Due to the large amount of sermons and topics that appear on this site I feel it is necessary to post this disclaimer on all sermons posted. These sermons are original to the author and the leading of the Holy Spirit. While ideas and illustrations are often gleaned from many sources including those at Sermoncentral.com, any similarities and wording including sermon title, that may appear to be the same as any other sermon are purely coincidental. In instances where other minister’s wording is used, due recognition will be given. These sermons are not copyrighted and may be used or preached freely. May God richly bless you as you read these words. It is my sincere desire that all who read them may be enriched. All scriptures quoted in these sermons are copies and quoted from the Authorized King James Version of the Holy Bible.
Pastor James May
WHY IS THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD UPON US?
At the age of 30 Jesus came to John the Baptist and was baptized the muddy waters of the Jordan River as our example in fulfilling all righteousness. It should be said here that water baptism does not save us from our sin and does not represent actual repentance, for Jesus had never committed sin and had no need for repentance. He was baptized in order that his public confession of belief in John’s gospel of repentance and of identification with the Father in Heaven might be seen of all men. Therefore, water baptism, while important and necessary to fulfill the completion of our duty as Christians, is not the means of salvation but a confession of our willingness to be obedient to God’s Word and to identify with Jesus in his power of the resurrection through the symbolism of burying the flesh and rising a new creature in Christ.
Likewise, at the moment of baptism in the waters of the Jordan, the Holy Spirit came upon Jesus, “like a dove”, or it rested upon his head as gently and peacefully as a dove might come to rest on a branch. It was a visible sign of a spiritual event. There was no speaking in tongues for this is not representative of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit that men began to experience on the Day of Pentecost in the Upper Room when the Spirit came like a mighty rushing wind and appeared as flames of fire.
The coming of the Holy Spirit upon Jesus at Jordan is representative and symbolic of the presence of the Spirit of God that comes to dwell in the life of every born again child of God who has confessed their sin and confessed Jesus as their Lord and Savior. At that moment the Holy Spirit came upon Jesus for the purpose of showing the world that the power and presence of almighty God was with him.
All three persons of the Godhead were manifest that day at Jordan. The Son of God, Jesus Christ in his bodily form of flesh and blood, stood in the water; the Holy Spirit came and rested upon his body of flesh to show that the Spirit of God dwelt within him and the voice of the Father is Heaven is heard as he expressed his love and approval of his own Son. Thus we hear the Father, we seen the Son and we see the Holy Spirit all agreeing together for one purpose.
The Holy Spirit rested upon Jesus at Jordan, not so much for Jesus’ sake, but for the sake of all who stood around so that they could see the anointing as it came to rest upon the Son of God. The coming of the Holy Spirit upon Jesus did not save him because Jesus was never a sinner and never lost. He was God and needed no salvation, needed no more anointing, already had all power and was already eternally alive and holy. Thus, it was not the coming of the Holy Spirit that saved Jesus and it is not the outpouring of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues, upon the heart, mind and soul of a Believer that gives salvation either. In fact, the Holy Spirit neither in the form of the baptism in the Holy Spirit or in the coming of the Spirit upon the heart of man like a dove, can occur until after repentance and acceptance of Jesus as your Savior.
The Holy Spirit cannot and will not rest upon the heart of a sinner. Light and darkness cannot dwell together. Until a man repents and accepts Christ as his Savior he is dwelling in utter darkness, blinded by sin and without hope. The only personal contact that the Holy Spirit will have with those who are living in sin is that he will draw them to Christ through the preaching of the Word that they might be saved but he cannot dwell with them.
From his baptism in Jordan, Jesus is led away by the leading of the Holy Spirit into the wilderness alone. He went there for one purpose – to be tempted by Satan in an all out effort to destroy his body and soul and prevent the completion of God’s redemption plan for lost humanity.
The temptations that Jesus withstood and overcame through the power of the Spirit were representative of every temptation that we all face. The difference was that while Satan tempts you and I with every little thing that so easily draws us away from God, the temptations that came to Jesus were so much greater because Satan knew that this was God’s Son and he would not be tempted with small things like you and I.
Satan he offered Jesus the whole world. In giving to Jesus the world, Satan would ultimately be the winner for he was the god of this world and that would make Jesus his servant.
He offered Jesus all power over his earthly kingdoms but Jesus already had more power than Satan could offer. He offered Jesus every fleshly desire but Jesus knew that this flesh was only here for a short time and that it was the spirit that really counted. He offered Jesus the chance to abuse his power as God but Jesus knew that his power was there and had to need to prove it to anyone. Even in his weakest moment in the flesh, after 40 days of fasting and wandering in the wilderness, Jesus was more than able to overcome Satan.
That’s the same Spirit that lives in you right now if you know the Lord. It matters not how weak the flesh becomes or what temptations come your way. If you are allowing the Holy Spirit to lead you, you can over come Satan’s power.
Now the time of temptation had passed for Jesus. His course was set and now was the time for him to step out onto the pages of history and start his journey to the cross. He had a mission statement. You can read it in Luke 19:10, "For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost." Everything that Jesus would do while he walked this earth was done with that mission in mind and he never once deviated from his set course of action.
Jesus was carried by the Holy Spirit from the wilderness to Galillee where he began to perform miracles and to teach the Word of God and his fame spread like wildfire.
Do you want your church’s name to be spread abroad? Do you want your life to really count for something? If so, then perform the mission that God has called you to do faithfully as the Holy Spirit leads you and allow God to spread the news. Where there is fire, people will come. Like a bug drawn to the light, people will come to see a fire both in the natural and in the spiritual. That’s why we need a fresh anointing, a strong prayer life and a committed people to reach out and minister to others. That fire has to be big enough and hot enough to burn away sin in our lives and to make others take notice of what God is doing. Are you excited about the fire in your life? Are you excited about what God is doing in your church? Are you excited about Jesus? That excitement is the fire of the Holy Spirit that will reach out and draw others into God’s kingdom.
Jesus had a mission to perform. That’s why the Holy Spirit came upon him. That’s why he came to this earth in the first place and took on the form of a man. That’s what he was commissioned and destined to do.
Let’s take a look at Jesus’ mission and his game plan and see how he determined to accomplish that which he came to do.
Luke 4:18-21, "… The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears." KJV
When the Spirit of the Lord comes upon the life of a man he comes with a purpose.
The first purpose that the Spirit of the Lord comes for is to fill that empty, swept and cleaned heart with the presence of God’s Spirit so that unclean and demonic spirits don’t return and find it empty. An empty heart is an open invitation to move in to the powers of darkness and they seek empty hearts and sinful hearts to dwell in to accomplish their work for the devil.
You must remember what Jesus said in Matthew 12:43-45, "When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first."
The indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit begins to lead us into the will of God that desires us to reach out to lost souls to meet their need for a Savior. Thus we begin to walk with the Lord and minister for him and to him.
Every born again child of God has that same presence of the Holy Spirit. God gives the same Spirit for the same purpose to all of us. Every true member of the Body of Christ has the mission to “go out and preach the gospel to every one”. It does not matter to God what label we may place on ourselves as long as his label is on us. Catholic, Baptist, Pentecostal, Presbyterian, or whatever your label may say does not matter. What really matters is what have you done with Jesus? Have you allowed him to become the Lord of your life? Have you confessed your sin and turned away from them to follow after Jesus in true repentance? If so, then you are a part of that body.
I must add that you can call yourself by any label you want to but until you have given your life to Jesus and allowed Him to become the true Lord of your life, you are not and will never be a part of the Body of Christ because there is no other way to be born again!
We Pentecostals believe that everyone who is born again has the Spirit of God dwelling in them but we believe that the Word of God takes us a step further and God gives us a greater anointing and empowers us in a greater fashion for service through the Baptism in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues as the Spirit gives the utterance.
Through the anointing, power and leading of the Holy Spirit, we are led into service for our Lord. The Spirit of the Lord is upon us for service! But, what is that service? What should be our mission? What is our game plan? What can we do to accomplish the work that God has called us to do?
Our mission and our game plan are exactly the same as that of Jesus. After all, we are his disciples and what he does we must do, only more of it because we now have the anointing of the Holy Spirit.
John 14:12, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father."
What kind of works was Jesus talking about? The same kind that he talked about in Luke 4:18-21.
We are to preach the gospel to the poor! Those who are poor in spirit, lacking in the ability or power to purchase their own salvation. We must tell them that the price has been paid and that salvation is free and made possible by the blood of Jesus Christ.
We are not called to just sit and encourage one another. We are not called to build huge buildings, even though those things are necessary. We are not called to grow one another into spiritually fat children of God, even though teaching and ministry one to another are vitally important! WE ARE CALLED TO PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THOSE WHO DON’T KNOW JESUS FIRST AND FORMOST! ALL ELSE IS SECONDARY!
We are called to reach out and to heal the brokenhearted! There are souls out there who are crushed under the load of sin, whose lives are wrecked and ruined by the powers of darkness, who have no hope for today much less for eternity and who have no knowledge of what Jesus can do for them! It’s our mission to tell them about Jesus and to believe God for miracles of salvation, healing and deliverance for them because they can’t believe for themselves. SOMEBODY DID THAT FOR US – JESUS, PASTORS, FAMILY, FRIENDS – AND WE OWE A DEBT TO DO THE SAME FOR EVERYONE WE CAN REACH!
We are called to preach, teach, admonish, and proclaim that Jesus is able to deliver the captive sin-sick soul from the grip of eternal death! Every day there are multitudes who are going out into eternity without God. They have never heard or felt the delivering power of God and they are dying, screaming in agony, without hope, already feeling the cold, fearful, terrible hand of the demonic powers of hell as their souls are dragged down into the flames. WE MUST TELL EVERYONE ABOUT JESUS! WE MUST PREACH THE DELIVERING POWER OF GOD TO SAVE THE SOUL FROM THAT TERRIBLE MOMENT! WE CANNOT FAIL!
We are called to bring light and enlightenment to the darkness of those who are without light. We are the candles who bring the light of the gospel to those who are lost. Jesus has chosen the foolishness of preaching to save the lost. He has given that great responsibility to you and I and we must not fail in doing our part. The blood of many souls hang in the balance and if we don’t do our part, their blood will be required at our hand. I don’t want to have an eternally damned soul to stand and point a finger of accusation at me for not telling them about Jesus. I don’t want to know that even one soul is in hell because I failed to witness Christ to them and bring the Light to them.
Lost men are walking around in gross darkness. They cannot see their sin. They cannot see their way to Christ. They cannot find the path to salvation. There is no light at the end of their tunnel so to speak. There is nothing but utter, deep blackness and darkness of death through the power of sin in their hearts. WE HAVE THE LIGHT! WE ARE THE BEARERS OF THE LIGHT! WE MUST LET THAT LIGHT SHINE SO THAT OTHERS CAN SEE THEIR WAY TO JESUS! That’s a part of our mission and a part of our game plan.
Finally, we are called to tell others that Jesus can set them free from the chains of darkness that hold them in such a powerful grip!
The heart and soul of the lost are bruised and injured and destined to die eternally. They are bound by chains of sin that are unbreakable and heavy to bear. Everywhere they go and everything they do, those chains are there. Those chains bruise their love and turns it to hate. Those chains bruise their lives and bring them to wrecked homes, broken families and ruined marriages. Those chains bruise their ability to hear, to see, to understand and cripple them so they have no power to break free.
The chains of sin are so very heavy. No man can break free from their grip for they are eternally locked by sins power to keep them in darkness and bring them to judgment.
It’s our mission to preach Jesus to them so that those chains can be broken. He has the keys to death, hell and the grave. He has the keys to those chains that are so heavy. He can and he will, and he desires to set men free.
If you were locked away in prison with shackles on your hands and feet and your wrists and ankles were bruised and cut from trying to get free, would you not want to know who has the key and is willing to set you free from those bonds? THAT’S THE CONDITION OF THE LOST. THEY DON’T KNOW WHO HAS THE KEY TO SET THEM FREE SO WE MUST TELL THEM ABOUT JESUS!
Is the Spirit of the Lord upon you, within you, empowering you? Why do you think that he is there? It is so that we will perform the work and be able to accomplish what he has called us to do!
Our mission statement is the same and Jesus – We are here to seek and save those who are lost!
Our game plan is the same as Jesus – we are to preach the gospel to the poor; to tell them that Jesus can heal the brokenhearted, to preach that Jesus can bring deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to tell all men that Jesus can give liberty them that are bruised…"
My friend, if you are poor, brokenhearted, held captive by the power of sin, blind to the light of God and the will of God and bruised by the chains that bind you – Jesus is your answer. He can set you free. Just turn to Jesus this morning in repentance, then turn around and follow after him. Allow Jesus to be the Lord of your life and you will be delivered and set free.
That’s my message to you, to our church and to those who are lost. We must preach Jesus and reach the world with the gospel.