Matthew 13 records that Jesus did only a few miracles because the people who knew Jesus did not believe He was who He said He was. Before Pentecost, there were doubts. After Pentecost, there was authority & miracles.
So what happened at Pentecost - what happened to being about such a significant change?
· Romans 5 connects agape love with being filled with the Holy Spirit. The unrelenting and unconditional love of God is not just given to us, but is there to fill us to overflowing.
· The agape love of God sent Jesus so that we might believe in Him and enjoy eternal life.
· For the follower of Jesus, we need to desire the filling of the Spirit, to be dwelt by agape love so that it may change us inside out.
· Agape love fills us with the power of God and transforms us to effective witness. The starting point is rebirth, receiving a new heart of agape love and exercising His power.
· God always works from the inside out. God starts with our heart, we believe in His transforming power at work in us, and our witness of His love and power follows.
1. Filled, and being Filled
· Being filled or baptised with the Holy Spirit is not only a once off experience, but an ongoing experience.
· We need agape love to fill us over and over again – and only from the overflow of agape can we effectively witness with power.
2. Controversy, and baggage
· Humanity is capable of excess and misuse. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are no different.
· The Holy Spirit never takes control – we are always in control.
· Paul addresses controversy of the Holy Spirit in the Church in 1 Cor 12-14
· Pentecostals can enter excess. Evangelicalism can mandate unbelief. Paul would speak about 1 Cor 12-14 for our struggles today. Luke would preach Acts. The gifts of the Spirit are real and at work today, as is unbelief.
· Do we desire the gifts? Do we desire the filling of the Spirit?
3. Person, not doctrine
· Let us be careful to remember that the Holy Spirit is a person, not a thing.
· Doctrine and Theology are good, but the Holy Spirit is sent by Jesus as a person for relationship and indwelling.
· The person of the Holy Spirit is at work for the Good News of Jesus – the work of agape love is ongoing.
· The Holy Spirit fills us to experience agape love, transform our heart and mind to a kingdom worldview. The Holy Spirit empowers us for the work of Agape Love in the world, and to exercise His power and gifts
4. Be my agape witnesses
· Before being filled with Holy Spirit, there was unbelief, doubt and denial.
· After being filled with the Holy Spirit, the Church was born, miracles were normal, and people were being added daily.
· Miracles, signs and wonders were expected. Agape love meant everyone had everything in common – no one went without.
5. What about us?
1. Could my heart be filled with, and experience more, of Agape Love?
2. How am I desiring the gifts?
3. What am I doing to witness Jesus around me?
4. How can I allow agape love to overcome my unbelief?
5. I am in the boat, but do I want the fish?