#7 SERIES ON THE HOLY SPIRIT
"THE HOLY SPIRIT OVERCOMES"
TEXT: 1 John 4:1-6 Rom. 8:15-17
INTRO: When a fine woodworker wants to make a special piece of furniture that displays the highest quality wood he goes to a lumber yard to request logs from an unexpected place. He will ignore the trees that came from the valleys, even if they are perfectly straight and without knots in them, even if they look smooth. What he wants are logs that come from the very tops of mountains, the ones that are in pitiful shape because of all the wind storms that soar over the mountains, he wants the trees that face the constant exposure to harsh elements on top of the hill. What does he know that he would choose these badly beaten trees? Because these trees are constantly being tested by the elements their grains in the trunks become very fine and closely packed giving them extra strength. This finely tightly packed grain is what gives this wood the beauty and durability that make fine furniture that will last for centuries. Something in the wood responds to the pressures of life, and this enables these trees to overcome and produce the finest and most durable wood.
This is what happens to Christians, the Holy Spirit lives in us and helps us to grow stronger and stronger the more that comes against us, the Holy Spirit actually helps us develop as overcomers so that no matter what storms come against us we can not only overcome but become beautiful in spite of the storms. The main source of this strength from the Holy Spirit comes from the Bible which was authored by the Holy Spirit. He uses this to protect us from the world's onslaught of evil.
PROP. SENT: The Bible teaches us that the Holy Spirit enables us to be overcomers, He does this through the Holy Scriptures by teaching us God's truth and by helping us endure the hardships of life so we can overcome any deception or attack that the enemy of our soul might throw our way.
I. THE SPIRIT OF ANTICHRIST 1 Jn. 4:1-6
A. Testing 1 Jn. 4:1-3
1. We are living in the days of the fantastic and the unbelievable!
a. There is so much new technology, who can keep up with it all?
b. All kinds of spectacular things are happening, things that are hard to comprehend!
c. People want to be excited, they want to be amazed, they want to be thrilled!
d. In this age of the spectacular the Holy Spirit calls us to be ready to overcome, to be level headed while being open!
2. This is not new! The early church witnessed the same desire for the spectacular, for the mind-boggling experiences.
a. The Gnostics provided them a good show ... teaching all kinds of great new secret truths.
b. They had fantastic prophecies that tickled their imaginations.
c. Today we have the “Psychic friend’s network” and shows that glorify “mediums” as saviors and helpers of mankind.
d. There is no lack of interest in the weird today.
3. In the midst of all this spiritual activity ... like that of today with all the new age interest in the spiritual realm, John calls upon the Christians to "test the spirits!"
a. The Holy Spirit's presence in our lives encourages us to “test the spirits” not to just swallow anything that comes along that is suppose to be from God!
b. God created us with faculties of reason and knowledge ... they are to be used, not made fun of or put down.
MOODY SAID, "THE
4. The Bible predicted that in the last days there will be “deceiving spirits” going around, that if it were possible, they would even fool the very elect of God!
a. Notice this verse in Matt. 24:24 "For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect, if that were possible. See, I have told you ahead of time."
b. These were Jesus' own words to His disciples! We should not be surprised to see what we are seeing today with all the interest in the spectacular and supernatural.
c. The implication is that in the last days people will not be well grounded in truth ... we will be taken by the spectacular, the exciting, a people looking for something thrilling.
5. The word to believers here is to be prepared to “TEST THE SPIRITS!”
a. This is the “spirit of antichrist” ... seeking thrills, even spiritual thrills without testing the expressions against a sure straight stick ... the Word of God!
b. The Holy Spirit helps us to overcome, primarily through the Word of God!
c. Thus we need this tool in our hearts and minds; it will protect us more than anything else against the false expressions. The Bible is the work of the Holy Spirit, thus the Spirit overcomes for us through this Book!
d. Experts on counterfeit money don’t study counterfeits for hours on end; they study the real thing for hours so they can easily spot a counterfeit. The better they know the real thing the better they can spot the counterfeit.
6. These false prophets and spirits ignore or fail to acknowledge that Jesus is the God-man, and that only His work can save us!
a. False prophets emphasize everything but Jesus!
b. They don't seek to point people to Jesus, and if they do, they point people to a Jesus that doesn't line up with Scripture!
c. This is the first great test of the true Spirit, the Holy Spirit always puts Jesus as the focus and the Holy Spirit always lifts Jesus up, not Himself, or the self proclaimed prophet himself!
B. Truth 1 Jn. 4:4-6
1. While the world toys with Truth, mixing falsehoods in with truth, we who are saved have a "sure word of prophecy" ... the Bible!
2. We can and will overcome the world because greater is the Holy Spirit that is in us than the spirits that are in the world that are deceiving people! 4:4
a. The reason the world listens to these deceivers is because they don't know the truth ... thus they are easy candidates for buying into falsehoods that sound true!
b. When they speak from a worldly view ... those in the world listen, it’s like playing their song!
c. We however know better! We have the Scriptures, the fountain of truth and the “Spirit of truth” as the Holy Spirit is sometimes called in the Bible to lead us and guide us into all truth! John 16:13
3. We are not of the world anymore after we get saved, we have a whole different way at looking at truth, we see truth through Scripture, God's very eyes to us, we cannot be OF the world any longer, even if we still must be IN the world!
IS RIGHT FOR THE CHURCH TO BE IN THE WORLD, BUT IT IS WRONG FOR THE WORLD TO BE
IN THE CHURCH. A BOAT IN WATER IS
GOOD, BUT WATER IN THE BOAT IS BAD!
ONLY GOD'S WORD WILL KEEP THE CHURCH AFLOAT IN A
4. The whole concept here of us being overcomers has to do with the Holy Spirit in our lives working through the Scriptures, God's truth!
5. Everything should be tested by God's Word, it is the straight stick the Holy Spirit lays down beside any crooked one for us to compare it with!
II. THE SPIRIT OF ADOPTION!
A. Triumph! Rom.
1. We are not overcome with fear anymore because in Christ we are now sons and daughters!
a. We have been adopted!
b. This adoption alone has made us overcomers already, we have overcome death in Christ and we will rise again to live with Him forever!
c. With a new nature that we receive in Christ we can overcome sin also!
2. We are no longer “slaves" we are “sons!”
a. Therefore, we no longer have to fear!
b. We belong to God; we carry His name and now His nature!
c. This sonship gives us access to the Holy Spirit which in turns gives us victory through knowledge of His Word and by His empowering nature in us as we walk with God!
3. This sonship removes from us the fear of being overcome and gives us the confidence and strength to know that we will be overcomers!
ILLUS: THE SCENE IS A COURTROOM, ROBED IN A BLACK GOWN THE JUDGE MAKES HIS WAY TO THE BENCH, TAKES HIS SEAT AND THE PRISONER IS LED IN WITH HANDCUFFS AND SEATED BEFORE THE JUDGE. HE IS NERVOUS AND AFRAID; THIS MAN SITTING UP THERE IN THE BLACK GOWN HAS THE POWER TO PRONOUNCE SENTENCE ON HIM, HE SITS AFRAID. IN THE MIDST OF THIS, A YOUNG BOY SUDDENLY COMES INTO THE COURT AND RUNS JOYFULLY UP TO THE JUDGE AND WHISPERS IN THE JUDGES EAR. THE JUDGE IS SEEN PULLING A QUARTER OUT OF HIS POCKET AND WITH GREAT JOY HANDING IT TO THE LITTLE BOY WHO TAKES IT AND RUNS FROM THE COURTROOM WITH A BIG SMILE. THIS WAS THE JUDGE’S SON, HE ENTERED THE COURT WITH NO FEAR AND WENT TO HIS FATHER THE JUDGE WITH ANTICIPATION AND CONFIDENCE, FOR HE IS NO PRISONER, HE IS THE SON! ONLY THE PRISONERS OF SIN FEAR FACING GOD ... WE WHO HAVE BEEN ADOPTED AS SONS NO LONGER HAVE FEAR, WE ARE OVERCOMERS! – SOURCE UNKNOWN
4. No wonder Paul says here that we call Him, "Abba father," or as it is translated best from the Greek, "dear daddy!"
a. The Spirit of sonship is the sealing of the Holy Spirit in our lives as evidence of our adoption!
b. The Holy Spirit lives in us when we get saved, and He is the evidence of that salvation, always drawing us toward works of grace and into the Bible as God's Word!
1. Here Paul spells it out, the Holy Spirit gives an inner witness with our human Spirit that there has indeed been a change!
a. Where before we were not interested that much in spiritual things, we are now!
b. Where we once felt alienated from God we now feel close to Him.
c. Where we once took little or no interest in the Bible we now have a desire to know what God's Word says and means!
d. There is a marked difference in our lives, one that is witnessed by others as a result of the Holy Spirit prodding us on to live a holy life!
2. Even suffering doesn't destroy us or our faith, in fact it makes us stronger as the Holy Spirit gives witness to our spirit that God is doing a work of grace to strengthen us through these trials!
a. This is what happened to Jesus, He overcame trials without becoming bitter against His father, for He knew that God the Father was using these things to bring salvation to man!
b. Trials only make Christians stronger, we are like tea; the more hot water we get into, the stronger we are!
3. Do others know that we belong to Christ, the world is hungry to see real spirituality, to see real Christians, people who are Christ-like!
a. Is it “like father, like son?”
b. The Holy Spirit counts on using us to get the message to others, if we overcome, then others will see that it is possible in Christ to overcome!
ILLUS: YEARS AGO A PREACHER CAME TO UNDERSTAND THIS TRUTH OF HOW THE WORLD IS LOOKING FOR THE REAL THING. HE WAS WORKING ON A PROJECT OUTSIDE; HAMMERING AWAY AS HE BUILT. A YOUNG BOY STOOD NEARBY WATCHING HIM. FOR THE LONGEST TIME THE BOY JUST STOOD THERE WATCHING HIM AND NOT SAYING A WORD. THE PREACHER KEPT WORKING ... THINKING THE BOY WAS ADMIRING HIM FOR HIS GOOD WORK. FINALLY, THE PASTOR THOUGHT HE WOULD ASK THE BOY IF HE HAD ANY QUESTIONS OR WOULD LIKE SOME POINTERS ON THE FINE WORK HE WAS DOING, THINKING HE COULD TEACH THE BOY SOMETHING. THE BOY RESPONDED HOWEVER, "NO ... I'M JUST HANGING AROUND WAITING FOR YOU TO HIT YOUR THUMB WITH THAT HAMMER, I'M CURIOUS WHAT A PREACHER SAYS WHEN HE HITS HIS THUMB WITH A HAMMER!" THE WORLD IS WATCHING! – SOURCE UNKNOWN
4. The world needs to see the presence of the Holy Spirit, this happens as they watch the Holy Spirit working through us and upholding God's Word in our daily lives, this is the real meaning of being an overcomer!
a. Nothing will attract more people to Jesus Christ than overcoming Christians who practice what they preach!
b. This is the essential meaning of being a "witness!"
c. As the Holy Spirit bears witness to our spirit, we bear witness to the world of Christ!
CONCLUSION: The Holy Spirit enables us to be overcomers; He does this by revealing to us the truth about sin, and the truth about Jesus! The Holy Spirit constantly keeps us focused on Jesus, who He is and what He has done, this makes it possible for us to be overcomers. The main foundation for this truth is Scripture, authored by the Holy Spirit. God's Spirit brings the word alive in us and helps us recall it so we can overcome!