Ezekiel 36:26 Sermon – The Holy Spirit is Here!

In this sermon Tim introduces us to our new series on the Holy Spirit called God’s Empowering Presence! He shares a bit of his own story about the Holy Spirit’s work in his life plus the history of the Holy Spirit in the Old and New Testament right up to the time we live in now where the Holy Spirit I being poured out on all believers! This is going to be a great series so don’t miss this one!

Sermon preached by Tim Giovanelli on Sunday June 19, 2022.

27/11/22 – 2022 End Of Year Sermon – by Tim Giovanelli Manly Life Church Podcast

In this sermon Tim recaps an amazing year at Manly Life and calls us to remember what we have been taught and put it into action, do we look any different as a church or as individuals since the beginning of the year – have we grown in our faith? Let's end the year well and join with what God is doing! SERMON NOTES click here: https://manlylife.org/2022/11/29/2022-end-of-year-sermon/ For more information about Manly Life check out our website: http://www.manlylife.org You can also find us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ManlyLifeChurch
  1. 27/11/22 – 2022 End Of Year Sermon – by Tim Giovanelli
  2. 20/11/22 – Romans 2 Grace and Truth – by Tim Giovanelli
  3. 13/11/22 – Exodus 20:8 Sabbath and Rest – by Victoria Giovanelli
  4. 05/11/22 – Mustard Seed – by Tim Giovanelli – 10th B'day Celebrations
  5. 30/10/22 – Romans 1:1-17 Not Ashamed Of The Gospel – by Tim Giovanelli – Glorious Gospel Series

SERMON NOTES

New series on the Holy Spirit and how God’s presence empowers us for Christ like life and ministry.

  • Today I am going to give a bit of an overview of the Holy Spirit, God’s empowering presence through the story of the bible…
  • Then in future weeks we will look at particular elements of the Holy Spirit’s ministry 
  • Things like how God’s presence transforms our character, how He gives good gifts to the church… how the Spirit is active in assuring us of the love of God.
  • And the goal is that we will not just come to know about the Holy Spirit, but also experience the power of God in our lives.

Now undoubtedly the Holy Spirit is and always has been at work in the life of the church since Pentecost, this amazing moment in history when God pours his spirit out on believers…

  • But there have always been seasons when God sovereignly seems to be moving in remarkable ways.
  • And I just love, love, love talking to people who have been through such waves. 
  • Greg was involved in such a wave here in Sydney in the 90’s…
  • And one of my friends Jim who I was in Hawaii with grew up in John Wimber’s youth group… so in Hawaii I just asked him so many questions… 
  • And he had these wonderful stories of these California kids who were just so hungry for the presence of God… and the remarkable things that happened!
  • So what is it like when God meets with his people?

If you had told someone twenty years ago that I would be speaking on being filled with the Holy Spirit there would have been a bit of surprise…

  • I actually remember telling some charismatic friends of mine that they might not be Christians…
  • Gosh if I had a dollar for all of the dumb things I have said… I’d have $15 now… 
  • No, I would be a rich man!

But I must admit, even back then I found charismatic Christians fascinating…

  • They had a certain quality and life about them that intrigued me…
  • I had grown up in quite a conservative Christian church and as is so often our theology is shaped by our experience…
  • I never heard sermons on the Holy Spirit, I never encountered ministry times that encouraged being filled with the Holy Spirit… so I assumed my version of faith was right!
  • So having never experienced what one might call the more physical or emotional manifestations of the presence of God, I was sceptical of their authenticity. 

I would love to share a little of my own journey in discovering the ministry and power of the HS….

  • The first stirrings for me that there might be more to the Christian life than just knowledge about Jesus came when I was taken along to a Jackie Pulinger evening.
  • Do people know Jackie Pulinger? Explain her ministry… Walled city amongst prostitutes and crack addicts…
  • Speaking and she stopped… 21 year old guy here who needs to go to Africa…
  • Made me think two things… 
    • Does God still move in more supernatural ways than I thought?
    • And is God interested in speaking to me on a personal level…

Not long after I moved to South Africa to work with Michael Cassidy and African Enterprise. 

  • My host family took me along to St Nicholas Charismatic Anglican Church
  • At the time, I thought, there are two words that don’t go together…
  • Bit like pretty ugly or business ethics or rap music or deafening silence…

Well one morning I was out ministering in this tragically poor township church… 

An African evangelist had shared his story of being healed and then he invited people to come forward for prayer. He asked me to pray for people…

  • All these desperately needy people started coming towards me for prayer
  • What on earth do you pray? Run out of things…
  • Started praying in tongues… amazing experience…
  • I wondered is this what Romans 8 was talking about… vs 26 “the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.”
  • Caused a few issues for me – just as my theology had been shaped by my lack of experience, now I was in a fuddle… something amazing had happened… 
  • But it didn’t fit into my box of what God does and does not do

But I remember thinking, if this is New Testament I must go for this. This is what I’ve been waiting for!

  • By this stage I had started reading the New Testament and realised that it was full of Holy Spirit talk… page after page drenched in the language of Spirit… 
  • And the fear is often not – what if we ask God to move in our midst and nothing happens, the bigger risk is that we ask God to move by his Spirit and He does…
  • What if all these promises and descriptions of the power and the presence of God in the bible are for today!

Well to finish a bit of my story 

  • I then moved to London and had the pieces put together for me…
  • I ended up at a church that had been planted by HTB (the Alpha Course) called St Paul’s Hammersmith
  • Wonderful church that held together preaching the Word, the life of the Spirit and a deep commitment to local social transformation!
  • Alpha weekend – ministry time… assurance of the love of God! Presence… overwhelmed…
  • That Spirit/Word/Action has really been where my faith is at home until today!

Well what is this all about?

Why should we hunger for more of the Holy Spirit?

Gordon Fee writes, “For Paul the ‘power of the Spirit’ is not only for more visible and extraordinary manifestations of God’s presence, but also for the empowering necessary to be his people in the world”

  • What is he saying here?
  • Basically that yes, the power of the Spirit is amazing when we see God move in extraordinary ways… stories of healing… and addictions being broken!
  • But fundamentally this is about being empowered to be God’s people in the world. 
  • In other words bring on the miracles… but more deeply, we just need the Spirit to be at work in our lives to be Christians… 
  • This is the presence of power of Christ within us!
  • And so that is how we live the life and calling God intends for us as his people.

On one of Paul’s missionary journeys he encountered a group of new converts to which he asked; “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”

  • And they said, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”
  • I don’t imagine if you are at Manly Life you would be in that group…
  • But each of us need to constantly be receiving more of the presence of God in our lives!
  • But you know too often we back away from pursuing the power and presence of the Holy Spirit.
  • In fact what we often do with our faith is get infected with the rationalism of the world around us!

I love that in the very first verses of the bible we are told that the Spirit of God was involved in creation… 

  • It says the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
  • And then at the creation of mankind… however you understand that in Genesis 2, it is the breath of God that creates humanity! 

As God then forms a family to bless the nations, we see that the gift of God’s Spirit was specifically given to certain people for special tasks.

  •  It was not generally available nor was it necessarily permanent. 
  • We see this in 1 Samuel 16:13 where the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon David or in 2 Kings 2:9-10 where Elisha receives a double portion of the Spirit. 
  • I love Moses in Numbers 11:29 when he states “I wish that all the Lord’s people were prophets and that the LORD would put his Spirit on them!” 
  • Why? Because amazing power comes when God’s Spirit is released in people
  • And this is just what the prophets were led by God to foretell for the last days 

The Prophet Ezekiel pointing forward to a future time says in Ezekiel 36 that God would… verse 26

“give you [God’s people] a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.” 

  • So they are waiting for this move of God that is going to change everything!
  • And as we saw in our series in Isaiah, it’s always being linked to this coming messiah where God will act decisively to begin to put things right!

So again, the prophet Joel spoke about a time when God would… 

“Pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams; your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.”

  • So all this is pointing forward to a coming new age! 
  • And they are waiting, waiting, waiting…

And then we meet Jesus!

It begins with his baptism. In John 1 it says; “The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit. I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God”.

  • Then, when Jesus announces his ministry in the temple he says: ““The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor, to proclaim freedom for the prisoners, to open the eyes of the blind, to set the oppressed free.” 
  • So what they are waiting for, Jesus has in abundance… and it leads to this ministry of healing the sick, offering forgiveness and setting people free!
  • That is what being Spirit filled does…

Jackie Pulinger – whenever we feel stuck/flat/disheartened we go to the poor and lay hands on people who need prayer… do some Jesus stuff…

  • And she says, the Holy Spirit moves…
  • The goal of our faith is not just a ticket to heaven… it is playing our part in the liberation from bondage that covers the world.
  • Not about building a up a holy huddle…
  • About being Spirit filled family moving out to transform the world… 

So Jesus then says, he’s got to go away but he will send the Spirit…

  • In Luke 24:49 he promises his disciples “Behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” 
  • I mean you can feel the expectancy rising… its been seen in Jesus… and he is going to give his presence to all God’s children just like the Prophet Joel said…

So those who have this Spirit will be empowered for the same mission that Jesus himself initiated. 

  • In Mark 16:17 Jesus says, “these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

I like what John Wimber said… when we prayed for nobody, nobody got healed… when we pray for everybody, some get healed… 

  • Our worship nights… prayer happens… and that is my encouragement… give it a go!
  • You see God’s church is to carry on Jesus mission, but it needs his Spirit and it needs to get activated!
  • All this takes power, and that is what was promised in Acts 1:8 in receiving the power of the Holy Spirit to be Christ’s witnesses. 

When I was 21 I lived in Africa for a year. Preaching in Kenya – nervousness… Thought it was me who had to make it happen!

  • Wonderfully liberating to know that it is God who does the work… we are to co-operate, do our best…
  • But through the Holy Spirit – ministry will be happening!
  • Uncle Nath: Say nothing, nothing will happen… say something, something will happen.
  • Same with praying and the ministry of the Holy Spirit… 
  • My little practice at the moment is to just put out a bit of bait… mention church… see if people are interested… 
  • But takes courage… and follow through… not trying to force my beliefs on people… 

So at Pentecost we finally reach the moment that changed the children of God forever! The Spirit gets poured out on all believers! 

  • Peter who has gone from denying Jesus to preaching the first public sermon points the crowd to Joel 2:28-29. 
  • The Spirit is evidence that the last days had dawned and the widespread gift of prophecy for old and young, male and female alike testified to the turning of the ages.
  • We now live in the age of the Spirit. I should hear us all at this stage yell – YES!
  • It is not just for particular people at particular times… it is for all Christians including you and me!
  • The waiting is over, the promise is here! 

You know, I know you want this sermon to finish before dinner so we’ve got weeks to come….

  • And we will look in more depth at Paul urging us to eagerly desire the gifts of the Spirit…
  • Or about how the love of God is poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit. 
  • Or about how in Acts healing accompanies the preaching of the gospel…
  • Or in 1 Corinthians and the extensive lists of gifts available to you and me in the church!
  • Or Galatians the fruit of the spirit alive in us being this character transformation…

But clearly this was the experience of the early church…

And whether it is Saint Augustine who four centuries later is still talking about healings happening in the church

  • Or records of John Wesley and crowds being overcome by the presence of God and falling over in the 18th century
  • Or what is happening today all around the world in God’s church!
  • The waiting is over, the promise has come – God’s Spirit is now alive in his people!

So as I come to finish, here is my question for all of us – Have you received the Spirit of God? Have you become a part of this story?

  • London: Telling kids years ago about Jonah and the whale… bored….
  • Got them to act it out, to become part of the story… came alive!
  • For us to come into this story… where God is freeing and restoring his world we are going to need to be Spirit people and then get ministering!

Would you like to stand, I would like to pray for you… if you have been waiting, know and believe God is about to come and move in your life…

  • Going to ask the HS to come… Hasn’t he been here – yes he has…
  • Bit like a balloon. There is always more room in us for more of the breath of God…
  • But we are going to ask him to come and fill you with His presence… Let’s stand…
  • Some Groups… 
    • Receive his love and peace… (London story – assurance of his love)
    • Others receiving gifts… (laying on of hands..) 
    • Invite all to come… so really this is just about getting the best spot…

Published by timgiovanelli

My wife Victoria and I are planting a new church in Manly, NSW

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