Sermon Audio & Review
Pastor Tim Potter
- Category: Not Ashamed (Romans)
- October 8, 2017
Embracing Our Omnipotent Support in Knowing and Doing the Will of God.
A desire to do God's will is another assurance for a child of God.
The Necessary Means of the Spirit's Help
Intercession is communicating through prayer on the behalf of someone else. The initial aspect of knowing the will of God in our lives is prayer. All three persons of the Trinity love to communicate together. One aspect of that is the Holy Spirit's intercession on our behalf as described in Romans 8:27.
"He is pointing up the truth in order to give encouragement to the believers. Because the three persons of the Godhead have always been one in essence and will, the very idea of communication among them seems superfluous to us. It is a great mystery to our finite minds, but it is a divine reality that God expects His children to acknowledge by faith and enjoy."
Regeneration allows the Holy Spirit to help our hearts and minds, which are now alive in Christ, to know and understand God's Word. This is called illumination. He reveals its significance to our lives today. This is the fruit of both our prayer and the intercession of the Spirit. Illumination helps us understand both the simple and more difficult aspects of God's Word. The Lord Jesus promised this work of the Spirit in John 14:26.
"The knowledge of the divine things to which Christians are called is more than a formal acquaintance with biblical words and Christian ideas. It is a realizing of the reality and the relevance of those activities of the triune God to which Scripture testifies. Such awareness is natural to none, familiar with Christian ideas though they may be.... Only the Holy Spirit, searcher of the deep things of God, can bring about this realization in our sin-darkened minds and hearts. That is why it is called 'spiritual understanding.' Those who, along with sound verbal instruction, 'have an anointing from the Holy One... [can] know [and do] the truth.'"
– J.I. Packer
The Lord knows our hearts. He already knows what we are struggling with at a given time and is sympathetic. He is for you as you seek to know and do God's will. Here are some ways in which the Holy Spirit's prayers are answered:
- through your own study
- through your own thought process as you meditate on God's Word
- through conversation with another believer
- through listening to a sermon
- through a Bible class
- through digital biblical content
The word "groaning" expresses how deeply the Holy Spirit longs for us to have an answer. He groans on our behalf while knowing that we will receive an answer, because He will omnipotently keep His promise. The Holy Spirit always answers His prayer.
The goal of this intercession is for us to have wisdom (James 1:5, Colossians 4:2-6). Extreme situations are not the primary application of this text, though the Spirit's intercession is also true in those times.
God's will has many aspects. His sovereign will includes things He has decreed things in eternity past (i.e., Creation, the Fall, redemption, and the eternal state). His specific will includes the salvation, sanctification, and suffering of His children (2 Peter 3:9, 1 Thessalonians 4:3, 1 Peter 2:19-23, 3:14-17). His stated will includes God's commands (1 Peter 1:15-17) and principles. As we grow, we will increasingly be able to know and do more of God's will.
- Do you desire to know and do God's will? This is another way the Spirit reassures your heart that you are a child of God.
- Do you ever feel paralyzed in decision-making? The Spirit reassures us that there is an answer to be found in God's Word.
- We will grow in understanding and doing God's will. We won't be able to grasp it all at once (1 Peter 2:2). Be patient with the process. Wherever you are in your spiritual life, the Holy Spirit is capable to help you know enough to satisfy you in the present and grow you for the future.
Tools for Further Study
Cross References to Explore
- Hebrews 12:6 – Discipline shows love.
- 2 Peter 1:3 – God's will is found in His Word.
- Romans 8:15-16 – Prayer gives solace to our hearts.
- Hebrews 7:25, 1 John 2:1, 1 Timothy 2:5 – Jesus intercedes for believers.
- 1 Corinthians 2:14 – The Spirit is required for us to understand God's Word.
- 1 Peter 4:19 – The Spirit's desire is for us to do God's will in every circumstance.