Sermon Notes: Sunday 19th November 2023
HOLY WIND, HOLY FIRE, HOLY SPIRIT – THE DNA OF A GROWING CHURCH
Before Jesus ascended into heaven, He promised the disciples they would “be clothed with power from on high.” Acts 1:4-5 “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. For John baptised with water, but in a few days, you will be baptised with the Holy Spirit.”
This promise and the promise of John the Baptist: “I baptise you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and fire” (Matthew 3:11) was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost—the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on all believers.
Acts 2:1-4 “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly, a sound like the blowing of a violent wind (Holy Wind) came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire (Holy Fire) that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit (Holy Spirit) and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
HOLY WIND – WHY IS THE HOLY SPIRIT COMPARED TO THE WIND
IN ACTS 2:1-4?
In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word for the “Holy Spirit” is “ruach”. “Ruach” can mean “spirit,” “wind,” or “breath.” In the New Testament, the word used for the “Holy Spirit” is “pneuma”, which can also mean “wind” or “breath.” The Holy Spirit is the breath of God that sustains all living beings: And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul. – Genesis 2:7 (we have God’s DNA–We have God’s breath in us). Job said: “The spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.” – Job 33:4. The Holy Spirit proceeds from God’s depths, so Jesus breathed on His disciples and said: “Receive the Holy Spirit” – John 20:22. Like the wind, the Holy Spirit is invisible yet visible. A person cannot see the Holy Spirit physically but can see the move or work of the Holy Spirit. One can see how the Holy Spirit acts on things—just as the wind goes through a tree full of leaves. When Jesus Christ wanted His disciples to understand what would happen on the day of Pentecost, He did not blow a dove out of His mouth—He breathed on them and said receive the Holy Spirit! John 20:22. The breath of God – the DNA of a growing Christian.
THE HOLY FIRE – WHY IS THE HOLY SPIRIT COMPARED TO FIRE?
The holy fire represents the presence of God, which must be a common experience for all believers. It is part of our spiritual DNA. When Moses encountered God at the burning bush, Exodus 3:2 “The angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw the bush was on fire but did not burn up.” The DNA of a growing church is that the Spirit comes into our lives to transform us, cleansing and purifying us to become more like Christ. The fire of God protects us and also gives us the ability to cast out demons.
THE HOLY SPIRIT – “THE DNA OF A GROWING CHRISTIAN”
EXPOSITION ON JOHN 3:1-7
Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus, who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2 He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. No one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.” 3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”
Nicodemus was a Rabbi, an intelligent teacher of the Word of God. Nevertheless, he cannot see the kingdom of God unless he is born again. Nicodemus struggles to understand what Jesus said. Perhaps Nicodemus will struggle when he hears me talking about the DNA of a growing Christian.
In his struggle to understand why he needed to be born again, Nicodemus asked: “How can someone be born when they are old?” “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!” Similarly, discussion about spiritual DNA spirit can be complicated! Someone can ask, how can I have the DNA of the Holy Spirit since I am human? Furthermore, DNA deals with physical things, so how can a spirit have a DNA? However, the DNA of a growing Christian pertains to our spiritual birth.
Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.
There is a spiritual birth that Jesus called ‘born again.’ If you are born of the flesh, you have physical DNA. When you are born of the Spirit, you will have the DNA of the Spirit.
John 3:6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to Spirit.
John 3:7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ ‘You should not be surprised when I say you must have the DNA of the Spirit.’
You will not recognise your spiritual DNA and true identity until you are born by the Spirit. Every one of us needs to be borne by the Spirit. We need to have the DNA of the Spirit in order to operate like Jesus. People born of the Holy Spirit are always conscious of what they do. They constantly think like Jesus. God keeps to His word when you trust Him. Similarly, people born by the Spirit try to keep to their word. God forgives and shows mercy, so His children strive to forgive and show mercy. God hates sin and injustice, so His children alike hate sin and injustice. Amen