Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Talk Tuesday-The HOLY SPIRIT Series: Life In The Spirit, Pt. I

Peter and John were going to the Temple at the hour of prayer, when they healed a man who was lame from birth. The rulers, elders, scribes, high priest and family of the high priest demanded to know by what power they healed this man.

Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders of Israel: If we this day are judged for a good deed done to a helpless man, by what means he has been made well, 10 let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. 11 This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’ 12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. Acts 4:8-12 NKJV

They were astonished by the eloquence and fearlessness of Peter and John, who they considered to be uneducated laymen. The men of the Sanhedrin convened and commanded them not to speak or teach in the name of JESUS anymore. “19 But Peter and John replied, 'Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges! 20 As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard,'” Acts 4:19-20, NIV.

Then, in the midst of persecution, they prayed for boldness and GOD responded with the power of the HOLY SPIRIT. “31 As they prayed, the house where they were assembled rocked. From this time they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to proclaim the word of God fearlessly,” Acts 4:31, NJB.

When we come to the wonderful saving knowledge of JESUS CHRIST, we accept by faith what He accomplished on the cross, repent, get baptized and are filled with the HOLY SPIRIT. It becomes almost impossible to keep it to ourselves! We find meaning and purpose that surpass the limitations of this physical world. GOD enables us to do great exploits for His Kingdom, in the name of JESUS, by the power of the HOLY SPIRIT. We are no longer driven by our carnal desires. Join us next week as we continue to explore what it means to live a 'Life In The Spirit'. We leave you with the following verses until then:

1 Thus, condemnation will never come to those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because the law of the Spirit which gives life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death. 3 What the Law could not do because of the weakness of human nature, God did, sending his own Son in the same human nature as any sinner to be a sacrifice for sin, and condemning sin in that human nature. 4 This was so that the Law's requirements might be fully satisfied in us as we direct our lives not by our natural inclinations but by the Spirit.
Romans 8:1-4, NJB

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Talk Tuesday-The HOLY SPIRIT Series: The HOLY SPIRIT in Salvation, Saul's Journey

Let me tell you a story about a young Jewish man named Saul. He was born in Tarsus of Cilicia, of the tribe of Benjamin, and studied under the tutelage of Rabbi Gamaliel, a Pharisee and leader of the Sanhedrin (Jewish Supreme Law Council in Ancient Israel). Saul considered himself 'zealous' toward GOD, righteous and religious. He persecuted the early church, the followers of JESUS CHRIST, with unrelenting intensity. “But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off both men and women and put them in prison,” Acts 8:3, NIV. He had the backing of the High Priest and the Council of Elders.

Then, he encountered JESUS. “3 It happened that while he was travelling to Damascus and approaching the city, suddenly a light from heaven shone all round him. 4 He fell to the ground, and then he heard a voice saying, 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?' 5 'Who are you, Lord?' he asked, and the answer came, 'I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. 6 Get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you are to do,'” Acts 9:3-6, NJB.

Saul lost his physical eyesight for three days. He neither ate nor drank during that time, but prayed and waited. The LORD sent a man named Ananias, a Christian, to pray for him. “17 Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, 'Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.' 18 Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, 19 and after taking some food, he regained his strength,” Acts 9:17-19, NIV.

Now here is the amazing part. “After he had spent only a few days with the disciples in Damascus, 20 he began preaching in the synagogues, 'Jesus is the Son of God,'” Acts 9:19-20, NJB. How did that happen?

Conversion happens when we respond to, and accept, JESUS' invitation for salvation.“12 But to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God, to those who believed in his name 13 who were born not from human stock or human desire or human will but from God himself,” John 1:12-13, NJB. The power of the HOLY SPIRIT then begins to work within us from the inside out, bringing a spiritual rebirth. This regeneration is transformative. We go from being carnally minded to spiritually minded. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Cor 5:17, NIV. The process of sanctification takes place throughout the duration of the life of the believer, as we take up our cross and follow JESUS, by the power of the HOLY SPIRIT. This is the story of Saul, who became known as The Apostle Paul.

GOD can use anyone! You are never too broken, too sinful or too worthless in the sight of GOD. If you choose to turn to Him today, accept by faith JESUS' work on the cross, repent and be baptized, you too, will be filled by the power of the HOLY SPIRIT and will experience a new life!

For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:3-7, NKJV

Join us next week as we look at what it means to live in the Spirit.