God the Holy Spirit

Why we Believe what we Believe

(The Baptist Faith and Message)

(Message 4)

Romans 8:2–16

Introduction: We witness to our faith in the Trinity when we sing, “God in three persons, blessed trinity.” Yet, in our conversations about God we tend to emphasize the first two Persons of the Trinity more than the third. We frequently begin our prayers with the words “Our Father,” and end them with “In Jesus’ name.” But how often do you hear a prayer addressed to the Holy Spirit? Perhaps the reason for this is that “Father” and “Son” are easier to visualize; but “Spirit” (and especially the King James translation “Holy Ghost”) is less personal and more mystical.

The Holy Spirit is not merely a force that emanates from God. The Spirit is God Himself, energizing, leading and communicating with us day by day.

The Spirit Sustains Life (Rom. 8:2–6)

Scripture teaches us that death is the natural inheritance of Adam’s race. Life comes only as a gift of God, and God imparts life by giving His Spirit to those who are in Christ. A living organism is continually exchanging liquids, gases, and solids with the environment. When death comes, interaction stops. Those who have received the gift of spiritual life live in a continual state of interaction with the Holy Spirit.

The Spirit Provides Guidance (Rom. 8:14)

Jesus Himself was led by the Spirit (Matt. 4:1) during His earthly ministry. The Spirit’s leadership is a prominent feature of Luke’s account of the early Christian movement in the Book of Acts (Acts 13:2,4; 16:6).

The Spirit guides us by opening our understanding when we read the Bible (John 14:26; 16:13), interpreting its message in a new and fresh way each time we read it. The Spirit guides our prayer lives, compensating for the inadequacies we feel when we attempt to commune with God (Rom. 8:26–27).

The Spirit Empowers Us (Rom. 8:15; 15:13)

In the Bible the Holy Spirit is repeatedly associated with power. Jesus promised that power would come to His disciples through the work of the Spirit (Acts 1:8).

Power is more than brute force. Power is energy, which sometimes manifests itself in dramatic ways (tornadoes, nuclear explosions); but an enormous amount of energy can be released in quiet, unnoticeable ways (the energy of the sun, fueling the growth of billions of plants). And so it is in the Christian life. The Spirit of God often comes in a still small voice, rather than in a storm, earthquake, or fire (1 Kings 19:12).

According to the Second Law of Thermodynamics, an isolated system will “wind down” (like a wind-up alarm clock) toward a state of maximum entropy. Entropy is a condition characterized by disorder and stagnation in a system that has run out of energy. When that occurs, the system is “dead.” Only an infusion of energy from an outside source can renew the system.

Similarly, the Holy Spirit infuses the life of a Christian with spiritual energy, turning our potential for loving others into reality (Rom. 5:5), strengthening faith, cultivating assurance (Rom. 8:16).