What does it mean to be filled with the Holy Spirit? Jeff brings clarity to a subject too often made confusing, and explains why it is essential for every follower of Jesus.
We have pushed the pause button on the day of Pentecost in Acts chapter two because this section of scripture touches upon multiple massive subjects that are important for us to investigate, study, hopefully understand, and most importantly, apply to our lives. Our key verse once again is Acts two four, where we read then they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues.
As the Spirit enabled them.
Last week we talked about those different tongues. This week we're going to focus on the fact that it says they were.
All filled with the Holy Spirit.
What does that phrase mean? What does it mean to be filled with the Holy Spirit? This subject raises many deep theological questions, and if I'm honest, some of them remain unanswered for me. We have limited time to study the Scriptures together on Sundays, and we always want to use this time as profitably as possible. And so for that reason, I'm not going to get into the weeds on the finer details of theology in this study.
Instead, I'm going to focus on what.
We do know and how we can respond to it so that we can.
Experience more of the fullness of Jesus in our lives.
Recall that the disciples of Jesus were praying and praising in the upper room in Jerusalem on Pentecost because Jesus had told them to do so before he returned to heaven. His instructions in Luke 24 49. All these verses will be on your outline where I am sending you and the literal word there is I am sending upon you what my Father promised. As for you, stay in the city until you are empowered again. The literal translation is until you are clothed with power from on high. Acts eight documents Jesus promising his disciples, you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the Earth. So something happened in the upper room on Pentecost that clothed the disciples with power from God, and it turns out it wasn't a one time event. This process that clothed them with power happened to the disciples those same disciples multiple times. And when we examine the Scriptures, we find that it's being filled with the Spirit that is connected with walking in God's power. Let me share a few examples.
Shortly after Pentecost, Peter and John began preaching the gospel in Jerusalem and even healing the sick in Jesus name. They and the layman that God had healed through them were forcefully brought before the city's religious leaders. And in Acts four eight we read Then Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit and said to them, Rulers of the people and elders, if we are being examined today about a good deed done to a disabled man, by what means he was healed, let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel. But by that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified and whom God raised from the dead by him, this man is standing here before you healthy. Peter is filled with the Holy Spirit and given the power to preach truth to the religious leaders of Israel. Boldly those religious leaders don't know how to respond, so they release them under threat of severe consequences. Should they continue preaching, which they obviously do, they return to their believing brothers and sisters and share their experience as a praise report. They worship and praise the Lord together. And then we read in Acts 431, when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled was shaken and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God.
Boldly everyone who was gathered with them was filled with the Holy Spirit and given the power to speak the word of God.
We have Peter and John and other believers who verse is the upper room on Pentecost being filled again and again with the Holy Spirit. And we see the resulting power to represent Jesus and live as his ambassadors. When we reach Acts chapter nine, we will read the incredible story of Saul's Damascus road conversion. In Acts 917 we read Ananias went and entered the house. He placed his hands on him and said, Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road you were traveling, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be.
Filled with the Holy Spirit. After being filled with the Spirit, Paul would go on to become the greatest Church planter in history and the author of about a quarter of the New Testament.
In Acts Chapter 13, Paul and Barnabas have been doing some intense Ministry in the city of Antioch. And at the end of the description of their trip there, scripture says this in verses 52. And the disciples were filled with joy.
And the Holy Spirit.
Just as they're out there serving the.
Lord, they're filled with the Holy Spirit.
Over and over again. You can make a note of this. It's your first fill in over and over again. The pattern of scripture is that being filled with the Holy Spirit provides power to represent God. It provides power to represent God, to live as his representatives, his ambassadors power to represent God. And this pattern is also present under the Old Covenant, the period primarily documented in the Old Testament. The Prophet Micah perfectly captured the same pattern we see in Acts writing. As for me, however, I am filled with power by the Spirit of the Lord with justice and courage to proclaim to Jacob his rebellion and to Israel his sin. The Spirit of the Lord came upon the Judges, Othneil, Gideon, Jeff, the Samson, and assuming all the other Judges, the Spirit of the Lord came upon King Saul, King David, David, and assuming the.
Other righteous Kings of Israel, it came.
Upon the Prophet Ezekiel and assumed the other prophets, it came upon Jahzeal, a Levite, and many others at various places in various times. Luke one tells us that John the Baptist, the last old coveting Prophet, was filled with the Spirit while he was in Utero. And in that same chapter, his father and mother are also filled with the Spirit. But something dramatically changes after Pentecost and the events of Acts chapter two. With the inauguration of the Church under the Old Covenant, God would sovereignly choose someone to do his will and give them his power to accomplish it. A simple way to think about it is to envision an invisible superhero Cape. And when God puts it on you, you have whatever superpower he deems necessary for you to have for that task. It could be prophesying, confronting authority figures. It could be super strength working, other miracles, military conquest, all kinds of stuff. When the Prophet Elijah asks his mentor, the Prophet Elijah, for a double portion of his anointing, he's referring to this concept, that power that the Lord has put upon you, Elijah. I want double. That's what Elijah is asking for. When the angel told John the Baptist's father that John would prophesy ahead of the arrival of Messiah in the spirit and power of Elijah, he's referring to this same idea of specific power from God being like a Cape that drapes around you and over you.
This is the imagery Jesus used in Luke 24 49 when he told his disciples, I am sending upon you what my Father promised. As for you, stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high. And while there are many instances of.
This happening in the Old Testament, the.
Cases are still incredibly rare given the number of Israelites in view. Generously. We're talking about the Spirit and power of God coming upon a few hundred people out of millions of Israelites over the course of around two and a half thousand years.
That's all that happened in the Old Testament.
And the Spirit and power of God.
Could leave when he was done, when the task was completed. Write this down and we'll unpack this. Here's the big shift.
After the advent of the Church in Acts chapter two, the power of the.
Holy Spirit was made available to all who belong to God.
The power of the Holy Spirit was.
Made available to all who belonged to God.
This is a sea change of indescribable magnitude. Everyone in the upper room was filled.
With the Holy Spirit.
When Peter and John report back to the other believers in Acts chapter four, we read, when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled was shaken and they were all filled with the.
Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God. Boldly, all filled in.
Luke Eleven Jesus is teaching his followers that they will need to think and interact with God differently under the New Covenant. It says, he also said to them, Suppose one of you has a friend and goes to him at midnight and says to him, Friend, let me three loaves of bread, because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me and I don't have anything to offer him. Then he will answer from inside and say, don't bother me. The door is already locked and my children and I have gone to bed. I can't get up to give you.
Anything, I tell you, even though he won't give up and give him anything because he is his friend.
Yet because of his friends shameless boldness, he will get up and give him.
As much as he needs. So I say to you, ask and it will be given to you. Seek and you will find, knock and.
The door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the.
One who seeks, finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
If you've been around the Church for.
A while, then you've heard those verses. But are you aware of the context of to verses? Here it is. Jesus keeps speaking and says, what father among you?
If his son asks for a fish.
We'Ll give him a snake instead of a fish, or if he asks for an egg, we'll give him a Scorpion.
If you then who are evil know how to give good gifts to your children.
Here's the context. How much more will the Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him? The context is asking for and seeking the Holy Spirit. And as some of you know, the.
Original Greek syntax tells us, Jesus instructions should actually be translated, Keep asking and.
It will be given to you. Keep seeking and you will find. Keep knocking and the door will be open to you. The idea is an ongoing pattern of seeking, asking, knocking.
Jesus says, if you bug a friend, he will be grudgingly give you what you need because he's your friend. If a friend will do that for you. And if a sinful earthly father knows how to give his children good gifts.
How much more do you think your perfect and loving heavenly Father knows what you need and is willing to give it to you? And he makes it clear that the issue in focus is the Holy Spirit.
And this was a massive change in thinking that honestly, the followers of Jesus could not understand at the time.
Nobody got it.
I guarantee you none of them got.
It when Jesus taught this, but they got it on the day of Pentecost in Acts Chapter two. Instead of the Old Covenant model of God?
S power coming only upon a chosen few sovereignly selected by God under the new Covenant in the Church, his power.
Comes upon all who ask.
Under the Old Covenant, God's Spirit would.
Come and go from a person. But under the new Covenant we can ask for and receive a feeling of the Spirit as often as we want. As often as we want. Would you write this down?
Believers are invited to ask for and.
Receive a filling of the Holy Spirit at any time.
Anytime believers are invited to ask for.
And receive a filling of the Holy Spirit at any time. We are talking about the power to actually live as God's representatives, the power.
To actually be the individuals, the spouses, the parents, the children, the workers, the friends and ministers of the gospel that.
We'Re called to be.
The power to take up our cross.
Daily and follow Jesus walking upstream against the flow of the world that we live in.
And that's where it starts to get.
A bit messy because everybody wants to be filled with the Spirit when it's.
Pitched as this will help you realize your full potential.
But many people are much less excited when you talk about power to take up your cross and follow Jesus daily.
Later in the Book of Acts, we'll.
Meet a man named Stephen.
He's chosen to help verses food distribution to widows in the Church because he's described as a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit.
And we think, I'd love to have someone say that about me. That's a good Instagram bio right there.
Full of Grace and power. We're then told that Steven was full of Grace and power, was performing great wonders and signs among the people.
And we think that would look good.
In my bio too. I'd love to be doing miracles among people. Have people say that guy is full of Grace and power. Some hardhearted men became jealous of Stephen. They falsely accuse him of blasphemy and.
Even arranged for false witnesses.
When Stephen is brought before the judicial body of the Sanhedrin, we read they.
Looked intently at him and saw that his face was like the face of an angel. And we think, I'd love to have.
A face like an angel empowered by the Spirit. Steven then preaches a powerful sermon explaining that Jesus was and is Messiah and calling out the religious leaders who are trying him in that moment for rejecting the prophets of God for over 20 years. And Steven's concluding point to them is essentially, stop repeating the mistakes of your forefathers, stop resisting the Holy Spirit repent.
And Scripture declares they were cut to the quick. And we think, I'd love to have the power to speak so boldly. I'd love to have the power that man. When I talk about the Lord, people are just. It just cuts them right to the heart. And then in Acts chapter seven, we read that Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven.
He saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. He said, Look, I see the heavens opened and the Son of man standing at the right hand of God. They yelled at the top of their voices, covered their ears, and together rushed against him. They dragged him out of the city.
And began to stone him.
And the witnesses laid their garments at.
The feet of a young man named Saul.
While they were stoning Stephen, he called out, Lord Jesus, receive my Spirit. He knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, Lord, do not hold this sin against them.
And after saying this, he fell asleep. You see, this is the problem. Everybody wants to be filled with the Spirit when it's presented as a means to fulfill your potential.
Most people want the power of the Spirit when it's presented as a means to speak powerfully work, miracles, move in the supernatural, have people think well of.
You and have a face like that of an angel.
Not nearly as many people want the power of the Spirit to emulate Jesus in the face of unjust persecution. It's not nearly as appealing when the pitches you can be filled with the Spirit and have the power to die.
To yourself and the desires of your flesh.
Take up your cross and follow Jesus.
We talked about this a couple of.
Weeks ago when Jesus breathed on the disciples and said, Receive the Holy Spirit.
He imparted them Holy Spirit power to understand the Scriptures on a profound level, and many people would love that.
But not nearly as many people are interested in receiving the Spirit's power to obey the Scriptures. Here's the biblical truth about being filled with the Spirit. You can make a note of this. The purpose of being filled with the Holy Spirit is to receive the power to live for Jesus and die to ourselves. It's the power to live for Jesus and die to ourselves.
If you have no interest in dying to yourself, there is no point asking the Holy Spirit for his power if you have no interest in laying down your life to serve, honor and follow Jesus. There is no point in asking the Holy Spirit for his power if you want the Lord to open your mind to the Scriptures, but you're not interested in actually doing what you learn from the Scriptures.
There's no point asking the Holy Spirit for his power. And some might say, I've prayed for God's power. I've asked to be filled with the Spirit, but nothing changed in my life. And I would just ask you humbly to honestly evaluate why you were praying to be filled with the Holy Spirit? Did you just want to be happier? Did you just want to be more personally fulfilled? Or did you want the power to die to yourself? Take up your cross and follow after Jesus. Sometimes the words of our brother James.
Cut to the heart of the issue.
He said, you ask and don't receive because you ask with the wrong motives so that you may spend it on your pleasures.
If you desire the power to walk.
Closely with Jesus and follow Him in every area of your life, then being filled with the Holy Spirit is what you're looking for and the Lord desires you have it.
We've established that regarding being filled with the Holy Spirit, the first key difference between the Old and New Covenants is that the Spirit is available to all who believe.
Under the New Covenant we need only ask.
The second big difference is what makes.
That first big difference possible.
Under the Old Covenant, the only way you could be filled with the Spirit was by a sovereign act of God from the outside. Externally, he would clothe you with his power and Spirit to accomplish a specific.
Task, often only for a specific time.
Under the New Covenant, not only is the Spirit available to all who believe.
But it comes from a different place. Let me explain.
When Jesus was talking with the Samaritan.
Woman at the well, he told her.
Whoever drinks from the water that I.
Will give him will never get thirsty again.
In fact, the water I will give him will become a well. The literal word is spring. A spring of water springing up in him for eternal life. And then in John chapter seven, we read, on the last and most important day of the festival, Jesus stood up and cried out, if anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. The one who believes in me, as the scripture has said, will have streams of living water flow from deep within him. And of course, those words of Jesus were fulfilled on the day of Pentecost in Acts chapter two. Now, did you notice the difference between where the filling of the Spirit comes from under the Old and New Covenants before and after Acts Two? Before, it was a sovereign act of God from the outside. After the filling of the Spirit flows.
From within us and fills us up from within. Why the difference? Because of the death and resurrection of Jesus, our sins have been forgiven.
That means the Holy Spirit can make.
A home in us, join to our.
Dead Spirit, raise it to life, turning us into temples of the Holy Spirit as we talked about two weeks ago. This is called regeneration. It's called being born again. It's the indwelling of God's Spirit in us. God's Spirit is now it's separately joined to our Spirit, having taken up permanent residence in us. The Holy Spirit, as I mentioned earlier, can fill believers spontaneously while they're praying, praising or ministering. We see this in the Book of Acts, but as we've also seen, we.
Are invited to ask to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Why do we have to ask?
Why don't we just get topped up automatically?
It's because our Heavenly Father desires a relationship with his children. Jesus, our Savior, wants a relationship with his brethren.
And the truth is, our flesh is still strong enough to regularly delude us.
Into thinking we don't need God.
If we were filled with the Spirit all the time without ever having to return to God to ask for it, how long do you think it would.
Be before we started taking credit for the Spirit's power? I'm just a really caring person. I'm just a servant hearted guy. See my Instagram bio? It's all right there. I'm a wonderful human being.
How long would it be before we.
Began patting ourselves on the back for being so gracious and kind and loving? If you don't know yourself well enough to answer that question honestly yet, let me answer it for you. The answer is not very long.
Not very long. God didn't do things this way to.
Make us need Him.
We need Him. We need Him. So in His Grace, he created a.
System where we would be regularly reminded of that truth.
To stay full of the Holy Spirit, we must return to our Heavenly Father daily and ask. And as we do, we are reminded of two of the essential truths in life.
Number one, we desperately need the Lord. And number two, he loves us more than we could imagine, and we need to be reminded of those things every day. I know I do. If the Holy Spirit is in us.
If he's joined to our Spirit, if he never leaves us or forsakes us.
Then why don't I always feel like he's close? Why don't I always feel like he's with me? The best parallel is likely marriage.
In biblical marriage, you are one in God's eyes. You are joined together. And yet it's possible for that to be true and for us to still.
Not have the experience of joy, love and kindness in our marriage.
The Union remains intact, but our day to day experience can vary. In the same way Holy Spirit never.
Leaves or forsakes us, our Union remains.
Intact and it will forever.
But if we do certain things or.
Don'T do other things, our experience with.
That Union is impacted. The relationship is impacted.
Our experience is affected by whether we ask to be filled. As I mentioned, we can't ask to be filled if we have no intention.
Of coveting and following Jesus.
Both the Old Testament and the New inform us that it is possible to.
Grieve the Holy Spirit with our sin.
It's astounding to me how many times, myself included, we can have unconfessed sin. Sin we haven't repented of. We haven't turned away from how often we can have sin like that in our lives, and yet we will simultaneously lament the fact that we feel far from God.
I still know what it is, man. It just feels like the Lord isn't with me. And if someone says, well, do you think that maybe the fact that you're in unrepentant rebellion against the Lord in this area of your life might have something to do with it? We're like, Definitely not.
Definitely not. But it has everything to do with it. Unconfessed and unrepentant sin grieves the Holy Spirit and it quenches his ability to fill us. It damages our relationship with God. It all goes back to the central purpose of being filled with the Holy Spirit. It's having the power to live for Jesus and die to ourselves. If we're walking in unrepentant sin, it makes no sense to ask God for the power to die to ourselves and live for Him because we clearly don't actually want to do that. Living in unrepentant sin and then asking to be filled with the Holy Spirit is like asking a fitness coach for a diet plan, knowing full well you have no intention of ceasing your practice of eating ten Twinkies every day. God does not play games.
God will not be mocked.
If we're going to ask for his.
Power, we need to be serious about our desire and intent to live for Him and die to ourselves. Perhaps some of you are thinking something like man. I thought being filled with the Spirit was all about joy and happiness and.
All that sort of good stuff.
It is, but not directly.
The joy, peace, hope, abundant life and all that good stuff are the byproduct of abiding in Jesus. It's the byproduct of walking in agreement with God. It's the byproduct of not quenching the Spirit in your life with sin. It's the byproduct of living a life controlled by the Spirit rather than the flesh. You see, being filled with the Spirit.
Is the power to abide in Christ in daily life.
The love, the joy, the peace, and all that good stuff flows into our lives naturally when we walk with Jesus. Being filled with the Spirit is the power to do that in daily life. It's the power to resist the things of the flesh that get in the way of our relationship with Jesus. Being filled with the Spirit is not about getting high on God or getting a fuzzy feeling. It's about having the power to live for Christ and die to ourselves. And guess what? It turns out that living for Jesus.
Walking with Jesus brings much more love, joy and peace into my life than living for myself does.
Jesus talked about this in John 15.
When he said, Remain in me and.
I in you just as a branch is unable to produce fruit by itself unless it remains on the vine. Neither can you unless you remain in me. I am the vine, you are the branches, the one who remains in me, and I in Him produce as much.
Fruit because you can do nothing without me.
Jesus taught that those who follow him.
Wouldn'T have to strive to produce fruit in their lives.
Jesus said, Listen, all you got to.
Do is just walk with me. Just stay close to me, and you're.
Naturally going to produce good works. You're naturally going to become more like me. You won't even have to try. It'll just happen naturally. And that sounds so simple. When I started understanding that, I started.
Thinking I've had this huge epiphany. This is why I can't just seem to consistently be more like Jesus. I need to be abiding in Jesus.
I've been trying to do all these works in the flesh, and I need.
To be abiding with Jesus.
It's not about works.
I've just got to abide with Jesus. And it sounds so simple, but when.
You'Ve been a believer for a while.
You begin to recognize the problem and.
You find yourself praying.
But Lord, why is it so hard to stay close to you?
I know that if I could just.
Do that, I would start becoming the kind of person, the kind of Christian I want to be. But it's so hard. It's so hard. You're not crazy.
It's not just you. It is hard because we're in fallen.
Sinful fleshly bodies with one agenda to.
Be our own God and pursue our.
Own pleasure above all else. That's why God gave us the gift of being filled with the Holy Spirit. It's the power to stay close to Jesus by dying to ourselves, dying to our flesh, and instead being led by the Spirit, he has given us the power to abide in Him. And here's how much we need the Lord. He's told us that all we need to do is stick close to Him. But as I said, we can't even do that. We can't even do that.
He's like, Just stay close to me.
And I'll do everything else. Sorry, Lord, I can't even do that. So he's given us his spirit that we might be filled with the power we need every day to actually stick close to Him. And as we abide in Him, full of the Holy Spirit, we begin to experience the abundant life that's only found in him and his covet, his joy, his peace begin to saturate our lives because those things are naturally produced when we walk in the Spirit, abide in Christ and live for Him. Hear me on this. The power of being filled with the Spirit is so vital to who we.
Are called to be as the Church.
Of Jesus that the Church could not come into existence without it.
Jesus filled believers with the Holy Spirit in the Upper Room on Pentecost in Acts chapter two, when the Church was born. And I want to suggest to you that even today the Church cannot be the Church.
Apart from being filled with the Holy Spirit over and over again.
We cannot be the people of God that we are called to be. We do not have the power on our own. We are not good enough on our own. We need the power of the Holy Spirit, and we desperately need to become comfortable, openly and freely asking him for it. If we try to be the people of God on our own strength, in our own flesh, we will fail over and over again. We will become exhausted because we will be trying to draw water from a drywell Paul said in Romans 718, I know that nothing good lives in me that is, in my flesh. We need to be filled with the Spirit. And if we'll ask, if we'll seek, we'll find that we don't even need.
To draw the water. Jesus said his Spirit in us would be like a spring here's a challenging but hopeful truth. Some of us have been unnecessarily suffering and enduring emotional hardship. I don't mean to say that if you're full of the Holy Spirit, nothing's ever difficult. I don't mean to say that, but what I'm saying is that some of us have been doing our best to follow Jesus faithfully, and it's been exhausting. Exhausting. Maybe we fall into a type of Messiah complex and tell ourselves this is just what suffering for Jesus is being tired and miserable all the time, but he's worth it. I want to tell you that Jesus doesn't intend for that to be your reality or my reality. That's one of the reasons he's made his Spirit available to fill us. How much? As much as we need. As often as we need. I'm talking about real, deep seated joy, deep seated hope, deep seated faith some of us do not have because we do not ask, Would you write this down? Being filled with the Holy Spirit gives us the power to abide in Jesus, which then naturally produces the fruit of the Spirit in our lives.
Being filled with the Holy Spirit gives us the power to abide in Jesus, which then naturally produces the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. Scripture never commands us to be baptized with the Holy Spirit.
As we talked about two weeks ago.
That happens automatically when we are saved and regenerated. But the Bible does command us to be filled with the Spirit.
In Ephesians 518, Paul writes, don't get.
Drunk with wine, which leads to reckless living, but be filled by the Spirit.
And the original Greek, the grammatical construction of that sentence means it should be translated more like, Always be being filled.
With the Holy Spirit. Always be being filled with the Holy Spirit. It's a command to be filled continually.
The contrast with wine illustrates the two options we are constantly facing in life. Being led by the flesh or being led by the spirit being controlled by the flesh or being controlled by the Spirit, and whatever controls us produces fruit. When the Spirit directs us and leads us and controls us, he produces the fruit of the Spirit, which is love, the kind of love that produces joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. When the flesh controls us, we experience and produce the fruit of the flesh, which is reckless living in things like sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish, ambitions, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and.
Anything similar, says Paul. Putting this all together, here's what I suggest. The Lord wants us to understand about being filled with the Spirit.
His Word lays out the gospel for us. It also describes how we are to.
Live and how we are to love and serve as representatives of Jesus on the Earth.
It describes a state of being where.
We experience God's love and life in our daily lives.
So we read God's Word and we understand it and we say, yes, I want it all. I want to love and serve Jesus with my whole life. I want to represent him in his Kingdom to everyone I encounter in my daily life. And we try to do it on our own strength.
But we discover that we can't. We fail. We're exhausted. We find out we don't actually have agape love in our flesh. It's just not there, and we can't produce it on our own. We don't experience the abundant life that Jesus talked about.
And then we get into the Scriptures.
And as I said, we discover, AHA, the key is abiding in Christ. No wonder I can't make any good works happen on myself and my own strength.
I need to abide in Christ because.
If I can abide in Christ, I'll.
Just naturally produce good fruit in my life. Love, joy, peace, all that good stuff.
And we say, I get it now. I need to stop striving to do good works. There's no work I can do to produce fruit. I need to abide. And so I am going to abide so freaking hard.
I am going to abide in Christ with maximum intensity. This is going to be my soul. I'm going to work so hard at just abiding in Christ.
And then we run into some problems. We realize we can't abide in Christ and be living in sin. We can't abide in Christ and simultaneously pursue the pleasures of the flesh. And all our energy just seems to.
Be going to fighting our flesh and we just keep losing. Forget fruit. We can't even abide. Jesus is like, can you just stay here? Just stay here. We're like, I got it. Lord Jesus turns around for once. He's like, Where did you go?
I couldn't do it.
I couldn't do it. I tried. I couldn't do it. We can't even abide. We can't just stay close to Jesus and do nothing but stay close to him. We can't do it.
And then we learn that Jesus knew all of this. All of this. And he didn't say, you are so pathetic. He said, I know, I know, I know you're weak. So, I'm going to give you my spirit, and he's going to come and live inside of you because you don't even have the power to abide in me on your own. But as much power as you need, as often as you need it, I'll give to you my spirit in you will well up like a spring. And you can have that power whenever you need it. The power to crucify the flesh and live by the Spirit. And as we ask and seek to be filled with the Spirit, we receive the power to abide in Christ. And as we abide in Christ, the fruit of the Spirit begins to flow.
Out of our lives.
And as we walk in the Spirit, we experience the glorious benefits of the abundant life found only in Jesus. We begin to have the experience of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Hear me on this on our own.
None of us has the power to.
Be who God has called us to be.
None of us. We do not have the power to.
Be the friend, the brother or sister.
In Christ, the family member, the employee, the citizen, the spouse, or the follower of Jesus that we're called to be apart from Jesus. We can do nothing. Nothing.
We must be filled with the Spirit.
Over and over again.
We must become comfortable asking him to fill us.
We must become comfortable asking for people to pray for us, that we might.
Be filled with the Spirit.
And we must become comfortable with everybody.
Knowing that we need to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
Understanding our desperate need for the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives, in our Church is fundamental Christianity.
How fundamental? Well, Jesus made it clear on the.
Day the Church was born. He made his followers wait for the power of the Holy Spirit. He didn't say, Why don't you start filing some paperwork to get the Church formed? He's like, you got to wait for the power of the Holy Spirit, because this Church thing is not possible apart from that power. He made them wait, that they might understand that their calling as individual members of the Church could never be realized without the power that he filled them with on the day of Pentecost. This is basic, kindergarten, foundational, ground level Christianity. We can do nothing apart from Jesus and the power of his Spirit. Here's the final thing I know today, and I'll ask the worship team to come up. Here's the final thing I know with absolute certainty we need to be filled with his Spirit today and tomorrow and the day after that. So let's start with today. If you desire to be filled with the Spirit today, that you might be satisfied in Jesus, die to yourself and live for him with your whole life and you're willing to ask, you will be filled. You will be filled. You don't have to take my word for it.
Take the Lord's word for it. If you refuse to admit your desperate need for his Spirit, if you refuse to ask or if you do not.
Desire to die to yourself and live.
For him with your whole life, you will not be filled. But it won't be because the Lord is not willing. If you're broken and tired and feel hopeless, you are not without hope. The Lord is near to you. He's near to you, and he desires to fill you with his Spirit. You need only ask your heavenly Father, who loves you so much, be filled with the Holy Spirit. Be filled with the Holy Spirit. I'm going to pray for that in just a minute. But before I do, I just want to let you know as we go into a time of worship, we're going to have four songs and spend some extended time in the presence of the Lord. This is such a great opportunity to just forget about the people around you and just fellowship with the Lord. If you received your Communion elements, this represents the body and blood of Jesus. And if you wonder, would the Lord really fill me? Look at what he's already done for you. Look at what he's already done for you. Do you think he loves you? He loves you. Do you think he cares about you? He cares about you.
He's loved you with his life. And so his concern for you is beyond question. He loves you so much. And so as you take this today, if you take this today, would you take it with a heart that says, Jesus, you have purchased me with your blood. I belong to you. I belong to you. Lord, give me the power I need to live like I belong to you. So here's what I'm going to ask in this moment. Would you stand with me? Everybody stand. Let's get the lights off if we can. Martin, thank you.
Going to ask us all to just bow our heads and close our eyes.
And I'm going to pray for us to be filled with the Spirit. And I'm going to invite you to.
Just put your hands out in front of you in a posture of need.
And here's the thing. If you're thinking, well, if I do that, everyone will know that I'm needy. Listen, you are needy. You just are. I am, too. We desperately need the Lord. What we're praying and hoping for is that we can take a big step forward as a Church and just being willing to admit that and having that become normal, that we need the Lord.
So if you desire to be filled, we just hold your hands out in front of you. Let's pray, Father, thank you that you.
Are a good and loving Heavenly Father who knows how to give good gifts to his children.
And Lord, we're all in different places right now experiencing different joys, different griefs, different trials. Different victories. We're going through different things.
But Lord, you know exactly what we need. And so, Lord, here's what we're asking. Would you fill us with your spirit? Because we need you so much. We just need you so much, Lord, we confess we can do nothing apart from you.
But you promised that if we covet to you. You promised that if we would ask you promised that if we'd seek you promised that if we would knock you would give as much of the spirit.
As is needed to us. And so we ask Lord, fill us with your spirit to the point of overflowing that we might die to ourselves and live for you with everything we have. And we believe in faith we've received that Jesus in your mind name we pray Amen.