Free files for youth pastors:
We started out this lesson with the discussion question: “In what ways are Jesus and the Holy Spirit alike, and in what ways are they different?” I wonder how many teenagers have asked themselves that question. I wonder if I thought about that at all when I was a teenager. This question isn’t just technical like splitting atoms nor is it too deep like asking about the elements found on the moon. We’re talking about our God!
So which is it? Was it that Jesus submitted to the Holy Spirit while He walked the earth as fully God and man…or is it that the Holy Spirit submits to Jesus now as the resurrected and exalted God-man? The answer is…both! This is all so interesting.
First, we have to understand that Jesus lived His earthly life fully as a human who submitted to the Holy Spirit. Read Isaiah 11:1-4a. Can you believe it? Hundreds of years before the birth of Jesus, Isaiah is prophesying that Jesus will be the one who is indwelt by the Holy Spirit. Sure, many have already come who were indwelt with the Holy Spirit such as: Moses, Joshua, Samson, Saul, and David. But Jesus is way different. Finally, He is the one that fully and perfectly lived in absolute submission to the Holy Spirit. Do you get that? Jesus didn’t live His 33 year long earthly life by using His deity (Godly power), rather He lived by the power of the Holy Spirit. I’ve heard an awesome illustration by Dr. Bruce Ware who talked about a man who swam across a huge gulf to break a swimming record. For safety, they followed him in a boat, be he made it unassisted! How did he make the distance? He swam…stroke by stroke. In the same way, Jesus remained sinless and perfectly obeyed God’s law by living righteously…second by second. His deity was there to keep him from sin, but He lived fully human by the power of the Holy Spirit to be our example of human life to God.
Second, we have to understand that Jesus now lives His exalted life as the Holy Spirit fully submits to Him. Read John 14:25-26, 15:26-27, and 16:12-15. That was then. What about now? Things have drastically changed since Jesus’ earthly life. Jesus has risen from the dead, God has exalted Him as Lord, and He has placed all things under Jesus’ feet making Him the King of the Cosmos. What does Jesus say the Holy Spirit does now? When Jesus was raised from the dead, He authoritatively poured out the Holy Spirit into all Christians (Acts 2:33). The Holy Spirit doesn’t speak for Himself, rather He speaks to us whatever is declared to Him by Jesus (John 16). The Holy Spirit does not wish to be worshipped, but rather He works in us to worship Christ, to become like Christ, and to know Christ. The Holy Spirit’s main role and greatest desire is to drive us to Jesus! Be a part of a church that sees Jesus as the focus of the Father and the Spirit.
So what do we get from all of this? We are to live our earthly lives just like Jesus…in the power of the Spirit. Read Galatians 5:16-18. Paul says here that if we walk by the Spirit then we will not gratify the desires of the flesh. He means, we need to worry more about doing good than not doing bad. We need to walk by the Spirit! In other words, don’t be surprised if you’re not spiritually growing to become more like Christ if you put other stuff before your church or love the world’s music or only hang out with unsaved friends or spend most of your time in front of the TV. On the other hand, don’t be so shocked if you truly are becoming more like Christ if you love to worship with your church and love to listen and apply preaching to your life and love to be in God’s Word daily and love to be in prayer with God. Those are the things that the Spirit loves to use in our lives to bring glory to Christ. So what life is it going to be? Will you live just like Jesus, or will you live a lesser life in the way you want to live it? I promise you…when you stand toe to toe with Jesus, you won’t regret living for Him!