Yesterday we celebrated a very important birthday at The Well Family Worship Center. The birth-day of the church!! God's church! Yesterday was Pentecost Sunday. Pentecost is the fiftieth day from Passover, which has been celebrated by a feast and crowds of people visiting Jerusalem for centuries. In the first chapter of the book of Acts Jesus instructed His disciples to wait in Jerusalem for the Promise of the Father.... "For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit." He also told them that they would receive POWER when the Holy Spirit came. That word power is "dunamis" which is like dynamite. It is miraculous power, strength, might, energy, and ability. That is the gift God gave to birth the church!!!
We were posed with a question Sunday morning just as Paul asked the church of Galatia in Galatians 3:3 "Are you so foolish? Having begun in the spirit, are you now being made perfect in the flesh?" This actually seems to be an ongoing problem in the church world as a whole. The church that was born of/from the Holy Spirit coming at Pentecost has gradually become a church with not much power, not much influence, not much "Spirit" and way too much flesh and doing things in the strength of man.
This "promise" was not just for the disciples in the bible. We have heard people say, "All of that (spirit stuff) went out with the apostles." NO! NO! NO! In Acts 2:39 Peter said this, "For the promise is to you, your children, and to all that are afar off, to as many as the Lord our God will call." It is for all of us!!
If we believe all the scripture as true and that Jesus saves us, then we should also believe that He baptizes in the Holy Spirit and fire. (Luke 3:16) We have been given a great gift that has not just benefits but purpose. The Spirit gives us the power to overcome sin, it makes us a witness, it comforts us, and the list could go on and on. Today we focused on the power... over addiction, over fear, over anything that has a hold on us. We will be expounding more in depth in the next few weeks on the Spirit and His purpose in and through us.
One last point is this. Pastor Greg explained that to be baptized is to be submerged or "dipped." He started talking about chocolate dipped strawberries and how they are only 3/4 dipped most of the time. What is up with that?? That is, sadly, a picture of our lives and the church sometimes. We need to be fully dipped, completely submerged with the Holy Spirit. He gave it and all we need to do is receive it!!!
- Pastor Gretchen DeVries