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Northwest Bible Church – March 14, 2004 Worship Service – Alan Conner
The Spirit of Intercession
Here is a third ministry of the Spirit to help assure the children of God of their salvation: Spirit of life (vv. 1-13), Spirit of adoption (vv. 14-25), now the Spirit of intercession (vv. 26-27).
Meaning of "Likewise"
I. WHAT DOES THE SPIRIT DO?
"Helps our weaknesses." Cf. Lk. 10:40.
The Spirit is our Helper, our Paraclete, who comes in alongside to aid us and comfort us.
II. WHY DOES HE HELP US?
Because we are weak.
Our prayers are a part of our "weakness." They reflect our infirmities like nothing else does in the Christian life. IN WHAT WAY?
1) How little we pray.
2) How difficult it is to really pray when we do pray.
3) How ignorantly we pray, "for we do not know how to pray as we should."
III. HOW DOES HE HELP US?
A. The Spirit Himself intercedes for us.
B. With groanings too deep for words.
1) gift of tongues? –
2) The Spirit groaning through the believer –
3) Spirit only groaning –
PRO – (1) Nothing about "our" groaning in v. 26 as it is in v. 23.
(2) It says that the Spirit intercedes "for us," not "through us or in us."
C. According to the will of God.
"He who searches the hearts" = God the Father,
"knows what the mind of the Spirit is" = God knows the mind of God.
Christians should take great encouragement from this that the will of God is being fulfilled in their lives despite their weakness and inability to know what to pray for. God’s will is not being frustrated because of our weakness and ignorance because the Spirit knows God’s will and is praying and God is saying YES.
This sets up for us 8:28.