The next 6-8 weeks…
· December 24: Christmas Eve Service – John 1:1-14
· December 31: Danny Lightner
· January 7-21: The Mission Church – Our Pathway
· January 28: Sanctity of Life Sunday
· February 4: Final Sunday at 48 & Franklin as FFC
· February 11: First Sunday at Ridgemont as TMC.
Scripture Reading – Ephesians 5:17-21,ESV
When it comes to “…understanding what the will of the Lord is.”…we can simplify it with one thought: Walk In The Spirit. Living in harmony with The Holy Spirit IS the “be all – end all” of the Christian life.
I have spoken about the paganisitic religious culture that the Ephesian believers were saved out of. How in the worship of the fertility goddess Diana, it was common practice to engage in sexual orgies with the temple prostitutes.
How could that be part of any religion?
They believed that humans connected with the “gods” through losing control of self, through engagement in actives that brought about certain euphoric experiences.
Unbridled sexual expression was one of those activities, another was drunkenness.
· The Greeks called him Dionysius, the Romans Bacchus… the god of intoxicating drink.
· The Ephesians were well acquainted with this. It was what they were converted from into faith in Jesus Christ.
In this context, the issue with alcohol is NOT one of morality, but one of spiritual connection to God.
Filled With The Spirit – VS18
Does God want His children to be intimately connected to Him? YES… but drunkenness and sexual immorality is not the way. Drunkenness does not lead one to God, but into debauchery = unrestrained self-indulgent, immoral behavior.
Truth Point: The path to connection with God is NOT through loss of self-control, but through SURRENDER OF CONTROL to The Spirit of God.
There are two positive relationships that a believer has with The Holy Spirit:
1. Baptism of The Spirit
2. Filling of The Spirit
Baptism of The Spirit:1 Corinthians 12:13
Holy Spirit baptism is synonymous with Conversion. The Spirit of God baptizes (immerses) us into the body of Christ. Water baptism symbolizes this as the believer is immersed (totally enveloped) in water.
Holy Spirit Baptism is a once for all time occurrence, securing our salvation in Christ. We are NOT commanded to seek it, or pursue it. It is something initiated by The Spirit.
Filling of the spirit: Ephesians 5:18
We are commanded to be FILLED with The Spirit.
In the context, FILLING is NOT about gaining something,… like more of The Holy Spirit …we receive all of The Spirit we will get when we are baptized by The Spirit.
Truth Point: FILLING is about releasing something, (surrendering) of one’s self to the control of The Spirit.
Being FILLED with The Spirit:
It’s not a “volume” issue – It’s a “control” issue
Achieving The Filling Of The Spirit
Two words keep us moving in the right direction: Obedience & Surrender. Galatians 5:16-25
Truth Point: Living in the fullness of The Spirit is a moment by moment obedience & surrender to The Word and The Spirit’s promptings.
It’s NOT about losing control through some form of ecstasy experience, but willfully relinquishing control to the authority, power, and control of God’s Holy Spirit.
Importance of Spirit Fullness
Truth Point: Christian living is impossible apart from Spirit Fullness!
John 15: Jesus delivers His “I Am The Vine” talk to the disciples. VS1-5.
Although The Holy Spirit is not mentioned here by name, when we consider the entirety of the teaching, it becomes clear that The Spirit is the power source, flowing from The Vine (Christ) into the Branch (Christ-follower).
The importance comes down to life or lifelessness – fruitfulness or fruitlessness. As The Spirit flows from Christ, the follower is empowered for every good work that Christ desires to do through that individual. When the Spirit is impeded by self-determination and disobedience the Christ-follower is left with his/her flesh to walk the path, and the flesh is grossly underpowered for such a supernatural journey.
How has the invisible God chosen reveal Himself in the visible world?
Through the testimony of the lives of His children.
Walk in The Spirit!