Please remember that sermon notes are meant to act as a guide and may not be exactly what was preached.
Faith is not an emotion, it is a decision to stand on God’s Word because of His love for us!
Built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In Him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. – Ephesians 2:21-22
In John 16:13-15 Jesus said that when the Spirit of Truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth, for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak, and He will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is Mine; therefore I said that He will take what is Mine and declare it to you (See Romans 8-9).
The Church is the guardian of the Truth through, and by, the power of the Spirit, “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth” (John 17:17).
Through the power of the Holy Spirit who lives within us, carefully guard the precious truth that has been entrusted to you. – 2 Timothy 1:14, NLT
By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you. – ESV
The only way to guard the Truth is to learn it, share it, speak it, and continue to pass it along in a world that seeks to avoid truth, that seeks to blind the eyes and stop up the ears of unbelievers. It is the Church’s call and duty to not only guard and preserve the Truth, but also to spread it, to be salt and light. Not just with our words, but in our actions.
Since God is love, if we walk by the Spirit, we are walking in and by the love of God, His love for us, our love for Him, and our love for one another!
In order to be led we have to decide to follow. To answer the calling, Jesus said Come unto me… To come after Jesus takes an effort of the will. It will mean surrendering our will to His, denying ourselves, picking up our cross, and following Him! We can no longer be led by our feelings or emotions, we as Christians and as His church have to be Spirit led!
We need to live Coram Deo, which means to live one’s entire life in the presence of God, under the authority of God, to the glory of God, because of God’s love for you. Keep in mind that the Holy Spirit resides IF you are one of God’s Children. We are to live life knowing the love that God has for us and to walk this earth under the authority of that love, “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
We are to gather as God’s Children as often as we can, there is no such thing as a lone ranger Christian. Oswald Chambers said, “Beware of isolation; beware of the idea that you have to develop a holy life alone. It is impossible to develop a holy life alone; you will develop into an oddity and a peculiarism, into something utterly unlike what God wants you to be. The only way to develop spiritually is to go into the society of God’s own children, and you will soon find how God alters your set. God does not contradict our social instincts; He alters them” (Biblical Psychology).
In order to turn our communities upside down we have to take our next step and be obedient to the Truth; the Spirit inspired Word of God, which will turn our idea of Church upside down. I cannot say this enough: The Church is to be a place of love and forgiveness! For anyone who comes through our doors and for anyone we should come in contact with. Think of what happened to the communities that the first Church visited, when they preached and practiced God’s love they turned the world on its head.
In Acts 120 believers were empowered by the Spirit on the day of Pentecost. These ordinary people, whom God enabled, were the beginning of the Church. They were persecuted and put down, people were in opposition to their message, and yet, within 30 years, that original church had grown and spread to the point that they were known as “those who turned the world upside down.” We read of their preaching, their expectant prayers, and their willing obedience to the Spirit inspired Word
We are to make disciples of those that the Spirit adds to the Church, brings our way, or places around us: think “neighbor.”
We are placed where we can make the greatest contribution to the life of His Church. But in order to do that we must remain surrendered to the leading of the Spirit, controlled by God’s will and purpose, serving where God has placed us, and using the gifts given us for the glory and honor of God Almighty!
We can no longer live like the rest, indifferent to the callin,g or following a different gospel, a watered-down version. A grace plus-something-else gospel is not the gospel of the Kingdom! We must choose to be different, to leave behind the ways of the world, and be the Church of God. You are loved! Live like it, talk like it, and let the world see the love you have in Christ!
WE could be the catalyst for revival in our time, we could see a great movement of the Spirit in our communities, but it has to start with you, with me. I read this in an article by Greg Laurie, he asks, “What if everyone in the church behaved like you do? How well would the church know the Bible? What kind of prayer life would the church have? How many people would be hearing the Gospel. What kind of church would it be?” To which I will add, would it be living out the love of God, would it be Spirit led?
Doing as we are called to do in obedience to the Spirit inspired Word, loving one another and practicing the one anothers of God’s Word and sharing our faith in the love of God will mean that we have willingly entered into conflict with the World… it will mean meeting the enemy were he dwells, out there, in the world. Are you prepared?
- How are you showing (living out) the Love of God to those who are a part of this congregation (excluding the people sitting next to you)?
- How about the love your neighbor thing?
- Are you led by the Spirit or by something else?
- As a Christian, how are you using your gift(s) for the “Common Good” of this congregation of God’s Church?
- General: Acts 17:1-7, Romans 8:1-14, 1 Corinthians 13 (vs. 13), Ephesians 2:1-22 (19-22), Ephesians 3:17-19, Ephesians 5:1, 1 John 4
- Gifts of the Spirit: Romans 12:6-9, 1 Corinthians 12:7-11, 31, Ephesians 4:11,15