The Holy Spirit

“And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.” - Romans 8:11

God has a way of getting things done, just like we do, and the Holy Spirit sits at the center of God’s project management system. What we celebrate onEaster Sunday has everything to do with a much longer story of God getting things done, by the Spirit, in peoples’ lives. The Holy Spirit is part of what we call the Trinity, and the Trinity is simply the way we talk about a God who has expressed Himself to us in three distinct ways: as the Father - our Creator and Maker; the Son - our Healer, Deliverer, and Savior; and the Holy Spirit - our Counselor, Guide, Advocate, Encourager, Empowerer and Friend!

The Holy Spirit is a person, not an impersonal force. In this 8-part series we will explore the Spirit, from the creation of the heavens and the earth, to Easter morning, to when his wind filled the sails of the early church with power on the day of Pentecost.

(1) THE HOLY SPIRIT & EASTER: Sunday April 1st
What if Easter was more than a day? What if Easter could literally change every moment, of every day - for the rest of your life? If that’s your desire, then it’s time to reconnect again with the true Spirit of Easter - the Holy Spirit.

The Spirit of Easter is not wrapped up in the candy industry, and it is not led by the Easter Bunny and colored eggs hidden in your house or your backyard every Spring. No, the Holy Spirit is the true Spirit of Easter!

And who is the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit is the “…Spirit of him who raised Jesus form the dead …” - Romans 8:11a

This message explores what it means to have the real Spirit of Easter filling us, changing us, and making us new.

(2) WHO IS THE HOLY SPIRIT?: Sunday April 8th
“But the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Advocate), the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name (in my place, to represent Me, act on My behalf), He will teach you all things. And He will cause you to recall (bring to remembrance) everything I have told you. - John 14:16 AMP

The Holy Spirit is the most misunderstood person in the Church. Few of us know him as he really is. The book of Acts has 57 references to the Spirit, and the Epistles, 132! Clearly the Spirit wants to be known. In Acts 2, things get exciting, and that excitement spreads far beyond the original twelve disciples and the city of Jerusalem as the Holy Spirit makes himself known to the early church.

In this message we explore the Scriptures that shed light on the person and the works of the Holy Spirit in our lives, the Church, and in the world.

(3) THE HOLY SPIRIT & ME: Sunday April 15th
In John 3:5-8, Jesus teaches Nicodemus, and us, a very important lesson about the Holy Spirit.

“Jesus answered, ‘Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying,”You must be born again.” The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.’"

If you are a follower of Jesus, a Christ-follower or Christian, you have been born of the Spirit.The Holy Spirit is the agent of the new creation or new birth. He draws us, changes our hearts, and works in our lives to use us to impact the lives of others for the Kingdom of God.

In this message we look at our personal relationship with the Holy Spirit, and how we can experience him in our lives as we begin our journey with God.

Jesus commanded his disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they were empowered by the Holy Spirit:

“And being assembled together with them, he commanded them to not depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, ‘which’, he said, ‘you have heard from me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.’ ” - Acts 1:4-5

At Pentecost, God empowered the disciples for life and mission. In this message we explore what is called the Baptism in the Holy Spirit - the empowering of Christians to do what Jesus did. The Baptism in the Holy Spirit is a gift promised to every Christian - including you!

(5) THE GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT: Sunday April 29th
Spiritual gifts are special abilities, manifestations of God’s presence, or even unique leadership roles in the Church. The Greek word for “gifts” found in 1 Corinthians 12:4 is charismata, or “gracelets” that come from the Spirit for a task. The word comes from the root word charis, or charisma, which means “grace.”

In other words, spiritual gifts are special abilities God gives us that reveal God’s grace and love.

"There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and still to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.” - 1 Corinthians 12:4-11

In this message we take a brief look at the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and what a vital role they play in the life of a Christian and the Church.

Many today are skeptical about the existence of miracles. However, when someone actually sees or experiences a miracle, it can have a completely life-changing impact. What is it about what the Bible calls “signs and wonders” in Acts 4:30 that can create such a dramatic response in people?

In the Scriptures, we see God doing miracles from Genesis to Revelation. Whether Moses is putting his staff into the Red Sea, and it parts the waters, or Peter is placing his hands on a blind man and he receives his sight, God acts in signs and wonders to produce the fruit of awareness - awareness that God is real in the real world we live in today.

One of the hallmarks of Vineyard is a belief that when the Gospel is preached, that God confirms through signs and wonders the truth of what is being spoken.

“But the apostles stayed there a long time, preaching boldly about the grace of the Lord. And the Lord proved their message was true by giving them power to do miraculous signs and wonders.” - Acts 14:3

John Wimber, the early leader of the Vineyard movement taught that signs and wonders were for today and that God wanted to bring expressions of His love and power through His Church today.

Wimber stated that “Christian signs and wonders are beyond rationality, but they serve a rational purpose: to authenticate the gospel. The gospel is opposed to the pluralistic lie that says all religious experience is equally valid. Signs and wonders validate Christ’s sacrifice on the cross and His lordship over every area of our lives.”

In this message we will explore how God has used and is still using signs and wonders to authenticate the gospel.

(7) COME, HOLY SPIRIT: Sunday May13th
The prayer “Come, Holy Spirit” is an invitation for the Spirit of God to move in any way He chooses - in us, in our church, and in the world around us. Sometimes, the simplest prayers are the best prayers. “Come, Holy Spirit” has been prayed by the church in many forms over the past 2000 years.

This expression also has a special place in the history of the Vineyard family of churches. On Mother’s Day, 1980, John Wimber had a guest speaker named Lonnie Frisbee, a young Southern California hippie who had been a part of what had become known as the Jesus People Movement in the late 1960s. That night when Lonnie concluded his message with the three-word prayer “Come, Holy Spirit” all heaven broke loose and the Vineyard movement of churches was birthed.

In this message we will discuss how learning to pray the simple prayer, “Come, Holy Spirit” opens us up to a life where Jesus is in the lead, carrying us forward in faith. This simple invitation, prayed from the heart, is a true spiritual game-changer.

God is in charge of the world, though it doesn’t always look like it right now! We live between the times. In other words, the Kingdom has already come (Jesus inaugurated the Kingdom in His coming and confirmed the Gospel of the Kingdom through signs and wonders, marks of the age to come breaking into the present). But we also recognize that the Kingdom, in all its fullness, has not yet fully come (there is much suffering and darkness in the world, and not every prayer seems to be answered).

The Holy Spirit is God’s manifest presence at work in the world today, and whether the Spirit takes a public stage, impacting thousands of lives through ordinary people, or takes a private stage at work in the hearts of those far from God, the Spirit works through you and me to touch the world with the Gospel.

The Apostle Paul stated that, “My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.” - 1 Corinthians 2: 4-5

This message will discuss the mission of the Holy Spirit to reach every heart with God’s amazing love and our invitation to join him in changing the world through the Church today.