The Best Gift Ever (right click to download)
Sermon from March 6, 2016
2 John – Abiding In the Spirit
2 John 1:2,9b I am writing to the chosen lady and to her children… because the truth lives [abides] in us and will be with us forever… 9 the one who lives [abides] in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son.
What was the best gift you were ever given? Think of the gift you were most excited about as child – where is it now?
Acts 2:38-39 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of _______________
What does he say the gift is? Eternal Life? Going to heaven when we die? That is how many of us who grew up in the church would complete this sentence, having heard sermons Sunday after Sunday about getting saved so we can go to heaven when we die.
But, Is that how Peter completed this sentence? NO!
This 1st sermon preached on birthday of the universal church – the 1st proclamation, this is key! So, what does he say here? This is fundamental! This is what the church is, this is what faith is all about.
Here is how Peter completed that sentence: “…the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children…”
He is remembering what Jesus promised: Luke 11:13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?
I grew up my whole life in the church, I went 4 years to Bible college -I learned a doctrine of Holy Spirit – I could quote scriptures about Him, I memorized facts about Him – but I did not have a clue of how to “Walk by the Spirit.”
I personally believe that the ‘great apostasy’ began 1500 yrs ago – the Church has gone 1500 years without any real practical personal life walk of experiencing the daily reality of the Holy Spirit – this has been completely missing in the church at large, and the result has been that for 1500 years the church lost infilling of spirit as a primary focus.
So we may completely miss apostle John saying here to the church.
2 John 1:2,9b I am writing to the chosen lady and to her children… because the truth lives [abides] in us and will be with us forever. 9 the one who lives [abides] in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son.
We turn the Person into a doctrine – facts, thoughts in my mind about Jesus. NO!
The Truth is a Person – The Spirit of Truth
The Holy Spirit – with fruit – goodness, joy be with, With gifts – healing wisdom
With knowledge – He knows future, with all the power in the universe!
The gift is a Person, a real person, a best friend, a very humble, patient person. He is not touchy, not easily offended, not insecure. (and not a ghost.)
This is what John is talking about – The Truth abides in you — He knew what Jesus meant when He promised – John 14:17 That helper is the Spirit of Truth. The world cannot accept him, because it doesn’t see or know him. You know him, because he lives with you and will be in you.
John 15:26 “The helper whom I will send to you from the Father will come. This helper, the Spirit of Truth who comes from the Father, will declare the truth about me.