A SPIRIT LED LIFE
Your Bible says that God wants you to be filled with the Holy Spirit, yet there is so much confusion about the Holy Spirit. Who is he? What is He like? What are His benefits?
In this two part series, Steve Kelly will clearly answer your questions in regards to the Holy Spirit. He will talk about the difference between being born of the spirit, the work of salvation, and being baptized in the Spirit, when God fills us with the Holy Spirit. He will also discuss different gifts available through the Holy Spirit and how to access all God has for you. These two distinct experiences are available for you so don’t hesitate to learn more today.
I wonder how many people here, before your connection with Wave Church, you really had a very strong church background and a strong church connection before Wave Church. Can I just see your hands? Not a lot, but there are a few. How many people before Wave Church, you did not really have a strong church connection? Let me see your hand. That is what I figured. There are a lot of you. I am going to speak a message today that I realize is going to have all sorts of different, depending on your background, will determine your response to this message. So I am going to try to get you to be a little bit open this morning because I want to speak to you about what it is to be a spirit filled Christian. I believe in the dynamic of being filled with the Holy Spirit. I believe this is a spirit filled church. Sometimes people come to me and say is this church a Spirit filled church? And they obviously come from a Spirit filled church background. And I go, yes. And they say that is good because I did not know. And I think to myself, what they are really saying is they are so used to the way the church they come from does things, that we do not quite do it that way. And they are not criticizing me and I am not criticizing them. I am just trying to give perspective. I understand that Paul spoke a lot about the Corinthian church, about some of the things that were done that were completely out of order under the guise of the word Pentecostal. By the way, if you actually read and study your Bible it is just a feast. And when I say just a feast I am not minimizing the feast but that is what it was. But we get this label, Pentecostal. And I understand this morning some of you are going whoa. You are thinking snake handlers. And I want to say to you, if ever you come across that, run. See ya, would not want to be ya. Do not let the door hit you where the good Lord split you. Get out of there. Come on, that is somebody taking a verse out of context and creating a cultish, deceived truth. Are you with me here? A half truth is a whole lie. So understand there is that part of people and then I understand there are people who were brought up in church life who were taught against this. It is not right. It is not for today. And then there are others who are not as defensive or arrogant about it and they have a theological way of explaining it away. Well that was then but it has been dispensationalized. It went out with the disciples. I understand there are people here who have had a church background that is neutral, like my church background.
When I was brought up I believed in God the Son, God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. But I did not know who the Holy Spirit was. I literally, as a little boy, used to call him Casper. I was not being sacrilegious. I just did not know who he was. I thought he was the friendly ghost. I did not know who the Holy Spirit was. I understand this morning there are people here who are somewhat indifferent and neutral even though you believe and have been taught it. Some were taught against it. And then I understand there are a great majority of people who are all for it. I have even got some who wished I was more demonstrative of the Pentecostal mannerisms. And that is what I do not do. I just do not believe it — that is the question that is being asked. Is this a Spirit filled church? I want to make sure we get the cringe factor out of church. When you bring your friend you are thinking oh God, please today do not let him do that and do not let her do that. Do you know what I mean? Anyone who has no church background before Wave Church does not know what I am talking about. But I grew up in Pentecostal churches and I have seen some of the funniest things happen in my life. We had a guy called Hundashaka. That is the only thing he ever said. This guy was a prophet and every time at that part of the service he would start saying the same prophecy for ten years. That gets a little old. Paul actually went to a lot of lengths to help the Corinthian church bring things into order. He said let things be done decently and in order. Paul said if you get it wrong people will think you are a barbarian. Amen? Today in the service I did not emcee this service but in our 9 o’clock service after worship I felt like the Lord gave me a word of knowledge. It was just one of the gifts of the Spirit. But I do not do it like this. Wait a minute, I feel God.
Hallelujah. Do not touch me honey, we will both go down. I believe the gifts of the Spirit are supernatural. Supernatural, really natural. We exercise those gifts of the Spirit; we just do not have to demonstrate it in a hyper spiritual moment. Do you know what I mean? So I just say hey, I believe there are people here this morning struggling and God wants to put hope in your heart. If that is you then reach out to Heaven. And that is a gift of the Spirit. It is just packaged in a way that when people walk in they feel safe. I am not apologizing for the Holy Spirit. He does not need apology. And I am not saying we do not want to have any conviction here. We want lots of conviction here but what we do want to do is decently and in order and have a church that is safe that reaches out to people. Amen. I understand that this message is going to be heard in a diversity of ways. Can I say to you, I just want to teach you the word of God and then you come to your conclusions after you are taught the word. Are you with me here? I would not teach it if I did not believe it. Are you with me here? And you can land on this and we are not going to be the arrogant Pentecostal who thinks that because we are filled with the Spirit we are better than those who are not. I know people who are not even Christians who live better than people who are filled with the Spirit. That was actually a prophetic slip. Spilled, spoiled with the Spirit. I know people who do not
even know God who have a better moral compass than some people who are filled with the Spirit. It does not make you a super saint. Are you with me here? But it does give you the power and the dynamic to help you live the life that God wants you to live. Amen?
So I just want to talk to you first of all, that I believe there is a difference — and I am going to show you in scripture. There is a difference between being born of the Spirit and filled with the Spirit.
There is a difference. They are two distinct experiences. And I am going to show you a few examples in scripture that really bring this out. So please put aside your religious background if you have one. And can you just be sitting here with an open heart and an open mind and listen to the word of God and let the word of God speak for itself?
I want to start with Jesus himself as a great example. Jesus is born into this world by a miracle of the Spirit. An angel came to Mary and said Mary; you are going to have a son. And Mary says, how can this be? I am engaged but I have not yet been intimate with anyone? And the angel answered, Luke 1:35, it says this. “The angel answered, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.'” So without a doubt, Jesus by a miracle of the Spirit was born into this world. Are you with me here?
There was no biological father. It was a work of the Holy Spirit. It could not be another earthly person because then Jesus would have been born in sin. Are you with me here? It was a work of the Spirit that caused Jesus’ birth into this world by the Spirit. Do you have that? And then of course thirty years later at his baptism we know that Jesus was baptized in water and he was also baptized in the Spirit. He goes before John and John baptizes him in water. And then from that moment of being baptized in water the Bible says Heaven opened and God spoke audibly and said this is my son, in whom I am well pleased. And the Bible says that the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus like that of a dove. Not a dove, but like that of a dove. The dove is an emblem of peace and Jesus is called the Prince of Peace. The dove is gentle and easily — it is sensitive. That is the spirit of Jesus, right there. It descended on Jesus like a dove. From before that moment Jesus had performed no miracles. We know nothing about the life of Jesus other than when he was born and maybe when he was 12 years old there was a brief mention of him going to his father’s house but really that is it. But all of the sudden Jesus walks in on the scene now and the Holy Spirit comes upon him and now he begins a very public ministry. Before that he was a carpenter. He ran to Egypt for his own life with mom. We really do not know what happened to dad. There is no mention of it in the Bible. There are a lot of people who have written thoughts and opinions but there is nothing in there really about dad or step-dad. Jesus had a step-father. For those who feel like you come from a dysfunctional family, so did Jesus. For those who feel like you have divorce in your
background, God said I divorce Israel. God is a divorcee. You legalistic Christians, stick that in your theological pipe and smoke it. But here is the thought, he was born by a work of the Spirit and now he begins his public ministry when he is baptized in the Spirit. Before then he performed no miracles but as a result of the Holy Spirit, now he is doing miracles. As a matter of fact, let me show you a few verses. Look at Luke chapter 4, verse 1. “Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit,” — this is from being baptized — “returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit.” Verse 14. “Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit.” There is no mention of the power of the Spirit other than the born of the Spirit moment. Are you with me here? Then look at Acts 10:38. It says, “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and he went about doing good and healing all those who were under the power of the devil because God was with him.” So there is no doubt Jesus was born in the Spirit and he was baptized in the Spirit. There is a difference between the two experiences.
How about Nicodemus? He was a religious man who came to Jesus at nighttime. It was Nick at night. And he comes and says Jesus — and let me just say this, I believe the work of being born of the Spirit is the work of salvation. No one can get saved unless the Spirit of God draws them, the Bible says. You cannot get saved outside a work of the Spirit. You are born of the spirit. It is a miracle of God. Jesus said to Nick at night, you must be born again. Poor Nick, he has this intellectual thought going on. Well look at the size of me. How can I enter my mother’s womb again? And Jesus was not talking physically; he was talking spiritually. You have to be born into the Kingdom of Heaven. It is being born of the Spirit.
Now I want to show you the disciples. Watch this. It can be shown the disciples were truly converted before the day of Pentecost. There is no doubt about it. Unquestionably, they were born again and had received eternal life. No difference can be found in their condition and that of people today who have received Christ as Lord and Savior and have passed from death to life. There is no doubt about it whatsoever. Look at Luke chapter 10, verse 19. I have given you — this is before the day of Pentecost, before they were all filled with the Spirit, baptized in the Spirit. This is the disciples before being baptized in the Holy Spirit. This is Jesus speaking. “‘I have given you authority to trample over snakes and scorpions and to overcome the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in Heaven.'” So Jesus is removing any doubt. These disciples, their names are recorded in Heaven. The lamb’s book of life. They are saved. Come on. Listen, you can go to Barnes and Noble and you can buy a Bible there and that Bible will say just what I read to you.
This is not a Pentecostal Bible. This is not a Wave Church Bible. This is the NIV Bible. Your Bible
will say what my Bible says. Are you with me here? So let’s read on. Let us go down to John chapter 20. Some people might say, well Jesus had not yet died and resurrected. How could they be truly born again if he had not presented his blood and himself to the father for forgiveness of sins? John chapter 20, verse 22, pre Pentecost, pre baptism in the Holy Spirit. Jesus has died. He has resurrected. He has appeared to many. Jesus has now appeared to his disciples and this is what he does. “And with that he breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone who sins, they are forgiven; if you do not, then they are not forgiven.'” He breathed on them. Now the word breath and spirit are interchangeable. As a matter of fact, when God made Adam the Bible says that there he lay from the dirt that God had made him but he was still lifeless. There was no life in him until God breathed his spirit. He put the breath of God and then Adam became a human, living thing. And so now Jesus, the second Adam, is appearing to the disciples and they are not yet filled with the Spirit. But he says listen, here I am. I died. I was buried. I am resurrected and now I am breathing the breath of the Spirit. But still even with that, look what he says in Luke 24:39. This is still pre Pentecost. He says, I am going to send you what my father has promised but stay in the city, stay in Jerusalem until you have been clothed with power from on high. So there is no doubt they are born of the Spirit. Jesus has died, he was resurrected, he breathed on them, and they are born again. Salvation has come. But then he says there is something else that is going to happen to you. And you wait even though you were born of the Spirit there is something else that is going to happen. Have you got it? I believe there is a difference between being born of the Spirit and baptized in the Spirit.
Have a look at the Samaritans. Acts chapter 8. The Bible says Philip went down to Samaria and proclaimed Christ there. When the crowds heard Philip and they saw the miracles and the signs that he did they all paid close attention to what he said. But when they believed Philip as he preached the good news of the Kingdom of Heaven, of God and the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, they were baptized both men and women. How many know these were believers? You are not getting baptized if you are not a believer. They believe the preaching of Philip. They are born of the Spirit. They are born again. They are going to Heaven. They believed Philip and the Bible says there was great joy in the city. People were being set free of demonic spirits. Evil spirits were coming out of people. There were revivals. There were miraculous signs that Philip did. They all believed him and they got baptized. This is called revival. Now watch what happens. The apostles in verse 14 in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God. They sent Peter and John. When they arrived they prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit because the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them. They had simply been baptized into the name of
the Lord Jesus. So Peter and John placed their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit. You are born of the Spirit — this is awesome revival but we want to make sure they get baptized in the Holy Spirit. They had not yet been baptized in the Holy Spirit. Have you got that? So in response to Philip’s preaching the people believed the things, the name of Jesus and they were baptized both men and women. As a result there was great joy. Nevertheless although these people had accepted the gospel and been baptized, the Holy Ghost had not gone on any of them. Nor did they receive the fullness of the Holy Spirit until Peter and John came down and laid their hands upon them. Some people say when I got saved I got baptized in the Holy Spirit. Well the Bible says here — when I got saved I got baptized in the Spirit and I got joy. Well they had joy but they still did not have the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Well man I have been able to do signs of wonders. Well they had signs of wonder but they still had not received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Well I have cast out devils. Well they cast out devils but there is still no baptism in the Holy Spirit. Come on. Are you with me here? Look at the Ephesians in Acts chapter 19, verse 1. “When Apollo was in Corinth, Paul took the road into the interior court and arrived at Ephesus.” I was there at this very place. I stood where the Apostle Paul preached. It was awesome. “There he found some disciples.” And look at the first question he asked them and look at how he asked the question. “‘Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?'” Again, he is showing a difference. You are believers but are you filled with the Spirit? There is a difference between being born in the Spirit, a work of salvation, and being baptized in the Spirit. You are still looking at me like, no matter what you say preacher I am still going to have a poker face. You could have a full house and I would not know. Are you with me here? So they said, we have not even heard there would be a Holy Spirit. So Paul asks, what baptism did you receive? John’s baptism, they replied. Paul said, John’s baptism is a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him. On hearing this they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. He baptized them in water. John is trying to get you ready for the one. I am going to tell you about the one and we are going to get all of this straightened out. And when Paul places his hand on them, the Holy Spirit came on them. They spoke in new tongues and prophesied and there were twelve men in all. Does everybody see this? All right.
There is a difference between the work of being born of the Spirit. You are no less a Christian. You are no less saved if you are born of the Spirit. But there is something that can happen at the time of salvation. Because Paul even asked, when you believed. Are you with me here? The disciples were unquestionably born again but later Jesus said, there is something more coming. The Samaritans had it, did they not? They believed the revival was there. Joy, revival, evil spirits,
healing. But they sent down the Apostles to lay hands on them so they had not yet received the baptism of the Spirit. Now here is the problem, the Pentecostals have put this theological term around them. They have come up with this idea somehow that if you are filled with the Spirit you are better than. I hate that arrogance. I understand that people are going to resist that and oppose that. And not only that, but we have this term that we have termed that the Bible does not give in any term. As a matter of fact, these are the biblical terms that are used in scripture about being filled with the Spirit. It says, you are clothed with power. These are all the different references that the scripture mentions. Clothed with power. The promise of our father. Baptized in the Holy Spirit. Received in the Holy Spirit. Gifts of the Holy Spirit. Filled with the Spirit. Pour out my Spirit. The Holy Spirit fell on them. Are you with me here? It is obvious that the evidence or the experience of the baptism of the Spirit in its effect is as complex as God himself. Amen?
It is enough for us to understand that by a miracle Jesus takes hold of the yielded spiritually hungry believer and plunges him into the depth of God’s love and power. Amen? And so I just want to show you in scripture here because here is the problem. In all the gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, all of it is talking about the baptism of the Spirit in the future. It has not happened yet.
Jesus says, wait until this happens. When I go the Holy Spirit will come. He will guide you and lead you. So it is all futuristic. Then we read all of the epistles and the knowledge on the matter is taken for granted. Paul says, I speak in tongues more than you all. If I have speak to the tongues of men and angels and have not love then I have nothing. So it is a given. It is a given reality. This is for today. So really there is only one book you can turn to that can really zero in on what this really looks like and what you can expect to have if you are going to get the baptism of the Holy Spirit. In all the teachings of the Gospel there is only one solid teaching on how to receive this gift. And it is found in Luke chapter 11. Let’s go there. Luke chapter 11, verse 9. “‘So I say unto you: Ask and it will be give to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.'” Now watch. Which of you fathers — how many people are fathers? Give me a wave if you are a dad.
Which of you fathers, if a son asks for a fish will give him a snake? Well that is ridiculous. You would not do that, would you? Or if he asks for an egg would you give him a scorpion? If then though you are evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them who ask? So the only real teaching in any of the four Gospels is from Jesus himself who says that if you want the Holy Spirit, you ask God and he will give you what you ask for. If you ask for the Holy Spirit some say, I am afraid I might get a demon. God is not going to give you a demon if you ask him for the Holy Spirit. Amen? If we who are evil
know how to be good to our kids, how much more will your Heavenly Father? So here’s the key: You have to ask. Now you would not be asking if you did not want it. Amen? But how do we know what it is? Is it a feeling of joy? Samaria had joy but did not have the Holy Spirit. They had the born of the Spirit but not the baptism of the Spirit. Do you see the difference? Is it signs and wonders? The Samaritans were born of the Spirit and had signs and wonders but had not yet been baptized in the Holy Spirit. Are you with me here? So here we go. Luke chapter 2. When on the day of Pentecost, when it came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly the sound like the blowing of a violent wind — everybody say, sound like. So is it a blowing wind or is like a blowing wind? So it is not a quantifiable thing here.
Yesterday, Sharon and I went to Skinny Dip after dinner. We did not go skinny dipping. There is a new ice cream bar in town that is called Skinny Dip. So we went to check it out. I am in there all excited, looking forward to getting my ice cream but when I got there I found out it is not ice cream, it is yogurt. So it is like ice cream but it is not ice cream. It is yogurt. And it was pretty good, I might add.
And the Bible says here, there came a sound like a blowing wind. It was not a blowing wind but it was like a blowing wind. That came from Heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire. Everybody say seemed to be. So is it tongues of fire? No, it seems to be. The closest analogy would be that but it was not that, it was like that.
Are you with me here? I am just reading the Bible. That is all I am doing. You can land on this however you want. I am just reading the Bible. And so now it says and all of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues as the Holy Spirit enabled them. What was the only tangible thing that actually happened? They were filled with the Holy Spirit and it says they spoke in other languages. All the others are similes. Are you with me here? The only thing that really happened for sure.
Notice Peter’s first sermon was on the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Did you notice that? Right after he gets filled with the Holy Spirit, what is his first sermon? Paul’s first question when he met the disciples, have you received? Peter’s first sermon, know this is that which is spoken by the prophet Joel. He exalted to the right hand of God. He received the promise from the father, the Holy Spirit and poured out which is what you now see and hear. He is preaching on the Holy Spirit. Verse 38, Peter replied, repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of the Lord Jesus, the forgiveness of sins and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit and the promises for you and your children and all that are far off, all that the Lord our God should call. You cannot dispensationalize
what happened here, that it went out with the disciples when Peter said it is for everybody. Your children, your children’s children, all that are far off. They will all fill with the Holy Ghost and begin to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. Accompanying this remarkable experience with three signs. The sound from heaven as like a mighty rushing wind, tongues like as of fire and speech in other tongues. They spoke in another language. This amazing phenomenon was the only definite continuing sign of the baptism in the Holy Spirit. The sound of winds and tongues of fire were only similes. We read as of a rushing mighty wind, like as of tongues of fire but the sign of speaking in other languages was real. This was the physical, tangible evidence fully apparent both to the disciples and to all the onlookers. Kyle Brumbeck writes, the wind and the fire were outside the disciples in the realm of nature but the Galileans themselves spoke in another language. The wind and the fire proceeded the feeling of the believers but speaking in other languages, however, came as a result of the infilling. The wind and the fire were never repeated after this occasion but on the other hand the speaking in other languages is the recorded accompaniment of several subsequent fillings.
Let me close with this thought. When you read Acts chapter 2, and I did not have time to read all of this to you. But does it not say that the feast of Pentecost is a Jewish feast where all the Jews from all over the world would gather for this celebration? Now God is a very clever marketing campaign director. He thought, when I give the disciples the Holy Spirit I am going to wait. Let’s see, there is a feast called Pentecost and all the Jews from all over the world will come together and they will all see this and will take it to the world. So God waits for that moment and what happened? If you read it, there were Jewish believers from all over the world who spoke other languages, not just Hebrew. And they heard the disciples speaking in their language and they knew the disciples did not know that language. And they said we know this is a move of God for we hear them praising God in our language. So the Holy Spirit makes you more culturally relevant to the people you are trying to reach. And there are some Pentecostal churches that could sure learn that point. People come into churches and we sing our music that nobody understands; we preach sermons that nobody understands; we have a word, a way of speaking that people that are not churched do not understand. But the Holy Spirit here gave them the ability to speak a language that everybody understood. The Holy Spirit makes us more culturally relevant, not less culturally relevant.