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The Holy Spirit and the Church

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul
The Truth Network Radio
July 14, 2022 12:01 am

The Holy Spirit and the Church

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul

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July 14, 2022 12:01 am

The Holy Spirit is not an impersonal force but the third person of the Trinity. Today, R.C. Sproul teaches about the role of the Spirit in our individual lives and in the corporate life of the church.

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In John chapter 14, Jesus promised that a comforter would come in his name.

A comforter is someone who comes with strengths and so Jesus promises the Holy Ghost as our ally to stand with us. I might add, to encourage us the Holy Spirit and the church today on Renewing Your Mind both increases in the standard of Christian orthodoxy since the middle of the sentence and free concerts believe in God the father and Jesus Christ, God's only son and in the Holy Spirit this week. Dr. RC Sproul was using the apostles Creed to ground our understanding of the historic Christian faith and today he's focusing on the role of the third person of the Trinity were going to look at the confession of the church to the Holy Spirit and to the church that segment of the crate that says I believe in the Holy Ghost, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of the saints that we noticed earlier on that the apostles Creed and even before that the Roman symbol very earliest time was self-consciously Trinitarian. I say that simply because some people sort of think that the orb concept of the Trinity didn't develop until the fourth century to the Council of Nicaea, but in fact the Council of Nicaea was called to reaffirm and assert that which was from the beginning. A clear confession of Trinitarian face and so the creeds simply gives us a brief statement. I believe in the Holy Ghost. Nothing more said about the Holy Ghost.

We don't have delineation such as we find later in church history of the role of the Holy Ghost of the function of the Holy Ghost, but in passing, let's remember that in biblical categories. For the most important things to understand, which is particularly important for new Christians is to understand that the Holy Ghost is a person not merely an impersonal force or a power the Holy Ghost is a he not and it and for some reason the language that we use in the church often betrays an understanding of the Holy Spirit as if he were in fact an impersonal for in the role of the spirit is vital if the spirit is not the author of confusion. The spirit is the spirit of truth, we are told in the New Testament.

The Holy Spirit is trustworthy. We can depend on him. We know that he is the author of truth and so were concerned about his role in the anointing prophets the spirit of the Lord comes upon the prophet and the prophet then speaks the truth of God. This, by the Holy Spirit that the Scriptures themselves are inspired and superintended the Christian life begins with the quickening of God the Holy Spirit where it is the function of the spirit to change the disposition of our hearts, to cause us to come alive to the things of God's of the very beginning of the Christian life we call regeneration is affected by the power of the Holy Ghost but yet that's only the beginning. Our birth into the fellowship of God. The whole process of our Christian experience. Our growth in grace our growth in the spiritual maturity. What we call the process of sanctification comes under the province of God the Holy Spirit. The New Testament ethic calls for us to manifest the fruit of the Holy Spirit, love and gentleness and kindness and meekness and patience and long-suffering and so that that is an effect that is brought about in our lives by the influence of a supernatural person.

The third person of the Trinity that the power that dwells within us is not simply an impersonal force but it is the spirit dwelling in us working in us helping us to live out our Christian life while in the New Testament when Jesus talks to his disciples in the upper room and we have that lengthy discourse of the sending of the spirit. John 1415 1617 Jesus calls the spirit by his supreme title in the New Testament the Paraclete and if I asked my theological since I'll say who is the Paraclete in the New Testament that title hundred students out of 100, will answer the same why the Paraclete is the Holy Spirit. And I say well you're right, partially, but when the New Testament introduces the Paraclete. It introduces it by a strange designation is not simply called the Paraclete. Jesus doesn't say I will send you the Paraclete, but he says I will send you another Paraclete.

Now we have different translations of that in the English language, the old traditional translation for Paraclete was the word comforter now. The more recent translations tend to render the Greek Park lighthouse by the English word counsel Paraclete comes from two Greek words of prefix par and the cleat comes from the Greek lighthouse which is the noun form of the verb: that you maybe don't know Greek but you certainly heard this word come across in English language Colorado is not a hard record to remember that's what easy ones because it means to call call out the cough that sees the New Testament Greek word for church is a clay CF which we will be looking at in a moment, and that is a prefix of pack with this same verb: out the clay CF are those called by God out of the world and into fellowship with him so you have the same basic root for the word church as you have in the title for the Holy Spirit.

The Paraclete, but with a different prefix. The church are those called out. I Paraclete is someone who is called para-alongside.

We distinguishing the ministry. The church and para-ministries.

What are para-ministries. They work alongside the church. They stand with the church that are considered to be sort of an adjunct arm of the church paratroopers. Paramedics know that's what the word para-means so that the Paraclete is somebody who's called to stand alongside of somebody to stand beside the ancient world.

The Paraclete was the title that was given to a defense attorney and usually the kind of defense attorney that a family was involved with on a permanent retainer basis so that anytime a person got in trouble they could call upon their Paraclete to stand with them in the midst of the crisis know the reason I'm emphasizing this point is that when Jesus said I'm going to go away and I would send you a comforter or a Paraclete. He was not saying that after I send you out in the world like lambs in the midst of wolves and you get your brain speeding and you suffer humiliation and tragedy and persecution, all of which you will suffer. He said, but don't worry, after you go through all of this hassle and you come home and you're weeping in frustration. Then under the send the spirit along the make you feel better. That's not what he saying he saying that I am going to send another Parklake to stand beside you went in the midst of the battle in the midst of the struggle in the midst of the crisis. In fact, the reason why the King James use the term comforter was that when the King James version was written, the language of English at that time was much more closely tied to its Latin roots that it is today and I comforter was not thought of in the way were describing it today, but rather, here we have it coming from the Latin. This is from the Greek for collectors from the Greek, from the Latin cool with so I comforter is somebody who comes with then those of you would play the piano forte that strength. If I say something in somebody's forte that's their strong point and so the comforter is someone who comes with strength. So Jesus promises the Holy Ghost as our ally to stand with us. I might add, to encourage us in the New Testament.

I see I read at least in their an emphasis almost a preoccupation of times on the importance of encouragement within the Christian community. I say mistakes. What's the number one negative prohibition that Jesus gives to his people in the New Testament and thus Honeywell don't steal them killed on to us and no faraway number one is different there not fact. He says it so often we miss it. It sounds like hello and goodbye. Every time he shows up there not release, fear not, why did our Lord say that so many time.

I'm speculating here, but I'm assuming that Jesus understood something about human nature. Number one and number two that he understood that there was anything that was going to frustrate the ministry and the mission that he gives his church. It would be the paralysis that comes from being frightened and again the expectations of the epistles to encourage one another. What is the one indispensable prerequisite. The one ingredient that is absolutely necessary for courage to be present. The absence of fear. I would say it's just the opposite of that. It is the presence of fear because it doesn't take courage to do what you okay only the fearful can be courageous, but what courage does is gives us the capacity to act in spite of our feet. That's what heroic courage is all about and what Jesus is saying is you I don't want you to be afraid. But on the other hand, I know you're going to be a you guys are always afraid intimidation is what holds the church but more than anything else is not the lack of orthodoxy so much as it is the lack of courage keeps us from being the people of God. And so Jesus said, first of all I'm going to send you the Holy Ghost who will come to stand with you to encourage you to give you strength. In addition to that, I want you to encourage one another that this leads us naturally to the next point of the creed that as soon as we talk about the Holy Spirit who converts, sanctifies, convicts, bestows, gifts, and so on.

Individuals when the spirit works in the individual's life.

He always puts him and guides him to a community to a group. The spirit is a Holy Spirit in the root meaning of holy is to be set apart and consecrated in the New Testament.

The principal word for holy is the word Hagy office. The adjective Hagy office believers in a group are called what Paul writes to the saints at Corinth or to the saints here to the saints. There was a Greek word to the Hagy alloy you have the Hagy office where the hell you knew Ma, the Holy Spirit who brings forth his power and his fruit in people and they are called the saints not because they are pure and righteous altogether holy in that sense, but because the Holy Spirit is dwelling in them, and the Holy Spirit has set them apart and he sets them apart by consecrating them and then drawing them together into a body. Those individuals who are individuals of faith are called to participate in a fellowship effects, which we call the church and the creed declares to be the holy Catholic church the holy Catholic church they'll if there's any institution in our day and age doesn't always appear be holy church said many times that the church is the most corrupt institution in the world but that's an intentional statement designed to be people's attention because not qualified.

I granted their other human institutions far more corrupt than the church, the Mafia and so but if we measure the church's performance in light of the biblical standard of to whom much is given much is required. If we consider somebody's performance in light of the sanctity of their tax and the special way in which it is been blessed in grace. Then, I think, judging by that kind of relative standard than the church is the most corrupt because we fall so much more short of the standard to which we are called in the Mafia does is Mafia don't have high and virtuous and noble sanity doesn't have the promise of Christ that the gates of hell will not prevail against it.

And so the church that, but if it is true that the church is the most corrupt institution or if it's even one of the most corrupt institutions in the world. The next question important question is why I think my answer that question is because it's the most important institution.

The most important institution is the church of Jesus Christ and all of the forces of hell understand so that the supreme target of the daemonic end of the satanic is the church of Jesus Christ. But it of all human institutions is the only one that has the guarantee of Christ.

But why then does the creed call it holy when in fact it is always helpful was not holy by virtue of the purity and the righteousness of each of the members, the church is the only institution I know of that requires you to be sinful to get in texts honoring the church is designed to be a special fellowship organized for the benefit of sinners right. That's why the church exists, it is a fellowship of sinners now say facetiously verify the perfect church don't join it, you'll ruin it.

The end of its perfection. Okay, the reason why the church is holy is because of its institution and because of its head, who is Christ, and Christ is the one who said I will build my church, so the church exists because it is called out by Christ is instituted by Christ. It is ordained by Christ. It is gifted by Christ is indwelt by the Holy Spirit and we receive the benefit of the holiness of the church. In other words, whatever holiness we get we get because of the same powers that are pulling the church to go in the first place by the Holy Spirit and by Jesus Christ is not that we are the ones who make the church home that in addition to referring to this sacred institution. The special institution which Christ has ordained and called every Christian to participate telling us not to forsake the gathering together of the saints. No man is an island when it comes a Christian faith and we all have a duty as well as a privilege to participate in a church bell. The creed declares a conviction in the holy Catholic church by the Roman Catholic Church, the holy Catholic Church Catholic simply means universal.

The church exists wherever the people of God are involved throughout the world. And of course they began to try to formalize that symbol. What is it that distinguishes the church from something else, and they early on symbol where the Lord's supper is celebrated there is the church and then later in ecclesiastical terms. Rome took the position where the bishop bears there is the church. If you don't have the sanction of church government does not let the church another said no were the spirit is there is the church and so that has become a matter of dispute between various denominations. Since there's more than one denomination as to where the churches but Protestants still retain a confession of the apostles Creed because they say we may not embrace the Roman Catholic Church but we certainly believe that there is such a thing as a universal body of Christ that is bigger and wider, deeper and broader than the denominations that we are members and that provoked in church history, particularly with the Protestant Reformation, a concept of understanding this universal church of believers and that appeal went back to Augustine's work and discuss this distinction between the visible church, and the invisible church. An important distinction but also a dangerous one. When Augustine made the distinction between the visible and invisible church.

He went back to the New Testament with the idea of the fact that the church Jesus describes with the figure of the garden where there'll always be tears growing along with the wheat to get into a Christian church you have to make some sort of verbal profession of faith you have to say you believe will does everybody who say they believe only Jesus himself acknowledged the fact that some people can honor him with their lips while their hearts were far from so it is possible to make a profession of faith for all kinds of reasons, political, social, economic, whatever without having genuine faith in your heart so Augustine said the church in this world will always be a corpus or mix them a mixed body of tears growing along with the week of believers mixed together with unbelief that what he meant by the invisible church was, not some underground church that exists substantially outside the visible church, but he made the statement that the invisible church exists substantially where in the visible church because Christ has called us to make our communion and our fellowship in our worship and all that visible bearing witness to him with a visible church, but what Justin says is within the visible church. There is the invisible church who are the true people of God.

Now they are called invisible, not because there invisible to God but because I can't read another man's heart that remains outside the scope of my site. I can't see it is invisible to but it exists and God can see. Well, the communion of saints is just another word to describe the universal Catholic Church in Latin. There is community of some poor now I only want to just clear up one common misconception so often when people say I believe in the communion of saints what they think they're saying is I believe in the practice and the liturgical right of celebrating the Lord's supper, because in many Protestant fellowships.

That's called communion. Holy communion but the communion of the saints means that there is a fellowship of brotherhood. A binding together by the Holy Spirit of all Christians in the world all Christians who are part of the invisible church share a common bond and share a common spirits and are linked together minimum if we are Christians we are in Christ and Christ is in us, so that if you are in Christ and I am in Christ were both in Christ we are experiencing a common union. There's a witness, a oneness that we participated in by virtue of our unification. Christ and by the spirit but not only was the church confessing belief in a fellowship or a unity that transcends denominational, geographic, ethnic and older bound, but it also transcends temporal bar, there's a mystical element here of the mystical body of Christ that not only am I in fellowship with you as a Christian, but right now, this moment I am in fellowship with Martin Luther and withdrawn until and was St. Augustine and with every Christian who is Evelyn because every Christian who has ever lived and who is been brought in the unity of Christ. That unity that he enjoys with Christ cannot be destroyed, who shall separate us from the love of Christ and of death, famine, whatever peril sword.

Nothing can separate us.

And Luther the moment Luther became in Christ, he entered into union with his Lord and by virtue of that union mystically is joined to every other person who is in question. When I enter into union with Christ higher union with the whole body of Christ, the past as well as the present and will be, of course, United in the future this morning saying we believe since that's an amazing thought is as we stand in our churches to recite the apostles Creed were standing there with the saints of the past. I hope today's message and infected this entire series has been helpful to you as we go line by line through the apostles Creed with Dr. RC Sproul, listening to renewing your bio this Thursday possibly web. Thank you for being with us. This series is called basic training because it deals with the fundamental doctrines of Christianity as stated in the apostles Creed. For those of you who may not of been raised in the church were for those of you who want to reinforce your understanding of the Christian faith. This is a helpful series will provide you will all six lessons on a single DVD for your donation of any about to look in your ministries. You can requested by calling us at 800-435-4343 but you can also give your gift today where Dr. Strohl clarified the Holy Spirit's role in the life of the individual believer and the corporate life of the church.

Look at her ministries our desires to come alongside the local church and help build knowledgeable and articulate Christians. So if you're teaching a membership class at your church. Maybe a Sunday school class are leading a small group this series in particular is a great place to introduce the basic doctrines of Christianity against titled basic training by Dr. RC Sproul if you'd like to request a series just contact us with your gift of any amount at 800-435-4343 if you prefer you can go online to Renewing Your By the way, you can have access to the videos on your phone once you complete your request to sign into your ligand your account on the app and all of the videos will be available in your learning library. If you haven't downloaded that app yet. You can search for linear, your favorite app store and it is free.

Tomorrow we'll wrap up the series should Dr. Strobel explained the last several lines of the apostles Creed is a lesson titled forgiveness resurrection and eternal life. I hope you will join us Friday for Renewing Your Mind

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