Summary: The anointing of the Holy Spirit brings freedom to answer the call God places on the lives of believers.
July 4, 2004
Text: Luke 4:14-21
Subject: Operating in the Spirit
Title: Independence Day – Anointed For Freedom
Happy Fourth of July to all. We send out a sincere thanks to all those who have served their country in order to keep us free. We look at the United States and can marvel at the freedoms we do have – freedom of speech; freedom of expression; freedom of religion? We have become a nation where you can do just about anything you want – moral or amoral – and get away with it.
Unfortunately, many who live in the freest country ever to exist, fail to understand that with freedom comes responsibility.
French writer Alexis de Tocqueville, after visiting America in 1831, said, "I sought for the greatness of the United States in her commodious harbors, her ample rivers, her fertile fields, and boundless forests--and it was not there. I sought for it in her rich mines, her vast world commerce, her public school system, and in her institutions of higher learning--and it was not there. I looked for it in her democratic Congress and her matchless Constitution--and it was not there. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great!"
As we gather here today we know in our hearts that America is quickly coming to the place where it is no longer good.
As faithful followers of Jesus Christ we have a freedom that others do not. We have freedom from sin and death and have become independent from the world and its influences. Yet, we too have responsibilities that we need to try to meet. There is one huge difference for Pentecostal believers – we are able to live in freedom in the power and person of the Holy Spirit. That Holy Spirit power, the anointing of God, is available to all. And it is only through the power available to us that we will be able to live in true Christian liberty.
Today we want to look what Luke says about the anointing of the Holy Spirit in the lives of God’s children.
You can be a receptacle of God’s anointing.
I. WALKING IN THE ANOINTING OF THE SPIRIT. (14-15)
A. Power is Developed Through Application. Verse 14 says, “Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit…” Did you ever stop to wonder why Jesus went out into the desert for 40 days before He began His ministry? The Holy Spirit had already come upon Him. He had power to minister. But in those forty days in the wilderness Jesus fasted and prayed. He needed power to get through that. But at the end of His time there the enemy came and tempted Him with food (he knew what Jesus’ weakness would be). He tempted Him with an easy way out. If Jesus would only worship satan, He could have all the kingdoms of the world and they would not have to be bought with such a great price. Then He was tempted to put God to the test to see if God really would protect Him. In rejecting the enemy in all these things Jesus operated in the fullness of the Spirit. Notice that in 4:1 it says “Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness.” But after resisting the devil it says in verse 14, “Then Jesus returned in the power of the Holy Spirit…” You receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, but that power appears to be amplified and applied only when you use it.
B. Power Prepares You for Ministry. Verse 14 says, “news of Him went out through all the surrounding area.” When you are moving in the power of the Spirit, God will prepare others to receive you. You are a son/daughter of God if you are led by the Spirit (Romans 8:14). As children of the King you have an inheritance to share. You share it with Christ, with one another, but even more importantly, you share it with the unsaved in order to bring them into inheritance. Look in Acts 8, we see Philip being led by the Spirit down to Gaza to speak to one Ethiopian. And God had already prepared him to receive the message of salvation. Does that mean you only speak life into the lives of those whom God has told you? No, but especially those. When you are specifically led by the Spirit to a certain person you can rest assured that He has already gone before you to minister. The Holy Spirit was preparing Galilee to receive Jesus’ ministry. He will do the same for you.