Summary: This sermon ivestigates the difference in today’s church and the early church in the area of the Holy Spirits Power working in us.
Walking In The Spirit
Pt 2 ¡V Power For Today
Last week we began this series on spirit filled living by asking a series of questions about the church today. Why have our dreams become so small, our outreach so impotent, and our coffers so empty? Why have we become irrelevant to the world around us when we carry the banner of freedom in our hearts? Why are we so timid with our faith, so afraid of stepping out, so centered on everything but eternity, and so consumed by our own desires? Why does today¡¦s church seem so impotent compared to the early church? We have more people, more resources, more technology, more access ¡V and yet we lack so much of the essence of what drove the early church. We are a living movement but are we a thriving church?
Acts Chapter 1 Jesus says ¡§you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.¡¨ Where is that power in the church today ¡V where is that power flowing in each of us as believers today? Where is our testimony, our impact, our influence, and our fruit. How is the world around us being shaken by the power of the Spirit flowing through His people?
Last week we talked about the promise of power ¡V here we find the promise coming to fulfillment. Read Acts 2:1-12
When we look at the questions that we started with this morning ¡V I am confronted by some truths that flow from this passage of scripture. What did the early church have that we do not.
1) We are no longer Driven by Divine Purpose ¡V Oh we are interested in the things of God ¡V excited by the purpose of God ¡V even stirred by the Spirit of God ¡V but we are not driven by Divine Purpose. Still our purposes take the front seat. Look back at Acts 1:12-14 ¡V Jesus had sent them back to Jerusalem to tarry until the power came. So what did they do? They were continually devoting themselves to prayer.
„Y They were Focused on the Promise of God - They knew what God had promised them ¡V power to live ¡V and they were intent on that promise. They spent time searching and praying focused on receiving all that God had promised them. Folks how intently are you focused on God¡¦s plan for your life. How devoted are you to following that purpose? The truth is that we are seldom focused in life at all ¡V and when we do it is even more seldom that we are focused on God. We live in a self-centered world ¡V a world that demands to be fed, entertained, and pacified.
„Y They were Driven by Desire for God ¡V Their world was as filled with opportunities as our world is but these men and women were driven by an intense desire for God. They would not be content with what they had if they knew there was something more.
„Y They were Transformed by the Power of God ¡V John 20:19 ¡§So when it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst¡¨ Just a few short weeks later ¡V the Spirit comes and now the timid lambs become roaring lions proclaiming the freedom of Christ. Acts 4:20 after being warned by those same Jews not to speak about Jesus again Peter and John respond ¡§we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.¡¨ Today we are fine with fellowship, OK with conformity, but terrified of transformation. God has called us to be transformed by the Spirits power.
2) We have become Afraid of Spiritual Things ¡V Look at these verses in chapter 2. A noise rises of a violent rushing wind, tongues of fire appear out of nowhere and settle upon each of the apostles. They began speaking in languages that they had never learned. Peter the fisherman stands before a crowd of thousands and proclaims the power of God through Jesus Christ. They begin to heal the sick, cast out demons, make lame men walk, and literally thousands are coming to Christ on a regular basis. Notice that there is no fear among them at these things ¡V why are we fearful of the power of God. Here is the truth folks ¡V God is not a God of chaos and fear He is a God of order and peace. We have a God who has met his people in the burning bush and through angelic visitations. We serve a God who caused men to speak in languages that they did not know. We serve a God who pours out His Spirit in and around us in magnificent ways ¡V so why are we so fearful of allowing His Spirit to flow.