Thursday, September 8, 2022

           Acts is a fascinating book in the New Testament.  We have a front row seat to the early growth and expansion of the Church that Luke recorded for us.  Acts often carries the additional title “Acts of the Apostles.”  A more accurate title might be “Acts of the Holy Spirit through the Apostles.”  For the Spirit was working to call people to Christ beyond the early and narrow cultural and geographical origins of the gospel’s first launch.  Early in Acts 2, the promised Holy Spirit came on the day of Pentecost.  In fulfillment of prophecy and the promises of Jesus, the Holy Spirit was poured out upon believers.  Luke recorded the Holy Spirit’s coming in this way, “Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them” (Acts 2:2-4).  A few lessons stand out for us about the Holy Spirit.
            First, the Spirit is real and alive.  The Holy Spirit is not the stuff of science fiction or fantasy.  He is not a mysterious force or phantom that inhabits places.  The Spirit is God.  The Spirit is the third member of the holy Trinity.  We are not to reduce the Spirit to a ghost-like creature that lingers in the shadows or dark places of life.  Second, the Spirit is personal and inhabits the people of Christ.  We are filled with the Spirit at the moment of conversion when Christ forgives our sins and applies His cross and blood to remove our guilt.  The Spirit takes up residence in our lives.  The Spirit remains with us forever.  There is never a second of time when the Spirit has abandoned the people of Christ or vanished from them.  He remains with us through the totality of life.  Third, the Spirit empowers and enables us.  With the help of the Spirit, we are able to do and to say things we could never possibly undertake with human power alone.  The Spirit inspired the preaching of the early Church but also the preaching of Spurgeon, Tozer, Billy Graham and the finest preachers in the world today.  The Spirit produces fruit in and through us that we could not produce by ourselves.  The accomplishments of the early Church that we read about in Acts are really accomplishments and victories that the Spirit won through willing apostles, disciples and servants who looked to Him above all else.
            The Spirit will always bear witness to Christ and draw us to the Son of God.  There is no competition within the Trinity.  The Son glorified the Father.  The Spirit draws the lost to the Son.  We walk with the Lord and lean upon Him with the help of the Holy Spirit.  The world does not understand the Spirit and cannot receive the Spirit.  In Acts 2:13, scoffers believed that the believers who had been filled with the Holy Spirit were actually drunk from too much earthly wine.  The world often dismisses and discredits what it cannot comprehend.  Just as the numbers and ranks of believers swelled during the time of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit is still at work today bearing witness to the work of Christ and drawing believers to Him for grace and forgiveness. 
            Give thanks today, as a believer, that the Spirit is God in YOU.  The Spirit has taken up residence in your life to comfort, to counsel, to console and even to intercede for you when your weary mind and heart cannot form the right words even to pray.  The Spirit is faithful to fulfill His work in every believer.  The power witnessed at Pentecost is still present today.  The Spirit that indwelled Peter and Paul indwells believers like us today.  Have a great Thursday!  Don’t forget that Sunday is our monthly communal lunch after worship.  Bring along a dish or two of food to share after worship ends as we gather around the fellowship tables.    Always remember that you can share our worship with others anywhere and any time at youtube.com/FirstBaptistKannapolis.

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