Sermons

Summary: Teaches the real purpose of the Holy Spirit and how to recieve Him

“The REAL Purpose of the Holy Spirit”

July 26, 2009

“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." Acts 1:8

“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.” Acts 2:1-4

What a fantastic day this must have been. The city was filled and overflowing with people from every nation on earth. You could hear a group of Asians speaking on one street. Across the street may have been a group of Africans talking. Someplace else were some Arabian people visiting.

People were dressed in all kinds of clothing. It must have been kind of a circus setting – maybe like it is around here on the Fourth of July. Then something gets their attention. It’s a sound. It’s an amazing sound like a great wind – kind of like a hurricane or a tornado would make – but nothing is blowing around. It’s just a sound.

That got everyone’s attention. All eyes are riveted to where the noise is emanating. Then this little band of Christians, maybe with the tongues of fire still visible, pour out of an upper room and began to preach – and everyone heard in their own language. It must have been a fantastic day. Wouldn’t you have liked to have been there?

Because this was such a sensational day; such a sensational and supernatural happening, so many people have missed the point. The sound of a great wind, the tongues of fire and speaking in other languages was fantastic – but it wasn’t the point. I think God was communicating something through all that – but this morning I want to talk about the REAL purpose of the Holy Spirit.

It isn’t speaking in tongues. I know there are denominations built on promoting that gift, even though it is clearly the least of the gifts, and some say it is the ‘evidence’ of being filled with the Holy Spirit. It’s isn’t. The evidence is the fruit – which is listed in Galatians 5.

The purpose of the Holy Spirit is not to do spectacular miracles – although they may happen occasionally. It isn’t to glorify the individual that is filled – or to bring blessings on them, although that may happen.

The real purpose of the Holy Spirit is POWER! God has provided power for you – through the Holy Spirit. Power to free you from sin; Power to live a holy life; Power to serve Him. Power to be the individual God wants you to be. You don’t have to be a slave to sin. You do not have to be addicted to alcohol or drugs or tobacco or pornography or peer approval. God freed us through the power of Jesus. Jesus said,

“If the Son sets you free – you are free indeed!” (John 8:36)

God, the Son, is the source of our freedom. God, the Holy Spirit, is the means in which we receive the power to be free. Consequently, there are two distinct works of grace necessary for you to receive the power to be free. First is salvation, which comes through believing on Jesus. The second is the infilling of the Holy Spirit, which comes through the repenting of your sin and dedicating yourself completely and totally to the Lord. Peter said,

“Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:38

Peter was talking to a people who believed in God. They were a religious people. They were willing to sacrifice time and money to worship God. But their religion was not enough. They need to repent and be baptized in Jesus’ name first. THEN they were qualified to receive the Holy Spirit.

The power of the Holy Spirit will not come upon you until you repent of all your sins and consecrate yourself wholly to the Lord. I think a lot of Christian go through life settling for immaturity; settling for just enough religion to make it to heaven. They don’t want to surrender their wills to God. They don’t want to change their ways. They want to be in control and call the shots – and God will let them. God never forces maturity on you. He never forces you to grow or seek. He invites – but He always respects your will. Consequently, probably most Christians never get beyond a superficial relationship with God. They never experience the infilling – because they never completely surrender their wills to God. And, truth be known, they do not want to experience what the Holy Spirit may do in their life. They are afraid He will ask too much. They are afraid He will demand too much. They are afraid the cost will be too high. So what are they afraid of? Let’s think about it.

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