Summary: The First of many signs of a Spirit Filled Church
SIGNS OF A SPIRIT FILLED CHURCH
Years ago, Leslie Flynn penned a book called, Great Church Fights. In it he chronicled the way people in different churches would go after each other – all in the name of Jesus Christ.
A young father heard a commotion out in his backyard; he looked outside and saw his daughter and several playmates in a heated quarrel.
When he intervened, his daughter called back, “Dad, we’re just playing church!”
There is a great desire today to be what most people call a NT church. Exciting, dynamic, Life-changing!
Q – How would you describe what would be found in a church like that?
Is it even possible? I think that it is more than even possible, it is supposed to be the norm.
God is not withholding His blessing to the highest bidder
We have to interrupt the flow of His will and keep Him from touching our lives in a powerful way.
As a church, what should be seen, what is necessary to allow the Holy Spirit to minister among us in a dynamic way?
1. A church that is alive(presence if Blood is life, Holy Spirit in Church) will have certain characteristics.
a. I sat in a church service and God did what He usually does when I find myself in church. He spoke to me, but this time it was apart from the sermon.
b. What are some ground rules that I believe will make us the kind of church than can effect this community in a powerful way?
(1) LOVING FELLOWSHIP – Heb. 10:24-25 And let us be concerned about one another in order to promote love and good works, not staying away from meetings, as some habitually do, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day drawing near.
I heard about the couple celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. When the festivities were over, the woman turned to her husband and said,
"We’ve been miserable for 50 years. We’ve fought every day. We’ve disagreed on nearly everything, and I am convinced that we can’t keep going like this. I have made a commitment to pray that God will help us solve this problem. I’m praying that he will take one of us home. And when he answers my prayer, I’m going to live with my sister in Grand Rapids."
1. Genuine fellowship is a missing ingredient in the church. First John was written to try and fix the concern John had for the lack of koinonia in the church. A true loving fellowship lived out through the life of Christ in us.
In April of 1940, German tanks rumbled across the borders of yet another peaceful European country - Denmark. Already possessing control of Austria, Czechoslovakia, and Poland, the powerful Nazi invaders encountered little resistance from the small northern nation.
Soon other countries fell to the Germans as well: Norway, Holland, Belgium and France - their people bullied, bloodied and beaten down.
As part of their systematic method of intimidation and oppression, the Germans announced that every Dane of Jewish descent would be required to wear a yellow Star of David.
They had done the same thing in Germany. Any Jew who failed to comply would be put to death. The Star of David, a proud symbol of their Jewish faith and culture, would be used to mark them as undesirable members of society - to rob them of their possessions, their dignity, and even their lives.
The Danish government and its people were in no position to do battle against the powerful German army. But their leader, King Christian the 10th, made a bold move to prevent the Nazis from persecuting the Jewish people among them, one that risked his own life.
After the proclamation was made by the occupying army, the Danish monarch called for all of his country’s citizens to wear the Star of David, for every Danish household to stand as partners with their Jewish neighbors.
Tremendous fear must have gripped the hearts of those 1st Gentile citizens to venture from their homes the morning after the King’s announcement. Would they be the only ones who had heeded the call? Would they be singled out? Would they be scooped up along with the Jews and executed?
What they saw was nothing short of a miracle. There were Stars of David everywhere. The Jews among them wept when they saw the people’s love and support. And because the people stood together, the Nazis’ full plan of persecution against the Jews was never carried out in that country.
2. Fellowship is not sitting in the same pew, attending pot lucks together, shaking hands but it is the investing of our lives in each other.
Sam Walton founder of Wal-Mart had a pledge he made all his employees say. From this day forward if a costumer comes with in 10 feet of me regardless of what I’m doing in this place I’m going to look them in the eye I’m going to smile, I’m going to greet them with a good morning, or good afternoon or what can I do for you so help me Sam.