Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Spirit: Unwrapping the Gift (4)

Listen online or download Sunday messages, and here!

Acts 4.18-31, Acts 9.10-25, with Acts 1.1-9 and Psalm 104.24-35

Review: "Unwrapping the Gift"
body: spiritual gifts, not about the gifts themselves but
fit into our confession of faith in Jesus as Lord
fit us uniquely into the community of faith
follow up: speak w/ me, class leader, staff

Today: zoom out to the gift of the Spirit itself
"filled with the Spirit"
"baptized in the Spirit"

As last week, with the Scripture about the gifts of the Spirit, many of us have assumptions and fears about what this may mean. We’ve seen too much on television and, at least if you are like me, you change the channel as quickly as you can. I want to be a spiritual person, but not like that!

No matter our emotional reaction to the idea of the gift of the Spirit, one thing is sure: It is a gift that remains so often unwrapped in the life of God’s people. As last week, I want to do some teaching, to help us understand the Biblical language and the wonderful gift that is ours to unwrap. First, the gift of the Spirit and God’s people in community

In the gospels,
John the baptizer: Jesus will baptize with the Spirit (Mt 3.11, etc.)
@Jesus’ baptism, the Spirit comes like a dove (Mk 1.10, etc.)
Baptism is linked with the gift of the Spirit (theology & practice)

Jesus promises that, after his departure, the Father will send the Spirit
(Jn 15.25-26)
The Spirit is sent – on Pentecost (Ac 2)

Life-transforming faith in Jesus is described as being born of the Spirit
(Jn 3.5-6)
ALL disciples of Jesus have the gift of the Spirit (Ro 8.14-16, etc.)

Then, we have today’s stories from the book of Acts:
Jesus promising, one final time, the baptism of the Spirit (Ac 1.5)
and, with it, power to witness for Jesus (Ac 1.8)

Pentecost, the coming of the Spirit, wind/fire/witness (Ac 2)

Peter & John, after arrest and "dressing down":
"grant to your servants to speak your word w/ all boldness" (4.29)
"all filled with the Holy Spirit" (4.31)
and they had already been through Pentecost & water baptism

Paul, met Jesus on road, blinded
Ananias to "lay hands on" so that he might regain sight (9.12)
Ananias announces: "that you may regain sight & be filled ..." (.17)
Laying on of hands = Prayer for filling with Holy Spirit
Paul was baptized in water

Common theme: In all these stories, the greatest thing in the gift of the Spirit is not a particular manifestation or miracle, it is our witness! And, it is courage and boldness to tell the story.

Spain story

Second, gift of the Spirit and God’s people individually:Eph 5.18 - "do not get drunk with wine but be filled with the Spirit"
a contrast built on a comparison
comparison: what we choose to be filled with
comparison: what it affects in our self
contrast: the direction in which it affects us

Fears: Alan Jackson song, "I don’t even know your name"
so I ordered straight tequila
a little courage in a shot ...
I’m married to you baby
and I don’t even know your name

Relationships:"mean drunk" or "sweet drunk"
dis-integrated selves, relationships

Critical Thinking:think we are thinking clearly, suddenly feel smarter

2Tm 1.6-7, I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

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