Posted on Sat, Apr 28, 2018
Pastor Bob Norton
What does the Church look like when filled with the power of the Holy Spirit? The Bible gives us a marvelous word picture in Acts 2:41-47. The day of Pentecost, often referred to as “the Birthday of the Church” came fifty days after the Cross of Christ. After his resurrection Jesus told his disciples to “wait for the promise of the Father…you will be clothed with power from on high.” (Luke 24:49) The power came as described in Acts 2:1-13 with the wind and fire and communication miracle of the Holy Spirit. The people were amazed. And today we are amazed as we look at the early Church at it’s best in verses 41-47. What do we see and what can we expect when the Holy Spirit comes upon us? On Pentecost a restored Peter preached Christ to the crowd and three thousand souls believed and were baptized (Acts 2:41). Christ is the center of our Church as well. Without Christ you don’t have Christianity. You don’t have the dynamic center of the people of God. The growth of the Church was authentic because Christ was at the center. Their devotion and love for the living Christ made all the difference. Their devotion also flowed to a hunger for the Word, a hunger for community, and a focus on the Lord’s Supper and prayers for one another. (Acts 2:42-43) God was at work in their midst and these signs and wonders brought awe to the people as they saw the Lord powerfully working through the Apostles. Their generosity was radical as they shared their resources having all things in common. (Acts 2:44-45) Today, the same thing happens. The Spirit-filled Church is a generous Church. Giving to missions. Giving to the poor. The joy of giving is a manifestation of the Spirit. It’s a beautiful thing to behold. God is pleased. They joyfully worshipped together and gathered in their homes to share an authentic hospitality of heart and home, of food and fellowship. (Acts 2:46) The love of God was their bond and their relation- ships were transformed. The power of the Spirit created this vital, energizing expres- sion of this new community of love. They were known for praising God and having favor with all the people so the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. (Acts 2:47) This magnetic community of God’s people grew by attraction. Everyone saw the difference Christ made in their lives and many were hungry to know Christ too. The Spirit-filled followers of Christ brought the seekers into the fellowship. The same thing happens today. People bring people. The church grows and God is glorified. To be filled with the Holy Spirit means that we allow him to occupy and control every area of our lives…How much of you does the Holy Spirit have? I teach this spir- itual principle by setting up two glasses of water and two packets of Alka-Seltzer. I drop a packet of Alka-Seltzer, with the wrapper on, into one glass. Then I plop an unsealed packet into the second glass, and watch it fill with fizz. I then share, “Both glasses have the Alka-Seltzer, just as all Christians have the Holy Spirit. But notice how you can have the Holy Spirit and not his filling.” Our goal is to live in such a way as to unwrap the packaging around the presence and power of the Holy Spirit with- in us. In May at Church of the Resurrection, we’ll be discovering together how to un- wrap the presence and power of the Holy Spirit in our lives and in our Church. Let’s pray for a new Pentecost…for Pentecost Sunday is coming soon. We’ll celebrate together the Birthday of the Christian Church on May 20th. We give God the glory as we joyfully worship and faithfully serve Him together.
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