Key Text: Acts 19:1-10

The apostle Paul wrote Ephesians to the churches around Ephesus to display the scope of God’s eternal plan for all humanity for Jews and gentiles alike.

The first three chapters focus on what Christians should believe:

• The glorious riches of God’s grace in Christ.
• Dead sinners are made alive in Christ.
• We have eternal salvation by grace through faith.

• Blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing
• Chose us before the foundation of the world
• Because of love Adopted us
• Redeemed through the blood
• Forgiveness of our sin
• Christ will bring all things under His Lordship
• Sealed with promised Holy Spirit – guarantee of our inheritance.

How Do We Measure Spiritual Maturity & Growth

• Not that we read Bibles more
• Not that we attend more church meetings
• Not that we give more.
• Not that we do more Christian service
• Not that we stop watching some things we were watching before.
• Not that we pray more

The true  measure of Spiritual Maturity & Growth is more evidence of His presence in our lives than last year. The consequence of increased presence, is that we will do all the aforementioned things. We’ll be at more church meetings. When we are open to His presence, He gives us open hands and a spirit of divine generosity in every area of our lives. We’ll want to do more Christian service for the building of His kingdom. We’ll find that we stop watching some things we were watching before, so as not to grieve His presence. We’ll find that we are not just praying more but that our prayers begin to change us as we expect God to hear God’s heart for a matter or situation.

Holy Spirit is available to anyone who becomes a disciple of Jesus, empowering us to live out the calling God has placed upon us. And what has Jesus called all His followers to do? To love God, love others and make disciples.

Jesus’ first disciples wanted Him to stay and restore the kingdom of Israel. But in Acts 1, Jesus hints that His Kingdom wasn’t what they were imagining. His Kingdom would continue throughout history by the power of the Holy Spirit and the continual testimony of His disciples.

Holy Spirit is a gift from our heavenly Father who helps us live in a way that honours God and reflects His character. When we allow the Holy Spirit to shape us, He transforms the ways we think and act. It’s Holy Spirit who empowers us to make Jesus known wherever in the world we find ourselves. Holy Spirit is the one who helps us to joyfully and boldly make Jesus known to the people He places around us. He is the one who gives the insight, discernment and courage we need to work out the love of Jesus’ to others.

Acts 19:2We have not even heard there is a Holy Spirit.’

Baptism In The Holy Spirit

Jesus’ disciples were born again believers long before this day of Pentecost, perhaps during Jesus’s life and ministry but certainly by the time that Jesus after His resurrection breathed on them and said to them ‘receive the Holy Spirit’ John 20:22 Jesus commanded His disciples not to depart from Jerusalem but to wait for the promise of the Father which they had heard from Him Acts 1:4 Then in Acts 1:5John baptised with water but you will be baptised with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

Acts 1:8 ‘But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.’

The disciples then obeyed Jesus’ command and waited in Jerusalem for Holy Spirit to come upon them, so that they would receive new empowering for witness and ministry. When the disciples had waited for ten days, the day of Pentecost came tongues of fire rested above their heads. Acts 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Peter teaches the church in Jerusalem, when he gives an account of why he went to Joppa to uncircumcised men. Although the disciples were born again long before Pentecost, at this Pentecost they received a Baptism with/in the Holy Spirit, which was subsequent to conversion and resulted in empowering for ministry as well as speaking in tongues.

Acts 11:15-17 As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them just as on us at the beginning. And I remembered the word of the Lord, how he said, ‘John baptised with water, but you will be baptised with the Holy Spirit.’ If then God gave the same gift to them as he gave to us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God’s way?”

Every believer today, like the apostles should ask Jesus for a ‘baptism in the Holy Spirit’ and follow the pattern we see in the disciples lives. When we receive this baptism of the Holy Spirit, it results in much more power for ministry in our lives just as it did in the lives of the disciples.

1 Corinthians 12 Gives us an idea of the gifts Holy Spirit brings when we are baptised or filled with Holy Spirit.

Wisdom, knowledge, faith, gifts of healing, working of miracles, prophecy, spiritual discernment tongues, interpretation of tongues. Whatever the gift it is for the common good.

Acts 2:17 Peter quotes from Joel 2 ‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy and your young men shall see visions and your old men shall dream dreams;’

Take a few moments and thank Jesus for the gift of His Holy Spirit. Then, invite Holy Spirit to come and change the way you think and act.