Andrew Fountain - Enjoying Relationship with Father, Son and Spirit

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Sermon notes - Enjoying Relationship with Father, Son and Spirit

  • Interesting that relationship with each other...:

Ephesians 2

  1. For he [Jesus] is our peace, the one who made both groups into one and who destroyed the middle wall of partition, the hostility
  2. …He did this to create in himself one new man out of two, thus making peace,
  3. and to reconcile them both in one body to God [the Father] through the cross…
  4. And he [Jesus] came and preached peace…
  5. so that through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.
  • This morning I want to give you some thoughts on our relationship with God
  • Do you notice anything about the words that are highlighted there?
    • Notice particularly how the three persons of the Trinity are involved
    • Our relationship with God is with all three

The Trinity

The Trinity

  • This is a very ancient representation of three in one
    • I’m not going to try and explain the Trinity this afternoon
    • He is not some kind of force, but three persons
    • But focus on how we can have a relationship with each one of the three

Ephesians 3

  1. For this reason I kneel before the Father,
  2. from whom every family in heaven and on the earth is named.
  3. I pray that according to the wealth of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner person,
  4. that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, so that, because you have been rooted and grounded in love,
  • Does everyone here want that? —it sounds pretty good:
    • Christ dwelling in our hearts, rooted and grounded in love
    • Our goal is this living relationship with Jesus in our hearts [v.17]
    • But this happens by praying to the Father
      • That he would put the Spirit in our inner person
  • We’ll read on to see what this looks like...

Ephesians 3 cont’d

  1. you may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,
  2. and thus to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.
  3. Now to him [the Father] who by the power that is working within us is able to do far beyond all that we ask or think,
    would you like that?
  4. to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
  • So the main point here is that
    • there is a real relationship with each of the three persons
    • Each has a different part to play
    • Each one wants us to enjoy the other two
      • Spirit: “I’m just here to give you Jesus, and to appreciate the Father more”
      • Father: “I’m giving you the Spirit so you can experience Jesus in you and know the depth of his love”
      • Jesus: “I love my father so much that I have come to reconcile you to him, so you can love him like I do.”
  • So we are going to look:
    1. Relationship with the Father
    2. Relationship with the Son, Jesus
    3. Relationship with the Holy Spirit

1. The Father

Relationship with Father God

  • In the history of the church, there has been (rightly) a lot of emphasis on Jesus
  • More recently an emphasis on the Holy Spirit
  • But the Father rarely receives the emphasis that he deserves
    • Yet Paul talks almost as much about the Father as about Jesus
  • In Jesus came to earth for the purpose of reconciling us to the Father
    • [Eph 2:16] “and to reconcile them both in one body to God [the Father] through the cross…”

Adoption

Adoption

  • Roman adoption: usually adults
  • “He chose us for adoption as his sons through Jesus Christ” [Eph. 1:5]
    • Roman practice—adults, chosen, three times refused,
  • Many people find it easier to relate to Jesus than to the Father
    • Why? because of poor experiences with imperfect earthly fathers
    • Imagine you are driving a car and you notice... “warmth and comfort because there are authority figures behind you”
  • We must take our eyes off our earthy fathers, no matter how good they were to us
    • and let the Scriptures describe the true Father
    • remarkable thing about my own father
  • So if that is the wrong way, what is the right way: Look at what Jesus teaches us about the Father.
  • e.g. the Parable of the “Lost Son”
    • or better the “extravagantly loving Father’
  • Also there are some wonderful words in the Psalms and the Prophets

Zephaniah 3

  1. The LORD your God is in your midst,
          The mighty one who will save;
    He will rejoice over you with gladness;
          he will quiet you with his love;
                he will rejoice over you with singing.

2. Jesus

  • Return to Ephesians

Ephesians 3

  1. you may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,
  2. and thus to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.
  3. Now to him [the Father] who by the power that is working within us is able to do far beyond all that we ask or think,
  4. to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
  • v.18,19 – One of the most amazing prayers in the whole of the Scriptures
    • v.20 more than we ask or think!
  • This theme is throughout Ephesians
  • Reaches it most astounding heights in 5:25–32 (the Bride) (men, get used to it!)

Ephesians 5:24–32

  1. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also should wives to their husbands in everything.
  2. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,
  3. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”
  4. This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.
  • It really is a mystery! We’re just given the picture now, but one day we’ll understand.

The Bride of Christ

  • As the bridegroom rejoices over the bride
    So shall your God rejoice over you. [Is 62:5]
  • Rev 21:2–4, 9–11 We are pictured as the Bride and there is a wedding feast
  • Psalm 45 is a song about the wedding of Jesus, similar to the Song of Solomon
  • Luke 22:15 “with fervent desire [burning passion] I have desired to eat this passover with you”
  • Heb 12:2 “[Jesus] …who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame…
  • What was this joy? We are!!!, US!!!, We are his joy!
  • two main verbs for love in Greek
    • agapaw (we talk about agape love), phileo
    • These words are not used as rigidly as some would suggest
      • but nevertheless there is a difference in the kind of usage
    • agapaw is more general —doesn’t imply that the person gets any benefit (they may, but the word doesn’t demand that)
      • phileo has an idea of friendship, enjoyment of the person, pleasure in their company
  • John uses agapaw frequently
    • except 16:27

2. The Holy Spirit

Relationship with the Spirit

  • How do we feel this love of Jesus? —not just read about it!
  • Through the Spirit—he is the channel of blessing
  • He is a person, not a force. Verses that speak of grieving him (you can’t grieve electricity)

Experiencing the Holy Spirit

  • He is the advanced deposit of our inheritance [1:13–14]
    • i.e. he brings some of heaven to us now
  • For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear,
    but you received the Spirit of adoption
    by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” (=“daddy”) [Rom 8:15]
    Is it irreverent to call the Eternal God, “daddy”?
    what does it connote? —trusting intimacy. The Spirit brings that about
  • The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit
    that we are children of God, [Rom 8:16]
  • What is a relationship?
    • Could I say that I have a relationship with the Queen of England because I’ve read so many books about her?
  • Two people who have a loving relationship:
    • enjoy spending time together
    • love to talk about the person to others
    • want to please the other
    • have a 2-way communication
    • “waste time” with each other

Communication

  • So how does this communication happen?
  • Sometimes we say “I want more of God”
    • and that is not wrong, God knows what we mean! but let’s think about it.
    • If a man says to his wife, “I want more of you”, she’ll probably say, “You already have everything of me, but if you want to experience more of me, then spend some time with me.
    • We already have all of God. God is not holding anything back but it’s up to us to persue him.
  • How to we speak to him?
    • Times of Prayer
    • He helps us to pray
      • “grownings that cannont be uttered” —we are too upset we can’t even make a sound, but the Spirit prays for us
    • Constant Thanksgiving
    • Cultivating an awareness of his presence
    • Living a life of worship by means of our self-sacrifice
  • Through reading the Bible
    • Countless times I have asked God for help and he has spoken directly to me
    • For example: Daniel, God’s glory
  • Did Jesus read the Bible (Old Testament)?
    • What evidence? Luke:age 12; Answering Satan; Explaing to the 2 disciples
    • Read regularly and prayerfully —encourage you to have a plan and a regular time
  • He hears our prayers
    • (Bethany’s testimony)
  • His Spirit can lead our spirit with feelings, impressions, burdens (needs discernment but nevertheless can be real)
  • A sense of his presence
    • Comfort, encouragement: critical meeting where there were men who planned to destroy God’s work
  • Providential care
    • (providing work for me)
  • Simply putting joy in our hearts
  • Receiving love and encouragement from other believers
    • (When Anne & I moved to Canada)
  • God sometimes does some very strange things—don’t rule it out
  • Not a formula God relates differently to different people
    • He is a person, not a slot-machine. Don’t demand he relates to you exactly the same as to others
  • So, the Spirit is the channel

The Love Story of the Scriptures

The Love Story of the Scriptures

  • God’s love for his Son Jesus and his joy in preparing a bride for him
  • Jesus’ love for his Father, willingness to do anything for him, and desire to restore the relationship with mankind
  • The Spirit’s delight in selflessly lifting up the Son and the Father
  • We are caught up in this embrace: (e.g. my parents)
  • We need to enter into it
  • We need to pray and not give up
  • Try to develop your relationship with each of the three —don’t treat God as a “force” but as three people.

Invitation:

  • The Father: “I am the LORD your God… Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.” (Ps 81:10)
  • Jesus and the Spirit: “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”
    The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price. (Rev 22:16,17)
  • If you are not a Christian, here is an invitation for you!
  • If you want a deeper experience

Updated on 2016-09-04 by Andrew Fountain