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Respecting the Holy Spirit

Notes & Transcripts

 

Respecting the Holy Spirit

Acts 4:32-5:11               June 18, 2000

 

Scripture: Joshua 7:10-26

 

Introduction:

"You've Got To Know What Side Your Bread Is Buttered On" (RC&D in southern Iowa)

Where is loyalty and respect these days?

What kind of a organization do you want to work for (be a part of)?

What kind of a church do you want to be a part of?

Last Time in Acts 4:1-31:

What must we understand about the effect of Christ's message?

The effect of Christ's message is profoundly powerful because it either saves those humbled by it or disturbs those threatened by it.

The effect of Christ's message is profoundly personal because it either gives courage to those who know him or confusion to those who reject him.

The effect of Christ's message is profoundly praiseworthy because it increases in power the more it is proclaimed.

Hopefully, they knew what side their bread was buttered on.

So far we have seen in the early church, and for us as well, that the Holy Spirit gives us boldness, power, truth, and insight.

The Spirit is indeed the tremendous gift of God that Jesus promised.

But is there anything the Spirit wants from us?

Is this great gift reciprocal?

Does this diminish the value of the gift?

Any gift is given to be used.

But if the gift is valued, the gift must be taken seriously and used properly – in short, it must be respected.

From the early church we get the picture of what can and is supposed to happen when all are filled with the H.S.

If this is what happens when all are filled, then we can understand that this is what the H.S. desires of us.

Big Question:

What is the evidence of Holy Spirit power in the body-life of the church?         

         

I.       Cycle One

          A.      Narrative (v. 4:32a)

All believers had the same desire and arrived at the same conclusions.

This can happen only when we all seek the same source.

10  Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. 11  Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12  My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water. (James 3:10-12 NIVUS)

What the Spirit produces here is what he desires – spiritual unity that glorifies him.

          B.      Implication

Holy Spirit power is evident in a church where all believers are in step with the Spirit's desires. (Gal. 5:25)

          C.      Illustration

          D.      Application

II.      Cycle Two

          A.      Narrative (v. 4:32b)

Equality in Spirit translates into equality of possessions – because earthly possessions pale in comparison to spiritual possessions.

Everyone is equally important because all have received the same grace.

The H.S. desires "body life".

It is not the individual, but the body (of Christ, the church) that glorifies God.

Each person is eminently important, but only as part of the body of Christ.

See 1Cor. 12:12-26; Eph. 4:1-6.

          B.      Implication

          Holy Spirit power is evident in a church where all believers agree to hold people in higher esteem than possessions.

          C.      Illustration

          D.      Application

III.    Cycle Three

          A.      Narrative (v. 4:33)

This "body life" that we have through the resurrection of Jesus and the indwelling Spirit (our obedience to his desire) is the force behind our message.

It testifies to the grace we all received that puts us on equal footing.

          B.      Implication

          Holy Spirit power is evident in a church where all believers bear the fruit of grace through the resurrection of Jesus. (Response to the gift of grace enables the continuous outpouring of grace.)

          C.      Illustration

          D.      Application

IV.    Cycle Four

          A.      Narrative (vv. 4:34)

Individuals were prompted by the H.S. to respond to the needs of others.

Their response of obedience to the H.S. comes out of gratitude and respect for the H.S. (and apostolic authority).

          B.      Implication

          Holy Spirit power is evident in a church where all believers are cared for even if sacrificial giving is necessary. 

          C.      Illustration

          D.      Application

However, there should be no poor among you, for in the land the LORD your God is giving you to possess as your inheritance, he will richly bless you, (Deuteronomy 15:4 NIVUS)

 Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. (Luke 12:33 NIVUS)

 Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. (2 Corinthians 8:13 NIVUS)

V.      Cycle Five

          A.      Narrative (v. 4:35)

          B.      Implication

          Holy Spirit power is evident in a church where all believers trust the authorities that God has established.

          C.      Illustration

          D.      Application

VI.    Cycle Six

          A.      Narrative (vv. 4:36-37)

          B.      Implication

          Holy Spirit power is evident in a church where exceptional examples of Holy Spirit obedience can be found.

          C.      Illustration

          D.      Application

Barnabas was a good example – he was an encourager.

Consider his biography:

            26  When he came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple. 27  But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus. 28  So Saul stayed with them and moved about freely in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord. 29  He talked and debated with the Grecian Jews, but they tried to kill him. 30  When the brothers learned of this, they took him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus. (Acts 9:26-30 NIVUS)

19 ¶ Now those who had been scattered by the persecution in connection with Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, telling the message only to Jews. 20  Some of them, however, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and began to speak to Greeks also, telling them the good news about the Lord Jesus. 21  The Lord's hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord. 22  News of this reached the ears of the church at Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. 23  When he arrived and saw the evidence of the grace of God, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts. 24  He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord. 25  Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, 26  and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch. (Acts 11:19-26 NIVUS)

1 ¶ In the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul. 2  While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them." 3  So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off. 4 ¶ The two of them, sent on their way by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia and sailed from there to Cyprus. 5  When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the Jewish synagogues. John was with them as their helper. (Acts 13:1-5 NIVUS)

36 ¶ Some time later Paul said to Barnabas, "Let us go back and visit the brothers in all the towns where we preached the word of the Lord and see how they are doing." 37  Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark, with them, 38  but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work. 39  They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus, 40  but Paul chose Silas and left, commended by the brothers to the grace of the Lord. (Acts 15:36-40 NIVUS)

VII.   Cycle Seven

          A.      Narrative (vv. 5:1-10)

Ananias and Sapphira were bad examples.

Not that it was wrong to keep some of the money, but they wanted to glorify themselves rather than the H.S.

They wanted to look good by the appearance of giving all.

Not that this would happen today (we have all lied to the H.S. in some way or another) but I would think twice about it.

How is it possible to deceive a God who indwells you to the extent of knowing your thoughts?

Respecting the H.S. may be the smartest thing you ever do (Jn. 16:8-11).

The greatest compliment we can give God for his saving grace and the precious gift of his indwelling presence is the respect of our obedience.

To lie to God is to deceive yourself.

In every new situation with a new boss, he is tested by those under him.

People want to see if he is worth his stuff.

Can he handle me?

That is one thing on a human level, it is something else on the divine.

Ananias wanted to match the gift of Barnabas – it looked good, and he wanted to look good too.

His gift was out of pride and arrogance.

It was not from the heart.

Here was sin in the church.

Here was a heart dishonest with God.

Here was a heart that discounted the H.S. as God.

Spiritual hypocrisy is a deadly game.

Scripture: Joshua 7:10-26

As at Ai with Achan, a new era has begun, and respect for the new relationship of God with men must be established.

Achan same in that it was beginning of new era – a lesson had to be learned.

Achan different in that the Lord chose by steps and stoning was done by people. With Ananias and Sapphira, the Spirit revealed immediately and killed immediately.

Ananias and Sapphira were believers – part of the "all" that were filled with the H.S.

They brought the gift as if it was all they had gotten.

It was the appearance they were after.

There is a danger with the concept of the Spirit's habitation within us.

It is the danger of familiarity.

We may not take this divine friend and counselor as God.

But since he is God within us we dare not discount him because he has the power of God – and knows all that is within us.

We must respect him in every thought.

Having God within us has tremendous advantages for the person who desires to obey him, but tremendous disadvantages for the person who does not so desire.

To respect God is also to respect the Holy Spirit.

Disrespecting the H.S. can be deadly.

God used Ananias and Sapphira to teach the rest of us.

Testing the boss is dangerous when that boss is God himself.

Achan didn't respect the boss until he was singled out.

          B.      Implication

          Holy Spirit power is evident in a church where exceptional examples of Holy Spirit disobedience are not ignored.

          C.      Illustration

          D.      Application

Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. (Hebrews 4:13 NIVUS)

 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come. (Matthew 12:32 NIVUS)

 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people. (Ephesians 5:3 NIVUS)

 If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw,  his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work.  If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward.  If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.  Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you?  If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him; for God's temple is sacred, and you are that temple. (1 Corinthians 3:12-17 NIVUS)

 When you are assembled in the name of our Lord Jesus and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present,  hand this man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord. (1 Corinthians 5:4-5 NIVUS)

 Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord.  A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup.  For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself.  That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep.  But if we judged ourselves, we would not come under judgment.  When we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned with the world. (1 Corinthians 11:27-32 NIVUS)

Nevertheless, God's solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: "The Lord knows those who are his," and, "Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness." (2 Timothy 2:19 NIVUS)

VIII.  Cycle Eight

          A.      Narrative (v. 5:11)

          B.      Implication

          Holy Spirit power is evident in a church where Holy Spirit power is respected.

          C.      Illustration

          D.      Application

Those who sin are to be rebuked publicly, so that the others may take warning. (1 Timothy 5:20 NIVUS)

Conclusion:

What does obedience to the Holy Spirit look like in the church?

What must we understand about our relationship to the Holy Spirit whom Jesus gave us?

How must our lives respond to the H.S. who indwells us?

What is spiritual honesty?

What is the evidence of our obedience to the H.S. who indwells us?

The H.S. gives us bold words but demands bold lives to prove the effect of those words.

We must understand that God has given us all things of heaven if we have given him all things of earth.

The Spirit's relationship to us is reciprocal.

The Spirit gives us possessions, truth, power.

What does the Spirit demand of us? Generosity and honesty.

Big Answer:

What is the evidence of Holy Spirit power in the body-life of the church?         

         

Holy Spirit power is evident in a church where all believers are in step with the Spirit's desires. (Gal. 5:25)

          Holy Spirit power is evident in a church where all believers agree to hold people in higher esteem than possessions.

          Holy Spirit power is evident in a church where all believers bear the fruit of grace through the resurrection of Jesus. (Response to the gift of grace enables the continuous outpouring of grace.)

          Holy Spirit power is evident in a church where all believers are cared for even if sacrificial giving is necessary. 

          Holy Spirit power is evident in a church where all believers trust the authorities that God has established.

          Holy Spirit power is evident in a church where exceptional examples of Holy Spirit obedience can be found.

          Holy Spirit power is evident in a church where exceptional examples of Holy Spirit disobedience are not ignored.

          Holy Spirit power is evident in a church where Holy Spirit power is respected.

Timeless Truth:

The life of the church lies in its respect for the power of the Holy Spirit.

But the church that lies about its respect for the power of the Holy Spirit is already dead.

Respect for the Spirit is the life of the church.

Date:  12/1997.2005

Title:  A Small Step into the Kingdom

   One time there was a wizened old sailor dying in a Navy hospital. The young Catholic priest was sent to do the last rites over him, because the nurses sensed that he was very close to the end. And the young priest said to the old man rather traditionally, "My son are you sorry for all your sins?"

   He was astonished to hear the old sailor say, "To be honest with you, Padre, I'm not. I rather enjoyed all of that whiskey I drunk. I rather liked all those Jezebels in all the ports of the world. I know it's probably not what you're supposed to say, but if I'm going to be honest, Padre, I have to tell you that I'm not sorry."

   Well, many priests would probably have turned in anger and said, "Well, you old reprobate, if that's the way you feel, then go to the hell you so richly deserve for your arrogance!"

   But this young man understood the doctrine of patient grace. The old man had been honest, so the young priest said, "Well, let me ask you another question. Are you sorry that you're not sorry?"

   There was a long pause, and the priest saw tears beginning to form in the eyes of the old sailor. Finally he said with great conviction, "You know, Padre, I can say that. I am sorry that I'm not sorry." And it was enough. He was absolved.

   -- John Claypool, "You Don't Have to Be Good to Come to Christ," Preaching Today, Tape No. 83.

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