Tag Archives: Holy Spirit

And Stephen

The very first man the Church chose was called Stephen (vs 5). Stephen and these other six men did what they were supposed to do. As they MINISTERED, the MURMURING ceased. Rather than the cancer of murmuring killing the Body, we are told:

Acts 6:7 … The number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith”

The Church began to reach even the hardest to reach. “A great company of the priests were obedient to the faith”. The priests were part of the group that called for Christ’s crucifixion. Now, through love, these “enemies of the Cross” became “children of Christ”.

At this point the narrative in Acts focuses on the standout named simply Stephen. A lot of time is taken with Stephen, because Stephen would have the privilege of being the first martyr of the Church. We saw earlier that Stephen was “full of the Holy {Spirit} and wisdom”, and now read:

Acts 6:8 And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people.

Stephen refused to allow anything in his spiritual walk that was negative or degrading. Stephen would not allow himself to be filled with FEAR, nor CONFUSION. Stephen refused to entertain notions of darkness. Stephen did this by staying busy in Christ, giving to others as Christ gave to him. The Apostle said:

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true,… Continue reading

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What’s Your Power Source, Part 2

This morning we were in Acts Chapter Four asking the question, “What’s Your Power Source?” We will shortly be in Acts Chapter Five as we continue this subject.

I believe the weakness of the Church in America today can be attributed to many programs and many human solutions, but we pay little attention to God the Holy Spirit. We fill ourselves with our own talents and abilities. I was reading an article the other day where the Author said something like this:

“God was invented by man when we lived in simpler times. But now that we have become technologically advanced, now that we have medical science, now that we make our own miracles, we no longer need God. God is obsolete. We are our own God.”

I think this is foolishness – and delusion. As Solomon said, “What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9, ESV). Solomon was caught up in the accomplishments and abilities of his advanced age. Solomon in his wisdom did much good in Israel. And yet, without God, Solomon said “vanity of vanities; all is vanity. What profit hath a man of all his labor which he taketh under the sun?” (Ecclesiastes 1:2-3, KJV). If God is not in it, if you live a life with no greater purpose than to satisfy yourself, in time life itself seems meaningless! Solomon for all of his riches and all of his knowledge, ended Ecclesiastes with:

Ecclesiastes 12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man…. Continue reading

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What’s Your Power Source

So now we come to chapter four. Peter is preaching the Gospel in Solomon’s Porch (Acts 3:11). This is the exact same porch where Jesus told the Pharisees and Priests that He was the Christ (John 10:23), and the “Jews took up stones again to stone {Jesus}” (John 10:31). They could not kill Jesus, as it was not yet His time to be crucified. “Jesus escaped out of their hand” (John 10:39). But they tried to kill Him.

It is on this same porch – Solomon’s Porch – that Peter and John are confronted by (guess who?) the same curmudgeons that Jesus had to meet. The lost world despises the true Jesus, but desperately needs to Gospel!

Acts 4:1-2 And as they {Peter and John} spake unto the people, the priests, and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees, came upon them, 2 Being grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead.

As Peter is preaching… Continue reading

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Christians Are The Church

“Going to Church doesn’t make you a Christian, any more than going to the garage makes you a car!”

Going TO a PLACE never makes a POSITIVE spiritual difference! You can faithfully go TO a place – like the Temple or the Church house – and be far away from God. Jesus illustrated this in Luke Chapter 18. A Pharisee went TO the Temple, but the Publican stood OUTSIDE the Temple. Listen to this:

Luke 18:11-14 The Pharisee stood {in the Temple} and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. 12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. 13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

The Pharisee went TO the TEMPLE, but was FAR from God. The Publican stayed OUTSIDE the TEMPLE, and yet God “justified” him. Going TO a PLACE does not save you! Never has, and never will…. Continue reading

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Do You Have Christ’s Fullness?

This Jesus, this “Word was made flesh”. The word translated “made” is the Greek γίνομαι gínomai, {pronounced ghin’-om-ahee}, which means “to begin to be, to become”. Though Jesus was born (Greek γεννάω {pronounced gennaō}) into this world as children have always been born, John previously made the point that Jesus preexisted with God the Father in eternity. Jesus did not just come to be when Mary bore Him (Matthew 1:16), but existed with both Father and Spirit from eternity past. Through the operation of the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35) and without the assistance of man, Jesus was conceived. He, Eternal God, took on flesh. The Biblical Illustrator notes:

“It was a custom of old among the shepherds, they {clothed} themselves with sheep-skins, to be more pleasing to the sheep; so Christ clothed Himself with our flesh, that the Divine nature may be more pleasing to us {Less frightening}. The human nature {of Christ} is {like} a glass, through which we may see the love and wisdom and glory of God clearly represented to us. Through the lantern of Christ’s humanity, we may behold the light of the Deity shining.”… Continue reading

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Receive Jesus, Receive Power

The most important part of the race is the finish. I don’t know about you, but I want to finish well. I don’t want to be like Judas Iscariot who, following Jesus for 3 ½ years, ended up hanging himself (Matthew 27:5-8). Peter said of Judas,

Acts 1:18 Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.

What a horrible ending that was! One author notes, “Perhaps Judas hanged himself and in the process also fell (lit. “flat on his face”)… Continue reading

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Whose Home Are You?

Those who were “within” the Family of God would be able to understand the parables because the Children of God go to God, and God explains the parables. But those who are “without”, who have not received Christ as Lord and Savior, would not be able to understand the parable. The Apostle Matthew explains why Jesus spoke in parables by quoting a prophet called Asaph (1 Chronicles 25:2), a message he wrote in Psalm 78:2.

Matthew 13:34-35 All these things spake Jesus unto… Continue reading

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Be Filled With The Spirit

If you are in a RELATIONSHIP with Jesus it will effect your daily lives. Before I was married I dated other women. But now that I am married the Sherry this is the relationship I pursue and live by. The same is true of Jesus Christ. Continue reading

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Grieve Not The Spirit

The first work of the Holy Spirit is to lead us to Christ. A Rabbi named Nicodemus was lead to Jesus by the Spirit of God one night. Jesus told him:

John 3:3 … Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Continue reading

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The Flesh Versus The Spirit

I read a lot. A whole lot. I love reading. I wish more people read. But I also watch videos. I was watching a town hall meeting where Democratic hopeful Beto O’Rourke was explaining why he wanted to overturn the Second Amendment. As I watched it another commentator – Colion Noir – began to respond to Mr. O’Rourke’s statements. … Continue reading

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