Pastor Edgar Mayer; Living Grace Community Lutheran Church; Message on Acts 10 – The Appointment 6; Date: 7 June 09

For more sermons and other writings check out pastor’s homepage: http://www.geocities.com/mayeredgar

 

 

God’s Absolute Best

 

Peter had not even finished his preaching, when the ultimate happened. I read from the Bible – Acts 10:44-46: “While Peter was still speaking these words [preaching Jesus Christ], the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. The other Christians [original: circumcised believers] who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on them [original: Gentiles]. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God

This had been on God’s mind from the beginning. Remember that God had sent an angel to Cornelius with the following message – Acts 10:4-6: “ … Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God. Now send men to Joppa to bring back a man named Simon who is called Peter … ” Then – after further arrangements by God – Cornelius finally caught up with Peter and heard these words from him – Acts 10:36: “ … the message [is] … good news of peace [with God] through Jesus Christ who is Lord of allPeter continued with some more preaching about Jesus – how everyone who believed in him would receive forgiveness through his name – but then came the practical outcome – what God had intended from the beginning – the absolute best what anyone can have from God. I read it again from the Bible – Acts 10:44-46: “While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. The other Christians [original: circumcised believers] who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on them [original: Gentiles]. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God

God was fast-tracking Cornelius. Not only did he listen and then believe for his salvation. He also immediately received the promised gift which is promised to everyone who puts his faith in Jesus. If you are sitting here in church this morning and you do not yet know what this gift is about – if you do not yet know what happened to Cornelius – keep listening to this sermon (which is preaching the same Jesus Christ that was preached to Cornelius) – learn in greater detail what is also promised to you – and then also receive the same gift of the Holy Spirit – now – today.

I say it again: God cut Peter short. He could not even complete all that he wanted to preach because God was almost impatient (so it seems) to shower grace upon grace unto Cornelius. The Bible teaches us that – John 3:16: “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” And therefore, the Bible encourages us with this question – Romans 8:32: “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all – how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things

If you are sitting here in church this morning and you are not quite sure about God and what you can expect from him, listen to this: God is even wanting to cut this sermon short (he doesn’t care how much preparation time I put into this) because he desires to bless you with the same gift that came upon Cornelius. This is the truth. God did not spare his Son – also for you – and, along with his Son, he wants to give you all things. Meditate on this for a moment: “all things” – “all things”. Romans 8:32: “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all – how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things

[And by the way – God knows that we do not deserve anything good (none of us has lived up to his perfect standard) but he delights in giving us what we do not deserve – by grace, that is: undeserved compassion and love and mercy. Ephesians 2:4-10: “But because of his great love for us, God who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved … through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one may boast … ”]

Let’s unpack in more detail what precisely happened to Cornelius. Whatever it was, it was something that others could observe because Peter could see and hear that something had happened to his congregation. The evidence was – according to the Bible – Acts 10:46 – that “ . they heard them speaking in tongues and praising GodSomething from God had been powerful enough to break the protocol of politeness (letting a guest-speaker finish his sermon) and broke out in joyful speech – speaking in tongues (prayer words given by the Holy Spirit that the mind does not understand) and praise.

Witnessing this – Peter and the other Christians said – Acts 10:47: “ … They have received the Holy Spirit just as we haveAnd later Peter reported to his home-church – Acts 11:15: “As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came on them as he had come on us at the beginningPeter drew a reference to his own experience which was the experience of the very first outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the disciples of Jesus. I read the account from the Bible – Acts 2:1-4: “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them

This is what happened in the beginning. Now – the experiences of Cornelius and Peter were not identical. With Cornelius there was no sound like the blowing of a violent wind or tongues of fire but both times there was speech – praise (the joyful speaking out of God’s truth) – speaking in tongues – even though only in the case of Peter and the first Christians the speaking in tongues had come with the miracle of being understood by people from other nations. Foreign nationals had asked in amazement – Acts 2:6-11: “ … how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language? Parthians, Medes … residents of Mesopotamia … Egypt and … Libya … visitors from Rome … and Arabs – we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues

When the Holy Spirit is poured out on people, the experiences vary but Peter and the other Christians were not confused. Cornelius and those with him had received the same gift. Back home – reporting to his church – Peter added another comment which may be helpful for us today. He declared – Acts 11:16: “Then I remembered what the Lord had said: ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’” What John did with water, Jesus would do with the Holy Spirit. Jesus himself had said that he would “baptize” people in the Holy Spirit which means that he would “plunge people into” – “drench them with” – “submerge them in” – the Spirit of God. As people went completely under water in the baptism of John, so people would be completely under (covered by) the Spirit of God in the baptism of Jesus. Therefore – even though the Bible nowhere gives a precise definition of the event – the experience of the Spirit baptism is one of fullness and richness – saturation (which means that you know when it happens).

Hear a few more Bible references on this. John the Baptist – the forerunner of Jesus – had already announced him with the words – Luke 3:16: “ … He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit … “ Then Jesus himself – as Peter would remember later – also spelled it out clearly to the first Christians – Acts 1:4-5: “ … you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” Acts 1:8: “ . you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and [then] you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and … to the ends of the earthWhen people were wondering about the first actual Spirit baptism on the day of Pentecost, a sermon explained the event and the practical outcome for everyone – Acts 2:17-39: “In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people … People, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs … and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him … God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact. Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear … be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ … Repent and be baptized every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and … for all whom the Lord our God will call

The Father raised Jesus from the dead. Jesus then received from him the promised Holy Spirit and poured out the person of the Holy Spirit on the first Christians and other Christians – including us today. [You can see here that we have one God who comes to us in the form of three persons – who is three persons.] Further experiences of this are recorded in Acts 13:52: “And the disciples were filled with joy and with the SpiritActs 19:6: “When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.” Cf. Acts 8:15-17; 9:17.

One evangelist shared that there are some who receive a more sedate baptism of the Holy Spirit – and that is okay – there is nothing deficient about that – but his was explosive. He writes: “The night I received the baptism of the Holy Spirit marked my ministry and me forever. It was during a meeting with evangelist Manuel Ruiz. We started to pray and worship God. In a few minutes most of the people in the place were speaking in new tongues. Maria, my wife, looked like an angel. She was singing and speaking in tongues with such fluency. I suddenly realized that everybody was receiving the baptism except me. From the depth of my soul I wanted to receive the baptism they were receiving. I started to cry out to God with all my heart, ‘Lord, baptize me or I will die!’ I had only known him for a week, and I was already experiencing incredible things. As I was crying out to God with all that was in me, asking for his baptism, lightning fell over me from heaven. It was God’s power. It threw me to the ground, and I started to speak in new tongues ... ” (Carlos Annacondia: Listen To Me Satan, Lake Mary: Charisma House 2008, p111-112).

Did you notice his passion – his desperation – when everybody seemed to receive except him? He cried out: “Lord, baptize me or I will dieDo the same. This morning ask the Lord to baptize you.

Then, the same evangelist talked about his children: “Some years ago in 1981 when my children told me that they wanted to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit, I said, ‘All right, if you want God to baptize you, go to your room and kneel down to pray.’ So they did. They went to their room and started to ask God for his baptism. Even our little baby girl was there, in her nanny’s arms. All of a sudden I heard a clamor coming from their room. I told my wife, Maria, ‘Let’s go to see the children. God is visiting them.’ When we came into the room, the nanny was shaking. She was a new believer, but she was speaking in tongues and prophesying. My eldest daughter was on the floor prophesying. The rest of the children were speaking in tongues … ” (Carlos Annacondia: Listen To Me Satan, Lake Mary: Charisma House 2008, p115-116).

The Bible makes it very clear that after the initial baptism with the Holy Spirit, we need refillings – and again refillings – and throughout our lives experience ongoing top-ups of Jesus pouring out the Spirit on us. So this is what one pastor experienced who needed a fresh touch of God in his life. He writes: “When I picked up the phone … John Arnott was on the other end. I could feel the intensity in his voice …. ‘come and check this out’ … he began to describe how the Holy Spirit was touching people … My interest was stirred, and I bought a one-way plane ticket to [his place] … As I was packing the Lord spoke to me and said, ‘If you go to analyze, you’ll end up criticizing, and I will lift my hand off of you. But if you go as a child to partake, I will pour out my anointing on you, again, and again, and again!’ … I arrived … and I felt like I had walked into a bonfire … I did the typical . pastor thing; I stood off to the side to observe what was going on. As Randy prayed … As he interceded for me, I felt this overwhelming sense of the peace and power of God come over me, and then it felt like someone turned out the lights. I don’t know how long I was out, but I had this incredible sense of the immanent presence of the Holy Spirit resting on me. Throughout the evening every time I would try to get up, someone would pray, ‘Touch him again, Lord. More, Lord. More, Lord!’ And out I would go again, each time resting deeply in the peace and presence of the Lord … This went on for days. I felt and acted very intoxicated. I couldn’t talk, except in short cryptic phrases … But as time passed I felt more and more cleansed and calm deep down on the inside. I felt the manifest presence of the Holy Spirit all the time, and continued to soak in a state of blissful abandonment …” (Guy Chevreau: Catch The Fire, Canada: Harper Perennial 1994, p149-151).

When this pastor gave up standing off to the side – gave up any critical analysis – and entered in like a child, he received – peace, becoming cleansed and calm, soaking in the presence of God.

His wife also later came and joined him. She writes: “I cancelled appointments, and left … On the way up all I could pray in my spirit was ‘Whatever you want Lord … whatever you want.’ I have to admit I was both scared and anxious … what would happen to me? … We got Ron [my husband] up and on a chair, and as worship began, he nudged me and pointed his finger in my face and said (as best as he could) ‘C…a…l…l…9…1…1’ [in Australia: 000]. There was a look of fear and distress on his face and it scared me. My first thought was he really had flipped out. As worship continued, Ron caught the eye of some other and said the same thing. It was so bizarre and so out of character … After a couple of days of Ron continuing to call for 911, someone finally put their hand on his head during a ministry time and said, ‘It’s OK, Ron. Jesus has heard your call for help (911) and he says it’s going to be all right.’ The peace of the Lord came over Ron then, and that was the last time he asked us to call 911. Who can understand the ways of the Lord and our responses to him? All along, way down deep in his spirit, Ron had just been crying desperately for help. Jesus is the only one who can be that help, for all of us … Seeing Ron receive as a child really helped me to receive. The Lord touched me so many ways in the last few weeks … I felt his power so strongly in my body one night, I became fearful that I was going to die; I have also felt an incredible presence of peace like never before … ” (Guy Chevreau: Catch The Fire, Canada: Harper Perennial 1994, p155-156).

Call 911 – call 000 – if you want – but – do not fear – it is going to be all right. We have peace with God through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit is only going to confirm this fact to you. Are we beginning to get a handle on the baptism with the Holy Spirit? Yes? Hear a few more testimonies of the ultimate – the absolute best – what anyone can receive from God: “I [Dora Bittermann] can hardly explain in words what is going on deep in my heart. All things I am describing now are an increasing process. Jesus has removed many of my life’s pains, and lifted my burdens … He has led me to repentance, and released me from many of my fears. More and more, he fills me up with his love, his joy, his life. I often feel as if he burns himself into my heart. For the first time in my life, I really feel his love for me … ” (Guy Chevreau: Catch The Fire, Canada: Harper Perennial 1994, p165).

“As they started to pray for me [Belma Vardy], I felt a heat penetrate through my face. I felt as if the Lord’s face was right against mine, and it seemed as though his love began to fill me” (Guy Chevreau: Catch The Fire, Canada: Harper Perennial 1994, p177). “ … while praying with my eyes closed, the Lord showed me [Terry Bone] a picture of my soul, after which I saw a large hand come down and remove something marked FEAR. At that moment, I perceived that the Lord was removing from me the fear of that which is phony, and the fear of loss of control – which, for me, go hand in hand. A few seconds later, I fell backwards on to the floor where I stayed for over half an hour weeping, while the Spirit of God did some inner healing. I wasn’t very orderly that day” (Guy Chevreau: Catch The Fire, Canada: Harper Perennial 1994, p184). “ … Later on my twelve-year-old son came forward and said, ‘I think kids can receive too, Dad’. As soon as he raised his hands, he began to sob, fell to the floor, and soon began to laugh louder and longer than ever in his life. After thirty minutes, he began to flow with Spirit-given language for the first time! This was followed by my ten-year-old daughter falling to the floor and remaining there, hands extended upward, praising God” (Guy Chevreau: Catch The Fire, Canada: Harper Perennial 1994, p186).

This is for children also. You may be here in church this morning and you may be only ten years old but know this: The promise is also for you. You are not too young. If you want the gift, pray to God that he will also fill you with the Holy Spirit.

How do we receive this? At this point of time are we all wanting – desiring – to be baptized with the Holy Spirit – maybe for the first time or receiving refreshments? God thought that it was worth sending an angel to Cornelius so that he would receive the gift. Do we now want the same gift and how do we get it?

The short answer is: Look to Jesus and let him do it – for you. You cannot make it happen for yourself. The baptism in the Holy Spirit is a gift that comes from him. You need to wait on God – allow him to do it for you in his way – even the first Christians waited on God for days before they received the outpouring of the Spirit – but – at the same time – you are not completely passive during this waiting period. You can position yourself or let God position you. Again – we learn from Cornelius. According to the Bible you can get ready for receiving from God.

The Bible account introduced Cornelius with these words – Acts 10:2: “He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularlyThis came to the attention of God and for that reason he sent an angel to him, saying – Acts 10:4: “ … Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God … ” The communication from God is very clear on this point. It was on account of 1) God-fearing prayers and 2) money gifts to the poor that salvation and the baptism with the Holy Spirit came to Cornelius and his family and friends (cf. Acts 10:35).

You may decide to do the same. Fear God and love him by praying to him always and sharing your money with the poor. Then, Jesus himself encouraged us to be very specific in our prayers for the Holy Spirit. He said – Luke 11:9-13: “ … Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened … If you … know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him

There is more. As Peter gave his report about Cornelius to his home-church (back in Jerusalem), he concluded by saying – Acts 11:17: “ … God gave them the same gift as he gave us, who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ … ” which made the congregation respond with the words – Acts 11:18: “ … God has granted … repentance unto lifeFrom Peter and the church’s perspective the repentance of Cornelius mattered and his faith. They said: “ … God has granted … repentance unto life … God gave them the same gift as he gave us, who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ … ” Therefore, if we want to receive the baptism with the Holy Spirit, we also repent (in response to God prompting us) and put our faith in Jesus Christ. We look to Jesus.

In summary then, this is how you can position yourself for receiving an outpouring of the Holy Spirit: repent, believe in Jesus, pray and give away money to the poor. [One additional observation: God responded to the prayers and money giving of Cornelius but then not only Cornelius was baptized in the Spirit. All of his family and friends also came under the anointing which may be an incentive for us today to seek out the company of God-fearing people because we may share in their blessings.]

However, at this point I may also mention one obstacle that most of us need to overcome before we can receive the baptism with the Holy Spirit. I am talking about fear which is the opposite to faith. In the testimonies from before fear was a recurring theme. What if anything weird happens? What if I lose control? What if this is all fake and hysteria? What will others think and say about me?

The fear factor is an issue for most of us because the sensation of being overcome with God – maybe bursting with strong emotions or physical reactions – is not something that we can easily get our heads around. God is so big and so holy.

Then, the fear – for many people – gets heightened because when Jesus baptizes us with the Holy Spirit, he frequently targets one of the key-strongholds of human power and control, that is: our tongue. Many a time with the baptism of the Holy Spirit comes the spiritual gift of speaking in tongues. Many a time when – in the Bible – people were baptized in the Spirit, they all – without exception – received the gift of tongues (cf. Acts 2:1-5; Acts 19:6). This can be scary – to yield control of something so personal as your tongue to God. And it is so humbling because it offends the control of the human mind. Is this not just babbling and blabbering – speaking out words given by the Spirit which you do not understand?

In my limited experience there are numerous people who shut themselves off to the baptism with the Holy Spirit because they cannot come to grips with the gift of speaking in tongues – therefore resisting this gift – insisting that the Spirit baptism has to happen without it. And indeed – God may pour out his Spirit and not release the gift of tongues in you – at least not straight away (cf. 1 Corinthians 14:1,5) – but we don’t make the rules.

Even a few weeks ago (May 09) – at the end of our Friday night prayer watch – I had the impression that I should ask a young man whether he already spoke in tongues and whether he wanted to receive this gift. We prayed for him and after the prayer he thanked us for the experience but I asked him what had happened. He said that he had felt the Holy Spirit on him and that something lifted his tongue inside his mouth. Then he became scared and stopped the encounter. Fear blocked him.

A Lutheran pastor friend shared with me that – when he was at the Bible College – another student prayed for him and at that time he also felt the Holy Spirit causing tingling sensations all over his body and he also felt his tongue moving but all those years ago he panicked. He thought: “If this goes any further and the Holy Spirit makes me speak in tongues, maybe I will be kicked out of the Bible College and cannot become a pastor. What will my parents think of meSo – with fear rising – he stopped the encounter and was not baptized in the Spirit until many years later.

Fear is a frustrating reality because even the people who want the fullness of God can become afraid when the unexpected happens. I myself am so desperate for more of God but then on two different occasions (May 2009) in a dream God took me into an encounter where I felt the presence of God coming onto me and God showing me visions – it was beautiful – but I did not understand everything that happened in the dream and therefore stopped what was happening. I woke up – to my great frustration. Fear is not faith and we receive by faith.

This is where Cornelius had an advantage. When the angel came, he was at first scared of him but then the angel assured him of God’s favour and set him up for the preaching engagement with Peter. By the time he finally heard the message of Jesus Christ he was brimming with positive expectations because he knew that God had something planned for him and that it would be good. God has something good for us this morning.

In closing I want to touch briefly on the purposes of the Spirit baptism. Why does Jesus want to baptize you with the Holy Spirit? The number one reason is love. When Jesus was baptized in the Spirit himself, the following happened – Luke 3:22: “ . the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: ‘You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased’” (cf. Matthew 17:5). The same happens for us. When we are immersed in the Spirit and presence of God, we hear the same voice from heaven – clearly – saying to us: “I love you. You are my child. Heaven is your inheritance. You are precious to meAn assurance comes on us that we are saved.

The Bible refers to this experience as being “sealed” with the Holy Spirit (stamp of approval) or receiving the Holy Spirit as a “deposit” – a down payment (in the hands of our experience) of what is to come in heaven. 2 Corinthians 1:20-22: “ … [God] anointed us, set his seal on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.” 2 Corinthians 5:1-10:  “ … Now it is God who has made us … and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. Therefore we are always confident … We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body [would prefer to be dead] and at home with the Lord [in heaven] … ” [Ephesians 1:13-14: “ … you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth … [then] having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance [in heaven] … “ Ephesians 4:30: “ … the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”]

The practical outcome of this is that we call God “Abba/Dear Father/Daddy”. We are secure in the love of God. Hence, the Bible says – Romans 8:14-16: “ … you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’ The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children

[Martin Lloyd-Jones: God’s Ultimate Purpose. An Exposition Of Ephesians 1:1 to 23, Edinburgh: The Banner Of Truth Trust 1978, p283-284: “There is a very beautiful illustration of this aspect in the works of … Dr Richard Sibbes, another of the great Puritans of 300 years ago. Dr Sibbes says that the difference between the conversion experience and the ‘sealing’ can be stated thus. It is like a child who has been a little mischievous and disobedient, who has a sense of guilt and is unhappy, and who keeps on running back to his father. The father receives him but he does not smile much at him. This is the father’s way of reprimanding him and of punishing him for his disobedience; but the child by running back gets a certain satisfaction when he is with his father. This may go on for some time. Then one day as they are walking along a road together the child presses near to his father and touches him. The father continues just to look at him; but then after a while takes hold of the child, lifts him up and fondles him in his arms and showers his love upon him. That is the difference! Without the sealing of the Spirit you can know that your sins are forgiven; but not in this special and certain manner. This goes beyond the initial experience of forgiveness; this is God, if I may so express it, endearing us and showering his love upon us, overwhelming us … ”

The second reason for receiving the Spirit is power. Peter told Cornelius that Jesus himself operated in power because of the Spirit. He said – Acts 10:38: “ . God anointed [baptized] Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, … [so that] he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with himJesus promised the same to his disciples. He said – Acts 1:4-8: “ … you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit … you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; then you will be my witnesses … “ According to the Bible we Christians do mission work – Romans 15:19: “by the power of signs and miracles, through the power of the Spirit … “ Baptized in the Spirit we will say with the Bible – 1 Corinthians 2:4-5: “My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration [an experience] of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power1 Thessalonians 1:5: “ … our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction … ” [1 Corinthians 4:20: “ . the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.” Ephesians 1:18-23: “ … you may know … his incomparable great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead … “ Ephesians 3:20: “ … able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power … “ 2 Timothy 3:5: “[People that are] having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.” Cf. Zechariah 4:6; Luke 4:16-19; John 14:12]

When the Holy Spirit is poured out, there is power for preaching, driving out demons, protection from danger, healings and miracles. This is also where spiritual power gifts find their place – wisdom, knowledge, administration, healings, miracles, faith and prophecy (cf. 1 Corinthians 12; Hebrews 2:4).

Yet – another key realm of experiencing power is personal holiness. The Holy Spirit gives you power over sin and enables you to resist temptation. The Bible says – Romans 6:14: “ . sin shall not be your master … ” Romans 8:9-17: “You . are controlled not by the sinful nature, but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you … by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body …” Galatians 6:16: “ … live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful natureThus, if you are caught in a sin that you cannot seem to shake, seek more of the Spirit and become free.

This is the end of the message. Do we want this now for ourselves? Are we ready for the love and power? This was on God’s mind from the beginning – Acts 10:44: “While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the messageCornelius and those with him ended up speaking in tongues and praising God. There were no regrets – only joy. Therefore, look to Jesus – without fear – and receive. Amen.