Central Christian Church Message Podcast

Who is the Holy Spirit? | Central Christian Church | Pastor Caleb Baker

October 10, 2021 Central Christian Church of Arizona
Central Christian Church Message Podcast
Who is the Holy Spirit? | Central Christian Church | Pastor Caleb Baker
Show Notes Transcript

If we’re honest we think of the trinity as the Old Testament God who’s kind of mean. The Holy Spirit can especially feel intimidating because we don’t know much about it. It is mysterious and all analogies we have for it are incomplete. Let’s join Pastor Caleb Baker as he introduces us to who the Holy Spirit is. 

Support the show (https://www.centralaz.com/Give)

Well, good morning and welcome to central. If you're here in this room or whatever room you are watching from, we are so glad that you have joined us this weekend. We believe God's going to move in a powerful way. So if you have a Bible, will you turn to Genesis one, one Genesis chapter one, verse one.

It's the first verse in the Bible. So you don't need table of contents today. Just open that thing up. You'll be good. We're on the same page. I have bookmarks with stickers from my little girl. So we're, we're in good shape today. Genesis one, one, so glad that you're here. Hey, let me pray and ask that God would, would move, would speak to us powerfully and then we'll, we'll jump in.

Let's pray together. God. We're so thankful for this time. Now that we get to open up your word and learn from you, learn together about who the holy spirit is. Uh, why that changes everything for us. And so I asked God for the next few moments that you would get distractions out of the way that you would move us closer to you, that you would encourage us, that you would challenge us God, that you would bring us home.

And we know that we need you to do. Got that. If you don't show up, we have no hope. If you don't get involved, we have nothing. And so, uh, we, we move here. We be here. Will you open us up to your good news? We love you so much. And it's in Jesus name that we pray. And everybody said a. We're in the second week of this series called the God within.

And we're going to spend the next few weeks talking all about the holy spirit. And I'm so excited to talk about the holy spirit for the next few weeks, because it's just this powerful thing that we don't really understand. And so we're really going to spend time unpacking who is the holy spirit? What is the holy spirit?

How does the holy spirit work? If you were with us last week, we started off this series, pastor cow talked about the Trinity and it was. Uh, awesome message. But it kind of set up, Hey, if we're going to talk about the holy spirit, we've got to understand the Trinity. That God is one there's one God, but there are three persons.

And so there's God, the father, God, the son, God, the holy spirit. One God, three persons. We're all crystal clear on that. So we're ready to move into the holy spirit. You could write a paper on it. I know you could today. We're asking this question. It's so powerful to me, who is the holy. Who is the holy spirit, as I've been thinking about this really big formative question, I think there's a couple of things that we have to address a couple of things we need to consider before we jump into Genesis one, one, and actually who the holy spirit is.

The first thing that I think we need to talk about. If we're honest, is that we have a very bizarre cultural understanding of who the holy spirit. We can just be honest. It's okay. Like when we think about the holy spirit in a weird way, right? Like we think of the Trinity as we have like old Testament, God who did some awesome VBS type stories.

And then he also like flooded the earth and that's kind of weird where like a lot of people died anyway, but. And so it's like, we're we have this like old Testament, God that that's this God, the father. And then we get to flip to the new Testament and it's God the son Jesus. And it's like, okay, he's nice.

He likes little kids and lambs, I guess. And so it's like, this is perfect. He can walk on water and then we get to the holy spirit and we really have no idea what to do with the holy. If we're just being completely honest with each other, we have no idea what to make of the holy spirit. It's so easy to think of the holy spirit as this material thing, like moving in the wind, right.

Just doing generally spirity type things. And we're like, I don't even know what that means. It's, it's difficult for us to put like tangible handles on the holy spirit to figure out, to figure out who he actually is. I think that I know I do. I think that some of us sometimes think of the holy spirit, like, like Google drive, like it's just like up in the internet doing things somewhere somehow.

I don't know how it works, but it's up there and I can put my documents in it. Okay, cool. Let's move on. So we have the father and the son. The spirit, the crazy uncle of the Trinity that nobody understands. And I'm so excited to talk for the next few minutes about who the holy spirit is, because I think that the news is so much better than we think like the holy spirit is, is such good news.

And I really hope, and I've been praying that as we unpack this, as we work together through this, that we can actually meet the holy spirit today, like that will be introduced to. Not, not that we can know a bunch of facts about him, but that we can actually be introduced to the holy spirit today. Which brings me to my second caveat by way of introduction.

If I was going to introduce you to my wife, I wouldn't say like, I want to introduce you to my wife, her name's Jess, and here's her blood type. Here's her medical records. Here's her ancestry.com results. This is her maiden name. She was a cheerleader in high school. Like, that's not how you introduce people.

You'd be insane if you did that, right? Like that, that might show you some things about her, but that doesn't help, you know, her. I haven't done anything to introduce you to her, just to facts about her. And I think if we're not careful, we can do the same with our understanding of God that we might know a lot of things about God.

We might sing some songs about God, but by way of actually knowing God or knowing the holy spirit being introduced to the holy spirit, we still have a long way. So I want us to meet the holy spirit today. I want us to be exposed to who he actually is. If I can, by the power of the holy spirit, I want you to feel the holy spirit today.

So we're going to spend the next few moments working to that end. Let's jump in Genesis one and verse one, it says this in the beginning, God created the heavens and the. Now the earth was formless and empty darkness was over the surface of the deep and the spirit of God was hovering over the waters and the spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

The first thing I want to show you about who the holy spirit is in the beginning, when. At its most formless and empty and dark, the holy spirit was there and it says the spirit was hovering over the waters. The Hebrew word that we've translated into hovering is actually stronger than just hovering. I don't know about you, but when I have always read this verse and it says the Spirit's hovering over the waters, I just picture this like, like ghoul, holy ghost thing, like creepily making its way across creation.

It's like, this is not super helpful, but the word for hovering here is way more close range. It's way more intimate than that. It's way more powerful. That's it? It's the idea of a protective hovering or a vibrant movement. He's not just hovering around being creepy. He's doing stuff like he's activating stuff.

There's purpose to it. This same exact Hebrew word that's used in Genesis. One, two for hovering is used again later in the old Testament in Deuteronomy. When it's talking about an Eagle hovering over its. And so if you can imagine that picture, that this Eagle is hovering over its nest, sort of protecting its young activating stirring up, it's young to be ready to leave the nest.

But I think there's so much to unpack and think about that with how we think about the holy spirit, that the holy spirit isn't hovering around. Just doing holy ghost, spooky stuff. He's protecting, he's activating. He's stirring up. There is purpose to the hover. So, if we could imagine Genesis one, two as the spirit hovering over creation, activating everything, stirring everything up into existence, protecting creation that starts to give us a picture of who the holy spirit really is.

The holy spirit was there in the beginning. The spirit is not some throw away. God, not some crazy uncle. He's not like Kroger brand. God, not that I have anything against Kroger. He is fully God outside of time and space, the alpha, the omega, the beginning and the end when there was nothing else at the very beginning, the holy spirit was there.

And if we understand this idea of the holy spirit hovering, like protecting and activating and actually doing things, then, then as we read more of scripture and see the holy spirit show up, it's going to start to make more sense because that's the pattern that we see all throughout scripture. Every time the holy spirit shows up, he's actually doing things and not just being a ghost, freaking people out, he's actually doing things.

And this is the saddest part to me, as we reduce the spirit of the living God, to this like spooky thing in the world's internet that we miss out on seeing the holy spirit as an activator, the holy spirit as a helper, like real life, tangible things that are our understanding of this, a theory or kind of meaningless thing is the opposite of what we see in the pattern of scripture.

The holy spirit is always up to something real. He's always doing things. The holy spirit shows up and he's gifting God's people in certain ways, or he's giving words to people. He's empowering actions among people he's providing clarity and direction for God's people. Just like we see in Genesis one, the holy spirit, all throughout scripture is completely all encompassing.

He's always doing stuff. He's not just hovering over these waters in the beginning of time, he's moving over God's people. As they're working through family struggles and incredibly difficult situations, this spirit is moving, guiding God's people to the promised land. The spirit is moving. Speaking through God's profits to his people.

The spirit is moving closely, directing the apostles in the book of acts, as they're going all throughout the world, he's always up to something. It would be a much shorter list for me to show you the things that the holy spirit doesn't have his hand in. I mean, he's just always working, always moving over different waters.

It's a beautiful idea. What was he doing in Genesis one? He was hovering over the waters. He was moving. He was bringing order to the chaos. He was bringing light into the darkness. He was bringing fullness and life and vitality into the emptiness. And the good news for us today is that the holy spirit hasn't retired from that work.

That's what he's still doing in our waters. That's what he's still doing in. He's still hovering over, moving over our waters today, creating hope and light and peace. He's still protecting and activating the vitality and energy of human life and human purpose. It's a beautiful thought, but I hope if we've set this up, right.

That for like before we get into this a little bit deeper, I hope right now you feel like this is too big for you to wrap your brain around because the holy spirit is too big for you to wrap your. I hope you feel a little bit, like you're standing at the edge of a beach, like trying to look over the other side of the ocean to see where the water ends, but surely you can't because you're not that big.

Or like, remember when you were a little kid and you would like look up at the clouds and be like, wow, how high up is high up? Are those clouds? How high up do I have to beat a jump from cloud to cloud? And then at some point you learn that that's impossible and it breaks your heart, but when you're a kid you can dream.

You're like, wow, that's amazing. Because the holy spirit is big and powerful and eternal and has no bounds. There is no way to fully define the spirit of God for our human languages, but let's zoom in for a minute. I want to read these same verses because it's way more close range than you might think.

Let's read them again. Genesis one, one. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty. Darkness was over the surface of the deep and the spirit of God was hovering over the water. I want to teach you a Hebrew word today. If you didn't know, the old Testament was written in Hebrew originally, not in perfect American English.

I know that might surprise you. It was written in Hebrew and we translated it a bunch of times so that we can read it for ourselves. But the original Hebrew word that we see as spirit and Genesis one, two is the word ruach. It's an awesome word. It's best. If you like clear your throat at the end of it, ruach, right?

Let's try it together. Wherever you are. 1, 2, 3, Rudolph. That was insane. I love that. We just sounded so crazy. Good for you. If you brought a friend today, you're like, this is why I don't like church because of that, because of you shouting Hebrew words, ruach, it's this powerful word. It's the word for spirit, but sometimes it can be defined as, as wind or even bread.

So like it, you would be totally accurate to read Genesis one verse two by the earth was formless and empty darkness was over the surface of the deep and the Capitol be breath of God was hovering over the waters. Is there anything more intimate or more close range than breadth? Is there anything real or, or, or like more, more true to the human experience than breathing?

Like we, we literally need it to live. Can you imagine then that this is who the holy spirit is that we're as dependent on the breath of God, on the rock, on the spirit of God, as we are as, as literally taking breath into our lungs, like who is the holy spirit? He's this close. We're this dependent on him.

We need him that much to get through every moment of every day. He is the breath of God, the ruach. So he's not just bringing form to the formlessness in Genesis one, he's bringing form to the formlessness inside us. He's not just turning the lights on at the beginning of time, because it was incredibly dark.

He's turning the lights on in your soul and in the darkness that you're going through, this is as close range as it gets. How close is he? He's as close as. He's right here. You feel it in your chest. I mean, this is life or death. We cannot survive without the breath. The spirit of the living. God, who is the holy spirit.

He is the God completely inextricably wrapped up in the most basic foundational human need. And I think that's so many churches and families and marriages and communities and systems of culture are dissatisfied or unhappy, or generally coming to the conclusion that, Hey, this isn't working, this isn't working.

And I think it's because we're holding our. We're holding our breath. We're holding this ruach breadth of God's spirit of God, holy spirit power. And you know, when you're holding your breath, you start to tremble. And you're just trying so hard on your own to bring form, to bring light, to bring hope into your own darkness and formlessness and hopelessness, right?

Like we, we just hold our breath. Maybe I just need a new. I'm not happy. I'm dissatisfied, this isn't working, but if I get a new job, everything is going to work out for me. Right. We know that. Yes. Maybe if I get a new house, maybe if I get a new. Maybe we just need a change of scenery. We love saying that, right?

Like we're just holding our breath. I'm going to try everything I can to bring light into my own life, to bring wholeness into my own life. Maybe I need a new spouse. Maybe I need new kids. Hello. We all need some new kids. Sometimes we're like, can we do a redo? He was hit the reset button on my kids.

That'd be awesome. Software update. Like maybe if I just hold my breath, like if we just get enough new stuff or better stuff or more stuff than the fullness will come to us. When in actuality, the breath of God, the rock that was there at the beginning, and as the here, now we're holding him back. We're holding our breath.

We're not inviting in the author of fullness and light and hope wondering why it's not working. As a matter of fact, let's do something together because I want you to feel this. And because I've done student ministry for 10 years and it just feels right. Okay. So we're going to hold our breath together just for 10 seconds.

We can do this just for 10 seconds. We're going to hold our breath. Cause I want you to feel this. If you have a preexisting health condition, maybe sit this one out. You know what I mean? I don't, I want you to meet the Lord, but maybe not right now during this service. Cause that would be. For all of us, but, uh, 10 seconds, I have a clock in the back of the room.

So just follow my lead. I'm not going to cheat you. I promise. Okay. 10 seconds. Are you ready? Can we do this? Count it down. Take a deep breath. 1, 2, 3.

Okay. How do we. We're all still sitting in our chairs. That's a good sign. You know, I think we can. I think we can do better. Let's do one more time. I promise this will be the last one 20 seconds. Looking at show boy, maybe we should move on. No, they're like for 20 seconds, 20 seconds. Again, we got this. I believe in you follow my lead 20 seconds.

We're gonna hold our breath. Is it going to be awkward? Yes. If somebody walks in the middle of us doing this, are they going to think the world ended? Yes, but we can enjoy that together. Okay. 20 seconds where I count you down and take a big, deep breath in you ready? 1, 2, 3.

Look at you. We did it. Claps. We're like holy spirit of God boring, but we did at 20 seconds. Yes. I love this because you can feel your body responding to taking that big breath back in, right. Even just in 20 seconds, you feel your body starts to reject what's happening, going this. Isn't how we do this.

This isn't going to work for very long. This isn't going to work for very long. This isn't gonna work for very long. I found this interesting that the human body can function for 30 seconds or 20 praise God or a minute, maybe even a couple or few minutes if you've trained your body to do so, your body can, can make it for a little bit without breathing.

And you'll be fine. Your body can sense right away that it's not receiving the oxygen and there's things within you that I studied this week. And I'm not smart enough to even read it to you. So I'm not going to try, but like there's things within your body that start to regulate themselves to sustain you for a brief.

It'll it'll regulate you for a short period of time, but once you get up over 90 seconds or a couple minutes, or I guess for this room 24 seconds, that would have been our number. But like once you get up to a certain point, the oxygen loss and the blood flow and all that stuff starts to get bad enough that really, really damaging things can happen to your body.

Sometimes permanent. And obviously I don't have to tell you if you hold your breath for too long, you die. That's how we live. Welcome to science class. And if this is true for our physical bodies, I mean, we just felt a little bit of it in 20 seconds. What about our churches? What about our souls? What about our communities?

What about our workplaces? What about our families? How long can we survive without taking. How much longer can the brain and the heart of our culture and our world last without the ruach, the spirit, the breath of God, entering into our lungs and activating us and protecting us and sending us out and bringing form to our formlessness and bringing a life to our emptiness and bringing a light to our darkness.

I mean, how much longer can we do this? This isn't going to work for very much longer. Is it any surprise that so many parts of our culture feel light-headed like we've been holding our breath for two. Maybe you remember when you were a kid and you would have those competitions to see who could hold their breath for the longest.

And you always had that one friend who had cheat, who like thinks they're slick. Like, and you're like, dude, we hurt you. Come on. Like, this is the worst. But you, you know, like once you get up over a certain number, like your body starts to shake and like everything inside of you is rejecting what you're doing to it.

This isn't going to last for very long. This isn't going to work for very long. Isn't that what we're seeing in our day, when we're holding our breath, when we're trying to bring order to our lives on our own, is it surprising then that it's not working when we're not breathing in the spirit of the living?

God, the ruach, the breath that's been there since Genesis one, does our world feel a little lightheaded to you? Is what I'm asking? Doesn't it feel like our culture is losing the blood and its head. Doesn't it feel like we're turning blue. A little bit. Can you feel the shaking and the trembling, like we've been holding our breath for too long.

These consequences are about to get really bad for us.

Some of us are holding our breath and maybe we can survive for a little bit, maybe a week or a month or a year or even a few years, but is this how we want to live our lives? Just slowly losing oxygen, trying to do things on our own, just slowly losing the blood in our head. Just trying to make it work, trying to be strong enough, trying to be smart enough, trying to be good enough on our own without breathing without the holy spirit.

Could it be that the holy spirit, the ruach of God is moving over our waters. And that he's able to bring form and life and light and to our waters, just the same as he did in Genesis one. If we'll just take a breath, we'll just breathe and the life and the vitality that he brings Genesis one, one in the beginning.

God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty. Darkness was over the surface of the deep and the spirit of God was hovering over the waters, who is the holy spirit? Who are we missing out on? I mean after we held our breath for just 20 seconds, you start to feel your body reject that, and then you breathe and you feel yourself open back up, you feel the oxygen go to where it's supposed to go.

You, you can literally feel that fullness. And I fully believe that that's what God is inviting us into today. For yourself and your life. And for us as a church, that God is inviting us to breathe again, that God's inviting us to stop holding our breath, to stop trying to do this on our own. God is inviting us to live again, not the autopilot, hold your breath type of living, but the, but the life of rest and peace and light and wholeness that only the holy spirit can bring to your life.

If we'll just breathe. We can have access to the holy spirit of the living God, the same spirit that allowed Joseph to interpret dreams, the same spirit that spoke through Alijah and Isaiah and he Zeke you'll the same spirit that stood Jesus back up in that tomb in victory, the same spirit that led the apostles all over the known world to spread the good news, to heal people and to preach the gospel in a world full of bad news.

And so that's the scripture. We can see the spirit all throughout it, but then I got. I wonder about us. I wonder about your life.

What areas right now, do you feel like you're holding your breath? What areas of your life feel like they need the holy spirit, the ruach power breathe back into them? I think so many of our marriages are light headed. We're short of breath where we're trying so hard to be good enough on our own to fix it on our own, where we're fighting, we're losing our breath more and more every day.

And it's just a matter of time. There's that same realization. This isn't going to work for very much longer, unless I breve. Maybe it's your relationship with your kids? It feels lifeless. It feels formless. It feels empty and dark. You cannot see a way that this is going to turn around. This isn't going to work for very long.

Maybe it's your, maybe it's some addiction that you're not telling anyone about, and you're just trying to fight it on your own. I gotta be better. I gotta be better. I gotta be stronger. I can't do this. I can't do this. I can't do this. And you keep losing and you keep losing and you keep losing. And there's this realization in you.

I know there is that you're like this isn't going to work for very much longer. I'm not going to be able to make it for very much longer. If I keep doing this. If I keep holding my breath, maybe your finances are wrecked and you're just struggling to make ends meet and the debt is stacking up and it might as well be stacking up on your shoulders because every morning you wake up feeling heavier and heavier because of how bad your situation is.

And you're going, this isn't going to work for very much longer.

Maybe it's shame from your past something that you did, something that was done to. And it's taking your ability to breathe. And the devil is quick to remind you, Hey, that's who you are. You're you're damaged goods. You're not really valued. I know the Bible says that Jesus died for all people, but you're the one exception.

You got to do this on your own. You gotta be good enough on your own. Then we have that realization. This isn't going to work for very much like.

Regardless of what it is for you. We're all short of breath. We're all holding our breath, waiting for something to happen. The raise that breakthrough in our marriage, the addiction that would just finally leave me alone and we're getting more and more lightheaded.

The invitation for every single one of us today is to. To release that burden to release that shame, to confess that sin because there's freedom and confession. There's not further guilt. There's not further chains that once we confess, once we come before the Lord and go, I can't do this anymore. This isn't going to work for very much longer.

We release it and we get to breathe in grace. We get to breathe in life. We get to breathe in fullness. We get to breathe in light into our lungs, into our soul. I don't know what you're going through, but I know that you need the ruach, the holy spirit of the living. God, he's our only hope we do not have good enough preaching at this church to bring order and life and vitality into your soul.

We just don't. We don't have bright enough light. We don't have a good enough student ministry. We don't have good enough parking attendance to bring life and order into your soul. All we have is the same hope that you have that the holy spirit might move over our waters the same way he did in Genesis one, that he might move, that he might protect us, that he might stir us up, that he might activate us as we brief him.

And that we might feel the fullness that only he can breathe. Only he can bring, we have nothing. If he doesn't show. I don't have any more points. I don't have any more creative ways to say this to you. I just want to say to you, I want to confess that your only hope today and forever is if you open yourself up and stop trying to do it on your own and go, God, I just want to breathe you in.

I need your life. I need your fullness. I need your light. I need your hope. God, I'm not good enough to do this on my own. I'm getting lightheaded. Are you breathing? Are you opening yourself up to the holy spirit of God to move over the waters of your marriage, to move over the waters of your dating relationships, to move over the waters of your career, to move over to the waters of your dinner table at home, to move over the waters of your commute, to work the school that you're a part of the workplace that you're a part of.

Are you, are you breathing in the ruach of God to move over your waters? The same way he always has?

Will you invite him? That holy spirit. That's big enough to bring order to the universe and as close as oxygen entering into your body and your soul, who is the holy spirit,

we're going to give you a chance, us a chance right now to share, and this moment to breathe this end, to open up our hearts to the holy spirit. And it's my prayer. That we would actually feel this and our hearts and our souls that we would feel lighter, that we would feel like we can breathe. Again. I pray that you might feel him moving over the waters of your life, that you might feel the peace and the order and the fullness that he's been working out since Genesis one.

So I'm going to pray and then we're going to sing a song together. Inviting the holy spirit in, and I want to encourage you as much as I know how to, to breathe, to stop fighting this, to stop the distractions, to stop trying to hold your breath on your own. I'm going to invite you as we sing these words together, would you let it move over your waters?

Would you let it move in your heart and in your soul? I think it will change you forever. Open up your heart today. As we sing this song together. Don't hold your breath. Let me pray.

God, we have nothing. If you don't move,

there is no fullness. There is no light. There is no hope unless it's what you think.

So in the hustle and bustle of our lives, God, could you interrupt right now? Would you cut through our insecurities? Would you cut through our distractedness? Why would you cut through our fears and our shame right now? God, move in these waters, activate us. God, protect us. Send us. Move in these waters. God, we need you

be with us. Lord. We're so thankful for who you are. It changes everything for us. So move over our waters today. God, we love you so much. It's in Jesus name. We pray. Amen.