Summary: How to fully unleash the power of the Holy Spirit.
Pneumatology, The Spirit’s Works in us
Matt. 3:11, "As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire."
Last week we began this series with a bunch of preliminary topics and some scriptures for you to gloss over during your bible studies.
>>>Were you able to define in your heart, at least on a surface level, of what the Holy Spirit is/does/manifests in the believer? Or are you still a little unsure of Him and His role in the Trinity? That’s okay; that is why we have sermons and Bible studies. I’ll tell ya, it took me a long time to know everything. It doesn’t just happen. Of course I’m kidding, but I do want to take serious this week’s focus…
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
Let’s define this first off. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is a movement, a step forward; it is getting closer to God via the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, in such a way, that manifests itself via visible signs all around them. Granted, the Holy Spirit is within each believer; we are all baptized in the name of “The Father, Son AND the Holy Spirit”; so it is in here [point inward], but what occurs in life is that not all of us take full advantage of what it means to be fully filled by it/Him. I do know that the Baptism of the Holy Spirit does occur at the time of being saved, but in my opinion, fully using the power of Him, comes later once a mature believer is groomed. I have to add that we can look to some instances in the Bible where the outpouring occurred at the beginning, which I’m not denying because it surely did and does happen, but at the same time it seems more often that it takes the mature follower to fully understand what it is. This is oor discussion today in sermon form, but as I said, this is a time to define within your heart what the Bible says about it.
What I want you to think about is “Giving and Receiving”, just in general terms. It is the exchange that takes place when we honor another with tidings, time, fellowship or compliments to and from another. One starts, the other accepts and offers an exchange of this love, feeling or action. The reciprocating back and forth between people is the idea. In the Spiritual world there is also this exchange between us and God and is central to us having a greater share in what God gifts to us. The exchange works in this way:
We call on Christ to be our Savior and Christ lovingly says “Yes” without hesitation, meaning he accepts your loyalty and in return he offers Salvation. It is the free will giving of ourselves to God, but I have to place a Caveat here:
God made the first move in all of creation and in us, he was first. The “Prevenient Grace” [the grace that comes before] of God is the dominating force that we either accept or not. I don’t want to get the order wrong, so I need to emphasize that, but in our life here we call out to God and he hears us, accepts us, forgives us and ushers us into God’s presence. It is the giving and receiving of one to another [mind you we get a lot more than we give, amen].
In many ways it is like the many things we try to master in this world. For example: I have been taking guitar lessons for a year and now I see myself beginning to get better. In sports, those who give the countless hours to hit a ball or run faster than everyone, they have a return of being the best at their craft.
Spiritually we have similar returns. When we give our time to the Lord in study, he gives spiritual depth and discernment. When we offer a full tithe to God, He shows us that we can never out give God and somehow things time and time again work out…the needs get met. And when we give our time to be involved in the needs of the church, God shows us/gives us a heart that loves more, feels more and sees more than the rest of the population of the world [even the rest of the church]. When we worship… and we do it in such a manner to promote/ask the free flow of the Holy Spirit, God gives graciously and abundantly. The small gesture by us is returned by great gifts by God.