This morning it is my privilege to bring God’s word to you.
While watching the movie Aladdin, have you ever wished or dreamt having the lamp and the genie?
I have and I’m assuming most of us had. Well, I’m here to tell you that we have access to someone, who is even greater than a genie, one who is all-powerful and all-knowing helper from heaven, the Holy Spirit.
In real life, genie doesn’t exist but the Holy Spirit does exist, unlike the genie, the Holy Spirit doesn’t grant us any wish our sinful & selfish heart desires to have, but instead carefully grants only those that bring real joy, the ones that are in accordance to God’s will for our lives, and also He is not limited to just three wishes.
Our passage today is from 1 Thessalonians 5:19 where Paul writes to the Church saying,
19 Do not quench the Spirit.
In my sermon today my goal is to point our hearts to the third person in the trinity, the Holy Spirit, and the mistakes we make when we quench or ignore Him in our spiritual walk as a Christian.
The God we worship is a triune God. There are no three God’s, there is only one God but in three forms, God the Father, God the Son & God the Holy Spirit. I won’t go into depth to explain this concept, we can do that some other day. But remember this, throughout the Bible, we see the mention of God in all three forms and with equal emphasis.
Jesus said in John 10:30
“I and the Father are one”
In John 14:9 he said
“Whoever has seen me has seen the Father”
2 Corinthians 3:17 Paul writes
“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom”
These verses and many others give us evidence of this triune God.
The thing to remember here is that the Holy Spirit is not a feeling but He is a person.
In the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit came upon God’s people only to accomplish some particular task, but in the new covenant, after Christ redeemed us from Sin and death, cleansed us from all our iniquities, and declared us righteous through the breaking of his body and shedding of His blood, a new experience has been given to you.
Before Jesus was taken into heaven he told his disciples in John 15:26“I will send you the Helper from the Father. The Helper is the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father.
And on the day of Pentecost a great transaction took place, the Spirit of God came down to dwell among us, in us, forever. And since then, everyone who receives Jesus as their personal saviour and Lord, the Spirit immediately makes our heart his dwelling place.
In Galatians 4:6 Paul writes
6 And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”
The above passage suggests that the indwelling of the Spirit in us is the evidence that we are His.
There is also no separate baptism of the Holy Spirit. What happened on the day of Pentecost was a one-time transaction from how people experienced the Holy Spirit in the Old covenant and how we will experience Him in the New covenant. If there was a separate baptism of the Holy Spirit the scripture would have taught us.
The reality is, the day we gave our lives to Jesus the Spirit of God made his dwelling in us. In 1 Corinthians 3:16 Paul reminds the church saying
16 Do you not know that you[a] are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? Holy Spirit is the Heavenly Helper we receive as a gift from God on the day of our Salvation.
In our passage today, Paul is telling the church “Do not quench the Spirit”
And what we understand from this passage is that even though the Spirit lives within us there is a possibility of us quench its fire from helping us progress and grow in our Christian walk, in fact we are making a greatest blunder when we are not taking the help of our Heavenly Helper who is all-powerful and all-knowing.
In this sermon I want to point out three most important outworking of the Holy Spirit in our live that which we shouldn’t ignore or quench. Quenching the Spirit in these three areas means to STOP progressing in our Christian walk.
One of the primary ministries of the Holy Spirit is to help us experience the Presence of God, and also take us deeper in it, enabling us to have a deep and intimate relationship with the Father. We should never quench the Holy Spirit from doing that.
In the first place, we have to remember that it was the Spirit of God that opened our eyes to the Gospel and led us to repentance from our sins and faith in Jesus.
In John 16:8-9 Jesus revealed it to us
8 And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in me;
After our salvation, to continually experience the presence of God, to grow deeper in relationship with the Father, to constantly been convicted (Ehsas) of our sin, reminded of God’s Holy judgement and sacrifice of Son Jesus on the cross for our redemption. Unlike what most of us think that it is our decision and choice, the reality is that it is Spirit of God in us that does that work.
1 Corinthians 2:10-11 Paul writes
10 these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. 11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.
Brothers & sisters, to live and experience the presence of God is the greatest blessing a believer can have in our spiritual walk. To experience Him as our comforter when we are in trouble, to know Him as our provider when we are in need, to know Him as our healer when we are sick, is the most fulfilling experiences to have in our Christian journey.
And all this is only made possible because of the Spirit’s work in our heart. When we isolate ourselves and close the door on God and from others, when we stop hearing from God through scripture and through His preached word, when we ignore a faithful friend who brings rebuke and correction in our lives, we are shutting the door to all the means through which the Spirit of God is bringing conviction into our hearts and drawing near to God. We shut the door to living in the PRESENCE of God, which in fact is the essence of our Christian life.
You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Brothers & sisters, let us not quench the Holy Spirit from living and experiencing the presence of God.
Another primary ministry of the Holy Spirit is to help us fulfil the God given purposes in our lives.
The ultimate goal of every child of God is to Glorify God by participating in His Kingdom work of redeeming His chosen people on earth who are living in darkness and to bring them into the light.
11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,
1 Peter 2:9
9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
And though our purpose is one, which is to glorify God but the journey we all take are unique ones. Some are called to glorify God by becoming missionaries and pastors and evangelists, some are called to glorify God by becoming doctors, engineers, architects, film makes etc.
And to take these unique journeys we need unique giftings, skills and talents, so that ultimately we glorify God and participate in the extension of Kingdom by proclaiming the Gospel and lifting up Jesus.
The Holy Spirit grants with a variety of gifts, from natural abilities to Spiritual ones. Most people misunderstand the Spiritual gifts, they make them their goals instead of looking at them as means to fulfil the greater goal. God gives particular gifts to particular people and we don’t control that. Just because another person has a particular gift doesn’t mean you should also have it. Yes, we do ask God for gifts but ultimately we trust in His provision for each individual, we celebrate the unique gifts he has given to us.
Brothers & sisters, it is the Spirit of God who reveals and equips us to fulfil the purposes of God in our lives.
And when we fail to give heed to the nudgings of the Spirit when He asks us to choose a certain career, move to a certain a place, not move to a certain place, give yourself up for a certain task that may sound and look foolish and unreasonable at times, we are quenching the Spirit of God from helping us fulfil God’s purposes for our lives.
Brothers & sisters, let us know quench the Spirit when He is leading us into a certain direction in our lives to fulfil God’s purposes. And how do we know whether it is the right direction to go, we will know because the road will ultimately lead to us into glorifying God and participate in His Kingdom work.
Yes, of course the task set ahead of us is a tough one, in our human capacities, we will never be able to complete this gigantic task. We need courage, we need self-control, we need wisdom, we need Power. The good news is that God provides us the Power we need to accomplish great things for Him.
Firstly, the Gospel comes with Power. 1 Thessalonians 1:5
5 because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake.
The definition of Power is to have the capability to influence behaviour and events. And I believe the greatest need for Power in our life is to influence our self-destructive nature, our Self is the greatest enemy that stands between God and us. The Power we need is primarily to overcome our Self.
God wants us to seek for the Holy Spirit as a Spirit of power in our heart and life, to conquer Self and cast out sin, and to work the blessed and beautiful image of Jesus into us.
Brothers & sisters, when we fail to fully surrender every aspect of our lives into the hands of our Saviour Jesus we are quenching the Spirit of God from empowering us with His strength and His abilities. As long as we are holding on to things and controlling it the way we desire we are blocking the Spirit to take full control of the situation and allow to experience the joy of the Lord.
Let us not quench the Spirit from experiencing God’s in our Lives.
Finally, as I end, I want to bring to your attention the biggest mistake we make that eventually leads us to quenching the Spirit’s work on our lives. The mistake is our failure to Wait on Him.
We read a wonderful passage that brings immediate joy but fail to reflect on it deeply and allow the Holy Spirit to convict us because we have other things to do. We hear a great sermon but we fail to allow the spoken word to take deep roots by spending time in introspection by communing with Holy Spirit.
Friends, we have not learned enough to wait upon Him, and so we should make a solemn declaration before God; Oh God, we want to wait more for You to show us Your will.
You may ask, is it really possible to experience life with the Holy Spirit and clearly hear Him speak and guide me in my day-to-day life. The answer is “Yes, it is possible to those who are in right fellowship with Heaven, and who understands the art of waiting upon God in prayer”
Psalms 27:14 David encourages to wait on the Lord saying
Wait for the Lord;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the Lord!
The Lord is good to those who wait for him,
to the soul who seeks him.
but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.
Brothers & sisters, what would it means for you to wait on the HolySpirit every day of your life.
What would it mean to wait on the Lord once every week, maybe in fasting in prayer so you can align your years to the great comforter and helper.
What would it mean to take a break, in a month from work and ministry, maybe for a couple of days to separate yourself to fully focus your heart on God and allow the Spirit of God to experience the presence of God, guide you in the purposes of God and equip you the Power of God, so you can fully live for the Glory of God.
I’m leaving this to you to answer, and hope you will take out time and think deeply about these things.