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Believer’s Basics #9 – Holy Spirit (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
The Truth Network Radio
November 18, 2022 6:00 am

Believer’s Basics #9 – Holy Spirit (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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November 18, 2022 6:00 am

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So without this presence, there is no fruit of the Spirit, which distinguishes or should distinguish us from other men. The fruit of the Spirit is supposed to be a signal to lost souls that you are lost. Galatians 5, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, tough times. It says long suffering, but it means tough times. Kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

We struggle. To hear more information about Cross Reference Radio, specifically how you can get a free copy of this teaching. But for now, let's join Pastor Rick in the book of 2 Corinthians chapter 13 as he begins his message called Holy Spirit. 2 Corinthians chapter 13 beginning at verse 11. Finally, brethren, farewell. Be come complete. Be of good comfort. Be of one mind. Live in peace. And the God of love and the peace will be with you. Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the saints greet you. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

Amen. This topic is the Holy Spirit and I'd like to think I've never preached anything without at least referring to the Holy Spirit once. He is, of course, that vital to our faith that we should never be unmindful of him.

And this is possible. It is possible to be totally mindful of the Holy Spirit without taking anything away from being mindful of the Father and the Son. The text is verse 14, the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

Amen. In that one verse, we have, of course, a reference to each member of the Trinity. This had for a long time been the benediction of many churches, New Testament churches.

I prefer numbers for the blessing. The Lord bless you. The Lord keep you. Lord make his face to shine upon you. That is the benediction that I have been led to give over the years.

And every now and then I will I will use this one rarely, but I have because it says so much. It is so meaningful to us. And I, I fear that many of us are unmindful of such a powerful verse. And when I say a benediction is the blessing, it's the closing blessing. God instructed Aaron to give such a blessing to the people.

And of course, we find nothing wrong with those instructions. The Corinthian letters are to a church there in Corinth that were prodigal. They were very wasteful when it came to the things of the Spirit.

It abused many things. And Paul, taking at least three letters, two of which we still have, corrects much of the aberrant behavior found amongst those believers. And he does a splendid job. The second letter to the Corinthians is so, it's so heartfelt. It's a personal letter. And if you look at verse 11, he says finally, and there's a sort of a sigh of relief coming from him because he has succeeded in recovering a proper spirit in that church. And he says, Finally, brethren, farewell. Be, become complete.

These are instructions that we want for us. Be of good comfort. Be of one mind. Live in peace. The God of love and peace will be with you. Well, that's a promise, of course.

If you follow those instructions in Christ, these things will be yours. And then he reminds them something that you find a little surprising, but always necessary. He reminds them to have and to show sincere love for one another. It is striking how often those that profess to know Christ aren't very loving. They're too caught up in themselves, too.

I mean, too with their problems, their needs, and just no one else seems to matter unless they have something for them. I don't know. But he says, Greet one another with a holy kiss. Let's try that out.

Kidding. But it's supposed to be sincere. Then he says, All the saints greet you. Paul was writing, likely from Macedonia in modern day Greece, and he says, We say hello to you. We are mindful of you. We care about you. And then, of course, our text. And then within verse 14, he says, The communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

Amen. He closes his letter with this trustworthy blessing upon the people of God, the communion, the fellowship. It is the New Testament version of that Old Testament verse that we know so well from Amos chapter 3.

Can two walk together unless they are agreed? Well, the New Testament says in communion, in fellowship, this spirit in common with the Holy Spirit. And that is the last thing you hear in this letter. Is this benediction concerning the Trinity?

Yes. This fellowship with the Holy Spirit. And so when I mentioned that the church used to use it at the end of their services or end of our services, all the music, the worship, the preaching, the singing, the praying, after all of that, and the church was summed up by this final blessing. Because without the communion of the Holy Spirit, the Bible which we believe has no power in our lives.

There's just no power. And if you're going to be loveless as a Christian, you're not going to be in communion with the Spirit or the Son or the Father. As you go through the Bible, the Old and the New Testament, you can say to yourself, I cannot at times make a distinction which is the dominant manifestation of God to me. Is it the Father? Is it the Son? Is it the Holy Spirit? Sometimes they seem all mixed up together. That is because they are. They're not three different persons.

They're three distinct persons in one. And it takes a lot of work to sort of distance ourselves from carnal thinking and begin to receive the Spirit and the Scriptures and the words of the Scriptures for what they mean. One of the joys of being a pastor over the years is that eventually you get into the pulpit and you know what you want to say. You know what God is saying to you. In the early years, it's what you've studied, what you've received from others, and it is very foundational. But as the years go by, it's yours. And now you're not repeating truths.

You are sharing them in a different way. There's still repetition of truth from God. So without this presence, there is no fruit of the Spirit which distinguishes or should distinguish us from other men. The fruit of the Spirit is supposed to be a signal to lost souls that you're lost. Galatians 5, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, tough times.

It says long suffering, but it means tough times. Kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. We struggle. We struggle with those. But it is that struggle that distinguishes us. We struggle for self-control because we know God wants that, not because we simply want to be captain of our ship. We want to be obedient. We are dependent on the Holy Spirit as our only spiritual power.

Now, who is He? Because that is critical. Well, according to the New Testament, the Spirit of God is God. And that's true of the Old Testament, true.

Just as Jesus is God, the Son, the Holy Spirit is God, the Spirit of God. We are living in the age of the Spirit of God. I mean, as you begin to sort of chart the events in Scripture of how God is working with His people, how God is working in the world with those who follow Him, the big word is dispensations, periods of operation that we find. We find these patterns in Scripture that are inescapable.

For instance, in the Old Testament, that period could be called the age of the Father. He is so pronounced. The Father is so right up front. Even though He's not really referred to right out so much in the Old Testament as Father, but as God, Yahweh.

We know, of course, from New Testament teachings that Yahweh is Christ. And yet, yet the Spirit, you cannot extract Him. In Genesis chapter 1 in the second verse, the Spirit brooded over. He hovered over. He worked over physical creation. He brought it into being. And so, as I mentioned, the lines aren't blurred.

They're joined. The period covered by the Gospels is the age of the Son, the Son of God. We see Him walking. He who has seen Me has seen the Father, Jesus said. But from Pentecost, until Christ returns, it is the age of the Spirit, in the context of how I'm sharing this.

The age of the Father in the Old Testament, the age of the Son in the Gospels, and then, of course, Pentecost. I will not leave you orphans, Jesus said. I will send the Comforter to you. In other words, He said to them, I am sending every bit of Me to you. Every bit of Me will be with you. You will know Him as the Holy Spirit. But within the Godhead, we are God. And so, currently, He is the substitute on earth for the physical presence of Christ Jesus. The apostles, they walked, they talked, they saw Jesus, they could touch Him.

John emphasizes this in his first letter right at the beginning. We were there, we touched Him, we were with Jesus Christ. We are too, but He is invisible to us, and He has given us this Holy Spirit. And this is vital to a new Christian's understanding of the faith. He is not, He is an invisible partner, but He is not a silent partner.

He's very much at work in our lives. And when Jesus said, My sheep, they hear My voice, it's the voice of the Holy Spirit. It is also the voice of Christ, He says, I can't make this distinction. That's right, because this is high thinking.

This is not common. This is not as we do with one another. It goes beyond that, it has some of that in there, else we wouldn't understand anything. But then it begins to transcend, it begins to go above all these things that we are familiar with.

It becomes glorious at some point. And so this resident member of the Trinity, of the Godhead on earth, in this age, the Holy Spirit, He is a person. He is a person because Christ spoke of Him as a person.

He's not an it, it's not a power, a force in the universe. He is every bit a person, as is the Christ. Using the personal pronouns, Jesus made this point emphatically. John's Gospel, chapter 16, Jesus speaking to His disciples, They looking at Him, listening to Him, and He says, And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin and of righteousness and of judgment.

Invisibly, He does this, and He does it thoroughly. So much so, we know that Felix told Paul, enough for now. He was convicting him too much of sin. He was making him feel his guilt before God, and Felix did not want that. Those who are born again submit.

Those who are not, reject. John's Gospel again, chapter 16. In John's Gospel, 14, 15, and 16, Jesus is giving us a schooling on the Holy Spirit. He says, However, when He, again the personal pronoun, He, the Spirit of truth, that is vital, because there is not a spirit of lie ever. And He continues, has come, He will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears, He will speak, and He will tell you things to come, because He is that joined to the Godhead.

So the Holy Spirit spoke of Himself as a person. In the book of Acts, in that 13th chapter, I love the book of Acts. I think it is one of the most, I don't know, bypassed books in our library of Scripture by churches. Maybe not individuals, well maybe individuals, I don't know, but by churches. Do they ever read the book of Acts sometimes? You hear some things going on in churches, you say, this is covered. Well, for example, here, Acts chapter 13.

Here's the, those first Christians gathered together, and Luke writes, as they ministered to the Lord and fasted. How do you minister to God? You submit to Him. You work to be sensitive to what He wants, what He is doing, what He is saying. Your self will, my self will, our flesh will never yield to that voluntarily.

It has to be suppressed, it has to be put down, and it will create an uprising every chance it gets. They ministered to the Lord and fasted. The Holy Spirit said, the Holy Spirit said, now here comes the words, now separate to me Barnabas and Saul for the work which I have called them. So the New Testament's various names and titles for the Holy Spirit give to us an understanding of what He likes, yes, what He is like, and what He wants.

And then that creates a condition where I have to figure out how am I going to respond to this. That's what truth does, does it not? He is the Spirit of truth. Truth forces us to respond to it. It doesn't ask our opinion. When truth is presented, it says make a call.

Not with your phone, but make a decision. Are you siding with truth or are you not? It can be very painful sometimes. The Greek word that Jesus used in calling Him the Helper or the Comforter is parakletos or the counselor. When the New Testament writers in the New King James and the King James and the other translations opted for counselor or comforter or helper, they are translating from that one Greek word parakletos to one who comes beside.

Well, what does he come beside to do? He can convict, he can help. Conviction is a help from God.

Is God saying, hey, you need to fix this, I'm trying to help you out here, kid. And we read in John's Gospel, John chapter 14, Jesus still speaking in his discourse on the Holy Spirit to his disciples. He says, I will pray the Father and He will give you another Helper.

There's that word, parakletos. That He may abide with you forever. That's a long time because He is eternal. Because He is God, the Holy Spirit. And there in that verse in John, again, we have the Trinity. I, Jesus Christ speaking, He mentions the Father and He mentions the Holy Spirit. Again in the same chapter, John says in verse 26 of John 14, but the Helper, the parakletos, but the Helper, the Holy Spirit. So He clarifies this. He makes it very clear, I am speaking to you about the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name.

He, personal pronoun, will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. Do you see why He is the representative, the resident, the representative of Jesus Christ on earth? Because Christ told us, that's why. This does not block Christ out. Still, Christ says, wheresoever two or more are gathered, there I am in the midst.

Well, that's true whether He's disciplining the church or individuals or not because He said, I will never leave you nor forsake you. So Christ is always with us, but He is with us as far as we can tell in the presence of the Holy Spirit. The truth, the life, the glory and the grace. Sounds like we're talking about Christ, well we are, but we're also talking about the Holy Spirit. In John 14, verse 17, the Spirit of truth. Jesus said, I am the way, the truth and the life. Well, this Holy Spirit is the way of truth, 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. Well, this is a believer's basics, so I'm not going to open that up when it gets into the Spirit of God being beside us, leading us to salvation, and then in us once we are saved, then coming upon us in that anointing of the Holy Spirit, that filling of the Holy Spirit as the disciples experienced at Pentecost, and not before.

Not as it was at Pentecost. Romans chapter 8, verse 2, tells us that He is the Spirit of life. Again, Jesus said, I am the Spirit. Well, pardon me, I am the truth. I am the way, the truth and the life.

He's a lot more, too. But Romans 8 says, for the law of the Spirit of life in Christ has made me free from the law of sin and death. The Holy Spirit working inside is not a competition. Some of you married couples need to learn that. Marriage is not supposed to be a competition. The wife is not trying to be one of the guys. And the guy certainly isn't trying to be one of the girls. If we can remember this in church, in our Christian walk also, the key to good relationships is that it's not a competition. We are working together in rhythm.

That's the goal. 1 Peter chapter 4, verse 14, If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you, so you catch that the Spirit of glory. That's the Shekinah in the New Testament. It's again, you cannot fragment the Godhead.

It's only presented to us in such a way that we can begin to understand God enough to serve Him with our whole heart, mind, soul and strength and to find that He is distinct from everything else that we know. Hebrews 10, 29, Of how much worse punishment do you suppose He will be thought worthy, who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which He was sanctified, a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace. Well, you cannot insult an it, but you can insult a person. You can really insult an animal. You can get them pretty angry, but you really can't. You know, animals, you hurt my feelings.

You're speaking lowly of me, and I don't appreciate it. Well, animals don't think that far. It's all instinctive with them.

I'm not saying they don't have feelings, and they're plush, and all of a sudden they're cute and all that. I'm not taking any of that away, but not on this level, the Spirit of grace. So He gives strength. He gives strength to love. You're going to need that if you're going to follow Christ. He gives us courage. You're going to need that if you're going to follow Christ. And, of course, He gives us power, energy to pull it off.

But it's not a one-time, boom, you got it. It has to be refreshed often because of the flesh, the sinful nature that we are saddled with in this life. And so when Paul says, God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind, he's very serious about this. He'd been living it himself. How many times did Paul, even at one point in Corinth, God had to, the Lord Jesus came to Paul and said, Paul, don't worry, stop being afraid.

I've got people in this town. Now, the Lord, when He says, don't be afraid, that doesn't mean, well, you won't get a few stonings here and there. He just says, in the face of those stonings, be brave. Carry out the mission. What is the objective, Paul? To preach Christ. That's what I want you to do without the fear and certainly without the insanity. Another verse that a lot of Christians, I think, don't contemplate because sometimes we find our brothers and sisters or those pretending to be brothers and sisters, I don't know, we find them not of a sound mind and blaming the Holy Spirit for it and that is a contradiction to what the Bible teaches. Loveless Christians are a contradiction to Christ and each one of us needs to understand that. I think sometimes I look back and I say, you know, if I'm sitting on the other side of what I'm preaching right now, I could be saying, yeah, I failed there. But in all fairness to God, I can also see a lot of victories that I have that I would never have without Him that otherwise would not be mine. So it does work.

In spite of some of the failings, there are so many victories. Let me tell you about all the times that I've been loving to people that I like to slap. First, list of names because I keep a list. No, I don't. Well, He proceeds from the Father sent by the Son, as the Son proceeds from the Father. Just read John chapter 17, Christ's prayer, and He speaks about returning to that relationship that He had with the Father long before we were around. John 15 verse 26, 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. That's what He does. He testifies of Christ. Well, what are we supposed to be doing with everything we do?

Testify of Christ. And so as to His work, as I alluded to or mentioned earlier, He introduced physical energy into physical creation. Genesis chapter 1 verse 2, The earth was without form and void, and darkness was on the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. That word for hovering in the Hebrew means to shake or to move.

He was working. Thanks for joining us for today's teaching on Cross-Reference Radio, the daily radio ministry of Pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville in Virginia. We hope you've been blessed by this Believer's Basics series, exploring the fundamentals of what it means to follow Christ. If you'd like to listen to more of this series or share it with someone you know, please visit We encourage you to subscribe to our podcast, too, so you'll never miss another edition. Just visit and follow the links under radio. Again, that's That's all for today. We hope you'll tune in next time to continue studying the Word of God, right here on Cross-Reference Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-11-18 12:58:26 / 2022-11-18 13:07:58 / 10

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