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Great Week 4: E-Enabled and Empowered, The Power | Luke 24:49

Mary Ellen Ermis February 11, 2024 sermons, Great, houston, Luke, Roger Patterson, West U Baptist,

The following is a manuscript of the sermon presented by Senior Pastor Dr. Roger Patterson on Sunday, February 11, 2024 at our West U Baptist campus. To view the sermon in full, check out the link below.

Fuel is a necessity if you want to go anywhere!  We’ve been talking about going in this series, and today we will see that the Holy Spirt is the fuel for the engine of the great commission!

G- Go

R- Represent

E- Enabled and empowered…

Luke 24:44-49

44 Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46 and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47 and that repentance for[c] the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”

Last week we looked

The big idea today:  We are empowered for the mission by the infilling of the Holy Spirit.

Let’s review a bit the timeline for the events surrounding the Great Commission.

  • Jesus and the disciples are in Jerusalem.
  • He has the Last Supper with them, then he teaches them some important things they need to know in preparation for the great mission that is soon to begin.
  • Part of this teaching involves the promise of the coming of the Holy Spirit, who will be absolutely essential and vital to the spread of the Gospel.

John 14:15-17

15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.

Look at what Jesus is promising them…

  • A Helper to be with you forever.
  • The Spirit of Truth
  • He will dwell with you and be in you.

This is a game-changer!

  • After the garden prayer, arrest, the trials, the crucifixion, and the burial, Jesus is in the grave three days, and of course is victoriously resurrected from the dead.
  • Now, for 40 days, he appears to his disciples and many others (more than 500 people).
  • Just before his ascension, he gives the Great Commission to the disciples and subsequently to you and I as well.

Now, here’s where we pick up in the story today- the last thing Jesus says before he ascends is an admonition for the disciples to wait for the Holy Spirit to come and empower them for the mission.

Look at Vs. 49.  Three key words here : promise, wait, power

Now this is interesting…. Jesus has been saying go, go, go… but now he’s saying wait!  What’s this all about? That’s what we are unpacking this morning

Let’s turn over to Acts 1:4-8

Acts 1:4-8

And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. 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.”

As Luke closes his gospel, he opens the book of Acts with this same commission and declaration about the empowerment by the Holy Spirit.

Notice verse 8 again.

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 Holy Spirit is the power source for accomplishing the great commission!

Jesus instructed the disciples to wait for the power to come through the pouring out of the Spirit.

  • This happened initially on the Day of Pentecost – 10 days after the Asencion into heaven. Now, notice this initial moment when the Holy Spirit comes.

Let’s look at Acts 2:1-9.

Acts 2:1-9

When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? 

This moment isn’t just isolated to a small group. The feast of Pentecost was one of three annual feasts that devout Jewish men were supposed to attend and offer sacrifices to the Lord for at the Temple.

So, Jerusalem is popping with people…just like it would have been at Passover. And this coming of the Holy Spirit happens and the believers are being heard in the common language of these devout Jews from all over the Roman world.

And notice what verse 4 says of the disciples and Apostles.

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.

Notice this world “Filled.”

  • We see in the scripture passages today several phrases to describe the infilling of the Holy Spirit:
    • Luke 24:49 “Clothed with” Also translated endued. Gk= like putting on a garment.
    • Acts 1:5 “Baptized with”. Gk = submerged.
    • Acts 1:8 “Comes upon you”. Gk= overcome. To be taken over.
    • Acts 2:4- “Filled with”. Gk= completed or filled to the max

Terminology for the Indwelling of the Holy Spirit

  • Luke 24:49 “Clothed with” – Endued, like putting on a Garment
  • Acts 1:5 “Baptized with” — Submerged
  • Acts 1:8 “Comes upon you” — Overcome
  • Acts 2:4- “Filled with” – Filled to the max…completed

Remember, The Holy Spirit is the power source for accomplishing the great commission!

We must be filled in order to be Enabled and Empowered to play our part in the Great Commission. So, let me give you Three Keys to being filled with the Holy Spirit:

Three Keys to Being Filled with the Spirit

  1. Dependency

I. Dependency

The whole reason that Jesus said to wait, or tarry, or stay was to remind the disciples that this mission was not something they could do in their own strength, and they were never meant to! And here is why…because no person can change the heart of another.

The Holy Spirit is the Change Agent.

Prior to Pentecost, the disciples were timid and afraid. But after the coming of the Spirit, a boldness and courage is what characterized the disciples.

Notice the words of Tom Oden. He writes…

“The new covenant was ratified, the great commission given, and all this was immediately followed by:

  • The outpouring of the Holy Spirit
  • The calling out of the new people of God
  • The forming of the body of Christ
  • The introduction of the new law of love
  • The apostles were sent to preach the gospel to the whole world.

Here is what we need to understand as we seek to be DEPENDENT on the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit though not only empowers the witness; He actually changes lives. Without the power from on high:

  • no one’s heart would be changed.
  • No one would repent of their sin.
  • No one would believe and trust in the death and resurrection of Jesus.
  • No one would be forgiven.
  • No one would live for God.

Without the power of the Holy Spirit, God’s salvation work does not happen. So we must be dependent.

Now, as his witnesses, Being filled with the Holy Spirit is all about repeated empowerment for living as His representative, like we discussed last week, and sharing the good news message.

Now here’s an important disctintion to understand :

  • We are indwelled by the Holy Spirit permanently

Ephesians 1:13-14a

In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance…

When you receive Christ as your Savior, the Holy Spirit comes to live within you…you are sealed…He is the deposit guaranteeing our inheritance (the full purchase of slavation!)

However, though the Holy Spirit lives within us always and is always available, that does not mean we walk in His fullness at all times. This is where we must  learn dependence.

We must come back again and again to get filled up in order to be poured out.

like running out of gas, you’ve got to pull in and get more.

Look at this call to be filled with the Spirit.

Ephesians 5:17-18

17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit…

When you are filled with wine…or strong drink…it controls you.

Have you ever heard someone say, “Oh, that’s the liquor talking…”

We are called to not be controlled by strong drink…or anything else. We are called to be filled and controlled by the Spirit.

He is key to our victorious living and our bold witness. We must be DEPENDENT! That’s the first key.

The Second Key is Intimacy.

Three Keys to Being Filled with the Spirit

  1. Dependency
  2. Intimacy

II. Intimacy

The infilling of the of the Spirit is the direct result of prayer.

John Bevere says,

“The Holy Spirit longs to be your best friend.”

To be filled, we must pray.

I pray…

 “Lord, fill me up and pour me out. Fill me…give me wisdom…give me insight and understanding. Grant me favor. Speak to me through your word.”

The first church prayed for 10 days straight in the upper room… then the Spirit came in power.

A little later in the story of the early church, something similar happened.

Acts 4:31-33

And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.

32 Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common. 33 And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all.

Notice how this section begins with, “And when they had prayed…”

Flowing from prayer and intimacy with the Holy Spirit came…

  • The filling of each one with the Spirit
  • Speaking God’s word with boldness
  • Unity amongst them all
  • A Generous spirit in the people
  • Power to share and testify to the resurrection
  • A Great grace upon them all

So, we are to pray and we are to ask for God to fill us with the Spirit.

Luke 11:9-13

And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 11 What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; 12 or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

You see, God longs to give us power for the mission but he wants us to come to him and ask for it in prayer, so that He alone gets the glory.

Is the request to be filled with the Spirit a part of your prayers? If not, take some time this week in your prayers and ask God to fill you.

“Lord, fill me up today…let me be filled with the Spirit that I might see you at work in my life and all around me.”

So we have dependency…and intimacy…

The third key to being filled with the Spirit is…

Three Keys to Being Filled with the Spirit

  1. Dependency
  2. Intimacy
  3. Surrender

III. Surrender

Here we are talking about making ourselves available to him! It is the act of being yielded to God.

One pastor once said…

“It’s not about how much of the Holy Spirt you have, it’s about how much the Holy Spirit has of you!

Did you know that you can make the Holy Spirit sad?

Yes… you can. If you are not surrendered to the Holy Spirit, you can definitely grieve Him. Notice Ephesians 4:30a.

Ephesians 4:30a

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God…

To grieve the Spirit is to cause the Holy Spirit to feel sadness or sorrow.

One writer says:

“This verse refers to believers, who grieve the Spirit by inconsistencies such as in the context are spoken of, corrupt or worthless conversation.”[1]

[1] Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 2, p. 352). Logos Research Systems, Inc.

Notice the words around this command.

Ephesians 4:29-32

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Grieving the Holy Spirit has to do with:

  • how I speak…
  • How I treat others…
  • whether I am bitter,
  • or full of anger…
  • slandering someone else.

Then we see these words in 1 Thessalonians 5.

Paul also warns us in 1 Thessalonians 5:19.

1 Thessalonians 5:19

“Do not quench the Spirit.”

The word Quench means to stifle, as in putting out a fire or a flame.

Warren Wiersbe says…

In using the word quench, Paul pictured the Spirit of God as fire (see Isa. 4:4; Acts 2:3; Rev. 4:5). Fire speaks of purity, power, light, warmth, and (if necessary) destruction. When the Holy Spirit is at work in our lives and churches, we have a warmth of love in our hearts, light for our minds, and energy for our wills. He “melts us together” so that there is harmony and cooperation; and He purifies us so that we put away sin.

The fire of the Spirit must not go out on the altar of our hearts; we must maintain that devotion to Christ that motivates and energizes our lives.[2]

[2] Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 2, p. 189). Victor Books.

Here is what saddens me…

Just as you can I can experience all four seasons in Houston on the same day, I can also be filled with, grieve, and quench the Holy Spirit in my life on the same day.

But what also is what saddens me is the fact that so many believers don’t engage with God the Holy Spirit in their lives. I think it may be because of the two extremes.

On one end of the spectrum we have heresy regarding the Holy Spirit. There is a lot of “weirdness” that goes along here. And some of what you see on TV is just crazy.

So, let me share with you a few common theological misunderstandings about being filled with the Holy Spirit.

  • It is not a “second blessing.”
  • It is not evidenced by speaking in tongues.
  • It is not about getting more of the Spirit quantitatively
  • It is not about a visceral experience.

One the other end of the spectrum we have resistance to the Holy Spirit.

  • This is what I like to call the “put God in a box” syndrome.
  • We tightly put God the Holy Spirit in a box…and we neatly keep Him isolated from our lives.
  • We practice and know all the rules…but we don’t’ want to be like those Charismatics or Pentecostals…so we box Him up.

But if we lean so far to this extreme, we miss out on something very special, powerful, and wonderful.

So, let’s avoid the extremes, but let’s lean in and become desperate for more of the power of the Holy Spirit to overwhelm us with His power so that the Gospel is effectively proclaimed across the street and around the world.

Let me conclude with this J. I. Packer quote about the Holy Spirit:

It is as if the Spirit stands behind us, throwing light over on Jesus, who stands facing us. The Spirit’s message to us is never, ‘Look at me; listen to me; come to me; get to know me,” but always, “Look at him and see him, and see his glory; get to know him, and hear his word; go to him, and have life; get to know him, and taste his gift of joy and peace.[3]

When it comes to participating in the Great Commission, don’t get caught out of fuel!

Would you spend some time today asking God to empower you by His Spirit to be more bold, more attentive, more engaged with those around you for the purpose of proclaiming the Good News….

Confess when you have grieved Him and when you have Quenched his power and movement in your life.

Ask Him to give you boldness this week, and ask him to cultivate in you a:

  • Dependence
  • Intimacy
  • Surrender