The Holy Spirit is part of God’s munificence to Christians.
First we saw the Holy Spirit is the 3rd Person of the Triune Godhead. He is not a cosmic force, but, a Person, with all the attributes of personality. Humans have personhood because it is derived from God – He gave us personhood when He made us in His image.
Last week we saw how the Spirit works in people prior to salvation by convicting them. He shows them their need for salvation and shows them that Jesus is that salvation.
Let’s say someone responds to that convicting work of the Holy Spirit by putting their faith in Jesus for their salvation. What happens? Well we say “they got saved”. But, what does the Holy Spirit do at that moment? A lot. I mean, a lot. There are at least 10 things He does in that moment.
Let’s explore the first 4 this week.
#1: The Holy Spirit is God’s Gift to Me(Acts 1:4-5; 2:38; 8:20; 10:45; 11:17)
The Holy Spirit is God’s Gift to Me. Read verses….
The Holy Spirit is part of God’s munificence to Christians. The Holy Spirit is one more of God’s to you when you become a Christian. God loves to give. The Bible tells us He gives multiple gifts to us when we become Christians. He gives us the gift of “righteousness” (Rom. 5:17) and the gift of “eternal life” (Rom. 6:23). First Corinthians 12 explains that we get “spiritual” gifts – meaning spiritual abilities from God to be used for helping other Christians grow.
And, He gives us His Spirit as a gift. He is given to us when we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior. In other words, we didn’t “seek” the Spirit, we didn’t “ask” for Him. We didn’t “work” for Him and we didn’t “summons” Him. God gave Him to us when we gave ourselves in faith to Jesus.
#2: The Spirit of God living in me means I belong to God
The Spirit of God living in me means I belong to God. Romans 1:6…..7:4…..8:9-11, “….
Who do you belong to? You used to belong to Satan and to this condemned world. Now you belong to Jesus Christ, the Risen Savior and Lord of all. Last week we looked at how the Spirit brings conviction on an unbeliever’s heart to show them they don’t belong to God…this week we are looking at the point when we come to God and start belonging to Him.
Belonging to Him means that you have a place with Him. He numbers you as one of His. Belonging to Him means He knows you. A helpful way of seeing this is by looking at how Jesus belongs to His Father in heaven. The Father claims Him, identifies with Him, loves Him (“This is my Son, who I love, with Him I am well-pleased.”) Its the same thing with us and God. Jesus actually uses His relationship with His Father to help us get that the same acceptance, the same belonging He shares with God is the same we have with God when we become Christians. “I pray that all of them who believe may be one Father, just as You are in Me and I am in You. May they also be in Us so that the world may know that You have send Me.” (John 17:21).
This is powerful psychologically on us Christians. The more we get this idea of belonging to Jesus the greater peace, confidence, assurance, zeal, thankfulness is all going to pour out of us. One of the most devastating thoughts to a person is that they don’t belong to anyone or anything. They have no place anywhere. They have no “people” of their own, no one who they identify with and have core values in common with. No one who understands them, no one to share themselves with.
But in Christ we have the most powerful “belonging” that a person could experience. The God of the universe has accepted us and made a place for us. You know how well you understand this “belonging” based on how you handle rejection. There is no rejection we cannot joyfully endure when we know Who has accepted us! Let all men hate me – I am loved by Christ. Let every man refuse me – The Lord has received me!
This thought is conveyed all throughout Scripture. “I am going to prepare a place for you…and I will come back to take you to be with me where I am…”
Like a wife takes on her husband’s name showing she belongs to her husband.
This idea of belonging to God is the ground of Christian fellowship. If you know a man belongs to Christ then your heart ought to own that man as your very own as well. There is no society like that of the Church. Christians accept and love other Christians based on the fact that all Christians belong to the Lord. When we look at another Christian we are looking at someone who belongs to God.
Who do you belong to? If you have not received the Son of God as your Savior then you do not belong to Him. You belong to His enemy. But, if you turn and accept Satan’s enemy as your Savior you will belong to Him. He will prove it by giving you the Holy Spirit to show you belong to Him. Who do you belong to?
Belonged I, to this world, It’s god, lusts, its vice
My heart for sin, so fertile, For all its appetites
Odious to all holy, My stench high above
Daily Him compelling, My every sin to judge
Holy God, His enemy, Satan I belonged
His evil will bent my knee, To with him make me wrong
Adding to His wrath, My sins pile higher
His anger now my bath, Soaked in justice’s fire
But Holy God, and Holy Love, Looked upon my loss
His Son, left above, To that awful cross
Solely went He there, For wand’ring me to win
Me – me to spare!, My soul to gather in
From the world now cut, Freed of Satan’s binds
Hell’s mouth forever shut, In Christ God me finds
All of Christ ever mine, My place ever sure
Abiding Paradise, Never wanting more
Knowing Him, by Him known, You are mine, says He
Owning Him, by Him owned, Sealed eternity
No comfort, peace so sweet, No equal joy apart
Than all delights in Him I meet, Once with Him I start
Joined to the Loved Son, To Him belonging ever
My soul his vict’ry won, His promise wronging never
Belong I, to the Word, Each other inheriting
Spirit sealed and ensured, His Day, my heart’s longing
#3: My body is His temple (John 14:17; 1 Cor. 3:16-17; 6:19; 2 Cor. 6:16; Eph. 2:22).
The 3rd point today is that “My Body is now God’s Temple”. When you take Christ to be your Savior the Spirit of God comes to live inside of you, making your body a temple. Listen to John 14:17….1 Cor. 3:16-17….6:19….2 Cor 6:16…Eph. 2:22
This idea of belonging is not just social and familial. It also has to do with authority. If you belong to God, and His Spirit lives in your body, then, your body belongs to God. Your body is under His authority and to be used for holiness.
If my body is to be used for the glory of God, then often that will force me to forgo gratifying myself.
What is happening in the “temple”? What’s God’s “temple” being used for? How is the sacred dwelling of God respected or disrespected? Do I have a right to look with my eyes at things that are immoral? Do I get to think things with my mind that are unholy? Do I get to use my body for sinful acts? Do I get to use my hands to hurt another? To take from another? My eyes to look wrongfully at another? Do I get to use my mouth to say things about another that are wicked and wrong? How do I use this temple of God to honor God?
Also, how do I view this temple? Is it mine, or, is it God’s? The answer to that question determines how you view who has ultimate rights to your body. If you believe it is your body, then you see yourself as the final determiner of what you do with your body. No one can tell you what you can and cannot do. God forbid any Christian man or woman ever thinks like that. A Christian is to see their bodies as their bodies in the sense that its where their own soul dwells and not in some other physical body. But a Christian always – always – asserts that their body is God’s and He has the final say in how this body is used. “Therefore, dear brothers, in view of God’s mercy, offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to the Lord, for this is your spiritual act of worship.” (Rom 12:1). Romans 6:13 says, “Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to Him as instruments of righteousness.”
#4: His indwelling proves God is coming for me (John 14:18; Eph. 1:13-14; 2 Cor. 1:21b-22; 5:5). The words “sealed” and “deposit” are key to understand here.
Sealed means that you are marked by God as one who belongs to Him. He marked you as His. Livestock get branded to identify who their owner is. The permanent mark they receive indicates who owns them. Christians get branded. They are permanently marked with the Holy Spirit’s indwelling presence. Biblically, to “seal” something marked ownership of something.
Then there is the idea of a “deposit”. It’s like today, whether layaway or a downpayment on a house or a car. Back then it wouldn’t be a car it might be a horse or a donkey. You put a downpayment on something and you are going to come back later to pay the full price and retrieve what you put on hold. The Holy Spirit is God’s downpayment on us. Its His pledge that He’s coming back for us to get us. Jesus left, but, He left us His Spirit, and, who is the mark showing we belong to Jesus and He is the living promise inside of us that Jesus is coming back to get us. The Spirit indwelling me proves God is coming for me.
The Miracle of Dunkirk
During WWII, perhaps one of the greatest rescues of history ocurred in Dunkirk France. Over 300,000 british soldiers were trapped while the German surrounded them. It was a military disaster, threatening to ruin England. Then, beginning May 26th, 1940, over 900 boats, mostly private recreation and fishing boats crossed the English Channel to evacuate their fellow countrymen. Over the course of 5-6 days 340,000 soldiers would be rescued from imminent doom. It became known as the Miracle of Dunkirk