Sunnyside Church of the Nazarene
Sunday July 19
  • All Who Are Thirsty
  • The Power Of Your Love
  • Blessed Assurance
  • Holy Spirit
  • Come Holy Spirit
  • 19 July 20
    Acts 1 - The Promise of the Father
    Open to Acts 1 or more accurately, The Acts of the Apostles.
    Over a month ago we began working through Acts 1. Then chaos broke out across our nation - so we got a little sidetracked, so now it’s time to return. In so doing, we need to readdress a few things before we move on.
    The book of Acts is a record of the birth and commissioning of the Church. Covers about 40-year period in the 1st Century AD. Understand that the Church began in the Roman / Judeo culture which quickly became hostile to Christianity. Yet, the Church flourished, and the Kingdom of God advanced.
    Now this book is relevant to us because we need to know - how did they do it! How did the Church advance and persevere while facing such hostile opposition? So I think the next several weeks or months - however long we spend in Acts is going to be critical because of where we are at in our own culture. If those who do not know Christ are going to come to salvation, then they don’t need churchy Christians - they need Spirit-filled Christians. As much as I gripe and complain about what’s going on out there, that's not the biggest issue. The biggest issue is what's happening in here or what's not happening.
    We need, I believe a fresh outpouring of God's Spirit. Let's be honest - God does not pour out his Spirit unless the people want His Spirit.
    I believe we need a fresh outpouring of God's Spirit, not only because this is a promise, but what we're facing now and what we probably will face in the near future will require us to live in the presence and power of the Spirit. The way we do “church” is not going to cut it - at least in my opinion.
    This is not to scare anyone, but to expose they need. The disciples in the 1st century needed the baptism of the Holy Spirit to advance the Kingdom of God. How much more do you think we need the baptism of the Holy Spirit to advance the Kingdom of God in our culture?
    So let's look at Acts 1 and see what God has for us.
    Acts 1:1–5 ESV
    In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. 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; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
    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; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
    In this passage, we see three things mentioned or alluded to.
    1) The Promise of the Father
    2) The Baptism of the Son
    3) The Baptism of Believers
    We see that God promised that he would no longer limit His manifest presence to Israel or to Jesus, but to He would indwell and empower His people through the Holy Spirit. We also see Jesus spoke through the Holy Spirit. That connects us to His water baptism and His baptism in the Spirit. And lastly, Jesus talked about the baptism of believers - both water and the Spirit.
    That's where we will be heading over the next several weeks. This morning let’s focus on the Promise of the Father.
    I'm going to read several scriptures, summarize and then challenge.
    Joel 2:28–29 ESV
    “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. Even on the male and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit.
    The promise is a pouring out. Up until the day of Pentecost, God’s Spirit resided primarily in the Temple and in Israel - in a confined space so to speak. But the promise is that his Spirit will go forth and no longer be confined to a particular location or a particular people but will overflow the boundaries to all people everywhere.
    We see this fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost, when Peter boldly proclaimed to the people in Jerusalem -
    Acts 2:39 ESV
    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.”
    So the promise is for all God's people.
    Ezekiel 39:28–29 ESV
    Then they shall know that I am the Lord their God, because I sent them into exile among the nations and then assembled them into their own land. I will leave none of them remaining among the nations anymore. And I will not hide my face anymore from them, when I pour out my Spirit upon the house of Israel, declares the Lord God.”
    Again, God promised to pour out His Spirit and He did it. And the promise is for children, and children, and children …. There are other OT passages - Isa 23 / Eze 36 ….
    What about the NT?
    John 14:16–18 ESV
    And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even 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. “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
    We'll talk more about this passage when we talk about the baptism of believers but understand, there is a difference between the Spirit being with us and the Spirit being in us. There’s a difference between being saved and being Spirit filled. There's a difference between being baptized in water and being baptized in the Spirit. Derek Prince makes a clear distinction between receiving the resurrected Christ (receiving salvation) and receiving the glorified Christ (receiving the Spirit). Even the great evangelist D.L. Moody acknowledged a difference -
    “You might as well try to see without eyes, hear without ears, or breathe without lungs, as to live the Christian life without the Holy Spirit.” ~ D.L. Moody
    Think about that. We are able to live a saved life, a churchy life without the fullness of the Spirit. We were able to do nice things and good things and even Christian things without receiving the promised baptism of the Holy Spirit. We can live a saved life in our own strength. But that's kind of feeble and powerless.
    Is that possible? I think so. In my studies I've found some key qualities or characteristics of what Spirit-filled person experiences. This is not exhaustive - however, when a person receives the Holy Spirit, they receive …
    o Supernatural Helper - the parakletos, the advocate
    o Supernatural abilities (i.e. spiritual gifts)
    o Supernatural advantage - Jesus said, “It’s to your advantage …”
    o Rivers of living water will flow from our hearts - life-giving words and actions
    o Empowerment to obey
    o Empowerment to love
    o Empowerment to witness
    o Empowerment to pray
    o Empowerment to know the love of Christ and be filled with the fullness of God
    o Cleansing of sin - not forgiveness of sin (the cross), but cleansing of sin (the Spirit / the blood)
    Again, is it possible to live a saved life without a Spirit-filled life? All we need to do is compare what I just read with our own live - our churches and we’ll find the answer.
    The two big questions:
    1) Have you received Jesus Christ as your Savior for the forgiveness of sins and eternal life?
    2) Have you received the Holy Spirit for the cleansing of sin and the empowerment of God?
    If the answer is no - understand that salvation and baptism of the Spirit are both promises of God! And He will keep Hs promises if we ask and receive by faith.
    There's a lot more to discuss about this promise, I think we need to revisit this next week. But let me end with this …
    Luke 11:9–13 ESV
    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. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
    “We must not play at prayer, but must show persistence if we do not receive the answer immediately. It is not that God is unwilling and must be pressed into answering. The whole context makes it clear that he is eager to give. But if we do not want what we are asking for enough to be persistent, we do not want it very much. It is not such tepid prayer that is answered.” ~ Leon Morris
    Believe
    Receive
    Desire
      • Acts 1:1–5ESV

      • Joel 2:28–29ESV

      • Acts 2:39ESV

      • Ezekiel 39:28–29ESV

      • John 14:16–18ESV

      • Luke 11:9–13ESV

  • Is He Worthy

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