날짜: 2018년 5월 20일
제목: 성령이 우리에게 오시면...
올리브연합감리교회 김배선 목사
20180520 Sunday Sermon
“When the Holy Spirit Comes to us”
John 15: 26 ~27
There are three major seasons of Christianity, Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost.
We celebrate Jesus' birth on Christmas.
On Easter, we praise Jesus who had died for us and risen in three days.
On the Pentecost, we celebrate that as Jesus promised, the Holy Spirit came into the people and the church began in our history.
These three events are the root of our faith.
Jesus' birth is the basis.
Easter is the confirm and Pentecost is the start of our faith.
All these procedure has been completed by God's specific plan.
Also, according to the Methodist Church Calendar, today is Heritage Sunday.
It’s also called Aldersgate Sunday.
It is to commemorate the conversion of John Wesley who is founder of the Methodist Church.
It is true that the Methodist movement started with John Wesley, from his influence
Both events of the coming of the Holy Spirit and the conversion of John Wesley are associated with spiritual experience.
It is said that we, as Christians, are now living in the age of the Holy Spirit, the age of spirituality.
However, according to the research about today's state of the church, one of the major problems in today's church is that many Christians have become insensitive to the spirituality, the spiritual experience.
There exists certain emptiness in our lives, not because of material aspects, but of something else.
This emptiness shows that we humans are spiritual beings, rather than mere physical beings.
While talking with church members, some express that they experience certain unresolved feelings of thirst.
It is because they still feel the spiritual emptiness.
I also hear their desire to believe and follow Jesus Christ in a better way.
Whenever I hear such desires expressed, as a pastor, I feel ashamed because I have not filled their spiritual emptiness.
So today I want to talk to you about the Holy Spirit.
Today is Pentecost Sunday.
So, today I would like to share the words with you as to what happens when the Holy Spirit comes to us and how we can experience the presence of the Holy Spirit.
Today's text is the scene where Jesus speaks about the Holy Spirit to His disciples.
"When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father, he will testify on my behalf. You also are to testify because you have been with me from the beginning."(John 15: 26-27)
In this text, the word "Advocate" meaning the Holy Spirit appears.
The Greek word is "paracletos.”
In English it is sometimes translated as “Counselor or Helper.”
Jesus promised to send the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, who is the Spirit of truth.
And through the Book of Acts, we can see that the promise was fulfilled.
If there is anyone among us who cannot believe the Holy Spirit and His work, I want you to listen to the words of the Lord.
Jesus promised to send us the Spirit of truth from God.
And already the Holy Spirit, who is the Spirit of truth, is accompanying us.
When the Holy Spirit comes to us, certain phenomena happen.
The important thing is that when we perceive the work of the Holy Spirit only based on the Charismatic Movement, we can be led to a wrong understanding about the Holy Spirit.
However, what happens when the Holy Spirit comes is not what is claimed by the Charismatic Movement.
Today’s text tells us that one of the phenomena that would happen when the Holy Spirit comes is that the Holy Spirit will testify of Jesus Christ.
Verse 26 says; “the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father, he will testify on my behalf.” (verse 26)
This means that the Holy Spirit comes as a witness of Jesus Christ.
Yes, a work of the Holy Spirit is to testify of Jesus Christ.
Holy Spirit testifies the truth that Jesus Christ is the Savior.
Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth because it testifies this truth.
Brothers and sisters, when the Holy Spirit comes to us, the same things will happen.
When the Holy Spirit is with us, we come to stand as witnesses of Jesus Christ and testify Him in this world.
The presence of the Holy Spirit with us does not mean we should be seeking a mysterious life and experiencing miracles constantly.
Of course, Holy Spirit allows mystical miracles to occur in our lives.
I really believe it.
However, more important thing is to live out the life of testifying Jesus Christ by walking together with the Holy Spirit.
This is what the Spirit of truth teaches us to do.
This is the reason and goal of the Holy Spirit’s presence in us, so we can stand as Jesus’ witnesses.
Therefore, we can determine whether the Holy Spirit has come to us and we are walking with the Holy Spirit based on whether we are testifying of Jesus Christ in our life.
Sometimes I hear of church members have made these comments.
Once they experienced the Holy Spirit and His presence, felt the indescribable joy of heaven and their passion for faith was in full flame.
However, this experience did not last long.
“Once hot and twice cold” is our reality.
That is true.
Even if we have experienced the presence of the Holy Spirit, the joy from such an experience often does not last long.
It is because our existence is on earth.
Yes, we are infinitely weak beings.
However, we should not use our weakness as an excuse for temporary effects of the Holy Spirit’s presence.
When our weakness is an excuse, there is a gap between our faith and our daily life.
Brothers and sisters, what is holiness?
We make constant efforts to achieve holiness, but what does holiness really mean?
In my mind, holiness means consistency of faith and life.
It is translating your beliefs into actions.
As you believe in Jesus, your beliefs need to be put into your life.
Therefore, holiness requires training.
Without discipline for holiness, we cannot become true Christians.
Instead of using our weakness as an excuse for our lack of the presence of the Holy Spirit in us, we must put the Spirit’s presence into practice in our lives.
If we have experienced the presence of the Holy Spirit, we must discipline ourselves for holiness so as to live as witnesses of Jesus Christ.
When the Holy Spirit comes to us, we become witnesses of Jesus Christ.
There is a missional term called “Missio Dei” in Latin.
It means “God’s Mission” or “God, the Missionary.’
It means the center of mission is God, not me.
It is not my mission but God’s mission which God Himself does.
The same is true for church work.
It is God’s work, or God, the pastor.
But realizing it is hard.
It is because we often misunderstand that being involved in church works means we should do something for God.
Sometimes, we stress efficiency in our church works because of the belief that they are our works.
But, it is not our dedication that is important in church works.
The Holy Spirit should be at the center of our church work.
The Holy Spirit is not concerned with efficiency or speed.
We as Christians should anticipate how the Holy Spirit leads and follow the Spirit’s leadings.
Thus, we must be different from the people of the world.
When church posts or responsibilities are proposed, some try to decline saying that they are not ready.
It sounds so humble, but they need to reflect themselves if such refusals are based on conceit.
The excuse of not being ready for church works may come from our misunderstanding that church works are our works.
However, we are not the ones who do the work but the Holy Spirit.
When church responsibilities are entrusted to us, our job is to be spiritually awake to perceive the ways the Holy Spirit leads us.
Thus, being in church positions and doing church works become spiritually holy burdens to us, wherein we need to be alert, pray more and work hard to let God be revealed, not us.
When the Holy Spirit comes to us, we only need to stand as witnesses of Jesus and testify the Lord only.
Our role is to praise the Lord and lift high His works.
This is God’s doing, not ours; and we have been invited to stand and testify His marvelous works as His witnesses in joy.
Responsibilities are given to us so that we follow the Lord, and that the Lord can do the work as He desires to achieve.
It is not a matter of ‘can do’ or ‘cannot do’; but it is a matter of walking with the Holy Spirit, which brings about a change in our life of becoming witnesses of Jesus Christ.
When the Holy Spirit comes, we will stand up as witnesses to God’s work through our life.
This is the work of the Holy Spirit; and this life is the life of the disciples of Jesus Christ.
We can see that the disciples who experienced coming of the Holy Spirit stood as witnesses of Jesus Christ through the Pentecost event in Acts chapter 2 described as follows.
“When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” (Acts 2:1-4)
These verses describe the dramatic coming of the Holy Spirit to disciples as Jesus had promised.
Jesus Christ left and the Holy Spirit came to the disciples.
Then, the disciples turned into witnesses of the gospel and spread it to people.
Apostle Peter, being full of the Holy Spirit, began to testify of the Lord and spread the gospel.
This resulted in conversion of some 3,000 people to the Lord.
The Holy Spirit was at the center of this event.
As the Holy Spirit came into the disciples, they became evangelists of the gospel.
Yes, Holy Spirit does such works.
Without the life-giving Holy Spirit, there can be no life.
Without the Spirit of the truth, then the truth cannot be understood.
Without the Holy Spirit of unity, there can be no fellowship.
Without the power of the Holy Spirit, one cannot stand as a witness to Christ.
Without the Holy Spirit working in it, a church is a dying church.
We cannot follow the path of discipleship without the presence of the Holy Spirit.
We are powerless without the power of the Holy Spirit.
Yes, Holy Spirit does marvelous works.
Holy Spirit shows us the power of God.
Holy Spirit gives us the power of the Gospel.
Holy Spirit leads us to follow Jesus Christ in our lives, and become true Christians.
Thus, our lives must be filled of the Holy Spirit’s work.
There occurs the question: How can we experience the presence of the Holy Spirit?
How do we experience the Holy Spirit?
Let us turn to the Bible for answers.
We, sometimes, can see those who try to experience the Holy Spirit through some mystical experiences.
However, the presence of the Holy Spirit will now be biblically examined through today's scriptural reading.
The core of today’s text is the promise of the Holy Spirit by Jesus Christ to His disciples.
Then we find in Acts chapter 2 the disciples are gathered to await that promise.
They were simply gathered together for this reason.
They awaited the Lord's promised Holy Spirit.
Waiting means yearning.
They would not have waited had they not yearned for it.
To wait for the Holy Spirit means to yearn to have the Spirit of God.
Brothers and sisters in Christ,
I pray that you hold the Holy Spirit dearly in your hearts.
When we seek the Holy Spirit in all earnestness, Holy Spirit will come to us.
Luke 11:13 says,
"If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"
These words are yet true today.
The Holy Spirit will be given to those of us who ask.
God's Spirit will be poured out to us.
I pray that we yearn and expect for the Holy Spirit in our prayers.
I hope that we pray to God for the Holy Spirit to lead us, that we are led not of our own, but by the Spirit of truth.
I pray that we continually experience the Holy Spirit's presence.
We become witnesses to the truth of God when the Spirit of truth is present in us.
We come to testify of Jesus Christ.
We witness the Lord not just to those familiar among us, but to non-believers among our relatives, friends and neighbors.
We do not testify of the Lord through debates or arguments, but through our lives.
Brothers and sisters, Holy Spirit is already among us.
The reason we are unable to give witness to the Lord is because we have not yet accepted the Holy Spirit in us.
We are able to testify of the Lord because of the Holy Spirit.
When the Holy Spirit comes to us, we are given the power to witness the Lord.
Witnessing is by abiding with the Holy Spirit, in the fruit that we are to bear, the legacy of the Holy Spirit.
As a result we ourselves are the focus of our lives, but Jesus Christ is revealed prominent in us.
I pray that all of you live the life filled with the grace of the Holy Spirit.
Let us dearly yearn for this.
Let us at this very moment dearly pray for the Holy Spirit to open our hearts.
Let the Holy Spirit fill our hearts in abundance that we may live to witness as true Christians. Amen.