Summary: It’s time for your spiritual sobriety test! Are you drunk with new wine? Does your life attest to the divine work of the Holy Spirit?
Eph 5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
Act 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Act 2:12 And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?
Act 2:13 Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.
Act 2:14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:
Act 2:15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.
Act 2:16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;
Act 2:17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh:
I want to preach to you about being Under the Influence. Not of drugs or alcohol, but under the influence of the Lord God Almighty.
On the day of Pentecost, as God miraculously began to pour out His spirit, not only birthing the Church, but the dispensation of Grace that we are all now a part of, those 120 men and women demonstrated a marked difference in behavior.
If there is one thing that we all know and understand about alcohol, it is that it changes your behavior.
A person under the influence of alcohol will not think the way that they normally do. They will not talk the same, they will not act the same. They will exercise a stunted level of judgement. They won’t have the same capacity to remember that they normally possess.
Nancy Astor said "One reason I don’t drink is that I want to know when I am having a good time."
That’s one of the nice things about being under the influence of God’s Spirit. No hangover. Tomorrow I will remember where I was, what I did, and who I did it with, and I will remember without regret!
People in this world are intoxicated with the evil of this present age, and with that intoxication, there is regret, there is pain, there is loss.
Sin will take you as it’s prisoner, it will dictate the way you think, it will govern the way you live, it will condemn you for your past, it will paralyze you in your present, and it will rob you of your future. It will lock you in a prison of dispair, and you will be left wondering, "how did it ever come to this?"
80% of the crimes commited in America take place while under the influence of some intoxicating substance, whether drugs or alchohol. And you can be certain that when those individuals were ingesting those devises, they did not see ahead to where those substances would eventually take them.
But that’s one of the dangers of substance abuse. It will take you where you do not want to go. That’s also the reality of sin. The scripture warns,
"then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin, and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death." (James 1)
Paul admonished the church at Ephesus, "do not be drunk with wine, but be filled with the Spirit."
On the day of Pentecost, when people were filled with the Holy Spirit, they were accused of being drunk. Why? Just as the influence of wine will change your behavior (the way you think and act), so will the work of the Spirit in your life.