This is the manuscript for the sermon I preached at West Bradenton Baptist Southside on Sunday, March 8, 2020.
For the past couple of weeks, we have looked at Jesus’ introduction of the Holy Spirit to the Disciples in the Gospel of John. He speaks in this passage about the Father sending another Counselor (Advocate, Helper, Comforter) or more simply the Holy Spirit who will come to encourage, empower and exhort the disciples when He leaves this world. He tells them this so when he is gone, they can be assured that they will not be left alone but the Holy Spirit will come and dwell or manifest himself to them.
Last week we talked about how Jesus will send the spirit and testifies of him and he likens our joy in persecution, suffering and tribulations to the pains and joys of childbirth. The overall them last Sunday was through sorrow and pain Jesus overcame the world and since Jesus overcame the world, we too may experience joy, peace and victory in our times of turmoil and suffering in our lives today. And this is attainable through the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
Today, we are going to look through both the Old and New Testament to see that the Holy Spirit was not a new concept or idea that Jesus came up with when the time came for him to die. The Holy spirit was not an afterthought or a remedy to a potential problem in God’s plan of salvation. The Holy Spirit, as we have seen, has and always will be eternal, and the third person of the Trinity. He has a purpose and He was given for God’s glory and for our benefit.
Did you know the Holy Spirit was promised to the people of Israel before Jesus came to the earth? And we have seen from the past few weeks that Jesus made promises concerning the Holy Spirit. And we all know and believe that every promise God or Jesus makes has come or will come to fruition? God is the ultimate promise keeper. His Word is truth and His Word is bond. This is what is amazing about Him… If He promised it, it is as good as done. There is a saying “If God said it; I believe it and that settles it”. God has made some wonderful promises throughout the scripture and you and I are banking on these promises to be fulfilled (if they haven’t already). So, today I want to focus on God’s promise of the Holy Spirit.
In today’s message there are three areas in which I want to focus.
Old Testament Promise
Read Genesis 1:1 – 2
Since we will look at only a few passages in the Old Testament, I think it is appropriate to start at the beginning. In the beginning the earth was a created by God as an unorganized chaotic dark mass (deep or waters). The Spirit of God mysteriously hovered or moved above the earth. This implies the Spirit or wind of God was active presumably preparing for the acts of creation that were to follow. Sinclair Ferguson says in his message entitled ORDER FROM CHAOS, “The Holy Spirit, by forming and filling the shapeless, empty mass, is creating a temple, a meeting place, for God to have fellowship with His creation…. The Spirit has brought order and fullness into the creation so that we might know Him, worship Him, and adore Him.”
We also see in the Old Testament that the Holy Spirit dwelt in and enabled prophets, judges and leaders.
Read Joel 2: 28 – 34
This is probably the most recognized O.T. prophecy concerning the Holy Spirit. It is recognized mostly because it is the passage Peter quoted in his sermon in Acts 2 after the Holy Spirit fell on the men in Jerusalem. Joel 2: 28 was a promise made by God through the prophet Joel. It says, “After this…” An undisclosed future time… “I will pour out my Spirit on all humanity;”. Pour out is derived from the imagery of Israel’s heavy winter rains; it speaks here of abundant provision.  All humanity can mean all of Judah or more likely Jews and Gentiles. A way of translating this passage could be, “There will be a day when God will pour out an abundant provision of His Spirit on both Jews and Gentiles alike.” As a result of the outpouring of His Spirit “Sons and daughters will prophesy…” There will be no gender or age discrimination, His Spirit will fall on male and female, young and old, Jew and Gentile alike. Young men will see visions (this is noteworthy since visions were generally reserved for specific people but after God’s pouring of the Spirit it will be available to all). So, in Joel 2:28 – 32 we see a promise made by God concerning an outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon all people regardless of race, gender or age.
New Testament Promises
John 16:4 – 15: We have spent three weeks in the Gospel of John and as a review we know that Jesus is talking to His disciples about his upcoming death. He is telling them it is for their benefit that He dies and goes on to be with the Father. It was to their advantage because when He does go to the Father then He can send the Holy Spirit. If Jesus remained alive, He couldn’t send the Spirit. Jesus makes the promise “If I go, I will send Him” (the Counselor) or as we know the Holy Spirit. He makes the promise, “When I am gone, I will send the Holy Spirit and He will convict of sin, teach you all things and bear witness of me.” Verse 12 Jesus says there are other things they could receive from, but they were not ready and once the Spirit comes, He will reveal what needs to be revealed. This would be one of the jobs of the Holy Spirit to guide them in understanding these things. Again, Jesus promises in verse 13 when says, “WHEN (the Spirit) comes” not “If”, nor “Perhaps” but “When the Spirit of truth comes He will guide you into all truth.”
Luke 24:49: This is the promise Jesus made before he ascended to heaven. This was his farewell speech to his disciples, “And look, I am sending you what my Father Promised.” He tells them to be wait, be attentive, and be ready because when He leaves, He will send the Holy Spirit which is THE PROMISE of God which is fulfilled in Acts 2.
Acts 1:8: Jesus also tells his disciples before his departure, “But you will receive power (to be witnesses of Jesus Christ) when the Holy Spirit has come on you.” Jesus tells them they will receive the power to proclaim His message boldly and unashamedly when the Spirit falls upon them. The disciples didn’t really grasp what was going on and Jesus has promised them that He would equip them to do the job they needed to do through the empowering of the Holy Spirit. This is a promise He makes to the disciples right before He leaves this earth.
The Promise Fulfilled
Acts 2: It is on Pentecost that the promise Jesus made concerning the Holy Spirit was fulfilled. We see at that at this time the Holy Spirit filled the believers (both Jews and Gentiles) and miraculous things happened. We have come to know that the fulfillment of this promise is also the beginning of the Church. It was at this time the Holy Spirit empowered believers to be witnesses of the name of Jesus as thousands of people saw what happened and became believers in Jesus Christ. What we learn about the Holy Spirit in Acts 2 is When the Holy Spirit empowers, abides and is active in you, God will use you to bring people to Christ. In Peters sermon that proceeds the falling of the Holy Spirit he tells the people that the fulfillment of the Promise of the Holy Spirit is at hand and the result was three thousand people believed.
The Promise for Us Today
It is beneficial to us that God made a promise concerning the coming of the Holy Spirit in the days of old. It is also encouraging to know that God fulfilled this promise which resulted in the birth of the Church. However, it does not end at Pentecost. The Holy Spirit is still active in us today. In Ephesians 1:13 – 14 Paul writes, “In him you also were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and when you believed. The Holy Spirit is the down payment of our inheritance, until the redemption of the possession, to the praise until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.” The result of God’s promise of the Holy Spirit is that we are sealed and guaranteed an inheritance (which is eternal life). William Macdonald writes, “As soon as they believed, they were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise. This means that every true believer receives the Spirit of God as a sign that he belongs to God and that he will be kept safe by God until the time he receives his glorified body. Just as in legal matters a seal indicates ownership and security, so it does in divine affairs. The indwelling Spirit brands us as God’s property and guarantees our preservation until the day of redemption.” 
When I read this passage, I am so thankful and excited because I see that the Holy Spirit has kept me secure and is preserving me daily. Now, I know to some this can be a controversial teaching because it does teach the doctrine of eternal security. However, the scripture says what it says, and we need to take comfort in this truth. When you believed you were marked, sealed, and kept by the Holy Spirit. The controversy should not come in the doctrine of eternal security, the problem arises when people abuse the doctrine of eternal security to think we can live however we want to. It pains and saddens me to see people calling themselves Christians and living contrary to the way Jesus commanded us to live. Our inheritance and redemption is secured in the truth that God has called you (or is calling you) to be His child according to His plan and purpose. And as God’s children we are called to live in obedience to Jesus’ commands (love God… )and fully submit ourselves to Him and His will (It is no longer I who lives, but Christ who lives in me).
The promise of the Holy Spirit is a guarantee that we will inherit life; it is an assurance that we are kept in Christ and that we have the power of Christ in us. The scriptures declare that when we receive the Spirit we are sealed or secured and then we will be guided by the Spirit (which means you have submitted to the will of God). We will be shown or taught things relating to God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit (the Spirit will be our teacher of Spiritual things, not man). The Spirit will abide in us and empower us to live the Christian life (Christ Himself will abide in us). Thus, in receiving the promise of the Spirit we now possess the gifts and the fruit of the Spirit so that we may glorify Jesus in all we do. We will talk more about the gifts and fruit in the next two weeks.
Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1997). The Nelson study Bible : New King James Version. Includes index. (Joe 2:30). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.
 MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 1911). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
Jeff has been in ministry for well over two decades. He currently serves as Campus Pastor at West Bradenton Baptist Southside Campus in Bradenton, Florida.
Jeff Has authored an Advent Devotional (The Advent of Jesus) and a devotional on the book of James (James: Where Faith and Life Meet). Both are available on Amazon.
He is married to Carrie and they have four children, Micaiah, Gabe, Simon, and Berea.
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