God Was There/God Is Here
The central miracle asserted by Christians is the incarnation. They say that God became man. C.S. Lewis
• Who is the Holy Spirit? Why is HS important to us? What did HS do in the OT?
• As the HS Incarnated Jesus/the HS Births Jesus in us.
• Just as the HS worked in John the Baptist to point to Jesus, so He does in us.
PWPT: CENTRAL IDEA: Jesus was fully God; God is here, remaking His people.
1. The HS conceived Jesus in Mary’s womb; at the Incarnation.
Luke 1:35 NASB And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy offspring shall be called the Son of God.
a. The Holy Spirit hovered over Mary and in some mysterious way, she conceived Jesus, the divine/human person.
b. Jesus remains fully human and fully divine.
2. The HS is also intimately involved in our new birth; Jesus said this must happen in us. John 3
a. DEFINE BORN AGAIN. PWPT:
i. Quite ridiculed:
1. “I'm a born-again atheist” Gore Vidal.
2. Herb Caen: The trouble with born again Christians is that they are an even bigger pain the second time around.
3. P.J. O’Rourke: Making fun of born-again Christians is like hunting dairy cows with a high-powered rifle and scope.
4. Mariah Carey: I’ve been born again.
ii. John 3: A new birth: PWPT:
John 3:6–8 “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. “Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ “The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
3. The HS is said to indwell Jesus’ followers.
a. A new sort of promise: the first fruits of salvation.
i. We are indwelt by the Holy Spirit.
ii. God has long said that He is going to “dwell” with His people.
iii. His first gift to us highlights His intention to complete what He has begun in us.
EF Harrison, EBC,
PWPT: Romans 8:23 NASB
“And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.”
The concept of firstfruits (v.23) is prominent in the OT, where, according to the law, Israelites were expected to bring the first-ripe elements of grain, fruit, etc., to the Lord as an offering (Exod 23:19; Neh 10:35).
PWPT: (Exodus 23:19 NASB)
““You shall bring the choice first fruits of your soil into the house of the Lord your God.
…that they might bring the first fruits of our ground and the first fruits of all the fruit of every tree to the house of the Lord annually…
By this observance of worship the offerer acknowledged that all produce was the provision of God and was really his. Implicit also in the ritual was the assurance from the divine side that the general harvest to be enjoyed by the offerer would providentially follow. As applied to our passage, the concept may appear to be somewhat out of place, for if the Spirit is truly a person, how can any more of him be given in the future than has been given at conversion?
…the gift of the Spirit to the believer at the inception of Christian life is God’s pledge of the completion of the process of salvation, which is here stated as
“adoption as sons,
the redemption of our bodies.”
Recall that previously Paul has described the finished product as the spiritual body (1Cor 15:44). The future bodily resurrection of believers will be the full harvest of redemption. Our bodies will be like that of the glorified Lord (Philippians 3:20, 21).
PWPT: Philippians 3:20–21
“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.”
b. A new kind of assurance: the seal of the Spirit.
PWPT: Eph 1:13 In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation — having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise,
The “seal” (sphragis ) had various uses (MM, pp. 617, 618), all of which are instructive as applied to the Holy Spirit.
It was affixed to a document to guarantee its genuineness.
It was attached to goods in transit to indicate ownership and ensure protection.
It also represented a designation of office in the state service.
When you believed you were sealed—at the moment; not something to be sought, it comes with the package.
c. A new life sort of life in the Spirit: regeneration.
i. A new person
PWPT: 2 Corinthians 5:17 NASB
“Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”
ii. A remaking, a renewing
PWPT: Titus 3:5-7 NASB
He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior that being justified by His grace we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
Ed Blum, EBC
“Washing” speaks of our cleansing from the defilement of sin in regeneration. The noun (loutron ) may mean the receptacle for washing, the “laver,” or the act of washing itself.
We accept the washing as a divine inner act, although the experience is symbolically pictured in Christian baptism.
This cleansing is ongoing…
iii. A transforming PROCESS
PWPT: Romans 12:2
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”
d. A new sort of experience.
PWPT: Galatians 5:22–23
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.