Summary: The early church was effective because they were a Spirit-filled, Spirit-led body. what does it take to be Spirit-filled? God commanded us in His Word that we are to be filled with His Spirit.
Church Essentials: Part Five
A Spirit-Filled Body: Acts 2:41-47
A New Testament church is a church in which God is present through His Spirit. The early church was effective because they were a Spirit-filled, Spirit-led body. Their teaching was Spirit-led (Acts 2:42-43 "they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles.); their community was Spirit-filled (Acts 2:44-45 "Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.) As someone has said, "The power of Holy Spirit gave them new passions and priorities reordered toward God and each other." Their witness was spirit filled as evidenced by people coming to the Lord. (Acts 2:46-47 "So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.) But what does it take to be Spirit-filled? God commanded us in His Word that we are "to understand what the will of God is and are not to be drunk with wine, in which there is excess (indulgence); but we to be filled with the Spirit." (Ephesians 5:18) Dr. Ray Pritchard wrote that the filling of the Spirit is the most important doctrine of the spiritual life. He said it is foundational to everything else. He goes on to explain the correlation between being drunk with wine and being filled with the Holy Spirit. He said "There is a direct parallel drawn between being drunk with wine and being filled with the Spirit. What precisely is the point of comparison between wine and the Holy Spirit? Doubtless the issue is influence or control. A person under the influence of wine experiences altered behavior. He may say or do things he would not ordinarily do. Emotions may be heightened for a brief period, causing the person to experience anger followed quickly by elation followed quickly by depression. If the person drinks enough wine, his mental processes will be affected and decision making ability radically altered-almost always with a negative result. Likewise, the filling of the Holy Spirit produces a change in behavior." To be filled by the Spirit is to be so filled to the brim with the Holy Spirit that He has taken full possession of and is in full control either of the individual believer or of the church. To be Spirit filled we must empty ourselves of ourselves.
In order to be in a place where God can fill us we must relaixe that...
I The Church is the Body of Christ - as His Body we must surrender to His headship
A Ephesians 5:23 "Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body."
B Ephesians 1:22-23 tells us that God " ...put all things under His (Christ's) feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all."
C The church is a living organism, composed of living members joined together; through which Christ works, carries out His purposes. - copied
D Colossians 1:18 "He is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence."
E If the church as the Body of Christ is to be filled with the authority of Christ then it must be filled with submission to His leadership and will in every area of both our corporate and personal lives.
F When we accepted Jesus Christ as our “Lord,” that meant that He was supposed to become “person in charge” or “authority” over our whole life. We cannot be Spirit-led unless we yield that authority to Him.
II The Church is Christ's Peculiar People - as His possession we must recognize His ownership.
A 1 Peter 2:9 " But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people (His own special people); that ye should show forth the praises of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvelous light:"
B God's people are "a peculiar people" (I Peter 2:9) which means "a purchased people." The Greek word here carries the idea of making a ring around something to mark it as one's own. Christ has made a ring around us and claimed us for Himself. - Havner
C 1 Corinthians 6:20 " For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s."