Welcome home everyone!
While we’re unable to meet with you all in person, I will continue to say welcome home, prophetically, if I must.
Until we can actually be together again. Many times, I find myself feeling like Paul, in the sense that I long until we can be together and sharing fellowship.
In that sense, Jesus said the when left he would send the Holy spirit to teach us and remind us of all Jesus taught.
Last week we talked about the first fruits of the spirit. God’s down payment or assurance that He would complete the transaction of our redemption/completion of our adoption. Today we’re going to look at some of the ways we interact with the Holy spirit and his response to us.
My prayer today is that by hearing this message we will find a fresh comfort and confidence in knowing that the Holy Spirit is always near and attentive.
If you have your Bibles today, would you turn with me to Romans Chapter 8 and we’ll start with verse 26
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.Romans 8:26-30
I have divided my thoughts into 3 sections or points in order to share them with you today. Let’s take a look at my first point.
The Holy Spirit Intercedes For Our Spirit
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.Romans 8:26 & 27
In the same way… those who have the first fruits of the Spirit. This Spirit Meets us in our human limitation Spirit to spirit. But through our groans of anguish the Holy Spirit is there making that connection even when we don’t know how to pray. Even in those moments when we feel that we can’t even utter the words.
And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.Romans 8:27
The Spirit of the Living God intercedes on our behalf merging our limited wordless groans into a divine prayer that fits perfectly into the will of God.
But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.John 14:26
This word “Advocate,” in the Greek is “parakletos”. It can be translated as Helper or Comforter. Thayer’s Commentary describes it this way. Properly, summoned, called to one’s side, especially called to one’s aid; hence, “one who pleads another’s cause before a judge, a pleader, counsel for defense, legal assistant; an advocate”: This speaks to the communication aspect of prayer in our moments of weakness. But its primary function is to strengthen us physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. The Holy Spirit is interceding for our spirit. He is interceding on our behalf.
In times of sorrow He is there. When depression sets in He is there interceeding where we have no strength. Almost 2 years ago my father when home to meet Jesus. Although God had been preparing me for this moment, and I was glad that he was free, there is a part of me that couldn’t possibly be prepared for losing my Dad. Over the next few months I began to struggle with depression and in the midst of that depression I felt as though I couldn’t pray, at least not like I was used to. In my sorrow, I remember just saying “Jesus help” this is my groaning to God. I knew in my heart that the presence of God was with me even in my grief. The Holy Spirit was interceding through my grief right to the throne room of God’s grace. Spirit to spirit, He is pleading our case to the Father. He searches the heart and knows the mind of our spirit and communicates that directly to the Father in perfect order.
Let’s move to my next point.
The Spirit Intercedes For Our Good And God’s Purpose
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.Romans 8:28
Friends, we have an issue! Our issue is that we have a tendency to consider only that which is pleasant or to our liking as good. We like to think that God should be up there cranking out the good times for us. While in reality we completely skip over the part where he said, “who have been called according to his purpose.” We must understand unless we are in total surrender to God that our purposes may be totally different to God’s.
Church, these are conditional statements. Whether or not you serve God his purposes will come to fruition. Because his purposes will bring about His glory. He offers us an opportunity to partnership with God. These are God’s conditions: We must truly love God in action and not just lip service. How do we demonstrate our love for God? By keeping His commands;
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. a 5Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.Deuteronomy 6:4-5
We demonstrate our love for God by keeping his commands… loving God and Loving People. The next condition here is total surrender to His will rather than our own. And finally, we must be called in to His plan in that way. This means humbly accepting God’s yeses and His noes. We must abandon the idea that God must cosign our plan or agenda. Rather we should ask God how we can fit into His plan.
In my moments of depression and grief, my desire was to be liberated from my sorrow. God was working through my situation knowing that I still needed to process some things. And that in my perseverance His purpose was taking shape.
Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.James 1:12-
Even in our trials God is shaping his purpose in us. This is His promise.
Romans 8:28—And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Notice that he doesn’t say that all things are good, but He works all things for our good.
I’ll move to my final point
The Holy Spirit Has Initiated God’s Plan For Salvation
For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.Romans 8:29 & 30
First, let’s put to rest the elephant in the room. Predestination does mean God is picking His favorites for salvation. Because that would mean that He was then also picking some for damnation.
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.Matthew 25:41
On the other side…
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.2Peter 3:9
But because God foreknew who would choose life and who would choose death. Thus, He called them out to be transformed into the likeness of Christ. As a result, Jesus is the prototype/ the first given example of the son of God that by faith Jesus Christ would draw forth many siblings to the Father. This is our assurance…
And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.Romans 8:30
Friends, It’s the Gospel!
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.John 3:16
In my sorrows in processing the loss of my Dad, God was building in me the provision for my calling. He is demonstrating his faithfulness to see me through, and he makes that same commitment to each of us. In your hour of need and even in the daily moments, the Holy Spirit your advocate is there connected to each of us. Spirit to spirt, pleading our case/interceding on our behalf.
Will you open your hearts to Jesus, the Son of the living God, and receive what your heavenly father has for you? Will you call on him today? Will you ask Him to help you discern what his word is revealing today? Many of you need a fresh touch from God today. Is there some form of hindrance or bondage in your life or your relationships today? God wants to redeem and restore those areas of your life? He wants to restore Joy and hope for you today. You’re hearing this now and the Holy Spirit has brought someone or something to mind. He wants to speak life into this today. He wants to bring healing in this area today. There are areas of deep regret when it comes to your relationship with God and you have rejected Christ as your savior …It’s not too late. It’s not too late to humble yourself before him today, hold out your arms and open your hands to receive from him today. Will you say yes to Jesus, today? Will you bow your heads with me? Some of you already know the Lord, but maybe he’s put something on your heart that you need to deal with, you need to ask his forgiveness today. If that’s you will you just acknowledge that to him today. This is just you and God here. Now someone here may not have that relationship with Jesus and today you’ve felt him tugging at your heart, you’ve been hurt, and you’re guarded, I know. Jesus is here and wants set things right in your life. If you’ll say Pastor, I want Jesus to be my Lord and savior. Remember, it’s just you and God here. Will you pray with me today, We’ll pray here as a family and you can repeat after me.
Jesus, I know that I’m a sinner. I ask you today for your forgiveness. I believe that you died for my sins and on that 3rd day, you rose from the dead. I ask you to come into my heart today. I trust and follow you as my Lord and savior. Guide me and help me to do your will. In Jesus’ name Amen.
“‘“The Lord bless youNumbers 6:24-26
and keep you;
25 the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
26 the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace.”’