Summary: Christians have the most powerful force in the Universe inside of them. We get this power when we become Christians. But is it possible ot access MORE of this Spirit... and is it possible to diminish His power in our lives?
About 20 years ago, a delivery truck was taking a special shipment to the San Mateo County Convention and Visitors Bureau in California… and it got lost. The delivery truck driver stopped at a gas station and asked for directions.
Now ordinarily this wouldn’t have been unusual. People get lost all the time. I get lost and I’m sure you get lost every once in awhile. And of course even delivery truck drivers will get lost occasionally.
What made this incident so odd was that - in the back of the truck were (pause) 50,000 glorious new maps of the area from a map company. The truck driver got lost - even though his truck had 50,000 maps INSIDE of it… maps that could have easily helped him find his way to his destination had he only had access to them.
Nowadays that type of thing isn’t likely to happen because we have GPS units.
ILLUS: I have such a GPS unit on my “Smart Phone’
I think they’re called “smart phones” because they’re smarter than I am.
It’s not only a phone, it’s an alarm clock, and day planner;
I can play games on it - I can send e-mails and search the Internet.
I can get today’s weather and news.
But it also can be a GPS navigational device that can help me know where I’m at and where I’m going.
Now I had to have my son help me figure out how to do this but (I demonstrated the GPS on my EVO 4G smart phone, having programmed in the destination of my home, and having the GPS navigational unit “speak” initial directions to my house)
INSIDE my phone is the power to find all the information I could possibly want to know. I have all kinds of resources inside my phone. But I still have be CONNECTED to the cellular system to get all the benefits it offers.
APPLY: In the same way - Paul told the Corinthians that they had all the resources and power of God dwelling within them but they didn’t seem to be CONNECTED w/ the Spirit like they should have been.
Now, as churches went back then, Corinth had all kinds of manifestations of God’s Spirit. just flowing through their people:
· They had people there how could heal you by simply touching you.
· And prophets who could declare God’s will to the congregation (they didn’t have very many of the New Testament books and letters we have).
· And people who could speak in languages they’d never learned, which in Corinth was an extremely useful gift that allowed these residents of this famous seaport the ability to preach the Gospel to many of the different cultures and languages that frequented their city.
· And the list of such Spirit given gifts went on and on and on.
Now, at this church we believe that many of those miraculous gifts died when the Apostles died, but the fact is - those folks in Corinth HAD almost every conceivable miraculous spiritual gift you could think of.
Now what’s intriguing is - in spite of having all those marvelous gifts… the Corinthian Christians were missing out on KNOWING what God’s Spirit could fully mean to them.
In verse 19 Paul asks them
“Do you not KNOW that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?… I Corinthians 6:19
In other words: God’s Spirit could have empowered them to do mighty things, but the Corinthian Christians seemed to be more inclined to use Spirit just to entertain themselves. They didn’t seem to realize that the Spirit was more than just an interesting plaything. It wasn’t just a toy they could bring out and play with for awhile and put back on shelf.
God’s Spirit was a powerful part of who they were.
God’s Spirit was the force INSIDE them that could make them all God created them to be.
Now, there are few basics about the Spirit that we need to review before going further.
1. You can’t be a Christian if God’s Spirit is NOT inside you.
Romans 8:9 tells us “…if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.”
Ephesians 1:13-14 goes further and says:“…Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession…”
2. You received that Spirit when believed, repented and were baptized into Christ.
The Ephesians passage we just read emphasizes the central importance of belief in becoming Christians… but then in Acts 2, Peter explained to the crowd at Pentecost (who’d come to believe that Jesus was the Messiah and they had crucified Him) "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