"Under The Influence" PT1 Sermon Notes & Video (Elements Church in The Bronx)

“Under The Influence” is A 4 part series all about The Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is perhaps the most mysterious and infrequently discussed person of the trinity.

The trinity is a doctrine (or belief) that derives from the bible. Although the word trinity itself is not found anywhere in the bible, the bible clearly reveals God The Father, Jesus The Son, and The Holy Spirit as three in one. One God, three persons, essentially equal yet distinct.

Historically new converts in the Church (going all the back to bible times) seem to often experience a season where they have:

  • a decent understanding of God The Father
  • likely a slightly better understanding of Jesus The Son
  • and often a great ignorance regarding The person of The Holy Spirit.

So who is The Holy Spirit? I'm glad you asked.

Here are 5 points:

  1. The Holy Spirit is really cool (as in really awesome refreshing & interesting)
  2. The Holy Spirit is a person (Mind/thoughts-will/desires-emotion/feelings)
  3. The Holy Spirit is a helper
  4. The Holy Spirit is a promise and a gift
  5. The Holy Spirit is God

From the Hebrew word ruach meaning air in motion, breath and life we get the English word spirit

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep and the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters…

God The Holy Spirit is the life, air, and breath of God in motion. A movement that moves men, and women. And I think that’s pretty cool.

I remember years ago on a cool summer night in  Brooklyn, My wife and I held hands and walked through the warm and cooling sand at the beach in Coney Island. She had her hot chocolate, and I had my- coffee, of course. We climbed up and sat on a life guard bench underneath an amazing array of stars blanketing the sky. Yes, stars do shine in Brooklyn. Right? Perhaps nostalgia has made a mess of my math and memory, but even if just a few were in view, they’d be adequately awesome enough to leave two city kids star-struck. As we sat and savored the act of stillness and the soothing sound of silence I felt a breeze. A cool... subtle... wind…The breeze came, and flowed through and around us moving her hair, and my heart. And that's when I heard it. The wind whispered without words that all was, and would be well. At times, experiencing The Holy Spirit of God resembles that cool breeze on a summer night in Brooklyn. If you’re still, you can feel Him move, if you’re quiet you may hear Him speak. If you don't miss the moment, you'll likely never forget it.

Before you call me crazy for comparing The Holy Spirit to a cool breeze in Brooklyn, let's take a look at how Jesus describes The Holy Spirit in the book of John 3:8

The Greek word for spirit in this text is pneuma which means:

  • A current of air
  • Breath
  • Or breeze

John 3:8 (Jesus said)...Wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit”

There's a ton of scripture that refer to The Holy Spirit as a life giving supernaturally empowering wind, or breath of God. Here are a few:

Genesis 2:7 Then The Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

Man, prior to receiving the air, breath, breeze, and person of The Holy Spirit is essentially dead. You and I only come alive as a result of God The Holy Spirit breathing on us.

Ephesians 2:4-5  ...but because of His great love for us, God, who is Rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ, even when we were dead in our trespasses...

John 20:22 and when He (Jesus) had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit”.

Who was Jesus talking to in this passage? He was talking to His disciples, the same people who would later be referred to as Christians in the city of Antioch. They had already been saved, saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Yet they were essentially ill-equipped, and all together unable to walk out externally what had already been worked out internally.

Their position before God was perfect because of Jesus, but their practice before men was poor because they lacked the necessary power of The Holy Spirit.

Therefore God who made them, through Jesus who saves them, gave them a gift to sustain them. The ruach, the pneuma, the current of air in motion, the breath, wind, the cool breeze on a Brooklyn night, the movement that moves men, women, and children (remember what happened to John the Baptist when he was still in his mother’s womb), the cool, the person, the helper, the promise, the very Holy Spirit of God.

Job 33:4 The Spirit of God has made me, And the breath of the almighty gives me life.

The Holy Spirit is Like a summer breeze only infinitely cooler.

But the Holy Spirit isn't merely a breeze, a feeling, a force, or an it. The Holy Spirit isn't, an it at all. The Holy Spirit is a person. A person that desires personal relationship.

What makes someone a person and not a thing? A soul.

What makes up a soul? Mind, will, and emotion.

The Holy Spirit has thoughts, desires & feelings and He desires to have a personal relationship with you.

2 Cor. 3:14 May the grace of The Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you.

A personal relationship with the person of The Holy Spirit will transform the person that you are.

Our mind, thoughts, will, desires, emotion, feelings.

Aren't these the exact areas in which we often feel powerless and desperately need change? In our Our mind, thoughts, will, desires, emotion, feelings?

Might it be that we are neglecting to ask for, pursue, nurture, and surrender to a personal relationship with The person of The Holy Spirit?

Rom. 8:5 those who live in accordance with the Holy Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.

Mind (thoughts) 1 Corinthians 2:11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except The Spirit of God.

Will (desires) 2 Peter 1:21 Prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried away by The Holy Spirit. (The prophets spoke not of their own will or desires but of the will and desire of The Holy Spirit.) Galatians 5:16 Walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the DESIRES of the flesh. (The desires of the flesh are different from  the desires of The Holy Spirit)

Emotion (feelings) Ephesians 4:30 And do not grieve The Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption

John 14:16 The Greek word for another in this text is allon which is a variation of the word allos meaning another of the same kind, another of a similar type.

In other words The Holy Spirit is just like Jesus.

The Greek word for advocate in this text is parakleton which is a variation of the word parakletos and is the same word used for Holy Spirit meaning helper (para), advocate, mediator, intercessor.

The Holy Spirit is our helper, advocate, mediator, intercessor.

It's no coincidence that this verse (verse 16) where Jesus says that He will pray that God send us the Holy Spirit to help us, comes immediately after He said (in verse 15) if you love me, keep my commandments. The Holy Spirit helps us to obey Jesus’ commands.

The Christian life is not a difficult life, it is an impossible life without the Holy Spirit.

What would a Super Bowl Sunday sermon be without a football analogy?

The root word for Holy Spirit in New Testament Greek is Paraklete.

Parakleton and parakletos are variations of the word Paraklete.

A few years ago I joined a football league in Queens with my brother in law and a few friends. I played in the league for a few years and it was great. Of all the memorable games we played, there is one game that stands out the most. Our very first game together.

We got to the field early to stretch and warm up. It was a beautiful day for football and I was excited to play, and even more excited about the possibility of impressing my wife.

I was ready. At least I  thought I was. You see Although I knew the game of football well, on that particular day I did not have a pair of cleats.

And so what had happened was… Every time the ball snapped I found my face in the mud. Every time I went for a catch I found my face in the mud, every time I tried to defend the opposing team I found my face in the mud. Every time I tried to advance the cause of our church, I mean our team I found my face in the mud. Although the the ball was perfectly thrown my way, I found that it is impossible to catch even a perfectly thrown ball when your face is in the mud. Every time I got inspired (like after hearing a sermon, I mean after hearing a worship song, I mean after hearing the halftime speech given to us by our wives) I would go out on the field determined to make a play but guess what, once again I would find my face in the mud.

I knew how to run, catch and throw, but none of that meant anything because I did not have a pair of cleats. I needed a pair of cleats. My friends told me “man you need a pair of cleats! You can't play this game without a pair of cleats.”

Eventually I got a pair of cleats... And I still played terribly. No, I played a million times better simply because I was able to stay on my feet and move in the way necessary to succeed.

The Christian life is no different. It doesn't matter how much we know or think we know, it doesn't matter how strong we are or think we are. It doesn't matter how inspiring a sermon or worship song is, if we do not have the paraklete the very Holy Spirit of God when the whistle blows and we walk out of these doors and out there onto the field of life we will time and time again find our faces stuck in the mud.

Not being baptized (immersed) with/in The Holy Spirit will not keep us from heaven, but it will keep us from holiness.

Considering that our problems are here and not in heaven, and that our witness for Jesus does not matter in paradise, but rather here and now, in this place, on this planet, we have to conclude that not only having, but surrendering to, and being totally immersed in The Holy Spirit is absolutely necessary to live an effective life on this side of eternity.

How do we receive a gift and promise from God? In the same way that we receive the gift and promise of salvation through Jesus… By FAITH. By believing with our heart and confessing with our mouth the promise and gift of The Holy Spirit whom Jesus said He would give if only we ask (Luke 11:13)

The Holy Spirit Is God

Theoretically Gen. 1:1-3 can be read this way:

“In the beginning God The Father created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Holy Spirit moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Jesus.‭

Jesus is the word of God made flesh. Jesus is the light of the world.

God (the Father), the breath of God (The Holy Spirit) and the spoken word of God (Jesus) are essentially one yet distinct from one another in their form, function and purpose.

In the same way that our physically being (who we are), the breath within us (what gives us life), and the words we speak (an expression of that life) are one yet unique in their function, purpose, and form.

Therefore The Holy Spirit is essentially God, God The Holy Spirit.

Gods the Father is…I am that I am, as in God is unchanging, always has been and always will be. The one and only true and living supreme sovereign eternal and infinite being.

The spirit of God is the active air, the life, and very breath of God in motion, the character and content of God, the power and empowering movement of God.

The word of God is an expression and manifestation of who God is, empowered by His spirit.

God made you, Jesus saves you, The Holy Spirit sustains you.

Under The Influence Bible Study Wednesday 2/8/17 7:30pm at Elements Church 4750 Bronx Blvd

Under The Influence Pt.2 Sunday 9:30am 2/12/17 at Elements Church in the Bronx. 4750 Bronx blvd.