Summary: Expanded outline. Deals with being filled with the Spirit.
LIVING A DIFFERENT LIFE
These are trying times. These are trying times for many of you. There are those these days that are having family struggles. Some are praying over wayward children. Some are having financial difficulties. Some of you, like Jene, are dealing with health issues and can’t seem to stay out of the hospital. Some look at our economy, or their dwindling retirement accounts, and simply want to throw in the towel, wondering if there is any hope. Some of you have to return to difficult jobs, working with difficult people day after day, and that after driving through traffic that has pushed you to your limit.
Some struggle with finding hope in each day. Some wonder how in the world they can continue to turn the other cheek, look for the sunshine through the clouds, or simply trust God, when so much seems to be stacked against them.
We often have the mistaken idea that the folks in the Bible didn’t struggle with such things. I mean, with them being spiritual, and close to God and all of that, certainly they never felt the stress and pressure we feel each day, but that is not the case.
In 2 Corinthians 1:8, Paul, the guy who God used to write around ½ of the NT, the guy who planted churches throughout much of the Gentile world in the 1st century AD, said:
>2 Corinthians 1:8 For we don’t want you to be unaware, brothers, of our affliction that took place in the province of Asia: we were completely overwhelmed—beyond our strength—so that we even despaired of life.
Listen, struggles, pressures, frustrations, disappointments and heartbreaks are nothing new. Folks have been dealing with them forever, but you, like our fellow sojourners who have gone before us can rise above the flotsam, you can step over the setbacks, and brush aside the discouragement. You can be used in a mighty way. You can have a positive impact on those around you. You can live a life that makes a difference. You can turn this world upside down. You can have joy and a peace that passes all understanding, even in the midst of your mess. You do that by letting God have the controls.
Turn with me please to Ephesians 5:15, as I show you what I mean.
> Ephesians 5:18 And don’t get drunk with wine, which [leads to] reckless actions, but be filled with the Spirit:
Be filled with the Spirit. God, through the apostle Paul, says that you and I are to be filled with the Spirit. We are to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
Now, as we look at that command, several questions come to mind. The first question that comes to mind is, “Why do we need to be filled with the Holy Spirit?
I WHY DO WE NEED TO BE FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT
1. Pleasing – First, you and I need to be filled with the Spirit, because it is pleasing to God.
If God commanded it, which He did in this verse, then it will please Him if we do what He has commanded.
Parents pleased when their children do what they tell them to do.
It amazes me, the number of people who claim to be followers of Jesus Christ, and claim to love Him, but who never do what He commands and teaches and don’t seem to have any problem with it.
* Baptism – Go & make disciple, baptizing …Jesus was baptized.
* Tithing – Luke 11:42 “But woe to you Pharisees! You give a tenth of mint, rue, and every kind of herb, and you bypass justice and love for God. These things you should have done without neglecting the others.
> Luke 6:46 Why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and don’t do the things I say?
2. Power –
> Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Power to live – Power to live the Christian life. This verse comes in the letter to the Ephesians, after Paul has told them to “be imitators of God”. It comes after he’s told them to walk in humility, unity, to be separated, to be light, and to show God’s love. Those things are impossible to do without the filling and the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
Power to forgive – Acts 7:60 – Stephen, Lord, do not charge them with this sin.
Power to perceive – Acts 13:9 – Paul saw what the sorcerer was really.
Power to persuade – John the Baptist – Soldiers came to know the Lord. Peter, in Acts chapter 2.