This message was preached by Colin DCruz at Word of Grace Church on May 17th, 2020. To listen to the audio please click. To listen to the worship, please click here
How many times in the Gospels is it written that Jesus is the Lamb of God?
- ONLY ONCE, in John
But the fact that Jesus will baptize us with the Holy Spirit is mentioned in EVERY one of the four gospels, and at least twice in Acts. That’s SIX times.
Even though Jesus is the Lamb of God is incredibly important because he died for our sins, it is only mentioned once in the gospels but Jesus baptizing us with the Holy Spirit is mentioned so many more times. It’s clear by this alone that being baptized in the Holy Spirit is an important part of our spiritual journey with Christ.
Acts 2:1-2 “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.”
2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.
- God’s Timing
In Acts 1:4-5 “ On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with[a] water, but in a few days you will be baptized with[b] the Holy Spirit.”
Jesus tells the disciples to wait for the Holy Spirit before they left Jerusalem, he even emphasized it further in Acts 1:8 “ But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
But he never said how long they would have to wait for, nevertheless, they obeyed and they waited. He wanted them to be equipped with the Spirit before they went out into the world.
It is clear from Acts 2:2 that we don’t know when God can pour out his Holy Spirit in great measure upon his people but we have been commanded to wait for it, just like Jesus told the disciples.
The work of the Holy Spirit is entirely based on God’s timing, we cannot control the work of the Holy Spirit.
John 3:8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.
Even though Jesus had even appeared before 500 people (1 Cor 15:6), on the day of Pentecost, only 120 people were gathered in that room. Where were the other 380?
Let’s choose to be a people who will wait on God.
When the early Christians waited for the Spirit they weren’t idle they waited in prayer for the Spirit.
There have been many instances of Revival in history, like the Azua Street Revival or the Hebrides Revival, when the Holy Spirit had been poured out on a large number of people and they all turned to Jesus :
One evening a group of around 200 - 300 people went to a police station because they wanted relief from the internal strain they were experiencing and they knew there was a Christian Policeman there who was a strong committed Christian. After they arrived, they all faced such deep conviction. This was not the work of Man but the Work of God.
How did it start? How did this wonderful revival take place?
Two old women, one 84 the other 82, one of them blind! were greatly burdened because no young people attended any public worship anymore. So every Tuesday and Thursday they would meet and pray from long stretches of time and they kept doing it faithfully.
As Christians, till our dying days, we can be used by God. The two old ladies remained dedicated and prayed for a long time before any revival or change happened. It all depends on God’s timing and you can do that too, especially now when everyone is quarantined in their homes, take some time out of your fay and pray for God to pour out his spirit and send a revival.
We saw the work of God’s timing on the day of Pentecost as well as here. What we can do to help is pray in faith and expectation asking God to pour out his Spirit.
2. God’s Filling
In Acts 1v8 “ But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you…”
Jesus said we will receive power that will make us bold as lions, when we receive the Spirit, to become witnesses.
Luke 24:49 “I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”
If you have never received the Holy Spirit, wait on the Holy Spirit, pray today, that you would be filled the same power upon your life.
The disciples were all believers and they had the Holy Spirit in them but the day of Pentecost brought the Holy Spirit UPON them.
DL Moody and 2 women in his church would pray every Friday afternoon. He had a ministry but there wasn’t any real power in it, so they prayed for his ministry. Sometime later, in New York, God revealed himself to Moody. He too prayed, obeyed and waited. Moody then continued with his ministry, with the same sermons as he did before, but suddenly one day the Holy Spirit came upon him in power and magnified his effort and HUNDREDS were saved. The same sermons, but this time with the POWER of the spirit behind them.
Acts 2 v3 “ They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.”
The 120 were powerfully immersed in the Holy Spirit. They began to speak in tongues, prophecy and declare the praises of God.
Acts 2:11 “ we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!”
The result of the Filling of the Spirit is that there’s an outpouring of the Gifts of the Spirit
(1 Cor 12:6.)The holy spirit gives us different gifts, gifts for each one of us. We must keep in mind that these gifts God had given us are not for our own glory but for the Common good
1 cor 12 v8-10
“8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous power, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues,[a] and to still another the interpretation of tongues.”
Romans 12 mentions another set of gifts “ 3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your[a] faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead,[b] do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.”
And so we see that when the Holy Spirit is poured out, so are the gifts of the Spirit. We see in Acts 3, after the day of Pentecost, Peter healed the cripple outside the temple gate. Similarly,
God has gifts for each one us. Let’s be a people that actively want and yearn for these gifts.
1 Cor 14:1 “Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy.” Paul tells us to eagerly desire spiritual gifts.
What’s the purpose of all this?
3. (i)God’s Mission
Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Power, filling and these gifts were all to help us to be his witnesses. God wants us to proclaim the good news and has equipped us with all we need to do it.
So ask yourself today :
- Am I using the gifts God has given me?
- Am I aware of the gifts God has given me?
- Am I developing the gifts God has given me?
- Am I deploying the gifts God has given me?
The final reason and end result of the Holy Spirit being poured out is (ii) God’s glory. He wants his name to be proclaimed in all the earth and his glory to fill the earth as the waters cover the sea. When multitudes come to Jesus it brings great glory to God and that is what we are called to do.
Acts 2 v11 God wants to see the world declaring the wonders of God in their own tongue.
Have you been baptized in the Holy Spirit? If you haven’t, then ask for it for “how much more will the father give it to those who ask” And if you’ve already been baptized pray for more, that you may be filled with it even more.
Let’s pray for a great outpouring and revival. That people would be converted and convicted.
Lord pour out your Spirit in a greater measure so that people may turn to you.
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