Holy Spirit Who? Father, Son, and

Holy Spirit Who?

May 24, 2015

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Mike Slaughter

Decisions... distractions... directions. Life gets confusing, right? Do you ever think it would be nice to just have someone living inside you that could wisely inform your every move? Something ...almost other-worldly - that could actually enliven and empower your crazy, ordinary life?

Here's the scoop - every Jesus-follower on the earth has been gifted with such a being. It's a spirit actually - the greatest strength you never knew you had. So come along as Pastor Mike opens a new worship series this weekend, helping us discover our Creator's best gift of all.
Father, Son and 

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Today's Focus

Acts 19:1-7  

Sermon Questions

 Holy Spirit Who?: Making Sense of the Voices in your Head

In today’s logical self-sufficiency, it’s hard to make sense of the voices in our heads. Many fear the unknown or “mystical.” Rather than avoid the mysterious nature of the Holy Spirit, let’s study it.  Daily devotionals that accompany each day's reading are also available on Facebook. They are created by a great Ginghamsburg unpaid servant team. You do not have to be a Facebook user to access them. View here.
Day 1: Read Genesis 1:1; John 1:1
These verses represent the Trinity. How is God identified in thoughts, words & actions? Spirit? Jesus? Why is it important that part of creation was God speaking things into being? Do you believe in the Trinity and the unchanging nature of God?
Day 2: Read Genesis 1:26-27; 2:4-7; 1 Thessalonians 5:23
At creation, God used words, hands to work the dirt and breath to form Adam “into our image.” If we’ve always had a spiritual nature as part of humanity, what fills it? What do you personally struggle with that replaces the voice of the Holy Spirit?
Day 3: Read Isaiah 63:11-14; Daniel 5:11; Luke 2:25
In Exodus, the Holy Spirit guided the Israelites. Do you recall what forms the Spirit of the Lord took during day? Night? (Ex 13:21)  How did the Spirit work in and for the people? Does God still work these ways? Like Isaiah, can you recall specific times the Spirit worked in your life?
Day 4: Read Matthew 3:1-12
John prepares the way for Jesus. What was the first word in his message? What action took place before baptism? Why were Jews being baptized? Was it a permanent cleansing?
Day 5: Read Matthew 3:13-17
Jesus asks John to baptize him, but John tries to refuse! Think back to the Mosaic Laws, the 613 Pharisaical laws and prophecies: Why was Jesus baptized? Did he need to repent, confess and be cleansed? How was “all righteousness” fulfilled in this act?
Day 6: Read Matthew 3:13-17; Acts 2:38
Prophecy is fulfilled when the heavens open and a dove descends on Jesus. Have you seen doves represent peace or spirit? What does Peter say is now required before baptism? How does baptism today act with the indwelling of the Spirit?
Day 7: Read Acts 18 & 19; Micah 6:8
Paul is spreading the Gospel. How is Paul acting justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with God? How is Paul empowered by the Spirit? The 12 baptized in Jesus’ name were given the gifts of tongues  and prophecy, but what other types of gifts might a believer receive?
(Read daily reflections at facebook.com/ginghamsburg)   

Sermon Transcript

June 2015

Sermon Series: Holly Spirit Who?

Father, Son and

Mike Slaughter, Lead Pastor


I have been looking forward to this series on the Holy Spirit. For most Christians, we know more about God the Father when we talk about the Trinity, and yes Jesus the son, but we know much less about the Holy Spirit.


The Holy Spirit is absolutely essential to living the Christian life.  As a matter of fact, the Holy Spirit is the only way you can know God the Father and Jesus the Son today!   Otherwise you can know about God, you can know about Jesus, but it is only through the Holy Spirit that we can experience the presence of God the Father and God the Son today. 


Here is what Jesus said—it’s why the Holy Spirit is an absolute to Christian life—Jesus said to his disciples, “I am going away but I will come to you again.” How will he come? The world will no longer see me because I won’t be here in like skin, flesh and blood where anyone can come up and touch me or see me. “But I am coming again thorough the Holy Spirit who has been promised.” The world will not see me but you will see me and know me. Not just know about me, not just read about what I taught 2000 years ago, but you will see me and know me.


Jesus said in chapter 16 of John, “When the Holy Spirit comes, he will remind you of what I have said, and he will lead you into things that will come.” Open your bibles to Acts chapter 19. 


Becoming a Christian is not about knowing the teachings of Jesus. That is important, knowing the teachings of Jesus and following the teachings of Jesus. To be a Christian means the spirit of Jesus comes into our life. Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. Some from our church were in Ephesus (Greece) this past November.  Here is what Ephesus looks like (photos on the screen). When Paul was visiting Ephesus 2000 years ago, Ephesus was a city of 250,000 people, twice the city of Dayton. Now here is what he said, “There he found some of the disciples.” He isn’t talking the original twelve disciples. A disciple is any serious student of Jesus. So in the room today we have seekers, not disciples, they are seeking and taking a look at Jesus and what he is all about and that is great. We are glad you are here.


Then we have disciples who are serious students of Jesus who are in the room. Now Paul asked the question, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” No, the question was not did you get a Bible when you believed? Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed? They answered, “No, we haven’t even heard there is a Holy Spirit!”


Paul asked, baffled, “Then what baptism did you receive?” “John’s baptism” they replied.” Paul said, “John’s baptism is a baptism of repentance, a baptism of water. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is Jesus. On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul placed his hands on them the Holy Spirit came on them and they spoke in tongues and prophesized, there were about twelve in that group.”


Now what I want you to notice in this passage is that there are two distinct baptisms. It doesn’t mean you come forward and get dunked in a pool twice. There’s the baptism of John, a baptism of water/repentance. Right? The baptism of John is a human response. It is a human action.


We are a twelve-step church, and the first step is when we realize that we are powerless over our addiction. So repentance is when you come to that place where you realize you’re broke, and you turn towards God. It is a human response; a human action.


The second baptism is the baptism of Jesus and that is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is God’s response to our repentance and its God’s action. The most dangerous Christian in the world is the Christian who goes out with the knowledge of God without the power and presence of God in their life. That is a dangerous thing. That is why Jesus said, “I am going to send you what my Father has promised but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” Folks, that is why so many Christians are powerless because without the Holy Spirit the presence today. Just knowing about God, you’ll hold to a form of religion but not know its power. 


The Bible talks about our humanity, that our humanity has three dimensions. We are made up of Body but also a soul (psyche). Your psyche is what makes you uniquely you. There’s not another person like you—personality, intellect and emotions. There is a third part that makes up our humanity—it’s different from the animal kingdom— that is spirit. God created Adam from the dirt of the ground and God breathed numa, spirit. God breathed God life into Adam, and Adam became a living being with God life. Now animals have body and soul, but what makes you and me unique—created in the image of God—is we have spirit, and spirit—God life—enables us to know God, not know about God but to know God.  Adam and Eve walked with God in fellowship in the garden. It means we can have fellowship with God—that we can hear God speak. God can direct us and guide us today.


The problem is that sin entered the picture, and sin created spiritual death. So what happened in spiritual death is what the Bible calls lost. What does it mean to be lost? It means we lose our ability to be connected to God—atheists. See we all experience spiritual death for “we all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God.” So there is no connection to God so we live out of the psyche, which is intellect—only what makes sense. We live out of psyche or what we feel, our emotions. We live out of body (appetite). So we’re driven by our psyche. Lost means the ability to lose connection to God so it’s loss of identity. We no longer really understand who we are as children of God because we’ve lost connection to whose we are. So it’s why Jesus said it is absolutely essential that you be born again. Christians have so trivialized “born again” and what it means.


Turn to the third chapter of John verse three. Jesus said, “very truly I tell you (Greek=emphatically), no one can see the kingdom of God without being born again.”


You see that? You can know about it, you can read about it in the Bible but you cannot be connected to the presence of God today unless you are born again. 


Nicodemus was a Jewish leader, and he was a good Jewish leader, but what has he lost?  Like all of us, we begin to live out of body and psyche. We have lost that connection. So Nicodemus can only act out of reason. He is saying, “This doesn’t make sense! How can a grown man enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born again?” Jesus answered emphatically, "I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God.”


The kingdom of God is the realm where God is working today. You can read about where God worked yesterday, but you can’t live in the realm God is working in today without being born of water. What is water? The baptism of John is repentance. Right? What is Spirit—the baptism of Jesus. Flesh gives birth to flesh; that’s what happened to me in 1951.  But Spirit gives birth to spirit. That’s what happened to be in 1969. Are we on the same page here? You should not be surprised when I say, “You must be born again.”


The wind blows where it pleases. You hear its sound but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit. You say, “Well Mike, how do I receive the Spirit?” When you receive Jesus Christ into your life, you receive the Spirit. 


It’s like this (holds up a workout glove). This is its created purpose. If you lay it on the table, its created purpose is to lift this weight. And you say, “Hey glove! Pick up this 30lb weight.”  You say Mike that’s ridiculous, there’s no way it can pick up this 30lb weight, buy I say well that’s what it’s created for. Yes, but the only way it can really function in the way it was created is for an outside force to enter that glove, right? Then we can say well the glove is lifting the weight. Can we say that? All of a sudden the glove is empowered to do what it was created to do but what would be impossible to do.


It’s the same with us, it’s why Jesus said, “When the Holy Spirit comes upon you, you shall receive power to be my witnesses.” He said, “The things I do, you will do even greater things than this.”


Jesus was like you and me. He set powers aside when he came to earth. He did no miracles until his baptism, and at his baptism the Holy Spirit came upon him in a new and unique way. He only did what he did when the Holy Spirit came upon him. The same power that came on him and the same power that resurrected him from the grave lives in you and me! 


What are we missing? We ask, “Why aren’t we seeing some of the same miracles that we see in the Bible?”  When we discover the Holy Spirit and the resources we have in the Holy Spirit, we’re going to see some of the same miracles, folks, that we read about in the Bible.  It enables us to hear God’s voice today, not just what he said 2000 years ago. He is not limited to the scriptures. The scriptures just remind and point me to what God wants to do today.


A week ago Monday, I was in a meeting and someone made me so angry.  You know what I mean? When you just want to say everything that came to Chevy Chase’s mind in Christmas Vacation. Leslie, you know what I’m talking about? This person was totally wrong. I went home and said to Carolyn, “This is terrible.” You know when you go to bed and you can’t sleep. Have any of you tried to do this? I’m talking to Carolyn who is trying to go to sleep.  And it’s really bad. Carolyn has sleeping pills so whenever she needs them she will have it on hand. So I took one, and that didn’t work. It was 1am in the morning so I said, “Hon, I’m going downstairs, I’m keeping you up.” I went down in my study and sat in my chair and all of a sudden the Holy Spirit speaks to me. I need word with you. Here is what he said to me. 


“Now Mike, you’ve got to look at this person as a gift for a new thing I want to do in your life. See this is a gift of what I want to do in your life.” So the next morning, I pick up Dan and Levi and we’re heading down to North College Hill, we were doing that interview that we showed last week with students in Cincinnati. Dan? Did I tell you that morning that I was ticked with a capital “P”? Okay, so I was still listening to the Holy Spirit about it. No?  Okay then I was still listening to the Holy Spirit.


So we get down to the high school, and we were going to meet with the students. You know all high schools are locked up? You have to push a button and someone comes to the door.  You know? The teacher who was in charge of this group we were meeting with met us at the door, and took us up to this space where we were going to set up. I noticed she had a tattoo right here (pointed to forearm) and it was in a foreign language. I asked her what it said. She said it’s in Italian and it says, “He who angers you conquers you.”  (Laughter) 


The Holy Spirit said, “Mike, we were up all night talking about this!” I mean, God’s all over this thing. I’ve got to put it in INK! So I look at her and I say, “I can’t believe this! Man, this is directly of God because the Holy Spirit has been telling me this all night!” She looked at me and said, “If you’re mad, you’re had!” Can you believe it? I mean this is what is so amazing about the Holy Spirit.


Jesus said, “Whoever believes in me, the Word—Believes means to place your whole weight of your life on—whoever believes in me, out of your inner most being shall flow rivers of living water.” That means it’s always fresh! It’s always new! It never gets stagnate or stale.  Some of you are stagnate or stale. That’s because you aren’t listening to the Holy Spirit. You see because as soon as the Holy Spirit has spoken, and we haven’t acted, then that stream of living water becomes a stagnate pond. You see that’s what happens.


We were done filming with the students—doing the interview and everything—and I say to this teacher, “Hey, where’s a great place to eat around here? We've got to get some lunch."  It’s like one o’clock or something. She says, “Well you can eat in the cafeteria.” I said, “No, I’m done with cafeteria food.” She says there’s a great new Italian restaurant around here and she gives us directions. It was really good wasn’t it, Dan? Great pizzas! A server took our order and another person came to our table and I knew he was the owner. I don’t know how I knew, I just knew. He placed our pizza down so I say, “Are you the owner?” He says, “Yes, I am.” I tell him I grew up in this town and I ask him where he grew up? He told me and I ask, “Where did you go to High School?” He said, “Moeller High School.” That is a really great Catholic High School in Cincinnati. I said to him, “Are you still a Catholic?” He said, “Yes, I’m still a Catholic.”  I say, “Hey, do you still go to church?” He kind of shrugged and I said this—I knew it was from the Spirit—everything from the teacher to directing us to this restaurant owner. I said, “Hear, this is why God has brought me to this place today. I just looked at him and said—I’m going to say it nicer for you then I did to him—“God has brought me here today to tell you to get your butt back in church.” I said it with an “A”. 


You can’t just go in and say that to an owner of a restaurant but those were the words God wanted him to hear. He received it. Isn’t it amazing when we live out of the power of the Holy Spirit? Now some of you are sitting here today and you are thinking, “I remember when I received Jesus and there was that freshness, that newness, that joy. What happened?” Can any on you relate? I don’t know when you received Jesus and the Holy Spirit into your life—if you haven’t—you can today!


I don’t know when but we got so use to letting our body and psyche solo run the show. It’s easy to revert back to that. You know what I’m saying? So we lose touch with this incredible gift of the Spirit, which lives deep within us.


I’m going to share something that my wife used in Follower’s life class. How many of you had Carolyn for Follower’s Life? Then you’ve seen this before. She would take a glass of milk and pour chocolate syrup in it. The Holy Spirit is like chocolate syrup. If you put it in the milk it will sink to the bottom and not have any effect on the milk. The milk has received it but it hasn’t transformed the milk. Can you see that? The chocolate is on the bottom. This is why Paul said to young Timothy, “Timothy, continually stir the gift you have received.” See what happens is we received it, but we fail to continually stir it. If you let that milk sit there within 15 minutes, the syrup will settle in the bottom once again.


How do we continue to stir? For me, it’s essential I stay in the word. If I’m out of town and have an early meeting, I still make sure I get up early enough to spend time in the word.  Because here is the promise of God, “Every promise of God is Yes in Christ Jesus.” Every promise of God is Yes in Christ Jesus. I never fail to get together with other Christians as we are doing today because I always hear something “where two or more are gathered in my name,” that I don’t hear when I am by myself. I never fail to not be serving. Right? Serving in ways that as a Christian, I don’t get paid for like working with at risk high school students.


Many ways, I am coming back this week on a plane coming through Detroit and I hate coming through Detroit at the busy hour of night because that airport is so big you can be thirty-second in line taxing, and it takes longer to taxi then it does to fly to Dayton. I’m sitting there the other night and all of a sudden I get in touch with the Holy Spirit. It’s crowded, I close my eyes and I’m trying to share an armrest with the person beside me and I get in touch with the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit says to me, “Mike, first thing in the morning you have to email these people.” He tells me who and what to say. You see it’s incredible what we have in the gift of the Holy Spirit.


Now folks, I want to do something right now that I rarely do here. If you’ve never received Jesus Christ into your life, I want to give you the opportunity to do that today. I’m going to do it by asking you to come forward and we are going to pray together by just kneeling near the steps here. If you need a fresh filling of the Holy Spirit today—we receive the Spirit once but there are many fillings of the Spirit—anyone in the room need a fresh filling of the Spirit? I’m going to invite you to come forward and kneel here and we are going to pray together. Here is what we can be sure of—the bible says this—“If we ask anything according to His will, He hears us and we have the assurance that we have received what we asked for.” Will you all stand with me? If God has spoken to your need today will you come forward and kneel right here, or if you can’t kneel stand, and we are going to pray together.

Here is what the word of God says, “If my people will humble themselves and hear my voice”


Let’s pray together, “Father God, Lord Jesus Christ, Holy Spirit, we do not understand—you who are infinite but your love is so great that you would come and live within us. We give you thanks and praise Lord, and we ask today for a fresh filling, a fresh stirring of your Holy Spirit in our life that we can catch fire again to be ignited in your love, that others can know your love through us. Lord, I thank you that you hear our prayer and that we know we are asking according to your will to be filled with your Spirit. So as we get up to go, we thank you. We thank you for your love. We thank you for your presenc and we thank you for the power to live new lives. It’s in Jesus’ name we pray. Amen & Amen!


God bless you all. I love you. I’m not teaching next week but I will be here next week. See you then.

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