Sermon on the Holy Spirit 9
< Ephesians 6:10-17 >
�Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.?/b>
To be filled with the Holy Spirit, Ephesians 5:16-18 tells us, �Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit.?
For people to be filled with the Holy Spirit, they must first of all believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and live for this gospel. The reason for this is because one must have received the remission of sin first for the Holy Spirit to dwell in his/her heart, and one must have received the Holy Spirit for him/her to be filled with Him. In other words, the first priority for us is to become sinless in our hearts by wholeheartedly believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Second, we must redeem our time, for only those who redeem the time can serve the gospel faithfully and live their lives led by the Spirit.
Time does not wait for us forever. A week goes by in a blink of an eye. Going to bed after Sunday evening church service, we wake up in Monday morning. We talk with someone on the phone and meet someone, and the whole day is already gone by. When we think it�s Tuesday, we are already into Wednesday. We attend Wednesday evening worship service, and then Thursday goes by, followed by Friday and Saturday, and in no time we are facing another Sunday. As such, it is only those who redeem the time and faithfully serve the works of this gospel can be filled with the Holy Spirit.
Third, those who know exactly what the will of the Lord is and serve this will are filled with the Spirit. Why? Because only when we know clearly what is the will of God in today�s age is, can we finally make His will our objectives and do His works. We can do the works of the Lord led by the Holy Spirit when we are united with the Lord. If we live without knowing what the will of the Lord is, then we cannot avoid but live foolish lives. As such, to be filled with the Holy Spirit, we must know the Lord�s will clearly.
Fourth, we must strive to gather together. We can be filled with the Spirit only if we strive to come together in God�s Church, praise the Lord, and always thank God in the Lord�s name. But those who neither listen to the Word of God and nor give thanks and praise to Him for the salvation and the works that the Lord has given them cannot be filled by the Spirit. The ones who can be filled with the Spirit are only those who always praise, thank, and strive to gather together in the name of Jesus Christ, as well as believe in God�s will and Word manifested in His Church. As such, to be filled with the Holy Spirit, we must not miss our times of coming together.
When we hear the Word, it is important for us to hear it with our sincere hearts, not merely with our ears. And it is very important that we lead our lives of faith with our hearts. What we do without our hearts has nothing to do with the Lord, �for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart?(1 Samuel 16:7). As such, those who listen to the Word with their hearts can truly say �Amen?and be thankful. Also, because they can mediate on the Word that they heard, they can be filled with the Spirit. However, those who do not receive His Word with their hearts, even as they heard the same Word in the same meeting, they cannot say �Amen?and be thankful. The Holy Spirit is pleased by all our worship, praises, and prayers that are given to God with our sincere hearts.
For us to be filled with the Holy Spirit, there is no worldly shortcut. The only shortcut is to just believe in the Word of God and accept it into our hearts. This is why we must cherish our meetings and we must not regard them lightly. Only then can we be filled with the Spirit and defend our faith until the day of the Lord�s return.
Fifth, those who believe in the Word of God are filled with the Spirit. When Ephesians 6:11 tells us to �put on the whole armor of God,?/i> it is telling us that we must lead our lives of faith by believing in the Word of God. By hearing the Word of God spoken to us through His Church and believing in it, we can be filled with the Holy Spirit.
Sixth, we must hold onto the Word of God with our hearts. Ephesians 6:13 also tells us to �take up the whole armor of God.?/i> The word �take?here signifying an active faith. In other words, it is to read the written Word of the Bible and to hold steadfast in our hearts to what we have read.
The 66 Books of the Bible are filled with the Word of God. But no matter how abundant the Word is, if we do not hold onto it, then there can be no fullness of the Spirit. Regardless of how well we attend church and hear the Word, there are still many times when we become spiritually tired, empty and weary. There are many times when we somehow become weak. This is why we have to take the whole armor of God; that is, the Word of God. Even if it is just a single passage, if it is appropriate and necessary for you, then you must hold onto it. Holding onto the Word in your hearts in this way is none other than taking it, and this is the answer to living a life filled with the Spirit. And you must meditate on the Word, and live your lives by believing that everything will be fulfilled according to the Word. This is none other than the way to be filled by the Spirit.
In leading our lives of faith, if we do not hold onto the Word of God, then we cannot keep our faith. There are both good times and bad times when we lead our lives of faith in this world, and there are also times when our hearts sink low and become weak. In times like these, if we ourselves do not believe in the Word of God and hold onto it, then no one can encourage our faith. No one else can hold you steady. And even if someone were to hold you, your hearts cannot avoid but be always empty. As such, in such times, we must hold onto the written Word.
When you hold onto the Word of God, this Word holds you steady and enables you to live immersed in the promised Word of God. Because the Word holds you, even if you are facing difficult circumstances or your thoughts go astray a bit, the Word wakes you up, making you return to your rightful place, live by faith, be immersed in the Spirit, and live a life that is filled with Him. This is why it is important for us to take the written Word of God.
When the people of Israel in the Old Testament were living in the wilderness, God brought down manna to them. Gathering manna and bringing them home, the Israelites cooked them in all kinds of different ways and ate them. Like this, among the countless written Word of truth, the Word of life, you and I hold onto the Word that is absolutely necessary for us, believe in it, and take it. When you do so, this Word then makes you pray, strengthens your faith, enables you to live in hope, and makes you serve the gospel. And it allows you to be blessed before God, to never leave Him but be near Him before His presence. It is, therefore, very important to take this Word to be filled by the Spirit.