Today at all our Every Nation London congregations we started a series called “Spiritual Living”. It’s a 4-part series running on Sundays and in all our Connect Groups until Pentecost Sunday on June 12th. You are also invited to join us at two additional opportunities:
- For Q&A and more Bible Teaching and ministry on the Holy Spirit, join me from 19.00 – 21.00 on Mondays 23 May & 6 June at our Hammersmith office.
- For deeper Spiritual breakthrough teaching and ministry, come to the “Journey to Freedom” seminar with Amanda Buys on 17 & 18 June.
Through this teaching and ministry we are trusting to lead every person to be living more spiritually aware and more Holy Spirit empowered on Jesus’ mission in their world. If you are not a believer, our prayer is that you would consider more seriously than ever before to believe in Jesus Christ as your saviour, and that you too will experience His presence through the Holy Spirit.
Part 1 of this series covered a bit of understanding the culture we’re in, then introducing you to the person of the Holy Spirit, and we looked at what “spiritual living” looks like for a believer. Here are some summary thoughts:
The culture we’re in:
Two characteristics of our post-modern culture are:
- There is generally an openness to spiritual things, and even a dabbling in spiritual experiences, but
- there is a strong resistance to “universal absolutes.” – pluralism is rife, so there are always many ways…
So many people will go through doors to explore the spiritual realm (via horoscopes, Ouija boards, tarot cards, psychic mediums, false religion, etc), but they reject any guide into that world, so where do they end up? Jesus, in John 7 v 37-39, speaking to the culture of His time, invites people to experience the Spirit, but here we see 2 very important “universal absolutes” to guide you into any spiritual seeking: Make sure and spiritual seeking and experience is “to Jesus” and “according to the Scriptures.” This is obviously where believers in Christ and post-modern spiritualists part ways, but I am convinced that without these two simple guides you end up like Eve, deceived by an “angel of light,”
and leaving the garden to live cursed and distant from your Creator.
Who is the Holy Spirit?
He is God. God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God is Spirit. He is a Person, not a “force.” The Holy Spirit is “the promise of the Father” and Jesus said that “He will be with you and in you,” and Jesus also promised the “baptism of the Holy Spirit” which would empower believers to be witnesses to Him wherever they are.
In essence, the Bible says there are two ways to live: Either “carnally/according to the flesh” or “spiritually/according to the Spirit.” The first leads to “death” (=curse and distant from God), the latter leads to “life and peace.”
What does “Spiritual Living” look like? Here are a few headline thoughts:
- It means to living with a real sense of Gods presence. Living with “God in you” – awesome!
- It means living neither dry, nor weird. Typically Christians either over- or under-emphasise the Holy Spirit. An under-emphasis of the Holy Spirit leads to a dry Christian life that looks no different to that of a non-believer, besides a few visits to church. It has no power to be any different, because without God we can do nothing useful for the Kingdom. An over-emphasis leads to an emphasis on the wrong Person, and the wrong activity. “Weird” is when the emphasis ends up being on the Holy Spirit and what He is doing, rather than on Jesus and what He did on the Cross and through the resurrection. I believe this grieves the Holy Spirit, who works miraculously and supernaturally in and through believers primarily to show Jesus to the world.
- It means living with growing fruit of the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23 shows what the Spirit is committed to growing in us so that we will be more Christlike. Without love for example, you are “nothing”, even though you have the most awesome so-called Holy Spirit experiences. This is a universal absolute Jesus was very clear about.
- It means Living Led by the Spirit – We’ll devote part 3 of this series to this vital aspect of Living Spiritually.
- It means living empower by the Spirit on Jesus’ mission. Once Jesus had given His disciples what is called the “great commission” to take His message to the whole world and “make disciples of all nations”, He then said: “BUT WAIT… until you are clothed with power by the Holy Spirit.” (Luke 24:49 & Acts 1:8) – We’ll look at this power of the Spirit and receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit next week in part 2.
Now, how can we do to become more spiritually aware & active?
Well, we’re doing to “Read ACTS, Pray ACTS, and Do A.C.T.S.” – see what this means here, and join us on this great adventure to more meaningful and active SPIRITUAL LIVING…