by the Holy Spirit - its Consequence
Heidelberg Catechism Lord's Day 20
and sisters in Christ
taken the time with the Heidelberg to focus on the person and work of
the Spirit of God.
Q & A 53
Q. What do you believe concerning "the Holy Spirit"?
A. First, he, as well as the Father and the Son, is eternal God.
Second, he has been given to me personally, so that, by true faith,
he makes me share in Christ and all his blessings, comforts me, and
remains with me forever.
Let me one
last time repeat what we have learned so far.
are Trinitarian. The Father, the Son and the Spirit are all equally God,
three persons, one God head. Unlike some of the latest sects which teach
that Jesus is only God’s son and not equal with God, and some sects that
the Spirit is simply the will of God, not the third person of the
Trinity, we believe that the Father, Son and Spirit are all equally God
and all involved as persons in our salvation. And so our theology and
our preaching should deal with all three persons of the Trinity.
also found that if we want to receive anything from God, the Father, Son
or Spirit, the key issue is trust.
we trust our Father in heaven for his providential care? When we do our
lives start taking on the characteristics of patience and contentment.
we trust Christ for the forgiveness of sins and a regenerated spirit by
which we start to fulfill the will of God? When we do, the peace of God
begins ruling our heart and obedience to God’s will becomes an
we trust the Spirit of God for his influential leadership in our lives
and the gifts he gives and is? When we do grow in our trusting the
Spirit, we discover that the Lordship of Christ in our lives is
immediate and intimately practical so that we, as Paul instructs us, can
keep in step with the Spirit (Since
we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Galatians
5:25) (seeking justice and loving mercy and walking humbly with our God
- illustration of walking together with tied led - submission), and the
repeated thing that we discover in the scriptures is that along with his
triumphant Lordship in our lives comes gifts, through which we can be a
blessing to others and so fulfill the promises given to Abraham to be a
blessing to the nations.
important thing we have learned is that we need to stop thinking in
absolute opposites. We tend to think in terms of having the Holy Spirit
or not having the Holy Spirit. Scripture paints much more of a
spectrum. If we listen to Acts 17, in him we live and move and
have our being,” all of creation is sustained by God through his Spirit.
That is a common grace that God has given since creation began. If we
have come to faith or trust in Christ and thus have been
regenerated, born again by the Spirit, we have the Spirit, but as
the scriptures pointed out, there is more of the Spirit to be had. To be
filled with the Spirit, to have the Spirit poured out, is a fullness of
the Spirit that is experiential, not just inferential. Like a sponge, it
is possible to be wet, and it is possible to be full of water. So it is
with us. There is a spectrum of having the Spirit. And so when we are
asked by Paul in Acts 19, did you receive the Spirit when you believed,
we have to understand the answer in terms of a spectrum.
this gives us the freedom to embrace what we do have of the Spirit and
still desire more. And it is appropriate for the church to behave in
such a way that it is believed that more is to be had.
evening we want to look at the consequences of the Holy Spirit’s coming.
The disciples were told to wait until they received power from on high.
This morning Hophnia and Phinehas assumed that by taking the Ark of the
Covenant into battle with them would bring power for the Israelites.
There is a correlation between the presence of God and power. When we
trust Christ and keep the temple Holy, the Holy Spirit lives within us,
in the Holy Spirit, the Lord is enthroned in our lives, and the
consequence is power - the disciples were told to wait for power from on
high. So this evening I felt led (// compelled as
it is used in Acts 20:22 - and I am using that terminology in honour of
the Spirit’s leadership in my life, it is appropriate for us to start
using that kind of terminology) to
simply read and make comments on Acts 2. And you will notice on the back
page of your handout just a short list of consequences of the Spirit
that arise from this one passage.
2 When the day of
Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly
like the blowing of a violent wind came
from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They
saw what seemed to be tongues
of fire that separated
and came to rest on each of them. 4 All
of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began
to speak in other tongues as
the Spirit enabled them.
(Comment - it is surprising that
in terms of the consequence of the receiving of the Holy Spirit,
speaking in tongues has been emphasized, but not once have I heard
included in the evidences the less mimic-able signs - tongues of fire on
their heads and or the sound of a blowing violent wind. Some signs are
sometimes repeated in the scriptures, others appear not to be!)
there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under
heaven. 6 When
they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because
each one heard them speaking in his own language. 7 Utterly
amazed, they asked: “Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then
how is it that each of us hears them in his
own native language? 9 Parthians,
Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia,
Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia
and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from
Rome 11 (both
Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring
the wonders of God in our own tongues!” 12 Amazed
and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”
however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.”
(I think this too is an important
sign for the coming of the Spirit will be wondered about and resisted,
just as the Spirit’s sender, Jesus, was wondered about and resisted. The
coming of the Spirit in power includes controversy)
Addresses the Crowd
Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the
crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain
this to you; listen carefully to what I say. 15 These
men are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! (Criticism
does not really fit, few people drink through the night because as they
sleep, intoxication will not be enjoyed.) 16 No,
this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
‘In the last
days, God says,
I will pour out my
Spirit on all people.
sons and daughters will prophesy,
young men will
old men will
18 Even on
my servants, both men and women,
pour out my Spirit in those days,
they will prophesy.
will show wonders
in the heaven above
on the earth below,
and fire and billows of smoke.
sun will be turned to darkness
moon to blood
the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.
everyone who calls
name of the Lord will be saved.’
of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God
to you by miracles,
wonders and signs,(As
above) which God
did among you through him, as you yourselves know. 23 This
man was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge; and
you, with the help of wicked men, put
him to death by nailing him to the cross. 24But
God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death,
because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him. 25 David
said about him:
saw the Lord always before me.
he is at my right hand,
not be shaken.
my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
also will live in hope,
you will not abandon me to the grave,
will you let your Holy One see decay.
have made known to me the paths of life;
will fill me with joy in your presence.’
I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried,
and his tomb is here to this day. 30 But
he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he
would place one of his descendants on his throne. 31 Seeing
what was ahead, he spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that
he was not abandoned to the grave, nor did his body see decay. 32 God
has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact. 33 Exalted
to the right hand of God, he has
received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out
what you now see and hear. 34 For
David did not ascend to heaven, and yet he said,
Lord said to my Lord:
my right hand
I make your enemies
footstool for your feet.” ’
let all Israel be assured of this: God
has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” (Comment
- If Jesus is Lord today, the Spirit is real. The Spirit is the evidence
of Christ’s Lordship. The Spirit is the practical and experienced
Lordship of Christ in our lives today - leads to the theme of obedience,
the people heard this, they were cut
to the heart (That
is the work of the Holy Spirit - sent by Christ the Lord to convict
regarding sin, righteousness and judgement) and
said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”
replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus
Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you
will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The
promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all
whom the Lord our God will call.”
many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save
yourselves from this corrupt generation.” 41 Those
who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were
added to their number that day.
Fellowship of the Believers
devoted themselves (Spiritual
hunger for more is also a consequence of the coming of the Spirit. Once
we have tasted of life in Christ, there is a natural hunger for more. If
we do not hunger for Christ, we desperately need the Spirit.) to
the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread
and to prayer. 43 Everyone
was filled with awe, and many
wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. 44 All
the believers were together and had
everything in common. (Clearest
demonstration that the old nature, which preserves self because of
distrust and unbelief is overcome by abiding in the Spirit.) 45 Selling
their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. 46 Every
day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke
bread in their homes and ate together with glad
and sincere hearts, 47 praising
God and enjoying the
favor of all the people. And the Lord
added to their number daily those
who were being saved.
these consequences, by the fact that so many are reported even in this
one chapter, we have to agree that the pouring out of the Holy Spirit is
something that is definitely experienced, not just inferred. And by the
many consequences mentioned here, we discover that the experience of the
Spirit is not just limited to a few things in our lives, there are many
different ways that the consequence of the Holy Spirit comes to
expression, through him we receive the work of Christ and all his
benefits. The Spirit is a person and what he does as a person can be as
varied as ministry can possibly be. The simple truth is, and I think if
there is a neglect in our theology, it is that the Spirit comes with
power, power over sin, power to witness, power to heal, power to
minister. There are many possible consequences.
asks us “Did you receive the Spirit when you first believed?” we can
answer, and not be caught up with the issue of tongues. Look down the
list of just this chapter, ask yourself, is there evidence that I can
point to.. Or maybe this evening you have other evidences, the work of
the HS is not limited to these.
(NIV) Scripture taken from the HOLY
BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright (C) 1973, 1978, 1984
International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible
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