The Spirit Moves Through the Church
title the message this morning is
the spirit moves through the church spirit moves through the church.
So as a church, we read through the Bible together. It's what we do. We've been doing this for many years now multiple years and we have a daily reading plan when we get together on Wednesdays. We discuss what we read and the readings in the week are Central to our discussions. Is one of the most powerful things the Lord has impressed on my heart for the church and others Thursday. Like I just mentioned we're starting the book of Acts. We're going to walk more slowly than we ever have in the past year one. We went to the whole Bible in one year. We're going to go as slowly as we need to through acts starting this Thursday. I'm super excited to walk through that with y'all.
Looking forward to see what God has planned. So two weeks ago. I did an overview message on acts and it was the role of the word of God throughout the books of that book of Acts. So are the word of God moved empowered the mission of God throughout the Book of Acts and it really in the building of the early church. But even in the building in the church now last week, we we discuss World Mission Ln Nelly world mission for World missions, and how the church Is a major component of that and then how that speaks to us as a church and then I'll send to visually and those two truths. I hope you see are inseparable. The truth. The word of God is found in scripture and the mission of God cannot be separated the making of disciples the spreading of the gospel and the building of the church salvation to the ends of the Earth and salvation right here in Wisconsin cannot be separated from the mission of God and the word of God. Romans 10:17 faith comes through hearing hearing the word of Christ. There's another component component that is especially evident in Acts.
That's what I want to discuss this morning. Jesus speaks on this connection and John. John Jesus empathy always coming and is now here when true worshippers will worship the father in spirit and Truth. The father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit. And those who worship Him must Worship in spirit and Truth. so spirit and Truth any other kind of worship, even if it looks like worship is not true worship. We talked about these versus a while back when I talked about worship as being foundational to the church. So not only can we not separate the word of God. from the mission of God without the word of God the church or any church may have worldly success, but will not go forth for the glory of God and will internally be weak or even lost. potentially false What empowered with the word of God and filled with this third thing? I'm going to talk about this when the spirit of God. The church in the mission of God, the spread of the Gospel is Unstoppable. if empowered by the spirit What is that mean? How do we experience in fat? Answer my prayer coming into this this morning is that we would continue to experience. What I believe is in Awakening.
But, continue to open our eyes in a fresh way to see is infinite greatness is awesome Glory. His stunning Beauty They would open our hearts to feel the weight of the Eternal needs of those around us not only in our world but in our homes and our neighborhoods and to the ends of the Earth. And then when he does that to us that we would just surrender to his will and his ways to the building of his church of the advancing of his kingdom. right here in Wisconsin What's our very lives and then all role in advancing his kingdom also among the billions who've never heard the gospel.
Is that in your heart? Hey, use you and call you and Empower You by his spirit for his plans his ways.
Then you would see what he's doing. Not what your plans are, but see what he's already doing and join him in that just allow him to use you all of you and not just for you. But as an instrument for him building his church. for his glory are awakened our affections this morning our love for you. our desire to know Jesus more and then Lord poor Spirit upon your spirit upon us.
I think that's exactly what we're seeing the first fruits of that. It's what I want to do this morning. Is see this in act 1 and 2 before we dig into the book of Acts as a church. Ask a question. You can yell. If you want to or I'll answer for you who wrote Acts.
Can you should know this for sure look so in a way axe is really Loop to sew ins and sort of Acts begins at a similar spot Luke ends with the resurrection. Jesus in his awesome encounter appearing to the disciples to some disciples on the road to Emmaus. And then the Ascension of Jesus to the right hand of God where he is right now raining in ruling over every square inch of the universe. I want to show two things in Luke 24 the end of Luke that will lead into what we're talking about this morning first, Luke 24:27. Jesus to these disciples as in beginning with Moses and all the prophets. He interpreted to them to Jesus interpreted to them all the scriptures in all the scriptures of things concerning himself. So we open their eyes that the whole scriptures every word of it is about him.
the word of God
maybe the first 44 it says and then he said to them these are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you that everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets in the Psalms must be fulfilled to not only is it all about Jesus. It will all be fulfilled in Jesus.
Minnesota possum line many open their minds to understand the scriptures It's something huge there. If you see it's all about Jesus and you know, it's off of filled in Jesus that opens your mind to understand it better.
Is it is written that the Christians suffer and on the third day rise from the dead and that the repentance for the Forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all the nations beginning in Jerusalem. So this Proclamation components of the word of God and in this proclamation of the gospel, and then he says this Your Witnesses of these things and behold I am sending the promise of my father upon you but stay in the city until you are clothed with power on high. So there it is again the word of God the mission of God. And then this promise this power. What is that? He's telling them to wait for?
spirit kodak's one-year bibles are on a slide for this or maybe I do I do in your Bibles. acts 1 1 through 11
This is Luke now in the first book of Theophilus. I have dealt with all that Jesus began those that were began to do and teach until the day when he was taken up after you'd given command to the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. He presented himself alive to them after suffering many proofs appearing to them during the forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God and will staying with them. He ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise there it is again wait for this promised the word of God the mission of God, but wait for the promise don't go out and do it on your own power. What you said you heard from me for John baptized with water and you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit. There it is. Not many days from now someone had come together. They asked him Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel? He said them is not for you to know the times or the seasons that the father is fixed by his own authority already trying to plan it themselves and he says but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you and you will be my Witnesses in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the Earth.
We said these things as they were looking on he was lifted up in a cloud took him out of their sight and when they were gazing into heaven as he went behold two men stood by them in white robes and said men of Galilee why you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus who was taken up from you into heaven will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.
How many bibles and notice the word began in verse 1? Benjamin Luke says the Book of Luke. My first book was a body just began to do and teach. There's an implication there that this book of Acts is going to be about what Jesus will continue to do and teach and it makes perfect sense until you get the verse 11 he leaves.
I will Jesus continue to do these things and teach these things if he's not physically there with them. How is that possible? How how is that possible now that Jesus is continuing to do in th But not hear some power of what this passage is teaching. The rest of history story right here in act 1 and 2 is how Jesus Will and is continuing to do and teach in us and through Us by the power of the Spirit dwelling in God's people. Exactly. Why at the end of John Jesus's when I leave you're going to do greater things than I have done. Jesus did some great things. And make much more of an understatement. walking on water feeding the 5000 Healing The Sick raising the dead and he says you will do even greater things how This Promise This promised from the father that if you are saved he's living in you.
We are truly living in that power as the body of Christ the church. And it's his power in US. We're together in unity under the word as his body living on his mission trusting in his ways. We will see the power of the Holy Spirit. That's the promise.
X1 therefore is just the beginning of what is happening right now in this place. until Jesus returns Do you believe that?
Isn't driving force in Ultimate reason the mission behind this early church was not the glory of a weekly event. Let the glory of these humans doing what they could do on human power for human success the driving force and ultimate reason behind the mission of the early church was the person of Jesus Christ. His word his mission his gospel his power his glory his victory by his spirit.
Wasn't a program. It wasn't a project. It was them trusting in the word relying on Jesus living in the Spirit dwelling and then and then enabling them to accomplish his mission.
Jesus was the center of everything they did.
His spirit in them was their power not their own power.
Jesus the Risen Savior and living or four times and acts 1 you can look at them move tells us Jesus with taken up into heaven verse to until the day was taken into heaven first night and he said that's taking up before their very eyes verse 11 the same Jesus who has been taken up from you into have an inverse 22 beginning from John's baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from Sy over and over. Is he reminding them of this? This meant something very important to them. This had a lasting effect on him. This was the power for their mission.
Jesus is the Living Lord.
We walked in our lives without at the front of her mind. He is with me he is alive. He is the Lord. Jesus has got this. I can be bold and also content I can have hope right now no matter what's going on around me because Jesus is the Living Lord. Two times in Acts. Jesus is referred to as the Savior how many times he's referred to as the Lord in Acts? 105 key ascended into heaven where he is right now at the right hand of God. The Living Lord It's the same picture we get from Paul in Philippians 2 9 through 11. Therefore God has highly exalted him and we still don't know the name that is above every name so that the name of Jesus every knee should bow in heaven and on Earth and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. The glory of God the Father this was huge in early church. His spirit in them and him raining as the Living Lord and power everything they did. Jesus is on the throne you can know that right now. It's really good to know. You're confused or tempted or in despair or need to make a difficult decision are faced with doubts. How do you live in as well? How do you speak the gospel message wishing? How do you put that sin to death in your life? How do you say that hard truth? Because Jesus is Lord. Right now Jesus is Lord. his power trust in his word proclaim his gospel rely on his power clothing Power by the spirit. That's his promise to us.
What was his promise in Acts 1 think about this? His promise was basically at that a few uneducated Jesus loving God glorifying followers were fully devoted to each other in the building of his church. If filled with his spirit and relying on his power can change the world. For his glory that's his promise same promise to us. So what does that look like? Well, that's what we're going to spend the next weeks and months talking about if we go through acts, but for now turn to Acts 2. I was on that trip with the youth are the young adults not too long ago on the way back. We said what are your three favorite Bible chapters? And we all kind of went through and name them. I think this was my number 3 x 2
Just when you imagine the scene. Some of you have heard this many times. I talked about it a lot but picture this seem like you're seeing it for the first time. So Jesus has ascended he gives in this promise. I'm not sure they really understand what it means to be closed in power by the spirit. They trusted and they pray for a long time. They're gathered together and then you get to verse 1 of Acts 2.
When are there Pentecost arrived they were all together in one place? So there's that Unity. There's a togetherness and suddenly there came from having a sound like a mighty rushing wind and it filled the entire house where they were sitting and divided tongues as a fire up here to them and rested on each one of them and they were filled with the Holy Spirit. We got to speak in other tongues as the spirit gave them utterance. There were dwelling in Jerusalem. Drew's development of every nation under heaven. At the sound of the multitude came together and they were bewildered because each one of them was hearing them speak in his own language and they were amazed and astonished saying are not these those were speaking galileans. How is it that we hear each one of us in his own native language? Percy and the medicine L mites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea Cappadocia Pancho's in Asia. Freesia and pamphylia Egypt in other parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene visitors from Rome all Jews and proselytes Creations in Arabians. We hear them telling in our own language. And what were they telling of what were they cheering is disciple sing the mighty works of God?
Amazing perplexing. What does this mean when we do with this information, but others were mocking saying they are filled with new wine. These guys are drunk people are saying Ever had any alcohol. So what in the world is going on here? The spirit has empowered them to begin to reverse the curse.
Why the Holy Spirit empowers us to experience God's presence it is through the holy spirit that we truly experience the presence of God. Mighty rushing wind they're filled with the spirit in the Old Testament the many different points this fear comes up on people but not in this indwelling sort of way
Go get the axe to this wind comes. It's a symbol of the presence of God. You see, this is Ezekiel. 37. God says, I'm going to put my spirit not just with you but in you The spirit of God is not just going to dwell among you. The spirit of God is going to live inside of you. We see This Promise fulfilled. You're next to the spirit of God coming to dwell not just among his people but in his people.
And there are some you know who experiences just by being nearby. They like this experience just by hanging around and being around these people. They know something's different some of them begin to want to know more. What do we do about this? But others Mock and say they're crazy. They're drunk.
It is only through the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. Can we truly experience the presence of God? Spirit fills us shows us the beauty of Jesus the worth of Jesus truly stirring our affections for God. So when we experience God through music or a sermon at the alone does nothing lasting unless Unless it happens to those filled with the spirit.
When you get to where Peter preaches the first New Covenant sermon. The Bible says because of the spirit of God and Peter preaching the word of God others begin to experience the presence of God and say what do we do about it acts 2:37? When they heard this they were cut to the heart and send to Peter and the rest of the Apostles brother. What shall we do? Peter said to them repent and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus for the Christ for the Forgiveness of your sins and what You will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The word of God the mission of God is speaking of the Gospel in the presence and power of God to the Holy Spirit In God's people they heard the word despair move down their hearts. They repair their baptized for the Forgiveness of sins and they received the spirit verse 41. So those who received this world were baptizing her added that they about 3,000 Souls. So the spirit enables us to experience God's presence and the spirit empowers us to fulfill God's purpose.
What's going on in ax25? It's another word dwelling in Jerusalem Jews development from every nation under heaven.
Every nation under Heaven many different languages in one place. Does that remind you of something? power battle
at that time in their pride people begin to build this thing. They think this is what will put us in the presence of God if we just build this thing taller and bigger so they build a building and think if this gets big enough will just show up there a nipple experience God's presence. Their own plan their own way in reality for their own Glory God's judgment upon them. It says scattered them and change their languages. So I can't understand each other Genesis 12 God promises Abraham. He will be the father of many nations and through him. This cursed will begin to be reversed you get to ask you and you see the beginning of that the Holy Spirit comes down. You get the beginning of the curse being overturned? It's a completely overturned cuz they're not all speaking the same language yet.
The speaking many different languages still but don't miss what's happening. They still got different languages, but they're United in one thing they all begin to understand one thing the wonders of God the glory of Jesus the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
We're given the spirit to encourage the church to empower his mission to experience God but ultimately to reach people for Christ. Speak the gospel to save Souls. Tell others about his glory and goodness.
Holy spirit is given to us for that purpose. Church with the word of God is held high and the gospels were claimed by all that isn't filled with the spirit. What caused many to wonder? Who is this Jesus? How do I know this Jesus in some may mock, but some will come and see I just need to know this Jesus you talk about
that's what God is called his church to
I pray that the works are Revival will cause many to ask that question. Who is this Jesus y'all love so much.
Why why these people seem to love one another what's up with that? All right so bold and so caring why they so fearless and say they love the Lord.
Yes, I'm not talking about being Amazed by talented music or a cool speaker. But I'm Amazed by the spirit of God in the power of God through the people of God.
This happened throughout history in the church there been times where God's spirit has moved in unusual fresh unexplainable ways among his people and brought many to Christ about a hundred years ago. There's a dude named Evan Roberts in Wales begin to read about revivals and got interested. Said the sky show me a Revival make make a Revival happen here and he noticed something and revivals. There was a boldness but there was a component that he didn't see going on around him. This Reliance on the spirit of God and the preaching of the truth of God's word. So he said well there seems to be a connection between relying on God's power and preaching God's word. Play outpouring of the spirit. So he just began to preach you print your message one day 217 people. 17 people the message was on turning from sin and asking God to bring a Revival the spirit among his people kind of like what happened in Acts to God did something. 3 months later a hundred thousand people to come to Christ.
within three months starter with a sermon about returning to the word returning and turning from Fitz and and relying on the spirit and asking the spirits Mission. It didn't stop there before was called the Layman's missionary movement towards normal people gripped by the spirit of God trusting the word of God boldly speaking the gospel of God and it impacted for the glory of God in the world it spread to other nations.
Should live in the past. God can do this Whenever Wherever the whomever he wants to believe that. We can manufacture movement like that. We can't organize a program like that. We can get on our knees and ask God to pour out his Spirit asked him to help us to trust in his word. All they speak is Gospel and tell the world of his love. with our neighbors and to the nation's So I thought I just want to end with a final passage and a few points of application. This is one of the reasons why x 2 is one of my favorites is more of a preview of what's coming, but I feel like it just needs to be right at this point.
We'll see what happens to a group of people who've been grip like this. What do they do? How does the spirit change them? What do they do about it? Only become very devoted to some simple biblical things. We call it the local church.
Acts 2:42 through 47 I'm a devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and the fellowship to the breaking of bread and prayers then all came upon every so many wonders in size would be signs of being done to the apostles and all who believe we're together and that all things in common. They were selling possession to belongings and disturbing your proceeds cause any had need and day by day. Attending Temple together and breaking bread in their homes. They received their food with glad and generous are praising God having favor with all the people and the Lord added to their number day-by-day those who are being saved.
the word of God mission of God the spirit of God drives people deeply into the Church of God the local church What priorities the Spirit-filled church can we see hear? These are our application points? Spirit-filled church will teach and speak God's word boldly. Spirit-filled church will teach and speak adverb oldies Acts 2:42, and they devoted themselves to the apostles teaching first thing they do when they get together as they devote themselves to the teachings. Spirit-filled people are not devoted to become fully devoted to his church fully devoted to one another. So they being any gather together often a first gather together in the small room praying for the Holy Spirit to move the Holy Spirit comes and their meaning of propelled propelled into the streets. proclaiming the truth proclaiming the gospel
That's why we're giving the spirit if you boil. Why are we giving the Holy Spirit? You can find it in x.18, but you receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you and what you will be my Witnesses.
Part of the Spirit-filled church Peach and speak out of God's word boldly and serve in love the church sacrificially. Again Acts 2:42, they devote themselves to the apostles teaching in the fellowship. Nurse it says devoted to the fellowship. Not just fellowshipping devoted to the fellowship not just devoted to getting together voted devoted who participation in the actual lives of the actual people got it brought together. fully devoted to one another
Devoted to serve one another to care for one another this is the power of the church. If we do everything else right and don't love and serve and care for one another we will not be affected witnesses to the gospel. People will not be saved. They might like what we're doing. Don't fall in love with Jesus. Don't believe the gospel we preach Jesus said that this himself in John 17. You want to read it? It's versus 22 23. This is the church. I love the church.
I was created to serve the church and live for the church and if you love Jesus, so are you
And world of individualism this worst brushes that idea.
If you take these two together, the church is deeply passionate about the word of God and just as deeply passionate about the people of God.
The tells us what this looks like in verse 44 through 46. I'll believe we're together had all things in common. They were selling their possessions belonging Distributing proceeds to all as any I need and day by day attending Temple together breaking bread in their homes. They received their food with glad and Generous Heart. That's what it looks like.
Or for some three to four. Which we have seen and heard we Proclaim so the proclamation part why so that you have may have fellowship with us and indeed. Our fellowship is with the father with his son Jesus Christ write anything so that your joy might be complete. That's an awesome problems. Do you love the church? Is this the picture you see when you think of the church devoted living life together on his mission to got a fully devoted to one another. That's when you see the spirit move number three leads to worship the Spirit-filled church worships in spirit and Truth. You can actually see this in directly in this this first as well since to the breaking of bread. So the breaking of bread there is actually a reference to the Lord's Supper which was the central part of their worship when they got together and worship this in centered around Lord's Supper.
It wasn't a worship experience based on Talent or emotion for the sake of emotion. It was a spiritual response of those who were saved by the grace of God filled with the spirit of God our emotional response to the truth of who God is and what he's done for us in Jesus. Body and blood given for us in spirit and truth and finally the Spirit-filled church will pray desperately. Spirit-filled church will pray desperately.
Later on South to the apostles teaching fellowship the breaking bread in the prayers.
They prayed like it mattered. They prayed like they were on a mission. I pray because they knew God had called them to do something. They could not accomplish on their own power with their own Talent with any strategy. They could come with up with it was only to be accomplished by the power of God.
Filling them with his spirit so they prayed and they prayed and they prayed and what did God do verse 47 the Lord added to their number day-by-day those who are being saved. When the spirit moves we will teach and speak God's word boldly will serve and love each other sacrificially or Worship in spirit and truth and we will pray desperately and God May save Madison doesn't say they drew a crowd everyday. Says the Lord added to their number. They were devoted the Lord did the saving. God will bless a church that lives and works in loves and teaches and serves according to his plan empowered by his spirit. The only question is what we trust him in that.
Will we see the spear moving Mighty ways and the answer is yes, if we're devoted to these things and devoted to each other in this way. If we live for Jesus by the power of the spirit for the glory of God, he will move because he promises he will. He already is.