Thursday, January 10, 2013

God, the Father -forever November 11, 2012

This morning we  are going begin a series that will run over the next several weeks, on things that last forever.  As much as we may want certain things to last and last, we know that basically everything we see around us does not.  Summer turns to fall, fall to winter, grass withers, flowers fade, mountains erode, buildings as good as we build them, fall.  Just look in the mirror and you can see even the thing many of us spend the most time on trying to make last –ourselves, does not.  As much as I may want to be the same as I was when I was 30 or 40, I am not.  Las night we had some guests over and they were looking at some pictures we had when we were in Cameroon 18 years ago.  “Look at all that hair,” one guest said. “And I am not talking about Jodi!”  Yes, my hair has shall we say, fade away. 

There are some thing, however that do last forever.  The verse on the wall to your right, my left, says, “From everlasting to everlasting, You are God.”  God is eternal, forever, from everlasting to everlasting.  We read in scripture that there are some other things that last forever –the word of God, heaven and yes, hell, the love of God, and several other things.  We are going to touch on some of these in the coming weeks, but this morning we are going to look at what I believe is the most important one.

The eternity of God and all that it entails, is foundational for all the other eternal things we see in scripture.  If we do not grasp the eternity of God and what that means, then we will struggle with most, if not all of the other things in scripture that are forever. 

It basically rests on the statement “God is.”  No comma, no dot-dot-dot to imply there is a continuation of the statement, simply “God is.” 

In order to understand the eternal things things, we need to have a proper understanding of God.   The whole of Scripture begins with this basic and essential premise –God is.  God is the one who created all things.  God is the one who has no beginning and no end. 

God is the eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise one.  He was before the beginning of time as we know it and will continue beyond time as we perceive it.  He has really no beginning or end.  He is God.  He is. 

This eternalness of God speaks to his being supreme and sovereign in all things, for from him all things came to being.  In the very opening of the bible we read in the beginning God.  One of the questions skeptics ask, “If God made everything, who made God?” is answerable only in this –God is.  He always was, always will be.  Our small, limited minds have a very hard time conceiving such because everything we experience tells us that everything around us has a beginning and even an end.  But God does not.  He always was and is and will be. 

CS Lewis tried to explain it this way.  If you take a sheet of paper infinitely extended in all directions and took a pencil and made a one inch line on it, that would be time.  When you start to make the line that is the beginning of time and when you lift the pencil that is the end.  Now, all around in every direction in every dimension, that is God. 

AW Tozer says, if there was a place where God stopped, then God would not be perfect.  God would not be God.  For example, is God knew almost everything, but not quite, he would not have perfect knowledge.  His understanding would not be infinite (Psalm 147:5)

And this extends to all the other things we see about God.  His power, his goodness, his love, his mercy, and so on.  If God was not forever, if God was not infinite, if God was not eternal in who he is and what he is, then he would not be God.

Tozer continues, If God knew everything except one percent of all that could be know, or had all the power except some small fraction that was hoarded and he could not get at, or all the love except 1/10th of 1% then God would not be God.  God, to be God must be infinite in all he is.  He must have no stopping place, no point beyond which he can’t go. 

And this eternity, this foreverness of God is foundational in our understanding of God and everything else with regards to forever things.  Because God is infinite in who he is, because he is forever in himself, because “God is,” His ways are not our ways, his thoughts not our thoughts. Isaiah 55:9-11 states this and more.

In our seeking to understand things like eternity, heaven, hell, salvation, sin, love, suffering, and such, God’s ways and thoughts are not ours –they are beyond what we can know.  His reasons and his purposes are his reasons and his purposes.  He gives us glimpses, shadows, fleeting sparks of understanding.  However, they are like a flicker of a candle compared to the brightness of the noonday sun.

Because “God is,” his ways, his thoughts, his mind is infinite.  Because God is infinite, he can be totally trusted to be absolutely true in all he says and faithful in all he promises, and perfect in all he does.  Isaiah 55:11.  “My word comes from my mouth and will not return to me void.” 

What God speaks, happens, what god does happens.  Because “God is,” He is faithful in all he does and can be trusted in all he says.  Isaiah 25:1 says, “O Lord, you are my God, I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done marvelous things, things planned long ago (ie before time).”

There were no surprises –there are no surprises for God.  One of the things that I have been asked many times is, “Did God know Adam and Eve would sin? And if he did, why did he not stop it?  We are going to come back to this in the next few weeks as we look at humanity, Jesus and salvation.  But bottom line is, yes, God knew.  Yes, God allowed it.  Why?  His plan, his purpose.   And yes, even his solution.

Even before creation, God had planned out the perfect solution to our sin –His son Jesus Christ being the full payment, the perfect substitute, the ransom for us.  I want to read a bit of a lengthy passage which covers so much of what I have been saying –Ephesians 1:3-14.  WOW!  Note the eternal aspects of this passage, God’s faithfulness, his promises his plan, his purpose.  Back to Isaiah 55.

Verse 11, “It will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”  And then Psalm 115:3 “Our God is in heaven, he does whatever pleases Him.”  God, in his infiniteness, in his foreverness, in his everlastingness, will do as he wills and he wants for his purpose, his pleasure, his glory.  His purposes and pleasure will be done –because He is! 

Francis Chan says, in his book Erasing Hell,  
Whether or not you end up agreeing with what is said about hell, you must agree with Psalm 115:3.  Because at the end of the day, our feelings and wants and heartaches and desires are not ultimate –only God is ultimate.  God tells us plainly that his ways are not ours and his thoughts are infinitely higher than ours.  Expect then that scripture will say things that don’t agree with your natural way of thinking.

God will do what God will do because God is.  God as the creator, as the eternal one, as sovereign has every right to do what pleases him.  This is foundational because it sets God up here (place hand high).  And it places us down here (place other hand low)  way down here.  In fact, just as the illustration with the paper, our place of understanding is so far from God that we cannot begin to approach his thoughts.

And there are two serious results that we, and I emphasize we, have made of this.  Both resulting from an incident that happened at the beginning in the garden.  The result of the fall (which we will look at in a few weeks) was that man lost his high view of God and gained an inflated view of himself.  You will be like God, was the promise of Satan, in knowing good and evil.

The first result of the fall is that man thinks more highly of himself than he should.  We lift ourselves up to be equal, if not greater than God.  We question the existence of God, the actions of God, the thoughts of God, the motives of God.  If God says this is the way, we look for another way.  If God says something we don’t like, we turn our back.  If God does something we disagree with we question his motive, his plan, his purpose.  What we do is we move from here to here (place hands at equal level) or even here (raise man-hand higher than God-hand). 
            -God says, I created all in 6 days.  No, that can’t be right –science and human reasoning say not possible must be billions of years.
            -God says, there is only one way to heaven and that is through faith in my son Jesus.  No, that can’t be right, there have to be many ways.
            -God says, man is sinful and separate from me and destined for hell.  No, that can’t be right, I don’t believe in hell and besides God would never do that.
            -God says, I am the Lord, the one true God.  Worship me alone “I AM.”  No, I won’t submit to a god like that, there must be others.

The second aspect of this is that we not only lift ourselves up but we bring God down.  AW Tozer, again, says we have made God cheep. 
            This cheep little God we’ve made in one you can pal around with, the man upstairs, the fellow who helps you win baseball games.

Just the other night Jodi and I were watching a show that had a contestant doing a task to win a huge amount of money.  You could see the mother in the audience, hands clasped, eyes closed, lips moving “please God please God please God!”  Paul Little over 60 years ago, wrote a book aptly titled, Your God is too Small. IN it he describes how we have shaped and squeezed and boxed in the infinite, perfect, all-knowing, all loving, perfect boundless God into something manageable, tolerable, acceptable.  We have brought God down into our image, only maybe slightly better.

We have shaved away the roughness of his judgement, softened the toughness of his wrath, chipped away his holiness, deleted his sovereignty, neglected his honor and made him into a something far less than the infinite God of the Bible who is the great “I AM.”  We have made the God “who is” into the God who is not.  He is not the perfect one.
And with this we lose sight of all the other eternal things, the forever things.  His ways are NOT our ways.  His Thoughts are NOT our thoughts.  He does as He pleases and what he does is perfect.  We are not god, we are not equal to or even slightly lower than God.  God is. 

From everlasting to everlasting, He is God.  This is the foundation for all else we will be looking at over the next few weeks.  I would like to close this morning with two scripture passages.  First is to look back at Isaiah 55.  And let us go back to the verse that precede the verses on the thoughts of God being higher than our.  6-7.       
God and God alone, the one who was and is and ever more shall be, offers us a way to find him –to come into a relationship with him.  God, Who is, does have compassion and freely offers salvation and forgiveness.  IN the Gospel of John and later in Romans we read, all who believe in the Son, Jesus Christ, and confess him as Lord, become the  children of God.  The One Who is, offers life to us through His son Jesus Chirst.

Second Psalm 103:8-17. 
Pray.  God, who is the infinite I AM,  You who are the creator and sustainer of all, we come in humble acknowledgement that you ARE.  Forgive us Lord for the low view we so often have of you and the high view we have of ourselves.  You promise that Your Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth.  I pray Lord that He will now.  Lord, that we will not be deceived by others or ourselves.  Lord, that we will see only Your truth.  You are.  Fill us with a high and exalted view of You, your glory, your excellency, your majesty, your worth, your infiniteness of being.  We are a vapor, you are eternal, love everlasting, God before time.  From everlasting to everlasting, You are God.

Jesus Christ -forever November 18, 2012

Last week we started a series on forever things.  Most everything we experience, we know, does not last.  Buildings deteriorate, bodies age, things wear down.  Even the great majestic mountains which seem to stand against all are slowly worn away by the smallest of raindrops and the expansion of ice in winter.
There are some things that are forever.  The verse on the right (my left) says, From everlasting to everlasting you are God.  Over and over in scripture we see that God is described, praised, and understood as being forever.  In fact the foreverness of God is essential to him being God.  If Go were any less than forever, eternal, without time, unconfined, he would not be God.  For me it simply is wrapped in this one simple statement “GOD IS.”

This statement, “God is” is actually how God described himself.  In Exodus chapter 3 Moses encounters God in a burning bush.  Not very impressive you might think. Haven’t we all seen burning bushes, or trees or fires.  Nice, warm, light giving.  Even a big fire can be impressive –a bon-fire or forest fire.  Last summer when we had the fire in town here Shelley and I went up to the balcony and had a pretty good view of the event.  One and a while a tree would flare up.  You could see the fire rush up the tree –spectacular, impressive.  But short lived.  In a moment it was gone.

But not this tree, or bush, in Exodus 3.  We read in verse two that the bush burned but was not consumed –that it did not burn up.  It was so strange that Moses had to go and see.  (verses 2-3)  In a small way the eternalness of God was shown here to Moses and to us.  A flame, a burning without end.  By all natural law and by all human understanding and perception the bush should be burned up.  But it was not. 

And out of this seemingly unending burning of a bush, the voice of the Lord comes out and when Moses asks, Who are you (abbreviated) God says, “I am.”  Verse 14 (READ).  And then he goes on in 15.  This is my name, forever!  Yhwh. 

This name, this description, this title of God is so sacred, so special, so central to the Jewish faith that they will not even pronounce it out loud.  In the reading of scripture, whenever they would come to this word they would pause, not say it and then move on. 

And so when Jesus came to the earth and claimed to be God, it was shocking, scandalous, sacrilegious.  CS. Lewis writes this in his book , Mere Christianity; “ (as per copy page 93). 

And claim to be the I am, Jesus did.  His claim to be the Son of God, the word of God, to be one with the Father, the be the good shepherd, the way and so many other things that connected him to his goodness.  But one of the clearest statements, one that really got the Jewish leaders upset, is found in John 8:54,ff. And it was this which really caused the high priest at least to seek the death of Jesus –he was blaspheming in claiming to be “I am.” (Mark 14:61-65)

Rather than a look at the Godhood of Jesus this morning I just want to look at his eternality and what that means for us.  You see, many people have a perception, and many in the church, that Jesus came into existence at Christmas –he was born.  And even more that He died at the crucifixion.  In other words, he was a human just like us. 

But Scripture is full of passages –both in the OT and the NT, speaking about the foreverness of Jesus.  That he was before all things -even created all things is seen in the familiar passages of John 1:1-4 and Colossians 1:15-20.  Many scholars see Jesus even appearing in the OT.  Many believe that it was Jesus who sat with Abraham and told him he would have decendents more numerous than the stars, that it was Jesus who came and wrestled with Jacob, that it was Jesus who stood with Shadrack Mishacka and Abednego in the fiery furnace. 

Those aside, Jesus own claim to have been before Abraham and that he came from the Father (John 3:13) and would return to the Father are bold declarations  of his eternity.  The writers of the NT speak of his resurrection, his appearing after his death to as many as 500 people.  To his ascending to heaven, to his being at the right hand of the father, to his return (Acts 1:9-11; 7:54-56) John, the disciple whom Jesus loved, records for us the powerful and wonderful picture of Jesus in heaven in revelation 1.  Listen to the eternal-ness of the words of Jesus in 7-8, 17-18.

Just as the eternality of God is essential to God being God, so the eternality of Jesus is essential for him.  Why?

The forverness, the eternality of Jesus means his power has no bounds, his love has no end, his grace has no stopping, his goodness does not cease.  His eternalness means that he can do all he said he will do and he has the power and ability to do it.  Stop and think of this for a moment.

Because “He is”  when he says I know my sheep, he knows his sheep.  He knows all of them and all about them.  John 10:14-15 “I am the good shepherd. I know my sheep and my sheep know me.  Just as the Father know me and I know the Father…”  Nothing about us surprises or shacks Jesus.  He know us.  He can meet all our needs because he knows all aout us.  Not mostly about us, not just what we tell him about us, not just what is written on facebook, not the lies or deceptions or half truths we even tell others, he knows us and can meet our needs.  I care for the sheep, he says, even to the point of laying down my life! 

Even now, the good shepherd, the I am, knows your needs.  Rather than something to be scared of it is something to be delighted in.  he knows what we need!  And even more…

Because he is the “I am” he has the power and ability to meet those needs.   If Jesus were not eternal, he could only meet most or some of our needs.  And this is a subtle but incorrect fallacy about Jesus and about God we have fallen into as a church –Jesus did not do what I wanted so he must either not care, not be able to or not want to. 

Because jesus is infinite, he cares infinitely.  He is infinitely able to meet our needs and he has the infinite desire and delight in us.  So often like a spoiled child we throw a tantrum when we do not get what we want and scream out –you do not love me, we mistakenly see the wise, caring, loving with-holding of God as a sign that he is powerless, loveless or finite. 

Last week we looked at this verse in Isaiah –“His ways are not our ways, his thoughts are not our thoughts” (Isaiah 55:9-11).  God is up here (hand high) and we are down here (other hand down).  We cannot, we must not, seek to bring ourselves equal to or above God nor bring his down to the petty foibles of humanity.  God is. 

And in the same way Jesus is.  But also know this, “I know my sheep, I care for my sheep, I protect my sheep, I love my sheep, I listen to my sheep, I lay down my life for my sheep.”  And as sheep we can trust the good shepherd, even when we do not know why we are in this pasture and not that, why we are walking this path and not that, why we are not getting what we want when we want.  We can be assured that he know and he cares and he has the power to do what he said he would do because he is!

Because he is forever, he can be the perfect sacrifice for all.  Imagine if Jesus was not eternal, but finite and could only die for some or most.  Imagine if the blood of Jesus could only cover most of our sins.  Imagine if the forgiveness of Jesus would only be effective for most of our confessions. 

But because Jesus is forever, because “he is,” we know that his death is sufficient, that his sacrifice is complete, that his blood covers all, that his forgiveness is as far as the east is from the west (interesting not north to south!).  

Because he is we can have complete assurance that when Jesus says, “What the father has given to me I will never let go of.”  Let’s take a look at that passage in John 6.  Begin reading at verse 35 –already starting with the eternalness of himself as bread and water.  WOW!  Read on, to verse 40.
Blessed assurance, Jesus is Mine!  (319 look at if time).  I am has and he is mine.   Because he is, he can! 

And this foreverness of Jesus extends into all of his promises.  My peace that passes understanding is yours, not as the world knows or gives.  This is an eternal peace I have and extend to you!  My joy, everlasting, my joy is in you and made complete!  My love I pour out to you, the inexhaustible love that comes from my eternal being, a love that has no bounds, high, wide, long deep as the fathers is mine for you.  Imagine, imagine if Jesus could only love us mostly!  We would be in danger of exceeding that love, or his forgiveness, or his joy, or his patience, or his goodness.  The foreverness of Jesus is so central, so essential to all he is and does because it brings completeness –he loves, forgives, gives and holds completely!

The foreverness of Jesus means he hears our prayers and carries them to the father.  And even more that he intercedes for us as a perfect high priest.  Both Paul in Romans 8 and the writer of Hebrews in chapters 5-7 talk about the high-priesthood of Jesus.  As the high priest he is the one who stands before God to bring our needs and speaks on our behalf.  Listen to the words in Hebrews 7:23-25.  Another WOW!  Did you catch the words?  Lives forever! Permanent! Save completely! Always lives (again)! And then you go on into verse 26, then 27b.  Jesus is!  He is eternal!  And in this we have great hope, complete assurance, confidence!  Ask in my name and the father will hear!  He is our great high priest, our advocate, our intercessor! 

And lastly I just want to touch on one more important things that comes out of the foreverness of Jesus.  And that is his promise given in 28:20.  I am with you always.  How can Jesus, who is dead be with us?  How can Jesus who may have risen and is in heaven be with us?  How can Jesus who is limited in any way be with “us” always?  Because he is the I am, the one who is. 

And this brings us back full circle to the account of Moses and the burning bush.  Jesus sends out his disciples with a promise –to be with them.  And it is the same that the eternal God did with Moses. 

God said to Moses, go and bring this message to Pharoah, and I will be with you! (Ex 3:12). 

Because Jesus is the I am, we can have absolute confidence that he will be with us.  He will save us, he will keep us, he will meet our needs in all wisdom and love, praise be to the lamb, to receive power and glory and riches and strength!

Holy Spirit -forever November 25, 2012

Edwin Palmer in his Book, The Holy Spirit, wrote, “There are few subjects more important to the Christian than the one concerning the Holy Spirit.  For the eternal Spirit is the source of the Christian’s spiritual life: both its origin and continuation.”

When evangelical churches consider the working and the influence of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer and the life of the church, we often do so very cautiously.  There is a fear that we will be too Pentecostal or charismatic and once you start talking about the Spirit of God in the church the next thing you know we’ll be rolling down the aisles and speaking in tongues.  Yet we fail to realize that in our own rich history it was among the Baptists that some of the strongest preaching about and for the Holy Spirit began in our western church.  Charles Spurgeon, the “Prince of Preachers” in the 1800’s preached and wrote on the Holy Spirit and said that one of the greatest deficiencies in the church of his time was the forgetfulness of the work of the Holy Spirit and that without Him we can do nothing.  And that Biblical truth was as true in the Time when Paul put it in scripture, when Spurgeon preached it and perhaps more so even today.  Spurgeon was not preaching for the ecstatic suffusing of the Holy Spirit but the quickening, filling and working of the Spirit in the salvation of, sanctification of and security of the follower of Jesus.

It is the Spirit of God who works in us in so many ways that we cannot and should not minimize the role He plays.  This morning I am not going to give a theology of the Spirit in relation to his God-ness, his person, or other essential teachings.  Actually we looked at the Holy Spirit about a year ago and there are many, many books written on this.  This morning I want to look at the eternity of the Holy Spirit –his forever-ness and why that is so important for us. 

Many people, in the church, think that the Holy Spirit came about after Jesus rose from the grave and then ascended into heaven.  It was at Pentecost that the Holy Spirit came.  Oh, maybe he was around, but we do not realize the importance and significance of the work of the Holy Spirit since before the beginning and in the beginning of creation.
Genesis 1:1-2 gives us the first look at the role and action of the Holy Spirit.  “The Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.”  The Spirit of God is present and active even at the very foundations of creation.  As with the Father and the Son, the Spirit of God is a significant participant in the formation of all that is.  The picture here is of the Spirit hovering over the chaotic waters of the earth –as a mother bird hovers over her young.  This is a fascinating image of the mother bird who gives birth to and then protects her young. 

AND what a powerful and significant image which we have when the Holy Spirit, we read in Matthew 3:16-17 this event in Jesus life.  The Spirit hovers and descends, the Father declares his pleasure –what a fantastic connection back to creation itself when the Spirit descends/ hovers and God declares in his creation the delight of “it is good, it is very good!

Even before creation, the Spirit was.  Hebrews 9:14 states that the Spirit is eternal (read).  You just have to go to a concordance and look up “Spirit” (capital “S”) and in the OT you see threaded throughout the work and activity of the Spirit of God.  Psalm 139:7 declares, “Where can I go from your Spirit?”  Zechariah 4:6 says, “no by might or power, but by my Spirit.”  Job 33:4, the Spirit of God made me and the breathe of the Almighty gives me life.”

I want to stop for a moment on this verse because it brings up something important.  Spirit in the OT, in Hebrew is the same word for breathe or wind –“ruach.”  Note here how the writer of Job brings up the Spirit and breath in the same sentence –the Spirit makes us and sustains us –gives us life.  And even going back to Genesis in creation we read that God “breathed” life into man (2:7) and this breath was life. 

The activity and working of the Holy Spirit is present in the life of Jesus.  It is the Spirit that comes and creates the baby Jesus in the mother, Mary.  The Spirit comes down and lights in him.  The Spirit leads Jesus into the desert.  Jesus says demons are driven out by the Spirit.  That the Spirit speaks truth though us.  That the Spirit gives life.  That the Spirit will be left as a counselor, a teacher for his followers.

The activity and working of the Spirit is well documented in the book of Acts, which some have called the book of the Acts of the Holy Spirit.  And Paul writes about he filling of the Spirit, the gifts of the Spirit, the fruit of the Spirit, the power of the Spirit, the presence of the Spirit.  The ministry of the Spirit continues in heaven lifting our prayers before the throne.  Translating even our groaning’s, things that cannot be put into words, the Spirit brings them before God the father.  And even in the closing words of Revelation, when all has been fulfilled and judgment is given, and time is no more, the Spirit is still there.  22:17, the Spirit and the bride say come! 

The Spirit of God is forever and in his eternalness the Holy Spirit has the unlimited capacity to do his work.  And because he is eternal we can experience the fullness of His presence and working in our lives.

Because the Spirit is eternal he can work at bringing everyone to God that God directs.  We read that we do not, cannot, come to the knowledge of God and become his child without the working of the Spirit in our lives.  The KJV calls it quickening. I like that word.  The NIV in John 6:63 reads, “The Spirit gives life, the flesh counts for nothing.  KJV reads, “It is the Spirit that quickeneth…”  Charles Spurgeon writes on this,
            “The work of salvation never starts with the efforts of any man.  God the Holy Spirit must begin it.  Man cannot because he is dead.  The dead may be made alive but the dead cannot make themselves alive.  For the dead can do nothing.”
The Spirit of God can and does bring everyone that the Father desires to Him.  Jesus later would say, no one comes to me except the Father draws him.  The Spirit moves in people to quicken them, to spark in them the life given by the Father.  The eternalness of God gives the Spirit the ability to bring ALL those who would to the Father. (cf. II Thes. 2:13) Not most, not some.  No “Oh I ran out of energy, time focus.” 

The eternalness of the Spirit assures us that all who are drawn are kept.  This security is extremely comforting and assuring.     Ephesians 1:11-14 tells us that we are assured, guaranteed, sealed, marked, with the Spirit when we come to Christ.  IN a day and age when we see retirement funds lost in a market downturn (crash) or a house lost in a recession what a great guarantee that the eternal Spirit will NOT maybe preserve us, will not almost keep us, will not mostly guarantee our salvation -but fully!

Because he is eternal he has the capacity to fully comfort us (John 14:16).  Because he is eternal he has the full knowledge of God (II Corinthians 2:10-11).  Because he is eternal he has the full ability to fill us.

Let’s look at Ephesians 5:18, Paul says be filled with the Holy Spirit.  Be filled over and over, renewing our filling.  The Spirit does not run out, go dry, fail to be enough.  He doesn’t ration himself because there may be a shortage next week.  He is more than enough to fill and fill and fill and fill. 

And along with this, because he is eternal his fruit will not lack.  The fruit of the Spirit is love joy peace, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faithful and self control.  (Gal. 5:22-23).  Because the Spirit is eternal he has the power to gift us –not most of us, not some of us –ALL of us who are in Christ!  Because he is eternal he gives the power to keep on serving, to keep on growing, to keep on learning about he Father, to keep on.  Oh we may grow tired, we may grow weary but he never does and his limitless power is always at work (Ephesians 1)

Because he is eternal we can know he can help us in our weakness, guide us in our prayers, and intercede for us always! (Romans 8:26-27 –read). 

If the Spirit of God were not eternal, if he could only bring 90% of those God called, keep only 98% of those who were saved safe, fill only half the church, give only limited quantities of fruit, only empower most of those who follow Jesus and guarantee 99.99% of those sealed, then he would cease to be the Spirit of God.  The Spirit of God, as the Spirit of God has the eternalness of God because he is God. 

And because he is eternal he will always seek the glory of Christ who brings glory to the Father.  Jesus put it this way, “The Spirit will bring glory to me…” and then in almost the next breath Jesus says “I have brought you (Father) glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.” (John 16:16 and 17:4)  The chief task of the Spirit is to glorify Christ who glorifies God!  And this is something that we must understand about the Spirit. 

Two weeks ago we looked at the foreverness of God and the simple yet powerful truth that God is.  God is.  Period.  And because God is, his ways are higher than ours, his thoughts not ours.  He will do what he will because he is God.  To be any less, anything less than forever, anything less than sovereign, anything less is to cease to be God.  And as such, God will always seek his own glory (Isaiah 48:11) “I will not yield my glory to another.” 

God is above all.  God is.  And the Spirit, through Jesus and glorifying Christ, seeks to always glorify the Father through Christ, will always –ALWAYS, work for the glory of God and His ways, his purposes his mind.  Remember, the Spirit knows the mind of God (I Corinthians 2:10-11).  And this is important for us because the Spirit will not be manipulated to our will, our ways.

We can, and sometimes do, view the Spirit of God like a power source we can turn on and off –he is at our disposal, he empowers us to do what we want.  I have heard people command, yes command the Spirit to heal someone.  After all isn’t that his job?  Much the same when we “ask anything in Jesus name” he must give it to us –because he said he would.  I ask in Jesus name for a new car, a better life, a kitten, world peace, to win the lottery. 

The Spirit will ALWAYS seek to bring glory to Jesus who brings glory to the father.  ALWAYS!  And if what we ask, if what we seek, if what we command does not glorify the Father, the spirit will not do it.  The Spirit saves us for the glory of the father.  The Spirit preserves us for the glory of the father, the Spirit unites us for the glory for the Father, empowers us for the glory of the father, gives us fruit for the glory of the father, heals us, comforts us, seals us, gifts us, lifts our prayers, teaches us 100% for the glory of the father through Jesus Christ.

There is so much more that can be preached in the Spirit of God –his guidance in the giving of Scripture, His preservation of the word, his convicting us of sin, and so much more.

The eternalness, the foreverness of the Spirit is essential for us.  TO be anything less, he would cease to be the Spirit of God.  And because he is eternal we can have the assurance, the absolute confidence that he will fill us, comfort us, guide us, protect us and guarantee our salvation in Christ.  Beloved, let us rejoice and praise God for the eternal Spirit, seek him, be filled by him, listen to Him and obey Him.