John 3:1-8 (The Ministry of the Spirit is Like the Wind)


Intro: Here in John Ch.3 The apostle John records the first of several encounters that Jesus would have with different individuals

A)This first encounter is with a religious leader by the name of Nicodemus


B) We will look at this encounter fully in our study on Wed evening.

1) During the encounter – the conversation turns to the subject of a man’s need to be born again


C) The need for man to be born of the Spirit. – The need to experience a Spiritual birth.


D) Noted in our introduction that John’s gospel gives us the most comprehensive look at the Holy Spirit’s work and role in the heart of men


1) Here we are given our first insight as Jesus gives us an illustration to explain the work of the Spirit.


8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit." 


This morning I want us to consider this analogy of the Ministry of the Spirit being like the wind.

{ Note 4 ways

A)#1 In Name:  It is interesting to note that the Hebrew word for wind is ruach -the same word that is used for spirit. –


B) Also the word breath in the Greek – pneuma is also the same word for spirit. 


C) So first of all in Name – there is a similarity.


#2 In Freedom: The Wind  blows where it wishes.

A)The wind is the very image of freedom. - No one can chain up the wind.


B) Presidents can make laws stating that it is against the law for the wind to blow – but it is still going to blow.

C) It cannot be chained down – it cannot be put into a box.

1) It cannot be captured and marketed.


D)The same thing is true of the Ministry of the Spirit


The Spirit of God is Sovereign – He is free to move and work where He wants / when He wants and How – He wants


A)One time in History – working here in this way: Suddenly He moves – outpouring over here. Revival breaks out.

1) One life – Refreshing water / Another life or situation- Holy Fire.

B)One man preaches and Salvation is happening all over all over the place.

1) Another like Isaiah has to ask - Who has believed our report.  Is there anyone?


C) Was the spirit of God less Isaiah or with Jeremiah than He was with Elijah

1) Reading their accounts you might  almost think that – Yet all three men spoke under the inspiration of the Spirit with entirely different results


He who knows the MINISTRY of the Spirit must learn to expect the unexpected.

A)Who in the early Church would have ever expected Saul of Tarsus to be converted – and become an apostle who would write ½ of the NT


B)Now there are certain constants – involved with the Ministry of the Spirit

1) He always works thru or in conjunction with the Word of God


C) And His purpose is also to point people to Christ 

1) To Draw them nearer to God.



But This is the beauty of the Ministry of the Spirit - there is not a formula!

A)There is not a package. – Often cannot be explained


B) Two people can listen to the same message: One is entirely changed

1) The other leaves the same  as when he first came in. 


C)For some this is exciting – You are done with program & routines …rituals

1) There is a refreshing excitement involved in living life open to the HS leading


D) For others it is nerve racking – You like all your ducks in a row { U Like Procedures { Manuals

1) You like to being able to plan – You want to be able to explain.


2)And when you can’t – It bothers you.


The freedom of the HS should create within us a desire to be ready /  a longing and a dependency like   

A)Sailor waiting for the wind – Sleep on the sea – He sets a watch – He prays for wind.


B) Pray – be the wind in my sails Lord – Can’t make it without you


C) Or Farmer waiting for the wind to blow the windmill to grind

1) Dependency – He doesn’t want to begin to try and crank the windmill in order to grind the corn –


D) IN order for the work to get done he realizes he is dependant upon a force outside of himself.

Now modern technology – has created a way – Ships have engines

A)Windmills have motors – Make up for a loss of wind.


B) We need to be oh so careful in the Christian life – and Christian ministry – that our practice is not to look to or depend upon technology

1) Latest trends or programs of the day – to empower our lives.


Zechariah 4:6

'Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,'

Says the LORD


C) So the Ministry of the Spirit is like the wind #1  in it’s name –

1) #2 In its freedom



#3 In its Sound.  You can’t see the wind – but Jesus said – You hear the sound there of. 

A)Consider for a few minutes some different sounds of the wind and how it compares to the sound of the Spirit.


B) Sometimes the WIND WAILS!  It sounds like it is crying./ Yearning!


C) Likewise the Spirit of God sometimes wails – He cries over the sins of men

D) Eph. 4:30 Speaks of grieving the spirit. – Grieved over our sinful rebellion

1)Grieved over men’s continued rejection of the gospel – of God’s love!


E)But  Sometimes his cry is more of a yearning for intimacy.

1) Galatians 4:6 Spirit in our hearts cries Abba father.



Sometimes the sound of the wind is a wail a cry and likewise the Ministry of the Spirit – is like wail.

A)Sometimes the sound of the wind is more like a Wrestle. Contending


B) Feels like there is a battle that is going on. The wind is struggling with the forces of nature and is wanting to gain ground.


C) So too the Ministry of the Spirit – there is a wrestling. 


D)The Spirit of God comes into the soul sometimes, and makes great contention with the flesh.

1) There is a stern striving there is against unbelief, against lust, against pride, against every evil thing.


E) Like a mighty rushing wind – He shakes things up in a life, in a home, in a Church.



The Holy Spirit comes contending w/ the heart –

A)The Spirit is battling the fleshly nature and all of its lust. 


B) Galatians 5The flesh and the Spirit war against each other. –


C) So that everything that doesn’t belong in a life is challenged by the Wind of God’s spirit.


D) He desires to move us to the place where we are no longer giving into the lust of the flesh – No longer carnally minded = death

1) But He desires to move us to the place – where we are going with the flow of the Spirit =  to be spiritually minded is life and peace.


E) No greater need especially for DADS – Men led by the Spirit  empowered by the Spirit.

1) He WRESTLES WITH US. – contends with our flesh – Makes us uncomfortable in compromise.



So like the wind – the spirit wails – it wrestles - #3 Sometimes it whistles.

A)Ever hear the wind making music – there is a whistle that is associated with its sound. Melodic.


B)It is a triumphant sound, it swells, sweeps, descends, different tones like Jubilant music


C)Sometimes the ministry of the Spirit is that way –

1)He sings like a mighty melody within the soul of man, filling him with peace and joy, and rest, and love.


D) Zephaniah 3:17 He rejoices over you with singing.

1) 1 Thessalonians 1:6 – The Joy of the Holy Spirit.


E) The Ministry of the Holy Spirit at times is that which fills the heart with laughter with Joy –

1) You HAVE to worship -spirit of rejoicing comes over you -  He has put a NEW SONG in my mouth!


2) Just Overwhelmed by the goodness of God -


Wail/ Wrestle / Whistle /


Sometimes the sound of the wind is like a Whisper: Quiet – refreshing

A)Gentle cool breeze on a hot summer day at the beach. It doesn’t blow sand in your face but it is just enough to refresh you cool you


B) So too sometimes the ministry of the Spirit is like that Still small voice –

Elijah –  1 Kings 19:11 Whisper/ Audible or heart


C)Whisper – speaking to our hearts – Refresh – calm quiets – tells us in the mist of the heat – I am here !

1) You are not abandoned – it is going to be ok!


D) Like / Name / Freedom / Sound -

Another way that the Spirit is like the Wind is that although you cannot see the Wind –

                      You see the effects of it.

A)Blows huge clouds thru the air like ships moving thru the water


B) Waves in the ocean – tossed to and fro by the wind.


C) Giant trees – bending by the force of the wind.


D) Huge metal airplane soaring at 30,000 ft – going 400 mph – affected by the wind

1) Head wind slow it down. /   Tail wind speeds it up.


E) Men working alongside a dirt road on a windy day. – You see the affects

1) By the end of the day- covered in Dust.


This is the point that I think the Lord is really wanting to make.


When a person is born again{ Born of the Spirit – You see the affects

A) Ezk 37 Valley of Dry bones – Spirit comes brings those dry bones to life.



B)Those who are born of the Spirit are like the Spirit

1) The birth partakes of the nature of the parent


C)What does that nature Look like? -  John expounds us this in his 1 Epistle – Turn there 1 John


1 John 2:29 He Practice righteousness

 29 If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him.

A)The word practice speaks of lifestyle


B) A Desire to live in a way –that is right before God.

1) Before Regeneration – that wasn’t the case


C) Quite Frankly – our direction came from ourselves

1) Everyone did what was right in their own eyes


D) Standards of rightness – varied by opinion.


E) After coming to Christ – discover there are moral absolutes – Standards in the word

1) Born of God – We want to walk in that –


The next thing John tells us about being born of God sheds light on why we have that desire for righteousness   1 John 3:9

A) He can’t practice sin!


9 Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.


B) Key Phrase: His seed remains in Him – Seed = the nature of the Spirit – ALARM {           Get out

C) This is why people who backslide our miserable

1) Too much of the world to enjoy the Lord

Too much of Jesus to enjoy the world.


D) HS is convicting constantly


1 John 4:7-8  He Loves

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.


A)Love for God / For others / the Lost is one of the Chief Characteristics of those who are born again


B) 1 Corinthians 14 Prophesy, tongues, miracles



C) Galatians 5 -  Those who walk in the Spirit and are led by the Spirit bear the fruit of the Spirit.

1) Chief Characteristic is love.


D) Lays out the Characteristics of Love.

1) Joy = rejoicing , Peace-stability – not hot and cold  2) Patience – suffers long – forgiving , Kindness - gracious,


3) Goodness or virtue – integrity to that love – not phony or plastic.

4) Faithful – dependable / Gentle – Meek power under control.

5) Self-control – Disciplined love  

That is what the H.S. is seeking to do in our lives – Make us into people  

 A)that love unconditional / people who give Sacrificially


B)Those who’s Lives are marked by Joy / Stability / Patience & Grace/ Virtue & Dependability / Meekness & Self-Control


C) So those who are born of the Spirit – They Love

1) Growing in Love –


D) Put away petty hang ups


1 John 5:4-5 He overcomes the world

4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world — our faith. 5 Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?


A)Those who are Born of God are overcomers


B) New Perspectives – Heaven –


C) Not about here – Eternity in view


D) Knows His target – Apollo 13 { earth

1) US it is heaven.