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The Most Basic of the Basics

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The Most Basic of the Basics
Laying a Solid Foundation for Living a Full Life.
One question I love to ask people is, "What do you think the Lord is saying to you these days?"
They respond with some pretty exciting things.
They hear the Lord encouraging, reproving, loving, and correcting his people
with words which are filled with promise, hope, and challenge.
One word which is consistently repeated is this: "Get back to the basics."
Of all the profound things being given,
this rather humble message has been the most consistent
"word of the Lord" throughout the past many years.
So what does this mean?
Do the things you did at First
What do I mean by that?
Revelation 2:2–5 NIV
2 I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. 3 You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. 4 Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. 5 Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.
We should always start any spiritual growth with this question:
What Does Jesus Want?
Here is what Jesus wanted for us:
John 10:10 NRSV
10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
The word abundantly in the Greek means:
4053 perissós (derived from 4012 /perí, "all-around, excess") – properly all-around, "more than"
("abundantly"); beyond what is anticipated, exceeding expectation; "more abundant," going past the expected limit ("more than enough . . . ").
They did many many things right but in the end there was something missing.
This is what I want to go after this morning.
That which is missing.
If the Lord is still saying it, we probably ought to still be doing it.
"Back to the basics" implies many things, because there are quite a few basics to living a Spirit-filled life.
At one time I would have said that the most basic of the basics are the spiritual gifts.
More on this thought later: 😊
The very name of the charismatic movement comes from charismata, the Greek word for gift or grace.
The experience of spiritual gifts in the Christian community seemed pretty normal in the early church.
Take a red pen as you read the book of Acts and put a check in the margin of your Bible every time a charismatic gift is operative.
You will be amazed how "basic" gifts were to the Christian life!
Why does God pour out charismata upon the Christian community?
Simply put, I believe charismas or gifts are given to empower the disciple to carry out the mission of Jesus.
Scripture is very clear that Jesus fully intended us to carry on the work He began.
John 14:12 NIV
Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.
And then John says that signs will accompany believers, it will flow out of them.
Mark 16:17–20 NIV
17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” 19 After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. 20 Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.
This means take the risks he took, to suffer as he suffered, to love as he loved, and to minister as he ministered.
Now, when you look at his life, that's a pretty tough act to follow.
There is only one way that we can do that is by the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:18–19 NIV
18 I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done—19 by the power of signs and wonders, through the power of the Spirit of God. So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ.
After I had made a personal decision to follow Jesus.
I spent some time on a spiritual and emotional roller coaster, sometimes following the Lord, sometimes not doing so well.
I had the desire to follow Christ, but I just couldn't seem to pull it all together.
I was never told that I also needed to be in personal relationship with the Holy Spirit.
No one ever told me: "You can't follow Jesus except by the grace of Jesus, the Holy Spirit.
You need supernatural power to be a disciple.
That power comes as we yield ourselves to the movement of the Holy Spirit in our lives."
I found out about the Holy Spirit when I went to RBC, and at a Mennonite meeting at Central Christian.
As I think about it, something to note:
Jesus seemed to put a lot of importance on the coming of the Holy Spirit upon his disciples.
The Lord obviously saw the Spirit as an essential part of the disciple's life.
I wonder if we share his appreciation of the Spirit.
I think the gifts of the Spirit are touchstones with the heart of the Spirit.
When we yield to the gifts of the Holy Spirit, an interaction begins between human and the divine.
The Holy Spirit begins to guide us deeply in the silence of our hearts.
We learn to listen, to trust, and to try.
We make mistakes and even abuse the gifts,
but are corrected by the Spirit of God and eventually learn how to cooperate with the graces poured out upon us.
To me, the greatest thing about the charismata isn't the power displayed but the intimacy between our hearts and the Lord's.
Above all else, gifts are relational in nature.
That being said, there is still a very practical aspect to the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Simply put, they help us do the work of Jesus.
Many here have seen situations where God moved in a powerful way though the charismas that probably could not have been accomplished through ordinary means.
I've seen things happen with tongues,
inspired preaching, healing, prophecy,
word of knowledge, miracles,
and extraordinary faith that cut to the heart of the situation.
I suppose they could have built the by digging with teaspoons, but why would you if you had a steam shovel?
Jesus didn't give us the Holy Spirit to entertain us or to put a nice touch on our prayer meetings.
So I want to circle back to my statement Earlier:
"Back to the basics" implies many things, because there are quite a few basics to living a Spirit-filled life.
At one time I would have said that the most basic of the basics are the spiritual gifts.
Here is what I believe now.
Getting back to the most basic of basics is my relationship with the Trinity.
Why do I say the trinity?
According to I Thessalonians 5:23
1 Thessalonians 5:23 NCV
23 Now may God himself, the God of peace, make you pure, belonging only to him. May your whole self—spirit, soul, and body—be kept safe and without fault when our Lord Jesus Christ comes.
So we are three parts, body soul and spirit.
Matthew 28:19 tells us:
Matthew 28:19 AMP
19 Go then and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
We are three parts, body soul and spirit, and we are told to baptize people in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
When we Lead people to Jesus we are to include the trinity in the foundation of baptism to start their lives.
It where the basics start.
Connecting with the Father Son and Spirit.
And He poured out the Holy Spirit on us that we may be transformed and equipped to do what he's called us to do.
Back to the Basics is connecting ourselves to in an intimate relationship with the Father Son and Spirit.
Loving God!
There are some promises that I want to share with you.
That helps us wrap our thoughts around how much He wants to connect with us.
I want to share them with you because they are the foundation for the Spirits work in our lives.
Promises of the Holy Spirit
Isaiah 44:3–4 LBP
3 For I will give you abundant water for your thirst and for your parched fields. And I will pour out my Spirit and my blessings on your children. 4 They shall thrive like watered grass, like willows on a riverbank.
Does this sound like a disinterested God?
He wants to Connect with us and empower us to connect with Him.
Joel says:
Joel 2:28–29 AMP
28 And afterward I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. 29 Even upon the menservants and upon the maidservants in those days will I pour out My Spirit.
Acts confirms the Prophecy of Joel & Isaiah
Acts 2:16–18 AMP
16 But [instead] this is [the beginning of] what was spoken through the prophet Joel: 17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, God declares, that I will pour out of My Spirit upon all mankind, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy [telling forth the divine counsels] and your young men shall see visions (divinely granted appearances), and your old men shall dream [divinely suggested] dreams. 18 Yes, and on My menservants also and on My maidservants in those days I will pour out of My Spirit, and they shall prophesy [telling forth the divine counsels and predicting future events pertaining especially to God’s kingdom].
Eight hundred years before Christ came to earth in mortal flesh, the prophet Joel wrote of the promise of the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
His account prophesies events on the day of Pentecost and those that we have seen fulfilled within the last century.
And even further back than Joel we have Isaiah the prophet prophesying the almost the same thing.
Charismas are God's idea, not ours.
If he thinks we need them, then we need them.
We really can't improve on what God has ordained.
Let's have enough humility and faith to do it God's way.
What is God’s way?
God’s way is significantly different than our way a lot of the times.
Why do you think that is?
Because we are not connected with Him in the way that we should be connected.
If we stay connected to Him here is what happens.
Matthew 3:11 NIV
11 “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
Mark 1:8 AMP
8 I have baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.
Jesus Said:
Notice what Jesus says and God’s way are connected.
Because of their relationship!
John 7:38–39 NIV
38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” 39 By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.
Belief in Jesus Leads to rivers of Living water flowing out of us.
No effort on our part other than believing, connecting, building a relationship with the Father Son and Holy Spirit.
John 14:16–17 AMP
16 And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby), that He may remain with you forever— 17 The Spirit of Truth, Whom the world cannot receive (welcome, take to its heart), because it does not see Him or know and recognize Him. But you know and recognize Him, for He lives with you [constantly] and will be in you.
Jesus is going to ask for us to receive:
Comforter, Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strenghtener, and standby.
And He will live in you!
In the Upper Room Jesus did this:
John 20:22 NIV
22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.
It all goes back to the Upper Room.
Mary the Mother of Jesus, Peter, John, Mary Magdalen, and a host of "future saints"
humbly waited for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit as Jesus had directed them.
Now, of those 120 people who gathered in the Upper Room, how many of them would face martyrdom?
How many would have to travel to distant lands, far from their homes and families to spread the Gospel among foreign people?
How many of the 120 would have to go toe-to-toe with the enemies of Christ and proclaim a challenging word in the midst of some very tough opposition?
They were to embrace, embody, and proclaim the ongoing mission of Jesus.
They knew their weaknesses (Good Friday had proven that to most of them.).
They knew the job was impossible without the Holy Spirit whom they were promised.
Thank God, they had enough sense to wait for the Spirit!
If these "saints" needed the embrace and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, don't you think we might too?
We are all being called to venture beyond the walls of the Upper Room.
We too are being called to risk all, to give all for the proclamation of the Gospel.
We too must embrace and embody our master.
We've been called to do it.
We can do it - but not without the help of the Holy Spirit.
Getting Back to the Basics is recognizing that we sometimes come to a place where Jesus would say:
Man you are doing so good in many areas, but now, now, you lack the love, zeal, effort you had before.
Something happened between your conversion and today.
Getting back to t he basics means we once again dig into t he heart of God to build a better, fruitful empowering relationship with him.
I want to share some spiritual gift truths with you in the next week or two.
But what I want you to understand as I share those truths with you.
The most Basic of basics truth, that you need to operate out of is that I am Loved and I need to Love back.
Then by the power of the Holy Spirit, these things will flow out of your life.
In Romans when Paul lists out the gifts remember what he said:
Romans 12:9 AMP
9 [Let your] love be sincere (a real thing); hate what is evil [loathe all ungodliness, turn in horror from wickedness], but hold fast to that which is good.
Let your love be sincere, Hate what is evil, Loathe ungodliness, turn from wickedness, but hold fast to what is good.
And then he lays out the foundation for what a life connected to the Father Son and Spirit looks like.
All encased in Love.
I 1 Cor 12 Paul Writes: again after extolling the virtues of the gifts:
1 Corinthians 12:31 KJV 1900
31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.
I love the way the Message share this verse:
1 Corinthians 12:31 M:BCL
31 And yet some of you keep competing for so-called “important” parts. But now I want to lay out a far better way for you.
He goes on in Chapter 13 telling us how to live out a far better way of living.
1 Corinthians 13:1 AMP
1 IF I [can] speak in the tongues of men and [even] of angels, but have not love (that reasoning, intentional, spiritual devotion such as is inspired by God’s love for and in us), I am only a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
He goes on in the rest of the chapter to explain how that love should look in the life of the connected believer.
What all this comes down to is this:
We need to get back to the Basics of Loving God and that propels us to love people.
Jesus said it this way when asked what is the greatest commandment:
Matthew 22:37–39 RSV
37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
Greatest Commandment is Love God with every fiber of your being!
That promotes, feeds, empowers, encourages the second which is loving people.
Watch this video called The Jesus Creed: about how this works.
Wrapping this up:
Life Application:
Get Back to Loving God
Scripture Reading
Personal Prayer Time
Connecting with other believers
Know that you have the Help of the Holy Spirit
Begin Living out your personal Relationship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Loving People
Realize Rivers of living water will Flow out of you
You have something to offer because the creator of the universe lives in you.
The ancient of ancients, the light of the world, the one in the beginning, the one that is eternal lives in you.
You Cannot fail!
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