8-10-14 Serrmon: “Fellowship of the Holy Spirit”
For Video of this sermon, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDIfo_geZpA
A SHARING AND FELLOWSHIP OF THE HOLY SPIRIT- John 14:15-27
Once a big burly guy came up to me and kind of rubbed me the wrong way. He seemed kind of brusque, and intimidating but then my wife came up and said she knew him from child hood and that they were friends. Any friend of Kay?s is a friend of mine. If you love someone, you at least make an effort to love those they love as well. The love and fellowship we have in God, is the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit. The church is a believing fellowship. We who believe have the Holy Spirit inside us and that means we are connected to Him. Any friend of His is a friend to us too. There is a sense in which God is friend to everyone. But there is another sense that those who believe and trust and abide in Him and He abides in them- have a special relationship. If the same Spirit is in me that is in you, then we have fellowship one with another. ?? In our passage it says that God does not leave us as orphans but sends an advocate to us. We who believe have the same advocate. We share that advocate, and we share the experience of the fullness of God. We are not orphans. The image here is that God did not leave us alone by ourselves. God did not leave us without His presence, and God does not leave us without each other. The Spirit, you see, not only links us to God, but He also links us to each other.
The Spirit is the basis of our fellowship- He unites us to God, to each other, and strengthens us.
I. A SHARED SPIRIT UNITES US TO GOD- We who believe have experienced the Holy Spirit. When we say we have experienced God in our lives- that is we believe in Him- that belief is elicited and we are regenerated by the Holy Spirit.?? We who believe share this. A. ELICITS US- Draws us- No man can come to me unless the Father draws them. The Father draws us by His Holy Spirit working in providence- through our background, people around us, perhaps our parents good or bad, our family- through our children- a little child shall lead them. By the Spirit?s command through scripture- Let us not forsake the assembling of ourselves together- but let us encourage one another (Heb. 10:24,25). God has a magnet. It is a magnet that draws us to Himself. Have you ever watched a powerful magnet? I saw one at a dump one time. They were separating out the trash and trying to get the metal out. So this huge magnet on a crane would go over the trash on this dumping line- and if anything was metal it would just be sucked up. We are not metal- I know. We are human beings with souls of our own. But there is a sense in which God?s Spirit draws us away from the world to Himself. We are attracted to God by the Spirit. B. REWARDS US- Once we come to God- He nspires, encourages, and comforts us. The Spirit is said in Hebrews to be a deposit of heaven. The experience of God now in the person of the Spirit is a bit of the presence of God here on this earth. If you have prayed and feel that shiver run up your spine. If you have seen God help you out of what you knew was an impossible situation; if you look at the sunset at the ocean or on Lake Murray and you are inspired to just know there is a god- that is a deposit of faith that points to when we shall see God face to face. The Spirit not only draws us, He inspires us once we are drawn. The blessings of God don?t stop when you believe- they only begin. Calvin talked about sanctification as a process of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit draws us away from death and more and more to life- mortification to the things of death; and vivification to life. The Spirit works in us- blesses us now.
II. A SHARED SPIRIT MAKES US ONE- In these divisive times, it is important to note what makes the church one. It is not a building. It is not money. If our church building burned today- there would still be Lake Murray Presbyterian. We may lose some fair weather friends- but the core of the church would go on. If we went bankrupt- the church would go on. It is not an institution- it is not only the past experiences of the Spirit that are important. Quit thinking that God used to work with people but He doesn?t any more! God works today! The past experiences are not the only things that unite us. Some say the Scriptures unite us. There is some truth there. But the Scriptures are a gift of the Spirit who inspired them, but even scriptures do not always unite us- as there are different views. All these things can be used by God to encourage us to be one- but they are all secondary reasons.?? The main and really only reason we are united is by the Holy Spirit. When the Spirit leaves us- there is no unity. When the church is dry, decaying morally- there is division and bickering. When we recognize the same Spirit that is in me is in you, there is oneness. This is exactly what happened when the church recognized that the Gentiles should be allowed in the church- they recognized the same Spirit. When the Spirit of holiness, truth and love is gone- there is no unity.
III. A SHARED SPIRIT- STRENGTHENS US- When there is disunity- when people are not drawn by the Spirit to come and they do not answer the Spirit?s call- there is weakness. There is weakness in the church, but also weakness in us as individuals. The Spirit is the glue that makes us stick together. ???? Think about glue. If glue is made right, it is not so visible. If it is wrong, it falls apart. The bird house made with bad glue might fall apart the first bird that flies into it. The Holy Spirit, Jesus said, is like the wind. It is invisible- but you see the result. Or it may be like clear glue- that gels us together. I like that verse in Ecclessiastes that speaks of the need to be together by saying, ?A twine of three strands is not easily broken.? The Spirit is the third twine that unites us- wraps us together. Jesus spoke of the Holy Spirit in our passage in verses 16 & 27 as an ?Advocate.? The term used there is like the classic term for lawyer- someone who speaks on our behalf to make things better or easier for us. In some translations this word is translated ?comforter.? It literally is parakaleo- the one called along side (para- like parallel) to help- (kaleo- called to help). The Spirit is that third twine- that helps bind us together with a cord that cannot be broken. When we are baptized- in the Spirit (not just water baptism- but when we accept and claim that baptism), then we are one.?? We may differ in view points, in practice, in how much we do different things. Some will love missions. Some will love buildings. Some love the kitchen- some love the children?s ministry building. Some of us are unemotional and ?only the facts Ma?am? but others are emotional. But when we are baptize in the Same Spirit- then we are one. ???? Do you want to be strong in your faith? Then quit holding back. Give yourself fully to the Lord- let the Spirit of God lead you, comfort you, bless you, strengthen you. ???? There is a verse in Malachi that speaks of when the Holy Spirit comes on people. It says, your old men will dream dreams your young men will share visions. The Spirit opens our eyes with hope to the future. The Spirit enables us to dream dreams and have a vision. Sharing the same dream- same goals, same purpose brings unity. I have told several people in and out of this church that the building of this building for our children is such a blessing to us- it is sharing a dream for the future. I am convinced it is a gift of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit enables us- to play ball in the game of life- to be the kind of church we are designed to be. The church is not just a human creation- it is a Fellowship of the Spirit- a community of the Spirit. If you know and experience God- then we have a common experience that draws us together.