This message was preached at Christ’s Chosen Church in Virginia Beach, July 10, 2016
My name is Jared Laskey, graduate of Eugene Bible College in Oregon(2003), founded a community outreach center in Oregon at 19 years of age, Marine from 2006-2011 with 2/8 deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan, and conferred a Master of Arts in Church Ministry from Shepherds Theological Seminary in Cary, NC. Moved to Hampton Roads last year and current Master of Divinity student at Regent University.
I have 4 awesome children and very talented wife, Rochelle who has a single on Itunes. I recently co-authored Veronica’s Hero which is available now on Amazon and Barnes and Noble websites which is a story of how God ministered to a young woman we know who received the devastating news that her husband gave the ultimate sacrifice serving his country in Afghanistan.
A Baptist preacher and his wife decided they needed a dog. Ever mindful of their congregation, they knew the dog must also be Baptist. They visited an expensive kennel and explained their needs to the manager, who assured them he had just the dog for them.
When the dog was produced, the manager began giving it commands. “Fetch the Bible,” he commanded. The dog bounced to the bookshelf, scrutinized the books, located the Bible, and brought it to the manager. The manager then said, “Find Psalms 23”. The dog, showing marvelous dexterity with his paws, leafed thru the Bible, found the correct passage, and pointed to it with his paw.
Duly impressed, the preacher and his wife purchased the dog. That evening a group of parishioners came to visit. The preacher and his wife began to show off the dog, having him locate several Bible verses. The visitors were amazed.
Finally, one man asked “Can the dog do normal dog tricks too?”
“Let’s see” said the preacher. Pointing his finger at the dog, he commanded, “Heel!”
The dog immediately jumped up on a chair, placed one paw on the preacher’s forehead and began to howl. The preacher turned to his wife in complete shock and disbelief. “We’ve been swindled! That manager sold us a Pentecostal dog!”
Through the years I have learned to rely on the Holy Spirit who is our Comforter. In the year 2000 my family faced a tragic loss when we were told our brother had died. Then as I served in combat, I needed the power and guidance of the Spirit of God every day as I became hardened to the war and had to piece together my faith and life upon returning. Fellowship with the Holy Spirit is necessary for every Christian.
2 Corinthians 13:14 says, “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”
Have you ever wondered what the Scripture means when it said in 2 Cor 13:14 (MEV), “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.” Have you ever asked what ‘communion of the Holy Spirit’ means? This article wants to describe what communion with the precious Holy Spirit is and how you can have communion with Him.
And this verse, 2 Corinthians 13:14, expands on the triunity of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Simply put-Three in one.
In this verse Paul reveals the trinity, saying (1.) Grace of the Lord Jesus, (2.) the love of God, and (3.) fellowship of Holy Spirit be with all of them.
The Koine Greek, which was the original language that the New Testament was written in, uses the word koinonia, which means, “participation, communion, fellowship.” Contextually this is reference to the Corinthian church knowing and fellowship with the Spirit of God together as a community. However, in order to know Him in community one must also have communion with Him personally.
Paul’s desire was that every believer in that church know the Holy Spirit. The two letters we have written to the Corinthians were letters from a spiritual dad to his children who were a little wayward, needing to be lovingly corrected, redirected and practicing worship and marriage and spiritual gifts in a balanced way
Holy Spirit Fellowship is friendship, it is relating to Him; getting to know Him personally. Fellowship is becoming acquainted and best friends with Him. There is a song I hear on K-Love radio from time to time, and it is an anthem saying, “My best friend is the creator of the universe.” Wow! Being a best friend of Him who created everything is mind-blowing. The Creator, the great Artist and redeemer, can be our friend and we can talk to Him.
When does our fellowship or communion with the Holy Spirit begin in our lives?
- The Holy Spirit convicts us before we even know Jesus.
John 16:8 says, “When He comes, He will convict the world of sin and of righteousness and of judgment.” Thus, before we even know Him, He convicts us, revealing what we are doing wrong, or speaking to our conscience. This is the work He does, one small step at a time, communicating with us and wanting us to know Jesus. So, before we believe, He is present, and we may not see it at the time, but He is communicating, wanting us to be born again.
A friend of mine from the Marine Corps shared with me how his wife was going to church and said he needed to go. He wasn’t listening and would refuse to go with her, wanting nothing to do with God since his combat service in Iraq and Afghanistan. But one day in June 2014 while he was mowing his lawn, deep inside of his heart, the Holy Spirit spoke to Him, convicting Him. He knew he had to go to church, so he stopped mowing the lawn and obeyed the wooing of the Spirit, and responded to the gospel message that day.
Maybe you can look back now and see when He started communicating with you. I was on the phone the other day with a friend I served with in the Marine Corps and he shared how his wife was telling him he needed to go to church. He wasn’t listening, and would refuse and continue to despise church and anything that had to do with God. But one day, he told me, in June 2014, he was mowing the lawn. And then deep in his gut, Holy Spirit communicated in a way he could understand, he knew he had to go to church and give his life to Jesus. That was the convicting work of the Spirit. This begins the process, but the relationship or fellowship with Him does not begin until we respond to Him.
Then once we respond to Him and confess with our mouth Jesus is Lord and believe in our heart God raised Him from the dead, in that moment—
- The Holy Spirit lives in us once we give our lives to Jesus.
Ephesians 1:13 says, “In Him you also, after hearing the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and after believing in Him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit.” The moment we responded to the gospel message and accepted Jesus as Lord we received the precious Holy Spirit. There is no greater gift given to us by God than salvation, and when we hear the word of truth and commit to Jesus, it is incredible that His wonderful Spirit seals us.
John 3 is the true story of when Nicodemus, who was a Pharisee and a ruler of the Jews came to Jesus secretly at night and Jesus said that a person cannot see the Kingdom of God unless he is born again. Nicodemus asked Jesus, “How can a man be born again?” In his educated mind he thought it was preposterous that someone can enter a second time in a womb but Jesus, probably with a small chuckle, said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
We cannot be born again without the Holy Spirit. Jesus used a new term that spoke truth, an analogy that discussed the necessity for people to respond to Him. One of the literal translations of the terms ‘born again’ is ‘born from above.’ This shows how Heaven interacts with us, the Spirit of God changes us and regenerates us and we enter forever-life relationship with Him, in being born again, and then getting to know Him and His Holy Spirit is paramount to our life.
And what does the Holy Spirit do?
- The Holy Spirit teaches us the truth of Jesus.
John 14:26 said, “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you.” These were the words of Jesus to His disciples, but the principle applies to each one of us who are disciples today and have Him in our lives. He reminds us of what Jesus said, and He illuminates Scripture for us. As the Spirit of Truth He reveals the truth of Scripture.
It is always encouraging when we are reading the Bible, whether it is through daily devotional plans or reading through a book, and Scriptures seem to jump off the page to us, applying to something we may be going through and gives us peace or revelation of further insight into Him.
The scripture tells us in the Gospel of Luke, 11:9-13″So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened. 11Now suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a fish; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will he? 12Or if he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he? 13If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”
If we ask Him for the Holy Spirit to fill us, saturate us and help teach us about Jesus, then He will answer our prayer and given Him to us. God the Father will never even think about giving us a snake or scorpion. If we ask Him for Holy Spirit, He will be given to us!
I want to encourage you to begin an on-going dialogue with the Holy Spirit, building communion and fellowship with Him. Ask Him questions and expect Him to answer and to open the Scripture up to you. Before you start reading the selected passage of the Bible you are going to read, ask the Holy Spirit to guide you and lead you to all truth and to reveal more of Jesus to you. If you have never carried on a conversation with the incredible Spirit of God, introduce yourself to Him and start dialoguing with Him. Fellowship begins with introductions that lead to conversations with Him.
We need the Holy Spirit evident in our culture and society. With everything that is going on, the Christian Church needs to be submitted to the Spirit of God and Scripture, in order to shine the light of the gospel. Everything around us seems to be changing radically, definitions and terms and the fundamentals are being questioned and changed seemingly overnight. We need the fellowship of the Holy Spirit now more than ever before.
A pastor wrote this once: Power can be used in at least two ways: it can be unleashed, or it can be harnessed. The energy in ten gallons of gasoline, for instance, can be released explosively by dropping a lighted match into the can. Or it can be channeled through the engine of a Datsun in a controlled burn and used to transport a person 350 miles. Explosions are spectacular, but controlled burns have lasting effect, staying power. The Holy Spirit works both ways. At Pentecost, he exploded on the scene; His presence was like “tongues of fire” (Acts 2:3). Thousands were affected by one burst of God’s power. But He also works through the church–the institution God began to tap the Holy Spirit’s power for the long haul. Through worship, fellowship, and service, Christians are provided with staying power.