Summary: "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed? Did you take God into your mind only, or did you also embrace him with your heart? Did he get inside you?" (these are Paul’s words)
Open the Gift?
Before we get started, I want to ask everyone a question. How many of you, have any unopened Christmas or birthday gifts lying a around your house.
It’s human nature isn’t, to open gifts that we receive? Today I want to conclude our study on the Holy Spirit and ask have you opened the gift that God has given us?
What we have been studying for the last two weeks, praying in the Spirit,
A majority of Spirit Filled Church’s have gotten away from over the last several years.
They have went to seeker sensitive services, you know the we mustn’t offend anyone brand of religion.
And right along with that has been the lack of stirring the gift from within.
A lot of Spirit Filled Christians, can tell you the day and the hour, they received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit,
But ask them when the last time they exercised it, or shared the experience with someone else was, (pause)
That’s right, there would probably be a long pause.
God doesn’t want us to be seeker sensitive, “Praying in the Spirit,” is a sign to the unbeliever.
We need to get back to the basics, the way the early church did in the bible!
Acts 19:1-7 MSG.
1-2. Now, it happened that while Apollos was away in Corinth, Paul made his way down through the mountains, came to Ephesus, and happened on some disciples there. The first thing he said was, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed? Did you take God into your mind only, or did you also embrace him with your heart? Did he get inside you?"
"We’ve never even heard of that— a Holy Spirit? God within us?"
3. "How were you baptized, then?" asked Paul.
"In John’s baptism."
4. "That explains it," said Paul. "John preached a baptism of radical life-change so that people would be ready to receive the One coming after him, who turned out to be Jesus. If you’ve been baptized in John’s baptism, you’re ready now for the real thing, for Jesus."
5-7. And they were. As soon as they heard of it, they were baptized in the name of the Master Jesus. Paul put his hands on their heads and the Holy Spirit entered them. From that moment on, they were praising God in tongues and talking about God’s actions.
Paul didn’t have time for a seeker friendly service, he got right down to business
"Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed? Did you take God into your mind only, or did you also embrace him with your heart? Did he get inside you?"
I’ll say it again, God doesn’t want us to be seeker sensitive, “Praying in the Spirit,” is a sign to the unbeliever.
It started on the day of Pentecost and has been ever since.
Acts 2:38-41 MSG.
38. Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
39. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”
40. And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation.”
41. Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.
They weren’t interested in just attracting seekers (lookie lou’s) they were interested in Baptizing Believers with the Holy Spirit and with Power,
They were interested in equipping the new believers for the task at hand
They wanted to share the Promise that they had seen fulfilled.
Acts 1:4 NKJ.
4. And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me;
Notice it doesn’t say A promise, it says The Promise, the instructions were specific
There are over 5,000 promises in the bible, this one was important,
this one would unleash the Power that God wanted His believers to have in their lives,
To reign victorious in this life, to do the impossible, to be a sign to the world, to reach the world with the gospel message for Christ!
Acts 1:8 NKJ
8. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
God has equipped us mightily and extravagantly for the life, “This Life” He has called us, to live.
Some would still have you think that, Gods spirit won’t be poured out until the last days,