Summary: This is the first sermon in the series of The Quest. Every believer must face the need for the Spirit-filled life. The Holy Spirit will be there to be our Guide in our spiritual walk with God.
“How can I live the Life I’ve always longed for?”
Scripture Reading: John 14:15-24
Barna Recaps 2006 Church Trends, Future Directions
Christian researcher George Barna has outlined what he considers his most significant findings for the year of 2006.
According to Barna, the latest survey statistics suggest Christians may be more attuned to matters of culture and entertainment than to matters of faith.
And I might add where this has been a tragic trend for past nations who have fallen away from God – it has resulted in apostasy and the spiritual decline of their nation.
Barna says, "People pay attention to what they deem important."
"These figures may be another indicator that millions of Christians invest more of their mental energy in cultural literacy than in biblical literacy."
Barna’s recent studies also found that the notion of personal and Biblical holiness has slipped out of the consciousness of the vast majority of Christian Churches and believers.
According to his research group’s findings, while just 21 percent of adults consider themselves to be holy, by these respondents’ own admission, large numbers have no idea what "holiness" means and only one out of every three believe that God expects people to become holy.
The Word of God can’t get any clearer on this subject of holiness than when it says in Leviticus 20:7
Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the LORD your God.
From the very beginning of the human race, God expected His people to live a life that was holy.
You and I will both note that if we study the Word of God where the command from God to “Be Holy” starts in one of the early Old Testament letters and weaves itself through the Bible to the last book which is the book of Revelation.
The Apostle Peter addressed it when he said 1 Peter 1:15
15 But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. 16 For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.” NLT
Someone might ask the question: Well - how important is this being Holy or what we refer to as Holiness – just how important is it? I’ve not heard much about this doctrine!
Let me take you to Hebrews 12:14 where it reads::
“Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be Holy; for without holiness no one will see the Lord.”
So according to the Word of God, this command from God to BE Holy has everything to do with our spiritual journey here and now and the Hope of seeing God in Heaven..
This morning is our time to begin 40 Days of Discovery called “The Quest.”
The Quest is going to be an exciting journey for you and your small group.
I can’t tell you how important it is for every one to get into a Small Group to experience this spiritual adventure.
During these 40 Days of Discovery we want you to think about the Spirit-filled life as God’s provision for leading a life of purpose.
During this time together we will emphasize the Personhood of the Holy Spirit.
About three years ago now, our church went through 40 Days of Purpose by author and Pastor Rick Warren.
The Quest has been developed by the Church of the Nazarene to address finding Life’s purpose according to the Holy Spirit’s work in our life and the Life of Holiness.
There were two great assignments that Jesus gave to His disciples to when He left this earth and these two great assignments are still what He gives to His church to accomplish.
In our churches Mission Statement it reads: As His Church here we are to fulfill the Great Commission and the Great Commandment by reaching the unchurched with the life-changing message of Jesus Christ.
The first Great Assignment is called The Great Commission which is found in Matthew 28:19-20
19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
The Other Great Assignment is found in Matthew 22:37-40 which we call the Great Commandment
37 Jesus replied: "You are to ’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ’Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."
Now – these two assignments were way beyond the disciples’ strength and abilities to accomplish them.