Summary: Naked Christians scare people, Christians clothed scare demons. You can also listen at www.preaching.co.nr
Jesus Said; "When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me. John 15:25-27
But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. John 16:6-8
Jesus has clearly said He will send us out to share the Good News and also that He will send to us the Holy Spirit.
When we read Luke 24:29 and John 20:21-22 Again Jesus said, "Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you." And with that he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit” we see a definite order to how God wants us to operate in the mission and journey of the Christian life, before sending out Jesus sent the Holy Spirit. A key to an effective, fruitful, fulfilling, successful Christian life is the involvement of the Holy Spirit; it’s simply the Jesus way of doing things.
The Christian life begins with new birth in Christ, not the church you attend or the family you have been brought up in. (John 3:7, 1Pet 1:23) Spiritual new birth is the greatest miracle that only God can perform.
Just like our natural birth we are born spiritually naked, it is not good for you or the people around you to stay naked through out your natural and your Christian life.
Jesus’ instruction to his disciples was “stay in the city until you are clothed with power” Luke 24:29.
Before we face the world, it’s a good idea to put your clothes on other wise you will scare people, they will think the church is either weird, wacky or wimps. I want the world to see the Church as relevant to them, reliant upon God and revealing Jesus.
Being clothed with power is a result of our joint partnership with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit has been sent by Jesus, and is involved in our new birth (Jn. 3:5 Tit. 3:5), Sanctification (1Pet. 1:2), Conviction of Sin (Jn. 16:8) Comforting (Acts 9:31) Teaching (1Cor. 2:13) Purifying (1Pet. 1:22) and bringing Power (Rom. 15:13).
Our role in this partnership involves Confession, Consciousness and Connection.
1. Confessing we are not on our own in this mission to reach the world with the Good News results in our nakedness being clothed in power. The word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: Is the same for us today; ’Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty. Zechariah 4:6
Our experience of the Holy Spirit does not stop at speaking in tongues, we have as Paul tells us RECEIVED the Holy Spirit of POWER 1Cor 12:10, Gal 4:29, Acts 1:8.
When Jesus said “I will send to you” it is an affirmative, a certainty, there is no shadow of doubt the Holy Spirit is with us. In Acts 2 we read of how the Holy Spirit was poured out on the believers gathered in the upper room and after this encounter with the Holy Spirit they went out into the streets clothed with Power from God.
Our part in this partnership is to go out into the streets after we have been clothed. Many Christians are content to stay in the upper room and enjoy the comfort of the Holy Spirit.
The church is sometimes called “The Happy Clappy Club” because they are still locked up in the upper room. There is nothing wrong with being happy and nothing wrong with Clapping, what is wrong is when we are considered a “Club” which often means we only have our own interested at heart.
Confessing the certainty of the Holy Spirit with us results in a testimony like this: “I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.” 1 Corinthians 2:3-5
2. Conscious Dependence, results in us being clothed with power. We can do church and ministry on our own without the Holy Spirit, we can organise church programmes; we can be nice to visitors and keep each other happy. What we can’t do on our own is what God wants us to do. The Holy Spirit has been sent by God to come along side, to be our helper, the Holy Spirit will not take over, take control or dominate. If we are depended upon the Holy Spirit he will help us.