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,
A witness for Jesus isn’t someone who just talks about Him, but shows signs of being affected by Him. God’s idea of a witness is more than polished character and irrefutable theology. But it’s someone who uncharacteristically displays the very traits of Jesus and His ministry. Jesus’ whole mission was to leave His mantle on the lives of changed people. He didn’t come into the world to validate His existence, but ours. He didn’t come to rehabilitate God’s reputation in our eyes, but rather to reveal our own purpose, in God’s eyes.
Jesus came to make witnesses, to take common sinners, deliver them from the power of sin, and then set them ablaze with the anointing of His own ministry. In affect, when God spoke to Moses through the symbol of the burning bush. Ablaze but not consumed. It was to represent, not God but us: redeemed mortals bearing the fire of God’s Presence. It was still a bush but behaved like God. Burned with His fire. Spoke with His Words. That bush was to symbolize you and I as God’s witnesses.
No bush can set itself on fire, much less burn without being consumed, while speaking words from Heaven. The burning bush was a spectacle. It stood out, inexplicably distinguished, having been affected by God. Likewise on the Day of Pentecost, in Acts chapter two, 120 human shrubs were ignited by the Holy Spirit, and turned into witnesses. The baptism with the Holy Spirit is meant to affect Jesus’ followers with His uniquely characteristic power so they look and act like they got close to Him and caught fire.
Acts 4:9-13 If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole; be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.
The whole idea of a witness for Christ, was not to prove God’s existence, but rather to be a testament to the reality of His affect upon us. When confronted by the lame beggar on the steps of the Temple, Peter and John didn’t say, ”Let me tell you about Jesus” . Instead they said, ”Look on us… such as we have, we give you. In the name of Jesus, rise and walk (Acts 3:4-6)”. After the lame man was healed, when the people wanted to give credit to Peter and John for the miracle, they then said, It wasn’t our holiness that healed him, but it was Jesus, and faith in His name. Jesus was glorified when Peter and John were able to show His affect upon their lives, working through them to help others. This is the purpose for the baptism in the Holy Spirit.
When Paul wrote to the Ephesians, not to be drunk with wine, but be filled with the Spirit, he compared the affect of the Holy Spirit with being under the influence of wine. Under the influence of wine, people lose their inhibitions and do things they might not have the boldness to otherwise. Likewise, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, a Christian has a boldness to act beyond the ordinary limits of their personality and abilities. And following Jesus definitely requires stepping beyond the comfort of your natural inhibitions. Peter and John had no ability to heal the lame beggar, and probably had no desire to look like fools trying to. But they were emboldened to offer him healing in Jesus name, anyway. So too will the spirit-filled believer be moved to act as Christ’s ambassador, offering Heaven’s help to the lost. When we are filled with the Holy Spirit we live a greater life than we normally would – greater than our native abilities dictate. Under the influence of the Holy Spirit is where Jesus expects every follower to live. It takes the influence of the Holy Spirit to have courage and confidence step out beyond our natural protective inhibitions. Under the influence of the Holy Spirit we are convicted to believe God in ways that make non-spiritual people nervous. We become less cautious but more trusting. Being filled with the Spirit inspires abandonment but not recklessness. It is the infilling of the Spirit that most identifies us with Jesus.
Mark 1:8 I (John the Baptist) indeed have baptized you with water: but he (Jesus) shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.
Filling us with the Holy Spirit was at the very center of Jesus’ purpose in coming to die on the cross.
John 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
Jesus was not referring to the Holy Spirit as the Comforter, solely in terms of the comfort His followers would receive, but even more, the comfort He would bring to others through our witness.
Stay On The Path!