Summary: This is the fourth in a series of 8 messages centered around the importance of changing the climate in which we live, work or play.
Changing the Climate - Part 4 of 8
THE ANOINTING OF GOD
I really enjoyed last Sunday morning’s service. It is good to be stretched occasionally and I realise that some of us here were stretched quite a lot. This week I want to follow down a similar line but look at what I see as the other side of the coin. It is ok to have these moments of ‘ministry in the Lord’ but unless you understand what is happening, or why, or how, instead of being built up in the Lord, the enemy – that is always wanting to rob, kill and destroy – will attempt to bring confusion and division into our midst.
And so this morning, continuing the series I had planned on being “Climate Changers” I want to spend some time looking at the Holy Spirit and how He works in the believers life.
To begin with, we must realise that:
· THE HOLY SPIRIT IS A PROMISE
After the resurrection and prior to His return to Heaven, Jesus gave some clear and important instructions to His followers:
(LUKE 24:46-49 NIV) He told them, "This is what is written: the Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what My Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high."
The promise to which Jesus referred was the Holy Spirit. Earlier on in His ministry:
(JOHN 14:16-17 NASB) And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you, and will be in you.
Now this was not a new promise. The gift of the Holy Spirit had been promised since Old Testament times:
(JOEL 2:28-29 NIV) And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.
· THE EVIDENCE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
So what is the evidence of the Holy Spirit given to believers? The Holy Spirit has many purposes but one of the main purposes of the Holy Spirit is to make the Christian a more powerful witness for the Gospel:
(ACTS 1:8 NIV) But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
Eg. The evidence of the Holy Spirit in Peter’s life was immediate. Before the Day of Pentecost he had fearfully denied that he knew Jesus. After the Holy Spirit filled him, Peter preached a sermon that resulted in the salvation of 3,000 people.
It was the power of the Holy Spirit in the early church that resulted in the spread of the Gospel throughout the world. The book of Acts is a record of the Holy Spirit working in and through the early believers.
· BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT
So what is this baptism? There are seven passages in the New Testament where the word "baptise" is used in relation to the Holy Spirit.
Four of these are the words of John the Baptist recorded in the Gospels and all relate to the same incident:
(MAT 3:11) I baptise you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. (MARK 1:8) (LUKE 3:16) (JOHN 1:33)
Jesus also spoke of the baptism of the Holy Spirit
(ACTS 1:5 NIV) For John baptised with water, but in a few days you will be baptised with the Holy Spirit.
In ACTS 11:16 there is the record of the events which took place in the home of Cornelius. Peter quoted the words of Jesus:
(ACTS 11:16 NIV) Then I remembered what the Lord had said: ’John baptised with water, but you will be baptised with the Holy Spirit.’
Paul also used the word "baptise" in relation to the Holy Spirit:
(1 COR 12:13 NIV) For we were all baptised by one Spirit into one body--whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free--and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.
Use of the phrase "to baptise in" the Holy Spirit is the same as used to describe Christian baptism in water. In both cases baptism is an outward confirmation of an inward spiritual experience.