Message – Tuning in to the Spirit
Tuning in to the Spirit
The work of the Holy Spirit is the good work of the Kingdom. “He Who began the good work of salvation in us, is also the One Who will complete it!”
Accomplished by revealing Christ Jesus to us and through us.
Two weeks ago we read through excerpts from John 14-17 where Jesus told us that He was going to send the Holy Spirit upon His departure, describe Whom He is and what the Holy Spirit was going to do when He came.
Those things included being our helper, our advocate, our teacher, our guide, and the One Who reveals the truth to us – meaning Jesus.
Last week I explained that in order to facilitate the work of the Holy Spirit and, as it were, be a good student of His we needed three things. Spiritual aptitude, humility and receptiveness. These were not set forth as hard and fast categories outlined in scripture specifically, but rather truths which we do see clearly portrayed in scripture as facilitating learning and being recipients of God’s Grace. So we read through 1Corinthians 1:18-31 in order to begin illustrating these attributes.
Since last week, I decided to change the wording a little. Rather than continuing with the phrase Spiritual Aptitude I would like to shift to the words Spiritual attunement. Aptitude is not wrong, but I believe it leaves one with the notion that somehow skill is involved and that without this natural skill, one is helpless in learning from or even benefiting from the ministry of the Holy Spirit without this skill. Whereas attunement I think is better. This example is quickly moving out of common use, but if you remember the old style radio dials where you had to tune in your radio in order to listen to a station – you get a good visualization of what I mean.
There IS a certain amount of desire and seeking involved in hearing from the Spirit. Even in the natural world, one does not become a student without finding out when and where a class meets and showing up accordingly. So it is with the Spirit of God.
Last week I illustrated this by the parable of the heart soils. The first showed up, but was uninterested. The second was receptive, but only to the degree to which they saw personal benefit from it. It if required something from them, or if difficulty came – they forsook what they heard. The third group saw real value in the message, gladly received it and began to grow, but the business of life, the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of wealth gained even more traction in their hearts and the message of the gospel got choked out. Only the final group saw the real value of the message, received it and kept it – regardless of difficulties or temptations. THESE ALONE produced fruit.
THAT is a great example of Spiritual attunement, humility and receptiveness.
Now, I want to press forward into chapter 2 of 1 Corinthians, but wanted first to circle back and see how these same things are indirectly mentioned in the first chapters we visited in John 14-17.
In those chapters, the Holy Spirit is said to be Someone the world does not see or know – Jn. 14:17.
Those words say what we have been learning. The world cannot accept the Spirit of God or His work BECAUSE they do not see or know Him.
The word see means to look at, perceive, recognize and acknowledge.
The word know means to know in a completed sense – in regard to people it would mean to know that person’s character, so it is a knowledge gained by experience.
It is NOT simply academic knowledge about someone.
So the world cannot benefit from the person or work of the Holy Spirit because they won’t look at Him – meaning they will not respectfully give Him time. Therefore they cannot truly perceive Him, recognize Him, acknowledge Him or come to know His character.
In Chapter 2 of 1Corinthains these attunement is in part attributed to being spiritual.
Now the Holy Spirit does convict and convince the world of sin, righteousness and judgment – but His work in their hearts does not produce fruit for the very reasons we have already mentioned today and last week read in 1 Corinthians 1. They refuse to give Him their attention, they are proud, self-willed and self-focused – all of which disqualify them from benefiting from His work.
Now let’s turn to 1Cor. 2…
“(1) When I came to you, brothers and sisters, I did not come with superior eloquence or wisdom as I proclaimed the testimony of God. (2) For I decided to be concerned about nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified. (3) And I was with you in weakness and in fear and with much trembling. (4) My conversation and my preaching were not with persuasive words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of the Spirit and of power, (5) so that your faith would not be based on human wisdom but on the power of God.”
So that your faith would be in God’s power not in man’s wisdom.
1Peter 4:11, “If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
“(6) Now we do speak wisdom among the mature, but not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are perishing. (7) Instead we speak the wisdom of God, hidden in a mystery, that God determined before the ages for our glory. (8) None of the rulers of this age understood it. If they had known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. (9) But just as it is written, “Things that no eye has seen, or ear heard, or mind imagined, are the things God has prepared for those who love him.” (10) God has revealed these to us by the Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.”