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What Is the Holy Spirit? - John 14-16

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7/19/2017
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What Is the Holy Spirit?
John 14-16
Skip Heitzig
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Holy Spirit - 2017

Most of us have heard of the Holy Spirit, but may not be familiar with who He is exactly or what He does. In this study on the Holy Spirit, Skip Heitzig gives us a greater understanding of the third person of the Trinity and the gifts He lavishly bestows on believers.

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  1. The Holy Spirit Is a Person

  2. The Holy Spirit Is a Divine Person

  3. The Holy Spirit Is a Divine Person Who Helps

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Welcome to Expound, a verse by verse study of God's word. Our goal is to expand your knowledge of the truth of God by explaining the Word of God in a way that is interactive, enjoyable, and congregational.

We calm, Lord. We still our hearts before You just now. We're holding in our hands a book that is so broad, covering so many different topics and areas of life, areas of Your personality, areas of our need, but also so deep in all of those individual areas.

It is impossible to plumb the depths and adequately describe any of those things really in a lifetime. They are inexhaustible, which reflects Your personality and Your character. But Father, we pray that our knowledge of You, our love for You would increase, would grow, that we would have an insatiable appetite to know how You work, how You want to work in our lives and through our lives in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit.

I pray, Lord, that we would care to know about who He is, that we would concern ourselves with these matters. And as we learn things, maybe-- maybe we're going to be reminded of things we've learned a long time ago, or we're going to learn some new things. But I pray we would get excited to apply. In Jesus' name, amen.

A Sunday school class was teaching all of the kids the familiar creed some of you grew up with-- I did-- called the Apostles' Creed. It is recited. It came from the Council of Nicaea, been tweaked a little bit over the years. But a Sunday school class thought all the kids should know the Apostles' Creed, at least the basics of it.

And so the class was set up so that one student would stand up and give one section of it, then sit down. The next child would stand up and give the next section of it, et cetera. So on the day they were supposed to take their test, a child stood up-- a little boy-- and said, I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, the Maker of Heaven and Earth. Got it right, and he sat down.

And then a little girl stood up and said, I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, and then she sat down. And then there was a long awkward silence, where nothing was uttered. And finally, the little girl in the back of the room said, I'm sorry, sir, but the little boy who believes in the Holy Spirit is absent today. I wonder if that couldn't be said of some people. The ones who believe in the Holy Spirit are absent today.

You know, for some believers, their knowledge of the Holy Spirit and their experience with the Holy Spirit could be likened to that church in the book of Acts in Ephesus. You may remember the story that Paul was in Corinth. In chapter 19, he makes his way to Ephesus, and he encounters some believers. And he asked this question, have you received the Holy Spirit since you believed?

And they said, we haven't heard so much whether there is a Holy Spirit. It was very, very shallow when it comes to their knowledge and experience with the Holy Spirit in their lives. I think many people are like this.

I think there's a lot of Christians who have heard the term Holy Spirit obviously. They've even said the words, the Holy Spirit. But they have a very vague and even vacuous idea of who the Spirit of God is and what He is supposed to do in their lives.

They've heard preachers talk about it. They've heard other Christians talk about it. They know the words Holy Spirit, but that's sadly about as deep as it gets. The Holy Spirit isn't real in their lives in a real dynamic way.

AW Tozer said, "The idea of the Holy Spirit to the average church member is so vague as to be non-existent." In fact, some people are even afraid of the Holy Spirit. For some folks, you can see it when you mention the Holy Spirit. They tense up, and they think thoughts like, uh, oh, it's one of those kind of churches.

[LAUGHTER]

They're just scared about what might happen if you open the door to any movement of the Holy Spirit. So in introducing this this week, I do want to make mention of what I would call two different extremes when it comes to this beautiful divine person, the Holy Spirit. One extreme, on one end, you have cessationists. That comes from the word cease, to end.

A cessationist believes that there is a cessation, an end of the powerful movement of the Holy Spirit, like we read about in the book of Acts, that the early church experienced. We read about it. We wonder about it. We read Paul's letters and instructions about it.

But it ceased. It's over. That stuff doesn't happen anymore. That was relegated to one period of church history, the early church.

They needed it. They didn't have the Bible. Now we have the Bible. Now we don't need that.

In fact, they like the idea that the Holy Spirit came to testify, to point to Jesus Christ, and really doesn't point to Himself. They like that, and so they kind of want to adopt that position themselves. They never want to mention or talk about the Holy Spirit either. They are cessationists.

The problem with being a cessationist is the Bible. The Bible is filled with teachings, instructions, examples, Old and New Testament of the working of the Holy Spirit. For example, the Old Testament mentions the Holy Spirit 90 different times, with several different designations. The New Testament mentions the Holy Spirit or refers to Him 260 times, with even more designations.

So you can't neglect the Holy Spirit since the Scripture is full of the Holy Spirit, from beginning to end, from Genesis to Revelation. Genesis, chapter 1, verse 2, the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters, to the very last chapter of the Bible, Revelation 22, the Spirit and the bride say come. And everything in between has hundreds and hundreds of instances of speaking about the Holy Spirit.

So on one hand, you have cessationists. On the other extreme, you have sensationalists, and they're all about the Holy Spirit. You mention the Holy Spirit to this group, they start salivating. They start frothing at the mouth, it's like, yeah.

Finally, this church gets it. Give me some Holy Ghost. And they're fun to be around. I look at these people as the Holy Ghost brigade, you know. They're all about the baptism of the Spirit.

They're all about the anointing of the-- in fact, they even say it kind of weird. Do you have the anointing? And it's like some kind of a cultural thing where you adopt a southern accent or something when you start talking about it.

For this group, if there is no phenomenon, the Holy Spirit just isn't working. There has to be a certain kind of energy and a certain kind of pep that the church works itself up into. They need lots of noise and lots of pep, or the Holy Spirit isn't working.

This group reminds me of a steam engine I had as a kid. My dad had this coolest thing. I wish I'd have kept it. You plug it in, and it's this chrome or aluminum engine. You pour water in it, and steam comes out, and this whistle-- this cool whistle-- just is emitted out of the top of the steam engine.

Now, there's wheels on it or there were. But it never went anywhere. You know what it did? It just whistled.

It was all whistle and no movement. And some people are like that little steam engine my dad had. They're all show and no go. No go in their life, no get up and go in obedience to the things of the scriptures.

So in the next few weeks, I want to talk about who the Holy Spirit is generally, what He does generally and specifically, and how we can respond to Him. The question is where to start. And I've got to tell you, I wrestled with where do you start a teaching on the Holy Spirit, what theologians call pneumatology, or theology on the Holy Spirit.

Where do you start that? Because there's a lot of places you could start. You could start in Genesis 1, where the Holy Spirit is first mentioned in the Bible. Or you could start in Matthew, chapter 1, verse 18, where the Holy Spirit is first mentioned in the New Testament. It says there that Mary was found with child by the Holy Spirit.

But I thought the best place to begin was listening to the words of Jesus, to hear it right from the lips of Jesus Himself because it's as if the second person of the Trinity is introducing to us the third member of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit. So we're going to look at John 14. We're going to begin in verse 15. I'm going to take you through some of these verses, and we're going to be referring back to them through the evening.

Let me just set the scene. This is the last night Jesus has with His men before He suffers, dies, is buried, and resurrected. He'll see them again for 40 days. But this is the last meal, the last meaningful time, the last set of instructions that this Divine Coach can give His men before He leaves them.

So in John 14, verse 15, he said to them, "If you love Me, keep My commandments, and I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper that He may abide with you forever. The Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive because it neither sees Him nor knows Him, but you know Him for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans. I will come to you."

Verse 25, "These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things and will bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you." Next chapter, John 15, it's the same speech.

Verse 22 of John 15, "If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin. But now they have no excuse for their sin. He who hates Me hates My Father also.

If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin. But now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father. But this happened that the Word might be fulfilled, which is written in their law. They hated Me without a cause.

But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of Truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me. And you will also bear witness because you have been with Me from the beginning." John, chapter 16, verse 6, "But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart." He has told them He is leaving.

"Nevertheless, I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away. For if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I depart, I will send Him to you.

And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin and of righteousness and of judgment; of sin because they do not believe in Me, of righteousness because I go to the Father and You see me no more, of judgment because the ruler of this world is judged. I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.

However, when He, the Spirit of Truth has come, He will guide you into all truth. For He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears, He will speak, and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore, I said He will take of Mine, and He will declare it to you."

Now what I want to do tonight, based on what we just read, is make three statements and tie them all together. Three statements that together form one sentence, and here's the one sentence. The Holy Spirit is a Divine Person who helps us. That's what I want to talk about in the next few minutes.

The Holy Spirit is a Divine Person who helps us. How many of you think you need all the help you can get to live your Christian life? I'm, I'm with you. We need help.

The Holy Spirit is a Divine Person who comes to help us. So now let's just take that apart and look at it. First of all, the Holy Spirit is a Person. The Holy Spirit is a Person, and a Person has personality.

And one of the things we immediately notice in the Words of Jesus is He doesn't say when the Holy Spirit comes, "it" will. He uses personal pronouns, "He will," Him, not it. And that is because the Holy Spirit is a Person.

The Holy Spirit is not an impersonal force. It's not like "Star Wars," may the force be with you. It's not like the Taos hum. It's not some kind of cosmic consciousness that we call the Holy Spirit, like some would refer to the Great Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is a Person. And this is so important that church history has had councils over this stuff. The prime example, or the most notable perhaps example, is from 318 AD, when Arius of Alexandria talked about the nature and the character of God, and did not believe that there are three distinct Persons in the Godhead.

And when it came to the Holy Spirit, he said, the Father and the Son-- Son was created by God as a lesser being and came into being when God decided to create Him. And then the Father and the Son together made the Holy Spirit. And he was very vague about what the Holy Spirit was all about, except to say, the Holy Spirit is the essence of God.

Whereas today, some people go, well, you know, we have little differences. In 325 AD, they got a counsel together and said, Arius is a heretic. That is not what the Bible teaches. That is not who God is. And they came up with the Creed of Nicaea, or the Nicene Creed, or the Apostles' Creed, that clearly delineated a statement of faith as to the personality of the Holy Spirit.

Now let's look a little bit deeper. There are certain attributes that are ascribed to the Holy Spirit by Jesus. If you look in chapter 14, verse 26, Jesus said, "The Holy Spirit will teach you all things."

In chapter 15, verse 26, "He will testify of Me." In chapter 16, beginning in verse 8, "The Holy Spirit will convict the world of sin and of righteousness and of judgment." Same chapter, verse 13, "He will guide, He will speak, He will tell."

A couple verses after that, verse 15 of chapter 16, "He will take what is mine and declare it to you." All of these are activities of a person with a personality. So He is a personality because He is a person, and personalities have personality traits.

For example, in the Bible, the Holy Spirit is said to have a mind, a will. He is said to love. He is said to make intercession. Only a person can do those things.

As a person, he can be grieved, Ephesians, chapter 4, verse 30. The Holy Spirit can be insulted, Hebrews 10, verse 29. And the Holy Spirit can be lied to in Acts, chapter 5.

So as a person with a personality, any relationship with God is going to include the Holy Spirit. You can't have a personal relationship with a force. You can't have a personal relationship with electricity, with energy, with atomic energy, with gravity. You can't insult or lie to an impersonal force or a cosmic consciousness. All of these are ascribed to a person with personality.

Now this is where-- and I just want to touch on and I want to be kind with this-- but this is where some in the charismatic movement have erred in making the Holy Spirit all about the power that one seeks. I've heard terminology over the years that we need more of it, and yield yourselves to it. And what they mean by it is the power of the Holy Spirit.

And I'm telling you, according to the scripture, don't seek the power, seek the person. He's a person. He's not just a powerful entity, a cosmic force. He's a real Divine-- as we'll see-- person. Seek the person.

100 years ago, RA Torrey, who wrote one of the best books on the Holy Spirit I ever read, one of the first books I read as a believer, said this, RA Torrey. "They are reaching out after and struggling to get possession of some mysterious and mighty power that they can make use of in their work according to their own will but the Holy Spirit is to get hold of them. We must rejoice that there is no Divine power that being so ignorant as we are, so liable to err, to get hold of and use. How appalling might be the results if there were."

Can you imagine if God said, here's My power, take and use it as you see fit? Goodness gracious. Also, he said this, "The Holy Spirit is not a blind, impersonal influence or power that comes into our lives to illuminate, sanctify, and empower them. No, He is immeasurably more than that, He is a holy Person who comes to dwell in our hearts."

So the question can never be, how can I get more of the Holy Spirit in my life? The question should be, how can the Holy Spirit get hold of more of my life? That's the issue. It's His will, it's His power, it's His Hand that directs us.

So the Holy Spirit is a Person. That's the first statement in that sentence. Second statement, not only is the Holy Spirit a Person, the Holy Spirit is a Divine Person. And I want to show you why this is so important, the Holy Spirit is a Divine Person.

He's not like some lesser being, like an angel, that appears in the Old Testament or a group of angels that do. He's a divine person, and we have to get this. This is of such vital importance. Nothing will heighten our respect or enlarge our regard for the Holy Spirit more than this.

The Holy Spirit is not a substitute name for God. It's like, well, should I say God, or should I say, Lord, or should I just say, Holy Spirit because, you know, they're all just sort of the same thing. The Holy Spirit is not a substitute for God. Now I'm going to go light on the historic theology of this. But I do want to touch on a couple of things because inquiring minds want to know.

[LAUGHTER]

In 200 AD, there is a character named Sabellius, who taught something called, interestingly, Sabellionism. Not that he named it that, but that's what it has been called. But he taught effectively modalism. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three names for three different modes of one person.

One single entity expresses Himself different ways at different times and designates that. But it's really just one entity acting in three different forms, or three different modes of one person's activity. But again, let's go back to the scripture.

Notice, for example, in chapter 14, the Holy Spirit is said to be eternal, having the ability to dwell with human beings eternally. Did you look at verse 16? "I will pray the Father, and He will give you another helper that He may abide with you forever. The Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive because it neither sees Him nor knows Him, but you know Him for He dwells with you and He will be in you."

Also in the same section that we just read, the Holy Spirit is sent forth from the Father, comes from the Father, and is sent at the right time by Jesus Christ, the Son. Chapter 15, verse 26, "When the Helper comes whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of Truth, who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me." And this same Holy Spirit, according to Jesus, is active in the world. He is active in the world.

Chapter 16, verse 8, "And when He has come, He will convict"-- or convince, you could translate that-- "the world of sin and of righteousness and of judgment." This is why in our baptism formula, we always say I baptize you in the name of the Father, in the name of the Son, and the name of the Holy Spirit, or the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit because that's what Jesus said to do. He said, "Go make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." The Holy Spirit is a Divine Being, part of the triune God, the Trinity.

Now we're going to get to this in the Book of Acts. But tucked away in the Book of Acts is a story of two hypocrites in chapter 5. Do you know their names? Ananias and Sapphira, see some of you, you're on it.

And this is how the story goes. You can turn to it, if you like, or not, but go ahead. Verse 1, "But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira, his wife, sold a possession, and he kept back part of the proceeds, his wife also being aware of it, and brought a certain part of it and laid it at the apostles' feet. But Peter said, 'Ananias, why has satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back part of the price of the land for yourself?

While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.'"

There are several verses we could point to. We just don't have the time. But you could-- and probably should-- take a pencil and draw a line between those two verses and circle the word Holy Spirit.

You lied to the Holy Spirit. In the next verse, go right to that "God." You've lied not to man, but you've lied to God, equating lying to the Holy Spirit with lying to God.

Also in your Bible, the Holy Spirit is seen as omnipresent. You know what omnipresent means? He's everywhere, all places at the same time.

He is omnipresent. He's in Albuquerque and in Santa Fe and Algeria and North Korea and Saudi Arabia and Israel. The Holy Spirit is omnipresent.

Psalm 139, David said, "Where can I go from Your Spirit?" Where can I flee from Your presence? Now, that's a rhetorical question. What's the answer to that?

Where can you flee from God? Nowhere, you can't get away from him. Why? Because he's omnipresent. Where can I go from Your Spirit? Where can I flee from Your presence?

Also the Holy Spirit is seen as omnipotent. Now there is a word that means what? All powerful, "omni" "potent." He can do anything, and He is seen in creation. I mentioned it a few moments ago, "And the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters" in that initial stage of creation.

Also Job, in Job 33, said, "The Spirit of God has made me." So he attributes his being as a person, his creation as a human being, to the Holy Spirit. "The Spirit of God has made me."

Question, does all this really matter? Does it really matter that I see the Holy Spirit as a person and as God? Yes, it does, and here's why.

If you don't understand who He is-- if you don't understand who He is, you'll never appreciate what He does. You need to understand who He is so you can appreciate what He does. And if you are not aware that this Divine Being, personality is dwelling in you, it will show.

You will be like those that Paul speaks about in 2 Timothy, chapter 3, having a "form of godliness but denying the power thereof." It's a sad state to be in. A form of godliness, that's just a religious person who goes through all the motions and ceremonies and maybe carries a Bible, sings a few songs, but denies the power thereof.

What will happen is you'll start losing interest in spiritual things. You'll start losing interest in prayer. And you'll start losing interest in worship and in the Word of God. You'll start losing interest in churches that teach God-centered preaching, and you'll only want the entertainment.

And then, the long end of that-- the eventual end of that are the groups that deny the Holy Spirit as both a person and is deity. There are groups that deny that. You need to know who they are in case you say, well, I don't know if the Holy Spirit is really God or a person.

Let me just tell you the groups that would believe that. Unitarianism believes the Holy Spirit is not a person, believes the Holy Spirit is not God. Christian Science holds to that view. The Jehovah witnesses, the Mormons, and the Muslims would all agree together on that issue. But the Bible says the Holy Spirit is a Person and the Holy Spirit is a Divine Person, part of the Trinity, the Triune God, the Triune nature of God.

Now, oh, man, you know, whenever I bring up the Trinity, I-- I'm forced to confess something to you. I don't get it. I do not understand the Trinity. I can't get my little theological brain cells wrapped around so I can walk away, going, I am so satisfied that I have a complete understanding of how the Trinity works and what it's all about.

I can't say that. I haven't mastered it yet. In fact, the more I think about it sometimes, it's just like a little fuse goes zh.

[LAUGHTER]

It's beyond me. You know, there was a man once in solitary confinement. His cell was pitch black, but he had a single marble. And so in that solitary confinement, he couldn't see anything. He could only hear-- he could hear the marble drop, bounce, and he'd find it.

So what he would do to pass the time, to not go crazy, is he would throw the marble up, have it bounce on the walls of the cell, hit the floor, and then he'd find it. He'd do it again, hear where it lands, find it, kept doing it. One day, he threw up the marble in the air, and it didn't come down. And he sat up in his cell.

He thought, uh, I didn't hear it drop. He searched the bottom of his cell, couldn't find the marble. And he tried to think about how that's possible, and he went nuts, and it killed him. He died in his cell.

The guards came into the cell to remove his body, brought some lights in. And when the guard was taking out his body, there was a little twinkle up toward the ceiling that grabbed his attention. And he looked up, and he noticed a marble caught in a spider's web. And he said, isn't that amazing. How was that spider able to get that marble and bring it all the way up to the top of that cell?

[LAUGHTER]

All of us have some theological marbles that just haven't come down yet. And I think the biggest theological marble-- at least in my cell-- is the Trinity. I believe it wholeheartedly because the Bible teaches it. I do not completely understand it, and I think that's good. That's OK.

I mean, how can three be one God? One of the biggest issues you will have in discussing your faith with Muslims or with Jewish people or with Jehovah's Witnesses or Mormons is this issue. You should at least have something down which to explain it with.

So the criticism-- and there's a lot of criticism-- but the criticism is typically a semantical criticism. It goes like this. Well, the term "trinity" isn't in the Bible, which I have to really work hard at not getting mad when I hear that.

The word "trinity" isn't found in the Bible. Therefore, it can't be true. Well, the words "second coming" are not in the Bible. But it says, "Jesus is coming again." That says so in the Bible.

The word "rapture" isn't in the Bible, but the doctrine of the rapture is in the Bible. The word "Bible" isn't in the Bible, but we have one, and we believe it. You see, it's ridiculous to say you can't believe something unless the exact verbal representation is actually written on that page.

Who cares if it's written on the page or not? Who cares if it says trinity or not? The concept of the Triune God is found in the scripture, and that expresses what the Bible teaches because that is true.

The historic Christian church, from 2,000 years ago on to now, have all believed that there are three distinct persons in one God, the Triune nature of God. Here's a couple historical examples. I won't belabor it. I'll just give you a few.

96 AD, Clement of Rome formulated all three members of the Triune God in an oath, saying, and I quote, "As God lives, and as the Lord Jesus lives, and the Holy Spirit," close quote. So that's second century, 96, a post-apostolic era. Ignatius, 107 AD, used the formula for the Trinity, the "Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit." In the Shepherd of Hermas, second century, AD, they spoke of one God existing in three distinct persons.

Justin Martyr, from the second century, defended the veneration, the worship that was given to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit." Irenaeus, late second century, one of the great theologians of the post-apostolic era, fought gnosticism-- which we've talked about on many occasions-- fought the heresy of gnosticism, and he articulated the theology of the Trinity. And he said this, quote, "God the Father, the Word Jesus Christ our Lord, who was made among men visible and tangible, and the Holy Spirit who at the end of the age was poured out in a new way." And finally, Tertullian, the end of the second, beginning of the third century, was the one who coined the term, "trinity." "Trinitas" was the word he coined, which we get the word "trinity" from.

So if you're going to deny the Trinity, you're going to have to deny Biblical teaching and all of church history up to this point to do it. And you basically have to be the arrogant one who says, even though 2,000 years of church history has affirmed it, I deny it because I know better. See what happens if you do that, not really.

So the Holy Spirit is a person. The Holy Spirit is a Divine Person. The third statement that ties the sentence together, the Holy Spirit is a Divine Person who helps us. The Holy Spirit is a Divine Person who helps us.

Now we have read several verses in these chapters. I want to sum up-- and this will help set it up for next week-- how the Holy Spirit helps us. First of all, notice that He's called a Helper.

And as I said earlier on, that we need all the help we can get, I have discovered this in my Christian experience. Just when I think I'm coming up to some new truth, and I'm kind of crossing a spiritual line of maturity-- I remember when I was three years old in the Lord. And I thought I was such an old Christian. I've been saved now three years.

And I remember people, you know, who looked at me like I'm the veteran believer. But with every year and every stage of my growth, I see the struggles I still have in my flesh. And I'm coming more and more and more and more to rely upon this wonderful Divine Person, the Holy Spirit.

He's called the Helper. Jesus says, where we began, in verse 16 of chapter 14, "I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper that He may abide with you forever." And that term is seen throughout this section. The word "helper"-- some of you will remember the term-- is the Greek word, "parakletos," "parakletos."

If you've ever heard of the term in some of the churches you may have grown up in, the "paraclete," comes from the Greek word "parakletos," which is translated "comforter" or "helper." But it literally means, one who is called alongside to help you, one who is called alongside to help. That's the Holy Spirit.

That's the "parakletos." Look at it this way. The Holy Spirit is the one who puts fuel in your spiritual tank.

Tim Downs once said, "Watches, cars, and Christians can all look chromed and shiny. But watches don't tick, and cars don't go, and Christians don't make a difference without insides." And he said, "For a Christian, that's the Holy Spirit."

The helper, you have a helper. Wake up tomorrow and realize, I have a helper. When you're out there and you go, I don't have many friends, I need a Helper. You have one.

Not that you don't need believers, but you have a Helper. Learn to call on Him and rely on Him. So when it comes to the believer, we have a Helper. The Holy Spirit is a Divine Person who helps. Now he's a Helper.

There's something else about him. He's another Helper. You say, you mean, there's more? Well, look at what Jesus said. "I will pray the Father," verse 16. "He will give you another Helper."

In the Greek language, the word "another" has two possibilities. You know, English is limited in its ability to translate concepts from the original language. Let me explain.

In Greek, when I say "another," I could use one of two words, "heteros" or "alos." They both mean "another." But they're slightly different variations.

The word "heteros" means another of a completely different kind. The word "alos" means another of the same kind. So this is how I have explained it before.

If I buy a CD of a band, and I listen to it, and I go, man, I don't like that, I don't like that. And I say, I want to buy another. Am I going to buy another CD exactly like the one I just bought?

No, not only will I not buy that CD, I will not buy another one that band produces. I want another one of a different kind now. So I'll say, I want a "heteros" CD, another one that's very different from this one.

But let's say I buy a CD, and I really like the music. And I let you listen to it. You go, man, I really like it, and I say, you can have mine. I'll buy another.

Now I'll use the word "alos." I'm going to buy another one just like the one I gave you. Get it? That's the word Jesus uses for "another comforter."

I'll pray the Father, and He will send you a comforter like Me for you. He'll send you One just like the One that you have had in Me. So here's Jesus saying, I'm going to talk to the Father and get you a Helper as good as I have been to you.

The Holy Spirit then is to you as good a Helper as Jesus was to the apostles. How's that for help? You have another Helper.

Something else about this. You have a permanent Helper. He's not going anywhere. Verse 16, "I will pray the Father, He will give you another Helper," that He may abide with you for 10 years.

[LAUGHTER]

OK, two decades. OK, till you really get crusty and gnarly. Forever, He'll abide with you forever. He's a permanent Helper.

He's not going to be with you for three and 1/2 years like Jesus was. He was with them three and 1/2 years, and He said, I'm going. My work here is done.

He went to the cross, He was buried, He was raised, and He ascended into Heaven. Not the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is a permanent abiding possession.

In chapter 14, verse 17, the Holy Spirit of Truth or, "The Spirit of Truth whom the world cannot receive"-- notice this-- "because it neither sees Him nor knows Him, but you know Him for He dwells with you and He will be in you. I will not leave you orphans. I will come to you."

So he dwells with you, and He's going to come in you. I will talk more about that relationship next week. But there are three phases of this.

The Holy Spirit comes with us. And you know when He does this? He does this when we're unbelievers. He comes with us.

He's the one that makes us uncomfortable and moves us toward the cross, moves us toward salvation, where you start realizing, man, I'm empty. Man, I need Jesus. That's the Holy Spirit with you.

And then when you say yes to Jesus, the Holy Spirit comes in you, and He dwells in you forever. Later on, we'll add a third element to that. Jesus said, "Wait in Jerusalem till the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the uttermost parts of the earth." So that's the empowering of the Spirit.

So I like to look at it this way. The Holy Spirit comes after us to make us saved. The Holy Spirit comes inside of us to make us sanctified. And the Holy Spirit comes upon us to make us supercharged.

He empowers us to live the life that cannot be lived apart from His power. That's the work of the Holy Spirit. He's a Helper, another Helper, a permanent helper.

Something else, He's a reliable Helper. He's a reliable Helper. Verse 17, "He is called the Spirit of Truth. He cannot lie. And he never leads you to lie."

So here's something. Have you ever thought of it this way? Well, how can you tell a person is filled with the Holy Spirit? Well, here's a couple of ideas.

They tell the truth. He's the Spirit of Truth. And they're holy. I mean, isn't that His primary attribute?

He's not called the loving Spirit, though He is loving. He's not called or referred to as the peaceful Spirit, though He certainly is peaceful and brings peace. He is called the Holy Spirit.

So it makes sense, if His primary attribute embodied by the very name, if you're filled with Him, you're going to be truthful. You're going to be holy. There'll be more to that, and I'll discuss more of that later.

But then finally, he is an exclusive Helper. He is an exclusive Helper. You'll notice that Jesus said, "Whom the world cannot receive because it neither sees Him nor knows Him."

Isn't it interesting that the worldly people you know say something to the effect of, well, if I can't see it, I won't believe it. If I could only see it, then I'd believe it. Nah, probably not. That's just their little straw man that they throw up, their little excuse.

But Jesus said, they can't receive the Holy Spirit. They don't know Him. They can't see Him, but you know Him. He dwells with you. He'll be in you.

We'll read in 1 Corinthians, chapter 2, the natural man cannot receive the things of the Spirit of God. They are foolishness unto him. It's so different for the believer, and we'll get to it in the first chapter of the Book of Acts, when Jesus said, "You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon at P, and you will be witnesses for me in Jerusalem, Judea, Sumeria, and to the uttermost parts of the earth.

So that's enough to sort of whet our appetite with this. We'll talk more about how the Holy Spirit works in our life in the present day. And then we'll move into some thoughts in the Book of Acts and what Paul speaks about gifts of the Spirit in 1 Corinthians in the next couple of weeks. But this is a good foundation to get started in. Why don't we close in a word of prayer?

Father, how thankful we are that even though our marble gets stuck sometimes, and we can't figure out every movement of Yours or plan of Yours, there's such a mystery in walking with You and fellowshipping with a Divine friend who is our Lord. There's something where our thoughts get caught, and this mystery holds us in certain places. But Father, you know that.

That doesn't surprise You. It doesn't surprise You about us. In fact, I'm convinced You designed it that way. You designed our minds to be limited because You alone are unlimited.

You alone are eternal. It only makes sense that that which is finite cannot fully understand or express that which is infinite. Anything else would be a defiance of logic.

But more than dealing with what is logical, we always go back to what is theological, what sayeth scripture? What does the Word of God say about that? How thankful we are that we have a Helper. And that Helper is none less than the Divine God, the Holy Spirit, whom we love and adore.

And though He Himself points to Jesus and testifies of Jesus and makes it all about Jesus, rightfully so because salvation is found in no other name other than Jesus, yet we honor and we worship the Triune God. And I pray, Lord, once again, that we would never live beneath our theology. We would honor the Spirit, as we honor the Son, as we honor the Father. It's in the name of Jesus we pray, amen.

For more resources from Calvary Albuquerque and Skip Heitzig, visit calvaryabq.org.

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