03 Jun 2012
By God's grace, may we be a Spirit-filled church! Transcript
If anyone is aware of, last Sunday is a very special Sunday. It's a special Sunday for a spiritual reason. Anybody knows, what is the significance of last Sunday? Last Sunday is a special Sunday because, it is Pentecost Sunday. You say, what is Pentecost? Well, in the Christian calendar, there are two significant days we all celebrate as public holidays in Singapore. You have Christmas, which is the birth of Jesus or, supposedly a remembrance on the birth of Jesus Christ and then, Easter, is a remembrance of the death of the Lord Jesus Christ.
50 days, from the death of the Lord Jesus Christ, is what they call the Pentecost day and it was on Pentecost Sunday, last Sunday, that the New Testament church, is in a sense born. The Spirit of the Living God came down in mighty power in Acts chapter 2 and on the very same day, apostle Peter stood up to preach and 3000 souls were saved. It was in a sense, the birth of the New Testament church. Last Sunday, was therefore a remembrance of Pentecost Sunday some 2000 years ago. I was not able to be with you last Sunday and so I sort of postpone the message till today. As such, we will not be going through Romans this morning as we has customarily done, but we'll be looking at a subject that is very needful, I believe in this hour.
As you know, our people will be going up to the Philippines, in the month of June, July and August and it is a time of great witnessing opportunities. It is a time for us to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus. But, we must be reminded that as we go, it is not what we're going to say that will save souls only, but it must be done in the power of the Holy Spirit. This Sunday, is a day, I will meet with some new ones, friends, in our church who wants to be members of GLCC. And one of the key messages, and one of the key principles of this church and one of the key realities, we have a dream, we have a vision and our dream and vision is to be an Acts church for today, A C T S, Acts.
We want to be like the church in the Book of Acts. Go to the Book of Acts and look at the beautiful and powerful things God does, amongst His people in the Book of Acts and the Bible tells us that Pentecost Sunday, is a specimen day, in a sense, it is not the only time God will pour out His Spirit. The book of Joel tells us, in the last days, I will continue to pour out My Spirit and we dream of a church like in the Book of Acts. A church that knows, experiences and moves, in the power of the Holy Spirit.
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So, before I even meet with all the possible, prospective members of the church, let us be reminded, this is our dream to be an Acts church for today. So, with all these reasons, I feel this Sunday, let us look at this message, "Be filled with the Spirit".
And this text for consideration, is taken from Eph 5:18
The Bible says:
And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
Today, we got to speak into our lives, because this is such a vital and important message. It is so important, this is not the first time I spoken in this church and we regularly, need to be reminded that it is not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord. And God's people need to be filled the Spirit. So, this morning, let's look at this in a very simple way.
1) The Priority
The first thing, I noticed in this verse is that this is absolute priority. This is absolutely important, this is so vital to the church of Jesus Christ. Paul says, be not drunk with wine, but be filled with the Spirit. You know, if you study Greek, which the Bible, the New Testament, is written in Greek, there are some statements that are written as if it is an option, there are some statements written as if it is a command. In the Greek language, we call this indicative, which is an option all, imperative, which is a command. I don't mean to chim (colloquially means very deep, requiring deep knowledge) you out or confuse you. But, I want you to know that when Paul wrote this, in the book of Ephesians, the word "Filled" is written, in the mood of imperative. In other words, Paul is saying, this is a command.
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Being filled, in the Spirit, is not an option, we can say, well, I choose to be or I choose not to be, it's fine. No, God is saying, this is a command, you must be filled with the Spirit. That's the imperative. There is no option. You and I must be filled. Looking at this sentence, you can also see this quite easily, isn't it? It is a clear command, because, to be drunk with wine is sin. It's very clear. I daresay, after being in GLCC for 17 years, I have been in this church for 17 years or so, I have never seen anyone drunk, come in and worship God. No one dares to, because, you know this is not right, being drunk with wine is sin. But, after these 17 years, in my Christian life, I can pretty sure, maybe many times in our lives, where we come to God, when we serve Him any moment, and in many periods of our lives, where we are not filled with the Spirit. But, you see, both are commands. To be drunk with wine is sin, not to be filled with the Spirit is also sin. There is no option, it is a command.
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By the way, I think this is a very gracious command. God is so good, to command me, to command you, to be filled with the Spirit, why? Because, without the power of the Spirit, we are empty, we are powerless, we are weak. So, God is gracious, to tell us, you have no power, you must be filled with the Spirit.
Many years ago, in our church, I think it was maybe, three or four years ago, we had some creative videos being filmed and done, and some of you are still the stars in this show here. And I'm going to show you a very simple clip, a very short video clip, on what life is like without the power of the Holy Spirit.
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Power belongs to God. So often, in our lives, we like to push our lives along, in our own human weakness. But, do you realize, that is a Mitsubishi Evo 7 ? 9 ? Wah! even better. It is Mitsubishi, Evolution 9, horsepower, 280.. 280 horses, compared to three men. What a difference! And so often, the Christian life is lived in the power of three weak men and there are 280,000 million horses of power, available to the Christian, totally untapped, totally forgottened and neglected. So, this is a very gracious command of the Lord. He says to us, "Be filled with the Spirit", because the Spirit has mighty power in your life. I love this verse, in Ephesians 5:18, such a compact, but pointed and powerful verse. The Christian life, must be lived in the power of the Spirit. That is demonstrated, in the life of the Lord Jesus Christ, Himself. The Bible tells us in Acts chapter 10, that he went about, preaching and healing because He was anointed in the power of the Holy Spirit. And the apostles, themselves, demonstrated that.
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I love this story, at all times, I have always shared this with you and I will share it again. How many of you have watched "Red Cliff", the show by John Woo? Just a handful of you. All right, "Red Cliff," is a show that depicts the wars between the soldiers of Liu Bei and the soldiers of Cao Cao. It took place, at the place called, Red Cliff, and the war there is an interesting one, it will be largely fought on the waters, it is a naval war. Some of you, Navy officers, are studying how it took place. But, in Red Cliff, this is a disparate war. Why? Because, Cao Cao, has far superior numbers of soldiers and troops. The problem of Cao Cao troops however, is that they are not familiar with naval warfare, they are not very good on waters. On the other hand, Liu Bei soldiers are very good on waters, but he has too small a troop, to cause any problems to Cao Cao.
But, war has to take place. Thankfully, Liu Bei has a very wise, very intelligent, very smart advisor. His name is Jason Lim (Laughter in the congregation). No, his name is Zhuge Liang, alright. I always call him Mr. Zhuge, all right, Mr. Zhuge Liang is a very intelligent man and he knew that, if they were to face each other head-on, Liu Bei's troops would all be decimated, no chance. So, he devised a ploy. He sent a message, somewhat to Cao Cao and deceived him. In what way? He said to Cao Cao, via intermediaries, "Cao Cao, your troops are not very good on the waters, they will fail, they would not be able to win conclusively, comprehensively, if you really want a major victory, do this. Help your troops, gather all their fleet, all their ships together, tie them all up, so that they have a very stable platform on which to fight.
Time stamp in audio 0:13:23.2.
That struck a chord with Cao Cao, he said "That's brilliant, that's right, my soldiers are not well trained, but when we are gathered together, when the fleet is tied up, when it stable, we will win comprehensively." And so, on the very same day, on the very same day of war, Cao Cao, tied all their ships and rafts and fleet together. They advanced towards Liu Bei, towards Zhuge Liang's army.
At this point of time, Zhuge Liang had a plan. His plan is simple. If Cao Cao's troops and ships are all bound together, all we need to do, is to send them rafts, that are set ablazed, on fire and we will defeat them. But, he waited in a very long time. Zhuge Liang, waited for a very long time. The troops, began to be anxious, they began to be impatient and they began to ask "Sir, when can we send the ships out." He says "Not yet." Sir, Cao Cao's troops are really nearing us, when can we send them. "Not yet". is it now "Not yet". Is it now? "Not yet." And they kept asking what are you waiting for? Zhuge Liang opened his mouth and the with this famous words..what are the words, from America, you know?(Question to congregation).. You must learn something about Chinese history, okay. Zhuge Liang said, I am sure you guys know, one, two, three..... Wow, very good, very educated group, advocated in Chinese culture and history. He essentially says, "Everything is in order, everything is prepared, we only wait for the Eastern wind." You see, Zhuge Liang is smarter than that. If the wind is blowing contrary to himself, he sends the boat out on fire, the winds will blow the boats back. And instead of defeating the enemy, he defeats himself. So, he says, we have got to wait, we have got to wait, we have got to wait till the wind directions is right. When the wind is with us, Cao Cao, will be defeated.
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That, I thought, was a tremendous picture of how Jesus told His disciples, don't go. The disciples say "Wait for what? Lord, we have been with You for three years. You have given us a crash course on theology, we knew all things, we have seen You, we alone have the Words of life and the world is dying without us, why wait? And Jesus said "You wait, don't go, you wait, you wait for the wind of the Spirit, you wait for the promise of the Father and when the Holy Spirit is come upon you, you shall then go and be My witnesses, until the ends of the world."
Time stamp in audio 0:16:34.6.
If I may say, Jesus might have said in Chinese this way, ................................ all they needed was the wind of the Spirit.
My friends, in our life, this is a priority, whether it be spiritual growth, ministry, joy and peace, it does not come from the human flesh. We must be filled with the Spirit. And, so, this is the first point we need to recognize, "The priority of being filled with the Spirit."
But let me move on, alright.
2) The Process
A second reality, we can see in this verse, is the process. If the first point answers why, the second point answers what. What does it mean to be filled with the Spirit.
Let me say, first of all, being filled with the Spirit, is not the same as being indwelt by the Spirit
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There is no command in the Bible for a Christian to be indwelt by the Spirit because that is an automatic reality, the moment you trust in Jesus as your Savior. Where is the sanctuary today? You know, in church buildings, we always have this place called sanctuary. Do you know where is the sanctuary today? Is it GCW, grand ballroom? Where is the sanctuary? You're not sure? Where's the sanctuary? Okay, I want you to do this, turn to the person beside you and say to him or her, if he is a believer or if she is a believer, "You are a sanctuary". Can you do that for me, can you look at each other, eye to eye, and say "You are a sanctuary?" (Laughter in the congregation). And if you don't like the word, sanctuary, you can say, you are a temple. (Laughter in the congregation).
Hey, don't laugh, it's real, you are a temple. If you have believed in Jesus, the Bible says, we are the temple of God. Why, because, the Holy Spirit lives in me. So, there is no command in the Bible to say, "You've got to be indwelt, because, if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His."
But, if you belong to Christ, if you believe in Jesus with all your heart, that He is your Lord and Savior, let me tell you a spiritual reality, you are the sanctuary, you are the temple, the Holy Spirit lives in you. But, Ephesians 5:18 is saying, it is not about being indwelt, it is about being filled. So, there is a distinction there. What is filled then? When we think about the word filled, it may be a mystical concept to some people, so, let's demystify it. It is not complex, it is not difficult, it's clear. One way, to understand words in the Bible is to compare Scripture with Scripture, look at how else this word is being used and I find an interesting burst in Acts 5:3 which you may be familiar with. It says here that :
But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost
Acts 5:3 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?Ó
So, here we see, the person filling, is not the Spirit, but the devil, Satan. What did Satan do?, Satan filled the heart of Ananias to lie. So, what can you see to be the meaning of the word "filled"? It is to? Why has Satan filled your heart, why has Satan controlled. Now, that is not a difficult concept to grasp, right? The Holy Spirit lives in me, but I don't always surrender my life to His control.
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To be filled with the Spirit, is to be surrendering our lives to His control. Now, the Bible therefore says, "Be filled, be controlled by the Holy Spirit."
This verse itself tells you it is control; it is very clear, just make a simple comparison here. Paul says, drunk with wine and then he says, be filled with the Spirit. To be drunk with wine, is to be influenced or controlled by the alcoholic spirit. Agree with me? To be drunk with wine is to be influence or control by the alcoholic spirit, but he says, no, don't be drunk with wine, don't be controlled by alcohol, be controlled by the Holy Spirit. There is a comparison; drinking the wine, is allowing yourself to be controlled by alcohol. Holy Spirit in us, surrendering to His control is what is desirable.
So, there is a comparison here and at the very same time there is a contrast. You say, what is the contrast? When you're drunk with alcoholic spirit, it leads you to, what's the word here, wherein is excess. What is excess? It means, abandoned to sinful living. You lose restraints, you lose all kinds of constraints and you live sinfully. You are abandoned to sinful living. That's what alcohol does. If you're drunk with wine, all kinds of things you could do, because, you are under its dominion, its control, its influence.
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But, when a man is not filled with alcoholic spirit, but be filled with the Holy Spirit, it is the opposite effect. Alcohol leads you to excess, the Holy Spirit leads you to holiness, the opposite of abandonment to sinful living. It is holy living. How do you know a man is filled with the Spirit of God? Look at his life. Is it a sinful living kind of a lifestyle, or is it a holiness that is through Him.
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When a man is controlled by the Holy Spirit, there will be holiness, there will be sanctification, he will be more and more like Jesus Christ.
Last thing, I want to tell you about this word "Filled", is that this is in the continuous tense. It is not a once for all reality, it is something that needs to be maintained, moment by moment. That indwelling of the Holy Spirit is once for all. When I trusted in Jesus, the Holy Spirit comes to live in me, henceforth, for evermore. But, to be controlled by the Spirit, it's a moment by moment reality.
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I like this picture, it's a picture of a sailboat with its sail full of wind. That's what I think, it means to be filled with the Spirit. You see, sometimes you think of the filling as a cup, an empty cup, you fill it with water. In a sense, it is filled, but it is a static picture; once and that's it. But the filling of the sail, by the wind, is a dynamic picture. You need to be continuously filled with the wind, led by the wind, driven by the wind and that's the picture there. Be ye continuously filled with the Spirit. Our lives, need to be continuously presented to God, yielded to Him, surrendered to the Spirit's control.
Time stamp in audio 0:24:23.1.
So, let's recap. Today, we have looked at the priority, it's the absolute necessity. Jesus was filled, the apostles were filled, we need to be filled, because the flesh is weak, profits nothing. The Christian life, is not to be lived apart from the Spirit of Christ, it is to be led and dependent on the Spirit at all times. Number two, we look at the process of what? The filling is not the indwelling, the filling is to be controlled, like alcohol controls us, the Holy Spirit wants to control us, lead us, guide us. Alcohol leads us to sinful living, the Holy Spirit leads us to holy living. And this a moment by moment reality. But the third reality, which is probably the most important is this, how, how can you and I be filled with the Spirit. We know it is important, we have sought of clarified what it is. The question now, is how? And this is the third point I want to highlight, the pathway.
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My friends, how can you and I today be filled? If this is important, vital, how can I be filled?
There are many misconceptions, confusion, I think, in the world today with regards to filling of the Holy Spirit. Some people, believe that you have got to go to a very famous pastor, let his hands be placed on your head and you will be electrified, I think, electrocuted whatever, be shocked with the power of the Holy Spirit. Whoa!, You have a sensation, because, there is power that is emitted from his hands, like "Iron Man".
Some people believe that you get filled with the spirit when you go to a mystical place, set in a cave and meditate there until you get enlightenment. How can you and I be filled with the Spirit ? Well, you don't have to go anywhere, just stay here, listen up, look at the Bible. I want you to look at two passages with me and it will tell you how. Compare today
Eph 5:18-22 and Col 3:16-18
Put this 2 passages, side-by-side, alright, that's what it's good when you have your Bibles, the physical Bible. One finger, at Ephesians 5, and the other finger at Colossians 3 and you do this, flip-flop flip-flop flip-flop flip-flop, just do this, turn right, turn left, turn right, turn back, turn front, turn back, turn front and so on, compare these two passages, and you will see the pathway, to being filled with the Spirit.
Time stamp in audio 0:27:02.8.
And I want to put these two passages, before you. I know, it is very crowded looking, it is simple, when you have your Bible right in front of you. I am going to color these passages, and you will see why. Yellow, look at these two verses and then, we have green and then, we have purple and then we have orange. What do you notice, in these two passages? Something very simple. Green, purple, orange... These, manifestations, are similar, to these manifestations, do you see that ? You worship with joy, you give thanks, you submit. Same, you worship with joy, you give thanks, you submit.
Eph 5:18-20 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands
Col 3:16-18 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.
So, taking away these color schemes and looking at this, to be filled with the spirit, means that we need to have the Word of Christ, dwell in us richly. The, Spirit filled life, is never apart from the Word of God. We sang a great song "Speak O' Lord." Why? Why do we need the truth, because to be controlled by the Spirit, we must obey His Word. How does the Spirit lead us today? By His Word. And to be a Spirit controlled man you have got to obey the Scriptures. Spirit filled life, is not about feeling, primarily, it is about faith, it's about surrender, it's about obedience. Doing what God wants me to do, even though it does not feel quite right all the time.
I have this illustration, years ago and this is a picture of our brother Yong Ping. He is from the Chinese ministry. And, I think it was two years ago, we were in the Chinese camp in Malacca and, when we were there, we went for go kart sessions, my very first go kart session in my life and I thoroughly enjoyed it, it was fun. Driving in Singapore is not fun, you have traffic jams and so on but go karting is really fun. In this go kart session, we were all together, and I wanted to race, I wanted to win. So, I pick on the easiest target, Yong Ping. I mean, he's the most mature, the oldest, and I think, maybe, not so fast, can eat him anytime, you know. So, I locked my target on to Yong Ping, he goes in front, I must catch him.
But, low and behold, Yong Ping is so fast. I cannot even smell his exhaust. I mean, I try to catch him, but what happened is he catches me from the back. And, Yong Ping has this face about him, he is very stern, very serious looking, but when he smiles, he smiles with a crooked smile, so, when he passed by me, he (gives the expression of a crooked smile). I cannot take it, I must catch you, but he seems to be further and further from me. I can't figure out why, I mean, I stepped on the accelerator, full speed ahead, but still I am slower than him. Now, the go kart has differences, I think, but I don't think, it explains everything. Whenever I go to the bend, I tend to release the accelerator, so that I don't flip over. I flipped over two or three times, didn't quite know, I went full speed and I have got to slow down a bit.
When I looked at Yong Ping, he doesn't seem to slow down. He just, chiong and chiong (charge for colloquial), doesn't seem to slow now, and I wondered why. So, I sat down, and I looked at how he drove. I looked at Lucien and I look at others who were way faster and I think I am the slowest. When I look at others, they were way faster than me, then I realized something. I realized, that when I drove, when I hit a corner, suppose, I turned left, I realize, my body would shift to the right. Do you know what I'm saying, when you turn left, my body naturally shift to the right, because, that's the natural motion. I can't remember whether it is centripetal or centrifugal, those who know, you go and figure it out. But, it is a natural phenomenon, you turn left, your body goes right. And so, that's what happened to me.
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I feel that I am always losing control of the kart because, it's going to the outside already. But when I saw, and I noticed Yong Ping and Lucien and the gang drove, when they turned left, their bodies also turned left. I know their secret. So after that, I tried. I turned left, my body also swings left, but I'm still slower than them, I do not know why, but at least I got up a bit faster now, there is a secret. So, I realize, that if you want to go fast, you don't go by what your body tells you to do. You tell your body, what to do and you will go further.
I thought to myself, isn't that very similar to what Christian living is all about. Often times, we go by our feelings, but no, if you want to go far you obey. Does not always feel right, but you obey and you will go further.
Time stamp in audio 0:32:21.1.
To be filled with the spirit, is to let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly. His Words, not your desires, His Word dwells in you. And that's Yong Ping, very fast, really, really fast, steady, really good, and, hats off, to our senior drivers.
But that's what it is, the pathway to the Spirit filled life, is number one, to be obedient. There is no filling of the Spirit without a willingness to submit and to obey, so, we should not therefore grieve the Holy Spirit.
Sins, grieves the Holy Spirit, when we disobey, we grieve Him. When we quench Him, in 1 Thessalonians 5:19, the pathway is to be having the Word of Christ dwell in us richly.
But, let's also be reminded, there must also be dependence. Obedience, and dependence.
There is a great song, Gospel Light used to sing, quite frequently, in the early years, it is called "Trust and Obey." For there is no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
The Spirit filled life, the Christian life, the Christ life, is to be lived in obedience and dependence, trust and obey because we are to walk in the Spirit, we have to keep taking steps of dependence on the Spirit, recognizing, power belongeth unto God.
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So, you say, how can I be filled, do I need to go to some remote place, do I need to get a famous pastor to lay hands on me. No, you need to know this, you need to be obedient, you need to be dependent, you need to trust and obey.
So, this is it, the feeling of the Spirit, requires an obedience to the Word of Christ and to be dependent on the Spirit of Christ. The Spirit filled life, is a Christ life.
Time stamp in audio 0:34:17.3.
The Spirit filled life is a Christ life. What does it mean, to have Christ living His life through me? So, when I obey, when I depend, when I trust and obey. And so, Scriptures tells us, this is the new life we ought to live, not I, but Christ. When I say, Lord, let Your Word dwell in me, I seek to obey it and Lord, let it not be me but Your Spirit's power, that is, the Christ life, that is the Spirit filled life. We call this, the Spirit filled life, the exchanged life, the Christ life.
So, my friends, this is what it means to be filled with the Spirit, it is a necessity, it is a must, it's vital. There is a beautiful process of control, moment by moment, and by His Spirit and you get on this reality as you trust and obey. But lastly, I want to share with you the manifestations of life in the Spirit and that is in reference to the power of the Holy Spirit.
What happens, when a man is living a Spirit filled life? Does it make a difference to your life? Absolutely, you say in what way? Look at some scriptures here.
2Cor 3:18, tells us, that we will be changed, into the same image, by the Spirit of the Lord.
But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
Christian growth, transformation, takes place because of the power of the Holy Spirit. The word change, as you would know already, is the word, "Metamorphoo", from which we get the word metamorphosis. The transformation of a caterpillar, a ugly caterpillar into a gorgeous butterfly. The butterfly, is not just two wings stucked onto an ugly caterpillar, it is a totally different insect altogether. It is a totally different organism, it is a change, from the inside out. And the Holy Spirit today is in the work, in the ministry of changing you, from the inside out, from the ugly caterpillar to a beautiful butterfly.
When I shared this in Chinese, I remembered and other pastor, he was wrapping up the message, he says, we were all like mao mao chong, scary wriggly, mao mao chong, icky worm and that is who we are, isn't it? We are ugly, we're sinful, we are tainted, we are filthy, but the Holy Spirit is going to beautify us, not just the outside, but from the inside out. And when your life, is lived in the Spirit, there is a beauty that will come forth from within because it is the work of the Holy Spirit. You can be very beautiful in God's sight.
I see, that you also a beautiful verse in
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
Ah! This is a simple illustration, all of us today are stuck on to our chairs because of something called gravity. If not for gravity, all of us would be up there and so will I. But, gravity pulls us down. However, in a hot air balloon, you rise because there is a greater force within, that overcomes gravity. It is a picture of how there is that sin of law and death in our flesh, but the life of the Spirit is able to propel us above the flesh and give us remarkable victory, sailing with God above the realms of this world.
Time stamp in audio 0:38:18.5.
To live a life that is free from sin and death, and who would give you this ability?, Who empowers you to do this? It's the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit, therefore, changes your life, changes your walk, changes your character. In Gal 5:22 we are told about the fruit of the Spirit, always, we focus, it is fruit, singular and it comes with a bouquet of many manifestations of love, joy, peace, long-suffering, etc
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness..
You know, the world today finds joy in alcohol and drugs, you agree with me? Plenty of young people today, struggling in life and where do they get their joy? Alcohol. But for a Christian man, you don't have to have the substances, you come to the Spirit. The Spirit gives you joy, love, peace. That's what the Holy Spirit is sent to do. Change your life, transform you. What a joy, when your life is lived with Christ, at the throne of your life, you are under the power of the Holy Spirit and He bears in you, this inevitable fruit, it will come. This symmetrical fruit, in that, it is balanced. It will come, and it will change you.
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Do you long for these things? Do you long for your life to really have love and joy, and peace and temperance and long-suffering. Strife not to produce it in your own strength, surrendered yourself to the Spirit's control, He will bear it through you. It's the fruit of the Spirit.
What about worship? Well, Ephesians 5:18-19, tells us, life in the Spirit, gives us a transform, worshipful life.
Eph 5:18,19 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord
I think, a Christian, must have song in his heart, you must. You know, there are many religions that take away songs, you think about it, they have chants, no melody. Melody, is back with us, now that's a play on words, sorry Melody.
But there many religions, with no melody, no real joy, there is no real song, but when we come to know Jesus, there is a new song in our hearts, the song of redemption, the song of praise, a song of grace that we extol it and, it is from the heart. If you are filled with the Spirit, there would be a song in your heart, there will be joy in your worship.
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I believe, you would be a man of prayer, because the Spirit leads us to pray, teaches us to pray, changes us, you see. I like, also to remind you that when you are a man or a woman walking in the Spirit, your families, will change. There will be new relationships, improved relationships at home because, in Ephesians 5:18, be filled with the Spirit, the command is there, it follows through, that you would submit one to another, wife to their husbands, husbands will love their wives, children will obey their parents, parents will teach their children, in the ways they should go, that is a beautiful harmonious, holy families that comes when the members of the families, are walking in the Spirit.
I believe, that also goes to your offices, your workplaces. There will be good employers, if they are walking in the Spirit, there will be good employees, if they are walking in the Spirit. It changes your relationships.
The Holy Spirit also guides you into truth. Sometimes, we think of studying the Bible as if, it is a matter of skills and techniques and gimmicks. No, understanding the Bible, is not possible without the help of the Holy Spirit. But, if you're led by the Spirit, he guides you into all truth. You see, the Bible is not just a logical book, it is a spiritual book and it requires the illuminating work of the Holy Spirit to teach you His Word.
But lastly, can I end, the Holy Spirit empowers you to be the witness we ought to be. Think of the early days, in the Book of Acts. The Book of Acts, is really not the acts of the apostles, but it is the acts of the Holy Spirit through the apostles. And, it is the Holy Spirit who empowers them to do so. The Holy Spirit gives them courage, give them guidance, where to go, works, powerfully in hearts and convictions and people came to Jesus in great numbers because it is the work of the Holy Spirit. So, my dear friends, there is nothing in life, that is not a ministry of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit today changes your walk, he adjust the way you live, changes the way you are, the Holy Spirit today changes your worship, is not just about songs and technicalities, it is about the heart. The Holy Spirit changes the way you approach the Word, the understanding of Scriptures, the understanding of God from the Bible. The Holy Spirit today changes how you relate with the world, your wife, your husband, your children, your parents, your employers, your employees. The Holy Spirit today changes the way we witness, every aspect of the Christian life.
Some weeks ago, I was with my son and we were doing some simple exercises and we were doing some stretching at the end of it. And so, I sat down on the floor and try to reach for my toes. Shawn, also try to reach for his toes. Shawn, as a young boy, is very flexible, he can bend very easily. Reach for your toes, Shawn! He did it very easily and could reach beyond it. He turned around and saw his daddy. He looked at daddy struggling. Daddy is wooden, I'm very very stiff in all my joints and tendons. Try whatever and I could reach at most my shins. He looked at me with amazement "Daddy, it is not like this, it is like this." He proved it to me, he showed me what I'm supposed to do. I said Shaun, daddy cannot. But daddy, it is very easy, it is like this, it is like this, you can do it daddy. I say, I cannot do it, Shaun. Daddy you can, you see, you see, you see, you see. My son doesn't realize, I know what I'm supposed to do, but I have no power to do it.
You know, so often in the church, we look at people, and say hey, you should have more joy, hey, you should be more loving, hey you should have more peace, hey, you should, you should, you should. But you see, we failed to realize, we might know but we have not the power. My friends, it begins right here, the Christian life, the engine of life, the 280 horsepower of life is already in you. Be filled with the Spirit, surrender your life, to the obedience of His Word and in the dependent on the Spirit's control. He will change your life. My friends, this is the marvel of the Christian life, God cannot save us, that we continue to live in our own strength, He saved us and gave us His power. There's nothing, God command you to do that He has not given you the power to do so. God does look at you and say, do this, look here, look here. He gives you the power likewise. So, this morning, let us be encouraged, be not drunk with wine wherein in excess, but be filled with the Spirit. May God help us, as we enter a crucial phase in our church, look to this Spirit of the Living God that we might be the people in the church, He wants us to be. Let's bow for a word of prayer.
Our Heavenly Father, we thank You, because, indeed, it is not by might nor by power but by Your Spirit. We are spiritually bankrupt, there is no power in the flesh, but so often we imagine there is, we think there is, by and large, our lives are lived in total neglect, of the blessed Person of the Holy Spirit in us. Would You, by Your Word today, remind us, establish us and spur us to live life in the Spirit. Spirit of the Living God, we thank You that You are here in our lives, we praise You, that You love us and You are here to help us, to glorify Christ. I pray today that if there are those who are living in sin, grieving You, quenching You, O may You convicts, may You lovingly draw them back to the right path that they should go. Maybe, there are some of us today Lord, while trudging along in our own weakness, stop us in our tracks and cause us to return to the first work, to depend and to obey. Father, we pray for You to empower Your church as we come into a very crucial phase, as we face E-campaign that is coming up, we pray for the 500,000, we are praying for, that they would not be preached to in the eloquence of men, but in the power and demonstration of the Holy Spirit. And as a church, dear Lord, we pray for a supernatural reality right here, that cannot be explained by human energy but only to be explained when people say, "It is God, it is God, it is God." May it be all about You. We pray today, that Your Word will find good soil in our hearts, make us a Spirit filled people. We thank You, in advance for what You are going to do, we gave You the glory and praise. We ask and pray all this now in Jesus name amen, God bless.
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30 Aug 2020
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