Good morning and praise God friends. Today we will learn about 'The good gift'. And to understand this, we will start with an illustratiin.
Illustration: Post wedding when you unpack thegifts, you find that you have received 10 cutillary sets, 5 wall clocks etc. Then you realize that there are few gifts that you do not like.
He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?" - Romans 8:32
All things whatever, in heaven and earth, are not so great a display of God's free love, as the gift of his coequal Son to be the atonement on the cross for the sin of man; and all the rest follows upon union with him, and interest in him. All things, all which can be the causes or means of any real good to the faithful Christian. He that has prepared a crown and a kingdom for us, will give us what we need in the way to it.
"Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 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!" - Luke 11:12-13
Christ encourages fervency and constancy in prayer. We must come for what we need, as a man does to his neighbour or friend, who is kind to him. We must come for bread; for that which is needful. If God does not answer our prayers speedily, yet he will in due time, if we continue to pray. Observe what to pray for; we must ask for the Holy Spirit, not only as necessary in order to our praying well, but as all spiritual blessings are included in that one. For by the influences of the Holy Spirit we are brought to know God and ourselves, to repent, believe in, and love Christ, and so are made comfortable in this world, and meet for happiness in the next. All these blessings our heavenly Father is more ready to bestow on every one that asks for them, than an indulgent parent is to give food to a hungry child. And this is the advantage of the prayer of faith, that it quiets and establishes the heart in God.
"On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, 'Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'" Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified." - John 7:37-39
On the last day of the feast of tabernacles, the Jews drew water and poured it out before the Lord. It is supposed that Christ alluded to this. If any man desires to be truly and for ever happy, let him apply to Christ, and be ruled by him. This thirst means strong desires after spiritual blessings, which nothing else can satisfy; so the sanctifying and comforting influences of the Holy Spirit, were intended by the waters which Jesus called on them to come to Him and drink. The comfort flows plentifully and constantly as a river; strong as a stream to bear down the opposition of doubts and fears. There is a fulness in Christ, of grace for grace. The Spirit dwelling and working in believers, is as a fountain of living, running water, out of which plentiful streams flow, cooling and cleansing as water. The miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit we do not expect, but for his more common and more valuable influences we may apply. These streams have flowed from our glorified Redeemer, down to this age, and to the remote corners of the earth. May we be anxious to make them known to others.
Friends, there is a spirit always working in the different ways of work which is not a good one. The spirit of bondage, the spirit of lethargy, the spirit of laziness, the spirit which holds you from walking with Lord. The verses mentioned above is not the spirit which is holding you back, but the one which sets us free. This the spirit of God, the holy spirit. And to defend yourself against other spirits, you need to be filled
Let me help you with understand baptism. There are three types of baptisms.
1: Baptism in which we are baptised in the body of Christ "For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit." - 1 Corinthians 12:13
2: Baptism in water. "And Peter said to them, "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." - Acts 2:38
"So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls." - Acts 2:41
3: When Christ baptises us in Spirit "I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire." - Matthew 3:11
If we look closely at these three baptisms, we will realize that there has to be an agent always.
In the first baptism, the Spirit of God is agent
In water baptism, the pastor or whoever has baptized you is the agent
In the third Baptism which John is talking about, Christ is the agent Himself, who baptises you with the Spirit and Fire.
"And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance." - Acts 2:4
"While Peter was still saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word. And the believers from among the circumcised who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out even on the Gentiles. For they were hearing them speaking in tongues and extolling God." - Acts 10:44-46
Why is Holy Spirit so important in our lives?
1- It is a vital part of our spiritual foundation. "But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit." - Jude 1:20
We are edified! "The one who speaks in a tongue builds up himself, but the one who prophesies builds up the church." - 1 Corinthians 14:4
"Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, and of instruction about washings, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And this we will do if God permits." - Hebrews 6:1-3
Illustration: Watching God Tv on Sunday, when you are lazy about getting ready for a real Church fellowship, doesn't helps you. Infact it is not from God Himself. Why? Because you are virtually controlling the message of God and the Pastor himself. In a real Church, that won't be possible.
2: It gives us power to share the Gospel.
"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." - Acts 1:8
"And what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might." - Ephesians 1:19
"Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world." - 1 John 4:4
3: It gives us power to understand the word of God.
"But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge." - 1 John 2:20
Illustration: I was in Bangalore and outside one college I saw few youth preaching with Bible in their hands. When I approached them, he was discussing "Mother of Jerusalem" named cult.
If we are filled with Holy Spirit, do you think we can be misguided with tough and modern words? The answer is no.
4: Because it gives us power to ecperience God in a more fuller way.
Today there are many people who are lonely and think that no one care for them. We need God's spirit to give us company and comfort that we seek as a lonely person.
"For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit." - 1 Corinthians 14:2
When you are filled with the Holy Spirit, you will be able to have an intimate relationship woth God.
My prayer for you today is that let us not be a dry church. It is God's desire for us to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
God says, Ask, and it will be given." Ask God for the Holy Spirit in order to go into a deeper relationship with God. Ask for your purification with the blood of Christ and desire to be filled to the fullest. Pray in faith and your desire for an overflowing experience will be fulfilled.