THE SPIRIT OF GOD...
Christianity is principally a Charismatic religion. It is supernatural, spiritual, miraculous, and mysterious. These are words that sum up 'charismatic' which comes from the Greek word- "charis" which is most often translated 'grace'. Therefore, Christianity is principally a religion of grace. This makes Christianity unique among the world's religions.
This grace is administered by the Holy Spirit - the Spirit of God. It was the Holy Spirit who empowered Jesus as He ministered and performed miracles. It was the Holy Spirit who filled, empowered and led the original apostles and disciples as they preached, prayed, worked wonders, and planted churches. It was the Holy Spirit who dramatically entered the world of man on the Day of Pentecost and the whole world shook at His arrival! And the world is still being shaken!
Jesus spoke with the deepest respect about the Holy Spirit. In John 3 He said that it was the Holy Spirit who brought salvation to a human soul. In doing this the Holy Spirit removes an unbelieving heart and replaces it with the gift of a believing heart. He takes out the still-born spirit of a person and replenishes it with a God-enriched new spirit. He removes God-hating sinful desires and plants in their place the seeds of God-honouring desires. At first, Jesus said, the Holy Spirit would confront people. They would immediately recognise what they had previously been blinded to - their true condition before God. Jesus referred to this as conviction of sin. Without this initiation, the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit could not commence.
Throughout the centuries, the Holy Spirit has unexpectedly landed upon unsuspecting people and revolutionised their lives and literally changed the course of human history. Jesus also said of this soon-to-be phenomena-
John 3:8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit."
History cetainly verifies what Christ stated. From the mighty Medieval Italian street-preaching evangelist, Savonarola, to the great English outdoor preacher, John Wesley, to the erudite Australian public theologian and one of the greatest preachers of all time, F.W. Boreham, to the history-making American preacher, Billy Graham - the Holy Spirit has un-arrested the most unlikely people and set them ablaze with a holy passion for the Cause of Christ.
Over the past few months, I have witnessed up close the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit. Never before in my pastoral ministry have I ever had so many completely unchurched people make appointments with me to talk about the condition of their souls. In nearly every case I have begun by ntroducing them to God and explaining His acts and attributes. And in each case, those whom the Holy Spirit had been breathing on did not need a lot of convincing about God, His acts or His attributes. I have seen the "wind of the Spirit" blowing over the young people of the Tamar Valley!
He saved us, not because of the good things we did, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins and gave us a new life through the Holy Spirit.Titus 3:5
Each Sunday night we meet to pray for the people of the Tamar Valley to have the Holy Spirit blow upon them. And from George Town to Youngtown He is! We now have people from all over the Tamar Valley experiencing the breeze of the Holy Spirit across their souls. Every Sunday new attenders are drawn to our worship services with an alien curiosity about the things of God. As the Holy Spirit continues to blow across the formerly dead spirits of those He has wooed we can expect that the Unstoppable Spirit of God will ignore devilish, carnal pleas to desist, and will continue to interrupt people's lives with His saving grace.
This is why we pray. This is what we pray for. This is why we can be assured of answered prayer - even if we don't all have the privilege of seeing up close. In the near future we can expect that the Holy Spirit will prepare us to receive the most unlikely trophies of Christ's grace. But we can be assured that the same Holy Spirit will prepare us to be His instruments of grace so that He might work in us all to glorify Christ.
1Corinthians 2:12 ¶ Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God.Father, help us to be nourished by You. May we experience Your nourishing grace through wonder, amazement, adoration, and appreciation of what You have both done and inspired. As we gather as Your House in Your House, Sunday by Sunday and through the week in our various homes, may we have our souls nourished as a result. Help us to be a means of spiritual nourishment to those You place in our lives. In Jesus Name', Amen.
Eph. 3:21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.Ps. Andrew