Tuesday, May 25, 2021

The Coming Of The Holy Spirit


This message was preached at Word Of Grace Church on May 23rd 2021 by Lasya D via zoom. For the audio please click here.  To listen to the worship please click here.

A couple of Sundays ago, Manesh shared the ascension account of Luke in Acts 1 when Jesus, just before his ascension into glory gives them one of the hardest instructions- WAIT Acts 1: 4-5 “4 And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; 5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
How do you know what you’re waiting for when you don’t know what to expect? More importantly, what do you do while you’re waiting? The disciples did this – Acts 1:14 “All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.” And they did something else – in verse 16 “Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus.” They studied the word of God and they replaced Judas in accordance with scripture and chose Matthias– they aligned themselves with the word of God.
1.   They were united.
2.   They devoted themselves to prayer – to communion with God
3.   They studied the scripture.
4.   They aligned their lives with the word of God.
Acts 2: 1 – 4 “When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3 And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.”
The Holy Spirit never changes, but when he comes upon us and rests on us, he turns the world upside down. That is why I entitled this message – The catalyst among the Pentecostals.
So let’s look at what happened once the Holy Spirit came
Then peter stood up to address this confused crowd and said, these guys are not drunk as you think – this is the fulfilment of the prophetic word spoken by Joel:
And he makes the great gospel proclamation. He testified of the wonders and signs that God did through him. With great boldness he proclaims Christ as risen. He opens up the scriptures – just as Jesus did at the synagogues and market places to reveal the kingdom that has come. And there is a wild response – in verse 37 – 39 “37 Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself…. received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.””
The filling of the holy spirit is not peculiar to the New testament. in the old testament was selective, temporary and task oriented. Numbers 11:25 Then the Lord came down in the cloud and spoke to him; and He took of the Spirit who was upon him and placed Him upon the seventy elders. And when the Spirit rested upon them, they prophesied. But they did not do it again.”
Even David who delighted in the presence of God and cried out “Cast me not away from your presence and take not your Holy Spirit from me” in Psalm 51:11 had a limited experience of the Holy Spirt.
But today, because the wrath of God is removed through the work of Jesus, to those of us who believe in Him, we have the abiding, indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. John 14:17 that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. So we are no longer waiting, he is here.
Who is the Holy Spirit?
1.   The third person of the trinity – fully God. From Genesis to Revelation we see the move of the Holy Spirit. Gen 1: 2 “The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” Revelation 22:17 “17 The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.”” The Holy Spirit is not exempt from one step of all history.
2.   The names / character of the Holy Spirit
i.Breath Of The Almighty Job 33:4
ii.Counselor & Comforter - John 14:16,26; 15:26 and Romans 8:26
iii.Spirit of Counsel - Isaiah 11:2
iv.Eternal Spirit - Hebrews 9:14
v.Power of the Highest - Luke 1:35
vi.Spirit of Might - Isaiah 11:2
vii.Spirit of Adoption - Romans 8:15
viii.Spirit of Wisdom - Isaiah 11:2, Ephesians 1:17
ix.Spirit of Prophecy - Revelation 19:10
x.Advocate – John 14:16, helper, counsellor… The Holy Spirit is alive and active.
3.   He is the giver of gifts - Rom 12:6-8: Prophecy; Ministry; Teaching; Exhortation; Giving; Leading; Showing Mercy, Eph 4:11- Apostles; Prophets; Evangelists; Pastors; Teachers, and 1 Cor 12:8-10 - Tongues; Discernment of Spirits; Word of Knowledge; Word of Wisdom; Prophecy; Interpretation of Tongues; Faith; Gift of Healings; Working of Miracles.
Do we need to be Baptised with the Holy Spirit?
1.   Jesus was Baptised in the Holy Spirit - Matthew 3: 16-17 “And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; 17 and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.””
2.   We are commanded to wait for the baptism of the Holy Spirit - Acts 1:8 - But 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 end of the earth.”Sure enough this is exactly what happens-  Acts 4:31 “After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.”
3.   Testimonies of baptism in the Holy Spirit - Billy Graham wrote in his book – “My heart is so flooded with the Holy Spirit!”  They alternately wept and laughed, and Billy began walking back and forth across the room, saying, “I have it! I’m filled. I’m filled. This is the turning point of my life. This will revolutionize my ministry.”
How does the Holy Spirit come?
1.   In the passage that we read, Luke describes the coming of the Holy spirit like the sound of a rushing wind, and divided tongues as of fire appeared – Luke uses all these metaphors because he is trying to describe the indescribable. In John 3:8 – Jesus explaining the kingdom to Nicodemus says, “For the spirit wind blows as it chooses. You can hear its sound but you don’t know where it came from or where it’s going. So it is the same with those who are spirit born”.
 The Holy Spirit moves in different manifestations – some people when the spirit comes upon them, they shake or fall down, or cry uncontrollably or laugh uncontrollably – but what is really happening is that the fullness of God is coming to dwell in us. It is the passion of the father and the privilege of humans to host the precious presence of God. In several places the spirit comes through the laying on of hands - Acts 8: 17, Acts 19: 6; or when someone was preaching – Acts 10:44, when they were praying – Acts 4:31 – when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. So we cannot predict exactly how the Holy Spirit comes, but one thing is for sure – he comes when he is invited.    
2.   Ask – Luke 11:9- 13 “And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 11 What father among you, if his son asks for[d] a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; 12 or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” This has been my experience. I simply asked earnestly and he filled me. That’s it.  Steve was praying for me at a conference for the infilling of the Holy Spirit and i was having difficulty receiving him and i was just focusing a lot. And Steve said you know you receive the holy spirit with your heart, not your mind... and sure enough, I just let my guard down and welcomed the holy spirit and he filled me.
3.   Jesus is the baptiser – John 7:37 – 38 “On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as[f] the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” Luke 3:16 “John answered, saying to all, "I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”
So let’s pray and ask the Holy Spirit to come and rest on us. 

Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again),  Spirit-filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking church in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that has people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the Great Commission into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service.  Word of Grace is a part of a wider international family of Churches called RegionsBeyond.To know more about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org. 

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