Summary of the Sermon by Pastor Dr Abraham Lalamentik, Head of Teaching Division of GBI Gatot Subroto, Jakarta, at Bethany International Service, on Sunday, 23 April 2017.
Holy Spirit - Our Help Line
Our life is now hidden in Christ, and it is no longer we who live, but Christ in us. As we carry on with life, we will face tribulations. However, as Christians we should live for Jesus because of His sacrifice on the cross – He has paid for the penalty of our sins. We are faced with dual reality. Yes, Jesus Christ is with us but at the same time we are waiting for His appearing.
Therefore, if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. (Colossians 3:1-4)
In these verses, Paul sums up our dual reality. We have the Holy Spirit who understands our struggles, He is our advocate. The Holy Spirit intercedes and builds up our spirit man. At the same time, there are things that are above – God’s plans and purposes.
In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; (Romans 8:26-30)
In the verses above, we have five major topics.
God knows us better than we know ourselves. He plans for us and He has foreknowledge. He is not surprised by our actions as He knows how we will react or respond.
Predestination means God has already decided the destination of our life. It is like taking a train which will bring us to its destination. The train’s destination is set. God has already predestined a certain goal for us so we can be like Jesus – to be conformed to the image of His Son. Now if we are predestined, can we miss our destination prepared by God? If you continue on your journey without alighting, you will reach your destination. We will miss the destination if we decide to alight earlier, and follow our plans instead of God's plans. Remind ourselves of our final destination.
Justification – those whom He predestined, He also justified. Everything that Jesus Christ did that brings honour to God is suddenly being credited into our life as we believe in Him.
Sanctification – we are made righteous by Christ’s righteousness.
We will be transformed from mortals into immortals in the Kingdom of God and we will reign together with Christ. We will have unhindered access to God’s presence, and we will enjoy Holy Communion with Him throughout eternity
We have hope in Christ not only for what we need. While we need physical needs in our life, let the hope of the things that are above be the focus of our eyes. (1 Cor 15:19)
In 2010, 33 Chilean miners were trapped in a mine after an earthquake. They had no way to get out of the mine after the main entrance was blocked. Rescuers worked around the clock to find a solution, first to ascertain if the trapped miners were still alive. When the first communication was established and the rescuers knew that the miners were still alive, they planned the next step to bring down food supplies to them while they determined a solution to get them out of the collapsed mine. It took about 69 days before they were rescued from the mine shaft. During the 69 days of ordeal, their minds pinned on the hope that they would be rescued one day and be reunited with their loved ones.
Reflecting on the situation, the miners may have found themselves comfortable as they had food and were able to communicate with the people above. However, they continued to keep their eyes on getting out of the mine shaft. Likewise for us, we should continue to keep our spiritual eyes on the Kingdom of God above, even though we may be comfortable, and can communicate with God and receive His blessings on earth.
In this fallen world, the Holy Spirit always comes as our rescue; there are blessings and provisions on our way. Our hopes should be fixed on the things above. Listen and obey the voice of the Holy Spirit. In all of life’s struggles, the Holy Spirit will guide us to reach our destination. We are struggling in this world, it may seem we don’t see our future in this world, it seems that we are losing hope. The voice of the Holy Spirit is enough to help us and keep us focused on reaching our final destination in Christ.