The Infilling of the Holy Spirit
CCCAG October 13th, 2019
Scripture- John 14:15, John 20:19, Acts 1:6-8, Acts 2:1-4, Gal 5:22-23
When I was growing up Lutheran and in confirmation classes, we had several of my classmates suddenly disappeared from our Wednesday night classes. Many of them were from prominent families within the church so their absence was noticed. A few weeks went by and one of the other teens the associate pastor where the kids were. The pastor kind of rolled his eyes and said that they had gotten caught up in that cult church on the corner of 60th and Pershing Blvd. I knew that church as it was near my mom’s house, and I also knew they had just had a huge concert and carnival style event there that drew in a lot of kids. My pastor looked at us and said, “Never go near that church. They jump around, yell and dance during worship, and talk gibberish thinking that the Holy Spirit is somehow speaking through them. It’s brain-washing, it’s a cult, it’s dangerous, and you should avoid it at all cost.”
The church was 1st Assembly of God, now Journey Church in Kenosha. It was the first thing I really heard about what happens when the Holy Spirit gets ahold of people.
Today we are going to be talking about the person, ministry, and power of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
Starting off in John 14:15
During His last meeting with the disciples, Jesus introduces them to the 3rd person of the Godhead or trinity. The fact that God is Spirit was not new to them, but the fact that the Holy Spirit was a separate person within that Godhead was a new idea to them.
Jesus doesn’t explain it deeply but does a quick introduction into the purpose and ministry that the Holy Spirit will perform after Jesus’ death and resurrection.
So, John 14 starting in verse 15- Jesus said
15 “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate (helper) to help you and be with you forever—17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.
IF you have been following the series, you know that we have discussed the fall of humanity and everything that entailed on both the physical earthly level and the spiritual level.
So, very quick review. In Genesis Chapter 3, Adam and Eve are created in the Image of God- as spiritual beings inhabiting physical bodies. Part of that Image of God is that their spirits were intimately connected with the spirit of their creator, or in our New Testament understanding, the Holy Spirit was both living within them, and was upon them giving them the ability to serve as God’s regents here on earth and over creation.
When Adam and Eve sinned, the first thing they noticed as that they were naked. Many throughout history have focused on the physical interpretation of that verse- that they lost their innocence and saw their physical nakedness as sinful or embarrassing. That’s not what Genesis 3 is meaning to convey. What it meant is that for the first time since they were created, they saw things only through physical eyes- that something had been take away. The nakedness they felt was the Holy Spirit lifting off of them and coming out from inside them, and they were embarrassed and ashamed.
In bible history since the fall, and until Jesus rose from the dead, the Holy Spirit had been largely invisible in the lives of people. In the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit would occasionally come upon a person, usually a leader, king, priest, or prophet, and they would prophesy, or speak in tongues as evidence that the Holy Spirit was with them.
Fast Forward now to John 20 if you want to turn there in your bibles.
The scene here is after the resurrection. Jesus has risen from the grave, and the disciples are in hiding because the Roman’s and the Pharisee’s are hunting down the disciples because they think they stole the body of Jesus. John specifically says that the doors were barred shut, and suddenly Jesus appears before them.
Let’s read the account in John 20:19
John 20:19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.
Most people miss these last 10 words when they develop their beliefs concerning the Holy Spirit.
There are those in Christianity who believe that the miraculous died with the 1st Century church. They would say that John is describing Acts 2 in a different way. That’s not what is happening.
Jesus came to restore that which had been lost.
Remember in the Garden of Eden that there were two ways the Holy Spirit was interacting with Adam and Eve. First, He was inside them- intimately connecting the Spirit of God to the Spirit of man. It was a direct, high speed unfaltering connection to the divine.
When sin entered into the world, figuratively speaking the cord was unplugged and has been flopping around ever since.
This is what Jesus was doing here- taking two ends of a power cord and doing this-
(demonstrate) he is reconnecting the power cord so that we have a constant connection to the divine again.
After satisfying God’s justice and giving us a way out of eternal punishment, THIS IS THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT AND MEANINGFUL RESULT OF THE CROSS- HAVING A CLOSE, INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP WITH ALMIGHTY GOD THROUGH THE HOLY SPIRIT LIVING INSIDE US.
That is what John 20 is showing us- the Holy Spirit returning to those who would believe in the LORD Jesus Christ as Lord and savior.
This is the birthright and privilege of all Christians and is the start of our eternal life with God when we believe.
That’s the Gospel
Turn a few pages over to Acts 1. Right before Jesus ascends to heaven, He gives his disciples some final instructions-
Acts 1:6 So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”
Act 1:7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.
Act 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you,
And what is the effect of the Holy Spirit coming upon you? What is this power for? Jesus is about to tell us
and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Keep your finger there in your bibles, because we will be going to the next chapter in Acts in a moment.
Before we go there, I want to give you some important perspective in how you read and understand the bible after Jesus rises from the grave.
According to Jesus’ own words in Matthew 28:18 that Father God has given all authority to Jesus Christ.
This is critically important for us to have a clear understanding off because if all authority has been given to the Son, the Son therefore sets the parameters that the rest of the Godhead functions within.
This is a hard concept because we always think of the Father as being ultimately in charge of everything and that is true.
However, as the person in charge God has the right to elevate whomever He wants to be the person in charge. In the beginning, this is what God did with Adam. Adam messed up and lost that role.
Jesus became the 2nd Adam or other man referred to in 1 Cor 15:45-48.
As God’s appointed ruler, Jesus is calling all the shots now. If you want me to clarify that further, ask me during our Q&A time or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. My contact info is on all the bulletins we put out. (how that works within the trinity- I have no idea, it just does and it’s something we accept by faith)
Jesus has set the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives, and that is to be witnesses. Everything we as Christians do and attribute to being led by the Holy Spirit led has to line up with that mandate- to be a witness or ambassador for Christ.
With that in mind, let’s read the favorite verse of any Pentecostal church.
1 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
A couple of questions that will help us clarify what is happening here-
How did the Holy Spirit come down on those in the Upper Room? Did the Holy Spirit come down as a blanket?
No, He came down individually on each person- indicating the kind of relationship that God has with each one of us. My relationship with God isn’t going to be the same as (person in crowd, or person, or person).
Just like a human parent has different relationships with different children, God’s way of interacting with us is a little different.
That’s not to say that the rules change person to person, but how God interacts on a personal level does.
Does that make sense?
How did you know that the Spirit of God came upon a person in the Old Testament? IF you look at 1st/2nd Samuel, 1st/2nd Kings, or 1st/2nd Chronicles it says that when the Holy Spirit came upon people, the prophesied.
They prophesied or as we call it in the NT church, they spoke in tongues.
I point this out to say this-
God is the same yesterday, today and forever. When the Holy Spirit comes upon a person today, they can prophesy or speak in tongues. We shouldn’t discount that phenomena from happening today. Within our fellowship, we say it is THE initial physical evidence of the Holy Spirit coming upon a person.
Saying that, I want to give a little caution here.
As a pastor who has been around the Pentecostal block a few times, I think we have to be a little careful about that being the only evidence of a person being filled with God’s Spirits. I was working at a large Christian gathering and watched a well-known worship leader speak in tongues in a church service only to walk outside the sanctuary to very profanely cuss out one of our worship singers, and then return to the service speaking in tongues. That’s why I give this caution about only relying on a subjective spiritual gift to determine the Godliness of a person.
People who practice voodoo, saminia, and other South American cultish beliefs speak in tongues. They are not doing it by the power of God of course, but I just point that out because the devil is a copycat and he will try to copy what God has already done to lead people away from the truth.
So, don’t let physical evidences like tongues or prophecy be the only evidence you look for in the life of someone claiming to be a Christian or Christian leader.
For me, a changed life and focus on doing God’s will, especially sacrificially is a much better evidence. The love of God flowing through a person and a fire to see Jesus’s Gospel message spread is shows the work of the Holy Spirit in a person more than a 1000 words in an unknown tongue.
So, should a believer in Christ speak in tongues- yes! Paul tells us to eagerly desire the gifts of the spirit.
But the evidence of the infilling and outpouring is found in Gal 5:22-23 which we will read in a moment. In this section of the bible, Paul is instructing the Galatians who waffle back and forth between the law and the freedom we have in Christ and tells them first what the fruit of the flesh looked like, and then tells them what the person who is lead and governed by the Holy Spirit looks like. Paul uses the illustration of fruit to describe those attributes, as the heath of the fruit is directly related to the vine or tree it’s connected to, and the same thing goes for us as people- the evidence of our Christian lives is directly related to who and what we are connect to spiritually.
Let’s read what the fruit of the Spirit looks like in Galatians 5:22-23
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law
That’s true Christianity- the fruit of the Spirit showing through the actions of those who claim to be Jesus’ followers.
Amen? So eagerly desire the spirit and His gifts, but keep your heart tender before God so that the fruit of those gifts brings glory to Jesus and His mission here on earth.
We are going to look briefly on the role of the Holy Spirit within the church. I say briefly because we have a teaching about that coming in the next few weeks called “The Church and it’s Ministry” that will go in depth on this.
We will be looking at 1 Cor chapters 12-14 if you want to follow along.
When we talked about the baptism of the Holy Spirit as being tongues of fire individually rest on every person, but that does not mean that we are to live and do ministry independent of each other.
We see that here in 1 Cor 12:7
7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.
If you are given a supernatural spiritual gifting when you receive the Holy Spirit baptism, it’s not to make you feel good about yourself or to enrich yourself.
It is a gifting to serve the body of Christ and it’s mission here on earth.
1 Cor 12:12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.
Every single person here today or who listens by podcast has a mission from God. It might not be something anyone ever sees, but it’s an essential part of the mission non-the-less. If you are not serving somewhere in the body then you are not growing in Christ and you are missing out on your reward that will come to those who faithfully serve.
Jump forward to 1 Cor 14 we have basic instructions of how the gifts of the spirit are to be managed within the church service. I encourage you to read that on your own, but the basic principle is that it is done in order, and in a way that brings God glory and not the person using the gifts.
In the center of the chapters of the bible dealing with spiritual gifts is one of the most famous chapters in the bible. It’s the one quoted at most Christian weddings, and it’s placement within the bible is no accident. It’s sandwiched in between the 2 chapters dealing with Spiritual gifts because God knows the sinful heart of humanity will try to use those gifts in a way that promotes themselves, and not God.
1 Cor 13 speaks of love as being the central attribute that is to govern these supernatural manifestations of the Holy Spirit.
Speaking of Tongues in particular and spiritual gifts in general, Paul says this, and I’m going to read the entire chapter
1 Cor 13
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Throughout this chapter, the Greek word used for love is Agape. Agape is the God centered, selfless, and sacrificial love that Jesus showed every one of us when he went to the cross to die for our sins.
If you are claiming the Spirit of God rests within you and upon you- then this is the kind of love you should be showing.
Conclusion, Altar Call