Summary: 50 DAYS TO PENTECOST - Part 3
Batteries are a great portable power source. Batteries come in all shapes and sizes and can be used to power just about anything you can imagine. Perhaps the best of all batteries is the rechargeable kind. I have a rechargeable battery on my cell phone and another on my laptop computer, but I think the best decision I made was to get some rechargeable batteries for my digital camera. When I got this camera, I thought I would save a lot of money on film. I can download all my pictures to the computer and print only the ones that are really good. Great idea right? Unfortunately I was spending a fortune in batteries. It seemed like no sooner had I taken 10 to 15 pictures that I needed another set of four batteries. I had never gone through batteries so quickly. That¡¯s when I decided to try the rechargeable batteries in the camera, and was it ever worth it! Not only can I recharge the batteries when they get low instead of throwing them away, but the charge lasts longer than ordinary batteries.
Now how many of you know how well my camera would work if I never took the time to charge the batteries? Or how about my cell phone, what if I never put it on its charger? And what if I never plugged in my laptop to let its battery recharge? You guessed it none of them would work. The batteries may start out strong, but as they are used they get weaker and weaker. The battery must be recharged in order to be effective.
Likewise each of us as believers need to be regularly ¡°recharged¡± with the Holy Spirit. When we are saved, the Holy Spirit comes and lives within us, and when we are filled or baptized in the Holy Spirit, God energizes us to live an effective Christian life. However, it¡¯s not good enough to just get plugged into God once. The daily routine of life has a way of draining our strength not only physically and emotionally, but spiritually as well.
God¡¯s desire is that we remain strong¨C¡°fully charged,¡± and He makes that possible for us. We must continually come to God to be ¡°recharged¡± or refilled with the Holy Spirit.
A. GOD¡¯S DESIRE IS THAT WE REMAIN FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT.
+ Ephesians 5:18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. (NIV)
1. The Baptism in the Holy Spirit is more than just a doctrine to believe; being filled with the Spirit should be a vital personal experience!
As an Assembly of God church, the baptism in the Holy Spirit has been called ¡°our distinctive doctrine¡± being one of four cardinal or fundamental doctrines of our church. Our doctrine or belief in the Holy Spirit sets us apart from other churches. However, the Assemblies of God did not invent the Holy Spirit!
One of the first doctrinal statements made by the church early in the second century A.D. is called the Apostles Creed. It was not written by the disciples but was a summary of their teachings and beliefs as found in the New Testament. The Apostles Creed states, ¡°I believe in the Holy Ghost.¡±
Some 200 years later in 325 A.D. the Nicene Creed was written in response to the Arian heresy which among other things believed that Jesus and the Holy Ghost were created beings. The Nicene Creed further affirmed the doctrine of the Holy Sprit as God saying, ¡°and I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of life, who together is worshiped and glorified; who spake by the prophets.¡±
My purpose today is not to bore you with a history of doctrinal statements about the Holy Spirit. Nor do I want to expound upon our doctrinal belief. (If you would like to know in greater detail about what our doctrinal belief in the Holy Spirit is, then let me encourage you to pick up the pamphlet ¡°Our Distinctive Doctrine¡± at the welcome center.)
What is my purpose today? We need to do more than just rationally understand the doctrine of the Spirit; WE NEED TO PERSONALLY EXPERIENCE THE SPIRIT! It is not enough to say, ¡°I believe. . .¡±; we must experience what we believe.
Speaking about the work of the Holy Spirit within our lives at the Pentecostal Preachers Week this March, Denny Durron said, ¡°PENTECOST HAPPENS; PENTECOST IS!¡± As an Assembly of God church, as individual believers, we are not Pentecostal because of what we believe; WE ARE PENTECOSTAL BECAUSE OF OUR EXPERIENCE WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT!
God¡¯ desire is that we remain filled with the Holy Sprit. That means that the baptism in the Holy Spirit must be more than just what we believe; it must be a personal experience. If you have not received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, then don¡¯t be satisfied; get thirsty. God wants you to be filled; get desperate for God to fill you!