|Create Date||March 28, 2018|
|Last Updated||March 28, 2018|
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OUR UNION AND COMMUNION WITH CHRIST THROUGH THE MINISTRY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
CHRIS KHOURY - SERMON SUMMARY - 25/3/2018
As we head towards and observe Easter, we will be participating in a number of spiritual observances. To aid us in our preparation and participation I would like to explain a number of Christian concepts. Who was Jesus? Why did Jesus have to die? Who are believers? Who are non-believers? What difference does it make for us to understand all these things? Who is the Holy Spirit and what is His role? A lot of questions, but let’s take them one at a time.
WHO IS/ WAS JESUS?
Jesus is God. One of the divine persons that make up the Trinity, along with the Father and the Holy Spirit. They have always existed, in perfect will and purpose. Theologians call this Trinity an ontological union. God was triune before anything else existed. In this ontological union of the Trinity, the three Persons remain distinct. They are not fused into one being. The Father is, was and always will be the Father. The Son is, was and always will be, the Son. The same can be said of the Holy Spirit. Jesus was also a man. Flesh and blood. This came about through the incarnation. Where Jesus the divine person of the Trinity became a man with human nature. So Jesus lived and died, was resurrected and ascended to the Father. He then sent the Holy Spirit.
WHY DID JESUS HAVE TO DIE?
Christ died for the salvation of all people everywhere. Jesus had to die so that all might be reconciled to God. While we were still sinners Christ died for us (everyone). So the penalty of sin is death, Christ had to die because he paid that price on our behalf. He did it to save all.
WHO ARE BELIEVERS?
They are people who believe in Jesus as Lord and Saviour. Believers are in relationship with God. This living in relationship with God is what we refer to as a spiritual union. These believers are called children of God. They are indwelt by the Holy Spirit. We refer to them as being born again, or born from above. This participation in the spiritual union is the gracious gift of God, in Christ, through the ministry of the Holy Spirit.
Only believers are “in Christ”. This spiritual union comes about through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit unites believers to Christ, incorporating them into the body of Christ (the church) - for the purpose of sharing in the life of Christ.
WHO ARE NON-BELIEVERS?
The New Testament makes the following distinctions. All have been reconciled to Christ. He died for all. Jesus is Lord and Saviour of all. But not all are united in Christ. Non-believers are not “in union” with Christ. They are loved by God - reconciled to God but are not in a spiritual union with God. That is reserved for believers.
WHY DO WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND ALL THESE THINGS?
Faith comes from hearing the Word. The more we hear, the more we will understand and the deeper and more meaningful will be our relationship with God. As believers in relationship with God we can live in spiritual relationship with others.
“As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you. As I have loved you, you ought to love one another.” 1 John 4:10, 19 “We love because he (God) first loved us. Our love has its source in God, who is love.
WHO IS THE HOLY SPIRIT?
The Holy Spirit is God. He is one of the 3 members of the Trinity, alongside the Father and Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit is a person.
WHAT DOES THE HOLY SPIRIT DO?
The Holy Spirit’s ministry is directly connected to our responses to God (to Christ, to God’s word). This is seen in over 100 mentions of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit unites us to the Person and saving work of Christ. The Holy Spirit reveals, teaches, enables us to hear, to speak and proclaim, to love, to obey, to pray, worship, minister, rejoice, to confess Jesus as Lord and to confess Jesus has come in the flesh. He also leads, sends, guides, sanctifies, unifies and harmonises the body of Christ. He gives us new life in Christ so that we live in the Spirit.
Romans 7:6 The Voice (VOICE) 6 But now that we have died to those chains that imprisoned us, we have been released from the law to serve in a new Spirit-empowered life, not the old written code.
Union and communion with Christ is in the ministry of the Holy Spirit.
...God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
It would be a mistake to de-emphasize the work of the Holy Spirit in our salvation. Our salvation is the work of the Father , Son and Holy Spirit. Each performing a different role. The work of the Spirit is distinct yet inseparable from the Person and work of the Son and the Father.
Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace and was strengthened. Living in the fear of the Lord and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers.
EASTER PREPARATION AND PARTICIPATION
Easter observance is an opportunity for the Spirit to work in and through us as individuals and as a community. Our relationship with the Father, Son and Spirit is deepened and becomes more meaningful as we observe the foot washing ceremony and Lord’s Supper. We commemorate the passion, suffering, crucifixion, death and burial of Jesus. On Easter Sunday we celebrate the Resurrection. How grateful, blessed and privileged we are to be able to develop our relationship with the Trinity. We should take full advantage of the opportunity. Let’s not be too lazy, blaze or take it for granted.
Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.