Monday, January 25, 2016

The Witness of the Holy Spirit

The new church was just barely born before persecution starts, but continues to grow in spite of it.

Partly due to the witness/testimony of:
#1.  Apostles (eye witnesses) - they had seen His death, burial, resurrection, etc.
#2.  New believers (not eye witnesses) - maybe not even in Jerusalem at the time this took place, but they heard about the events, then believed.
#3.  The Holy Spirit - Acts 5:32  (essential witness and testimony)  Holy Spirit adds His testimony to that of the Apostles, believers through:
           1)  miracles  (Pentecost, healings, shaking as the Holy Spirit is given, Ananias and Sapphira!!) - John 3:2  Nicodemus - Holy Spirit testifying as to Who Jesus is.
           2)  Personal conviction  (conversions)  Acts 2:37 - pricked in the heart - Holy Spirit convincing them that Peter is correct.
           3)  Individual transformation - disciples characterized by:  a)  Boldness (to speak the gospel even in face of persecution, warnings and threats)                                   b)  Ability (to convey message in a way to make a difference in people's lives)
                                                                                                  c) Willingness to share, concern for brother/sister -  sold property, gave to church, unusual - not expected or demanded

TEXT:  Acts 4:29-5:42 - "filled in 5:18 is same word as used when the apostles were "filled" with the Holy Spirit
Post Script:  Acts 28:31

POINT - EMPHASIS = The Importance of Allowing the Holy Spirit to Witness (testify) ....
in two ways:  1)  TO YOU
                     2)  THROUGH YOU

The Importance of Allowing the Holy Spirit to witness (testify) in YOUR life!!

#1.  TO YOU - Illustration:  Pentecost - thousands witnessed this.  - all see, hear the same.   some believed, others mocked

Why?? = mystery
But the answer includes choice!!!
Rom. 1 - "gave them up" implies "God attempted to draw them" - tried to pull them in.
2 Thess. 2:9-10 - "refused" - He let them go, according to their choice!!!!

POINT = the importance/necessity of Allowing the Holy Spirit to witness TO YOU:
   1)  initially (for salvation)
   2)  subsequently (growth, direction, correction) - 1 Cor. 2:9-10

How?  openness to the Spirit - show me,  exposure - through church, Sunday School, Bible Study, etc.  submission     response

#2.  THROUGH YOU    John 15:26-27   Acts 1:8
How?  it's a mystery - why He chose to do it this way
BUT, again, the answer includes choice!!

                Openness - contrast to "refused" - may not want to, but will
                Preparation - 2 Tim. 2:15 - special preparation, intelligent preparation
                Availability - (He decides when/how)
                Request - example:  Isaiah - "send me" - Lord, use me.  Let the Holy Spirit work thru me.
                Submission - 2 Pet. 1:21

Don't turn the Holy Spirit away when you receive His testimony!!!

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