THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date – 6-21-09
LESSON TITLE: “WHO IS GOD? GOD THE SPIRIT”
In Psalm 139, David once asked the question, “Where can I go from your Spirit?” How comforting it is to know that our God is always there for us. Are you a faithful child of the Creator?
Thank you for joining us this morning. Let me welcome you to the program. The Living Word is a work of our Lord, dedicated to doing God’s Will in His Way! As always, it will be our privilege today to sing songs of praise and to study from His Word. In these acts of worship, may we all be encouraged, but ultimately may we each praise God according to the sacrifices to offer toward His Throne. It will also be our honor this morning to speak with God through prayer. Will you bow with me as we talk to our creator?
Now it’s time to praise our God through song. We want to begin with a song that reminds us that our God is real and that he truly is alive. So, won’t you join in with the congregation at this time as we sing together, “He Lives?”
(SONG # 1)
Sometimes we wonder in this life how we are going to make it through another day. However, one thing is for sure, with God on our side there is no need to worry. I love the way the prophet Isaiah put it in chapter 41, and verse 10 of his book. There we read, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Wow, what a verse this is, chalked full of encouragement and hope for us as followers of God.
The Hebrew writer had the same idea, as stated in Hebrews 13:5-6, there we read, “For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we may boldly say: “The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” Did you get that again? God does love us, He is always there and He will do whatever it takes to help us, protect us, provide for us and to care for us. Oh, what a truly loving and wondrous God we serve.
I further love one of the final things that Jesus told His disciples before returning to Heaven. In Matthew 28:20, He said, “and lo I am with you always, even until the end of the age!” With God we are never alone; we don’t have to bear the things of life by ourselves, for He is always with us and will never leave us. What a truly wonderful and loving God we serve! Is God the main focus of your life? If not make changes even today to see that you submit to His Will and Obey His precepts unto eternal life!
As far as our study this day - we will be continuing our series which is entitled, “Who Is God?” Our specific lesson of the morning deals with: “God The Spirit!” So please stay with us this morning and after our next song together I will lead us in our main thoughts of the day. Now it’s time to join in our second song of the morning, the name of this hymn, “A Wonderful Savior.”
(SONG # 2)
By Ray Sullins
We’re glad you’ve continued with us this morning as we go straight into the Word of God concerning those things that directly affect us as children of God on a daily basis. We’ve been looking together at “Who Is God?” We’ve considered not only who He is from a general standpoint and many of the characteristics that God demonstrated throughout the Word. But we also have seen now who God is in relationship to the Godhead. We’ve also looked together at the concept of the Father and the Son. So today we want to continue the idea and the study of the Godhead more specifically as we now build upon now the idea of the Father God and the Son God in relationship to the Holy Spirit. For again when we look to the Word of God we find that the Spirit of God was not some abstract thing, not some type of being created by God or just something that God used like maybe an angel or something that He had made, but the Spirit of God actually is involved in the beginning, was there in the beginning and also is a part of the Godhead to which also God-like characteristics are ascribed.
Now by that we mean that there are certain things that only God has or demonstrates or is capable of in relationship to power or eternity or origin or any of the things that we might reference about God. Well guess what. The Spirit of God is said to bear those very characteristics. So it tells us that the Spirit of God is directly tied to God as the Godhead and He Himself is also referred to God.
If you will, go with me to the first passage of scripture in the entire Bible. There in our Bible in Genesis chapter 1 we learn after it states that, “In the beginning, God created the Heaven and the Earth.” Notice what He states in verse 2 of chapter 1. “The Earth was without form and void and darkness was upon the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering or moving over the face of the water.” Now if you’ll notice there in your Bibles, this is clearly referring to the Spirit, the Holy Spirit, not the attitude or character of God, but the Holy Spirit of God was there. And guess what. God had not even yet said, “Let there be light.” So we learn that the Spirit of God was not just some afterthought or some creation again at some point. He was there in the beginning even before God said, “Let there be light.”
We also see the terminology that we have referred to in other passages and also sermons up to this point where God says, “Let us make man in our own image.” Who was he talking about? Well certainly He was talking about the Father; let us the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit. And certainly what we are trying to establish today was that he was including the Holy Spirit in that part, in that discussion and in those activities. And so it is important that we look to the Holy Spirit and understand what it is that is spoken there throughout scripture, about his part as God and in the Godhead.
Now we want to go over to the New Testament. There is a familiar passage of the baptism of Jesus that we would need to bring out yet again at this point because it clarifies volumes for us about who was present the day Jesus was baptized, and also what was stated in relationship to this great event.
In the book of Luke chapter 3 you might notice with me here the things that are revealed to us concerning not only the Father, not only the Son, but also the Holy Spirit. And as we find here in verse 21 beginning, “When all the people were baptized,” it says, “It came to pass that Jesus also was baptized and while He prayed the Heaven was opened.” You see Jesus there being baptized, an event takes place. Something happens. It says there that, “The Holy Spirit then descended in bodily form like a dove.” From where? The Heavens. And then what takes place? And a voice came from Heaven which said, “You are my beloved Son, in you I am well-pleased.” You see we find that God was there in His fullness at that occasion, at that event. The Father from Heaven spoke. The dove represented there, as it says that the Holy Spirit for the Holy Spirit had taken the form and again let me clarify that throughout the Bible, the Old and the New Testament, it is usually the Holy Spirit that indwells or takes the form of even animals to accomplish certain tasks. But the Spirit comes down upon Jesus in the form of a dove and then, guess who also is being baptized. Jesus Himself! And so we have God! We have the fullness of God! We have the Father. We have the Son. And we have the Holy Spirit. Again showing the significance that God and the Godhead and the oneness of the Godhead are all true and real. God is individually three persons, yet fully one. God- complete and perfect!
If you’ll look with me also in another passage, perhaps one of the best passages that reveals to us the Holy Spirit is God. Look there in the book of Acts. We’re going to consider chapter 5 together, and there is an interesting story in relationship to a married couple, Christians, individuals who had already obeyed Christ and had been baptized and yet they were now practicing their faith. One of the things that they were doing that we even learned back in chapter 4 is that because of the needs within the church, there were those that would bring their monies and help to assist the church and the needy. So the contribution was being given or the offering was being given. In fact, it tells us in chapter 4 that some were even selling their lands and possessions to do what? Give to the church! Now I might beg us to consider a question: When is the last time we sold a house, or a possession or land in order that we might give it to God? Well maybe you have and I would say, “Praise God for that.” But what I would also ask the rest of us is: Shouldn’t we be more interested in giving to God, in making the necessary sacrifice when we see needs in the church? Well the answer is yes!
But there in chapter 5 we learn this story about Ananias and Saphira, the wife of Ananias. They had a possession and it was theirs, some land. They determined that they would sell it and then they brought the money to the feet of the apostle. I want you to notice within the story that it is very clearly told to us that they had the right of the land. Secondly, they didn’t have to sell it and give it to God, but they chose of their own free will to do so. Now what was the problem then? In verse 2, it says, “And he kept back part of the proceeds. His wife also being aware of it and they brought a certain part and laid it at the apostle’s feet.” The Peter says this to Ananias. “Why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep part of the price of the land for yourself?” In their minds, in their hearts they have already devised that they would not give all of it and keep some back and use that for their own selfish desires. They had a right to use it for themselves, but what was the problem? They lied! They claimed that “Here is all that we got for the land and we give it to God freely and cheerfully.” And so they lied! Peter knows it because what? The Spirit has revealed it. He said this also to them in verse 4. “And while it remained was it not your own? And after it was sold was it not your own and in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.” Now how interesting. How significant because he has just told them in the previous verse that they have lied in their hearts to the Holy Spirit and then he turns around in the next verse stating again who they have lied to and he says, “He is God. You lied to God.” The Holy Spirit is clarified here as God. For He is God and from God and provides the Will of God the same way the Son did when He came to this earth. Ananias heard these words and we know that he dies, and they carry him out. Then the wife comes in later. It teaches us a little bit more even about the culture and the worship of that day. Even in their offerings the man would bring the offering and give at the feet of the apostles and would do what he felt necessary to do, and at a later time, she is coming in and also lies to the Holy Spirit and then he would have said to God as well. So therefore the lie caused them to be immediately punished. Now why were they immediately punished? And as we even find today the things weren’t later done.
Well look down in verse 11 with me. It says, “So great fear came upon all the church and upon all who heard these things.” What an example! If you know that by lying to God, you might pay with your life, lose your soul eternally. Boy! What a motivation! What a challenge to want to be faithful. What a way to be disciplined to make sure we want to do what God has said and that we tell the truth. You see in the same way we as parents and maybe even grandparents and others, we do what we can to motivate our children and grandchildren to do what? Tell the truth! Sometimes we even have to discipline them harshly because of a lie that they have told. Well here they were made an example, an example to the church that they might know they cannot lie to God and as Peter himself stated there in verse 4. “You’ve not lied to man. You’ve not lied to us. You’ve lied to God Almighty.” So the Spirit is revealed as God.
What are some other conclusions we can draw from references to the Holy Spirit. I want you to notice what it stated in the book of Hebrews. That writer there refers to the nature of the Spirit in a very godly way. By godly, I mean something that we have already attributed as a clear characteristic only of God the Creator Himself. Notice with me there in Hebrews chapter 9 what the verse says, 14. The Bible says, “How much more shall the blood of Christ who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the Living God.” What do we learn here? The eternal Spirit. Brethren and friends, there is but one who has ever been, who will ever be eternal and that is God. Eternity means not only that there is no end to God. Eternal means that there was no beginning to God. Thus when we say that God is eternal, the Father, we know that means He had no beginning and He had no end. He has always been and will ever be. Jesus is also said to be eternal. Why? He is God. He is referenced as God. And what about the Spirit? Here again, according to the eternal Spirit these things are so. Don’t you think the Old and New Testament writers realized this? Don’t you think they gave that respect to the Spirit when even great men of all ages such as Noah and Moses and on and on were given the Spirit of God, led by the Spirit and also were able to perform miracles and even speak in the name of God? How? Because of His Spirit. Do you remember even Saul, the first king? It says that “God’s Spirit came in Him and it led him.” And do you remember that when he became evil and when David was anointed as king that the Spirit left Saul because of his wickedness and entered David to guide David. How can God do that? He is God! And therefore as God is everywhere, guess what. The Spirit is everywhere. That’s how the Spirit can dwell in you and me and all of us at the same time for He is God.
We also learn there in the Psalmist and from the Psalmist there in Psalm 139 verse 7 beginning where he makes this declaration and asks this question, “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? No matter where I go,” as he explains,” whether it is Heaven or into Hades or whether it is in the ocean or the sky, no matter what, I know you are there.” Who? Not God the Father. Not God the Son, but God the Spirit. But you know what? In the fact that God is one and God is God and if the Spirit was with him also. He knew that the Father and Son were as well. That’s what is so beautiful about the thought, the faith that we have to believe it because we know that when we talk about God, we not only have the concept of the one God but the three personalities clear and wonderful and glorious characters that clearly again are given to us in scripture that challenge us to know who our God is.
Certainly that again would lead us to another thought. Not only do we know who God is but to realize that the Spirit of God is also said to have the capability to know all things. I don’t know about you but I am only aware of one being that has ever been able to know all things that have ever been, that are and that will ever be. Who is that? God! We would say clearly God the Father! Jesus the Son would know the same. But also notice with me in 1 Corinthians 2 and verse 10. It says, “But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit for the Spirit searches all things, yes, even the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which he knows? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.” Listen to this. “No one knows the things of God except the Spirit..,.” Then in verse 13 he goes on to again to refer to guess what- the Holy Spirit! I am excited. I am happy. I am elated to be able to tell you today that the Bible teaches us that we have a God in Heaven and the Holy Spirit is a part of that Trinity. He is a part of that Godhead. He is the one who in scriptures is said to speak. He is not abstract. He is one who witnesses and teaches there also in John 14. He is one who would teach them to observe all things (John 14). He is one who also was said to have been known in the minds (1 Cor. 2:11). He is the one who possesses the Will of God (1 Cor. 12:11). Therefore, as we see God the Father, as we see and know God the Son, we see, hear, know and have today God the Spirit who completes the Godhead, who reveals the Word to us and lives in us that we might today be seen as perfect, complete in the sight of God unto eternal life.
So will you do what God asks? Will you live the life that He requires? Will you become a child of God in the way that He says by making the great confession that Jesus is Lord? By repenting of your sins and being baptized so that the Holy Spirit might be given to you (ACTS 2:38) and so that you might receive that blessing that leads you, me and all who obey unto eternal life? Eternal life means with God forever in Heaven!
(SONG # 3 - “How Beautiful Heaven Must Be!”)
Let me thank you again for choosing to be with us today, in this offering to God. I hope our time together has been an encouragement and blessing to all of us. We invite you back every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this service of God!
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As John once proclaimed, “there are three that bear witness in Heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one,” 1 John 5:7. Do you respect and believe in the truth of the Godhead which is revealed in God’s perfect Word?