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Introducing ... the Holy Spirit
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Father God we thank you for all assembled here ... and believe that you have ordained and ordered this meeting for the mutual strengthening of all. We bless your Name and thank you for all you've done for us. Now we ask your blessing on our gathering, and that you would open the eyes of our understanding to your Word in Jesus Name AMEN

OlePappy - Blessed Father, I ask that You place us in a frame of mind to receive the richness of Your Holy Word. Thank You sweet lord in the name of Jesus. Amen

EarthAngel - Can anyone tell me what the gifts and callings of the Lord are without repentance mean?

Sure earthangel ... when the Lord calls you into a ministry and gives you gifts, He doesn't change His mind about ya, even if it takes several (or many) tries for you to get there! For example, He called me to be a teacher and gave me the gift of teaching when I was very young... and even though I failed Him big time more than once, He didn't change His mind about what He wanted me to do. I finally said, "OK" In fact, it was that very verse you quoted that gave me the courage to do what I'm doing now, even though I felt unworthy after failing Him!!! So it's very special to me.

EarthAngel - What if you are afraid to yield to His calling?

EarthAngel... well dear, keep praying about it and seek to know Him better, so you can know you can trust Him with your life ... and that He knows better than you what is best.

EarthAngel - Someone told me that if I didn't use my gift that He would give it to someone who would!
Wind Walker - not so Julie, He can just give them more. He doesn't have to take yours away

EarthAngel I don't know of a verse that says that although I've heard that all my life ... and I can tell you in my case it simply wasn't true! Good point WW, He's got lots of gifts and callings .... praise the Lord, MORE than enough to "go around"!

Wind Walker - there are 388 passages of the term spirit in the N. T.

OK last time we talked about John 3:16: For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believes on Him will not perish but have eternal life.

Tonight we're gonna look at the third person of the Godhead, which is the Holy Spirit. For those who were here Monday, this will be a little different. Now most people don't have too much difficulty understanding what the Bible says about God, that He's our creator and all, King of the Universe.

And that the Bible says that God showed or demonstrated His love for us by sending us His only Son. And they don't have much difficulty understanding about Jesus ... that He came in the flesh and gave His life for our sins. But the Holy Spirit is a real mystery to many ... and they are either afraid of Him... or don't really know about Him... or something ... anyhow tonight we're gonna try to clear some of the mystery up for ya.

Now when Jesus was getting ready to close out his life ... he knew he was going to the cross, he had a meeting with his followers to give them his last words so to speak. He spoke about many things, and it must have been really confusing for them, because they didn't really understand that he had to die. So he told them lots of stuff... and I mean if you're gonna die you're gonna share your heart, right? And they were very sorrowful... but he had some good news for them.

John 14:16-17 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever-- the 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.

He said He was gonna send somebody JUST LIKE HIM that would NEVER leave them. Jesus knew he could only stay a while and would have to leave, but this PERSON would come and NEVER EVER NO NEVER leave. Jesus called him the Counselor ... in fact ANOTHER counselor ... just like Jesus. Someone they could confide in and come to for help.

Now often when people need help, we tell them they need "counseling", don't we? What we usually mean is that they need "professional help" - a psychologist or psychiatrist or at least a mental health counselor. And we all often need help, don't we? Well Jesus is telling us that He has sent a Counselor that will be with us forever ... but much better than a human one.

For one thing, this Counselor is called the Spirit of Truth ... we can always rely on this counselor to tell us the truth ... in a loving way. Earthly counselors may or may not tell us the truth, may or may not give us good advice, may or may not care about us beyond their hourly fees!

John 14:16-17 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever-- the 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.

Another special thing about this Counselor is that He not only is with us, but lives IN us! He's on call 24/7 - always available instantly when we need Him - what earthly counselor could do that? Now this counselor is not available to everybody... people who don't know Jesus neither can "see" Him or know Him. But when we accept Jesus as Savior, it comes with the package deal!

And since this Counselor is JUST LIKE JESUS, He is all wise - He ONLY gives the best advice ... as we learn to hear Him. As you may have guessed, another name for Him is the Holy Spirit! He is nothing to fear ... but the very best thing you could have, someone you can turn to guidance any time any where ... at no added cost!!!

trouble - what if a person changes their minds?

Well trouble, Jesus sent Him to abide, or dwell or live in us FOREVER ... He ain't gonna give up so easy ...

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 also said that He would not only be our Counselor, but our TEACHER. Now Jesus has given some people in the church the job of teaching us .. and thank God for them. But we all are learners from the Holy Spirit ... He is the one the guides us on the inside and teaches us all things, reminding us of what Jesus has said. And He is there to teach you even when you have no one else.

We are told that the Holy Spirit is the one who inspired the writers of the Bible... it is the only book that comes with a built-in interpreter.

Wind Walker - What do you think of this thought Old Timer, I think that it is more that we are in Christ and therefore the Holy Spirit is there not so much individually in us

Technically WW, when we are born again we are baptized INTO the Body of Christ BY the Holy Spirit, He adopts us into the family of God and becomes our seal or pledge of all the promises of God.

He also is IN US, because He is the one that makes all things new, causes us to be born from above or of the Spirit .... and He lives within each of us. But we decide how much of us He controls and fills... it is voluntary ... we can allow Him as much of our lives as we chose to.

trouble - what do you mean baptized? in body of Christ
Wind Walker - our pledge is a new nature that The Holy Spirit can help us to live by

Trouble ... spiritually ... in the spiritual realm ... you become part of the Body of Christ and adopted into God's family ... that's why you're my sissy.

John 15:26-27 "When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me. And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning."

And the other thing that the Holy Spirit does is to testify, to tell the truth or to witness about Jesus. The Holy Spirit does not exalt himself, but lifts up Jesus and points us to Him. And He gives us the power, ability and courage to witness or testify or tell about Jesus also.

So when you feel like you are struggling being a believer, when you are frustrated because it seems there is much you cannot understand, when you are confused from so many differing opinions. Go to your Counselor! Ask His advice. Rely on your Teacher. Know that you are NEVER alone ... and that He is one called alongside to help. Call on Him when you need help! He's waiting to hear from YOU!

Now one more thing. God demonstrated His love for us by sending His Only Son to die in our place. Jesus demonstrated His love for us by becoming sin for us so that we might take on His right standing (righteousness) with God. And the Holy Spirit demonstrates His love for us by coming to live with us and IN us, by being our Counselor and Teacher, by encouraging us and helping us in all things.

So with all this love flowing to ya, YOU CANNOT FAIL! Just trust in God, no matter what things look like... things are things and don't have the final say in your life. GOD DOES. And He says "I LOVE YOU".

Wind Walker - when we do that OT then we can say like David I know more than all my counselors. I know more than all the ancients, because I have been taught by God
Malinda - Can I get a good definition of "Holy Spirit"?
Wind Walker - the third person of the Trinity Mal

The Bible reveals to us that the Holy Spirit is part of what theologians call the "trinity" - the three-in-one. God is one, but shows Himself to us in three persons: Father, Son and Spirit. The Holy Spirit is not an "it" but a Person who is active in the earth, bringing people to Christ, doing the work of the new birth, and cleansing us and guiding us our life long.

The symbols for the Holy Spirit in the Bible are Wind, Fire and the Dove .... all show us aspects of His character and work in us.

EarthAngel - The Holy Spirit is our ever-present TEACHER
trouble - you say the spirit will help you right

Right trouble! Amen EarthAngel!!! And the Holy Spirit inspired men to write the Bible ... and will not tell us anything contrary to the Bible ... that's how we can test whether we are hearing Him.

Wind Walker - can you describe the different usage of the word pneuma in the N.T> Old Timer?

Ruach in Hebrew (OT) and pneuma in Greek (NT) both mean breath, wind, and spirit ... these words are interchangeable.

trouble - but it doesn't help you all the time because you don't let the spirit help you or are afraid?

Well trouble I believe the Spirit is ALWAYS helping, even when we aren't aware ... but the more we yield to Him and trust Him the more help He can give us.

vali/Genesis31:49 - I have always considered the Spirit to be that still small voice inside me..

Amen Vali ... and it takes practice to discern that still small voice from all the others that tend to YELL: The world, the flesh, the devil, our own thoughts, memories, etc.

In the non-believer, conscience is all you have ... but when you receive Jesus you get the Spirit of truth ... a re-born conscience that helps you discern good from evil, as you test all things by the Word.

vali/Genesis31:49 - many times that still small voice has saved/helped me and I know it is the Lord.. but... many times i forget to be quiet or take time to LISTEN...
CaptainJulie - I think we ALL struggle with that, vali!
trouble - kinda is hard to trust eh… when you cant see him or when things not good right so you just suppose d to hope?
EarthAngel - Even the faintest knock of faith will open Heaven's door.

And yes trouble, trust is hard, especially when things are rough ... that's when faith kicks in. I just trust sometimes in spite of what goes on ... just stubborn I guess.

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Original lesson 6/4/99
Revised: October 29, 2000