Eph. 5:18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit,
Eph. 5:19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord;
Welcome To The Light-Washed Path,
Review from yesterday ..
God never intended the Baptism with the Holy Spirit, and the resulting manifestation of divine power, in the Christian’s life, to be an optional accessory to salvation. We are commanded to be filled with the Spirit. The new birth in Christ affects our position with God, and transforms our darkened spirit. Paul refers to it as becoming a new creation.
2 Cor. 5:17 (Amp. Bible) Therefore if any person is [engrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!
While the new birth addresses our relationship with God, the Baptism with the Holy Spirit deals with equipping the new believer for service to God, in the harvest fields of the world.
Acts 1:8 (Amp. Bible) But you shall receive power (ability, efficiency, and might) when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria and to the ends (the very bounds) of the earth.
This command to be filled with the Spirit is meant to restore two conditions, imposed upon man by sin: Emptiness and Silence.
God designed us for fullness and outflow. Everything about our engineering indicates that God fashioned us in His image and likeness, intending man to be His voice in the earth. A man with nothing from God to say, is living below his ability and short of his destiny. Conversely speaking, every time anyone came from the Presence of God, they were overflowing with something to say.
When Adam left the Presence of God, he lost his voice. From that time, every successive generation of man has droned on, expressing the same anemic, misguided theories, instead of uttering the commanding words of Light and Life. The world has suffered for 6000 years under mans spiritual silence.
The reason why man has no words of power or substance to bring from God, is that he is silent before God. To have utterance you must have hearing. To speak you must be spoken to. With separation came silence. After his fall, Adam’s first indication that something dreadful had occurred in him, was that a dark silence fell upon his spirit, causing him to hide when God came calling upon him. Man’s spirit fell silent. And since then he speaks from the shallows of his head. Man has been bound by the silence of alienation towards God ever since. Without direct fellowship with God, man has nothing of power or life to bring with his words. All his declarations and philosophies are but pitiful probes in the darkness of his own spirit. Man, once designed as Gods vocal fountain, has run dry, disconnected from God, silenced with ignorance.
Lam. 3:27 It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.
Lam. 3:28 He sits alone and keeps silence, because he hath borne it upon him.
What many Christians fail to understand is that being born-again and having the Gospel of Truth, is itself not enough to change the silence of our spiritual voice. We must have anointing, filling, overflow, unction. The baptism in the Holy Spirit is meant to give Christians a voice of power with which to speak the words of Truth.
Luke 24:48 And you are witnesses of these things.
Luke 24:49 but wait until YOU be endued with power from on high.
Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you:and (then) you shall be witnesses
It takes more than Truth to break mans silence. It takes power also. The Apostle Paul had great ability to speak. He was highly educated with a razor sharp mind. His oratory skills were finely honed in the best Hebrew schools. Yet after meeting Jesus on the road to Damascus Saul of Tarsus knew that he was no more than a spiritually silenced man, with no life in his words. Even after receiving Jesus as his Savior and embracing the Truth of the Gospel, the converted Paul knew he needed more than Truth, human intelligence and boldness to have a voice.
Eph. 6:19 And (pray) for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,
Paul knew that speaking for God comes from being filled with the Spirit. True boldness, that reveals the mystery of the Gospel, has to come from the infilling of the Spirit and not just human zeal. In Simon and Garfunkels song, The Sounds of Silence, they observed that men talk without speaking. That is a spiritual condition. Man can talk from sunup to sunset, and never break the silence of human deadness. Utterance, the ability to speak words that shatter the silence of sin, comes not from being right, or even righteous, but from being filled with the Holy Spirit. Paul’s mission was not to be the example of a man with special gifts and calling from God, but he was an example of what all Christians are to be. Paul received the baptism of the Spirit, intended for every Christian. Otherwise he would have been like an Old Testament Prophet rather than a New Testament witness.
Today we fight a tough spirit of secularism and rebellion in the world. Most people of the Western world have had enough exposure to the Gospel to build up callous refutations and inoculate themselves with indifference. And many Christians are complaining that the sinners have become Gospel-hardened. But how much harder can they be than the Jews, Romans and Greeks of Pauls day? Its not that the worlds become too hard-to-hear; but that Christians are speaking from reason rather than Holy Spirit power. What we need today is that filling of the Spirit, with which the first century witnesses of Christ shattered the silence of their world. If we would return to seeking and receiving the baptism in the Holy Spirit wed be amazed at how attentively the world would hear our voice.
Acts 8:5 Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them.
Acts 8:6 And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.
Acts 8:7 For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed.
Acts 8:8 And there was great joy in that city.
Stay On The Path!