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The Best Gift All Christians Receive? The Baptism & Filling With The Holy Spirit
Sometimes Christians are asked “what’s the best thing about being a Christian? Of What the best thing God has given you? Often the reply goes to family, friends or health. These are all either transient or frail in some way – restricted in their blessings by the frailty of human existence.
As we’ve been studying Romans in our sermons and LIFE groups, I’ve been reminded again that the greatest gift God gives every Christian is … Himself. His Holy Spirit. Romans 8:9 reminds us that everyone who belongs to Jesus, from the newest Christian to the veteran, is indwelt by God’s Spirit. Every believer is baptised in the Holy Spirit at conversion
(1 Corinthians 12:13). This is one of God’s many blessings that unites and empowers all believers.
But being indwelt by God’s Spirit doesn’t mean we are to be inactive or passive. “Let go, Let God” was a popular but I believe false catch cry. “Take up the sword of the Spirit” God orders us in Ephesians 6:17, and “keep on being filled with the Spirit” Ephesians 5:18.
I have never known a church to face such turbulent times as this one, over so many years. I reminded this week again that we cannot persevere and grow as God intends us to unless we seek daily the “filling of God’s Spirit” for the battles and joys of each day. In his wonderful little book, Baptism and Fullness of the Holy Spirit, John Stott wrote “We should never cease to thank God, with daily wonder, that in his love he first gave his Son to die for us and then gave his Spirit to live in us. Today there is no temple in Jerusalem to which we have to go to meet God; each of us is a temple of God, and so is the local church, for God dwells in us by his Spirit. Second, we need to seek ever more of the Holy Spirit’s fullness, by repentance, faith and obedience, and also to keep sowing to the Spirit so that his fruit may grow and ripen in our character. I think I may say with truthfulness that it has been my practice for many years to pray every day that God will fill me with his Spirit and cause more of the Spirit’s fruit to appear in my life.” May we too daily pray for and depend on God filling us with His Spirit.
Our sermon series for term 4 this year will be “the Age of Fulfilment” studies in the book of Hebrews. For life groups wishing to study the passages in sync with the sermons, a study guide on Hebrews is being prepared by Graham. If you would like copies for your group, please speak to Graham or Kim. They can be accessed electronically or in hard copy.
Your brother in Christ , Graham Crew