Main Point: As we begin this journey towards the Upper Room, it’s helpful to understand who the Holy Spirit is and some of the common misunderstandings and fears associated with this presence and power of God.
1. The Holy Spirit is God.
a. The Holy Spirit was involved in creation.
Genesis 1:1-2 NIV
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
b. Before Acts 2, the Holy Spirit came upon particular people at particular times for particular purposes.
c. The indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit was promised by the Father and Jesus.
Jeremiah 31:33 NIV
“This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord. “I will put my law in their minds
and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.
Ezekiel 36:26-27 NIV
26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.
John 7:37-39 NIV
37 On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” 39 By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.
d. Acts 2 is the enacting of the promise by the indwelling and empowering presence of the Holy Spirit in the lives of believers.
John 20:19-23 NIV
19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. 21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
Acts 1:4-8 NIV
4 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” 6 Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Acts 2:17-18 NIV
17 “‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. 18 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
2. The Holy Spirit is where God becomes personal to the believer.
“The Holy Spirit is the particular person of the Trinity through whom the entire Triune Godhead works in us.” (Erickson, Christian Theology)
John 14:16-17, 25-26 NIV
16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.
25 “All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 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 15:26-27 NIV
26 “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me. 27 And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.
John 16:13-15 NIV
13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”
3. The Holy Spirit has been ignored, misunderstood, feared, and “forced” upon people at various points of church history.
Conclusion: Two questions to consider as we begin this journey to the Upper Room and consider the Holy Spirit over the coming weeks:
- Are you willing to surrender any areas of misunderstanding or fear associated with the Holy Spirit?
- Are you open to this journey of discovery or re-discovery of the presence and power of the Holy Spirit?