Sermon: God's Transformer
Summary: God does not leave us alone or helpless, but makes us equal to the task
before us. One of the way he does so is by granting us his Spirit. The Spirit
fulfills a definite role as our helper. The Spirit helps us by interceding on our
behalf, giving us emotional and spiritual strength, and ultimately by transforming
us into the image of God. In combination with the communicated word of God, the
Spirit transforms us.
Know: We have been granted the Spirit to help us to be godly and grow, we should seek
to be sensitive to the Spirit's leading in our lives through spiritual discipline
Feel: Sensitive to the things of the Spirit
Do: Reflect on the various ways that God helps us, especially through the Spirit.
Discuss ways that we try to rely on things other than God and what the ultimate results
of those kinds of efforts might be. List and discuss possible reasons we are tempted
to rely on things other than God, and how we might better rely on God.
Scripture Reading: John 14:16-17
1. What is a transformer?
a. Those things on power poles, or in a power supply
b. Some of you thought of those robots in the movies
c. This morning we will talk about another kind of transformer
2. Last two weeks talked about God
a. God the Father - love
b. Jesus Christ - came in the flesh
c. What about the Spirit? What central teaching about the Spirit?
3. What is the Spirit? Can talk about many things
a. How the Spirit identifies us as children of God
- Spirit called a "seal," a good metaphor
- God grants to us the Spirit
- Without it we do not belong to God
- If have the Spirit, it testifies that we are children of God and heirs
b. How the Spirit inspires the word of God
- Spirit moved prophets and apostles to speak God's word
- Scripture says all scripture is inspired
- Literally, it is "God-breathed"
- Word for "breath" and "Spirit" is pneuma, same word
c. Can also talk about how the Spirit gives us life
- Spirit works through the word, but not the same as it
- Can know the word, but not have life
- Without the Spirit, we are dead in our sins
- This is why Jesus use metaphor of "living water" for the Spirit
d. And there are other functions and ministries of the Spirit
4. Will center on the central function of the Spirit - A helper
a. This is what Jesus consistently calls the Spirit in John
b. All of the functions of the Spirit for us are "helping" functions
c. How does the Spirit help? Will look at several ways
I. Prays for us (Rom 8:18-26)
A. Sometimes we need others to pray for us
1. Don't know what to say
2. May not have the inner strength to pray
3. Other come to pray for you, on your behalf
B. This passage is about how the Spirit prays for us
1. Not whining, but groaning
a. Difference between a groan and whine
b. Groan is deep pain, helplessness, and profound sadness
2. A lot of groaning in this passage
a. The creation is groaning
b. We are groaning
c. Even the Spirit groans
3. Can you relate to this? Everywhere you turn, pain, groaning
C. ILL: I remember a man whose world came crashing down on him
1. Wife died childbirth, child serious deformity, never be normal
2. Wife's death brought shortage of income, about to lose house
3. Deep despair set in - In church, cried out and walked out
4. Did not have the strength to pray, could only groan
D. The Spirit intercedes for us in times like this
1. Prays, intercedes, but no words to say, can only groan
2. God hears the groans, the cries
3. He sees every tear
4. (v.28) - Will cause all things to ultimately work together for good
II. Strengthens us (Eph 3:14-21)
A. The Spirit does more than just empathize are pray, he strengthens us
B. This passage reminds us
1. Strengthened in the inner man by his Spirit
a. What does he mean the inner man?
b. Strengthened mentally, emotionally, spiritually
2. v.18 - Alternate translation
a. May be able to "apprehend" the width, height, etc.
b. Apprehend - To overtake it, overcome
c. God doesn't lessen the task
d. But he does make you equal to the task
3. v.19 - That you may be filled up to all the fullness of God
a. Have you ever felt so empty, that it hurts?
b. People try to fill it with various things
- Drugs, sex, alcohol, and other escapes
- Problem is none of those things can fill you
c. Only God can, and he does so through the Spirit
d. This is why the Spirit is called living water
- When you drink this water, never thirst again
- Refreshed, strengthened, renewed
4. v.20 - Can do far more abundantly beyond all we ask or think
a. According to the power that works within us
b. That power is the power of the Spirit
C. ILL: Jn 7:37-39 - If thirsty, come to Jesus, get rivers of living water
1. v.39 - Speaking of the Spirit
2. Image of water is very powerful
a. ILL: Niagara Falls - 600,000 Gallons Per Second
b. Hoover Dam - Harness the power of water
- 726 Ft High
- 1,244 Feet Across
- Power Generating Capacity of 2.8 Million Kilowatts
- Power goes to several states
3. Strength of a river is awesome - image of generosity
D. God strengthens us generously
1. Strengthens us inwardly, makes us equal to the task
2. If you feel empty, no strength, no will, have been emptied
3. Maybe not have emotional, mental, spiritual strength
4. Take it to Jesus, believe in him, rivers of living water
a. Grants you of his Spirit
b. Through the Spirit, will strengthen you
III. Transforming us (Titus 2:5)
A. Not just about salvation
1. Washing of rebirth
2. "Renewal" by the Spirit
B. Spirit's role is to renew or transform us
1. Bible speaks of this in various ways
a. Col 3:9-10 - Putting off old self and putting on new
b. Rom 6:4, 16 - Old man dies, walk in newness of life
c. Rom 12:2 - Not conformed, but transformed
d. John 3 - Being born again, (of water and spirit)
2. (Gal 5:16-24) - Shows some concrete results of the Spirit
a. Without Spirit, you are at the mercy of the flesh
b. However, the Spirit changes you inside out
c. Able to put away the deeds of the flesh
d. Produce the fruit of the Spirit
3. This means you become a transformed person
a. The deeds of the flesh are done away with
b. Each part of the fruit grows
4. Spirit renews, changes, transforms you
C. ILL: At the Soda Fountain,
1. Sandwich board is white, but not stay that way during the day
2. Cut tomatoes, sandwiches, vegetable, etc. on it, get stained
3. End of day, pour bleach on it, in sink - after some time, white
a. Stains gradually disappear
b. Replaced by newness
4. That is what the Spirit does, process of transformation
a. Wipes away the stains
b. Renewal day after day
D. Spirit transforms you
1. You become a new person
2. Whether a husband, wife, employee, employer, neighbor, friend,
3. Spirit is transforming you into the image of Christ
a. You reflect him in all you say and do
b. How you react when you are wronged
c. How you respond to someone hurting
4. You are a new person
1. Truly the Spirit is a helper - Helps in a way no one else can
2. How do we allow the Spirit to help us?
a. Here is what I have found in the past
b. It is more than just knowing the word
- Eph 5:19 - Be filled with Spirit; Col 3:16 - Let the word dwell in you
- Don't mistake knowing the word with indwelling Spirit
- Spirit is not the same as the word (Spirit uses the word)
- Can know the Bible and not have the Spirit
c. It is through Spiritual Discipline, especially reading, meditation, prayer
- Read with faith - It is God's word, interact with it, meditate
- Read with faith - even if it small as mustard seed it will grow
- And it will fill you up with all the fullness of God
3. In this way, God will continue to transform you inside and out with his transformer, his helper
4. What is the Spirit saying to you today, whether Christian or not? (inv)
Sermon: God's Transformer
Summary: God does not leave us alone or helpless, but makes us equal to the task before
us. One of the way he does so is by granting us his Spirit. The Spirit fulfills a definite
role as our helper. The Spirit helps us by interceding on our behalf, giving us emotional
and spiritual strength, and ultimately by transforming us into the image of God. In
combination with the communicated word of God, the Spirit transforms us.
Open (choose one):
- Who was your most helpful teacher in school?
- What is the most helpful tool to you?
1. Titus 2:5 - What in this passage indicates that the Christian life is more than just
salvation from sin? What function does the "washing" perform? What function does the Spirit
2. Thought question based on Titus 2:5: What is the "purpose" of salvation? Is it just to go
to Heaven, or is it more?
3. Rom 8:18-26; Eph 3:14-21; Gal 5:16-24; Eph 6:17
a. Discuss the functions that the Spirit performs in this passage.
b. Why is it necessary for us to have the Spirit?
c. What does the image of the word of God as the "Sword of the Spirit" convey?
d. Jesus often referred to the Spirit as a "helper." In what ways is the Spirit a "helper?"
4. Why do you suppose God communicates to us what the Spirit does? Why do we need to
5. Do you find yourself encouraged or challenged by this lesson? Explain.
6. List and discuss some ways you might rely on things other than God to get you through difficulty,
for satisfaction, happiness, significance, etc.
7. How can you be more sensitive to the Spirit's guidance and leading in your life? Does the "way"
you read the Bible have any bearing on this?