St Paul's UMC
Sunday, June 5, 2022
  • Holy Spirit
  • All Hail The Power Of Jesus' Name (Diadem)
  • Doxology
      • Acts 2:1–21NIV2011

      • Romans 8:15–17NIV2011

  • How was Jesus able to do the things he did? How was he able to know personal details about people before they were spoken aloud? Like when he encountered the woman at the well in Samaria and in the course of conversation revealed to this complete stranger the details of her life that only those close to her would know? She would go forth and bear witness to him by telling everyone who would listen “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?”
    How could he lay hands on people and heal them? How was he able to drive out the demons that afflicted people? How was he able to avoid temptation? How could he see through the traps that his adversaries would put before him - and speak with such clarity and authority?
    How was he able to stay on mission, to always know the will of His Father in all situations? How was he able to sincerely love people when they all just seemed to want something from him?
    How could he consistently and continually do all that he did during His earthly ministry?
    What I am asking here is this: What was the source of His power?
    Well, the answer is found in all four gospels, but I will draw our attention to Luke 3:21-22
    Luke 3:21–22 ESV
    Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heavens were opened, and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form, like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”
    Jesus was baptized in the Holy Spirit. He received power from God through the agency of the Holy Spirit to accomplish what he was sent here to do. Right after he was baptized, we are told in Luke 4:1
    Luke 4:1 ESV
    And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness
    Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit. After his testing in the wilderness, having resisted temptation, he went to a synagogue and preached a message from the book of Isaiah in which he made clear his mission:
    Luke 4:18–19 ESV
    “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
    I bring all this to our attention in order to ask a question that one of my seminary professors, Craig Keener asked in his study on the book of Acts:
    If Jesus, God’s Son, depended on the Spirit during His ministry, how much more do we as a church need to do so!
    It is a good question to ask as we go about our ministry here at St. Pauls/Grace. We cannot carry out our mission here by our own strength, trying to come up with the right answers, the right mix of programs, or create the right worship environment with the perfect balance of songs and hymns. We can’t do it on our own - nor are we supposed to. We must believe, have strong faith in, our God who has saved us and called us together and we must depend on the power that He provides, which is through the Holy Spirit.
    The Holy Spirit filling the lives of the disciples on Pentecost - empowering them to advance the mission of Jesus Christ on earth was the fulfillment of a promise found in the Old Testament in the 2nd chapter of the book of Joel, which we heard Peter reference in his preaching, where he says:
    Acts 2:17–18 ESV
    “ ‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.
    It is a promise found throughout the gospels, like in Matthew when John the Baptist proclaims to those who were coming out to the Jordan river to be baptized in the water as they repented and prepared themselves for the Messiah.
    Matthew 3:11 ESV
    “I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
    We hear Jesus himself speak to this promise in
    John 7:37–39 ESV
    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. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ ” Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
    “Out of the hearts of believers will flow rivers of living water…life giving power flowing out of our inner self. Our spiritual thirst being quenched. That would require the Spirit of God to be living within mere mortals. How could that be?
    We are sinful creatures. Broken vessels. How could a Holy God be within us?
    Because of Jesus - that is how.
    While Jesus was still walking on earth, John said the Spirit had not been given because Jesus was not yet glorified. But after his death, resurrection and ascension, He was seated at the right hand of God in glory, our sins covered - he made a way where before there was no way.
    Acts 2:4 ESV
    And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.
    A little later on in the story, the Lord directs Peter to go to the house of a Gentile named Cornelius to proclaim the gospel and when he does, we are told this happens:
    Acts 11:15–16 ESV
    As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them just as on us at the beginning. And I remembered the word of the Lord, how he said, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’
    Church - if you believe with all your heart that Jesus is Lord and you have repented of your sins - then you are baptized in the Spirit - God resides in you and his Spirit flows like living water out of you. Most often, we mark our incorporation into the Church through the sacrament of baptism and with the laying on of hands we invite the Spirit to come and take residence - but these are outwards signs of an inward change. It is in faith that we receive the Spirit.
    Which leads me to ask, if you are baptized in the Spirit - have you turned on the power? Are you listening to what the Spirit is saying to you? Are you exercising the gifts that you have been given? Is your spiritual thirst quenched - or do you find yourself parched?
    Over the next few weeks, we will be looking at what it means to Fan the flames - to be walking, working and overcoming in the Spirit.
    For today, I just want us to acknowledge, as a Church, that we are powerless without the Spirit and that we desperately need the Spirit to come and fill us with power and authority. Just as He did on Pentecost and as He has done throughout the history of Church when by His power - His children boldly went out and proclaimed the Kingdom of God. We are God’s children, we have been adopted into His family, and since He resides in us - there is nothing for us to fear. For too long, worry and fear has settled like a fog over the Church - it is time for us to turn on the power and live as God intended his children to live.
    Romans 8:15 ESV
    For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”
    Amen.
      • Luke 3:21–22NIV2011

      • Luke 4:1NIV2011

      • Luke 4:18–19NIV2011

      • Acts 2:17–18NIV2011

      • Matthew 3:11NIV2011

      • John 7:37–39NIV2011

      • Acts 2:4NIV2011

      • Acts 11:15–16NIV2011

      • Romans 8:15NIV2011

  • Sweet Sweet Spirit

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