Saturday, July 28, 2012

A parishioner's notes of a sermon on Lord's Day 20, HC, and Eph. 5:15-20.

Text:  LD 20

Reading:  Ephesians 5:15-20

We will focus on the second part of this Lord’s Day, on the work of the Holy Spirit as described in Ephesians 5:15-20.  People who are filled with the Holy Spirit will spill the Holy Spirit as they move around in life and bump into people.  Whatever you are filled with will spill out of you.  If you are full of malice, etc., these will spill out of you, but if you are filled with the Holy Spirit, the fruit of the Spirit will spill out of you, Ephesians 5. 

The Lord fills his people with his Spirit. 

1.       The command to be filled.

2.       The way to be filled.

3.       The evidence of being filled.

1.Be filled with the Holy Spirit.  This is a command, not an option.  It is a very serious sin not to be filled with the Spirit.  This is not a command to do something, but to receive something, a gift that was promised at baptism.  In the Greek, we are commanded to be filled with the Holy Spirit continually, not just once.  Ephesians 1 –We are sealed with the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 2—The church is a dwelling place of the Holy Spirit.  Ephesians 4—Don’t grieve the Holy Spirit.  Also, remember from Acts that faith in Jesus and having the Holy Spirit are intimately connected.  If you believe in Jesus, the Holy Spirit will flow forth from you.  Christ will give you the gift of the Holy Spirit.  Ephesians tells us to look to Jesus and receive the Spirit, who in turn makes you look to Jesus so you receive the Spirit, and so on in a positive spiral. 

2.So, how are we filled with the Holy Spirit?  Christ does not really need a preacher.  He can speak through a donkey, as he has done in the past, but that that’s not the usual way he works.  He usually sends a preacher.  The Lord connects preaching by a sinful minister with faith in Christ and the gift of the Spirit.  These two are intimately connected.  The preacher is a clay pot filled with jewels which are scattered to us.  God gives his grace and the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him for them.  Ask, seek, and knock.  If there is a lack of spirituality in our lives, it is because we’re not listening to the Word and not praying as we ought to pray.

3.What happens to someone who is filled with the Holy Spirit?  There will be differences in his or her personal life, worship, and relation to God.

Such a person lives wisely and makes wise choices.  Decisions make a difference. We live in evil times and in a secular culture. The church has never been attacked as it is today.  Here in Ottawa it is attacked by worldliness; in many places it is attacked by persecution.  Therefore we must make the most of every opportunity to witness and to serve.  The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”  Both Ps 14 and 53 are about this topic—it is so important that this psalm is presented twice in the Bible! But we who do believe in God must understand the Lord’s will and commandments and reject evil. 

Paul makes a contrast between being drunk with wine versus being drunk with the Holy Spirit.  Alcohol is a depressant that leads to ungodly behavior when taken in excess.  When you’re drunk you can’t be filled with the Holy Spirit.

The Spirit-filled person will love to worship, sing, and praise.  Be careful about what we sing—even so-called spiritual songs can be wrong.  ‘Sing songs to each other’ means that we should teach each other while praising God, and of course we must be careful we’re teaching correct teaching.  What it means to be filled with the Holy Spirit is further worked out in the following verses:  Spirit-filled families will function as Ephesians 5 says, with loving husbands, submissive wives, honoring children, and wisely nurturing parents.

What spills out of you as you interact with others?  John 7:38—whoever believes in me, streams of living water will flow from within him. By this Jesus meant the Spirit.  Does the Holy Spirit flow out of you like a living stream?

Sermon by Pastor George, July 22, 2012.  Notes, errors, and omissions by NPS.