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The Gift of the Holy Spirit

So, I’ve pretty much been a slacker this week when it came to my blog. I mean, not a slacker like Candy or Steph, but still.

Billy Coffey wrote his usual post for me on Monday. I say usual – that post blew up my Google Analytics – my second highest day ever. The first was the day I guest blogged for Stuff Christians Like. So, thank you Mr. Coffey. You are mantastic! I wrote a serious post on Tuesday, Stacey guest blogged for me on Wednesday, Thursday I linked a write up on me on High Calling Blogs written by Bradley J. Moore (I still can’t say that with a straight face). Friday was the Twitter Update, and yesterday I stole a story off of Brian Russell’s blog. In keeping with this trend, I will now post my friend and pastor Jeff Hogan’s sermon notes from last Sunday. I know – I am tragically lazy. But I do love Jesus:

Acts 2:1-4
1When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues[a] as the Spirit enabled them.
a Or languages; also in verse 11

So the gift given to the Church that day was nothing less than the Holy Spirit! And Jesus Himself taught about why this would be so significant:

John 14:16-17
16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— 17the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.

The Holy Spirit has always been an active and very much God. But when Jesus brought the New Covenant into being, 2 really big things about His role changed:

v.16- The Holy Spirit’s presence would now be PERMANENT, instead of TEMPORARY.

v.17- He would now dwell IN people, not just come UPON them.

So, how does the gift of the Holy Spirit and His New Covenant role affect someone who chooses to follow Christ?

I. The Holy Spirit shows me that God is SERIOUS.

2 Cor. 1:21-22
21Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, 22set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

Life is difficult, and we aren’t exempted from those difficulties when we choose to follow Jesus. But the Holy Spirit stays with us to be a reminder that God is invested in us, and He won’t walk away from that investment.

Again speaking of what is to come, Paul tells us in

Ephesians 1:13-14
13And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

You don’t have to be afraid.

II. The Holy Spirit shows me how to LIVE.

Look at how Jesus describes the Holy Spirit’s role here:

John 14:26
But 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.

Jesus calls the Holy Spirit the “Counselor” in this verse. At least, that’s how we have translated the word. In Greek, the word is paraklētos (pronounced pä-rä’-klā-tos). It’s where we get our word, “paraclete,” which the dictionary will define as “an advocate or intercessor.” But even that comes us just a little short.

The story is told that the Karre language of equatorial Africa was difficult for the translators of the New Testament, especially when it came to the word Paraclete. How could they describe the Holy Spirit?

One day the translators saw a group of porters going off into the bush carrying bundles on their heads. They noticed one didn’t carry anything. They assumed he was the boss, who was present to make sure the others did their work. However, they discovered that this wasn’t the case at all. Instead, if any of the men fell over with exhaustion, this man would pick up the load and carry it for him. This porter was known in the Karre language as “the one who falls down beside us.”
Once they discovered this, the translators knew they had their word for Paraclete.
— Ian Coffey, “Deep Impact,” Keswick ’99 (OM Publishing)
The Holy Spirit literally walks beside the Christian, like a personal guide, or instructor.
You don’t have to be confused.
III. The Holy Spirit shows me that He’s about US.
1 Corinthians 3:16-17
16Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? 17If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple.

Did you know that every “you” in this passage is plural?
The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is more than personal; it’s a corporate thing, too. To be filled with the Holy Spirit makes us a part of something greater.

Guys, do you realize that WE are the dwelling place of God here on earth? That means that everything we are, is infused with everything He is.

What could happen if we really believed that Truth?

What could happen if we acted on that Truth?
What could God do with us?
editor’s note: Most. Links. Ever!