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Empowered By The Holy Spirit – Catholic Congregation of St. John, Preparer of the Way – ccsjchurch.org

Empowered By The Holy Spirit

Empowered By The Holy Spirit

“Empowered By The Holy Spirit”

Archbishop Loren Thomas Hines
Holy Spirit Seminar, Part 1
June 4, 2017

I came from a family of religious people. My grandfather was a circuit riding minister and he and my grandmother lived in a wagon, traveling from place to place in crusades. I probably didn’t have a choice of what I’d become because my grandfather and uncle were involved in ministry. My uncle was the last surviving signatory of the by-laws of the Assemblies of God. The basis of our lives was Pentecostal. I was raised with rigid, legalistic regulations and wasn’t allowed to do many things. It came to a point where I didn’t like Pentecost and shoved it out of my life, till God talked to me and made me see what He had done through the Pentecost.

In the beginning, Pentecost was seen as a religion of the lower class. Perhaps they were more open to Pentecost because they didn’t have education which would have made them want an explanation for everything. A relationship with God comes by faith, where we don’t need to understand everything because we trust Him. Pentecost went all the way up to the top ranking religious leaders. Pope John Paul II was a very dedicated man in terms of speaking in tongues and spent a lot of his time praying. He communicated with David Duplissey (considered one of the main founders of the charismatic movement, in which the Pentecostal experience of baptism with the Holy Spirit spread to non-Pentecostal churches worldwide). They were very close and prayed together. This shows us that what God has given is for all.

God has given us the Holy Spirit for a reason – to give us the ability to become more like Him. When Jesus came into the room where His disciples were gathered after His resurrection, He told them, “As God has given Me this ministry, so I give it to you”; then He breathed the Holy Spirit unto them. We don’t see evidence of the presence of the Holy Spirit in their lives as we see it in Acts 2, but it was there. Today, when a child is baptized, he/she is marked by the Holy Spirit and even if there’s no physical evidence, the Holy Spirit is received in the child’s life. There’s a pattern given to us in Scriptures: 1) we confess our sins and repent; 2) we are baptized; and, 3) we receive the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is in all of us who have been baptized. However for most of us, it remains unused, an untapped potential in our lives because we don’t know how to bring it out. It’s necessary that we make the invisible visible. If the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives is not visible, its results are minimal.

John 16:13 “When He, the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.” This is God’s provision to protect and guide us so we won’t be caught unaware and we will be able to see evidence of what’s coming. “The kingdom of God does not consist in words but in power” (1Corinthians 4:20). Jesus ministered by preaching, but in the midst of preaching, He performed miracles, evidence that the Holy Spirit was with Him. The Kingdom of God does not consist of words alone, but of power. John 1:14 tells us that the Word became flesh. Christ, the Word of God became flesh. The evidence of the Word became flesh. Words are invisible but when they become flesh, they are seen by people as evidence of God’s Word. “The kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17). It’s internal, flowing outward, seen in how we live out our lives. It’s not what goes in but what comes out of us that show evidence of what God has given us. I’m trying to lay a foundation for us to realize the value of what God has given us, what the Holy Spirit is and what it does in our lives. Christ shows us the Father; the Holy Spirit shows us Christ, and in showing us Christ shows us who we are, what God created us to be; now what we can be but who we are; what has already been established in us, especially by Christ’s work on the cross. He implanted within us the fullness of His life.

Before the foundation of the world, Christ chose us and set the course and direction of what we will be – holy and blameless before Him (Ephesians 1:4). What God established will be. If we grasp this, we will know what belongs to us. He established that we be holy and blameless, and we are, even if we don’t see it. Christ went to the cross and paid the price for us to be holy and blameless. It can’t be by our own works because we’re weak, but God did it through Christ and His cross. He gave us the gift of redemption, and that redemption doesn’t cover our sins alone. That redemption also restored man back to the fullness of creation – created in the image and likeness of God. The Holy Spirit reveals this to us and helps us understand the hope that we have.

John 5:19 “….the Son can do nothing of Himself unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.” This shows Christ in perfect unity with the Father, and that’s why He could perform the miracles. Here is the essence of power – being one with the Father. Through the Holy Spirit, this is possible for us. We have become one with Christ. Christ now lives within us. Ephesians 5 talks about marriage and tells us that the relationship between a man and his wife is like that of Christ and the Church. We have the potential to be like Christ through the work of the Holy Spirit in us. This is why Jesus asked the Father to send the Holy Spirit. He said He will not leave us alone. God sent the Holy Spirit to dwell in us. That power is within us, the very atom of God implanted in us, and all things are possible because of that.

Christ was tempted by Satan in the wilderness, but He was empowered by the Holy Spirit for one thing – to remain in unity with the Father. Having fasted for 40 days, He was hungry when He was tempted. He didn’t deny it but simply stated the truth. When Satan asked Him to turn the stone to bread, He spoke the Word, saying “Man does not live on bread alone….” In so doing, He brought into the picture the power of the Holy Spirit by His oneness with the Father. He did the same thing in the other two temptations, simply quoting the Father’s Word, putting His faith in unity with the Father’s Word. In our lives, we analyze things according to our own understanding and in so doing miss the power that God wants to perform in our lives. We may not understand everything that’s going on but we put our trust in God just the same. What He has established will be because He does not lie.

In Acts 2, when the Holy Spirit came, there were many in that place from different nations. When the disciples began to speak in tongues, those who were there heard what the disciples said in their own language. It wasn’t that the disciples were speaking in the respective languages of those who were there, but they heard in their own language because the Holy Spirit was putting it in words that they understood. When you pray in tongues, the Holy Spirit takes what you say because what you say is not for men but for God. God then translates it into what He wants you to hear. God will take what we give Him and use it for what He intended it to be used.

The Holy Spirit is with us; I want to emphasize that. “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?” (1 Corinthians 6:19). The Holy Spirit is within us to empower us to do the work of God. It’s the work of the Holy Spirit to give us wisdom to speak words at a time when those words are needed. The Holy Spirit will inspire us to use what we have to minister comfort and direction to others. We don’t do it on our own because we are limited. The ability of the Holy Spirit is in us and the potential in us thru the Holy Spirit is immeasurable. Now we won’t just be witnesses of miracles but perform miracles ourselves because the Holy Spirit is in us. We are to be instruments used by God to bring joy, peace and well-being to others. God created our body. He doesn’t create evil, only good. Our body is good. He created it as an instrument through which His power can be used. Christ made this power visible. “Do you not know that you are a temple of God and the Spirit of God dwells in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16). This is the third Scripture that tells us that the Spirit of God dwells in us. Deacon Raul can tell what ails a chicken just by look and smel. This is the Holy Spirit at work in us. Adam could talk to the animals and they respected him. Deacon Raul is a living Adam, in dominion over animals. This shouldn’t be something unique to him; we should have it also. Animals were created by God and He created man to be in dominion over them. We have abilities that are way beyond what we think are possible. We’re not overcome but we were given the ability to be overcomers. I speak to my plants and they respond. I see the evidence in my harvest. We have missed so much because we’re looking at things according to the flesh only. This flesh when empowered by the Holy Spirit has no limitations. We must grasp this. Jesus said, “I will ask the Father and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever” (John 14:16). The Holy Spirit is our Helper, the power within us to accomplish what we need to accomplish, a manifestation of the ability to overcome and conquer for the glory of God. The Holy Spirit is with us forever.

Jesus commanded His disciples not to leave Jerusalem but to wait for what the Father had promised (Acts 1:4). “….you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now” (Acts 1:5). Being baptized has the context of being immersed in, totally consumed, controlled and covered. When you’re baptized by the Holy Spirit, your whole life is guided and controlled by the Holy Spirit. When you can hear the voice of the Holy Spirit, you’ll find yourself in a much better condition. Some have shared with me how they were all set to go on a trip but they didn’t board the plane at the last minute because they heard the Holy Spirit tell them not to go. Later on they learned that their plane had crashed and they were saved because the Holy Spirit warned them beforehand. These are the benefits of the Holy Spirit in our lives. The Holy Spirit makes our lives fuller and gives us an ability which we don’t have on our own. The Holy Spirit quickens the flesh to life. Out of our innermost being shall flow rivers of living water. Where there’s conflict, we bring peace. When we recognize that we’re filled with the Holy Spirit and listen to the Holy Spirit, we will be where God wants us to be. The disciples waited in Jerusalem when Jesus asked them to; they were in unity with God. This is why they received the Holy Spirit, because they were in unity with the Father. We have to understand the necessity of being in unity with the Father. This doesn’t mean we won’t mistakes anymore, but we correct them when we do. When we’re willing to obey God, even if somebody tries to destroy us, God will give us peace.

Galatians 5:22 “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control….” Real, honest love will always be there, whatever happens, whatever people throw our way. Joy should be flowing out of our lives toward others, especially those who are troubled and lost. We have the peace that Jesus gives; the peace that the world can’t give; the peace that is beyond our understanding. We show patience in dealing with those that are against us and kindness, instead of anger. Goodness is the ability to do what is right. Faithfulness is the ability to trust God even if you don’t understand. The Holy Spirit will produce this fruit in your life. You may hinder them but you can’t stop the harvest. The minute you start to walk in them, you’ll realize that they’re there.

Remember the necessity of confession and repentance. Confess your weaknesses. You’ve already been baptized, and now you must walk in the fullness of the Holy Spirit. God gave us the Holy Spirit to strengthen us and give us power. We have the Holy Spirit but we’re not using it as we ought. It’s time that we to walk in the fullness of this gift.

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