This is the manuscript for the sermon I preached at West Bradenton Baptist Southside on Sunday, February 23, 2020.
Last week we looked at Jesus’ introduction of the Holy Spirit to the Disciples in his farewell discourse found in John 14. He spoke of the Father sending another Counselor (Advocate, Helper, Comforter or as he later calls him the Spirit of truth) to call alongside to encourage and exhort the disciples. He tells them this so when he is gone from their midst, they can be assured that they will not be left alone but another (the Holy Spirit) will come and dwell or manifest himself to them.
We will continue in John 14:22 – 31 as we continue to look at the farewell sermon Jesus gives to his disciples where he instructs them on how they should live as he prepares to go to the cross and face his impending death. He is preparing his disciples for the tribulation and hardship that lie ahead of them as they watch their leader, teacher, Lord and Messiah die a horrific death on the cross.
(Read John 14:22 - 31)
The Counselor Continued…
Verse 22: Judas (who John tells us is not the same Judas who betrays Jesus) is confused by Jesus’ talk about the Counselor and how He will manifest himself to the disciples. He wonders how Jesus can make himself known and seen to only the disciples and remain unseen by the world at the same time. He possibly has a picture in his mind of Jesus returning as the victorious conquering Messiah to Israel which they knew would and hoped would be a very public display.
Now, we know the Scriptures are very clear that Jesus will indeed return and manifest himself to the whole world as the victorious Messiah at his Second Coming. We are also told that everyone will bend the knee before and bow before him as Lord and Savior of all. However, this is not what Jesus is speaking about. He tells the disciples that he will come back to them after his death and He will in fact manifest himself to them. He will physically return to the disciples after his death in his resurrected body.
Verse 23: However, Jesus responds to the question and for the second time references the importance of obedience to His words and commandments. Jesus says that love and obedience go hand in hand. He says here, “If you love me you will keep my Word (or commandments).” We see in his words that obedience is the outward expression of true love for Jesus. Jesus says, “If you love me you will…
Verse 24: Disobedience on the other hand is the evidence of unbelief and rebellion towards God. A person who has rejected Jesus obviously does not love Him. One who is disobedient will…
Verse 25 - 26: These are important words Jesus wants his followers to hear. He speaks to them while he is still here on earth.
However, the time is drawing near for his departure and he will not physically be around to teach and remind his followers of the words he has spoken. Thus, the Father will send The Counselor, the Holy Spirit, to teach them all they need to know and remind them of his words. When Jesus and the Father dwell in the believer through the Holy Spirit the believer will then be guided by the Spirit. The Spirit will become the teacher, He will be the one to bring to remembrance the words Jesus Spoke, and He will guide them in all truth. As followers of Jesus Christ we must allow the Spirit to be our teacher, our reminder and our guide in truth. When we are in Christ, the Spirit works in us and He does teach us the things we may not understand. He does guide, comfort and counsel us through times of dismay and difficulty. He does guide us in truth, so we have discernment and discretion regarding spiritual things. This does not discredit the teachings of men, there are many great men of faith that have been empowered by the Spirit to speak, and write spiritual truths, but ultimately the Holy Spirit is the one who must the teach, remind and guide in our daily lives.
Jesus gives words of comfort to the disciples because when he leaves this world the disciples will be left on earth to be His representatives. The world (as we see throughout the scripture) is usually depicted as hostile towards God. The world represents the created order and the people who live in it as hostile to God. Many of whom have rebelled against God and they have no cares whatsoever about God and His Kingdom. The disciples, while still on earth, (and believers throughout history) must depend on the indwelling of the Holy Spirit of God. The Spirit will be in the believer to help, comfort, exhort, encourage and empower as they (we) dwell here on earth to be true representatives for Jesus Christ. The Spirit is given for our benefit and for God’s glory.
Verse 27: The next promise Jesus gives is peace. Peace (shalom) – The peace Jesus speaks of has a deeper meaning than what understand peace to represent in modern history. We generally think of peace as the absence of conflict where everybody gets along, but this is the fragile peace the world has to offer. Those of you who lived in the 60s and early 70s are aware of the temporal and faux peace the world desired and spoke of. The hippy movement spoke of peace, love and happiness but everything about this peace, love and happiness everyone rallied for was temporary, selfish and disingenuous.
The peace or shalom Jesus speaks of is a peace that surpasses all understanding and is rooted in our salvation. Shalom speaks of inward peace, peace of mind, security in knowing your future destiny. It’s a peace that comes when you know you have been forgiven of your sins, where you can lean on the promise of the indwelling of the Spirit, have security in knowing you are redeemed and will be restored, and having the sense of security in knowing whether in danger or safety you are in the arms of the Father.
Jesus not only leaves us peace, but he gives us peace. He tells his disciples (and us) that we are to take comfort in this. He tells the disciples not to let their hearts be troubled or lend your hearts towards cowardice. Tumultuous times are ahead for them and after his death their persecution will increase. He encourages them to take hold of this peace and let it reign in your hearts.
We have this same promise given to us. Jesus has left us with and given us his peace that is far greater than the artificial peace of this world. We still live in tumultuous times… Life is uncertain, and our future as a nation feels divided and contentious We are reminded even today (September 11, 2011) nine years after America was attacked by terrorists to the fragile state of life and the reality of how unsafe our world is. We are reminded that we are vulnerable. We are reminded that we do not have control over all things… In fact, we have very little control in our lives… Yet we should not allow our hearts to be troubled, nor bent towards cowardice. We are to rest in the peace that Jesus has left and given us. As followers of Jesus we can know true (shalom) even during uncertainty, persecution and turmoil.
Verse 28: Jesus re-assures and reminds his disciples again that he is leaving. If the disciples truly understood this, they would be rejoicing with him. If they knew the reality of what Jesus was going to do, then they would be behind him 100%. They would know that through his death and resurrection Jesus will be beginning the restoration process of all creation, bringing salvation through faith to all who believe and going back to his rightful place with the Father and this is cause for celebration and not sadness.
Verse 29: He tells them this beforehand so when the time of his crucifixion comes and when he raises from the dead their faith would remain strong. I am sure there were times of doubt among the disciples as Jesus hung on the cross and now he tells them, “Remember what I am doing and why I am doing it and let this strengthen your faith.”
Verse 30, 31: The ruler of this world could refer to Caesar but probably refers more to the one who is behind the act of evil that is coming up... Satan. Jesus assures that this ruler has no claim on him. Satan is the accuser and he has nothing on Jesus. His plan is to try and destroy the works of God but will not succeed.
Just as the believer shows love to Jesus by faithful obedience, Jesus shows love to the Father through faithful obedience. God has called Jesus to the cross of Calvary and He goes voluntarily and obediently because he loves the Father. His obedience (even obedience to the cross) will speak volumes of his love for the Father.
As we conclude today, we are reminded of the many promises of Jesus.
This is the manuscript for the sermon I preached at West Bradenton Baptist Southside on Sunday February 16, 2020.
Today we are continuing in our new series titled “The Holy Spirit”. There is so much written in the Bible about the Holy Spirit and yet it is a topic we seem to shy away from. The Spirit plays a significant role in the transformative life and church and yet so many neglects to acknowledge the importance of the Holy Spirit in our lives and churches. Last week we spent some time searching the Bible to answer the question… “What or who is the Holy Spirit?” The sermon is online now, and you can listen to it through our Facebook page or I can give you a physical copy of my manuscript from the sermon.
Today and next week we are going to spend some time parking in John chapter 14 where Jesus talks about the Holy Spirit and His purpose. In this passage Jesus’s actions are much like a parent preparing for leaving his children “home alone”, if you will, as he departs from this earth. His crucifixion is looming on the horizon and he has been giving his disciples instructions on how they should continue in him even after his departure from this world. As He prepares to leave this world Jesus is not going to abandon them or leave them orphaned when he does go. He ensures his followers that he will leave them fully equipped, well cared for and even though he will not be present with them physically, he will remain with them spiritually.
(Read John 14:15 - 21)
This is the first of many times Jesus specifically mentions the Holy Spirit. Up to this point he has referenced the Spirit very little, but in this “The Upper Room Discourse” Jesus introduces to his disciple the promise of another Counselor. In this passage He introduces them to the Holy Spirit (the Greek word paraclete) and the role He will play in the lives of believers.
Verse 15: In the previous verses Jesus gave the disciples the charge to love one another, to believe, to obey and to pray in his name. He speaks of the future and how after his departure from this world the disciples will do even greater things than they have witnessed up to this point.
In verse 15 He reminds his followers that if they truly love Him then they would obey his commands. If you go back to John chapter 13:34 Jesus gives a new command, ““I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another.” This was a command to love one another as Jesus had loved them (by loving them sacrificially.) He reminds them that words are empty if love is not practiced and obedience to Jesus is the sure sign of love. This is not a works based “if” and “then” kind of love and commitment. It is a “since you love me, you will keep my commandments” kind of commitment.
Verse 16, 17: Since the commandments are kept by his followers THEN Jesus will ask the Father to send another Counselor (or advocate) to be with them forever. This certainly was not a carrot he was dangling before them; this was a promise. The word translated in the Christian Standard Bible “Counselor”, or other versions call Him the “Helper” (ESV & NLT), “Advocate” (NIV), or “Comforter” (KJV) is the Greek word “paraclete” and is the Transliteration of a Greek word meaning “one who is called to someone’s aid” or “one who advocates for another… The Paraclete, also called “the Spirit of truth,” will lead them into all truth and aid them in their ability to recall correctly Jesus’ message. He is to become their special replacement for the departed Lord.” This is the “role”, if you will, of the Holy Spirit.
I find it interesting to note that Jesus is the original Paraclete’. If you notice Jesus says that the Father will send another Counselor. The Counselor or as Jesus calls him the Spirit of truth will be given by the Father and He will remain with the disciples forever. Obviously, Jesus will not and could not be with the disciples physically for much longer (this is the reason why he is giving this discourse) and even after his resurrection he is only going to be with them for a short time before he ascends to the Father. Through this promise of the Holy Spirit (or Spirit of Truth) we come to understand that through the Holy Spirit Jesus will dwell in or be in all who believe in him.
If you recall from last week I mentioned one of the challenges people have in trying to understand the Holy Spirit is that the world cannot know the Spirit of truth because world system is against God, it has no care for the works of the Spirit. Turn to I Cor. 2:14 and see that this passage tells us that a person who is godless (an unbeliever) cannot understand nor comprehend spiritual things. “But the person without the Spirit does not receive what comes from God’s Spirit, because it is foolishness to him; he is not able to understand it since it is evaluate] spiritually.” The unbeliever cannot receive what comes from God because it is folly or foolishness to them. However, those of us who do abide in and obey Jesus Christ can and do have the Spirit dwelling in us and we can understand and comprehend what comes from the Spirit because we have the mind of Christ in us.
This does not mean the Spirit has no role in the unbeliever’s life. We know this to be true because none of us can be called Christians if it weren’t so. The scripture tells us that the Spirit is the one who calls or awakens the dead man or woman to Christ and draws himself to the sinner. John chapter 16 shows us that the Spirit is the one who draws us to Jesus.
It is here in John 14:16, 17 that Jesus speaks of the one who remains in the world and cannot see the Spirit at work because he cannot humanly comprehend the Spirit and the Spirit has not enlightened him. But the one who believes in Jesus not only knows and comprehends the work of the Spirit, he receives the Spirit and the Spirit abides in Him forever.
Verse 18: It is in this verse that Jesus assures the disciples that they will not be left alone once He is gone. He will not abandon or leave the believers ill equipped. After his death and resurrection, the Spirit will be given to them (which we see right before Jesus ascends to heaven and at Pentecost when multiple disciples receive the Spirit). Jesus gives his disciples comfort in the truth that when he goes away, they will not be left to fend for themselves. He tells them that He is coming back to them and there are three ways this has/could be interpreted.
Verse 19: “In a little while…” is a reference to Jesus’ impending death. In a short period of time he will be handed over to the authorities and he will be crucified on the cross. This absolutely must happen; Jesus must give up his life so God’s plan of redemption can be complete. When he departs from this world, he will no longer be visible to the outside world. However, as people who obey his commands and believe in Him (Christians) they we will see him again. He will not only physically appear to the disciple’s post resurrection several times, but he also makes a promise that when he rises again, they will also receive the resurrection of life.
Since Jesus is alive, and as a result we are as well. His death and resurrection are for God’s glory and our benefit. In his departure we not only receive the Spirit; we also receive life eternal.
Verse 20: At the time when he reveals himself (both physically and through the coming of the Spirit) the disciples will then know that Jesus and the Father are one. They will have an “aha” moment where all becomes crystal clear regarding his teachings of the unity of Father and Son. Not only will they know the Father and Son are one, but they will also know that those who are in Christ are also unified in Him.
Verse 21: This is the promise Jesus makes… The ones who keep and obey Jesus’ commandments will show their love for him AND the one who loves Jesus will also be loved by the Father.
This promise Jesus makes to the disciples about not abandoning them and through giving the Spirit was not a one time offer for the disciples only. This promise is still available for us today. As followers of Jesus we, unfortunately, do not have the privilege of walking with a physical Jesus at our side. However, we have the Holy Spirit in us which we know is even more beneficial than having a physical Jesus on earth. Through the Holy Spirit Jesus resides in all who have placed their faith in him and obey his commands. We know from the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 6:19 that we are the new Temple in which the Holy Spirit lives. It is our bodies which serve as the Temple of the Spirit. Being that the Spirit lives in us we need to remember the words of Jesus in John 14:12, ““Truly I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do. And he will do even greater works than these, because I am going to the Father.” This is Jesus’ promise that we will do far greater works when we receive the Holy Spirit. We are blessed individuals. We not only have the promise of life both here and for all eternity, we also have the Spirit of truth or the Holy Spirit in us. Jesus abides in us; he is here today and through his Spirit we can and will do great things in his name and for his glory. What those “far greater things” are, we can only wait and see as we pray for the Holy Spirit to move in our lives, and in our church so that we can be a church who is Spirit-filled and Spirit-led.
 Elwell, W. A., & Comfort, P. W. (2001). In Tyndale Bible dictionary (p. 990). Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.
This is the manuscript for the sermon I preached at West Bradenton Baptist Southside on Sunday February 9, 2020.
Today we are starting a new series titled “The Holy Spirit”. For the next 8-weeks I will be talking extensively about the Holy Spirit. There is so much written in the Bible about the Holy Spirit and yet it is a topic we seem to shy away from. The Spirit plays a significant role in the transformative life and church and yet so many neglect to acknowledge the importance of the Holy Spirit in our lives and churches. Pastor Jim Cymbala wrote in his book FRESH POWER, “A Church cannot be a Church without the abiding and empowering of the Holy Spirit.” And I would ad that a Christian cannot be a Christian without the abiding and empowering Holy Spirit. This quote struck me because I have noticed that more and more Christians and/or churches are depending less and less on the power of the Holy Spirit.
Today we are going to spend some time searching the Bible to answer the question… “What or who is the Holy Spirit?” This is message is in no way an exhaustive or complete revelation of what/who the Spirit is because the Holy Spirit cannot be sufficiently explained nor packaged in a nice little box of understanding and clarity. I think the early church theologian Cyril of Jerusalem said it best when he said, “When we speak of the Holy Spirit, whatever we say will be inadequate. There is nothing any theologian, preacher, priest, co-worker, teacher, spiritualist, author, believer, or I can say or write to paint sufficient picture or description the Holy Spirit. It is impossible. However, we can learn and understand what we do by searching the Scripture to see what God has revealed about the Holy Spirit in His Word.
Before we can answer the question, “Who or what is the Holy Spirit?” we will have to tackle some challenges that hinder a proper understanding of who or what the Holy Spirit is.
My goal and purpose for today is to open our Bible and look as comprehensively as time will permit about what it says about the Holy Spirit. So, in our remaining time together we will look at these three things…
A Biblical View of the Holy Spirit
Who or what is the Holy Spirit?” This is a question many have asked and will continue to ask. Keep in mind that a concise and complete definition does not exist.
Holy Spirit: The word Holy – Kodesh (Heb) or Hageos (GK) means “the most Holy thing, separate, sacred, or set apart. The word Spirit – Ruah (Heb) or Pneuma (GK) means breath, wind, or air in motion. So, we can define the Holy Spirit as a sacred or set apart from everything breath. What does that mean? Maybe this will be more helpful, it is the divine breath or wind of God. The Holy Spirit is the very essence of God. We know that the Holy Spirit is referred to as the third person in the trinity (who was present at the Creation of the World) and the Spirit is present in both the Old and New Testament. This Holy Spirit we have today is the same Spirit that indwelt the prophets, the Apostles and dwells in us today. The very essence or breath of God resides in the believer; as 1 Corinthians 6:19 states, “The body is the temple of the Holy Spirit…” The Spirit dwells in the body of every believer in Christ. When one is called to become a follower of Jesus, the Spirit takes up residency in the believer’s life. We will talk more in the weeks to come.
Even though, it seems in the O.T. the Spirit would come and go as it pleased, we read in John 20:19 – 22 that Jesus gives the disciples the Holy Spirit and it dwells in them, “When it was evening of that first day of the week, the disciples were gathered together with the doors locked because they feared the Jews. Jesus came, stood among them, and said to them, “Peace be with you.” Having said this, he showed them his hands and his side. So the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, I also send you.” After saying this, he breathed on them and said,[c] “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” and from this moment on the Spirit dwells and abides within a person once he/she believes.
The Holy Spirit has many names in the Bible… (Not an exhaustive list)
The Spirit is analogous to….
The Holy Spirit is a person not an unknowable force
The Holy Spirit is God
The Holy Spirit is omnipresent – Psalm 139:7 - 12
The Spirit is Creator – Job 33:4
The Spirit is eternal – Heb. 9:14
The Spirit is omniscient – 1 Cor. 2:10
The Spirit is the Truth – John 16:13, 14
The Spirit is a teacher/helper/comforter – John 14:26
He is unique because there is none like Him.
He is not matter but He is substance.
Fundamentally the Holy Spirit is not an optional part of Christianity… He isn’t something we can opt in or out of if we want Him. He is a vital part of the life of a Christian. In fact, he is essential to the Christian faith. Without the Holy Spirit we cannot live the Christian life. I conclude with these words that I believe to be true and will hopefully encourage us to be a people and church who are led by and dependent on the Holy Spirit. Just as Christianity without Christ is a dead religion so a congregation without the Spirit is a dead church. By the grace of God, may we be a congregation who is alive in the Spirit of God.
This is the manuscript for the sermon I preached at West Bradenton Baptist Southside on Sunday February 2,, 2020.
We are five weeks into our series “Neighborhoods and Nations”. This series has been designed to help us look at and talk about the calling God has placed on us individually and as a church to both our neighborhood and to the nations. Ultimately, we will continue to discover how we can effectively be a neighborhood church (local) for the nations (global) and what that looks like.
Last week I talked about being salt and light. I talked about how God calls his people to be the salt by preserving the message he is preaching and sharing his message by letting the light (message of hope and salvation) they have shine brightly and unashamedly. I concluded with the reality that our job is to...Shine Brightly, Shine Naturally, Shine Openly, Shine Right Where You Are, the light of Christ in our Neighborhoods
Today, I am concluding this series as I talk about the church and the nations. Today’s message will be a nice segue for the next series I will begin next Sunday titled “The Holy Spirit”. In order for the church to be effective to the nations, it is important that a church be a Spirit-filled church made up of Spirit-filled individuals. Today, I aim to talk about and answer the question what does a Spirit-filled church and life look like? How do we live the Spirit empowered life? And how does living the Spirit-filled life and being a Spirit-filled church help us reach the nations for the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
Overview of Acts 2:1 -13
Before we do this, it is important for us to look at the day we consider the birth of the church in Acts 2: 1 – 13. This extraordinary event happened day of Pentecost (50 days after Jesus’ resurrection). In this account we are told about a great sound of wind rushing in the room, tongues of fire appeared above everyone’s head and utterances of praise in foreign languages were all evidence that the Spirit of God had indeed fallen on the disciples this very day. God fearing Jews who came from all parts of the known world witnessed this event and were amazed at what they saw and more specifically what they heard. They were so perplexed and amazed that the only conclusion some came to was that the believers were drunk with wine. We will see in today’s passage as Peter, filled with the Spirit, addresses these accusations and explains exactly what was happening on this strange day.
Today I want to park at Acts 2:14 – 21 and look at a part of the passage that has become known as the great sermon of the Apostle Peter. I am not going to look at the full content of the sermon, but we will look at the amazing result of this Spirit-filled sermon and what we can learn from it today.
Verse 14: This is Peter’s first public sermon and boy was it a doozy. According to author and pastor R. Kent Hughes this was his greatest sermon because, “Of the place it occupies in history of redemption, greatest by its pure results (there were 3,000 converts), and greatest by virtue of it being a model for apostolic preaching (Gospel oriented and evangelical).” In this sermon he addresses the onlookers by explaining what was happening at this moment. He also counters the claim that they were drunk with wine, since it was only 9:00 a.m.
He begins by quoting the prophet Joel 2:28 – 32 which is a prophesy describing this specific time when the Spirit will be poured out on believers. Peter informs his listeners that they are witnesses to the coming of, indwelling, empowering and filling of the Holy Spirit in the believe which was prophesied by the Prophet Joel.
Vs 17: “And it will be in the last days…” Peter tells the listeners that the beginning of the end is at hand, because here the Spirit of God is being poured out onto believers. God will Pour out is derived from the imagery of Israel’s heavy winter rains; it speaks here of abundant provision.  When the Spirit was poured out it represented the beginning of an undisclosed time frame known as “the last days” which concludes with Judgment Day. We are still living in these last days and we, just like the believers back in the early first century, are anticipating the return of Jesus Christ is near. The result of God’s outpouring on all people is that sons and daughters will begin prophesying, young men are receiving visions from God and old men dreaming dreams. All peoples refers to all of Judah and more likely on Jews and Gentiles alike. This passage could be translated as, “There will be a day when God will pour out an abundant provision of His Spirit on both Jews and Gentiles alike.”
“Then your sons and daughters will prophesy…” His Spirit is being poured out and his people will prophesy. Let’s take a moment and pause here for a moment and look at what “sons and daughter will prophesy” means. When one prophesies, he/she speaks to the people and encourages, consoles, and uplifts “On the other hand, the person who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouragement, and consolation.” (1 Corinthians 14:3). Author Steve Thompson writes in his book You May All Prophesy, “Prophecy is not just speaking human encouragement; it is speaking divine encouragement. In simple terms, prophecy is ‘hearing’ from God and speaking what you hear in order to build, comfort, or encourage someone. To prophesy is to hear from God and speak to men.” If I may be so bold to suggest that prophesying is something the Church should be practicing more today. Now, I am not referring to predicting the future, proclaiming loudly and annoyingly end of the world judgment. I speak about the type of prophesy that involves the believer listening, seeking and hearing from God and then sharing these words with one another (not to control or get what you want) for the building up of the body of Christ. The Apostle Paul tells us Prophecy is the greater of the gifts when it comes to edification or building up the church body as a whole. It is not necessarily a greater gift, but in the church body it is more beneficial.
According to the Prophet Joel there will be no gender or age discrimination, His Spirit will fall on male and female, young and old, Jew and Gentile alike. Young men will see visions (this is noteworthy since visions were generally reserved for specific people but after God’s pouring of the Spirit it will be available to all). The Spirit will be active during the last days. God will reveal his plan, purpose and promises to his people of all ages and it will be for the building and edification of his Church. Peter tells us that this filling of the Spirit is no longer just reserved for the prophets, but it is now available to all who believe in Jesus Christ. This includes you and me; we just need to pray for the Spirit of God to fall upon us and be willing to receive it when it does come.
The sermon Peter preaches is an amazing display of the Holy Spirit empowering a believer to preach the Gospel because we he preaches with boldness and conviction about Jesus Christ. Remember, only fifty days earlier this same man denied three times the same Jesus he is boldly proclaiming. He feared for his own life just fifty days previous and now he stands before over 3,000 people publicly speaking about Jesus Christ. Another way we see evidence of Peter being empowered by the Spirit is by looking at the results of his sermon. Over 3,000 people became Christians on this day. Only the Spirit of God can pull this one off. Had Peter given this sermon in his abilities and power, it would have fallen on deaf ears and the result could have ended in a riot or death. As we see here, when the Spirit of God is actively present, great things happen.
If you are a student of history look at some of the great revivals and you will see a common thread in all of them…. Spirit-filled preaching. Look at the first Great Awakening in America which happened in the mid 1700’s when a man by the name of Jonathan Edwards gave a sermon entitled “Sinner’s the Hands of an Angry God”. Edwards stood behind a pulpit and solemnly read from his notes a sermon that could (and in many cases does) push someone farther away from God. But, the Holy Spirit was at work and the second time he gave this sermon the result was met with people weeping and crying out in repentance to God. It is even said that the bars were closed because there was no business because people were getting save. This led to the first Great Awakening and is one of many events in history where the Spirit of God did remarkable things. This revival was a result of the Holy Spirit as were all revivals in history. Many people today try or have tried to usher in revivals but are usually met with little to no response as a result. Why? Because we as humans cannot bring forth revival! This is the Spirit’s job and we must allow Him to do His work.
So, how does living the Spirit-filled life enable us to become a Spirit-filled church that brings the hope of salvation to the nations? Here are some suggestions…
Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1997). The Nelson study Bible : New King James Version. Includes index. (Joe 2:30). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.
 Thompson, Steve. (2001). You May All Prophesy p. 9 Charlotte, NC: MorningStar Fellowship Church
Jeff has been in ministry for well over two decades. He currently serves as Campus Pastor at West Bradenton Baptist Southside Campus in Bradenton, Florida.
Jeff Has authored an Advent Devotional (The Advent of Jesus) and a devotional on the book of James (James: Where Faith and Life Meet). Both are available on Amazon.
He is married to Carrie and they have four children, Micaiah, Gabe, Simon, and Berea.
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