Chapter # 8 Paragraph # 4 Study # 1
Thesis: The Holy Spirit's unspoken communication with The Father dominates our experiences.
Introduction: We have been considering Paul's focus upon how we are to respond to our unpleasant experiences. His one-word focus is upon "Hope". He told us that we are to look at our circumstances through the view finder of our eventual participation in a level of "Glory" that is so far beyond anything we can dream up that we are to simply accept this as our eternal inheritance. This boils down to one major issue: our attitude is crucial to our future participation in that glorious inheritance.
However, there is a significant problem as "the elephant in the room". Our attitude will not actually do much of anything about the causes of the distress in which we find ourselves. It will help, in the sense that a hopeful attitude will diminish the damage that can be done to us, to others through us, and to the actual level of participation we will have in our eternal future. But, our attitude will not actually do anything to mitigate the level and intensity of our sufferings. In fact, it may make things worse.
Therefore, Paul pulls the curtain back on another major issue regarding our sufferings and the attitude we take toward them. This issue is the actual ministry of the Holy Spirit to us and its impact upon us. This is where we are going this evening.
April 30, 2017
- I. What We Are to Know Regarding Our Distressing Experiences.
- A. Unmentioned by Paul, but key to our understanding is this fact: it is the intention of our adversary to use our experiences to dissuade us from living in "Hope".
- B. Focused on by Paul and even more necessary to our understanding is this fact: it is the intention of God to address those problematic factors of our own "illness" in respect to the roots of sin by bringing the prayer life of the Holy Spirit into play.
- 1. His declaration is that The Spirit addresses our illness by "helping" us.
- a. At issue is our "illness".
- 1) The word is used of physical illness the vast majority of the time in the New Testament.
- 2) It is metaphorically used as a "soul/spirit" problem of severe weakness that prohibits healthy function.
- 3) There are two factors involved.
- a) There is our delusional view of ourselves as "healthy".
- b) There is our gross ignorance of how to pray in the face of specific distressing experiences.
- b. God's answer is the ministry of His Own Spirit to us in prayer.
- 1) The Spirit's "help" is like unto a coming alongside to provide what is lacking in order to get the job done (Luke 10:40).
- 2) The Spirit's "help" is injected "in like manner" as His involvement in our initial "salvation" experience (the "in like manner" has only one antecedent in our context).
- a) His "manner" is unrecognized by those affected.
- b) His "manner" is entirely gracious (salvation is by grace).
- c) His "manner" is significantly effective (omnipotent wisdom is irresistible).
- 2. His "help" is "intercession" for us to The Father.
- a. We are told in Hebrews 7:25 that Jesus makes continual intercession for us [Romans 8:34 is going to bring this up shortly].
- b. This text now tells us that He is not the only One doing that: The Spirit is also involved.
- c. This intercession is "in like manner" in that it is unrecognized by reason of one thing: there is no audible evidence that it is going on.
- 1) What is going on is that The Spirit is "groaning" also along with all of creation and all of those in whom He dwells.
- 2) But, this is a high level matter of "faith" because those "groans" are not expressed in vocal forms.
- II. The Point of This Knowledge.
- A. It brings to light several facts.
- 1. The Spirit is fundamentally involved at the "heart" level so that what The Searcher sees there is what The Spirit makes evident.
- 2. The Spirit has a mindset regarding our "illness" in light of what needs to be done to bring those things that are "according to God" into reality.
- 3. The Spirit "intercedes" (the meaning is revealed by Acts 25:24 -- "dealing with someone") for us.
- B. It makes an amazing fact stand out: our experiences are dominated by the three-way conversation of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit so that they are needful because of our ignorance of our illness.