Holy Spirit


‘Rejoice in being a gifted church’


1 Corinthians 12:1-11


Spiritual Gifts 101

1. Spiritual gifts come from a supernatural change in us (vs 1-3)

The Holy Spirit gives us truth, life, and the capacity to be fruitful for God

This is a reality to celebrate, to lift our heart and to energize our life

2.  Spiritual gifts come from the triune God who is communal (vs 4-6)

God is a triune being who has always existed as three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit

God by nature has always lived in and delighted in community; he has always been communicative and interactive

God’s work in the church flows out of his communal nature

This includes his purpose for the gospel and for spiritual gifts

v7 spiritual gifts are given for the common good (the rest of ch 12 illustrates this)

After v6, the focus remains on the Holy Spirit who distributes spiritual gifts

The context of chapters 12-14 is that the gifts were being used selfishly in Corinth

Instead we should view spiritual gifts through God’s communal nature

3.  Spiritual gifts are the activity of the Holy Spirit

A good working definition for spiritual gifts is found in v7

Believer, you are a gifted person; every believer has spiritual gifts (v7 & v11)

Your gifts are a manifestation of the Holy Spirit (v7)

The Holy Spirit does dwell in us, he does work in us, and he will use us

Spiritual gifts are an empowerment of the Holy Spirit (v11)

The exercise of our gifts is primarily what he is doing

The Holy Spirit uses our capacities, but he works far beyond them

Our gifts are carefully selected in the wisdom of the Holy Spirit (v11)

We should not demean our gifts or feel discouraged by what we don’t have

God is being good in our gifting – so take joy in it

4.  There is diversity in spiritual gifts (vs 4-6)

This is true in the variety of gifts (there is no exhaustive list) and in how they are used

This point is extensively made throughout chapter 12 – why?

We like to systematize our experience and expect others to fit into it

We like to compare, resulting in arrogance or discouragement

With this diversity, we must maintain the following:

(1)  Unity – chapter 12

(2)  Love – chapter 13

(3)  Order – chapter 14

5.  How do we know discover our gifts?

Don’t try to fit into any specific list

Since gifts are manifestations of the Spirit – focus on having a humble and pure heart

Since they are for the common good – be connected to the people of your church

Since each believer has them – be faithful and they will flow from you


Applications for Being a Gifted Church

1.  We have been gifted for life together, so let’s share life together

Pursue biblical community – just being friendly at church is not being in biblical community

Be engaged with one another through meaningful listening and sharing

Look for ways to encourage one another in being Great Commandment people

2.  Look for and identify how God is working in one another

Think about your conversations – is there awareness of God’s activity in them?

God is ever active, yet we often don’t feel as if he is, so we don’t live as if he is

If we are not experiencing his presence, we will worship him less

If we are not seeing his faithfulness, we will be tempted to depend upon him less

3.  We are gifted people, so we should want to be a gifted church

What that looks like is up to God, since he is the one who gives gifts

What he does is good, so we don’t need to fear any true manifestations of the Holy Spirit

We should not try to force his activity, but we can make room in our hearts and gatherings for it



‘Know Where to Get Wisdom’                    

 1 Corinthians 2:6-16


We all want to be wise in life. But the world’s views of wisdom and foolishness are upside down. This makes it hard to protect against being influenced by false wisdom. Paul strengthens our convictions, by helping us understand how wisdom is obtained.


1. True wisdom will not come through those the world thinks are wise (v6)

Paul starts by repeating his point of where wisdom is not found

This present age (this world order), exalts us instead of God, that is not wisdom

That means the rulers of this age (people of influence), don’t have wisdom

Paul refers to all who embrace the gospel of Christ as “mature”

Those who know wisdom is in Christ, have a certain measure of maturity

Their thinking is on a secure foundation, and it is leading you in a wise direction

Don’t turn back to the wisdom of those who are “doomed to pass away”  


2. True wisdom must be revealed by God (v7a)

Paul calls the gospel “secret and hidden wisdom”

God is not hiding wisdom from us, he is declaring where wisdom is found

The gospel had to be revealed; and a crucified Messiah was totally unexpected

We will not find wisdom by our effort, or what makes sense to us  

Christ is the treasury of wisdom and the full answer to all we need (Colossians 2:3)

Christ is the door to all wisdom, every other door leads to a dead end


3. The wisdom of God is eternal and unchanging (v7b)

The world denies that truth can be definitive. So it changes with each new “ruler”

But God is a perfect and eternal being – all knowledge is his possession

God is the Creator – all that exists flows out of his wisdom

God is the Judge – we are all accountable to his standards

True wisdom doesn’t change, it embraces the ways of God

New wisdom about life and godliness will always be false wisdom


4. Our response to Christ reveals whether we have wisdom (v8)

The proof that this world is blind to wisdom, is their rejection of Christ

God displays the fullness of his power and wisdom in Christ 

Jesus was perfect man and “glory” on display, but the world didn’t recognize it

Jesus is the fulfillment of God’s wondrous plan, but the world doesn’t care

What wisdom can the world give us, when Jesus is nowhere in it?

In v9, Paul quotes from Isaiah 64:4

He points out that the gospel of Christ contains glories beyond imagination

We cannot grasp all the gospel brings, but we have tasted it!

How can we consider neglecting the glories of gospel wisdom, to pick up what the world exalts?


5. The wisdom of God can only come from the Holy Spirit (vs 10-11)

The wisdom that created life and rules over eternity, flows from the mind of God

People emptily proclaim how life, eternity and God should operate; but unless God shares that wisdom with us, how can we possibly know it?

The Holy Spirit does know “the depths” of God

And he dwells in every believer to empower and ‘teach’ us (v12)

He makes the wisdom of God available and understandable to all believers

(1) This doesn’t mean every line in the Bible is instantly clear, it means it is all intelligible

(2) The Spirit who teaches us also inspired the Bible; so what he teaches us will always be in-sync with the Bible

If anyone’s thinking is not Holy Spirit inspired, then it’s not true wisdom


6. The wisdom of God can only be received by a “spiritual” person (v13)

v14 contrasts the spiritual person to the “natural person” (someone not born of the Spirit)

The natural person can study the Bible and recognize what it claims, but the realities of Christ don’t impact them

As spiritual people, we judge, but we are not judged (vs15-16)

This verse has been widely misused. It cannot contradict the rest of the Bible and mean we can avoid accountability

The context is clear, Paul is still rebuking the false wisdom of the world

God’s truth enables us to judge the world’s truth; but they don’t judge our truth, because it is God’s truth

Believer, you have “the mind of Christ”, which is the light of gospel wisdom. Use it!

Being wise in any situation is always tied to the cross and what it speaks to us



The Active Presence of the Holy Spirit                        

John 16:5-15

The most under-appreciated aspect of our salvation may be the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.  In his farewell address, Jesus keeps coming back to the Holy Spirit so we will be mindful of his active presence


The Holy Spirit is our great advantage in this world (v7)

Jesus’ leaving was to fulfill the Father’s plan in establishing a New Covenant

Jesus did everything necessary to make the gospel possible and the Holy Spirit does everything necessary to unite us to the gospel

As the disciples in John 16 were to anticipate the Holy Spirit’s coming, we are to expect the Holy Spirit’s work

The Holy Spirit has come and he does abide in every believer

He is being faithful to fulfill all the wondrous purposes of the gospel in us


Jesus presents the work of the Holy Spirit in the world (vs 8-11)

Jesus starts here, because this is the Holy Spirit’s necessary starting place with us

The world needs the Holy Spirit’s “conviction” because people don’t see clearly (Revelation 3:16-17)

Even as believers, our motivations and justifications are not as pure as we think

The Holy Spirit brings conviction in three areas  

1. We need conviction about “sin” (v9)

     Sin is always deceptive, evil and foolish. Sin is an act of rejecting God

     If we are not taking sin seriously, we are not taking Jesus who died for sin   seriously

2. We need conviction about “righteousness” (v10)

     A proof of this is that we are not more drawn to holiness, which is God’s own character

     Our goodness is defiled, so only Jesus can make us righteous before God

3. We need conviction about “judgment” (v11)

     People who don’t believe in God’s rule, are not concerned about coming judgment

     How we live should take into account that only what submits to Christ will survive judgment (1 Corinthians 3:11-15)

     If you want to see clearly, invite the Holy Spirit to speak by his voice, his word and his people


Jesus presents the work of the Holy Spirit in believers (vs 12-15)

1. The Holy Spirit guides us in the truth

We cannot trust other sources to be fully true    

The Holy Spirit always speaks in harmony with Scripture (v13b)

     The Holy Spirit inspired Scripture that is what he will bring to us

     The Holy Spirit never tells you that your sin is ok

The Spirit-filled believer lives in harmony with God’s Word, which means they are engaged with the Bible to test their lives against to it

2. The Holy Spirit draws our attention to kingdom fulfillment

“He declares to us the things that are to come” (v13)

What is “to come” drives our motivations: We look to better job, a bigger house, a fulfilling relationship and a higher reputation

What is “to come” drives our fears: We become anxious over what our kids will do, our doctor will say, or how the economy will turn

The Spirit-filled believer looks to the fulfillment of Jesus’ kingdom, for we know all that is ‘to come’ is ruled by Christ

     Our desires become shaped by wanting to honor and be used for Jesus kingdom

     Our fears are eased by knowing all things are in Jesus’ hands

3. The Holy Spirit glorifies Christ (v14)

The whole of God’s plan for this world and for humanity centers on Jesus

Jesus is the answer for the world’s groaning and he is the fulfillment of humanity’s hope

The Holy Spirit will not emphasize anything above Jesus

The Spirit-filled believer spends a lot of time and attention on Christ

     Trusts him  

     Exalts him  

     Obeys him  

     Serves him

     Rests in him



             “Peace is found in Jesus”                     

John 14:25-31

People look for peace in the absence of conflict, intrusion, people and problems. They miss the fact that peace is found in the presence of Christ


Jesus gives more instruction about the Holy Spirit (vs 25-26)

The word for ‘Helper’ means “one who comes along side”

One of the ways he ‘comes alongside’ us is by “teaching” us  

He will teach them what Jesus has already ‘spoken’ to them

Jesus’ disciples had heard Jesus for years, yet their understanding remained shallow

We need to understand more than words and concepts, the realities of Christ must capture our hearts

We need to see them as true for us and compelling to us

The Holy Spirit brings truths to our “remembrance”

This is how biblical truths touch the practices of our life

Jesus is giving assurance to his followers concerning how we will make our way in life


Jesus’ leaving is hard, but it is also victorious (vs 28-29)

Jesus was sovereign over all the circumstances of his leaving

He has been telling his disciples for months about the details of his death

His crucifixion was not a surprise, everything was according to God’s plan

Jesus would leave in complete victory

Jesus entered death to conquer death, by breaking the power of sin (1 Corinthians 15:55-57)

When Jesus paid the price for our sin, death lost its hold on us  

The result would be Jesus returning to the Father having fully completed his plan to save a people for himself

It seems like a loss to have Jesus leave, but he leaves to reign

Jesus would leave death exalted over the powers of this world

The ‘ruler of this world was coming’ (v30), Satan was involved in the events leading to Jesus’ death

But Satan’s efforts would not override God’s plan, his efforts were contained in it

Jesus would enter death, the territory of Satan, but it would have “no hold” on him

As followers of Jesus, v28 we should rejoice because his victory is our victory

Jesus tells them in v29 not to misinterpret events of his death; the same is true about interpreting the circumstances in our life


Jesus leaving this world doesn’t rob us of peace (v27)

We have peace because Jesus leaves us with his victory

We think we cannot have peace when life goes wrong or is out of our control

Even though wrong can be done to us, in Christ our future cannot go wrong

As citizens in Christ’s kingdom it is impossible for the events of our life to be out of control

We have peace because Jesus leaves us with the Holy Spirit

God is not watching how we are making it as Christians, he is involved in all of it

And we can be assured that the Holy Spirit’s work in us will be completely done 

We have peace because Jesus leaves us with himself

Jesus did not leave his humanity, he remains fully man, with understanding and empathy for us

Jesus did not leave this world; his Divine nature continues to operate the universe

Jesus was sovereign over the events his arrest, over the moment of his death . . and over your troubles

Jesus will not leave our lives! He will never ignore or fail those he died to save, and reigns to keep

We have surpassing peace in Jesus, so let’s live in it

The Hebrew use of the word peace meant blessing through a right relationship with God

Jesus’ first words to his disciples after his resurrection would be “Peace be with you”

Jesus who is the “Prince of Peace” came to establish a “covenant of peace” (Ezekiel 37:26-27)

Peace is here . . it’s ours . . we cannot lose it . . we can only lose sight of it

How or where are you looking for peace?

When I have financial security

When my problems finally are solved

When I find the right relationship or fix the people in my life  

These are all about our control and they ignore the reality that we live in a broken world

True peace is only in Christ: what he calls in v27 “my” peace

Only Christ fully removes all disturbances of peace

Only Christ reigns to guarantee that his peace will last



Responsibility for Life Together


I Corinthians 12:12-26

Last week we looked at 1 Corinthians 12:1-11, and saw that we are “Gifted for Life Together”. Now we continue with vs 12-26: we have a “Responsibility for Life Together”


We Are Saved into a Community Formed by God (v12-13)

We are part of a community that will be forever knit together

Every believer is baptized by the Holy Spirit into the universal church (v13)

Because this community is birthed and fed by the Holy Spirit, it is a wondrous community

In the local church, we pursue life together based on the realities of the universal church

Together we are people being transformed into the beauty and glory of Jesus

God empowers each of us in the church to impact one another in this process (Ephesians 4:16)

The Great Commission tells us every member is assigned to the overall work of making disciples (Matthew 28:18-20)

Many Christians have more struggles and less contentment, because they neglect what we are here for

vs 14-26 Indicate There Are Two Forms of Neglecting the “Body”

 #1 Don’t PULL Away from the Other Members (v14-20)

Each member has a responsibility to others we should not avoid

Any attitude that diminishes this responsibility is anti-biblical

The church includes you and cares for you but it is not about you

This is one of the most destructive deceptions in the American Church today

All too many come expecting to be made happy; they come to church as consumers to be impressed, rather than as members to serve

Other Christians pull away through another lie – which is to believe their role is not important

If we think our involvement doesn’t matter, we will remain on the edges

v17 gives an absurd picture to explode that lie: Imagine if whole body were an eye

This is an obviously laughable and grotesque thought; of course we need different members in all their different roles

Paul immediately follows the absurd with the encouraging (v18)

God who loved saving you, also loves to use you, so he made a place for you

Your place is chosen by God, you are gifted for it by God, and you are empowered to fulfill it by God


#2 Don’t PUSH Away the Other Members (v21)

We all have a ‘need’ for one another

This is not simply God’s idea for life; it’s how he designed your life

To deny our need for one another is not only unloving, it’s inaccurate

v22 Takes it further, those you think you don’t need are ‘indispensible’

This is because the process of becoming fully healthy as believers or as a church requires biblical community

It’s indispensible to have people speaking into our lives and growing with us

What “seems” to be weak versus necessary in our thinking is often inaccurate

We judge by human effectiveness, but the indispensible is a matter of what the Spirit is accomplishing in and through us

It’s not our place to judge how important roles are, it’s our place to fulfill them

What affects one member of the body is meant to affect us all (vs 24-26)

This is why church discipline sometimes involves the whole church

This is to protect the whole from corruption and it is to bring care from the church to the member who is “spiritually sick”

The Spirit who unified us to Christ, also unifies us to one another

Church unity goes beyond what normally joins people together

The unity of Christ’s body should be stronger than any source of division

A unified church body will be a deeply caring community

If you are not connected it is almost impossible to provide care

Unless you are all in, these things will be marginal to your heart

In order to take these things seriously we must find ways apply it

As a church, we want more than to merely nod our heads in agreement with what Bible says

We should want to take ongoing action to apply these truths in our lives – and in our church


As a member of the body, what condition are you in?

Are you a Missing member who shows up sporadically?

Are you a Lame member who attends, but is inactive?

Are you an Infected member who is involved, but your attitude creates pain in the church?

Are you a Cancerous member who holds to your sin, which by nature always spreads?

Or, are you a Healthy member who is involved, growing, caring and fruitful?


 “Is Your Heart Full?”

“How’s life?”  What goes through your mind when people ask that question? Despite real difficulties and the mess of this world, we can answer: “My heart is full”

John 7:37-39

A little background helps us better grasp Jesus’ point

We see in v1, Jesus said this during the Feast of Booths

People spent a week living in booths to remember the wilderness years

This feast included an elaborate and festive water ceremony

This celebrated God’s provision in the wilderness and gave hope for his provision in the present

It also looked ahead to the spiritual rain of the messianic age (Zechariah 14)

When Jesus “cried out” in v37, it may have been during that ceremony

It was clearly a messianic proclamation, and to the Jew that meant the fulfillment of God’s greatest blessing (Isaiah 55:1-3)

We short-change Christ if we see his work for us as just an escape from judgment

Jesus is inviting us to come and be filled

His invitation is given to those who thirst – those who have need

As Jesus declared in John 14:6, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life”

We all have a Sin need: we are sinners under judgment by the just God

We all have a Truth need: we are plagued by misunderstanding and treacherous thinking

We all have a Life need: we foolishly seek it from broken places (Jeremiah 2:13)

Jesus invites us to drink – to be full and satisfied

To drink is to believe in Christ

To drink is to fully accept what Jesus claims about himself, such as “I am the true Vine” . . “I am the Light of World” . . “I am the Good Shepherd

To drink is to practice his word with wholehearted obedience

To drink is to trust his Lordship by living in submission to him (Matthew 11:28-30)

There are common problems to drinking fully

1.  We don’t believe as much as we think we do: the doctrines we say we believe don’t fully shape how we live

2.  We sip and think we have had enough: we don’t see the goodness of “drinking” in fully

Yet, no one has better plans for us, or higher desires for us

Nothing can be better than to more fully know, love and live for Christ!

An essential clarification is added in v39

The active source of this promised vitality is the Holy Spirit

Jesus doesn’t simply give us blessings and benefits to use

The Holy Spirit (who is all that God is) comes to live and work in us

The Holy Spirit takes all that the gospel provides, and all that God’s plan desires and causes it to be fulfilled in us

The Holy Spirit enables our hearts to flow with life like a river

All rivers depend on a source; they flow with what they receive

We have received the Holy Spirit. We have the fullest source possible!

The Holy Spirit’s intentions are clear:

To produce fruit in us (Galatians 5)

To gift us (1 Corinthians 12)

To use us (1 Corinthians 12)

To perfect us (Romans 8:30)

A river flows best when debris is cleared away

A waterway doesn’t become clogged in a moment; a little debris along the edges snags more debris and eventually silt builds up

What is your debris? 

We deceive ourselves when we think we can be ‘functional sinners’

Jesus said this river of the Holy Spirit flows “out of (our) hearts”

Does God have your heart?  Is your heart deepening in its devotion and love for God?

Why does Jesus want you to drink?

Jesus wants you to be more than quenched in your thirst

He didn’t say drink and be quenched, he said, drink and life will pour out

Your life is meant for more than self-satisfaction, God has a greater purpose for you

Don’t shrink your life to the meager desires of this world

Lift up your heart and your life to the wondrous works of Christ’s eternal kingdom!

Jesus wants your heart to be full

Drinking deeply and being filled with the Holy Spirit doesn’t make life easy, but life will be joy-full peace-full

Imagine if everyone in your church drank deeply of Christ and flowed freely with the Holy Spirit

This is not a fantasy, it’s God’s plan – it’s his desire which he will complete!

Will you pray for this?  It is a worthy prayer!



“Churchgoers all across the nation say the Holy Spirit has entered them. They claim that God has given them a supernatural ability to follow Christ, put their sin to death, and serve the church.

Christians talk about being born again and say that they were dead but now have come to life. We have become hardened to those words, but they are powerful words that have significant meaning.

Yet when those outside the church see no difference in our lives, they begin to question our integrity, our sanity, or even worse, our God. And can you blame them?”

from “Forgotten God” by Francis Chan


“The Holy Spirit Brings Hope” Romans 8:18-25

Suffering is a universal experience

The Bible deals with this reality head on

In this passage Paul says the whole creation “groans”

There is a brokenness that affects the whole earth

It is not just that suffering is common, v20 indicates there is no way out

Suffering can affect how we look at God and live for Him

We may doubt the depth of God’s love and care for us; He seems distant

We become worn down and filled with self-pity

We may be bothered at God; resentful and feeling that He has been unfair

Some become disillusioned with God; expecting less suffering and more ease

These responses steal our joy, slow our growth and stop our involvement in mission

What lies ahead for us outshines all suffering (v18)

Paul boldly says “it’s not worth comparing”

He is not minimizing our suffering, he is exalting our coming glory

This is said by a man who knew suffering (2 Corinthians 11:23-28)

This is said to people who are “in Christ” (who trust Christ as the only payment for their sin)

Twice in vs 18-19 Paul says a “revealing” is going to take place

“Glory” is going to be revealed (v18)

God who made all that’s good and beautiful, will make it perfect

This will be goodness undisturbed

At the center of it will the glorified Christ!

Part of this glory is the new revealing of us (v19)

We are part of what will be perfect and undisturbed (v30)

This is not hype, we will be like Jesus in his character (1 John 3:2)

 v19 Describes creation as looking for these things with “eager longing”; it is the picture of people craning their necks to see ahead for something

What do we eagerly long for?

But how do we know for sure?

The big challenge to our hope is we cannot see the glory to come

We are God’s adopted children, but we haven’t received our inheritance

The Holy Spirit is our proof from the Father (2 Corinthians 1:22)

The Holy Spirit is a “guarantee” of God’s commitment and promises

There is no half-heartedness on God’s part toward us – ever!

The Holy Spirit is called the “firstfruits” of what is to come (v23)

The Spirit is working in us to fulfill all that salvation promises

v1 He confirms to our hearts that in Christ there is no condemnation

v4 He walks with us, leading us into new ways of thinking and living

v6 He bears witness to us that God has adopted us  

Believer, our hearts are different and we are being changed

These are not our accomplishments; it’s the Holy Spirit in us

If this present reality is true, we can trust that all the rest is also coming

The Holy Spirit turns the groaning of futility into the hopeful groaning of childbirth (v22)

He brings hope to our suffering and in our groaning

The fact of his presence is in us forever reminds us that our sufferings will end

The fact of his working in us shows that our sufferings are purposeful (v28)

Biblical hope: is knowing that salvation’s entire promise will be fulfilled

What promises of our salvation encourage you most?

Our hope is a powerful influence and example

Everyone walks through suffering and they all are burdened by it

We can be real about our suffering, and real about our hope

When our hope is in what the Holy Spirit brings – it never stops shining


“Our Biggest Problem” Romans 8:1-8

“Romans 8 answers the question, ‘What does God provide for Christians with real problems?’”  Ray Ortlund 

“To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace” (Romans 8:6)

Where do problems come from?

Since God is perfect in all he does, that includes the world and people he created  

Since God’s wisdom is perfect, his guidelines didn’t misdirect us

Since God’s power is absolute, he didn’t fail to hold up his purposes

So what went wrong?

Humanity doubted and disobeyed God

We tried to take charge and everything imploded

Sin has bred every pain, sorrow and problem

Most seriously the human condition has been corrupted, so even the good things we do are affected by sin

The good news is that through Christ our sin problem can be solved (vs 1-4)

Jesus took the guilt of our sin and paid its penalty on the cross (v1)

God gives us a spiritual birth and frees us from the bondage of sin (v2)

The Holy Spirit dwells in us, to be our strength and to lead us

Why do Christians still have problems?

The world as a whole lives in rebellion against God

Until all sin is removed, there can never be peace around us

This is why we hope for the coming kingdom that will never be marred

Yet, none of the world’s problems present any difficulty for the Holy Spirit who lives in us

He has no fear or questions; he is never intimidated or burdened

Right now He is fulfilling God’s un-improvable plan in us

Of all the people in the world, we have an immeasurable advantage

Our biggest problem is not the world of sin; it is when we live in the flesh (vs 5-8)

The ‘flesh’ is our human nature that has been corrupted

v 7 tells us the flesh does not “submit to God” and v8 adds it “cannot please God”

When we think, talk, act and respond by our will; that is living in the flesh

When try to make life work by our own abilities; that is living in the flesh

The biggest issue we face throughout each day is what we are living by?

All Christians are “in the Spirit”. The question is do we live this reality?  

Just as I am married to Debbie, but do I live like it?

Each day, we make choices to live by the Spirit or the flesh

We pursue time with him, or we pursue our to-do list

We either say “Father not my will, but your will be done”, or the reverse

We rest in the Lord, or we seek comfort in food, alcohol, pornography or fantasy etc

We follow behind God, or we try to fix life’s problems on our own

This choice is most the serious issue each day, because there are consequences (v6)

The flesh can only produce “death”. 

All labor by the flesh will end in nothing

All achievements outside the Holy Spirit will die forever

As believers who have the Holy Spirit, this would be a monumental waste of life

The Spirit brings “life and peace”

This is not maybe or sometimes

Life in the Spirit makes our labors last beyond the grave

He brings peace, because God is eternally sovereign and good

The Holy Spirit is not reluctant to bring life and peace

He is ready to be our sufficiency against sin and for godliness

He is ready to use our life well in the ordinary details of life and in the most important issues of life

What is our level of urgency about living in the flesh or the Spirit?

John 6:63 warns us

‘It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all’

Do you have any urgency about starting the day with God?

Do you consider God’s agenda in your decision-making to be essential?

Are there parts of God’s word that you are suppressing?

How do you assess how your life is going?

In all these things we have a great encouragement

Every true Christian will live for all eternity fully in the Spirit

What we will have forever, we can grow in today


All that God is, lives in us

Romans 8:9-11

We begin a series of sermons from Romans 8 that encourage us in how the Holy Spirit works in every believer

Paul is emphatic, the Holy Spirit is in every believer

1.  The Spirit in us affirms we “belong” to God (v9b)

This presence is more than God being everywhere, with everyone

God is as close to us as is possible: he could not do more to show it

God is active for us: the Spirit is not a neutral presence or in the background

God is always gracious toward us: that is the point of his coming

God is committed to us: the Spirit’s presence declares “I am for you”

God is ‘God’ in us: our potential is no longer our own

2.  The Spirit in us is a magnificent and staggering reality

All that God is, lives in us: this means every attribute of God with all of his faithfulness

The Spirit operates in complete wisdom and absolute power

We who could do nothing, can now do anything! (John 15:5, Philippians 4:13)

This reveals that our cannots for God are actually will nots

3.  The Spirit in us means we are no longer “in the flesh” (v9a)

The Spirit is God’s response to our many limitations:

. . to our emptiness – “I want you to be full”

. . to our spiritual deadness – “I want you to live”

. . to our brokenness – I want you to be whole”

. . to our sinfulness – “I want you to be clean”

. . to our weakness – “I want you to be fruitful”

Old categories and limitations are being overturned

Limitations remain just as real, but they no longer matter

Fear and anxiety are not needed, because everything we face is with Holy Spirit

The very concept of weakness has changed its meaning (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)

We will still experience struggle, but failure is no longer our identity

The Holy Spirit is transforming us and leading us on a new road (more on that next week)

4.  The Spirit comes with the entirety of God’s purpose

In v9 he is referred to as the “Spirit”, the “Spirit of God” and the “Spirit of Christ”

The Holy Spirit carries out all the purposes of the Father and Son in us

Nothing is missing in the Spirit’s ministry, every truth and purpose of God is contained in him

5.  The Spirit’s presence brings us “life” (vs 10-11)

It begins with the Spirit regenerating us to be “born again”

Our new life is not a change we make, it is what the Spirit does

What does life in the Spirit tell us about the shallowness of life found anywhere else?

What is your biggest problem?

None of them present any difficulty for the Holy Spirit

He has no fear or questions; he is not intimidated or challenged

Right now he is fulfilling God’s un-improvable plan for us

Of all the people in world, we have an immeasurable advantage

Our biggest problem is that we ignore the realities of Romans 8 and live by our flesh (our sinful human nature)

We have his presence, yet ignore him

We have his Word to us, yet don’t read it

We have his comforts and strength, but we look elsewhere

The Holy Spirit is not hiding and he doesn’t need convincing

The Spirit is ready to be your sufficiency against evil and for righteousness 

He is ready to use your life well in the ordinary and in the most important

The Spirit wants to fill us!

He wants to transform every action, thought and word to serve the Lord

He wants to lift our hearts to fulfill the Great Commandment

He wants to make our life a fountain of God’s character and gospel

He wants to make us instruments of grace wherever we are

The Spirit of life is in us, so let’s go out and truly live!