Monday, 13 April 2015

What difference does it make? Sermon Review

What difference does it make? Isn't that a now famous quote from Hillary Clinton concerning the Bengahzi scandal? Well for some reason our Pastor used that as his topic line in his sermon yesterday, he did not mention Hillary though so I have no idea if he is even aware of it. Anyway I took sermon notes and I would like to share them with you here. It was a study in the book of Acts.

Here are the notes I took in church:
Easter is the foundation of our faith.
God pours out His grace on our lives, we are unworthy.

What Now?
What difference does Jesus make in our lives? 
Jesus life, death and resurrection - what difference does it make in our lives?

Ascension of Jesus
Luke 24:51 -  And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.
The Ascension of Jesus is a picture of Jesus taking His place of authority and power on the throne.
Ephesians 1:20-21  Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,
Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come
Jesus has all authority in heaven and on earth.
Matthew 28:18 -  And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth

So what difference does it make?

The Holy Spirit is mentioned a lot in the book of Acts. Believers were filled and guided by the Holy Spirit.
Acts 1:4-5 
 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.
For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.
Now that God has given the Holy Spirit - what difference does this make? What does it look like to live in the Spirit?

How do we receive the Holy Spirit?
If you are a follower of Jesus, you have the Holy Spirit indwelling you. 
We can not earn the Holy Spirit -  it is a gift from our Heavenly Father.
Acts 2:38-39 
 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
You will receive - this is a promise of God - God is always faithful to His promises.
Then why do we not experience it that much?
- we misunderstand the Holy Spirit's role in our lives.
- the Holy Spirit comforts us and makes us aware of God's presence but there is more.
-we receive the Holy Spirit for the purpose to make us like Jesus. We have been created in the image of God, we are to represent God in this world.
We do not experience more of the Holy Spirit's power in our lives because we resist the Holy Spirit and we are not living for Jesus but we are living for ourselves!
What does the Holy Spirit want to do in our lives?
We have a mission to accomplish. There is a reason why we are here. We exist to reach the world!
Matthew 28:18-20
And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Mark 16:15
 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

Jesus sends us out - we are to witness for Him!
Every gospel ends with Jesus sending us out!
Image bearers reflect God's image to the world!

Acts 1:8
 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

How do we do this?
Show love and compassion.
How we live is our greatest testimony  but we must witness in word as well,
help others,
show grace,
pray for people,

This isn't easy, we must not look for approval from other people, we are called to lay down our lives for others!

- we cannot save anyone, God saves through Jesus Christ
- we are tools that God uses,
- pray for people who don't know Jesus,
-keep praying,
- pray for opportunities to share your faith,
- pray for boldness to witness

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