and how we decide to join our bodies with in sex, shouldn't we also assume this affects how we should think through how we eat, and how we drink, and how we exercise, and how we work, and how we play?
We'll talk more about this in part two next week And we'll also talk more about this and the gathering that we're having in the back after each service Just a time to converse and ask questions and bounce some ideas back and forth.
I will spend about a half hour doing that That in a nutshell is a theology of the Holy Spirit and there's so much more we can say And we'll talk more about it next week Let me pray for you Father God we thank you that you are not an impersonal force Spirit we praise you because you are God and Spirit we want to know you Just as you want to know us and So God I pray for good news that we would be people of the Spirit people who realize that God, creator of the universe, dwells inside our very beings and is asking us to change everything by your power, God.
So, as we continue to think and dwell on your spirit, who you are, what you've done, may you make us the kinds of people who can't help but show your glory to a lost, needy, and broken world that will one day be restored.
Thank you for grace.