Monday, November 28, 2016

The Road to Jerusalem by Geoff Thompson

This message was recorded at the Renmark West Uniting Church on Palm Sunday 2016.

I speak as a lay preacher a few times a year in the Renmark West and Renmark Town Church.

The pictures with audio are just so I can upload the audio to youtube.

 I recorded this on my iphone.I also have a blog called geoffthompsonsblog.blogspot.com.au

My youtube channel is at pembridgehouse.





The First Adam v the Last Adam by Pastor Harold Long

 
This video is about The First Adam v the Last Adam by Harold Long.
The opening Bible readings are by the late Pastor Frank Hunting.
The late Harold Long was a Churches of Christ minister and the one who was instrumental in my becoming a Christian.
It  is an important message to enable us to understand the Gospel. It shows how we are born "in Adam", a life that leads to death and when we become Christians we are "in Christ" and have entered into eternal life and freedom.It is also important to note how important the opening Chapters of Genesis are and that we should read them as literal truth.   Geoff Thompson

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Putting Christ Back in the News.



While recovering from some surgery I have been digitising some more of my tape collection.

Some time, ago in the 1980's, I enrolled in a correspondence course in Christian Writing.

It came with a set of 10 lessons on tape produced by Ken Packer in association with New Creation Ministries.

This was an Adelaide based course.

I wasn't able at the time to continue with the course but learnt a lot from the tapes which were produced during the "live" version of the course. 

It was in the days well before the internet and blogs etc when newspapers and magazines and radio and TV ruled the news gathering world.

Notwithstanding that, there is still much to be gained by listening to the tapes and in someways I think they  influenced me in starting this blog.

Ken produced a book called "Putting Christ Back in the News  The local church's role in public relations and Christian journalism"

I have it on order at the present.

You can still access Ken's writings at the link below.

http://www.timeforworship.com/ken-packers-column/

"Ken Packer.  In 1980 Ken began a monthly Christian column in his local suburban newspaper. In 1985 he began (and still writes) a weekly Christian column for country newspapers.  In 1986 he published his book “Putting Christ back in the news” to explain a local church’s role in public relations and Christian journalism. Click here for Ken’s articles "

I have found there is also a similar free course online at the link below by Fiona Veitch Smith.

http://christian-writing-course.thecraftywriter.com/ 

I would love to hear  from anyone who did the course and what they did as a result of completing it.

One of my neighbours, Rob Ferguson also did the course back then.

His "tree of life ministry" is featured on this blog.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Selecting Hymns

I am often called upon to preach as a layman at The Parkrose Village Congregation and also in two Renmark Uniting Church congregations. You will find some of my addresses and orders of service on this blog and my Christian Sermons blog.One of the tasks is to select suitable hymns to be sung.In Parkrose we predominantly use the Australian Churches of Christ Hymn Book and in Renmark mainly the Australian Hymn Book.
Having not grown up as a Christian in the Uniting Church I am not always familiar with the Hymns available.  Fortunately for me my wife who plays piano when I preach in Parkrose, is very familiar with Churches of Christ Hymns and also as in her younger days was a member of the Congregational Church and youth groups.So she is my arbiter and expert when it comes to choosing what we will sing. I have recently come across a wonderful site on the internet where many historical books of the restoration movement can be found. Churches of Christ in Australia is derived from the Restoration Movement. I am familair with the basics of it's history but there is a wealth of information on this site. I came across a book by John W Mcgarvey which is a series of Chapel Talks to students at the Bible College of which he was president.
I have reproduced this one address here on how to study and select Hymns.
Bear in mind this was for would be preachers and pastors.
My wife is a great exponent of the the things he highlights here for which I and our congregations are are always greatful.

There is a link at the bottom to where this book is and also the website itself.




Chapel Address -- No. 8
THE STUDY AND SELECTION OF HYMNS

I have said a few words to you on a number of occasions, about the importance of studying hymns and the proper selection of hymns to suit occasions. Sometimes an improper selection of a hymn leads to very deplorable results. I was informed of one instance in which, on a funeral occasion, the selection of the hymns was left to the young man who led the singing. He selected one that started right, but just as the pallbearers started off with the corpse they sang, "Believing we rejoice to see the curse removed." That service ended with more tittering than tears.

In order that you may make appropriate selections you must know your hymn book, not only the first stanza of every hymn that is worth singing, but the whole of it. You must know all those that are worth singing if you would make your selections wisely. The elements of a good hymn may be stated thus:
First, and most important of all, its sentiments must be scriptural. There is a hymn in one of our church hymnals which has been sung a great deal, the second stanza of which confidently looks forward to the time when that old boatman familiar in Greek mythology who used to row people across the river Styx, will safely row the Christian across the river of death. Now that is heathenish, but it is in a Christian hymn book. First, then, let me say again, and emphasize it, See to it that the sentiments of every hymn you select to sing in the church are scriptural.
Second, a good hymn is good poetry. Those of you who have gone pretty well along in the course of English, ought to know what good poetry is. You have been taught what it is. But it will require on your part a good deal of thought and study in addition to what you get from your professor, in order to give you that fine taste which will enable you to see the fine elements of poetry in a hymn. I do not think that there is one of the hymns that have become permanently popular that is not good poetry. Not only is good poetry essential, but there is a sentiment among uncultivated people that demands it. Some hymns acquire popularity and usefulness for a short time by means of the fine music set to them, even though they are only a jingle of rhymes: but they soon pass away.
When, then a hymn is found to contain scripture sentiment and good poetry, in order to be effective as a hymn it must be sung to appropriate music, music that expresses finely the sentiments of the hymn. Now no man can be successful in the selection of hymns to suit occasions from day to day and from week to week, who does not devote a great deal of attention and careful study to hymns. There are hymns which, instead of being good poetry, are nothing but lines of prose with a rhyme at the end of them, and not always good rhyme at that. I will read you a couple of instances of this kind. Number 526 in our hymnal: the second stanza: "Thrice blest is he to whom is given the instinct that can tell That God is on the field, when He is most invisi- - - bell, it ought to be. If it be true as was said a long time ago by some wise man and repeated again and again by others, that, if you will allow a man of good judgement to select the songs of a people, he may care very little who makes their laws, then it can not be a matter of minor importance to select wisely the songs of the church. There are a great many people, and especially children, who obtain their religious sentiments more from the hymns they are taught to sing than from the Scripture which they read or hear from the pulpit. And when sentiments are thus formed, whether just right or just wrong, it is almost impossible in later years to eradicate them. This is another indication of the importance of the careful study of hymns.
I have said that those hymns which have been long popular, and have had strong hold upon the minds and hearts of the people, have, all of them, been characterized by those qualities of a good hymn which I have mentioned. For example, that one which Matthew Arnold pronounces the finest hymn in the English language:

"When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast
Save in the death of Christ, my Lord;
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.

See, from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down;
Did e'er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all."
I do not know that Matthew Arnold was correct in thinking that the finest hymn in the English language, but certainly it has in it all the elements of a good hymn. Take as another example that old hymn that should have made the name of its author immortal. Mrs. Julia Ward Howe, who died a few days ago, made her name famous by the composition of one song that has attained the name of The Battle Hymn of the Republic. We have a battle hymn.

Am I a soldier of the cross,
A follower of the Lamb,
And shall I fear to own His cause,
Or blush to speak His name?
 
You all know the rest of it. Then there is another hymn, not sung so often, but equally fine, which might be called the Christian's call to arms.

Soldiers of Christ arise,
And put your armor on,
Strong in the strength which God supplies,
Thro His eternal Son.

Strong in the Lord of Hosts
And in His mighty power,
Who in the strength of Jesus trusts,
Is more than conqueror.

Stand, then, in His great might,
With all His strength endued,
And take to arm you for the fight,
The panoply of God.

Leave no unguarded place,
No weakness of the soul,
Take every virtue, every grace,
And fortify the whole.

That having all things done,
And all your conflicts past,
You may o'ercome through Christ alone
And stand entire at last.
 
Such hymns as these two arouse all the energy and courage that is in the soul of a man who loves the Lord.
Then, we have our marching hymns; not one, but many; especially that one which we sing so often in this chapel:

"Come we that love the Lord,
And let our joys be known,
Join in the song with sweet accord,
And thus surround the throne,

Let those refuse to sing,
Who never knew our God;
But children of the heavenly king,
May speak their joys abroad.

The hill of Zion yields,
A thousand sacred sweets,
Before we reach the heavenly fields,
Or walk the golden streets.

Then let our songs abound,
And every tear be dry:
We're marching thro Immanuel's ground,
To fairer worlds on high."
 
That hymn is a fine piece of poetry and it is sung to the music of a very fine march. I wonder that some composer has not taken it in hand and made of it a grand march for a brass band. I think it would be a good thing right now for us to rise and sing it.
But there are times that come over the disciples of Christ quite different from these indicated in these exulting stanzas. They are times of gloom and tears, when we need the tenderest words of divine sympathy. Our hymn writers have not left us without comfort in times like these. at is more consoling than the lines in which we sing our Lord's own invitation to the weary and heavy laden, beginning with the stanza,

"Come unto me when shadows darkly gather,
When the sad heart is weary and distressed
Seeking for comfort from your heavenly Father,
Come unto me, and I will give you rest".
We love to sing of our final triumph over death and the grave, and some of our best hymns are devoted to this inspiring theme. I wish we could bring back into general use that inimitable composition in which the resurrection of our Lord and our own resurrection are so beautifully and triumphantly set forth that it should hold a place, as it once did, in every hymn book:

"The angels that watched round the tomb
Where low the Redeemer was laid,
When deep in mortality's gloom,
He hid for a season his head,
That veiled their fair face while he slept,
And ceased their harps to employ".

(Is there anything more beautiful than this?)

"Have witnessed his rising, and swept
Their chords with the triumphs of joy.

Though dreary the empire of night,
I soon shall emerge from its gloom,
And see immortality's light
Arise on the shades of the tomb.

Then welcome the last rending sighs,
When these aching heart-strings shall break,
When death shall extinguish these eyes,
And moisten with dew the pale cheek.
No terror the prospect begets,
I am not mortality's slave;
The sunbeam of life, as it sets,
Leaves a halo of peace on the grave."



http://www.therestorationmovement.com/_states/kentucky/chapeltalks.htm

http://www.therestorationmovement.com/books/books.htm 



Thursday, August 18, 2016

" How to reconstruct your marriage." by Frank Hunting

It is a tragedy today that so many marriages end in divorce and tears and sometimes domestic violence.
Our family and circle of friends has been at times greatly affected by such things.

While this post does not specifically deal with  your actual situation if you have come here with some desperation, for a Christian couple, the teaching here is a great place to start.

Some years ago my wife and I had some marriage  counselling with Frank Hunting.
He was our pastor at the time.
You will find more about Frank in the link below to my specifically Christian blog.

This study is from a collection of his written Bible studies.

http://geoffthompsonstapelibrary.blogspot.com.au/2012/09/introduction-to-this-blog.html

We were a young couple with children at the time facing all the challenges of keeping it together.
We were already Christians.
We were active in our Church but still needed help.

We just did pretty much what is recommended here.

(We were strong enough in our faith, by God's grace, not to need any follow up counselling with Frank although I personally  had many conversations and discussions with him over many years.)

This study by him is along the lines of how we were counselled and  we were able to put these ideas into practice.
While this study is mainly for people who are already Christians there is no reason why non Christians cannot benefit from this if they decided to become Christians.

" WHEN TROUBLE COMES WHAT TAKES PLACE?

Always the partners in the marriage focus their attention on the faults of 
their opposite partner. 

In their minds they list the faults of the opposite partner.

They think about these.

They argue about these.

 They argue about these ,both in their minds and together.

They brood on these faults.

They build up tremendous emotional reactions to each other as a result 
of this thinking and brooding on these faults.

NOW WHAT IS THE OUTCOME OF ALL OF THIS? 

1.Their negative
                fault finding, 
                   thinking 
                           about each other becomes

                           OBSESSIVE.

 They see little of good in their partner and what they do is overwhelmed by 
  the faults they see.

2. The only thing they can see about their marriage is the faults
       and wrongs of their partner.

This convinces them no change for the better is possible in their marriage.

3. They become absolutely despairing and hopeless about any 
    resolution to their marriage.

This despair and hopelessness prevents them from recognising and believing the 
 truth that Christ can so change each one in the marriage partnership as to 
make it possible for a new marriage to be constructed under God's guidance.

THIS STATE OF THINGS NOT ONLY BLINDS SUCH PEOPLE TO THE TWO THINGS THAT WOULD CHANGE THEIR MARRIAGE , BUT MAKES THEM RESISTANT TO THESE TWO THINGS.

1. People are so stirred up over what is wrong in their marriage that, when they are told what can save can save and change their marriage, 
                         THEY REFUSE TO SEE IT AND BELIEVE IT. 

2. Secondly, brooding as they do over the sins and faults and wrongs of their partner,
   the devil is able to make them 
                     STRONGLY RESISTANT TO THE ANSWER TO THEIR                                                              PROBLEM MARRIAGE.

WHAT ARE THE TWO THINGS THAT WILL CHANGE ANY MARRIAGE THAT IS BREAKING OR BROKEN?

1. THE FIRST IS TO BRING JESUS INTO THE MARRIAGE.
      HE HAS THE ANSWER TO ANY MARRIAGE PROBLEM.

  Let me issue a note of warning at this point.

Don't assume because two people are Christians they will bring Jesus into their marriage situations.
                  They don't!

The only place where some Christians leave Jesus out of their living, is in their relationship
 with their marriage partner.

But once Christ is given control of any marriage partnership, true change for the better will begin. 

2  THE SECOND THING IS: IF WE WANT CHANGE IN OUR MARRIAGE THAT CHANGE MUST BEGIN IN "ME" NOT THE OTHER PARTNER

This is the way change comes into a marriage.

If you want change in your marriage.

If you want understanding.


If you want appreciation.

If you want peace instead of argument.


Let it start in you.


DON'T DEMAND IT START IN YOUR PARTNER.


The resistance brought to OPPOSE THESE TWO WORKABLE SOLUTIONS TO MARRIAGE PROBLEMS IS FORMIDABLE.

HOW DO YOU BRING CHRIST INTO YOUR MARRIAGE?

1. FIRST YOU MUST BRING HIM RIGHT INTO THE CENTRE AND CONTROL OF YOUR LIFE 

2. IF YOU HAND THE CONTROL OF YOUR 
                     TONGUE
                           REACTIONS
                              ACTIONS
                                   THOUGHTS
                                       and FEELINGS

OVER TO JESUS HE WILL TELL YOU WHAT TO DO. 

If you are determined to let Him change your home and will carry out what He tells you, you can listen to His guidance as to what you are to do.-AND IF YOU ARE GENUINE HE WILL TELL YOU.

HE will tell you .

      where you are to change.
       what you are not to say.
      what wrong feelings you must give up.
      what ways you are to 
            show love and make your 
                  partner happy. "

My prayer is that if you have come across this post at just the right time in your crisis you will be able to let Jesus reconstruct your marriage.






Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Your Life is your Prayer

-->
Parkrose Service  7/8/16 This is an outline of the message I shared this last Sunday at Parkrose Village.


Bible Reading:

Matthew 6
1“Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven. 2When you give to someone in need, don’t do as the hypocrites do—blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I tell you the truth, they have received all the reward they will ever get. 3But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. 4Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.
Teaching about Prayer and Fasting
5“When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get. 6But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.
7“When you pray, don’t babble on and on as people of other religions do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again. 8Don’t be like them, for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!  

-->
Order of Service 7/8/16

Welcome and Call to Worship : Psalm 106:1-2

Hymn: “turn your eyes upon Jesus”

               “Within the veil”

Announcements:
 
Bible Reading: Matthew 6:1-8
Hymn: “There is a place of quiet rest”

Communion:  


Offering
Church Prayer
Hymn: “What a friend we have in Jesus”

Sermon: “Your Life is your Prayer”

Hymn: “Take my life and let it be”
Vesper:
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace”
 
-->
“Your  life is your prayer”

A  few weeks ago when we were here Barrie was talking about our Church here developing a praying ministry.

At the time I said I might speak on prayer next time so that is what today is about.

For those of you who read Christian books I wonder what you would say if I asked you what was the most influencial Evangelical Christian book of the 20th century, apart from the Bible.

The Christianity Today online internet magazine did a survey and the result surprised many.

Prayer: Conversing with God was number one on that list,
Rosalind Rinker, the author said,
   “The title might have been, Matthew 18:19, 20 or When Two or Three Agree, for the book is based largely on the meaning and contents of those verses. “

Over the years I ,like some of you, have read many books on prayer and even been to a really good seminar on prayer.

I have some great Bible studies on prayer.

I know how to pray and what to pray and who to pray to.

But if I was to look at a record of how much time each week I have actually spent in prayer I would be ashamed.

How many times a day do I pray?

Some other religions put us to shame in their dedication to prayer.

It would be wrong of course to pray in vain repetitions as our Lord has warned us against.

Matt 6  kjv :7But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. 8Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.

So what are some of the main principles we should adhere to when we pray, as a group or individually.

Matt 18: NLT  19“I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you. 20For where two or three gather together as my followers,h I am there among them.”
In my time as a Christian, since 1974, I have known and seen some wonderful answers to prayer but also known disappointment as I am sure you have.
But that is not a reason to throw in the towel.
Our whole Christian life is a learning and growing experience.
I am not too old to learn more and I am sure no one here is also.
So here are some important things regarding prayer.
1.  We need to know The God to whom we are coming.
Time should be taken to make as full a realization as possible of the greatness of God.

The God to whom I am coming is

    ALL POWERFUL

    ALL MIGHTY.

Jesus tells us how to pray when He starts the Lord’s prayer ,“Our Father who art in Heaven”
 Jesus wouldn’t be teaching us to pray if it wasn’t a normal thing for Christians to do.

An expectation He has of us.

When we are praying we are praying to our Creator, the Creator of the Universe.

If that is the case then nothing is too hard for        our God.

“Is anything too hard for the Lord?

Jeremiah’s Prayer     Jeremiah 18:
16Then after I had given the papers to Baruch, I prayed to the Lord:
17“O Sovereign Lord! You made the heavens and earth by your strong hand and powerful arm. Nothing is too hard for you!
26Then this message came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 27“I am the Lord, the God of all the peoples of the world. Is anything too hard for me?

2   The only basis , the grounds ,on which we bring our loved ones or anyone to God is the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

We all come on the same basis, which is:  Jesus died for us and has reconciled us to God.
Made us right with Him.

Through the death of Jesus we are redeemed,     saved.

We have been brought out of our lost state.

When we pray in Jesus name it is because we have been baptized into His name.

He lives in us.

Because we have been purchased with His blood He wants to carry out His will on earth through us.

No Christian is more worthy than any other to have their prayers answered..

When we come to God in prayer we are all equal.

We do have to discipline ourselves though if we are serious about prayer.

2.  We also need to take time to discover what God’s will is in certain situations.

         That is in a group or as an individual.

 In a group prayer that is where where the praying in agreement comes in.
It is no good praying in a group where we don’t all agree on what we are praying for.

In order to achieve agreement in prayer, we need to constantly ask:

What does God want in this matter?
What is His will in this situation?
What will bring glory to God in this matter?

We can find God’s will in any situation if we study what the Bible says.

There is no human condition and situation that is not dealt with in the Bible.

When we discover God’s will for a situation we are then to pray with no doubt in our hearts.

God wants us to pray prayers of faith not prayers of hope.
We can believe the words of the Bible, the promises, when we read them.

Believe in our conscious mind

Deep down though we have doubts.

That’s where we need to let the Holy Spirit touch us to take away doubt.

4. We also need to recognize that in prayer we can
use God’s mighty weapons to bring down any      barriers satan may have erected in a person or situation.

 We don’t very often think but a lot of what prayer is about is claiming the Victory that Jesus won on the cross over the devil.

 (Testimony of healing shared here but not included because of privacy)
A link below however to a transcript of a tape study on praying in agreement and authority when someone is addicted to drugs.
The story I shared is related to this. 

http://geoffthompsonsblog.blogspot.com.au/search/label/drug%20addiction

Let me re emphasise, we are all equal before God when it comes to prayer

No one has any more power than what God makes available to all of us.

However an important part of the
 equation in prayer is that we do need to make our life a prayer as such.

That’s where the discipline comes in .
How we live our Christian lives.
You see ,

our life is our prayer,

God wants to hear our petitions but He knows our needs before we ask Him.
He wants to see that we are walking with Him.
We may have unforgiveness and bitterness in our hearts,
we may be piously waving our hands in the air,
 saying look how holy I am,
 but we need to be abiding in Him.
We need to make sure by our lives we live that our prayers are going further than the ceiling.

A simple illustration of the why of this, is that as Christians, God wants to allow rivers of living water to flow from us.

Our gutters don't flow if they are clogged by leaves. 

If our lives are clogged by sin then the rivers of living water will not flow.

Prayer is one of the biggest topics we can explore in the Christian faith.
Countless books and studies have been written.

In particular as we become less physically able to help people we can be dedicated prayers.

That can be a very important ministry at Parkrose.

Not always does God answer prayer how we expect Him too.

I watched this week a wonderful talk by Joni Eareckson(Tada) who you may have read of some years ago.
In a diving accident at 17 she became a quadriplaegic.
Shje will be 67 this october.
She desperately wanted God to heal her but Physical healing has never happened.
In her talk though she says how she would never have experienced the deeper inner healing and transforming power of God in her life and that of her husband if she had been physically healed when she so desperately wanted healing.
She still longs for a new body but she says her circumstances have enabled her to reach out to so many who need encouragement than she other wise would  have been able to.
There is so much more we could look into in this topic but I just want to encourage us all to get into the regular habit of praying.
Maybe one or two might like to do that with each other during the week.
The best way to learn about prayer is to do it and maybe keep a list of prayers we have prayed and the results of our prayers.
That can be very transforming.
I have been saying all these things in Jesus name.  Amen.











Friday, June 24, 2016

The Comforter and More.......

This is an outline of the message I brought to the Renmark West and Renmark Uniting Church congregations on Sunday 19/6/16.

The actual presentation had some  omissions and inclusions.

The inclusions which I shared extemperaneously are covered by previous posts on this blog.

In particular part of my shared testimony and the true story of a young girl set free from blackouts.

You will find those posts in the link further down.

Call to Worship:  Geoff Thompson
Hymn: 91 Morning has broken  AHB 
Prayer of confession praise and thanksgiving 
Hymn:   “All glory praise and honour.” 250 ahb 
Offering and Prayer: Geoff 
Bible reading:       John 14:15-28 
Hymn: 173 I will sing the wondrous story AHB
Sermon: Geoff Thompson     The Comforter and much more 
  Hymn: 319 “Spirit of God that moved of old”.
Benediction and Vesper 
“May our Lord God of Peace” (as per front of Hymn books)

 Bible Reading

John 14

Jesus Promises Another Helper

15 “If you love Me, keep[d] My commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.

Indwelling of the Father and the Son

19 “A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also. 20 At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. 21 He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”
22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?”
23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. 24 He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.

The Gift of His Peace

25 “These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. 28 You have heard Me say to you, ‘I am going away and coming back to you.’ If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said,[e] ‘I am going to the Father,’ for My Father is greater than I.

Sermon: The Comforter and much more---

Today I would like us to concentrate on the Holy Spirit and gain an understanding of

Who He is,

How we receive Him,

What His role is,

How do we benefit from His ministry in us.

WHO:

The Holy Spirit is the 3rd person in the Holy Trinity. Note I said person.

We have God the Father,God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.

The first thing I want to say that the principle role of the Holy Spirit is to point us to, and to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ.
Before we become Christians it is the Holy Spirit who was speaking to us in our spirits of the need to receive Jesus as our Saviour.
Convicting us of our need.

Once we have taken that step of decision it is He, The Holy Spirit, who then indwells us and sustains us in our Christian walk and daily struggles.

Please note that the Holy Spirit is not a weird sort of power that God exercises, He is a person.

Some people claim to have the Holy Spirit and act like they can turn His power on and off like a light switch.

That is not the case.

ROLE

In the Old testament times the role of the Holy Spirit and importantly His ministry to individuals was different to what it is now although even then He was pointing the human race to the coming of Jesus ,the Messiah.

The Holy Spirit was operating within the lives of God’s chosen prophets whereby they were able to teach and preach God’s truth and perform miracles.
People like Moses, Elijah,Jeremiah, and Abraham,Noah,Daniel  and others.

These were the great men of Faith who are highlighted in the famous chapter on faith, Hebrews 11.

He was not available to just anyone as He is today.

Since the day of Pentecost things have been different to Old Testament times.

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit took place once and for always on the day of Pentecost.
See Acts 2:5-12

The Apostles experienced the Holy Spirit arriving as Jesus had promised them.
Acts 1:1-8 Note Jesus is addressing the Apostles only.

They,the Apostles, were there when the mighty rushing wind arrived, tongues of fire appeared above them and they moved into the market place and spoke so that everyone present could hear them in their own language.

In our Bible reading today we heard Jesus promising the Apostles this would happen.

Here it is from Jesus

15 “If you love Me, keep[d] My commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.
And we have this from Luke 24
46 Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise[h] from the dead the third day, 47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 And you are witnesses of these things. 49 Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem[i] until you are endued with power from on high.”

HOW we receive Him

On the day of Pentecost  the people were amazed and perplexed and the Peter gave his inspired sermon and shortly after about 3000 people were added to the infant Church as they followed his instruction. Acts 2:36-43
(Note Peter's instruction as per Acts2:38)
While many will tell you the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is something that is a secondary experience after we become Christians it isn’t and wasn’t.
Some will say that after you become a Christian you need to “tarry” until you receive a second blessing, but the tarry message was only given to the Apostles.
It was a once only event that gave birth to the Church and made it possible for all of us to become Christians and experience the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

Now having, I hope, established some foundational facts, let’s look at how we benefit from receiving the Holy Spirit into our lives.

Here I am going to quote a fair bit from one of my mentors Frank Hunting taken from one of his sermons on the Holy Spirit.

FRANK HUNTING HOLY SPIRIT MESSAGE

“ always, (he says) there isn’t a moment if you happen to be a Christian,  when the Holy Spirit is not alongside you.
Now you and I might have a lot of difficulty believing that.cos you see we don’t very often give much attention to Him.

 We don’t think very often about Him, and we’ve got into the way of doing things that we see all around us, and the way we’ve got into doing things is battling through the best we can.

Using what ever grey matter we’ve got up here and we try to work out the situation.

And taking hold of all the facts and figures or whatever they happen to be, that we can muster, we come up with our decision.

And that’s the way we live.

And God has something quite different.

Quite different.

And that’s the battle he’s got with people like us.

 All to often we’ve become so self sufficient and that’s why we bungle.

And that’s why we stumble along so often.

And that’s why we live so frequently in indecision, we’ve never Learned what Jesus is saying in that passage,  that the holy Spirit, would be alongside of us, always.

And he’s alongside of you right at this moment, you might not be aware of it.

He is also in you if you happen to be Christian.

And that doesn’t change.

He isn’t with us sometimes and then gets sick and tired of us and buzzes off, no that never happens.

I happen to be reading from the new King James it’s a very interesting translation and one that I think many of you who was brought up as I was, on the old King James will welcome very much.

Jesus Promises Another Helper
15 “If you love Me, keep[d] My commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.

Well the 15th verse says this and its Jesus speaking.

“If you love me. keep my commandments and I----,(if you do that, keep my commandments,)--- I will pray the Father and He will give you another comforter.

Now if you are reading in the King James that’s what you read.

It’s a word in the original greek that no English word, no one English word, can possibly hope to give it’s meaning.

And this is the word . let me casually take you down some of the translations I looked up to see what they did with this word.

In the original new Testament as written in Greek, it’s the word paracletos.

Paracletos.

In the New international version and the revised standard version they translate that word “counsellor”.

In the Weymouth, one of the earliest of the modern translations, and also in the New English Bible translation, the word that’s used is “advocate.”

In Moffat, one of the earliest translations, in modern times, he uses the word “helper”.

And that’s the word that’s used in this. The New King James.

In the Authorised and the Revised, the English revision, they use the word “comforter”.

Perhaps I ought to stop for a moment,and say that the word paracletos has come down in meaning, it’s been chiselled away at from it’s real meaning that it had nearly 400 years ago.

And in those days it meant much more than just comforting somebody in their grief or their sorrow.

The idea behind it was strength. Somebody who came to you with strength, that’s what it meant in those days.

In the Amplfied Bible they give you all of those 6 that  I‘ve given you,plus another; 

comforter,

 counsellor,

helper,
intercessor, that’s the extra,

advocate,

strengthener,

stand by.

Seven English words, all with different meaning, all with different contents to translate this one word.

Now William Barclay who has an excellent translation of this word paracletos, gives us a really fine understanding of it so here it is , his.

It really means someone who is called in.

Someone who is called in.

But.

It’s when you examine why that someone is called in,

that this word takes on it’s really thrilling and exciting meaning.

A paracletos was a person and used by the Greeks.

A paracletos may be a person called in to give witness in a law court in our favour.

A person called in to give witness in a law court in our favour,

testimony in our favour.

A paracletos maybe someone called in to plead someone’s cause, yours maybe,

who is under charge of a serious penalty.

If the judgement goes against you you are going to be in real trouble.

So you call in a paracletos,

he may be,

and here the meaning changes slightly,

he may be an expert called in to give advice in some difficult situation.

Some situation that’s beyond you but because of His expertise, you can call him in and get the right advice or instruction or told exactly how to go about it.


Always a paracletos is someone who is  called in to help when a person is in trouble or in distress,

or in doubt or bewilderement,

and that is exactly the ministry of the holy spirit to every single Christian.”


So there you have it the passage we heard today is telling us that we have been given the Holy Spirit.

 He is always beside us he is always in us.

He is comforter,

counsellor,

helper,

intercessor,

 advocate,

 strengthener,

 stand by.

He is available to help us right now whatever our current situation.

Now we are urged in the New Testament to be filled with the Spirit.

The idea behind being filled with the Spirit is that we are allowing ourselves to be controlled by the Spirit.

You will have some idea of how the Holy Spirit is going within you if you are aware of the Fruits of the Spirit operating in you.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love,joy,peace,longsuffering,kindness,goodness,faithfulness,gentlenes, self control

If we are letting the Holy Spirit have his way with us those attributes will manifest themselves.

Often of course we won’t know ourselves if we are filled with the Spirit.

If we are Christians we will have the Holy Spirit.

But to be filled with the Spirit simply means that our lives are under the control of the Holy Spirit.

Others though will be able to see that by our behaviour even if we don’t.

We can be Christians and not exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit


Now I would like to go a bit deeper.

We are going to look at the change the Holy Spirit will bring about when we allow Him access to our sub-conscious minds.

Whatever we may have -----or may have had……in our subconscious mind, The heart that Jesus so often spoke about---------hurts,  fears, poor image, bitterness, hardness, smutty thoughts and desires, resentments,  jealousy,  self sympathy, (to name but a few) it is for the ministry of the Holy Spirit to minister to this region of our being, all that Jesus accomplished for us when He died on the cross at Calvary and rose from the dead.

Put in other words the Holy Spirit makes possible a full experience of redemption which Jesus accomplished for us at Calvary.

I am going to share some helpful ,  I hope ,    diagrams, with you.

Some of you may have heard that we have layers to our minds.

2 main ones really.

Our conscious mind and our unconscious mind.

We also have our recallable sub conscious where our memories and knowledge can be brought to the surface and abilities to do things like riding a bike.

If you think of what  happened to the Titanic where it was sunk by the 9/10ths of the Iceberg that was lurking below the surface then that is a good analogy for what can be sinking us in our subconscious.

We make a conscious decision with our normal conscious mind ,which we are operating at this very moment, some where along the way to become a Christian.

We have responded to God’s call on our lives through the death and resurrection of Jesus.

Most of us here may know that we are sons and daughters of God.

But we may only know this intellectually.  In the conscious mind.

That is why we often speak,

think,

behave,

act,                  other than a true son or daughter of God would.

We are only sons and daughters of God in a sort of theoretical way.

We need the Holy Spirit to make this truth real in us and to us in the 9/10 of the subconscious mind where there are so many things lurking.

Only the Holy Spirit can make us true sons and daughters of God.

Next to Jesus the Holy Spirit is God’s greatest gift to us.

Jesus would tell you that without the Holy Spirit we don’t really live.

Life may even be intolerable..

Jesus says that the Holy Spirit filling and controlling your life and mine makes possible all that God offers for living the Christian life.

I am going to show you some diagrams now. (hand outs)

I will talk about them briefly in a moment or two.

The minister who prepared these studies once counselled me when I had had a breakdown after I had been a very active and keen Christian for about 5 years.

He showed me some of these truths as they operated in my own life and I was able to function again as I learned how to apply these truths to my life.

Below is a link to  what I shared with the congregation at this point and more.

I was talking about how we can be programmed to fail.

It does contain a lot more of my testimony.

http://geoffthompsonsblog.blogspot.com.au/search?q=programmed

I also shared another  example of a young women who was experiencing black outs.

You will find a link also to that message by Frank Hunting incorporated in the above link.


Handout no 1. The exchange study 4 ,page 2 shows a triangle representing our minds.

You can see in the sub conscious area below is where we have all these things that can going on as a result of our sinful nature and that cripples us.

In the bottom triangle you will see the some of the things that are buried deep down that we have been on the receiving end of.
Area where we need healing.
Some of these may be taken care of when we first become Christians but often they are not and they simmer on for some time.

The second page has 2 triangles similar to the previous page showing at the top sin that need s to be recognised and dealt with and the bottom triangle areas where we might need deeper healing.

The third page shows with scriptures what can happen when the Holy Spirit is enabled to minister to us in these lower areas.
There is an upflow , a ministry of transformation, that becomes real in our daily conscious living.

The open secret is that through the Holy Spirit we can have Jesus living out his resurrection life in us as we allow the Holy Spirit to control us in the areas we keep locked away.

Areas that sometimes we don’t even know are there.

We can speak and pray to the Holy Spirit and ask Him to help us in these areas.

To reveal where we need healing perhaps.

Quite often after listening to something like this we  already have gained some insight into ourselves.

Sometimes we may need a mature Christian friend or Pastor or Confidante who can help us.

Now all this may be very new.

I suggest that you take these sheets home and look up the scriptures that are quoted.

If you think you are too old or too set in your ways to want to change or dare to believe things can be better, I heard that scientists have now worked out how to unboil an egg.

How much more can the Holy Spirit do to bring us back from the things that are really crippling us?

I will conclude with the following passage that you may have read before but now it may take on new meaning.

Romans 12:2King James Version (KJV)

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.