Full of the Spirit
Sermon by Pastor Josh Van Leeuwen
Introduction by Phyllis Yearick
Whether you are a new Christian or a longtime believer, you probably have figured out that much about the faith is a mystery. For example, there’s the idea of eternity, the complete absence of time, which contradicts everything we learned in science class. Then there’s the miraculous, a seeming interruption in the natural order of things but actually a temporary restoration of the natural order God intended and will someday reestablish when his kingdom on earth is fully realized. And then there’s the Trinity. Our God is the triune God, the three-in-one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, each a distinct, whole, and perfect individual but all existing together in perpetual community.
How such a thing can be defies our limited ability to comprehend, though many have attempted to explain: it’s like a man can be a husband, son, and father all at once; or it’s like water can be a liquid, a vapor, and a solid. But all of these explanations miss the mark. There simply is no natural equivalent to the supernatural relationship that is the Trinity. Although we might not be able to understand it, we can more than simply accept it on faith. We can know it to be true, because we have it on good authority from scripture, in prayer, and from our own experience.
When Jesus took human form, he was still himself, the Son. Although he experienced all the challenges we experience—hunger, thirst, weariness, exasperation—he was still in communion with his Father, and, despite his humanity, he was filled with the Holy Spirit. It was the Spirit that led him into the wilderness after his baptism, where he was tempted by Satan for forty days and nights as he fasted, his human body growing weak but his resolve never faltering, thanks to the indwelling Spirit. It was the Spirit that empowered him to proclaim that the Messianic Age had finally arrived and to issue a thinly veiled warning to the authorities in the temple in Nazareth on the Sabbath day: when God’s chosen people reject him, he offers himself instead to the Gentiles. Blasphemy! Full of the Spirit, he preached, taught, healed, drove out demons, and performed numerous miracles.
That same Holy Spirit indwells us when we welcome Jesus into our lives as Savior and Lord. And because we have the Spirit in us, we have the same power Jesus had to do the things he did. Let that sink in for a minute. Just as the song says, “The same power that rose Jesus from the grave; the same power that commands the dead to wake lives in us, lives in us. The same power that moves mountains when He speaks; the same power that can calm a raging sea lives in us, lives in us” (©Essential Music Publishing, Capitol Christian Music Group). When we are full of the Spirit, we can do more than humanly possible. When we are full of the Spirit, there is no room left for fear or doubt. We have the power to resist evil and temptation, to speak out for the downtrodden and oppressed, to feed and clothe and care for those in need. We have the power to live out the Gospel in whatever ways the Spirit leads us, no longer bound by sin and our own selfish desires. We are capable of more than we can ever imagine.
Friends, this is good news!
You are welcome at Westview Church! Join us this Sunday morning at 9:30 for worship (Children’s Worship and nursery care available) and stay afterward for Discovery Hour (classes for all ages).