Summary: Our Core Value that describes the effective power that is behind the church and the Christian.
FOR THESE THINGS I LIVE - CV-02
Our Principle of ‘Power’
We are busy studying our way through a series in the Word of God that I have entitled "For These Things I Live". It is a study through the Core Values of His People Community Church.
So far we have looked at the first Core Values of His People Community Church - We are Christ Centered - Our Principle of Life.
This morning I want us to look at our second Core Value - not only are we Christ centered, but we are also SPIRIT FILLED - OUR PRINCIPLE OF POWER.
Please open your Bibles with me if you will to the book of Ephesians, chapter 5, and we will read together from verse 15-21.
PRAY - READ
Right up front I want to give you a few common errors that people often make when it comes to being filled with the Holy Spirit.
It is an emotional reality
This is probably the first thing that comes to mind for many of us. Around us all sorts of things happen in congregations that are moving in the things of the Holy Spirit and people laugh, cry, faint, wiggle, warble and whistle - and so we sometimes think that the filling of the Spirit is an emotional reality. Without stopping to pass judgment, allow me to say clearly that the filling of the Spirit is not primarily an emotional experience. There may be emotional consequences, but what I am talking about is not primarily an emotional experience.
It is for a certain group of people
The second misconception flows from the first. Because we hear of these unusual things happening, and because they don’t happen to every Christian, it’s easy to think that the filling of the Holy Spirit is reserved for some special class of super-Christians. It’s not true. The Bible clearly commands every Christian to "be filled with the Spirit."
It is controversial and therefore better off ignored
I would like to suggest that the filling of the Spirit is not controversial - it is simply a matter of obedience. In our passage the filling of the Spirit is in the imperative tense - that means that the filling of the Spirit is not an option, but an obligation! It is not something we can take or leave, it is not an experience for a certain group, it’s essential for all to be filled - it is our birth right, it is an act of obedience.
Let me paint a picture on the walls of your mind that might help your understanding, and the college students with us will be able to relate to this immediately.
It’s a Friday night. You’ve got just $35 to last you till next payday. You have a fairly hectic social calendar with a really nice party lined up but you need to put some gas in the car because your needle is just out of reserve, on the wrong side.
So here’s your dilemma . . . putting in as little gas as possible (but enough to get you around) and at the same time making sure you have enough money to spend when you are out. The trouble is, so often you end up running on empty.
Many people, yes even Christian people, I would suggest to you, life their lives that way. They will do enough to just keep going but they don’t want to spend to much time and money on Christian things when there are so many other exciting things to do. The trouble is, just like the student, they often end up pushing their cars because they are running on empty.
This morning I want to teach you how to ‘drive under the influence’.
The greatest untapped energy in our world does not lie in the oil fields of Kuwait, or the offshore deep sea wells in the Pacific, but in the untapped power and gifts God has given you in the Holy Spirit.
Let’s go back to our key text - Ephesians 5:18.
I want to give it to you in several different translations:
"Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit" [NIV].
"Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, let the Holy Spirit fill and control you." [NLV]
"Don’t drink too much wine. That cheapens your life. Drink the Spirit of God, huge draughts of him." [TM]
WHAT THE FILLING IS
What does it mean to be filled with the Holy Spirit? That’s a good question and I am really glad you asked.
The Bible juxtapositions its command to be filled with the Spirit next to a powerful word picture. "Do not be drunk with wine but be filled with the Holy Spirit." When someone is drunk, intoxicated with alcohol, they are under its power and control. Their speech is affected, they walk noticeably differently.