On Your Mark (Sermon Three: Holy Spirit)

Text: John 14:15-26 NLT

“If you love me, obey my commandments.  And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you.  He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.  No, I will not abandon you as orphans—I will come to you.  Soon the world will no longer see me, but you will see me. Since I live, you also will live.  When I am raised to life again, you will know that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.  Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them.”

Judas (not Judas Iscariot, but the other disciple with that name) said to him, “Lord, why are you going to reveal yourself only to us and not to the world at large?”

Jesus replied, “All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them. Anyone who doesn’t love me will not obey me. And remember, my words are not my own. What I am telling you is from the Father who sent me.  I am telling you these things now while I am still with you.  But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you."

Truths You Can Trust:

1. You are not alone.

Comforter = Summoned, called to one's side to help and to aid. Also, one who pleads another's cause with one, an intercessor.

2. You are not on your own.

Acts 1:8 (NIV) - "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

See also Acts 2:1-4. God fills us with the Holy Spirit, clothes us with His power, so that we may be His witnesses.

3. You have been given the advantage.

I Corinthians 12:8-11 (NIV) - "To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines."

1. Word of Wisdom – Facing a difficult decision and uncertain of its future effect on others – allow the Holy Spirit to give you the leading – the prompting – to make Godly and wise decisions.

2. Word of Knowledge – What an advantage you have by having the Holy Spirit, Who was present in creation, Who knows all things, and Who can enlighten you to know and to understand situations and to suddenly know the right thing to do.

3. Discerning of Spirits – We often forget we are locked in a spiritual battle. We tend to forget that our enemy is cunning and crafty and, as Jesus says, “a wolf in sheep’s clothing.”

• What sometimes looks good, sounds spiritual, comes from the lips of people who seem to know, yet are deceived themselves and lead vulnerable people into deception as well. The Holy Spirit can prompt us and lead us and help us discern what is of God and what is not.

• Church, these are the things that should be defining us as Pentecostals. The Holy Spirit desires to be active in our lives daily.

4. Gift of Faith – Not the normal faith that is saving faith or sustaining faith, but that faith that is required for God-sized intervention and experiences. That faith that suddenly wells up within us in that moment of need when the Holy Spirit aids us to trust, believe, and dream big dreams.

5. Gift of Miracles – I believe there are moments – there are those times when nothing short of a miracle will do. Those critical moments when we are in over our heads and God says, “Not yet. You aren’t going down. You aren’t losing this battle.” And then the Holy Spirit intervenes and a miracle – a real miracle occurs. Not, “It was a miracle I didn’t run out of gas.” Or, “It was a miracle we won that game.” No. That’s not a miracle. A miracle is a Divine intervention. A move of the Holy Spirit to change what would be to conform it to His Will. And church, our God, through the Holy Spirit, desires to do this for each and every one of us!

6. Gifts of Healing – Did you know that God is the Healer? There are times He heals instantly. There are times He uses us, or wants to use us, to pray for the sick and they are healed.

• I believe there are medical providers right here today whom God uses from time to time to be His instrument of healing.

• And I pray often for some woman or some man or some team to be used in this gift to bring about a cure for cancer.

• Don’t underestimate the power of your prayers. Pray for healing in your life, your kids, your family and friends.

7. Gift of tongues – On that first outpouring at Pentecost, those filled with the Spirit spoke in languages unknown to them.

•  God gave supernaturally a language of prayer and intervention that only He could understand. This gift was and still is a powerful tool for the believer to assist in prayer and intercession.

• Granted, it is the most misunderstood gift. The one that has been most abused and most maligned. Yet, that does not alter what God says and what His word teaches.

• When the Holy Spirit comes to reside in us, He enables us to powerfully and supernaturally communicate with Him.

8. Interpretation of tongues – From time to time, the Holy Spirit will intervene on behalf of a group or gathering and have a specific word of comfort or exhortation or edification. The message is delivered in an “unknown language or tongue.” It is then that God gives someone the interpretation of that unknown message.

9. Prophecy – The gift of prophecy is the inspired gift to foretell what is to come. It is given to edify the church and comfort the church – not to strike fear in believers – and to exhort the church.