Pentecostalism and Charismatic churches are the fastest growing stream of Christianity in the world today, the movement is reshaping religion in the twenty-first century. This growth is what you see now in all of Africa, Asia and Latin America. Almost all the largest churches in any country are from this stream of Christianity. The big emphasis in these churches are: 1. Christ the Savior, 2. Christ the Baptizer in the Holy Spirit, 3. Christ the Healer and 4. Christ the king who is returning soon.
Acts 1: 4-5, 8“….. “8But 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.” ESV
The big thing in this movement is the baptism in the Holy Spirit which is always followed by speaking in tongues. This part of this movement has been a place for controversy for many years. Today I would love for you to put yourself in an attitude of freedom especially if you were told that tongues ceased with the Bible, or that they are not necessary, or are not there or they are of the Devil. Today I would love for you to listen to our view and consider what we have to share.
The word SPIRIT in Greek is PNEUMA and can mean: Spirit, breath, air or wind.
In the OT the Spirit was available and Acted on behalf of God. But when Jesus was glorified, those who accepted him, the Spirit drew them to God and dwelt inside of them. He comes and lives inside of us.
John 14: “15“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.”
The Spirit with you and the Spirit in You, the more you dwell in his presence, the more he gives you power for service. God wants you to have more than the Spirit living inside you he wants to give you power for service. He wants to provide more ability to even exercise the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Acts 1: “8But 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.” ESV
Luke 4: 1,2, 14 “4:1 And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness 2for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry. ………………….Verse 14And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and a report about him went out through all the surrounding country.” ESV
THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
The baptism in the Spirit is an experience separate from salvation and from the initial indwelling we have mentioned above.
Three words that describe the experience are: baptism, which is to immerse, submerge, Filling-being full to capacity and overflowing; when you have so much that you can share or give out .
HOW DO WE GET BAPTISED IN THE HOLY SPIRIT
If one wants to get baptized in the Holy Spirit, he or she has to believe that this experience is available and that God wants to provide it. One must be expectant, keep ones ‘elf with an attitude of prayer and worship. Once you are filled up, as you serve God, over time you run out, but whenever you spend time in his presence he re-fills you with his power so that you have the supremacy to serve in power again.
Find out more about the evidence of the tongues: Pentecost: Acts 2:4, Peter at Cornelius’ house: Acts 10: 46 and Paul at Corinth: Acts 19:1-6
THE BENEFITS OF PRAYING IN THE SPIRIT AND IN TONGUES
Tongues can be a sign that the Holy Spirit has filled you, they can be a prayer language and can also be a prophetic message that comes in tongues and in that case they need to be interpreted. They are basically to edify you as an individual, they build you up, empower you spiritually and charge you up. There is a supernatural exchange, they also help you to commune with God, we call it Spirit to spirit fellowship, a supernatural connection to God. You are building up your inner man to know the voice of God. In such a mode he often gives you a burden to pray for someone or something. Sometimes he tells exactly what is going but many times he just gives you a name to intercede for. The tongues help us to pray effectively, He is God. He knows the present and the future. As you pray you are more effective for you pray in the power of God and you pray in his will. Therefore every time you want to go into Spiritual warfare pray in the spirit.
Jude “20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, ”
“2For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit.
Romans 8: “26Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” ESV
WALKING BY THE SPIRIT
On the 12th of March we talked about walking by the spirit of God and we emphasized that real revival is changed lives. The real test of the move of God is changed lives. When the Spirit of God moves, there has to be a real change in the way people behave, the way the talk and in how they treat one another.
This year our Theme: Restoration and Renewal. God is calling us to seek a genuine move of God in our lives where; his Spirit will have a free flow in our lives, our lives will become effective in service and we shall become catalysts of change as individuals and as a church. We are asking God to bring a revival and we are beginning to see a small glimpse of that. Last Sunday we experienced some great things in the house, some people felt God, others spoke in tongues, many could not stand, some even screamed and rolled on the flow. It was great and beautiful but revival is more than that. Real move of God changes drunkards to normal people, prostitutes change and they clean up, thieves repent, men stop beating their wives.
THE WELSH REVIVAL: In 1904 there was this young man Robert Evans who had an encounter with God. He felt God telling him that He wants to save 100,000 people in Wales. He prayed and then went told his pastor that he wanted to tell the church, but only ended up telling the youth group.
The result of this revival was that God saved 100,000 people, in 3 years every church in Wales was full. Bars closed, bar owners had to find other work. The police could not prosecute enough people so the prisons were empty, the police had to form choirs and began singing in churches since they had less work. The main business in Wales was coal mining and they used to use ponies ( little horses) to pull the carts, the miners were so dirty that they used vulgar language even to command the ponies but when the spirit of God moved they had to stop. This time when they commanded the horse they used normal language and the horse could not move because they did not know normal command language. They had to retrain the horses.
The Main Keys to this revival were:
THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT.
The greatest evidence of the move of God is the fruit of the Spirit in the life of a believer. There has to be a change from inside out. If you roll around, if you shout, if you see visions, if you make the lame walk. But you are stealing from the company you work for then I question your faith. If you speak in tongues but you are having sex with people you are not legally married to then am questioning your faith.
OUR BIG MISTAKE: We have majored on the gifts and minored on the fruit. When people are gifted we think that justifies their unclean living. We think gifts are rewards from God. ( OK Rewarded for a great life)He is gifted so now he is a man of God. Gifts are great but your person life is more important. Jesus said: Matthew 24: Character is more important to God than gifts. If you have Gifts without character you will crash one day.
Let us look at the story of SAMSON, He operated by the power of the Spirit and had amazing physical power but not because of muscles. It was God’s power, but he kept on sleeping with prostitutes and the Spirit kept on using him.
We do not get gifts as a reward for holiness; we get gifts because God gives gifts. But if we do not change those gifts can crash us. Samson failed to stop his sinful ways and he died from the exercise of his very gifts.The gifts you spend your life building you can lose in an instant if you decide to compromise your character.
That is why in our church, we carefully look at people’s character before we elevate them to ministry positions and always remove people from positions of responsibility when they begin to compromise your character
WHAT IS WALKING BY THE SPIRIT?
Galatians 5: “16But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh…..
“Walk by the Spirit” means do what you do each day by the Spirit; the way you live your life in all its details from waking up in the morning until going to sleep at night by the enabling power of the Spirit.” John Piper
“Walking by the Spirit is what we do when the desires produced by the Spirit are stronger than the desires produced by the flesh. It is something we do by the enablement of the Spirit.” John Piper
Ezekiel 36:26-27 A new heart I will give you and a new spirit I will put within you . . . I will put my Spirit within you and cause you to walk in my statutes.
When you get saved, inside you God put his Spirit. 2 Corinthians 5:17 “17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. ” ESV
We then begin a life long journey of learning how the spirit speaks, listening to his instructions and learning how to obey. When we do this he then begins to change us from inside out.
|ACTS OF THE FLESH
|FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT
|Sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality
|Enmity, strife, jealousy
|Fits of anger, rivalries
|Dissensions, divisions, envy
III. HOW DO WE WALK IN THE SPIRIT?
STEP ON THE BREAK
The Holy Spirit in you acts like the power break of the car. A small man can stop a big vehicle by just stepping on the break. When you step on that break, the whole electronic power system of the car is put into action and it breaks the big machine. Your work was to step on the break, his work was to stop it.
We come to Jesus with all kind of unclean behaviors, almost impossible habits to break and humanly with no power to stop. What do we do? We read God’s word and we get a conviction in our lives, we feel that inner prompting telling us that we need to stop. We then make a decision. Enough is enough, God you need to change my life.
SET YOUR MIND ON SPIRITUAL THINGS
Colossians 3: “2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” ESV
All our actions and behaviors ( POSITIVE OR NEGATIVE) happen after we think on them. As a person thinks so is he. Spiritual thoughts come to us by the Spirit of God and by His Word.
Christians must develop a spirit consciousness. A life that focuses on what is right. Read the Word. Think about what you read. Linger on what you have read (meditation). Speak back to yourself the things you have read.
Joshua 1: “8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. “Bearing Good fruit comes from good nutrition, water and good care.
START LISTENING AND OBEYING THE HOLY SPIRIT.
Galatians 5:16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” ESV
If we walk by the leading of the Holy Spirit, we shall not be controlled by the acts that ungodly. Remember the Holy Spirit lives inside of you. The Spirit is Holy so we bear holiness.
“Being led by the Spirit” stresses the Spirit’s initiative and enablement. “Walking by the Spirit” stresses our resulting behavior.
The Spirit leads us by creating desires to obey God, and we walk by fulfilling those desires in action.
NOT UNDER THE LAW
When you walk by the Spirit, you fulfill the basic requirements of the law and so you are not under its condemnation. Every time we walk by the Spirit we do not need to worry about the dos and don’ts you keep bearing good fruit and as you do, the sinful actions of the flesh cease to manifest in your life.