Summary: When the Holy Spirit comes upon you there is change.
December 12, 2004
Text: Luke 1:46-48
Subject: Mary’s Song
Title: Changed By Grace
I have spent much time in recent weeks talking to you about the Holy Spirit. I believe that subsequent to salvation the Baptism in the Holy Spirit is the most important event in the life of a believer. He is our power source. He is our teacher. He is our Helper. When we think about the Holy Spirit we often think of the many signs and wonders performed by Jesus in the power of the Spirit and also how that same power for the miraculous is available to us.
But I want to share with you today about one of the works of the Spirit that we don’t often talk about, and that is change. When you are saved the Holy Spirit takes up residence in you – the book of Judges says it this way, Gideon became clothes for the Holy Spirit. Romans 8:16 says, “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirits that we are children of God…” and
2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, behold, all things become new.”
Now that is where I wanted to get us to today. If you have trusted Christ there is an element of change dwelling in you that affects every aspect of your life. The way you act, the way you think, the way you perceive spiritual things, and the way you use (or abuse) your body. When the Spirit of the Lord dwells in you, your entire being is changed. Then, the Baptism in the Holy Spirit amplifies the changes that are made in you.
As we continue in the season of giving I want to look more closely at Mary’s response to what God had done in her life, by His Spirit, and to use it as an example of how we are to respond to that same Spirit.
You should be singing the same song of grace.
I. MY SOUL MAGNIFIES THE LORD (46)
A. Defining the Terms. The "soul" is the "self" of man. It involves the mind, will, and emotions. The mind involves memory, reasoning, and imagination. The will is the volition of man where he makes decisions. The "emotions" is where man feels (example: joy, depression, anger, or fear). Magnify is the Greek word megaluno and it means to make great, to enlarge, to magnify, to increase, or to make conspicuous; to hold in high esteem. Now we know that there is nothing we can do to make God greater than He is or to enlarge Him. But we do hold Him in high esteem and in the process we can enlarge His territory. We also make Him conspicuous by the lives that we live. So when Mary says, “My soul magnifies the Lord” she is willing to make the necessary changes in order that in her mind, will and emotions she can bring attention to the reality of who God is.
B. God is Magnified In Response to His Word. Look back at verses 38 and 45. What is it that causes Mary to get to the point of magnifying God? She heard the word of God spoken to her by and angel and she accepted it. “Let it be to me according to your word” (rhema – utterance). And Elizabeth confirms this in verse 45 when she says, “Blessed is she who believed…” The word “believe” means to have faith in or to entrust, especially with one’s spiritual well being; to be fully persuaded. So Mary went from, “OK, let it happen as You say…” to being fully persuaded that God’s word is true and allowing it to come to pass in her life. Sometimes we know the word of God and say we believe it but we resist giving in to it. It may be that we are afraid of being embarrassed or are shy, but Mary, a Jewish girl, probably in her early teens, didn’t let that stop her. She knew the Law and the Prophets. In her song she quotes the Old Testament 12 times. You see, when the Spirit of God came on her she started spouting scripture and glorifying God. Remember when I said that the soul is mind, emotion and will? What Mary is asked to do would totally contradict what the mind would say is possible. As a matter of fact she questioned it back in verse 34 “How can this be?” But that didn’t stop her from giving her will and emotions over to God.
C. God is Magnified in the Evidence of His Actions. Verse 49 tells us that God has made His relationship with Mary a personal one. “For He who is mighty has done great things for me…” We sing that old chorus, “I love Him, I love Him, because He first loved me, and purchased my salvation on Calvary’s tree.” If you stop and consider that God, in His infinite wisdom, has always made the first move toward you, you just have to be in awe of His wisdom. Romans 5:6, “For when we were still without strength, in due time, Christ died for the ungodly.” You know, all God’s promises are that way. We often think, “Well, God will save someone in His own time” or “He will heal in His own time” or “He will provide when the time is right.” Well, no, the scriptures say that those things have already been done. While many are seeking to find ways to get God to save, baptize in the Holy Spirit, heal, or provide, He is trying to figure out how to get them to receive it. It’s already done for the glory of His name. I don’t know if you have ever played ping-pong or tennis, but there is a spiritual application I want to make with natural illustrations. Somebody serves. The other person returns the serve. The server hits it back and so on. God’s work of salvation, healing, provision, blessing has already been served. Now it’s your turn to do something with it. Receive the serve and put it back in God’s court. For every person who has trusted Christ as their Savior, God makes His works on your behalf personal. And He is glorified because of it.