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July 19, 2021 7:00 pm
Dr. Sam Horn begins a series entitled “Breath of Life,” with a message titled “Introduction to the Holy Spirit,” from John 14.
Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville South Carolina today on The Daily Platform beginning a study series entitled breath of life, which is a study on the Holy Spirit.
The first message will be brought by Dr. Sam Horn and he'll walk us through the ongoing ministry of the Holy Spirit. I guess you take your Bible this morning to the gospel of John chapter 14, we will be looking at two texts this morning out of this gospel song we just sang really is an incredible foundation for what were going to be talking about this semester in our doctrinal theme that focuses in on the spirit of God the Holy Spirit of God and is Dr. Pettit form this series and those of us who he asked to participate in it started thinking about the shape of the series and how do we take this topic and bring it to bear on our lives in a way that is actually useful and practical. And yet at the same time, in a way that brings us into a deeper connection in a relationship with this important member of the Trinity.
We began thinking about a title. One of the titles that came across the table to all of us that that just resonated with us is the title breath of God. We don't normally think about the Holy Spirit in those terms. But actually when you think about the animating force that gives life to everything that reads all of that life finds its source in God and as we talked through our series.
I think you get to see how the Holy Spirit is actually incredibly connected in the giving of life to everything that exists, and so I think this morning it's very fitting that we introduce our series on the Holy Spirit by talking about him as the breath of life.
Many of you in this room are finishing your eighth semester here and for eight semesters. As you come to Chapel every Wednesday during the semester you have heard a different theological theme. I have been here now, five years and I think I've gone through the cycle of themes that make up the major components of the faith that we hold as believers in and one of the reasons that this series is important to us and that having a doctrinal theme to Chapel is is important is because you take the formation of your life and the educationally, or the educational equipping of your life for the vocation.
God is called you very seriously.
I know that you know this but Dr. Pettit in the administration and the faculty and staff take that very seriously as well and a big part of that a big part of your eight semesters has been spent in this room. Learning about how your faith affects your life and I don't think there could be a more significant, more weighty, more relevance and a more personally applicable topic than the one were going to spend 10 Wednesdays looking at this semester as I want to begin this morning by looking at a foundational truth, and then I want to come to the Holy Spirit and I want us to consider three aspects of his person and his work as they are laid out for us here in John 14 and later in John 16. So let's begin with this foundational truth, and for believers is the absolute foundational doctrinal reality of our Christian faith and we would argue that that reality is the Trinity, the Trinity in terms of how the Scripture advances it is presented in two major ideas. I want to give those ideas to you as we start into our thinking about this a bit. This incredible member of the Godhead that we are viewing as the breath of God first reality is this the God of the Bible is one of the God of the Bible is one. This is articulated in the most sacred text to the ancient Jews, the Shema of Israel in Deuteronomy chapter 6 verse four here oh Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord, therefore you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.
Israel was one of 70 nations. Most of these nations were shipped. Many gods you know that is polytheism, and all you have to do is read the Old Testament and you will actually find many of these God's name. Many of you have added to your knowledge, not just what the Scripture says about you taking courses in sociology.
Some of you all of you. I think of taking history courses and you have become acquainted with the way the nations of the world think religiously and most of those nations like the nations of old continue to think religiously about God in a multiplicity of God's, and out of all of those nations. God called one nation, and he revealed himself to them in the foundational revelation that he gave to them about himself was that he was one and not only was he want he was the only one there are no other gods before him and and this theological belief that came into being through the revelation God gave to his people became known as monotheism and I don't say this to you this morning. All true Israelites in the Old Testament and all true Christians in the New Testament are monotheists were not atheists. We are not polytheists.
We don't think and believe in many gods. We are not multi theists. We are monotheists and we are not agnostic because we believe that we can know this one God through his revelation. So what is he revealed about himself as he began to talk and as he began to give revelation, particularly as we make our way progressively through the 66 inspired books.
What is this one God said about himself and that's the second amazing reality and that is this this one God of the Bible eternally exists as three persons, and there are many texts where this actually is stated but probably for time sick this morning. The one that is most familiar to you is the one you've been hearing all of your life and people challenge you about the great commission and Jesus standing on a mountain looks at his authorized witnesses and he commissions that the background to Matthew 28 is actually Psalm to your Bible because in sound to you, find the God of heaven. Counseling the nations of the earth to do something they are, they are encouraged and challenged and exhorted, and even warned to submit to the sign the king that God's chosen to place on his mountain and all of the other nations of the world are to recognize him and submit to him in the way that the Old Testament writer put it, was this kiss the son, lest he be angry with you and then were told that this son on that mountain has been given all of the earth as his inheritance and when you come to Matthew 28 you find that son, you find that keying on a mountain with his authorized disciples as witnesses and he is authorizing them.
He is commissioning them to go to those nations and to baptize those who believe in the son, and to baptize them in the name by the authority of and then there are three individuals listed the father the son and the Spirit. In other words, Jesus is saying, as I commission you to go out to those nations with the gospel and you introduce them into the incredible reality that there is a kingdom of God and I am the king and when you embrace that reality and you become part of that kingdom and you come out of the kingdom of darkness and are placed into the kingdom of light.
You are baptized to show this to the entire world and your to do so using the authority of God the father the son and the Spirit and by the way this happened every single one of us. If you baptize like the New Testament talks about so this one God is a God who we turn only exists in three people who equally share the same nature they possess the same. Will they have equal authority equal power equal glory equal majesty in this foundational truth that were talking about is called the Trinity. Now let's just be real careful as we think about this.
The Bible is not telling us there are three separate gods who have agreed to work together in unity for a common purpose or an eternal objective. That's not what the Bible is teaching you when it talks about the one God of the Bible, eternally existing as three-person nor are these persons part of the Godhead, and each of them has one third of the divine nature. Select the divine nature is divided up in 1/3 of it goes to the father and 1/3 of a ghost of the sun, and 1/3 of the ghost of the spirit that is not how the New Testament and Old Testament talk about this.
We at we are not trying theists.
We are monotheists who believe in a tri-unity in the way that theologians have articulated this over the history of the unfolding of our faith in the creeds is this God's whole and undivided essence was that mean his nature's will power his authority, his glory his undivided essence belongs equally, eternally, simultaneously and fully to the three distinct members of the Godhead. In other words, they are a tri-unity. Another way of saying this is this they are unified and identical with regard to nature. They share equally the same nature, but they are distinct in person with each person in the Godhead having a different role in accomplishing the divine plan with regard to creation and redemption and consummation. Now that's a mouthful and you will have opportunity to learn more about the Trinity and most of you and your doctors classes are coming up that foundational reality sets the stage then for us to talk about a member of the Trinity that we know about and we have heard about our entire life, but that we really don't know much about and that is the third member of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, and most of us know that he exists and he somewhere in the background of things and he sort of makes stuff happen and we kinda know he's God. But if we were actually pressed to kinda lay out what our belief is about him. We probably would stumble and it doesn't help that the writers of the translators or burglars Bible called the ghost that that doesn't help in the in the process. So how do we go about thinking about this incredible person. Many, many people have embraced very wrong beliefs about the Holy Spirit that either distort his identity or they diminish his ministry and in some way. Let me give you some examples about many, many people have reduced the Holy Spirit in their mind to some kind of a divine force or divine power that believers can tap into your work. You really are and talk they can unleash. We are just going unleash the Holy Spirit we can unleash this power and we just tap into that power as we unleash it, man. It will will propel our Christian life in our Christian ministry forward and unbelievable way and I would suggest you that that could be that there could not be a further from the truth idea about the Holy Spirit.
Another way that people have distorted the identity of the spirit is the kind of reducing the some kind of magical pixie dust that we can sprinkle in or we could apply and once it is applied, it activates stuff.
It is sort of like a divine miracle grow that we throw in our life and all of a sudden we were more holy and that certainly is not the way the New Testament presents the Holy Spirit and even when we take the time to read about him or you hear messages like this about him and we realize he's not a force. And he's not just is not just like like pixie dust that you apply and we actually regard him as a person of the Trinity, sometimes in her mind. He is the lesser member of the Trinity side of disorder like the junior partner to the father into the sun, and so this morning I want to just end in three very simple ways get our thinking sort of ground around the Scripture in terms of who the spirit is and what he really doesn't. Celeste began first with who the spirit is who is the spirit and his identity is disclosed to us in his name, said his divine names and there are many names but let me give you three of them this morning.
One of them is is the name Holy Spirit. That is the name that he is most commonly referred to by and in our Bible and their and the two that would would immediately come here minor acts 18 but you shall receive power, after the Holy Ghost is come upon you, and Romans 14 and declarative. This is this is Paul talking about the resurrection of Jesus in which he is declared to be the son of God with power according to the spirit of holiness, and that's a reference to the spirits role in the resurrection, and so these terms Holy Spirit speak to his divine identity and to his unstoppable, uncontrollable, unpredictable strength and power that he exercises in the Trinity to accomplish all of the plans of the father and every mission of the sun. He is that holy power that holy energy, the person whose whose life is characterized by this unstoppable unbelievable unpredictable power like you would see in with word fire that is also called the spirit of God in the spirit of Christ in the place where this is most closely seen as in Romans eight, nine, you are not in the flesh but in the spirit, if so be that the spirit of God. There's one of the names dwell in you, and then now if any man have not the spirit of Christ. There's the other name and so he is not just the Holy Spirit is called the spirit of God in the spirit of Christ and what is it mean to read a verse like that. It's not talk about ownership. This is not the spirit that the father and the son alone is not about ownership and is not talking about source. This is this is not the spirit that that came out of the father or came out of the sun. I use the word came out hiding his word sent because in your Bible, you can find that God the father and God the son actually send the spirit citing his words, and I use the word came he did not calm. He was, not created. The Holy Spirit didn't have a source in that sense, because he is God, the spirit of God and the spirit of Christ is the person who shares their full identity their full nature and he exercise every prerogative that the father has and that Christ as just like Jesus Christ is the express the exact image of the father, the spirit is the exact image of the father and he is also the exact image of the sun that's incredibly important thing that we need to think about it, so, so his identity is revealed by's names, but it's also revealed his in his role as revealed by his works. He is a member of the Trinity that energizes and activates and carries out and accomplishes the divine will and in particular works that God has given specifically, let me just going name some works and you can hear more about this as a semester and felt the spirit of God. Actually he was the energizing force that the father and the son used in the creation of the world in Genesis wanted to the spirit of God moved over the deep in Revelation 2 sorry EEs deactivates creation deactivates Revelation 2nd Timothy three and in second Peter one is the Holy Spirit who takes the revelation of God about his son and he threw holy man of old moves them to write it down in an inspired way and that he illuminates believers so that they actually understand the revelation that he is given to them through the father by means of the center from the father about the sun and first read the chapter 2 verses nine through 12 talk about this I is not seen, nor ear heard the things that have been prepared for those who love him. So how are we to find them. There is a spirit who knows God who can integrate into the heart of God where we can go and that spirit is the spirit who is giving you this revelation and in that revelation you can know the hard mind of God for strength in chapter 2 verse 9 to 12. He was unbelievably inextricably involved in the incarnation of our Lord, where the second member of the Godhead in a most amazing way took upon himself a human body with a human nature, yet without said before this happened if you had seen the sun, and there are times where you are given a glimpse into heaven. Daniel seven is one of them. You see, the father, the into the day sitting on the ground and you see the sun coming before him, and they are brilliant. Nobody in heaven has any mistake about their identity. Then one day the second member of the Godhead stepped away from his throne, and the Holy Spirit formed a body for him womb of a young woman who would never known a man and something happened that it never happened before. The second member of the Godhead, so that she could become the second Adam rendering perfect obedience to the law that condemned us that we had no hope of obeying energized by the power of the third member of the Trinity was born and lived and died, and when is all done in the wrath of God was propitiated in the sins that you not committed were expurgated spirit of God raised that second member of the Trinity to life and now in heaven. When you look in heaven. The second member of the Trinity has a body and eternal body. This is an amazing thing in the spirit of God was orchestrating that in and in architecting that and then was very instrumental in our redemption.
If we had time to look at John three verses five through eight, we are told we cannot be born without the spirit and without water in and then the idea there is that the spirit of God has to wash us goes all the way back to the book of Ezekiel and into the promise that God made in the new covenant and then he is involved in our sanctification and our preservation second current our second Thessalonians 213 God from the beginning has chosen us to salvation through the sanctification of the Spirit that he is. He is the incredible architect of the consummation of it all and is your Bible ends.
Revelation 2217 says the spirit and the bride say, come.
Because the spirit is done an amazing thing. The spirit of God also took a body we don't normally think about this at the incarnation, the second member of the Trinity took a body and at Pentecost. The third member of the Trinity, and dwelt the body, and he becomes the energizing life-giving rest of that body you are here today because the spirit of God gave you breath not just your human breathtaking view spiritual life. He enlivens you, you were dead in trespasses and sins it in Paul's writing to the Ephesians and then later to the Corinthians.
He said not only were you dead in your trespasses and sins.
You are applying so that you couldn't see the gospel about Jesus and so God intervened graciously and do the spirit of God. He enlivens you he quickens you and he opened your eyes so that you can see the beauty of God. The glory of God in the face of Jesus and he's he has continued to indwell this body that we call the church. He dwells in you, and he dwells me and that means two things.
As we close it means this the Holy Spirit comforts us by dwelling in us, and he guides us by revealing God's truth to us. There's an interesting comment in John 16. I had to turn to John 14 and in John 14 Jesus that I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you and then in John 16, he tells us that he has many things to say yeah but can't save them, because were not ready to hear that, but he is going to spend a spirit spirit of truth, and when he comes, he will reveal the truth to you and he will guide the truth to you and then John chapter 16 verse seven he says this I tell you the truth it is to your advantage that I go away. We think about everything.
If we were here today and not being irreverent here, but if the Lord Jesus Christ were here in his glorified body and he said, to give you a choice. You can have my presence on this campus for the rest of the school year. Or you can have the Holy Spirit that for most of us would be a no-brainer. We would set will take you.
But Jesus is actually saying to us, there is a better choice. It is more advantageous for you to have the Holy Spirit think about it this way if Jesus were here in his glorified body, he would be with you, but he would not be with you wherever you went unless he was physically present with you think about in his earthly life he wasn't always physically present with the disciples he was always with them, but he was not always near them physically in proximity. Jesus said, I have a better way. I will send you the spirit who is just like me he has my nature. He shares my will is all of my prerogatives and I will send him and he will indwell you and everything that I am doing for you here.
Why am physically with you, he will do for you when he is spiritually in you and he and and he will do something else.
He will actually grow your understanding of who I really am. You know it's an astonishing thing.
If you think about it, Peter, James and John spent all this time Jesus can I say some of my surprising this morning. Most of you in this room actually have a fuller understanding of who Jesus is. You have a deeper realization of who his true identity is and his big mission in life is and you know how you got it you got it because somebody gave you Revelation about it. Somebody came and gave you, Revelation, and that Revelation is in your Bible, and when you read your Bible, you start to realize things about Jesus that you never saw before.
And so as we talk about the spirit of God. It's an amazing truth for us and I hope that as we go through our semester. Your heart will be challenged to know the Holy Spirit more and to cherish and deeply as your very own Holy Spirit, Lord, thank you so much for your word this morning Lord is being a very deep concept in and we talked about some complicated ideas so Lord I pray that your spirit would do what you said he would do in your word that he would guide us into that truth so that we would not fall into error or or that we would not deny some rich truth that you have given us or be a grin of it. So Lord this semester. May this be more than just a series theologically driven by truth about your spirit may we actually encounter him in our own lives. Personally, Jesus name, amen. You been listening to a sermon preached at Bob Jones University by Dr. Sam Horn. These messages are part of the study series on the Holy Spirit called breath of life. Join us again tomorrow as we continue the series here on The Daily Platform