Aug 9, 2021
Today's Scripture is Acts 1:4-8
We’re continuing our teaching series entitled “Reach,” where we better understand God’s mandate for us to reach our neighbors and the nations with the Gospel.
Today we’re going to talk about the Holy Spirit and how he fills followers of Jesus with the presence of God, the power of God, and the purpose of God.
1) God’s Presence in Us (v. 5) Joel 2:28-29 – “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. Even on the male and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit.”
We see the prophecy and pattern of the scripture reference above fulfilled and explicitly quoted in Acts 2, where the Holy Spirit was given to everyone—not just a spiritually-privileged few—who called on the name of the Lord. And God’s presence became a reality in the lives of people in a way that had never happened before. We call that the “baptism” of the Holy Spirit.
So what is the baptism of the Holy Spirit? It refers to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit into the life of any person who trusts Christ. But how do we know this? And what does the Bible say? Joel 2:32 – “It shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” 1 Corinthians 12:13 – “For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.”
2) God’s Power on Us (v. 8) God’s presence in us leads to God’s power on us: “You will receive POWER” (Acts 1:8). But if Jesus said, “You will receive power,” why are so few of us experiencing that power? How many would truly say, “I’m experiencing the power of God in my life?”
While the Scripture highlights a one-time baptism of the Spirit for anyone who calls on the name of the Lord and is saved (both in Joel 2 and Acts 2), the Bible also talks about a repeated “filling” of the Spirit in the lives of followers of Jesus. Let's look at the verse below:
Ephesians 5:18 – “Do not be drunk with wine, which is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit.”
Every illustration breaks down eventually, so I don’t want to say this one is perfect. But here’s a pretty good illustration of the filling of the Holy Spirit. Here’s a glass of milk. And here’s a person making this glass of milk MUCH better. Now, when you pour chocolate into a glass of milk, it sinks to the bottom. When you stir it up, it fills the whole glass. If you set it down, eventually the process of “sedimentation” will cause the chocolate to sink to the bottom of the glass again. In order for the chocolate to fill the glass again, you have to stir it up again and again.
But how are we filled with the Holy Spirit? The Bible doesn’t specifically tell us HOW to be filled with the Spirit. It doesn’t. But based on what I see in the Scripture and recent experience, I want to share humbly what I’ve discovered about being filled with the Spirit intentionally and not just incidentally, and I can do it in two words: (1) Admit and (2) Ask.
Admit: We must admit that we have come to the end of ourselves. John 7:37-39 – “Jesus stood up and cried out, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’’ Psalm 63:1 – “God, you are my God. Earnestly I seek you. My soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.”
Ask: We must ask that God fill us anew and afresh with the Holy Spirit. We are never commanded in the Bible to be baptized with the Holy Spirit or to be sealed with the Holy Spirit—that’s totally a work of God. But we are commanded to be filled with the Holy Spirit. And if God commands it, then it’s possible.
3) God’s Purpose for Us (v. 8) God’s presence in us and God’s power on us gives us crystal clarity on God’s purpose for us: “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Our purpose is clear, we are to go and share the Good News of the gospel with the world!
Closing Questions: Are you desperate for God? Are you filled with the Holy Spirit? Have you truly come to end of yourself? Have you asked God to fill you with the Holy Spirit?