As Christians Living with a Two Third God
Last time I preached, I talked about the power of the Holy Spirit; this relates to the message I would like to bring today.
What if I told you that for the rest of this week, in every text you send, every email you write, every conversation you have regardless who you talk to, you have to skip every third word. No matter what, you have to skip every third word. How do you think you you’d do that? How long do you think you would last? How helpful or productive do you think you’d be?
It would be awkward if not downright frustrating, right?
It would be so hard to get across the simplest of ideas
Consider the following famous American speeches. See how they read with every third word taken out.
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the position that all men are created equal.
Four score seven years our fathers forth on continent, a nation, conceived liberty and to that that all are created.
The Gettysburg Address might not have been nearly as convicting, had Abraham Lincoln skipped every third word.
How about the I have a dream speech of Martin Luther King?
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream that four little will one live in nation where will not judged by color of skin but the content their character.
How about the verse we read in 1 Cor.13:4
Love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud, It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth.
Love is love is, it does envy it not boast, is not, it does dishonor others, is not seeking, it no easily, it keeps record of love, does delight in but rejoices the truth.
Clearly you see the point: skipping every third word confuses and confounds the clearest and even most compelling things. Yet, for so many Christians, this is who they live their lives when it comes God. Missing the fullness of his power, presence and significance of the Holy Spirit in their lives.
God, we mostly understand; Jesus we get, but the Holy Spirit…? Last week Ysrael talked about God, Jesus in his sermon entitled “Judgment, the deciding factor” About condemnation or salvation. God will judge us as individuals, but in the message I want to bring you today, how important it is to be together and connected to the body.
Why we as Christians live with a two-third God?
Because we believe in God, you accept Jesus as your savior but the Holy Spirit does not live in you every day. Even though the Holy Spirit is just as much a part of the Trinity as God the Father and Jesus the Son; we know so little about the Holy Spirit. It’s as if we’re living with a two third God.
Because the role of the Holy Spirit is often not explored; the power of the Spirit is often not experienced.
Sometimes we need to know what spirit is living in us. Holy Spirit or false spirit? Do you believe in every spirit?
How we recognize the spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood? 1 John 4:1-6
1 Cor.2:14 The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from God. For they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them because they are spiritually discerned.
Is it possible that you have a two-third God?
The last few weeks in our Bible study on Sunday, we discussed this. Spiritual gifts and the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Sometimes we’re confused about spiritual gifts and the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Spiritual gifts: God given abilities for the building up of the church. We learned that there is a variety of gifts within the body of Christ (the Church) Rom.12:4-6)
We have different gifts according to the grace given us.
So the question now, can we have Spiritual gifts without the gifts of the Holy Spirit?
Gal.5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
The fruit of the Spirit is the detectable product of that which is created by the inner life of the vine.
John 15:4 abide in me and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.
Matt.7:20 by their fruit you will know them
The fruit we bear as believers is evident of his abiding on the throne of our lives.
At first glance, there appears to be a grammatical error in this verse. Note carefully: “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace…..” The truth is that the fruit of the Spirit is love, period.
Rom.12:9-13 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourself. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer. Share with God’s people in need, practice hospitality.
The word translated love here is agape. God’s own love. This is the highest level of love, the kind that seeks others’ higher good. It is the same word we find in John 3:16 God so loved the world
It is no coincidence that love is first on the list of nice pieces of fruit here. It is a fountain of all others. The nine fruits listed here are a cluster describing the evidence of the life of Christ within us. The fruit is singular here because it is the outcropping of one’s life within. The fruit represents what we are rather than what we do. Here we are reintroduced to the principle of being before doing. What we do is determine by who, or whose, we really are.
The fruit described in Galatians is a triad, three cluster with three fruits each. They are reflected in a countenance that is obvious, conduct that is orderly and a character that is obedient. There are more than a hundred verses about the Holy Spirit in the Bible. In fact, toward the end of his time on earth, before his death and resurrection, Jesus began to prepare his disciples for the reality of the Holy Spirit. The gift of the Holy Spirit.
One of those times is found in John 14:16-17
The New Testament centers around two big gifts from God:
1) The gift of Jesus
2) the gift of the Holy Spirit
Both are essential in understanding the New Testament. And ultimately, both are essential in having a relationship with God. The gift of Jesus without the gift of the Holy Spirit keeps the presence and power of God confined to one person (Jesus) in one place (Israel) at one time (His earthly ministry).
The gift of the Holy Spirit simply does not happen without the gift of Jesus.
What is Jesus’s gift?
It is Jesus’ atoning act of sacrifice on the cross that settled the sin separation between us and God, thus bridging that gap and making a way for a holy God to inhabit inherently sin-filled people.
The Holy Spirit is central to the story of the NT. Everything that happens from Acts 2 to Revelation 22 is directly connected to the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. The same could be said of any moment or movement of God since those days right up to the present. You and I are living in the time and power of IN
It is fascinating to consider the after 2000 years of activity, history and theology, the Holy Spirit still largely remains a mystery to other.
This was not the case when IN began. Those first followers of Jesus and leaders of the first century church were ever aware that the gift of the Holy Spirit had changed everything. The new normal of the Holy Spirit was previously unimaginable. Jesus’s disciples were acutely aware of who they were and more specifically who they were not. They saw all that they were doing and saying and the way they were living and knew that this was all much bigger than them.
The gift of the Holy Spirit had transformed these followers into leaders. It transformed them view of a kingdom from something of this world, to something not of this world. It transformed the vision they had for their lives; their relationship with God from something out there to someone who is IN
God is a God who gives perfect gifts
He gives you just what you need, just when you need it. We see this throughout the story of the Bible. IN the beginning God gave us life. In the midst of sin, he gave us the Law and the prophets. In the desperation of our separation from God, he gave us Jesus.
And just when we think that there is not more God can give us, He gives us the Holy Spirit.
The power and presence of the Holy Spirit is not intended to be a great mystery in our lives. The Bible speaks to what the Holy Spirit does in our lives and in our world.
Among many other things, the Holy Spirit brings to our lives:
- a) Comfort (John 14:16)
- b) Counsel (john 16:12-14)
- c) Conviction (John 16:8)
- d) Connection (Rom8:26-27)
Jesus said that everything the Father has, he gave to Jesus, that He give all of that to the Holy Spirit and that the Holy Spirit then in turns gives access to all of that to all of us. The power and presence of the Spirit is made fully available to every followers of Jesus equally. There aren’t some people who get more and others who get less. Some are some open and dependent than others. But God pours out his Spirit freely on all followers of Jesus. The Holy Spirit is how God lives IN us and works through us-guiding, guarding, loving and leading our lives.
Is your spiritual life only 2/3 of what it could be? Are you missing the fullness of the power, presence and significance of the Holy Spirit in your life? It doesn’t have to be this way! Today, invite God invite God the Holy Spirit who is IN you and works through you to guide, guard, love and lead your life today and forever.