General Booth wrote at the beginning of the 19th century. The chief dangers that confron the coming century would be:
1. Christianity without Christ
2. Forgiveness without repentance
3. Salvation without regeneration
4. Politics without God
5. Heaven without hell
6. Religion without the Holy Spirit – Service without the Spirit – Ephesus/Sardis/Laodicea
The Lord’s last recorded words, “And ye shall receive power after the Holy Spirit is come upon you”, etc. Acts
The Church in the last days is to “have a form of godliness but denying the power thereof.” 2 Tim 3:5
While this is true of the church at large, it is also true of many Assembly fellowships.
Many believers do not recognize the presence and Person of the Holy Spirit:
1. In the individual – 1 Corinth 6
2. In the assembly – 1 Corinth 3
Inadequate teaching – the infiltration of the world – low spiritual and moral living has robbed the Spirit of His place and power in our lives as individuals and in some assemblies.
We are all filled with the Holy Spirit at conversion. (Give the initial signs of this) John 3:34.
This is God’s ideal for the Church, and for every one in the Church.
The reason why we lose this power – joy – ecstasy – and enthusiasm is because of sin. (Illustration with the glass of water) Example: Demas
John 3:5 The indwelling of the Spirit
“Except a man be born of the Spirit, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
John 4:14 The upspringing of the Spirit
“But the water which I shall give him shall become a well of living water springing up into everlasting life.”
John 7:38 The outflowing of the Spirit
“He that believeth on Me, as the scriptures hath said, out of his life shall flow rivers of living water.”
This is God’s ideal for His people.
Why is the work of the Spirit and the power of the Spirit not manifest in us as individuals and in our Assemblies as it should be?
1. The Spirit is grieved – bitterness – passion – rage – animosity – quarreling – slander –malice. Eph 4:31
2. The Spirit is quenched – subdued – suppressed. 1 Thess 5:19
3. There is sin in the individual or in the camp – Miriam – Aachan
Not only is there sin in the camp, but to compound the evil, elders, in many instances are unqualified to challenge and judge the sin. In these circumstances the presence and power of the Holy Spirit is absent. Because He is grieved – quenched.
In his second prayer for his beloved Ephesians, Paul prays that “they might be filled with all the fullness of God. Eph 3:19
In chapter 5 His tone changes, as he commands, “be filled with the Spirit.”
How can we be filled with the Spirit?
Two schools of thought:
1. The Spirit comes in, self goes out. (Wrong)
2. We must be emptied of self before we can be filled. (Holy)
Complete surrender to Him.
God used those who were completely surrendered to Him.
It was the Holy Spirit who produced Christ in Mary. Luke 1:35
Describe the purity of mind and body of Mary.
She was the godliest woman on the face of the earth.
God prepared and used this pure channel, by the Holy Spirit, to bring Christ to (?) in human form.
Elizabeth, John’s mother, was filled with the Holy Spirit. Luke 1:41
Zacharias, John’s father was filled with the Holy Spirit. Luke 1:67
John the Baptist was filled with Spirit from his mother’s womb. Luke 1:15
Jesus Christ was Spirit-filled at His baptism. Luke 3:22
Luke 4:1 – Full of the Spirit – led by the Spirit into the wilderness.
Luke 4:14 – return in the power of the Spirit.
Isaiah 61 shows that Christ was enabled by the Spirit in all His ministry.
Saul of Tarsus
Acts 9:17—Read this: “Be filled with the Holy Spirit.”
(Quote other men who had this experience) D. L. Moody – Hudson Taylor
Their great spiritual power came as the result of a subsequent experience.
In order for our service to be effective for God we must live our lives under the control of the Spirit.
(Describe) As a drunk man is controlled by his liquor so a believer ought to be controlled by the Spirit.
To experience this scriptural and God-requested condition there must be consecration – dedication and complete surrender.
(Quote Romans 12:1) We must give ourselves to God the Spirit.
The motto of the Moravian missionaries, “For service or sacrifice.”
Illustrate with story. “I’ve got all daddy” – “daddy’s got all me.”
A Spirit-filled man is a Christ-like man.
Story, “Jesus is at the door.” Mr. Grant.
He is a man who exhibits the fruit of the Spirit, love – joy – peace – longsuffering – gentleness – goodness – faith – meekness – self control.
A Spirit-filled person is one who is set apart to God – “Jacob” – “Israel”
Opposition cannot deter him – he is inconsistent – Early disciples
Success cannot spoil him – It is Christ who lives in him. The Spirit filled believer is one who is clothed with the Holy Spirit, just as Gideon was.
“The Spirit clothed Himself with Gideon.”
“The Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon.”
The manifestations of a Spirit-filled life.
1. Progressive sanctification
2. A deepening prayer life
3. A more intelligent worship
4. A more fruitful service. (Cleansing-Abiding-Obedience) John 15 Fruit … more fruit …much fruit.
Note now the five characteristics which marked the Spirit-filled disciples:
1. great boldness
2. great joy
3. great fear or reverence
4. great grace
5. great power
Paul sums up the results of this filling in the context of the verse.
Speaking – Addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.
Singing with all your heart unto the Lord.
Love – devotion; praise to God
Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Submitting “yourselves one to another in the fear of God.” – consideration for each other.
It will be seen in our marital life – domestic life.
It will be seen in our business life – masters-servants.
It will be seen in our Christian warfare.
Four words are used to describe His work toward us.
Baptized – Sealed – Anointed – Filled
These words describe what He has done and what He will yet do in the life of the believers.
Baptized is the historical word – an act
Sealed is the legal word which speaks of purchase – security – delivering.
Anointed is the operational word which describes equipment for service.
It also indicates that God has bestowed gifts upon those whom He wants to use in service in a special way.
Filled is the experiential word that enables us to understand in our minds and experience in our lives the thrill of being filled with the Holy Spirit.
Being baptized by the Spirit underlines my relationship to the body of Christ.
Being sealed emphasizes my security for time and eternity
Being anointed describes my equipment for service.
Being filled helps me in my life and service.
Every believer is baptized and sealed whether carnal or spiritual.
Anointed and filled are conditional words that depend on a certain response from the believers to the call and claims of Jesus Christ.
Filled with the Spirit
To be “filled with the Spirit” is a further step than being indwelt or sealed by the Spirit.
The persons who are sealed are exhorted to be filled, Eph. 4:18.
It is the prerogative of every believer to choose whether he will seek earnestly and prayerfully to know the blessedness of being filled with the Spirit.
No vessel can be filled with the Spirit unless it is emptied of another.
I believe that God does not fill us from the outside, but from the inside.
To be filled with the Spirit, is to be controlled in every phase of our life by the Spirit (be not drunk with wine).
In the Church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers.
Prophets men of insight and foresight.
Teachers are men who understand the truth and have been given the power of ability to impart it to others.
The ideal assembly has prophets and teachers.
“They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing bringing his sheaves with him.”