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The Identity of the Holy Spirit – Part 2

Living in the Light / Anne Graham Lotz
The Truth Network Radio
May 22, 2022 3:00 pm

The Identity of the Holy Spirit – Part 2

Living in the Light / Anne Graham Lotz

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Here's Anne Graham Lotz. Have there ever been times in your life when you didn't know how to pray? You didn't know what to pray? But in your heart there was just a groaning, just a yearning. And at those times I knew the Holy Spirit was carrying me in prayer. The Holy Spirit is praying for you.

And thank you for joining us today on Living in the Light. Who is the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit is Jesus in me. In the last program, Anne told us four of seven points about the third person of the Trinity. We discovered he is a person. He will empower you to make those choices that you choose. We learned he changes hearts. And then lastly, Anne told us of his precepts. Now, let's continue with the identity of the Holy Spirit, Jesus in me.

Here's Anne. When you think about these uneducated men, except for Paul, there were 12 disciples minus Judas plus Paul. So Paul we're going to set aside for a moment because he was so brilliant and so well educated. The rest of them were not necessarily so.

They're just fishermen, uneducated, and tax collectors. And in their generation, they changed the known world, turned the world upside down. How is that possible? How could they tell a pluralistic, multicultural, Roman, Jewish society that this man that you just crucified as a common criminal, as the enemy of Rome, as a blasphemer of God, you've just crucified. This man is both Lord and Christ. How could they convince them? How can you and I convince people today that somebody who lived 2,000 years ago is relevant for their lives today? How do we convince them of the gospel of God and sin and Jesus and our response?

I was thinking about that. Put that in John 3.16. For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that whoever would believe in Him, all of us sinners, place our faith in Him.

We would not perish and go to hell, but we would have everlasting life. It's really John 3.16, isn't it? So how do we convince people that John 3.16 is not just a sign at a football game, but John 3.16 is the North Star of the Bible that will direct you home? How do we convince somebody? Is it with our logic, with our wit, with our charm, with our education? How do we convince somebody who's smarter than we are, who's poorer than we are, who's older than we are, younger than we are, wealthier than we are? How do we convince another person, how can they hear the inaudible and see the invisible and understand the incomprehensible? How can we convince anybody? You know something? We can't.

Absolutely we can't. Peter and John couldn't either. It's the Holy Spirit who convinces them. It's the Holy Spirit who convinces them of sin and the need to get right with God and judgment to come if they don't. It's the Holy Spirit who works in their hearts. So before you go next door to share the Gospel with your neighbor, pray in the Holy Spirit. Do you remember in Genesis chapter 1 the Spirit of God hovered over the face of the deep and that planet earth that was without form and void and in darkness?

And the Holy Spirit hovered and prepared it to receive God's Word that went forth every day and day by day by day there was transformation until the planet earth was pleasing to God and reflected His glory and man that was there. That's the same Holy Spirit. So pray that the Holy Spirit will hover over the mind and the heart of that person that you're concerned about. The unsaved member of your family, somebody in your church, somebody in your neighborhood, whoever you're praying for. Praying that the Holy Spirit would hover, then you give them the Word.

Bring them to church and invite them to your Bible study. Share what God has taught you this weekend and don't sell your witness short. Remember that the light of truth and the light of your testimony is more penetrating than the darkness.

So turn on the light. So the Holy Spirit, it's His responsibility to change hearts. So when we share the Gospel we're not commanded to be successful.

Do you know that? We're not commanded to lead people to Christ. We're just commanded to be faithful, to share the Gospel and pray for that person and let the Holy Spirit do the changing. And you know it's a wonderful freeing thing because I know as a mother, grandmother we want to be the Holy Spirit, don't we?

And we want to convict our children and we want to tell them where they need to correct themselves and where they need to be right and good and instead. And the same thing goes true whether it's a family member, a neighbor, somebody at work. But we just pray for them, share the Word with them and then trust the Holy Spirit to change their hearts and that frees us up just to love the person.

Isn't that wonderful? We don't have to judge them. We don't have to criticize them. We don't have to make them good.

We don't have to get them in light. We just pray for them, share God's Word with them and love them. There's no room for judgmentalness and self-righteousness in a critical spirit anyway, is there?

Because the ground is level at the foot of the cross. So the Holy Spirit has the power to change me and you and other people. And then fourthly I want to point out His precepts. In verse 13 is referred to as the Spirit of Truth. In 2 Timothy 3 16 says, All Scripture is God-breathed, useful for teaching, correcting, rebuking, training and righteousness. So all Scripture, that is beginning to end, Genesis to Revelation, all Scripture is God-breathed. If you say this book has eras, if you say this book contains myths, legends, that it's not all true, then you're slurring the integrity of the Holy Spirit. And I think that's one reason the world wants to take the Bible out of everything, because they can't take the truth. And even within the church there's a critical spirit about this book. But this book is God's Word and God doesn't lie.

He's the gentleman. You can take Him at His Word. I remember a story my daddy told and one night I had Mara sit on his bed with me and I asked daddy to tell her the story because I wanted her to hear it from him. And it was when he was a young preacher and he was out in California with a bunch of other young preachers and they were having this discussion and the discussion turned to God's Word. And the other preachers started to criticize it and pick it apart and say well they couldn't believe this and they can't accept that. And daddy said he became very uncomfortable with the conversation and so he got his Bible and he left the group of guys and went out into the woods and he put his Bible on a stump and he said, God, I don't understand everything but I believe this is Your Word so I'm going to believe that it's true. And he just drove his stake down into God's Word.

The other preachers, one by one, self-destructed. Daddy's ministry speaks for itself. And again and again in his sermons he has that little phrase, the Bible says, the Bible says, the Bible says. And we may not understand everything the Bible says but we know that whatever it says is true. It's true in history, it's true in doctrine, it's true in prophecy. God's Word is true because it's God's Word. And it remains settled forever in heaven. Jesus said not one jot or tittle will pass away until all is fulfilled. You can bank on it. So what's your opinion of God's Word?

How do you view it? You know, when I get to heaven and I find out in a battle that it wasn't 200,000 people killed, it was 20,000 people and somewhere along the line of zero was added, I really don't care. But I don't want to get to heaven and say, you know, I didn't believe in a talking snake.

Who's ever heard of a talking snake? And I don't believe all those animals could fit on a boat. You could never get that many on a boat and I don't believe that a big fish could swallow a man and I certainly can't believe that a man would rise from the dead. And I find out that I picked and chose my way through scripture according to what I could understand in my mind and I discarded the truth of what God had said. And all those stories I just referred to, Jesus referred to those stories.

And if Jesus believed in those stories and if he quoted the Old Testament like he did, who am I to stand in judgment over God's Word? You and I don't stand in judgment over God's Word. God's Word stands in judgment over us.

You read Revelation 19, he comes back with a sword that's in his mouth which is the Word of God and he speaks a word and all of his enemies drop dead. He stands in judgment over us through the Word, not us over the Word. So, make your decision that you're going to believe God's Word from beginning to end because it's God's Word.

Oh, it brings such confidence as you study it. You're not picking and choosing your way through scripture. You believe it's God's Word and you can trust the promises, obey the commands, depend on his Spirit with absolute confidence.

His precepts, fifthly, his purity. Chapter 14, verse 26, he's referred to as the Holy Spirit. I was speaking to a seminary dinner. All the professors who'd written a lot of the textbooks that are used in seminary is a very prestigious group. Afterwards, one of the professors came up to me and I gave a message on the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth, that we could take him at his word. Anyway, one of the professors came up to me afterwards and he said, and he said, I learned something tonight. He said, it never occurred to me that the Holy Spirit is holy.

And I hope I kept a straight face and maybe I misunderstood him, but I don't think so. So just to point out the obvious, the Holy Spirit is holy. And good definition of holiness is just to be like Jesus, which means there's no sinfulness at all. No meanness, no unkindness, no unforgiveness, no rudeness, no bitterness, no sinfulness at all. And the Holy Spirit is holy in him.

There is no meanness, no unkindness, no selfishness, no rudeness, no pridefulness, no bitterness. And when he comes into you in May, he'll come into us just as we are. Praise God. You invite him to come into your hell, he'll come in. And then he looks around. And then he'll just start to clean you up.

Just one by one by one. And if something tells you, oh my goodness, Anne, you're a mess. I don't know what I can do with you. You're just so filled with sin.

You're this and you're that. That's not the Holy Spirit. That's the devil who comes in to try to counterfeit that conviction in making you so discouraged and so defeated that you don't even want to try to live for Jesus. The Holy Spirit convicts you really of one thing at a time. Maybe more if it's related to something. But he'll come in and he always gives me encouragement with it. But convicting me, Anne, you're not to respond that way.

This is how you should respond. And you develop a sensitivity to him. So he will start to clean you up.

Because he knows that you and I are commanded to be holy as he is holy. And we don't compare ourselves with each other. Because you do that, you're going to feel pretty good about yourself. You're better than the next person.

Maybe not as bad as her, but you know. And God doesn't compare us with each other. He compares us with the perfection of the Holy Spirit. And we want the Holy Spirit to have his way in our lives to clean us up, cleanse us, fill us with himself. So, what sin needs to be put out of your life that people might see the holiness of Jesus reflected in you? And it may be an attitude, it may be a habit, it may be a relationship, it may be a thought pattern, it may be the way you speak, a place you're going.

Whatever it is, cut it out. Put it out and the Holy Spirit will give you the power to do that. So I pray that he'll bring it to your minds.

So I can come up here and sort of guess, but you know. And he'll convict you and bring it to your conscious mind. And he does that because he wants that gone. And it doesn't have to be something we consider sinful. Just something we're clinging to. That we insist on. That we want to hold on to. And he's wanting everything.

So he may finger that, I want that. Sometimes he's just had to pry my fingers off, you know, one at a time that I would release everything to him. So, Holy Spirit is holy. And then, sixthly, I want to remind you of his prayers. I have to go outside the passage for this, but Romans 8 26 says that the Holy Spirit prays for us without words. Have there ever been times in your life when you didn't know how to pray? You didn't know what to pray? But in your heart there was just a groaning, just a yearning. I felt this way when my husband went to heaven.

The pain was deeper than tears. Deeper than words. Deeper than a prayer. And at those times I knew the Holy Spirit was carrying me in prayer. The Holy Spirit who lives inside of me, who understands how I feel, what I'm afraid of, what I hope for, what I think. And that he ever lives before the throne of God because he is God and he can convey our prayers to the Father. And he knows how to present the prayers, to clean them up, to make them right and get answers to our prayers. And the Holy Spirit is praying for you as you go home.

And you're making choices to live in that new nature and you're going to know and you're going to apply and you're going to obey and he's going to empower you. And he's praying for you with a heart of love. Oh, this was a new thought for me when I studied the Holy Spirit. Because in Ephesians it says in chapter 4 verse 30 it says, Do not grieve the Holy Spirit. And I understood that more fully after several people that I love went to heaven. I grieved for my mother because I loved her. And I grieved for my husband because I loved him and I grieved for my daddy because I loved him.

And grief is a love word, isn't it? So if I can grieve the Holy Spirit that must mean the Holy Spirit loves me. And I had thought when I confessed my sin and asked Jesus to come into my heart that he came into me in the person of the Holy Spirit. That the Holy Spirit was sort of assigned to me.

And the Father said, all right, now there's Anne, she's opened up her heart, you go into her, see what you can do with her, make her good. One day, you know, he'll present me to the Father and say, well I did the best I could with what I had and sort of a professional relationship, you know. And then I discover that the Holy Spirit loves me.

He's emotionally caught up in my life. And when I do the right thing he rejoices and I do the wrong thing and he grieves because he wants the best for me. He wants me to have the fullness of God's blessing and he knows when I do the wrong thing and I sin I'm just hindering that and blocking that. And the Holy Spirit loves you and he's praying for you as you go home. Praying for you with a heart of love wrapped up in how you're thinking, feeling, choosing what you're going to be doing and he will be there every moment of every step of the way.

He is your constant companion. Praise God. And lastly, we're going to end where we began with the priority of the Holy Spirit. Because the priority of the Holy Spirit is the written word of God in order that you might know the living word of God. I want to reread to you verse 13 and 14. But when he, the spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own, he will speak only what he hears and he will tell you what is yet to come.

He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. So the Holy Spirit draws us into the written word that we might know the living word and he gives us an understanding as we read the written word. So understanding of scripture, insight, understanding, enlightenment does not come through education, a seminary background, family, heritage, how smart you are in your intellect. Understanding, insight into the scripture, those things can enrich our understanding but it's the Holy Spirit who opens up our minds to understand the things of God.

Somebody can know this but backwards and forwards in Greek and Hebrew and have all sorts of seminary degrees and still not get it. It's the Holy Spirit that opens up our minds to the living word who is revealed in the written word. So when I was a little girl, my grandparents lived right across the street from us and when I was sick, my mother had so many of us, she would send me across the street to my grandmother and my grandmother always had a jigsaw puzzle going. And jigsaw puzzles, if you remember them, I haven't done mine in so long because who has the time for them, but it's a picture pasted on a piece of cardboard and cut up in all these funny little shapes and then the pieces are turned over so you see a little piece of the picture on that puzzle piece.

And then when you put the puzzle pieces together and replicate the picture that's on the front of the box, you've solved the puzzle. People think of the Bible as a jigsaw puzzle and it's got all these funny little pieces and shapes and we don't quite know how they fit together and so the Holy Spirit comes along, turns over the puzzle pieces so we see the bit of the picture on the other side. And when he puts all the pieces together, it's the picture of a man and it's the living word, even Jesus.

So let me see if I can take you through this. Genesis chapter 1, verse 1, in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, the Spirit of God hovered over the face of the deep, verse 3, and God said, and we would think that's nouns and pronouns going out of the mouth of God until you come to the Gospel of John, chapter 1, verse 1. In the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God, the Word was God, in verse 14, and the Word became flesh and I've seen him and his name is Jesus. And the Holy Spirit turns that puzzle piece over in Genesis chapter 1, verse 3, that's the pre-incarnate living word of God, even Jesus. In chapter 2, when the Lord God prepares the garden, and can I just say that's the Lord God, that's Jehovah, that's Jesus before Bethlehem, pre-incarnate, the first homemaker preparing a place for his children.

Don't you love that? And verse 7, when he created Adam and he breathed his own life into him, the Holy Spirit turns over that puzzle piece and we see that the Creator has breathed his life into us and it's Jesus imparting his life to us. And chapter 3, when Adam and Eve sinned and they were cowering in the bushes and it was the Lord God, the pre-incarnate Son of God who comes and finds them in the bushes because he doesn't want to leave them forever in their guilt and convicts them and passes the judgment, but before he separates them he clothes them in the skin of a wild animal and you wonder if there are tears coming down his face. Because he knows that although he's killed an animal, blood had to be shed so that they could be clothed, but he knew that one day he would be the lamb who was slain to cover us, cleanse us with his blood, cover us in his own righteousness, and the Holy Spirit turns that puzzle piece over and we see the Lord God of the garden, the pre-incarnate Son.

And you can find him almost in each chapter and I won't take you all through that next time he shows up clearly. It's in Genesis chapter 18. Abraham's sitting in the middle of the day in his tent in the heat of the day and he sees three men coming up and one of the men says, this time next year I'm going to come back and you and Sarah are going to have a son. And Abraham was 99 and Sarah was 89 and had never had a son together and a year later they had a son named Isaac because that man was the pre-incarnate Son of God, keeping his promise to his friend Abraham. And Abraham's grandson Jacob in exile for however many years, 20 some years, coming back to claim his inheritance and goes to cross the Jabbok River and he bumps into a man, wrestles with him all night, and I don't know when he realized he was in God's grip, but the Holy Spirit turns over that puzzle piece and we see that Jacob's wrestling with the pre-incarnate Son of God. Jesus before Bethlehem will not let him enter into the promised land until he's fully yielded his life to God, broke him, so that from then on he walked with a limp independence upon God. Joshua going around Jericho to see how he could take the enemy stronghold and he bumps into the captain of the Lord's host who says, take off your sandals, you're on holy ground. And the Holy Spirit turns over that puzzle piece and we see that the captain of the Lord's host is the pre-incarnate Son of God telling Joshua how to take that military stronghold.

It had nothing to do with military strategy. Everything to do with wrapping it in prayer and depending on God and the walls came down and then we just keep on going through the Old Testament, can't we? Just again and again and again and again and when Isaiah, the year that King Uzziah died, he looked up, he saw the Lord and Jesus said he saw my glory. He saw the pre-incarnate Son of God seated on that throne, Ezekiel, living in a refugee camp in Babylon. When the storm comes into his life, things suddenly get worse and he sees rotting on the winds of that storm is a throne and on the throne is someone like the Son of God and the Holy Spirit turns that puzzle piece over and we see that Jesus, the pre-incarnate Son coming to change his little refugee into a powerful prophet of God.

And Meshach, Shadrach, Abednego thrown into the fiery furnace and Nebuchadnezzar wiping his eyes, I throw three in there, how come I see four? And the Holy Spirit turns over the puzzle piece and we see the pre-incarnate Son of God showing up in the fire with his children and Isaiah who said there's going to come one who is a baby born in Bethlehem, virgin born and he's the wonderful counselor, Almighty God, Prince of Peace, Everlasting Father and then we go with the shepherds and we run into that little town of Bethlehem on that cold winter night. And the shepherds come into the stable and we look into the manger and we see a little baby and the Holy Spirit turns the puzzle piece over and we find ourselves looking into the face of God. The Word of God has become flesh and he grows in wisdom and stature and favor with God and man until he's smashed on a Roman cross and the Holy Spirit turns the puzzle piece over and we see not just a crucified man, we see the Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world to make atonement for our sin. And then we go to the empty tomb and the Holy Spirit turns the puzzle piece over and we discover that the crucified Savior is now the risen Lord and he's ascended to heaven. And the Holy Spirit will turn over that ultimate puzzle piece when the sky unfolds and a white horse appears where the rider's name is faithful and true, followed by the armies of heaven. And we see Jesus at the end of everything, at the beginning of everything, around everything, through, it's Jesus. The Holy Spirit's priority is Jesus from beginning to end. And so he has authored this book that you and I might read the Word not just for facts and information, not just to obey the, but that we might know the living Word whose name is Jesus. Praise God is right. Hallelujah. .
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-15 18:27:22 / 2023-04-15 18:37:52 / 11

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