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SUN
Adults/Children Sunday School
9:30 AM to 10:20 AM
Sunday Worship
10:30 AM to 11:55 AM
Bible Search
7/29/12 Unleashed 1
 

Jesus’ last instructions. Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

 

Three Things the Holy Spirit does for the Church:

 

  1. Empowers us to touch the entire world. A global calling.

Power=dunamis; not a little bit, but so much the gates of Hell will not prevail against us.

 

Matt 16:18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.

 

All the believers received the Holy Spirit. (not necessarily a feeling, although feelings are sometimes evident, even discerning the presence of evil spirits) All received gifts and abilities to do things beyond themselves. As the Spirit determines, we need to use our gifts of grace (step out of the “boat” in faith and not just act on our natural abilities).

 

We need to expand our vision to reach people we don’t know. Pray for people groups that don’t know Jesus and for the missionaries that minister in their communities (Muslims). We must pray and let the Holy Spirit lead us to reach our community--people we meet at work, school, stores, and on Internet for Jesus.

 

It is our mission. We are not a social club, we are not a static membership, we are to be a dynamic congregation of people who steadily increase in membership with those who are saved by God as a result our ministry to them.

 

Without the Holy Spirit, the name on our heart or church should read “Ichabod: the glory of God has departed.” We are not empowered to rest in the pews, because--

 

2.  Enables us to step outside our comfort zone.

Acts 4:13 When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. (Peter and John were people like us) We are to get outside our comfort zone to:

 

a. Reach the Unlovable: stained and scarred from sin, looking totally different and lost. Involved in abominable sexual sins, rebellion, and witchcraft. Jesus came to save them.

Luke 19:10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost." (Referring to a despicable, dishonest, tax collector, Zaccheaus)

 

  1. Modify our Music: everyone has preferences. The Holy Spirit gives each generation music for worship and we need to embrace what the Spirit is doing to reach this generation.

Ps 33:3 Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy.

For the Church to grow, the worship music needs to fit these criteria:

  1. appeal all age groups
  2. words must be Biblical
  3. songs connect with people and minister to them
  4. songs lift up Jesus and worship Him
  5. people can worship with the music—save the difficult stuff for “specials”.

 

  1. Embrace diversity. Church becomes diverse as we go into all parts of the world, as we minister to people we meet. Every person fits in and can be used.

 

Gal 3:26-29 You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were

baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek,

slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.  If you belong to Christ,

then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

 

We reflect Heaven. Rev 7:9-10 After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: "Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb."

 

A diverse church speaks, without words, that God, who is love, is present in the Holy Spirit (His fruit). People feel welcome, they see the congregation is not a respecter of persons.

 

We have an opportunity to lead in this area because of our location. The Holy Spirit should have our hearts prepared for this. If not, we need to repent.

 

3.  Emboldens us to stand for Truth and righteousness in a culture that has gone astray. God unleashes His Spirit on the Church and unleashes the Church on the world. The Truth will greatly upset the world. Eventually, the Church was said to have turned the world upside down.

 

Acts 4:2 They were greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead.

 

They succeeded in sharing the Gospel of Jesus with the people and the Church grew in spite of great persecution. Jesus said this is the way growth and change must happen.

 

Matt 10:16-39 I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. "Be on your guard against men; they will hand you over to the local councils and flog you in their synagogues. On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles.   But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say,     for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. "Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. I tell you the truth, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes. "A student is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for the student to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebub, how much more the members of his household! "So do not be afraid of them. There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. "Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven."Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.   For I have come to turn "'a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law--a man's enemies will be the members of his own household.' "Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

 

The believers in Acts were considered troublemakers. Nevertheless, they confronted moral issues, religious traditions of men, and they were direct, not politically correct.

 

Acts 4:12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."

 

That statement is ensured to get you called a few names. They were not politically correct, they were like Jesus, who said, “I am the Way, Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father except by me”. Jesus was not politically correct. Our time requires that we take a stand for Truth and righteousness (in love) just like Jesus and the Church did in Acts.

 

Unfortunately, we lost the abortion issue for awhile. We are in danger of losing the marriage issue, too. Name calling is the enemy’s way of getting us to keep silent. Forget about being politically correct. Be Biblically correct and be filled with love from the Holy Spirit. Be willing to suffer for the Name of Jesus. Support those who take a stand for Jesus. We may be considered haters instead of helpers who want to bring people to Jesus for salvation. What will we do? God did not give us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of sonship and power.

 

Rom 8:15 For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father."

 

Therefore do not be afraid. Stand and count it an honor to suffer for Christ, like the Church did in Acts.

 

The marks of an unleashed Church.

 

Acts 9:31 Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace. It was strengthened; and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it grew in numbers, living in the fear of the Lord.

 

a. Harmony—a time of peace—lack of conflict among all people groups, becoming one in Christ.

Eph 4:2-6 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There

 is one body and one Spirit-- just as you were called to one hope when you were called--one Lord, one faith, one baptism;    one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

 

Col 3:11 Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.

 

b.  Strengthened and encouraged by the Holy Spirit. We can’t do it alone. The Holy Spirit changes us to the image of Christ to do the works, and greater works, of Christ.

John 14:12 I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.

 

c.  Growth caused by God, one life at a time. Be faithful to live and share the Gospel.

Acts 2:46-47 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying

the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

 

  1. Living in the fear of the Lord—a holy reverence, deep love and respect, leading to an exciting worship time because they lived in the fear of the Lord, walking with the Holy Spirit, following Jesus. Prov 23:17 Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always be zealous for the fear of the LORD.

 

Before God unleashes us, He wants to empower us. Will we let Him? I pray the Holy Spirit will fall on us. Do you want the Holy Spirit to fall on you? If so, tell Him so.

Luke 11:13     If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!" (Also or new believers, Acts 2:38) Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.