Summary: The work of the Holy Spirit is essential to be a healthy church.
SERIES: HEALTHY CHURCH!
“THE INSPIRATION FACTOR”
One New Year’s Day in the Tournament of Roses parade, a beautiful float suddenly sputtered and quit. It was out of gas. The whole parade was held up until someone could get a can of gasoline and pour it into the gas tank.
The amusing thing was that this particular float represented the Standard Oil Company. With all of its vast oil resources, they were out of gas.
There are lots of congregations today who are out of gas. They’ve relied too long on what they can do in their flesh instead of relying on the Holy Spirit. They have looked to programs and people instead of almighty God.
There are also lots of people who are out of gas. They’ve been trying to live life under their own power instead of the power of God’s Spirit. Are you out of gas today?
We have only two more messages left in our series on church health – today and next week. Today I want us to look at “The Inspiration Factor.” The inspiration factor is the Holy Spirit.
In the original languages of both the Old and New Testaments, the word for “spirit” literally means “breath” or “wind.” Some of the most debilitating diseases of the human body are lung diseases. When you can’t breathe properly, your body suffers. Oxygen can’t get to vital areas and energy fails quickly.
One of the most important areas of conditioning for athletic endeavors is aerobic conditioning – increasing your wind power. In a boxing match, when a fighter is tired and he can’t process oxygen properly, the commentators will say, “He’s out of gas.” Likewise, on a basketball court or a football field, when a team or player is exhausted can’t process oxygen efficiently, the commentators say, “They’re out of gas.”
Zech. 4:6 – “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubabbel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.”
There are a lot of Christians who are confused about the Holy Spirit. There are those who over-emphasize the Holy Spirit. There are those who under-emphasize the Holy Spirit. There are those who ignore the Holy Spirit altogether.
A proper understanding of the Holy Spirit is essential in being a healthy church. We talk about the importance of the Great Commandments and the Great Commission. Accomplishing them is not possible without the work of the Great Companion – the Holy Spirit.
In Lk. 24:49, following His resurrection, Jesus told his followers, “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.” In a similar statement right before He ascended to the Father, Jesus revealed the source of this power from on high in Acts 1:8 – “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.”
And the outpouring of this power from on high through the Holy Spirit is recorded in our main
Scripture passage for this morning. Acts 2:1-13 – “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house
where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of
them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked: ‘Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of
us hears them in our native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and
Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from
Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in
our own tongues!’ Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, ‘What does this mean?’ Some, however, made fun of them and said, ‘They have had too much wine.’”
How Did the Holy Spirit Come?
There were some things happening in the lives of Jesus’ followers that precipitated this marvelous work of the Holy Spirit in their midst. First, the passage tells us that the believers were together. The phrase “all together” here literally means they were unanimous. They weren’t just “all together” as a group of people but were together in purpose and perspective. Then Luke notes that they were “in one place.” The original language means “to admit or delight in.” They were saying “yes’ to Chris and “yes” to one another. There was an acceptance of Jesus as Lord and acceptance of one another in a mutual cause and effort. That’s where the body of Christ needs to be: accepting one another with grace.