risen hope

Join us Palm Sunday at 9 or 11 a.m. for “Risen Hope”, a musical, drama and visual experience. We will also have an encore performance Good Friday, April 3rd at 7 p.m. Invite your friends and family!

03-22-15 Promo

 

Things I Learned About Church in the 70’s        “Love”    Believers Statesboro  03-22-15

Oh the 70’s.   A Decade that took us from Hippies to Country Rock to Disco!  A time of advancing Technology and Muscle Cars!  Classic movies such as Jaws, Deliverance, and Saturday Night Fever!  A time of searching for stairways to heaven or imagining that there was no heaven or hell.  In the midst of it all, TRUTH emerged and we even learned a few things about Church!

You’ve got to hand it to the promoters if Coca-Cola, they know how to tap into what was happening in current culture.  This ad for Coke that was released in ____________ sums up what we’ve been talking about in “Things I Learned About Church in the 70’s”.

  • A bottle of coke needs to be shared by all, because it is the “Real Thing” and everyone was searching for the Real Thing – AUTHENTICITY.
  • They aren’t keeping the Coke to themselves, but they are sharing it with others.
  • Coke is good and everybody needs to be filled with it, just like the Holy Spirit is good and we all need to be filled with Him as we experience SPIRIT LIVING.
  • Everyone who drinks Coke will live in perfect harmony and have the sense of COMMUNITY that we all long.
  • And somehow you feel that the ones that are offering you the coke really do care for you and LOVE you!

And that brings me to the last thing that I want to share with you about THINGS THAT I LEARNED ABOUT CHURCH IN THE 70’s.  I learned that we must be a church of LOVE, without it we are nothing!

The late 60’s was all about free love and Love Fests, which turned out to be nothing more than occasions for the flesh and more lust than love.  So I entered the 70’s not really knowing what real love was.  Now I don’t care what generation you grew up in, but from about the age of 13 – 20 you are going to learn more about love than you every wanted to know.  You are going to learn about hurt, heart break, and disappointment with love.  You’re going to be told that you are loved by people who don’t really love you.  You are going to be confused about what love really means to you and you may even end up hurting some people in the process.

But don’t despair!  You also learned how to love, how to express love, and hopefully you learned that true love originated with God.  You saw or you will see that love is not a bad thing at all and love should be our motivation for all we do.

People like to quote Forrest Gump.  “My mama always said life was like a box of chocolates.  You never know what you’re gonna get.”  “Stupid is as stupid does.”  Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks)

“I’m not a smart man, but I know what love is.”  Forrest Gump

At Believers Church we are all about love.  We may not be the smartest church, the largest church, the wealthiest church, or the most cutting-edge church.  But we know something about love.

We know what love is.  We know how to receive love, and we know how to give love.

Why do we know so much about love?  We know because love has been demonstrated for us.

Rom 5:8  “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  (NKJ)

Now that God has demonstrated His  love for to us, we in turn love others.

One of the five purposes of our church is “Ministry”, which is based on love for others.  The second part of the Great Commandment says, “Love Your Neighbor as Yourself.”   Matt 22:39

LOVING LIKE JESUS

  •  “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.”  John 15:12 (John 15:9-17)
  •  Eph 5:2 “And walk in love, (HOW?) as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.”

The 3:16 Love Principle

John 3:16  “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son,

that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”  (NKJ)

 I John 3:16 “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us.

And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”

LOVE STARTS AT HOME

Love starts at home, in the house of God, in the church, first then spreads out to others.  Why?

Because when unbelievers come into our house, they must see us loving one another as Christ loved the Church.  John 13:34-35  “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

“By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

  •  We live in a world that is starved for true love and long-lasting healthy friendships.
  •  All humans are created in the image and likeness of God.  Because God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in perfect relationship with one another, all human beings desire to be in relationships.

The drawing factor to our church should be that it is a place of wholesome families, meaningful relationships, and unconditional love.

That’s why we are a church of LOVE, ACCEPTANCE, and FORGIVENESS.

  •  Believers is a place where the DIVINE FLOW of God’s love flows freely.  Everyone wants to be where love flows.
  • We can talk about different strategies to reach the lost.  Change traditional ways to promote church growth.  But the bottom line is “God is Love” (1 John 4:16), and if people don’t sense love in the house, they don’t sense God in the house, then they will never find what they are longing for: a family of Unconditional Love, Acceptance, and Forgiveness.

EX: Huston’s Restaurant.  You can’t compete with this.  Jesus didn’t say, “They will know you…

  • “By your style of music.” / “By your cultural relevance.”   “By your denomination or association.” / “By your teaching ability.”
  • He said, “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

LOVE IS THE KEY TO AUTHENTIC MINISTRY!

Matt 9:35-36 Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. 36 But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.

Love and compassion for the multitudes should motivate our work in the harvest.

Look at the flow of ministry gifts in 1 Corinthians

  • Spiritual gifts introduced, church body ministry discussed.
  • Cor 12:1 Now about spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be ignorant. (NIV)
  •  Love chapter 1 Cor 13:1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. (NIV)
  •  How to use ministry gifts for public ministry. 1 Cor 14:1 Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy. (NIV)

Why is the Love chapter placed right in the middle of a teaching on spiritual gifts?

I think God knows the heart and tendencies of man.  Our motive to minister or move in any kind of spiritual gift should be out of love and compassion for others and nothing else.  People will try to use spiritual gifts for wrong reasons, and God will not bless this.

Without Love You Ain’t Nothing

But without love, you ain’t nothing without love  Without love you ain’t nothing, without love.

    Larry Norman   1972

1 Cor 13:1-3 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3       If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love Is…

1 Cor 13:4-8 Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6    Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7   It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails… (NIV)

 

Jesus Is…

4 JESUS is patient, JESUS is kind.  JESUS does not envy, JESUS does not boast, JESUS is not proud.

5 JESUS is not rude, JESUS is not self-seeking, JESUS is not easily angered, JESUS keeps no record of

wrongs. 6 JESUS does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 JESUS always protects, always trusts,

always hopes, always perseveres. 8 JESUS never fails…

 

(Your Name) ____________Is…  Would your name fit in the love text?

4 I am patient, I am kind.  I do not envy, I do not boast, I am not proud. 5   I am not rude, I am not self-seeking, I

am not easily angered, I keep no record of wrongs. 6 I do not delight in evil but rejoice with the truth. 7 I always

protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 My Love never fails…

 

NEXT STEP: This week I will evaluate my love according to 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

 

CHRIST’S LOVE COMPELS US.

2 Cor 5:13-15 If we are out of our mind, it is for the sake of God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you.

14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.

15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and

was raised again.  (NIV)

– Why would the Apostle Paul abandon all for the sake of the gospel?  Only too eventually be crucified upside down?                  Why?    Because he was compelled by Love!

-Why would D.L. Moody give up the life of a successful business man, let millions of dollars pass right through his hands go back into the ministry of evangelism?

Why?    Because he was compelled by Love!

– Why would Betty Elliot take the message of the love of Christ right back to the cannibals who had killed her own husband?                        Why?    Because she was compelled by Love!

– Why would David Wilkerson leave his prosperous high-rise ministry headquarters in Texas to return to the streets of New York City?         Why?    Because He was compelled by Love!

– Why would a young couple who I went to Bible College with go to give their lives to South America, only to experience death at the hands of the very people they were trying to reach?                                                                       Why?    Because they were compelled by Love!

– Why would a family move and leave a life of comfort to pioneer a new church?

Why?    Because they were compelled by Love!

– Why would an American family sell all they have and give up everything to go to the mission field?                                                        Why?    Because they was compelled by Love!

– Why would people in this church volunteer to serve in the Ministries of Believers Church?                                                                       Why?    Because they was compelled by Love!

– Why would people in this church volunteer to serve in Believing Kids or EdgeYouth?                                                                             Why?    Because they was compelled by Love!

– Why would people in this church volunteer to lead Life Groups?                                                                                                                        Why?    Because they was compelled by Love!

– Why would people in this church give up several weekends in March to Serve the Boro?                                                                                    Why?    Because they was compelled by Love!

– Why would other people put in the time and energy to present Risen Hope?                                                                                           Why?    Because they was compelled by Love!

– Why are people taking the March Madness Challenge and bringing 10% to the house of the Lord?                                                          Why?    Because they was compelled by Love!

– Why are people setting money aside to give into our Serve the Boro Easter Offering?                                                                            Why?    Because they was compelled by Love!

Why do you do the things that you do?            I hope it’s because you are compelled by love!

BURNING LOVE

1 Peter 1:22  Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart,

Fervently – Having or showing great emotion or warmth.  Extremely hot; glowing.

I’m just a hunk, a hunk of burning love

I’m just a hunk, a hunk of burning love

Just a hunk, a hunk of burning love

Just a hunk, a hunk of burning love                 Elvis Presley 1972

 

Why a fervent burning love?

“By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”  John 13:35

 When motivated by Love and Compassion, we can make a difference in the lives of others.

People are crying themselves to sleep all around you.  People are on the verge of suicide.

People are at a crossroads in their marriages.  Their businesses are about to go bankrupt.

They are about to stray too far away from God to ever get back on their own.

 And you have the words of life.  One word of encouragement from you can turn the tide for them.  One act of kindness and love from you can change their lives forever.

You have incredible potential and value within you.  It is so easy to compare ourselves to others and devalue the power of our words of life and our acts of love.

Many times it is the little word or the small act of kindness that makes a big difference for others.  I’m sure that this has been true for you.[1]

 “I’m not a smart man, but I know what love is.”  Forrest Gump

 NEXT STEP: I will pray this bold prayer.  “Father, help me to love and feel love for people like Jesus did.”

 

Love Broke Through

As I rebelled and ran from the God of my childhood, God with his loving kindness and tender mercies refused to leave me or let me go.  Jesus was always hanging around.  He kept wooing me and drawing me to Him.

He had every right to strike me down for what I was doing, but rather than anger, all I sensed was love; God’s never ending, unfailing love for me.

Rom 2:4  Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance? (NIV)

That’s what got me.  That’s what broke me.  His love broke through.

That same love that He had for me he has for you today, no matter what you have done or what you are into right now… He loves you.  Do run from it, don’t despise it.

Rom 2:4 Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance? (NIV)

 

Life App Group and Family Devotional Application

  1.  Explain the “3:16 Love Principal” – John 3:16 and I John 3:16 Do people tend to focus on John 3:16 and forget about 1 John 3:16?
  2. What was the “one thing” that Jesus said we could do that would let all know that we are His disciples? What do you think the world is seeing when they look at us, others Christians, and churches today?
  3. According to the definition of love in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 how would you rate your love on a scale of 1-10?
  4. Paul said the love of Christ compelled him to do what he did. What compels you to do what you do?  What is love compelling you to do?
  5. Have you prayed the bold prayer, “Father, help me to love and feel love for people like Jesus did”? Why would this prayer be bold and little bit risky?

[1]               Billy Godwin, The Power Of A Dream, (USA: Blue Rocket LLC Publisher, 2001), p. 32

 

03-22-15 Promo

 

In the 70’s Larry Norman sang, “Without love you ain’t nothing, without love”.  Of course this is exactly what Paul was talking about in 1 Corinthians 13.  So let me add this to our series of THINGS THAT I LEARNED ABOUT CHURCH IN THE 70’s because in the 70’s I learned a lot about love!

Personally we must not only LOVE God, but love others as well.  I also learned that we must be a church of LOVE, because without it we are nothing!  Now I’m not talking about the world’s way of love, but I’m talking about loving like Jesus loves!  Join us this Sunday at 9 or 11 for the conclusion of THINGS I LEARNED ABOUT CHURCH IN THE 70’s and learn to love like Jesus!

Don’t forget about our March Madness Tithing Challenge and also be praying about what the Lord will have you give to the Serve the Boro Easter Offering on Easter Sunday.  Our Easter Offering goal is $12,000 which will offset a portion of the money that we spend reaching out to our community every year!  God is doing some awesome things through Serve the Boro and you will want to be a part of it!

 

Revelation

 

Do you fully understand the satanic trinity seen in the book of Revelation?: The dragon (Satan), the sea beast (The Antichrist), and the land beast (The false prophet)? Join us for the conclusion of Revelation Part one tonight at 7:00 p.m. One Hour On Wednesday will present Revelation Part Two beginning April Fools Day 4-1-15!

03-15-15 Promo

Things I Learned About Church in the 70’s        “Community”   Believers Statesboro  03-15-15

Missed a sermon from this series? Listen online at http://believersstatesboro.com/home/online-sermons/

Oh the 70’s.   A Decade that took us from Hippies to Country Rock to Disco!  A time of advancing Technology and Muscle Cars!  Classic movies such as Jaws, Deliverance, and Saturday Night Fever!

A time of searching for stairways to heaven or imagining that there was no heaven or hell.  In the midst of it all, TRUTH emerged and we even learned a few things about Church!

As in every decade man cannot avoid that built in internal desire to have community with others.  Oftentimes in the 70’s this desire to group together and do life together was misguided at best.  Communes, a place for communal living, sprung up.  Eventhough most began with hope and purest of intentions, without the unity that only comes through the Holy Spirit; they often experienced multiple problems and ended up disbanding.

Even in the Christian world Christian Communes that were attempted that usually fared no better than the world’s.  In a desire for community, others allowed power to go to their heads and extreme discipleship groups sprung up and we also witnessed the manipulative “Shepherdship Movement.”

I had already learned during my time of rebellion that “sinners” love to hang out with each other and they are more than happy to include others in their group.  Maybe it’s the ole, “Misery Loves Company!”

 

Community

Fortunately for me all of the Authentic, Generous, Spirit Filled people I had just meet wanted to group together and do life together too!  I cannot overstate the positive impact that these good Godly people had on my life.  They helped me grow in the Lord, they encouraged me, prayed for me, accepted and loved me, and they wanted to see me fulfill my purpose in life.

In the book of acts we see a pattern for community living established for the New Testament Church.

“Everyday”, “They meet together in the temple courts” and “In their homes.”

Acts 2:46-47  Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts.  (Large Group Setting)  They broke bread in their homes (Small Group Setting) and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people.  And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. (NIV)

 Acts 5:42 They met day after day in the Temple courts and from house to house.

 

Why was the Lord able to add to the church daily to those who were being saved?  Because they met daily!  They were available to the Lord daily and his work among them daily.

Well in the 70’s I didn’t go to church daily, but I wanted too!  I would have if there were daily meetings.

  • I did go on Sunday Morning and would get there almost an hour early, just because I wanted to be ready for what God was going to do that day, and I didn’t want to miss anything!
  • I could hardly wait to get back to the Sunday Night Service too!
  • We had Youth Group on Tuesday Nights and we followed the Biblical pattern of meeting in each other’s homes.
  • I also attended church on Wednesday Nights.  Later Christian Renewal would try something radical at the time and in lieu of a Wednesday Night meeting, they began to meet in small groups in homes across the city, and yes I was there too!
  • We planned some sort of youth activity every weekend, be it official or unofficial!
  • And it wasn’t about, “Hey let’s just hang out with our friends.”  We were very open to evangelism and receiving others.

Horizontal and Vertical Relationships

“I love God, but I hate people!” WHAT???  ARE YOU CRAZY?

We are called to love God first and foremost and then we are called to love each other.

I John 4:7-21 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

 20 If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom

he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. 21  And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God

must also love his brother. (NIV)

 

NEXT STEP This week I will read and meditate on 1 John 4:7-21.

 

Fellowship at its Best

Fellowship – What does that mean?  “A bunch of fellow’s in ship?”

: a friendly relationship among people / : the relationship of people who share interests or feelings / : a group of people who have similar interests.

I have learned that true fellowship comes through the common interest of Christ Jesus!

I Jn 1:6-7 If we claim to have fellowship with him (Vertical) yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. 7      But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, (Horizontal) and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. (NIV)

Unity in fellowship will be quiet shocking to the world!  It will get there attention and make them wonder what makes true community possible.

John 17:23 I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. (NIV)

 

Sincere Prayer

There is nothing more powerful than a group of faith filled people who love and care for one another, interceding for one another in prayer!

Matt 18:19 Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. (NIV)

This is the greatest benefits of a small group.  Not only do you know each other, but you become aware of each other’s victories, failures, blessings, and needs!  They have the privilege of agreeing together in prayer.

 

Authentic Worship

Most of the time in the 70’s our worship instruments consisted of nothing more than a guitar.  Sometimes for a beat, a tambourine was introduced.  I even played the maracas.  BUT when worship is cut down like that and everyone one in the room can hear you singing, you really tend to be authentic in your praise and worship.

We weren’t trying to impress each other.  We just wanted to sing unto the Lord!

Eph 5:19 Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, (NIV)

One thing for sure; when we came together for authentic worship, Jesus always showed up in a special way!

Matt 18:20 For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.” (NIV)

 

A Safe Place to Explore Your Gifts and Talents

1 Peter 4:10 Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. (NIV)

All of us have been given a gift.  The problem is that most of us are afraid to try to use them.

Let’s face it… it’s scary to step out in faith and try to minister to others in a large group setting.  The small groups, the live groups give us a safe place among people that love us, to begin to step out and exercise our gifts, no matter what they may be.

 

Encouragement for Life

Encouragement is like “AIR”.  We all need it and we can’t live without it!

Heb 10:24-25 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. 25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another– and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (NIV)

Again, I can’t even begin to tell you of all of the encouragement that I got in our youth group in the 70’s, the small groups, and even in large group settings!

 

NEXT STEP: Memorize Hebrews 10:25

 

A Place to Discover Your Purpose

My calling to be a Pastor and Teacher was affirmed in a small group setting.

1 Cor 2:9-12 However, as it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him”—10 but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.11 For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. (NIV)

 

Baptism Invitation

Purpose # 4      “Fellowship”                “Baptizing Them”

Matt 28:19

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, (NKJ)

  •  Baptism symbolizes new life in Christ Jesus and our identification with the Body of Christ.
  • As Christians, we are called to BELONG, not just believe.  Baptism is a symbol of both salvation and fellowship.

1 Cor 12:12-14 For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body— whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free– and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. 14 For in fact the body is not one member but many …

 “You are members of God’s very own family … and you belong in God’s household with every other Christian.”  Eph. 2:19 (Living Bible)

 

Life App and Family Devotional Questions

 

  1. If you are not in a Life Group, why not?  If you are in a Life Group, why?
  2.  What do you think when you hear people say, “I love God, but I don’t like people?”  What is wrong with that line of thinking?
  3. Can you give an example of a time when the prayer support of your Life Group was very meaningful to you?
  4. Why do you think that fellowship and unity are so important to God?  Do you think God wants His kids to hang out, love, support, and get along with each other?
  5. What kind of message does church unity send to the world?  What kind of message does disunity send to the world?
  6. Give me one practical way to encourage someone.  Now go out and do it today!

03-15-15 Promo

We are talking about the 70’s!  There were so many things that we rapidly changing in the 70’s, from music to movies, to technology, to friendships and the way we grouped together.  This was a decade like every other where people longed for relationships, for community. Unfortunately in the 70’s the desire to group together and do life together was often misguided at best.  Attempts at community that began with the purest of intentions, both secular and Christian, often experienced problems and ended up disbanding.

Fortunately for me the Authentic, Generous, Spirit Filled people I met in the 70’s wanted to group together and do life together too!  I cannot overemphasize the positive impact that these good Godly people had on my life.  They helped me grow in the Lord.

As we continue with “Things I Learned about Church in the 70’s,” this Sunday at 9 or 11 a.m.,  I look forward to sharing with you how I found “Community” in the 70’s and how that community encouraged me to fulfill my purpose in life!

This Sunday we will also celebrate with those who have decided to go public with their decision to follow Jesus and be baptized!

SpiritLiving

Things I Learned About Church in the 70’s   “Spirit Living”    Believers Statesboro  03-08-15

Oh the 70’s.   A Decade that took us from Hippies to Country Rock to Disco!  A time of advancing Technology and Muscle Cars!  Classic movies such as Jaws, Deliverance, and Saturday Night Fever!  A time of searching for stairways to heaven or imagining that there was no heaven or hell.  In the midst of it all, TRUTH emerged and we even learned a few things about Church!

On week one “Authenticity” I told you about going to a “New Year’s Eve Party” in 1974 and that was the beginning of my return to church.  When I got to the party, I was surprised and taken back by the authentic Christian lifestyle that these “church people” were living.  I mean it was as if they just didn’t believe in Jesus, it was as if they had gotten up and had coffee with Him that morning!  They loved Jesus and you could sense it, hear it in their conversation, and visually see it on their faces.  I keep asking myself, “WHAT WAS SO DIFFERENT ABOUT THESE PEOPLE?”

The first thing that I discovered was that these people were living out an authentic Christian life, and it took a little while, but the second thing I discovered was that they we filled with the Holy Spirit!

A new renewal of the Holy Spirit broke out in the 70’s and at this point in my life I had a lot to learn about this new buzz that everyone was talking about… “The Baptism in the Holy Spirt.” or being “Filled with the Spirit.  Now I was born of the Spirit already.  That occurred when I was seven years old when I repented of my sins and ask Christ Jesus to come into my life.

  • Eph 4:30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. (NIV)

Very much like the disciple’s salvation, when Jesus breathed His Spirit into them.

  • John 20:21-22  Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”  22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”

Even though I had received the Holy Spirit, I was not walking in the power of the Holy Spirit, I was not full of the Spirit of Holiness and I seemed to be powerless when it came to resisting sin.

Due to a lack of teaching and understanding in my life I was not walking in the Spirit!

“…It is quite possible to have something, yes much, of the Spirit’s presence and work in the heart and yet come short of that special fullness and work known in the Bible as the baptism or filling with the Holy Spirit.” R.A. Torrey

Some strange things started happening in the church world during the 70’s.  Catholic, Protestant, all dominations started receiving a fresh out pouring of the Holy Spirit called the Baptism in the Holy Spirit.  It was later called “The Charismatic Movement”.  The word Charismatic coming from a fresh outpouring of the (GK word) charisma, gifts given by the Holy Spirit that are listed in 1 Corinthians 12.

My Baptism in the Holy Spirit

Like my salvation experience was similar to the disciples in John 20, so also was my Baptism in the Holy Spirit experience similar to the disciples as well.

Acts 2:1-4 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. 3          They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4          All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. (NIV)

The Baptism in the Holy Spirit is like water baptism in that is a total submersion in the Holy Spirit, and filling up from head to toe.  It is an awesome experience, but it needs to be followed by a continuous flow of the Holy Spirit in your life.  I learned that we need to be continually filled with the Holy Spirit.

Eph 5:18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.

Again these additional fillings follow the pattern of the Disciples lives.

Acts 4:29-31  “Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness.

30 Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy

servant Jesus.” 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. (NIV)

SPIRIT LIVING

Spirit POWER.

 “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.” Eph. 6:10

One of the greatest things that the Holy Spirit does in the believer’s life when he is baptized, in the Holy Spirit, is to fill the believer with power!

“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

The Greek word used here for power is ‘dunamis’, which means strength, ability, and power for performing miracles. It also implies moral power and excellence of soul. Our translation of dunamis is dynamite power. It’s exciting to know that the Holy Spirit fills our lives with explosive power!

But not just power for powers sake, but power to witness.

  • Even after Jesus commissioned His disciples, He instructed them to wait, not to attempt anything in their own power and strength, but to first be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit.
  • The Holy Spirit will empower you to advance the kingdom of God as well as live a victorious Christian life.

Spirit PURITY

One of the goals of Believers Church is “To walk in power and in purity”.

1 Pet 1:13-16 Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14 as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; 15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,

16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”

Gal 5:16 So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.  (NIV)

How do I know if I am filled with the Holy Spirit?  Fruit Inspection…

Gal 5:22-25 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

23  gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. (NIV)

 The Secret to Fruit Production is abiding in the vine.  (Reese, Tom, and Cooper – Vine Song)

John 15:4-5 Remain in me, and I will remain in you.  No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine.  Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. 5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. (NIV)

Next Step:  This week, I will do a fruit inspection.  Not on others, but on myself.

Spirit Enablement

Ephesians 2:10  “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”  (NIV)

  •  As Jesus was preparing to leave His disciples, He gave them a challenge that seemed humanly impossible.

John 14:12 I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. (NIV)

Jesus knew that, in their flesh, the disciples were inadequate, but He had a solution.  Christ promised that a “Helper” would come. With the Holy Spirit working through them, they would be able to accomplish all that Jesus called them to do.

  •  Acts 2:22 “Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. (NIV) Jesus accredited (attested) by God by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him.  What God did through Jesus He did as an example of what He wants to do through us.

Spirit Flow

We maintain a fullness of the Spirit so that we can give out of our spirit to others.

  •  Matt 10:6-8 “But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7 “And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ 8 “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.            

1 Cor 2:12  Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we  might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.

  •  John 7:38-39 “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” 39 But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

Like a hose pipe or conduit, the Holy Spirit should flow through us and onto other.  People should be able to sense the difference in us, sense the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

Spirit WALK

Gal 5:25  Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. (NIV)

 HELPER

  • “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever–the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.” (John 14:16-17)
  •  “These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” (John 14:25-26)
  •  John 14:26 “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. (NKJ) (NAS)

COMFORTER

  • John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.  (KJV)

COUNSELOR

  • John 14:26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.  (NIV)

GUIDE

  • John 16:13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. (NIV)

Spirit Gifts

The gifts of the Spirit are the power tools that the Holy Spirit has given to the church to efficiently build the Kingdom of God.  1 Corinthians 12, lists these nine gifts that equip the church with supernatural power to fulfill the great commission. We may be able to build the kingdom of God without them, but the task will be hard and slow.

Paul said, “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant.” (1 Cor.12:1) Ignorance of these gifts can cause a believer to fear them saying, “These gifts are different, sometimes sounding strange, and if not used properly could hurt someone”.  What a waste of God’s provision, all due to a lack of understanding. Paul realized that the gifts can be used improperly and goes to great lengths to explain how they are to operate in a church, during public ministry, for the edification of all (1Cor.14).

The nine gifts are of the Spirit can be divided the nine gifts into three categories.

Revelation Gifts:                       A Word of Wisdom; A Word of Knowledge; and Discerning of Spirits.

Power & Demonstration Gifts:    Special Faith; Gifts of Healing; and Working of Miracles.

Vocal/ Inspiration Gifts:             Prophecy; Kinds of Tongues, Interpretation of Tongues.

Spirit Prayer

Romans 8:27 “He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is,

because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” (Also see 1 Cor. 14:2,14.)

Here is the bottom line about the Holy Spirit here at Believers Church.  I want you full of the Holy Spirit!

Now we could argue our denominational up bringing teaching, or we could argue about our personal experiences, we could argue about when you get the Holy Spirit all day long.  But what I want to know is ARE YOU FULL OF THE HOLY SPIRIT RIGHT NOW?

If not, let’s get that way!

Ask Jesus to baptize you in the Holy Spirit right now, today!

Luke 11:9-13 “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. 10 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. 11 “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 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!” (NIV)

Next Step:  Bottom line… Are you full of the Holy Spirit or not?  Ask the Lord to fill you!

 

Life App Group and Family Devotional Application

 

  1. Share about your experiences with the Baptism or filling of the Holy Spirit. (Remember your experience doesn’t have to be like anyone else’s.)

 

  1. How does the Holy Spirit empower a believer and why?

 

  1. How does the Holy Spirit bring purity into a believer’s life?

 

  1. Give an example of how the Holy Spirit has enabled you to do the works Jesus ask you to do.

 

  1. What is the best practical example you can give someone on how to WALK in the Spirit?

 

 

 

SpiritLivingIn the first week of this series,  I shared about the first time I saw what “Authentic Christianity” looked like. As I met people I discovered that they were  living out an authentic Christian life. People that loved Jesus in a way in which you could sense it, hear it in their conversation, and visually see it on their faces. It took a little while, but I also discovered that part of this authenticity was that they we filled with the Holy Spirit!

A new renewal of the Holy Spirit broke out in the 70’s and at this point in my life I had a lot to learn about this new buzz that everyone was talking about… “The Baptism in the Holy Spirit.” or being “Filled with the Spirit.

Join us Sunday at 9 or 11 a.m as I continue to share with you “Things I learned about Church in the 70’s.” and what “Spirit Living” is all about!

 

Serve the Boro

March 3rd, 2015


Serve the Boro 2015 List

Believers Church will Serve the Boro beginning this weekend and continue every weekend until Easter Sunday! This is how Believers Church uses Servant Evangelism to reach the lost for Jesus and show Jesus’ love to our community in practical  ways. Join us this Wednesday night as we launch Serve the Boro during our One Hour On Wednesday service at 7 Pm. Pastor Mike will share information about Serve the Boro and how you and your family can get involved.