TEXT: Acts 1:1-8; 2:1-4; -46 Gal. 5:16-26
INTRO: Everybody is into “power” these days. Business people have “power lunches,” teenagers want “power cars,” governments want to know how to deal with “super powers,” banks want to be the most “powerful” banks in the world, the Olympics are all about “power sports.” There are “power brokers,” “power saws,” nuclear power,” “powerful computers,” etc. We even talk about God being “all powerful,” but one subject that is largely ignored in many Christian circles is the “gift of POWER” that God has made available called the baptism of the Holy Spirit!
Unfortunately, sometimes as Pentecostals we are great about knowing about the power of the Holy Spirit without any real application of it in our lives.
ILLUS: A number of years ago on the “Merv Griffin Show” a guest appeared that was a body builder. As he entered with his huge muscular frame the crowd went crazy with applause as he flexed his muscles walking over to take his seat to be interviewed. Merv’s first question seemed to catch the body builder off guard however, he asked him “What do you use all those muscles for?” A bit puzzled, the body builder simply stood up and flexed his muscles again while the crowd again applauded wildly. As he sat down Merv again asked him, “What do you use all those muscles for?” Again with a puzzled and somewhat frustrated appearance the body builder stood up and flexed his muscles once again to a cheering audience. Merv however was undaunted and insisted a third time, “What do you use those muscles for?” The body builder was stumped and had no answer, all he could do is sit there and look bewildered at Merv’s constant question. The man was all power, but with no purpose! While he could impress the audience there was no application for all this power. How many Pentecostal Christians are like this? -- Source Unknown
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is an experience of power, Luke clearly states this in Acts 1:8 “But you shall receive POWER when the Holy Spirit comes on you…” This power is not for applause as much as it is for application!
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is not just an experience that makes me better than other Christians who have not had this experience; it is an experience that makes me better than ME! This being so it is a gift that should not be ignored nor used to compare ourselves with other Christians! The book of Acts assumes that all Christians will seek to be baptized in the Holy Spirit.
As any gift from God it is received by faith, not one person who sought for it in the book of Acts was left without the experience … they were “all filled.”
PROP. SENT: The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is for all Christians of all ages, it is a gift from God to empower us “TO BE” witnesses for Christ and in this way has tremendous application for the power of God in our lives.
A. Proclamation Lk. 24:48; Acts 1:8
1. According to Luke 24:48 the disciples were already witnesses, but they were lacking power.
a. Their ability to proclaim what they had been witnesses to was weak, they needed God’s power in their witnessing and this is where the baptism of the Holy Spirit would come in.
Hence Jesus tells them they are witnesses, but to wait in
2. In Salvation the Holy Spirit had baptized them into Christ, after salvation however Christ will baptize them into the Holy Spirit for service.
a. Neither of these gifts should be considered “optional” by Christians.
b. Christ would not ask them to begin “proclamation” until they had received power from on high!
3. The Church had salvation (Christ in John 20:22 had already “breathed on them and given them His Holy Spirit”) so this call to wait for the empowering of the Holy Spirit is different from salvation, it is the baptism of the Holy Spirit for service, empowering us TO BE witnesses.
a. Christians need more than just the right equipment, we also need the power!
ILLUS: Like the lights in this building or in your home, you can have all the right equipment; the light switch, the wiring, the bulbs, etc. and even the desire to turn the lights on, but without the power nothing happens! -- Source Unknown
b. Jesus knew they had the right equipment and calling, now they needed power.
4. The connection with “proclamation” with the baptism of the Holy Spirit cannot be missed.
a. It was never meant to be just an emotional experience.
b. It was never meant to be an experience to make them superior over other non baptized Christians.
c. It was meant to give them power TO BE WITNESSES above their own abilities.
5. Look at the transformation of these Christians after they were baptized with power:
a. The shy frightened disciples now had boldness.
b. They also had a new sense of unity among themselves.
B. Penetrating Acts 1:8
1. The Gospel was finally penetrating society with power.
a. The fastest growing segment of Christianity is Pentecostals!
The early Church was clearly a
2. The lack of results earlier now explodes into growth, thousands are saved the very first sermon preached with this new baptism of the Holy Spirit.
3. The baptism of the Holy Spirit made all Christians into evangelists, and so the Gospel spread rapidly.
4. This is a main function of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, to enable us to penetrate society with the power of the gospel.
ILLUS: I have penetrating oil at home in a small can. I have found that it is useless however just sitting in the can, it has to be applied to something to work. The baptism of the Holy was never meant to just “sit” in a person, to let them have a tremendous experience in God’s presence, it was meant to be applied in ministry through us so the Gospel can spread. -- Source Unknown
5. The baptism of the Holy Spirit gave the disciples power to witness.
A. Personal Acts 1:8
1. How does the baptism of the Holy Spirit give us power to witness? By giving us power to WALK godly!
a. The two most important words in Acts 1:8 are “TO BE”
b. We are given power “TO BE” witnesses.
2. It is therefore more than just power TO DO something, it is also transforming power “TO BE” something – a witness!
3. It wasn’t just tongues they were given:
a. They were enabled to minister in power!
b. They were enabled to serve in power!
c. They were enabled to walk in power!
4. Tongues was the initial physical evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, but the ongoing evidence was the transformation of their individual lives.
a. Too many people are satisfied with just the explosion of power at the moment of being baptized in the Holy Spirit.
b. We need to have this power on an ongoing basis.
ILLUS: Power can be used in at least 2 ways: It can be unleashed or it can be harnessed. You can take a gallon of gas and drop a match into it and watch it unleash its power in one big boom, OR, you can run it through a carburetor into an engine in a controlled burn and go about 35 miles on that same gallon. On the day of Pentecost the burst of power was evident immediately by the burst of tongues, but the control of the Spirit over His people took them a great distance in their generation as they continued being filled with the Holy Spirit. There is value in both! -- Source Unknown
5. Certainly the disciples were very different people personally after being baptized in the Holy Spirit.
B. Purity Gal. 5:16-26
1. Paul mentions here that the Spirit filled life is one that is pure.
a. This is why it is important to be “filled with the Spirit.”
b. Such an injunction to be “filled with the Spirit” implies the possibility of not being filled, thus we must take concern to be filled!
2. Since the Spirit of God is at odds with the spirit of flesh the more we walk in the power of the Holy Spirit the more we will live victoriously over sinful ways.
3. In Eph. the Greek of this text literally translates: “be constantly being filled with the Holy Spirit.”
4. This infilling of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost had a dramatic effect on the lives of the disciples toward living a pure life.
A. Praise Acts -46
1. One of the clear pictures of believers who have been baptized in the Holy Spirit is an enhanced atmosphere of praise and worship.
a. This is still true, Pentecostal worship services are known for their atmosphere of praise and worship.
b. Even in Acts 2 it mentions that those in the crowd that heard the disciples speaking in tongues heard them “Praising God and telling the wonderful works of God.” In fact, the atmosphere was so charged with powerful praise that the crowd thought the disciples were drunk with wine!
2. After the day of Pentecost the worship services were powerful and full of praise.
3. Spirit filled Christians are given a power to worship that is enhanced by the Holy Spirit.
1. This power to worship has a very positive effect on the individual who has been baptized in the Holy Spirit as well as the Church itself.
a. Studies done on tongue speaking Pentecostals reveal some interesting facts: in a 1985 study two social scientists named Malony and Lovekin conducted research on those who had spoken in tongues and found them well-adjusted, happy, and mentally fit people, there have even been several studies that have indicated that they are generally better adjusted individuals than the average person!
b. It can hardly be said that the early disciples that spoke in tongues were not well adjusted or bold people; in fact quite the opposite appears true.
2. Paul associated being baptized in the Holy Spirit as a BUILDING UP of the individual as well as the Church, that it edifies both the believer and the Church.
3. The experience of being baptized in the Holy Spirit is NEVER alluded to in a negative way in the Bible, always as a positive!
4. If this is so, why are so many Christians reluctant to experience God’s gift to them?
CONCLUSION: The baptism of the Holy Spirit is for all believers, not just a select group with a certain personality. The Bible associates only positive benefits with this gift, no negatives. It enables us or gives us power to WITNESS (reaching out); WALK (reaching in); and to WORSHIP (reaching up). The Greek word in Acts 1:8 “receive” literally translates as “to take, seize, or grasp” … take hold of this gift, it will empower you for all the right reasons in all the right ways! What keeps you from seeking?