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Summary: The essential and non-negotiable role (need) for the Holy Spirit in the church's mission.

WELCOME AND CALL TO WORSHIP

Good morning. I am so honored that you have chosen to worship with us today. I believe God has a orchestrated this appointment and we take it very seriously.

Today we will conclude our emphasis from the Book of Acts on evangelism. And we will wrap it up by looking at the one single feature that is absolutely essential every time we share our faith with our friends and neighbors … The Holy Spirit.

Sometimes we forget that there is a difference between the Church that The Holy Spirit indwells and the Spirit himself.

Maybe an illustration from sailing would help us here.

If the Holy Spirit is the wind, then the local church is the sail. Some sails are better than others at catching the wind, some sailors are better at using the sail, but there is always and only one wind. A sail without the wind is a limp flag; wind without a sail is still the wind. The relationship is only one way.

The sail (the local church) is an institution built with the intention of harnessing that power. If a local church goes away, the power remains.

Like a sail, the local church is absolutely powerless without the Holy Spirit.

{NOTE: This imagery was first discovered by me in Shane Hipps' book, "Selling Water by the River." I have adapted it for this sermon's use.}

So here’s my emphasis today; just because a local church bears Christ’s name doesn't always mean it operates in Christ’s power. If we fail to understand this, we become like the sail that believes it controls the wind.

Jesus speaks of the Holy Spirit in John 16 when he says,

8 And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; 10 concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; 11 concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. 12 "I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

(John 16:8-14)

Let’s worship today in Spirit and in Truth.

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BRIDGES AND DITCHES: THE BOOK OF ACTS FOR TODAY**

THE WIND OF THE SPIRIT

ACTS 1:4-8; 2:1-4

Big Idea: The essential and non-negotiable role (need) for the Holy Spirit

Service Helps:

• Responsive Reading

• Altar Call – surrender and seeking the filling of the Holy Spirit

Supporting Scripture:

Joel 2:28-32 (Responsive Reading)

2 Thessalonians 2:13-17

John 16:8-14 (Welcome and Call to Worship)

ACTS 1:4-8; 2:1-4

1:4 And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, "you heard from me; 5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now."

1:6 So when they had come together, they asked him, "Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?" 7 He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."

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2:1 When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3 And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.

INTRO

If I was to give you a math equation to today and ask you to solve it but I deliberately (and secretly) held back an essential element of the equation you would most certainly fail. Not only would you fail you would experience utter frustration in the process.

You may come to me and say, “I just can’t solve this. What am I missing?”

If I said, “Try harder.” You would continue to fail and become even more frustrated.

I have seen something similar happen in some churches and some Christians. They are trying hard to live a fruitful life but they keep failing at it and it produces great frustration. I have even had some come to me and say, “I just can’t do this. Something is missing; what is it?”

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