Summary: Living With Power #3
I want to begin our study with some comments made by the famous British preacher G. Campbell Morgan … he writes about the accusation leveled at the Spirit-filled disciples on the day of Pentecost — the accusation of many in the crowd was that the Spirit-filled disciples were … drunk!
"[Carefully consider] Peter’s answer to the accusations — ’These are not drunk as ye suppose’ — that is, in the way you think. Compare this with Paul’s injunction in Ephesians 5:18 — "Don’t be drunk on wine … but be filled with the Spirit." The one is a false and destructive method of attempting to realize life in its fullness. The other is the true and effective method.
Has anyone ever charged you with being drunk with your Christianity? O God, how seldom men have thought us drunk. We lack the flashing eye, and the pulsating song, and the tremendous enthusiasm of an overwhelming conviction. That is what the city needs to ... create the opportunity for prophetic proclamation!
The church’s responsibility is that her members be so Spirit-filled that the Spirit may be able to produce the new phenomena required to startle this age. The church has been far more anxious about wealth, and theologies, and organizations, than about the Spirit ... what’s the use of preaching when the world is not amazed?"
• How many believe that God wants us to be — an amazing people?
• How many believe that amazing people are hard to ignore … the world can’t help but check out people whose lives are so full of life that they are compellingly different!
listen carefully —
Every one of us in this room have been created to live an amazing life … a life of incredible purpose, passion and power … but we can’t live that kind of amazing life on our own!
We can’t live an amazing life without an amazing partner … that’s why Jesus promised his disciples a partner … a parakletos who would be with them and in them forever … because the fullness of their lives depended on how full they were of Holy Spirit!
In Acts 2 we not only encounter some amazing people … we discover some of the key characteristics that made them so compelling to their generation!
How many want to live such an amazing life that people will wonder what happened to you … and if it can happen to them?
There are 3 characteristics of the amazing disciples highlighted in Acts 2 … characteristics that offer both — instruction and inspiration — for all who desire to live and model a truly amazing life!
1. Amazing People Are People With An — experience!
Key question —
What made the disciples so compelling to the crowds that gathered?
Answer is Acts 2:1-4 —
It was the experience they had with the person and power of the Holy Spirit … the men and women who went out of the upper room weren’t the same men and women who went in to the upper room!
Robert Heidler … helps us understand the importance of experience when it comes to our relationships… he writes —
"A relationship between any two people involves mutual interaction. They communicate with each other. They experience each other."
"I have a relationship with my wife. We talk to each other. I share my heart with her, and she shares her heart with me. I can experience her presence. We can hold hands. We can embrace. I do things to please her, and she does things to please me. We express our love to each other. There is two-way interaction. That’s what a relationship is all about."
"Let’s suppose I decide to have a relationship with Abraham Lincoln. I might study Lincoln’s life to learn what he was like. I could read his writings and the writings of those who knew him. I could gain a great appreciation for the kind of person he was and the things he accomplished. I could even travel to Lincoln’s tomb, stand near where his body lies and attempt to talk to him. But I would not have entered into a relationship with Honest Abe."
"Relationship requires interaction. Abe could never talk to me, acknowledging my presence, shake my hand or give me a pat on the back. Without the ability to experience Lincoln, I can never have a true relationship with him. I may end up knowing about him, but I can never know him."
Don’t miss it —
There’s an incredible difference between knowing about someone and knowing someone … experientially … just ask the upper room disciples they went from knowing about the Holy Spirit to knowing the Holy Spirit and their lives were never again the same! (We are meant to have a personal experience with the Holy Spirit)