Summary: To be full of faith, we must be full of the Holy Spirit.
Faith & The Holy Spirit
Many years ago, A. W. Tozer said, "If the Holy Spirit were taken away from the New Testament Church, 90% of what they did would have come to a halt. But if the Holy Spirit were taken away from today’s Church, only 10% of what it does would cease."
Acts 1:4, 5, 8 “You Shall Receive Power”
“The Holy Ghost is here, and we should expect His divine working among us today just as at Pentecost. If that is not our experience, we should search ourselves to see what it is that hinders, whether it is something in our lives that grieves Him or restrains His sacred energy. May God increase our faith in the Holy Spirit and inflame our desires toward Him so that we may look to see Him fulfilling His mission among men as at the beginning.”1 - Charles Spurgeon
When considering the fullness of the Spirit, I must ask myself:
* Does the word “power” describe my life?
* Am I overcoming sin or is it overcoming me?
* Is my life characterized by the strength of Christ or the weakness of the flesh?
* Do I have a vibrant, active relationship with Jesus; Am I hungry for God’s word; is my ability to show love increasing; or do I just exist, do my own thing and go to church once in a while?
Andrew Murray writes:
1. The will of God for every one of His children is that they live entirely and unceasingly under the control of the Holy Spirit.
2. Without being filled with the Spirit, it is impossible for an individual Christian or a church to ever live or work as God desires.
3. In the life and experience of Christians, this blessing is little used and little searched for.
4. God wants to give us this blessing, and in our faith we may expect it with the greatest confidence.
5. The self-life and the world hinder and usurp the place that Christ ought to occupy.
6. We cannot be filled with the Spirit until we are prepared to yield ourselves to be led by the Lord Jesus – to forsake and sacrifice everything for this pearl of great price.2
How does the Spirit come?
At conversion or later? Is it an event or a process?
All at once, or slowly? From within or from without?
The answer to all of these questions is yes.
It’s too bad that, in the church today, we get so bogged down with getting all of our questions answered and saying everything just right that we never get around to experiencing God.
Something somewhere has got to wake us up to the FACT that Jesus said YOU SHALL RECEIVE POWER!
If I can quote Tozer again:
“We have been offered the face of God and the glory of Christ. We have been offered holiness and righteousness and indwelling by the Spirit. We can have our prayers answered and have hell fear us because we have a hold on God who invites us to draw on His omnipotence. We are offered all this, and yet we sit and play second violin without ambition.”3
Acts 2 - All of them were filled
Acts 4 - they were all filled
Acts 8 - they received the Holy Spirit.
Acts 9 – Paul was filled with the Holy Spirit.
Acts 10 - the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word.
Acts 13 - the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.
Acts 19 - the Holy Spirit came on them
How to be filled with the Spirit:
Be empty - Be thirsty - Pray - Believe
Jesus’ response to Jairus - “Don’t be afraid; just believe”
1 Charles Spurgeon, What the Holy Spirit Does in a Believer’s Life (Lynnwood, WA: Emerald Books) 1993.
2 Andrew Murray, In Search of Spiritual Excellence, (Pittsburgh, PA: Whitaker House) 1984.
3 A.W. Tozer, Rut, Rot or Revival, (Camp Hill, PA: Christian Publications) 1992.