Holy Spirit ~ 20200531 ~ Pastor Rodney Zedicher ~ Ephraim Church of the Bible ~ www.ephraimbible.org
05/31 [Pentecost: Sunday] Obey Jesus; You Need the Holy Spirit; Audio available at: http://www.ephraimbible.org/Sermons/20200531_holy-spirit.mp3
We have been looking at discipleship, being disciples or learners or followers, disciples who make disciples who obey everything Jesus commanded.
One of the things we have seen throughout this study is that what Jesus commands is impossible. It is humanly impossible to obey Jesus. We simply can’t. We can’t believe in him, we can’t see that all the Scriptures point us to him, we can’t abide in him, we can’t give him our primary allegiance, treasure him above all else, put the needs of others above our own. We can’t. We can’t do this consistently, with a whole heart. We need help. Actually, we need more than help, we need a new heart. We need God himself to come live inside us and obey the commands of Jesus through us.
Pentecost [Shavuot] (Lev.23:15; Deut.16.9)
40 days after his resurrection, after appearing repeatedly to his disciples and teaching them, Jesus ascended to the right hand of his Father. At the end of Luke’s gospel, Jesus
Jesus will send the promise of his Father, and he commands them to wait in Jerusalem until they are clothed with power from on high. In Acts, Luke resumes the story where he left off.
You will be baptized with, immersed with the Holy Spirit. Wait for the promise of the Father.
At the outset of Jesus’ ministry, Luke 3 records John’s response to questions of whether he might be the Christ.
In Acts 2,
Today is Pentecost Sunday. Pentecost, or the feast of Weeks [Hebrew: Shavuot] comes 7 weeks (or 50 days) after Passover, and commemorates the giving of the Law at Mount Sinai, where Israel entered into a covenant and became a nation under God.
New Covenant Glory
The law was given 7 weeks after the Exodus where God freed his people from Egypt, but the people immediately and persistently failed to obey his commands.
50 days after Jesus accomplished his Exodus, freeing us by the Passover sacrifice of himself as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (Jn, 1:29; 1Cor.5:7), leading us out of our slavery to sin, he gave us his Holy Spirit, to live inside.
Paul draws this contrast in 2 Corinthians 3.
He draws a contrast between the letter that kills and the Spirit who gives life, the ministry of death and the much more glorious ministry of the Spirit, the ministry of condemnation and the ministry of righteousness, the veiled temporary and fading with the unveiled permanent glory of Christ, the hardened minds and the transforming work of the Spirit.
Pentecost changes everything! The God whose Spirit brooded over the face of the deep at creation,
By his Spirit and his Word he brought life and light out of darkness and chaos.
Heart Waters Flowing
This is what Jesus was talking about in John 7.
Rivers of life giving water pouring out of the hearts of believers. The Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive.
Do you have life giving rivers flowing out of your heart? What is flowing out of your heart? ‘Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks’ (Lk.6:45).
Out of the hearts of his believers will flow rivers of living water. ‘This he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given.’ Wait for the promise of the Father, stay until you are clothed with power from on high. ‘I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh’ (Acts2:17; Joel 2:28-29).
When the Spirit was poured out at Pentecost, and the crowds, gathered for the pilgrim festival, rushed together, amazed, perplexed, some mocking, Peter (who had self confidently asserted that he was willing to die with Jesus, and then denied even knowing him three times) now addresses the crowd:
Peter preached Jesus, the cross and the resurrection. He pointed out their sin and guilt.
This is the fulfillment of the promised Spirit, whom those who believe in Jesus would receive.
That is the work of the Spirit of God! When the Spirit comes, he will convict the world of sin and righteousness and judgment (Jn.16:8)
Repent. Turn to Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. That promise is for you! For everyone the Lord our God calls to himself. Notice carefully, the Holy Spirit is given by God, a gift received, he is poured out on all who believe.
You Must Be Born of the Spirit
We looked at the gift of the Spirit in John 7, whom those who believed in Jesus were to receive. If we look back in John 3, Jesus referred to this as being born of the Spirit.
Jesus’ teaching comes from the New Covenant promise in Ezekiel 36,
You must be born of the Spirit. In order to obey Jesus, you must be born again. Jesus goes on to describe how this takes place:
Whoever looks to the Son lifted up, crucified, as his only hope, whoever believes has eternal life. God gave his only Son so that whoever believes in him is born of the Spirit.
Jesus promised in Luke 11
Asking, seeking, knocking are other ways of describing believing. The Father will give the Holy Spirit to everyone who asks. The Spirit will be poured out on every believer.
Every Believer Has the Spirit
Paul rebukes the Galatians for turning away from their simple belief in Jesus.
Paul assumes that upon hearing the preaching of the cross, the Galatians trusted Jesus, they believed in him, they had faith, and they received the Spirit. They didn’t do anything to earn this free gift. They received the Spirit by hearing with faith. There is no such thing as a believer in Jesus who does not have the Spirit of God living in them.
Paul commands the wayward Corinthian church to flee sexual immorality.
He doesn’t question if the foolish Galatians or the sinful Corinthians have the Spirit. He bases his argument with one for living by faith, with the other for God glorifying holy living on the indwelling Holy Spirit.
In Romans, it is abundantly clear that everyone who belongs to Christ has the Spirit living in them.
You, right now, if you are a believer in Jesus, have the Spirit of the living God dwelling in you! Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God!
We Need Help to Love, Obey
In John 14 Jesus connects loving and obeying him with the Helper, Counselor or Comforter, the coming Holy Spirit.
Jesus has just told his disciples to ask him for anything in his name and he will do it, and he had promised that they would do the works that he does, and greater works than these because he goes to the Father. To do greater works than Jesus we need help, supernatural, divine enablement, and this is exactly what he promises; Jesus will ask his Father to send the Holy Spirit to live in us. Loving Jesus, keeping his commands requires divine power from the Holy Spirit living inside. Jesus ordered them to wait for the promised Holy Spirit. And then,
You must be born again. To love him, to obey him, to be his witnesses, you need the Holy Spirit. Wait for the promise of the Father, stay until you are clothed with power from on high. Believe in Jesus and out of your heart will flow rivers of living water, and you will ask Jesus according to his will and through you by the Spirit in you he will do greater works than even he did when he was here physically.
Pastor Rodney Zedicher ~ Ephraim Church of the Bible ~ www.ephraimbible.org