God's truth for today's world

Today, we are continuing our message series “Living in the Spirit.” In this series, we’re talking about the importance of the Holy Spirit in the life of every believer. The Spirit is the person of the Trinity that indwells each believer. All too often, the Holy Spirit is thought to be of little importance or too controversial. Yet the Holy Spirit is the one who convicts of sin, causes us to be born again and is the very Spirit of Jesus who lives inside us.

I have just completed reading a 1000 page book called God’s Empowering Presence about the subject of the Spirit in the writings of Paul. The experiential reality of the Spirit is behind almost everything that Paul wrote. That’s why it took 1000 pages to describe it all. Yet for many believers, the Holy Spirit is simply words on a page. They believe by faith that He live inside of them. However, they have not experienced the reality of His power in their lives.

Today, we’re going to talk about how you can experience the reality of the Holy Spirit’s power in your life, just like Paul and the New Testament church did. Today, my message is entitled “The Baptism in the Spirit.”

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The Person of the SpiritToday, we are beginning a new message series “Living in the Spirit.” Last Sunday, we completed a message series about miracles called “Experience God’s Power.” As I was praying about the next series, the Spirit led me to the topic of “Living in the Spirit.” You see when you study miracles, some people get frustrated because they aren’t seeing them in their lives.

Miracles are not done by people, they are done by the Holy Spirit. So, He is one that we need to understand better and cooperate with more fully in order to see God move in your lives. So, in this series, we’re going to look at the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is undoubtedly the most misunderstood, unappreciated and controversial member of the Trinity.

Yet, the Spirit is the source of all the power and wisdom that you and I need to follow Jesus and carry out God’s purpose for our lives. So, in this series, “Living in the Spirit” we’re going to be talking about how the Holy Spirit can impact our lives each and every day. So, the same powerful Spirit that was the means through which Jesus created the world, the same Spirit who was poured out on Pentecost is the Spirit that now continues to move in powerful ways in our world today.

This morning, my message is entitled “The Person of the Spirit.” We’re going to seek to answer the question “Who is the Holy Spirit?” A lot of the ideas out there about the Spirit are wrong. Some people think of the Spirit as simply a force or impersonal power. Yet others think of Him as a scary ghost, because of the archaic translation in the King James which speaks of the Holy Ghost. The Bible teaches us that the Holy Spirit is a person that we can get to know.

John 14:16-17 (NIV)  And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever–  the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.

Here Jesus refers to the Spirit personally as him and he, not an it. The Spirit is another Counselor, another because Jesus was a counselor to the disciples while He was on earth. When Jesus left the earth, He would ask the Father to send the Spirit of truth.

The Spirit was with the disciples, but would indwell in them after Jesus left. The Spirit would guide and direct believers as a Counselor to them. So, let’s begin our study today on the person of the Spirit.

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Waiting and Hoping Message Introduction

Today we begin a new message series called “Christmas Brings Hope.” Of course, we’re not talking about the Christmas holiday per say, but about what it represents, the birth of Christ.

We live in a world that has a lot of hopelessness in it. Sin has brought many problems into the world. Many people fill hopeless and anxious in the light of the increase in terrorism. Economic problems, employment issues, relationship difficulties all cause stress and hopelessness. Why do people turn to various addictions such as alcohol, drugs, gambling and sexual perversions outside of marriage? Why do people harm themselves and others? Why do people commit suicide? Because they feel hopeless. The problems they face seem too big to overcome. So they seek to escape their problems with sin that destroys their lives and the lives of those around them.

Where can we find hope in our world today? The Bible tells us that outside of Jesus Christ, there is no lasting hope.

Ephesians 2:12 (NIV) remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world.

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Living in Community Message Introduction

Today, we’re concluding our message series “Basic Training.” In this series, we’ve covered many of the basic disciplines that every believer needs to practice in order to be effective for the Lord. Our last message in this series is entitled “Living in Community.” We’re going to be looking at the importance of being connected with other believers in the church community.

To begin our discussion today, let’s think about how a person becomes a believer. Every Sunday, we go over the basics of becoming a believer. First of all to give everyone here an opportunity to become a believer or to recommit their lives to the Lord. Secondly, we go over the basics, so that you will know how to lead someone else to faith in Jesus Christ.

Becoming a believer is something you do as an individual. You are not saved because your parents were believers or had you baptized as an infant. You are not saved because your spouse is a believer. The Bible clearly teaches that each person is saved by their own individual faith and commitment.

So, if we’re saved individually, why do we need other believers? What’s that point of church and the family of God? Sadly, many today are asking those questions and not finding good answers, they are trying to make it on their own without the church. Let’s look at what the Bible has to say in

1 Corinthians 12:12 (NIV)  The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ.

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Seeking God’s Guidance Message Introduction

Today, we continue our message series “Basic Training.” One of the most important things for a soldier to learn is that they must follow closely the orders of their commanding officer. So, in order to follow those orders, they need to learn to listen carefully to what their commander tells them. In the battlefield, both their life and the lives of the unit depend on keeping the communication lines open. The same is true for you and I as soldiers in God’s army.

Today, our message is entitled “Seeking God’s Guidance.” One of the most important lessons that you can learn in life is to recognize that you don’t know enough to plan your own course in life. We all need God’s guidance to direct our decisions in life.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV) Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

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