Read Acts 2:14 - 40
When it comes to living the Spirit-filled life I can’t help but think of two of the greatest superheroes of all time, Superman and Batman. I was introduced to really cool analogy by pastor Efrem Smith at a conference I attended a few years and He equated how pastors can do ministry like one these two super heroes. I would like to share with you but I want to use these two heroes as examples of what a Spirit filled life is in contrast to a flesh driven life.
Superman and Batman are two of the best known super heroes in the comic book realm. Both heroes are considered American cultural icons. Their adventures and popularity have established themselves as inspiring forces within the public eye, Superman is hailed as "The Man of Steel”. He was born Kal-El on the alien planet Krypton, before being rocketed to Earth as an infant by his father moments before his planet's destruction. He was adopted and raised by a Kansas farmer and his wife, the child is raised with a strong moral compass. Upon reaching maturity he develops superhuman abilities and he resolves to use these for the benefit of humanity. A.K.A. Clark Kent lives among humans as a "mild-mannered reporter" for the Metropolis newspaper The Daily Planet . He possesses extraordinary powers, with the character traditionally described as "faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound". Superman is truly the greatest of all American comic book superheroes.
A few years after the creation of superman the public demanded more superheroes for their reading enjoyment so a man named Bob Kane created a character much in the same vain as Superman but not so super in his powers and abilities. Batman's secret identity is Bruce Wayne, he is a wealthy business man, playboy, and goodhearted person. After witnessing the murder of his parents as a child he is trains himself to physical and intellectual perfection and don's a bat-themed costume in order to fight crime. Batman operates in Gotham City, assisted by various supporting characters including his sidekick Robin and his butler Alfred Pennyworth, and fights an assortment of villains influenced by the characters' roots in film and pulp magazines. Unlike most superheroes, he does not possess any superpowers; he makes use of intellect, detective skills, science and technology, wealth, physical prowess, and intimidation in his war on crime. Batman’s “powers” come from his utility belt. He utilizes a large arsenal of specialized gadgets in his war against crime, the designs of which usually share a bat motif. The exact contents of the belt are not known, as Batman changes them to suit his needs; his uncanny ability to carry the appropriate tools for a mission is legendary.
What we have in these men are two of the greatest superheroes known to humanity; they similar in some ways but completely different in most. A question that may be arising in your minds is, “What do these characters have to do with today’s topic?” Let’s look at these two superheroes closely and see if you can get the answers yourself.
First we have Superman. What are his powers and abilities? Flying, superhuman speed, strength and hearing, heat vision, invulnerability, and super breathe. Where does he get his powers and abilities? From another world or a supernatural entity or by non-human means. Next we have Batman. What are his powers and abilities? He has no known super human abilities. He relies on his own knowledge of science and detective abilities. He is trained in the martial arts and has a utility belt to help him out. He is matchless among all superheroes in his intellect and detective skills. But where does he get his powers and abilities? From himself or from other humans (training, scientists etc.).
Let’s put this together now. Superman gets his powers from an outside source making him truly a SUPER man and Batman gets his powers from himself which makes him… a man. Here we have two superheroes but one is truly a superhero; the other is just a man in a suit with many talents and does good things.
Here is our spiritual tie in; so many of us are like Batman but want to be like Superman in our Spiritual lives. We try to live the Christian life in our own strength and ability and never experience the power of God because we do not want to give up control of our lives. We depend on our abilities, intellect and means to manipulate situations to make them work for us and our benefit. Christianity is just one more thing that we do in our lives; we add it to a list of other abilities or groups that we belong to. We are members of the golf club, the library, the VFW, the book club and the church. It’s just another thing we belong to.
But God wants us to live as SUPER men/women. He wants us to live in His power and get our abilities from Him. He knows we are just human beings and without His power we are no more than that. This is what the Spirit-filled life is all about… being a man or woman who relies on an outside source (God) for our power and ability to live life.
This is what happened in today’s text. Peter gives a sermon that stirs the crowd and eventually brings 3,000 people to Jesus Christ, thus giving birth to the church age. Is this something he did in his own strength? NO way! The Spirit of God was upon him and the words he spoke were Spirit filled thus the result was a supernatural phenomenon.
Are you a Superman or a Batman? Are you living your life in the strength of the Spirit or are you living in the strength of your own power and abilities?
 www.wikipedia.org - Superman
 www.wikipedia.org – Batman
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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