DATE: 20 Feb, 2005 AM PLACE: BBC Ballincollig
I. Introduction (Eph 5:18)
A. People need more than religious ceremonies and holy days
B. People need more than buildings and budgets
C. People need more than entertainment and education
D. People need more than a form of godliness, that we ultimately deny its power over our lives
E. We need the filling of the Holy Spirit of God
F. Last week we learned that we usually rely only on the power of our flesh, or maybe on the power of the world, but there exists a power source that moulded and fashioned this entire universe and is available to mould and transform our lives – the Holy Spirit of God
II. Background – Some general principles of the Spirit-filled life:
A. You will be tested – God wants to know…
1. Whether this is just a passing fad, or an intense desperate desire
2. Whether you will cling to the enablement of the Spirit of God, or quickly go back to the strengths of the flesh
3. Also, the devil wants to know whether this is just an act, or the real thing in your life!
B. You will be disappointed
1. At how often you will fail in your attempts to rely on the Holy Spirit
2. At how rarely you will sense the still, small voice of God and obey Him
3. At how strong the flesh is and your spiritual enemies are
C. You will be surprised
1. It’s not about what you get out of God, but about what God gets out of me
2. It will not result in tongues and healing, but in humility and submission
3. It will not result in great fun and pleasure but rather in great joy and peace
D. You will changed
1. By the entire experience – failures and successes
2. Because there is no other way to learn to walk in the power of the Spirit
3. And because it is ONLY through that process that you can learn these truths – that in the power of the Holy Spirit is the only way to live
4. For Jesus, it was in His nature to live in the fullness of the Spirit, but for us, it is exactly opposite our nature
5. So, everything we attempt to do by God’s Spirit is going to be opposite of what our flesh will feel should be done
6. But every time we attempt such things, we change a little bit
E. So, Let the process change you – forever!
A. First, Get the Person of the Holy Ghost (Jn 14:16,17) before you desire to get His power
1. Some facts about the Person of the Holy Ghost:
a. He is not a power, or a force
b. He is not an experience – like a feeling, or a sensation
c. He is a Person – the third Person of the trinity
1) He is just as much God as is Jesus, and the Father (1Jn 5:7)
2) He is so real, and so powerful, and yet the most gentle and un-noticed Person of the godhead!
d. Compare Him to a marriage
1) A husband is not a breadwinner, or a handyman around the house – that’s what he does
2) A husband is a person that feels, and loves, and wants to be with his family
2. How to get the person of the Holy Ghost
a. Simply by the New Birth – by being born again
1) The new birth is all about getting born spiritually – not by your parents, or by your church, or by yourself, but by the Holy Spirit of God (Jn 3:5-8)
2) It is HE that births you into the family of God
a) Not the church, or the priest, or your parents – The Holy Spirit does
b) No amount of praying, giving, sacrificing, do-gooding will make anyone a child of God!
3) When you asked Jesus Christ into your heart, He came in the person of the Holy Spirit of God (Jn 1:10-12)
a) We can’t eat Him
b) He doesn’t come in physically
c) He comes in spiritually, via the Person of the Holy Spirit
b. And from that moment, you are stuck with each other – he is sealed inside you forever (Eph 1:13)
3. That all happens the moment you repent of your sins, and believe that Jesus died for those sins, and will give you eternal life if you simply like a child ask for it by faith!
4. It is at THAT moment you receive the Person of the Holy Ghost
5. Have you received Christ? Then you have received the Holy Ghost as well – NOW you can avail of the power that he brings!
6. And that power is more than enough to be more than a conqueror in Christ
B. Get and Stay Spiritually Thirsty (Jn 7:37-39; Isa 44:3)
1. People have those moments where they are keenly aware of a spiritual need in their life – and so they pray and go to church
2. But those moments pass, and normality returns, and the hunger for God and His enabling power fades until the next disaster brings them back to their needs in desperation
3. The key to the consistently Victorious Christian life is in staying hungry – staying thirsty – staying desperate for God
4. Not full, and proud of self, and abilities, and accomplishments, but empty
5. Learn that your dead-ends, and your limits and failures are really just signs of a great need for God – a great soul-thirst that can only be satisfied by a deep, rich, real relationship with Him
6. That’s what Jesus was offering, and still offers – not a Sunday only façade
7. That’s what made Elisha great – he had a desire for twice what Elijah had (2Kgs 2:9) because he knew life would only get tougher
C. Fulfil Your New Purpose (Philp 2:12,13)
1. God placed a new and eternal purpose in the believer that he expects the believer to work out and live out!
2. Salvation was not purchased for a sinner to just simply save them from a devil’s hell
3. It was purchased to provided a completely new life for – a swapping out of a life of death, for a life of LIFE, and that more abundant!
4. In the life, that we call the Christian life, is found a whole new reason, a whole new set of purposes for every day
5. Those purposes are not hidden – not mysterious – not hard to find
6. They are laid out like a blue-print in the pages of this Book from cover to cover – we are to:
a. Reflect a perfect image of what God is like – was ruined by sin back in the Garden of Eden, but restored by Jesus Christ in us
b. Bring honour, glory and praise to God – make Him happy, bring Him pleasure
c. Be your best – you were fearfully and wonderfully made to stand out and succeed at what God designed you to be
d. Win souls – be a light in this present dark and wicked world
e. Walk with God – on a moment by moment basis sharing how you feel and your dreams with Him
f. Lean on His strength and draw on His power to accomplish whatever He has for you to do!!!
D. Yield to Him – to “the hand of God” that is now in you – allow HIM to control (Gen 6:3)
1. None of the above can ever happen without the filling of the Holy Ghost
2. Just being saved from hell does not guarantee that your life is going to be any better and less miserable than it was before salvation
3. To get the joy of the Lord, the peace that passes all understanding, the love of God, and so on, is going to take a determined effort on your part to permit those things to become active as you YIELD to Him (Rom 5:5)
4. The Holy Spirit is sometimes referred to as "The Hand of God". When you stop and think of the Holy Spirit as God's Hand, it takes on a much more significant role. In the Old Testament, we see many references to the hand of God. Here are a few...
a. But now bring me a minstrel. And it came to pass, when the minstrel played, that the hand of the LORD came upon him. (2 Kings 3:15)
b. The word of the LORD came expressly unto Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar; and the hand of the LORD was there upon him. (Ezekiel 1:3)
c. The Hand of God and the finger of God is the same thing. Notice how Jesus uses the term "the finger of God" and "the Holy Spirit" interchangeably in these next two verses:
1) And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God. (Exodus 31:18)
2) But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you. (Luke 11:20)
3) But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you. (Matthew 12:28)
5. Yielding – the most important work for us this day
a. Simply means, Saying “Yes” to Him as He directs, leads, guides – no hesitation, no arguments, no stubbornness, no resistance
b. Another word is, Submit, submission, giving in
c. Compare to a musical instrument
1) Stiff – unyielding – not useable – it is cast away
2) But if it is Yielded, flexible, tuned – you have beautiful music
d. Means to concede – to lose – to give up – to resign – to surrender
e. As if NOT to oppose or resist
f. Did you know for a single grain of wheat to produce a harvest, it must lose, give up, surrender to the process that brings forth fruit?
g. For the believer to yield means to allow the Lord to be God, and not ourselves
1) As in revenge (Rom 12:19) – that belongs to God. So give place means make room for Him to do what he can do
2) As in struggling with the devil (Eph 4:27)– do NOT yield to him, but rather resist him after you have yielded to God (Jam 4:7)
6. Let’s think about this thought of “giving in” for a moment Which should you give in to:
a. The pressures of the world, the flesh, and the devil – as intense as they are?
b. Or the gentle nudge of the Holy Spirit of God – as small as it is?
c. One kills, the other makes alive for evermore!
A. What we so desperately need today:
1. We need more than religious ceremonies and holy days
2. We need more than buildings and budgets
3. We need more than entertainment and education
4. We need more than a form of godliness, that we ultimately deny its power over our lives
5. We need the filling of the Holy Spirit of God
B. How to get it:
1. First, Get the Person of the Holy Ghost (Jn 14:16,17) at Salvation, not confirmation, communion, or extreme unction
2. Get and Stay Spiritually Thirsty (Jn 7:37-39; Isa 44:3)
3. Fulfil Your New Purpose (Philp 2:12,13) – don’t dilly-dally
4. Yield to Him – to “the hand of God” that is now in you – allow HIM to control (Gen 6:3)