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A Seeker's Repentance Will Recieve the Holy Spirit

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Sermon Notes

Theme: Repentance, and the Holy Spirit's ability to empower people to do good. 
Title: The Holy Spirit Changes People
Text:  Acts 2: 36-42
Subject: What is the promise for the people who recognize Jesus Christ as Lord, repent of their sins and be baptized?
Compliment: They will receive the gift the Holy Spirit.
Idea:   Those in the crowd, who chose to receive Jesus Christ as Lord, repented of their sins and were baptized, and will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Homiletical Idea: After a person repents, they will receive the Holy Spirit, and will be given a new perspective in life.
Purpose: I would like my audience know that repentance is about change of character, that the change comes from the Holy Spirit, and help them find ways they can continue changing for God.
Audience: Yedarm Church, Seoul, Korea, 8.00 a.m and 11.a.m., June 5, 2006

Sermon MSS

I.  Introduction

A. In most civilized countries, people want to be good. People want to be kind. In general, they just want to obey the law, be nice, and be well liked by others. And for the most part, people are capable in doing such works. However, I’ve also observed that most people do good deeds due to cultural or religious obligations. Even Christians sometimes have to do things out of obligation, such as paying taxes to the government, or pastors having to wear a suit on Sunday, especially if they are going to preach that Sunday morning. Obligation is at some level a part of everyone’s life.

B. However, when it comes to having love for others, having compassion for others, having forgiveness for others, and so forth, there’s a vital difference in how Christians and non-believers will respond.

C. When a Christian is loving, is kind, is compassionate, and is forgiving, they do altruistic deeds, not because they are obligated by society, rather they do such deeds because they are motivated by the Holy Spirit.

D. Christians bear the fruits of the Holy Spirit such as: love, joy, patience, kindness, and humility, because they have Holy Spirit in them, and the only way person can have the Holy Spirit inside them is through repentance. No one is able to live a spirit-filled life until they first repent of their sins.

E. Luke, the writer of one of the gospels and Acts, talks about repentance more than other biblical writer, for he uses the word repentance at least 23 times. Thus, it makes sense why Luke would put this statement by Peter:

“Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the Holy Spirit.”

F. Luke wants his audience to know that if anyone repents of their sins, and are baptized, then they will receive the Holy Spirit.

G.   So what is repentance?

 

II. A seeker’s repentance receives Holy Spirit.

A. Repentance changes a person’s life.

i.Basically, repentance is making a drastic character change. Some have even referred to it as a person making a 180 degree turn.

1.In “The Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens, that’s exactly what happens to Scrooge. Scrooge was a greedy man who had no concern for others until he was visited by three ghosts: the ghost of Christmas past, the ghost of Christmas present, and the ghost of Christmas future. After his visit with the three ghosts, Scrooge became aware of his selfishness, and suddenly became extremely generous the next day.

2. Scrooge made a 180 degree turn. And that’s repentance. It’s when a person makes a complete change in their life.  

ii. When I was a child, I made such a change. Maybe not as radical as Scrooge in “The Christmas Carol” or with Paul in the New Testament. Nevertheless, I also made such a change, without realizing it until years later.

iii. I remember asking God at a very young age - I think I was around ten years old, give or take a year. I was sleeping over at my grandmother’s house, and I distinctly remember my grandma telling me to say my prayers before I go to bed. I thought to myself: “How can I pray to a God, if I don’t even believe in a God?” Then I remembered what my Christian school said about Jesus. If I ask Jesus in my heart, I will be saved.

1. So that very night, I asked God in my heart and fell asleep. The next morning, I felt uncertain if God had entered my heart. For some reason, I was expecting Jesus to bring a magical key, and I would feel Him unlocking my heart in the middle of the night. So I asked Jesus into my heart again just to make sure.

2. Well, of course, I felt nothing. There was no magical key unlocking my heart. Instead, there was something more magical. My life began to change for God. I wanted to do good for God.

3. Paul also writes about making such an attitude change.

iv. He writes about a person changing from a sinful creation to a spirit-filled creation. A person who lives according to a sinful creation demonstrates: anger, rage, malice, slander, and vulgarity (Col. 3.8). A person who is a spirit-filled creation demonstrates: love, compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, forgiveness and patience (Col. 3.12-13).

1. Hear the difference. Notice that the sinful creation is opposite of a spirit-filled creation.

Instead of anger, there is love.

Instead of rage, there is compassion.

Instead of malice, there is kindness.

Instead of slander, there is gentleness.

Instead of vulgarity, there is humility.

When a person repents of their sins, they become a spirit-filled creation for the have received the Holy Spirit. They begin losing their old self, and become something new; they become a spirit-filled creation, and begin having a new perspective in life.

 

B.The Holy Spirit gives a new perspective in life.

i. Recently, I became married. I say recently because, I’ve been married for less than a year, and that’s nothing compared to some of you who have been married for twenty years or more. Nevertheless, after I became married, I was given a new perspective in life.

1. When I was single, my prayers would sometimes go like this: “Dear Lord, Thank you for today, and by the way, where is my wife?” After marriage, my prayers are like this: “Dear Lord, Thank you for today, please take care of my wife and help me become a better husband.”

2. When I was single, my primary concerns were about God, my job, and myself. Now, my primary concerns are about God, my job, and how I can become better husband, and become more responsible in starting a new family.

ii. Marriage forces me to see life differently, and it’s the closest thing I can think of to when a person repents of their sins and receives the Holy Spirit. Just as marriage gives a new perspective to life, the Holy Spirit gives a spirit-filled creation a new perspective in life. Instead of feeling obligated in doing altruistic deeds; spirit-filled creations will do altruistic deeds because the Holy Spirit is in them.

1. It’s like a prism. The only way a prism works is if it has light. Without light, it will never produce any colors. But when light shines through it, colors immediately flow. In the same way, a person is like a prism. If a person lives outside the Judeo-Christian faith, then they will do good deeds because they feel obligated. However, if the person has a relationship with God, then they will want to do good deeds because they have become empowered by the Holy Spirit.

Christians love, because love is in them.

Christians are kind, because kindness is in them.

Christians are gentle, because gentleness is in them.

Christians are giving because the desire to give is in them.

2. I’ve noticed over the years a difference in how secular people donate money and how American Christians donate money. A secular person may give to charity, at least in America, because they want to acquire a tax break, or they may give to charity because they feel sorry for the people, or people give to charity because they want to make this world better. And I agree that the last two are noble. It’s good to donate money in order to help make this world a better place. Yet, that’s basically where it stops for secular people. Secular people end at helping the world’s needs.

3. In contrast, American Christians who give a good percentage to charity tend to do it for God’s kingdom. Yes, sometimes their financial donations help the world become a better place, yet they have larger goal in mind; they have a different perspective. They want this prayer answered: Please Lord, let “your kingdom come, on earth as it is in heaven.” They give to the church and to Christian charities, because they want God’s Kingdom to advance in this world. They want people to hear the good news of Jesus, so that they will repent of their sins, and receive the Holy Spirit.

4. A spirit-filled creation not only has concern for earthly needs; they also have concern for a person’s spiritual needs, for they have a different perspective toward life.  

5. And most of us already know this: after a person repents of their sins, they will receive the Holy Spirit, and will be given a new perspective in life. Our struggle in life is becoming more like a spirit-filled creation.

III. Conclusion

A. After we repent of our sins, and receive the Holy Spirit, we persevere to be more like the spirit-filled creation.

i. My father gave me a tip when it came to gardening. When you see a dead part of the plant, cut it off, so the plant can spend more of its energy in growing new leaves and flowers.

1. If the plant has many dead leaves or flowers, most of its energy will try to keep the dead leaves and flowers alive, but once they are cut off, the plant can spend its energy in nurturing healthy leaves and flowers.

ii. In the same way, we need to continue in cutting off our sinful self, so we can expend our energy becoming more like the spirit-filled creation.

Instead of being angry, we should find ways to be more encouraging.

Instead of gossiping, we should find ways we can show compassion.

Instead of complaining, we should find ways to create solutions.

Instead of being selfish, we should find ways we can be more loving.

iii. In order for us to become more of a spirit-filled creation, we need to continually work on removing our sinful creation and finding ways in becoming more like a spirit-filled creation. It’s not easy. But, with the help of the Holy Spirit. We can do things the world can’t do. We can be light to this world.  

Sermon Outline

I. Introduction
II. A seeker’s repentance receives Holy Spirit.

A. Repentance changes a person’s life.

i. Basically, repentance is making a drastic character change. Some have even referred to it as a person making a 180 degree turn.

1. Scrooge Changes in “The Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens.

2. When I was a child, I made such a change.

3. Paul writes about becoming a new creation.

B. The Holy Spirit gives a new perspective in life.

1. Marriage gives a new perspective in life.

2. A spirit-filled life is like a prism.

3. Secular people vs. Christians donating money.
III. Conclusion

A. After we repent of our sins, and receive the Holy Spirit, we persevere to be more like the spirit-filled creation.

1. My father gave me a tip when it came to gardening. When you see a dead part of the plant, cut it off, so the plant can spend more of its energy in growing new leaves and flowers.

2. In the same way, we need to continue in cutting off our sinful self, so we can expend our energy becoming more like the spirit-filled creation.

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