The Open Door

The Holy Spirit  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented
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“And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another helper, to be with you forever. For He dwells with you and will be in you.”
This serves as our theme verse throughout our next sermon series simply called, “The Holy Spirit.” It comes from John 14:16-17. Jesus promises the arrival of “another helper,” someone who will be with us forever.
It’s hard to believe we are now two weeks past Easter Sunday!
We celebrate the resurrection of our Savior and His ascension into heaven! We know that our Savior lives and this is a truth to be acknowledge not just once a year, but everyday through our faith in Him!
And this series serves to answer an important question that rises up after Jesus was raised from the grave.
Jesus died on the cross.
Jesus was laid to rest in the tomb.
Three days later the stone was rolled away.
Jesus was raised up from the grave.
Jesus would ascend into heaven roughly 40 days following His resurrection.
So after all of this took place and His work on the cross was complete… what would come next? Was that it? What were His followers supposed to do in the days to come?
We understand today that His death and resurrection was not the end… but rather it was an incredible new beginning! The world, our reality, would never be the same again!
Because of what Jesus had done… God had given us the solution to the universal sin problem. There now existed a way where there seemed to be no way. Christ Jesus had overcome our greatest need. And today I want to talk about an exciting new reality that is now available to all who have a relationship with Jesus.
My message title this morning is The Open Door. God, through His Son Jesus, has opened the door for us to receive something… rather someone… Jesus spoke about in His ministry to his disciples.
What the disciples had to realize and what we need to understand as well is this: in order for this door to be opened, another had to be closed. I’ll say it this way… in order for the “helper” to come that Jesus spoke of in John 14, Jesus… had to go. We see Jesus make this clear statement in John 16:7
John 16:7 NIV
7 But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.
Jesus was disclosing to His disciples that He was about to leave… and this was upsetting to them as I’m sure it would be upsetting for all of us. And yet… He promised that His followers would not be left as orphans in John 14:18 meaning we would not be alone.
The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, would come after Jesus’s work on earth was complete. Jesus would send the Spirit to be with us… FOREVER.
So why is it… that we need the help of the Holy Spirit? Why does God feel like we need this presence in our lives? Why does Jesus feel compelled to share with His disciples that He will send the Spirit once He has gone?
Here’s the reality we need to realize this morning: God NEVER meant for us to do life on our own! We were not created to be in separation with God, we were created to be in fellowship, to be in relationship with God.
But when sin became a real thing… a very real separation came with it. We lost our fellowship with God because of sin. We see this play out in Genesis 3. This was the problem God overcame through the work of His Son. God DESIRES to restore His FULL FELLOWSHIP with His creation.
God wants you to experience the fullness of His love and the presence of His Spirit. And today, because of the open door He has given us, we can live in full fellowship with Him!
In the weeks to come, we are going to talk specifically about the work of the Spirit in our lives, but today I want to talk about how the door was opened for the Holy Spirit to be a part of our lives.
When this door opened, it marked the completion of the work needed to restore our fellowship with the Father. It was a work we could not do on our own… it is a gift we do not deserve. But God offers those who would believe the opportunity to know Him as the Father, the Son, AND the Spirit.

The Great Divide

Sin is what caused it… and we had no way around. But Christ came to overcome it… and the evidence is undeniable.
First off, we must understand that God and sin are incompatible.
Have you ever ran into issues of incompatibility?
Maybe socially… in a dating relationship or a friendship… you come across differences that just can’t be worked out.
Maybe technologically… you run into software and hardware that just do not work well together.
Maybe fashionably… you have a shirt that will not work… or shoes that go with nothing in your wardrobe. That’s why guys wear boots… they go with everything!
Maybe in food… you come across an ingredient that simply does not belong… LIKE PINEAPPLE ON PIZZA or COCONUT IN CHOCOLATE. It just ruins everything!
All of these examples have to deal with preference… personal taste or opinion. But what about in situations where things simply will not work.
A diesel engine cannot run on gasoline. The engine and fuel are not compatible.
A 20 gauge shotgun cannot shoot 12 gauge ammunition. The gun and the shell are not compatible.
A locomotive cannot travel down a paved highway. The train and the road are not compatible.
These examples deal with compatibility issues… by their design. They were not designed to go together.
In the beginning, God’s design was for fellowship. But once mankind chose sin over God’s design, a separation between God and His creation was created. God cannot fellowship with sin.
This separation was visually seen through what was known as the Holy of Holies within the temple. It was the place where the Spirit of God was found. The High priest would enter this room periodically to make atonement for the sins of Israel. God’s presence was separated from His people because of sin.
This separation is the spiritual reality for all those living in sin. We have all known it… some of us still know it today.
We see stories of people living in this separation throughout the gospels. They were looking for hope, looking for answers in all the wrong places.
But then Jesus came on the scene… and changed everything.
We know what that feels like… we know there is something more. But how can we access what we need when sin has created this gap? How can we reach God if… He is out of our reach?
Simple. Jesus… comes on the scene!
Sin separates us from God. God cannot dwell where sin is. Sin cannot go where God is. This is why God sent Jesus to be the answer to our sin problem. And once Jesus did the work that was needed to be done on the cross, something significant happened.
Matthew 27:50–51 NIV
50 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. 51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split
What this shows us is incredible: God’s Spirit, His presence, was no longer isolated in a room within the temple. Sin’s price had been paid. The separation had been overcome by the blood of Jesus!
And I want you to see something very important: Mankind did not make the determination that sin’s price was paid in full, the hand of God made that determination.
God tore the veil. The high priest didn’t do it, vandals didn’t do it, nor was it torn by some odd accident in the Temple. God made the declaration that through Christ, the separation had ended.
Jesus had to go - He had to die. He had to give His life to pay the price. He did this SO THE SPIRIT OF GOD COULD COME.
Jesus did not stay in death, the same Spirit He sends to believers is the One that raised Him up out of that grave.
God’s Spirit cannot dwell in sin-filled hearts. But now that forgiveness through Jesus is available, His Spirit can be poured in.
The blood of Christ has the power to fully cleanse us of the sin that once made us incompatible with God’s Spirit. His death closes the door to sin and opens the door for His Spirit to dwell in our hearts!
The moment we call on Jesus’ name for salvation, our fellowship with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit is restored!
The love of the Father is made real through the gift of His Son.
The Gift of His Son is made real through the forgiveness of our sin and the sending of the Spirit.
New life in the Spirit is made real through His empowerment.
For those who are in Christ, they have received exactly who Jesus said He would send: The Advocate… our helper… has Come!

The Advocate Has Come

The Holy Spirit is NOT someone we have to chase after or hunt down. God’s Spirit is HERE. God’s Spirit is AVAILABLE. God’s Spirit DWELLS in the hearts of those who believe.
As we talked about a moment ago, The presence of God is no longer housed in a temple of brick and morter. God has taken up a new dwelling place: the heart of the believer.
This is a significant reality! Have you stopped to consider what this truly means?
Immediately our minds go to what Jesus said: our Helper has arrived! It is amazing to know that The Spirit of God will never leave us of forsake us.
And… the indwelling of His Spirit signifies something else: THE DEFEAT OF OUR SIN.
Sin and the Spirit of God CANNOT coexist in your heart. This doesn’t mean you have mastered the ability to live a sin-free life… but it does mean that your heart belongs to the Father.
It is in this moment that God does something only God can do.
Remember what I said about the veil in the temple? God made the determination when it was time for that veil to be destroyed. God made the declaration that the price of sin had been satisfied.
The same goes for our lives as well. When God’s Spirit comes in, it is a supernatural spiritual declaration that your sins HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN. His presence in your life is a proclamation that you have saved!
Not only have you become a dwelling place for His Spirit… but His Spirit acts as a “seal” on those who have given their lives to Jesus.
Ephesians 1:13 NIV
13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,
The indwelling of the Spirit acts as a mark or a seal that indicates what? It indicates you are no longer bound by sin and its consequences but you are now forgiven and set free from ALL sin!
Talk about an incredible assurance! But… how does a person know if the Spirit of God is dwelling within them? How can they know if their heart has truly been surrendered to Jesus?
Think about it… Judas walked about as close as anyone could walk with Jesus and he missed it! How was it that Judas could be so close yet be so far away?
Because Judas was in it for himself… and not for Jesus. His heart was in the wrong place. He remained closed off to what Christ wanted to do in him.
There are a couple of quick things we need to look at as we talk about receiving God’s indwelling Spirit.
Question One: Have you given your heart to Jesus?
Have you placed your faith and belief in Him? Do you have a relationship with the One that gave His life for you?
Every person must make this decision on their own. Every person must make the choice of whether or not to believe.
The Spirit of God cannot come into a house that has not been cleaned. This doesn not mean that we have to come to Jesus as a perfect individual… it simply means we must repent… receive forgiveness of our sins and allow the blood of Christ to wash us white as snow.
Secondly, if you have given your heart to Jesus, are you displaying the fruit of the Spirit in your daily life?
If God’s Spirit is living in you, He will have an impact on every part of you. The evidence of His indwelling will be seen in your attitude, your behavior, in your habits, hobbies, your home life, etc. Your life… your mind… will no longer be governed by the flesh, but rather led by the Spirit.
And I want you to see what Romans 8 has to say about the difference between the two.
Romans 8:5–10 NIV
5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God. 9 You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness.
What Romans 8 is talking about is the evidence of God’s Spirit dwelling within. Life according to the Spirit vs. life according to the flesh are two completely different things!
We cannot claim to have fellowship with God yet still walk in the darkness of this world. There is no life in that.
And… did you catch the incompatibility mentioned in verse 6? Fleshly or worldly living is HOSTILE to God… meaning it is incompatible with a life or walk with God!
But for those who have received… for those who are living as led by the Spirit, there is life, there is peace, there is righteousness.
The Holy Spirit has come! Jesus has sent to us the Advocate He promised He would send!
The question is… have we chosen to receive Him? Have we given our hearts to the Lord that the Spirit might dwell within? Have we chosen restored fellowship… or have we settled for something else?

The Choice is Yours

Jesus came and gave His life so that our incompatibility with God (sin) could be done away with.
The disciples got to experience amazing fellowship with Christ throughout His ministry and they were troubled at the disclosure of his impending departure.
But Jesus assured them… He promised them… that He had to go, but another would come! The Spirit of God would be with them forever!
God… wants to live in your heart! God want to dwell within you. He is not a distant God, He is not an uncaring God. He is not an indifferent God or an absent God. He sent Jesus to die for your sins so we could be in His presence… So His Spirit could be within us.
Jesus paid the price we could not pay and we are going to say thank you for what He did for us in a moment. But right now, I want to re-ask a question… Have you given your heart to Jesus?
Fellowship with the Father can only come by way of forgiveness through the Son. There is no other path. That is why Jesus did what He did.
When you give your heart to Him, your sins are forgiven and the door is opened for the Spirit of God to move in!
Here’s another thing to consider… we spoke about the fruit or the evidence of the Spirit in our lives. If you find moe evidence of the flesh than the Spirit, we need to get this right. We need to recommit ourselves to Jesus.
If you desire to give your heart to Him, we want to give you opportunity to do so.
PRAYER - Salvation
None of this would be possible if Jesus had not done what He did for us at Calvary!
This morning, we say thank you by remembering what He went through so we could be set free.
1 Corinthians 11:23–26 NIV
23 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
Jesus gave it all… to open the door. His death was the key to unlocking God’s presence coming alive within you.
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