Receiving the Spirit | Spirit-Filled Church Life Group Series 1/6
Last week, we introduced our new Life Group series. Today we unpack the first session in this series.
The Holy Spirit is often the forgotten person of the Trinity. We pray in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, but how often do we live with an awareness of only the first two? How many worship songs that you know of extol the third person of the Trinity? Too few in our opinion. Yet, when Jesus ascended into heaven, He promised to send the Holy Spirit – the Helper – so that we could be empowered witnesses for Christ. Unfortunately, today’s church has admired the gift but neglected to open it.
Formerly full-blown charismatics, perhaps in light of claims coming from conservative Bible colleges and respected churches that the gifts of the Spirit have ceased, and the recent accusation that our theology is “Strange Fire” (John Macarthur), have become cautious charismatics with seatbelts on. All the more disturbing when this comes at a time in our nation when we should be seeking the filling of the Holy Spirit for Christ-exalting ministry more than ever, given the rise of secularism and the growing opposition we face. It’s time the Holy Spirit was remembered, and received again, as He was by the early church in the book of Acts with world changing effect.
We have a massive mission to undertake: the evangelisation of London and beyond, and without the empowering ministry of the Holy Spirit, quite frankly, we’re toast. We don’t stand a chance. But when we’re “clothed with power from on high” who can stand against us? That’s why one of our church’s values is Holy Spirit Power.
The outpouring on the Holy Spirit on the disciples in Ephesus (Acts 19:1-20), and the impact these Spirit-filled believers, together with Paul, had upon Ephesus are a great encouragement of what could happen in London, if we acknowledge our thirst, come to God and drink deep of the Holy Spirit (John 7:37-39). It’s time we got serious about asking God for the Holy Spirit in our lives. After all, didn’t Jesus say, “how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?” (Luke 11:13)
When the Spirit came upon Paul and just a handful of disciples in Ephesus a holy riot broke out, the fear of God came upon people, and the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power through bold proclamation (Acts 19:8-10), miraculous demonstration (Acts 19:11-12) and liberating sanctification (Acts 19:18-20). The Christ-exalting ministry the Holy Spirit gave them turned an ancient city of more than 200,000 people upside down for the better. Why couldn’t what happened in Ephesus happen in London today?!
Has the Spirit come upon you? Recently? Do you need a fresh impartation?