by Pastor Jim Feeney, Ph.D.
- Summary: There is a life available to the Christian believer that far surpasses natural limitations. It comes through the baptism with the Holy Spirit and a desire to live fully the Spirit-filled life.
As Christians — and especially as Spirit-filled Christians — we have advantages not possessed by unbelievers. The unbeliever is limited by his humanity, by his mortality. The believer is limited only by how much he limits God’s work in His life. There is available to every Christian believer an abundant, Spirit-filled life.
John 7:37-39a On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him." By this he meant the Spirit....
1 Corinthians 6:19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?
- •• The Holy Spirit is in believers. He is the “Spirit of life” (Romans 8:2).
•• The Spirit of God who breathed life into the primordial chaos (Genesis 1) is in you if you are a born-again, Christian believer.
•• The Spirit of God who raised Jesus from death to life is in you!
•• The Spirit of life and power who came upon the 120 at Pentecost is in you!
•• And just as wonderfully, that same Spirit, if we will allow Him, will flow out from us as a river of life.
Ephesians 5:18-19 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord.
- •• The Spirit of God will put music and a song of praise on your lips and in your heart.
•• He’ll give the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness (Isaiah 61:3, KJV), in place of a spirit of despair (NIV).
•• He’ll draw the focus of our hearts away from ourselves and to the Lord in praise and thanksgiving.
Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
- •• Righteousness! Only God’s Spirit can make us holy. He is the “Spirit of holiness” (Romans 1:4). We can’t make ourselves holy solely by our human efforts, but He can!
•• Peace! The fruit of the Spirit is peace (Galatians 5:22). Where this world brings us trouble, God’s Spirit brings us inner peace.
•• Joy! The fruit of the Spirit is joy. Where this life’s stresses and strains bring despair, He brings us joy and hope. That’s why Paul and Silas could sing praises in the prison (Acts 16:25).
Romans 8:14 ...those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
- •• The Spirit who lives in us and fills us with Himself wishes to lead us, to guide us.
- • A pastor friend of mine was approaching a curve in the road, when he suddenly pulled to the side of the road, for no apparent, visible reason. Then a car appeared speeding at him in the lane that he had just vacated! His astonished passenger asked, “How did you know to pull over?” To which the pastor replied with the truth, “The Spirit of God told me to.”
• My then teenage son was preparing to take a 550-mile trip on the interstate highway. My wife was praying about his trip and heard a prompting from the Holy Spirit, “Have him take our Buick” rather than his Ford. Thankfully, she obeyed that leading and we had him take our newer Buick up the interstate. While our son was gone with the new car, I was driving his old Ford slowly through a parking lot in our home town and a front wheel fell off! Imagine what could have happened if that wheel had fallen off at freeway speeds on the interstate highway with our son behind the wheel. Thank God my wife listened to the Holy Spirit’s leading and we sent our son on his trip driving our newer car.
Acts 19:6 When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.
- •• The baptism with the Holy Spirit — as also in Acts 2:1-4, Acts 10:44-46, and elsewhere — opens up new realms to us — the realms of the supernatural manifestations of God.
- • After my wife had endured six years of infertility, a Spirit-filled woman spoke to her a word from God: “Your barren days are over!” The next year my wife bore us the first of our four children. We saw first-hand evidence that Jesus still heals today.
• During a Sunday service, a Spirit-filled man came down from the choir and spoke into the pulpit microphone this Holy-Spirit-given word of knowledge: “Someone came this morning needing to be saved. And you know who you are, because you drank two beers before coming to church this morning.” The choir singer had no natural knowledge of this. It came from the Holy Spirit, and it convicted the heart of the man, who raised his hand and came forth to accept the Lord’s salvation.
Acts 4:31 After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.
- •• Do you have a problem speaking out boldly for the Lord? The boldness came to the disciples “after they prayed ... [and were] filled with the Holy Spirit.”
•• No matter what your temperament is, the Spirit of God, if you ask Him, will give you confident expression of God’s Word.
Acts 1:5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.... (8) But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
- •• The baptism with the Holy Spirit brings power. But it’s not just one item: “power”. It’s all of the above:
- • Rivers of life flowing from within you
• Music and praise on your lips and in your hearts
• Righteousness, peace, and joy
• The sure guidance of the Holy Spirit
• Supernatural manifestations and gifts of the Spirit
• Bold speaking of God’s Word prompted by the Spirit
- •• These are some of the things, some of the total package, given us by the Holy Sprit that cause us to be effective witnesses for Jesus Christ.
•• These are part of the wonderful spiritual abundance available for the Christian believer willing to live the Spirit-filled life.
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©1996, James H. Feeney. Copyright statement.