In this message, we learn that the Holy Spirit wants to fill our lives with the power and character of Jesus.
Hey, friends if you got your Bibles turn with me to Acts chapter 19. Acts chapter 19, we are going to just jump right in today. We have been in our series called chapter 2, beginning a relationship with the Holy Spirit. And as we have been studying the Holy Spirit and inviting them into our lives, activating him, he has been moving in our church and in our lives in an incredible way. And I want to try to pull the whole thing together today, and the title of today’s message is being filled with the Holy Spirit. Being filled with the Holy Spirit. You see, I started the first week and the first thing I asked you to do is take all of the preconceived notions, the baggage, the tradition, the expectations we have about the Holy Spirit and just lay all that stuff down. And I asked you for just a few weeks we could just walk through the scriptures and just read what the text has to say, like what does the Bible really have to say about who the Holy Spirit is instead of sometimes, who we think he is or who we have been taught that he is. And really what we have done for the past few weeks is just look at what Jesus has to say about who the Holy Spirit is and Jesus gets really excited about the Holy Spirit.
It has been fun to just break into Jesus’ words and unpack that and, and take a look at it and so for one more time I need to ask you, can you just lay all that stuff down? Right at the beginning of this message, let us lay down all our preconceived notions of the spirit and let me just walk you through some stuff today. You see Satan has done a masterful job at taking something that is beautiful and making us afraid of it. Satan has done a masterful job of taking the spirit of the living God which Jesus wants to empower us with and making us kind of resist it or push away from it, because we are not sure. And we said the first week right the Holy Spirit is not weird, and everybody said
Amen. Oh, weird people are weird. And they are weird with or without the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is not weird, people are weird. So let us not be afraid of the Holy Spirit because weird people just do weird things. And Satan what he has done is, in a sense, he has stolen our vocabulary. He has taken vocabulary in the Bible and he has stolen it and he has attached baggage to it that has made us afraid of it, but we are going to take it back because God’s got some great stuff for us, all right.
So Acts chapter 19, we are going to jump right in. This is a really hard passage and here is what I would tell you. In the Bible, when you get to hard passages do not resist the hard passages or be afraid of them. Wrestle with the text. Wrestle with what the word says. Ask the spirit to give you revelation. Verse one, while Apollo was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples and asked them, did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed. Paul gets to Ephesus and he finds some disciples, and he walks up to him and he says, “hey, have you received the Holy Spirit when you believed.” Now, can we all agree together that these are disciples of Jesus Christ. I mean these guys are saved, right and he says, disciples did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed. How do you become a disciple of Jesus Christ, just by faith. It is just by believing. So, these are followers of Jesus. Disciples of Jesus, they believe in Jesus. They have faith in Jesus. They are saved. They are on their way to heaven, right.
These are followers of Jesus Christ. He says, “did you receive the Spirit when you believed.” They answered, no, we have not even heard there is a Holy Spirit. These guys must have gone to the same church I did growing up, right.
Like, Holy Spirit, who, what are you talking about. We have been taught about Jesus, but we have never even heard that there is a holy spirit. So, Paul asked them, then what baptism did you receive? He implies that there is more than one baptism, right. What baptism then did you receive? It is like a plural there. John’s baptism they replied. Also John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is not Jesus. On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. When Paul placed his hands on them the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. There were about 12 men in all. Paul gets the Ephesus and he finds these guys who are disciples, followers of Jesus Christ. And he says, “Hey, did you receive the Spirit when you believed. And they are like, no. We have not even heard there is a holy spirit. He said well then what baptism did you get?
He said john, they said John’s baptism. Which, John’s baptism was a water baptism before salvation. And Paul says, “okay let us, let us get this thing, corrected” and, and Paul takes them and he baptizes them into water. They have been saved. He now baptizes them into water. He lays his hands on them, prays for them and it says they received the Holy Spirit. And when you read Acts 19, Paul makes it very clear that you can be a follower of Jesus Christ, and yet there is still something missing. He is like, guys, he is like I want you to have everything that God has for you. That is what he is trying to teach them in Acts 19. And I think Acts 19 is a very similar story to a lot of our personal experiences. And so, I do not know if you know this or not in the Bible, but there are three baptisms. Okay. There are three baptisms in the Bible. When we think about the word baptism, we almost always just think of water baptism, but the truth is there are three baptisms in the Bible. And the word baptize means to dip, to submerge, or to immerse. So, it all it means to dip, to submerge, or to immerse.
And so, here is what we are going to do today. I am going to teach you about the three baptisms that are in the Bible and I am going to start and it is a lot of theology on the front end, a lot of scriptures. Because it is the only way I can teach it to you. Then I am going to tell you my story and then I am going to tell you what it practically means for you. Okay. So, we are going to start with a lot of theology, which means I need you to stay with me. No glazing over, no checking out because it is theology. Stay and you got to get this. The only way I can give it to you is by looking at the scriptures, then I will tell you my story and then I am going to tell you what it means for you, and if you have got a big faith today, I believe God has got something great for you. Okay. Are you with me? Can we do that? Say, I am ready for theology.
Good, alright. First baptism is this, it is the baptism in the salvation. Baptism in the salvation. That is the first baptism that we receive. This is when we get saved. First Corinthians 12:13, for we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body. For we were all baptized by one spirit into one body. That is your salvation experience you see when you get saved the Holy Spirit baptizes you into the body of Jesus Christ. So its all that means. The Holy Spirit takes you and immerses, submerge, or dips you into Jesus Christ where you receive the fullness of what Jesus Christ did for you on the cross. We said a few weeks ago that it is the Spirit who convicts us of sin or unbelief in Jesus when we are not a follower of Jesus. It is the spirit who draws us, who leads us, who brings us to Jesus Christ and that when we get saved the spirit is deposited in us and it is the same spirit in me, that is the spirit in you that unites us together in the body of Christ, but it is the Holy Spirit who literally baptizes you into Jesus Christ. He is the one that is doing the baptizing. Galatians 3:26 and 27 says it like this. You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourself with Christ. You see, when you get saved you literally get baptized or immersed into Jesus Christ.
You are now covered and clothed in Jesus Christ, which is what it means when you get submerged into something, and this is the point where you become a new creation. You are redeemed, your are renewed. You are now a follower of Jesus Christ. You are a disciple. And this is all you need for salvation. We are saved by grace through faith. Romans 10:9, that if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you shall be saved. This is all you need. This is the only baptism you need to be a follower of Jesus Christ. The moment that you place your faith in Jesus Christ you are saved you have been baptized into the body of Jesus Christ. And when you place your faith in Jesus, here is what happens, Ephesians 113 and 14, you also were included in Christ, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, having believed you are marked in him with a seal the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance. See the moment you place your faith in Jesus, the spirit comes inside of you.
The indwelling work of the Spirit comes inside of you, and his deposit guaranteeing your salvation. You are now marked as a follower of Jesus Christ in the spiritual realm. Because the spirit comes inside of you, and he comes in and he indwells you. You are born of the Spirit. This is salvation. And what happens is the spirit baptizes you into Jesus, which means you are now covered and clothed in Jesus Christ. You have been washed clean by the blood of Jesus Christ. You have been immersed in the blood of Jesus, which means that when the father looks at you, he does not see your sin or your brokenness or your baggage, he sees the purity, and the perfection and the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Okay. That is a good thing. Do not you think? I think we all should want that baptism that is a good thing, that is baptism into salvation. I am now covered and clothed in Jesus Christ. That is the first baptism. Second baptism is a baptism into water. Baptism into water, this is the one that we think of when we think of the word baptize. We think of a bunch of people gathering together in church, somebody tells their testimony and then goes down into the water. This is the second baptism.
Matthew 28:19, Jesus says, therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. There you see the first two baptisms never go and make disciples, go and lead people to put their faith and their trust in Jesus Christ. The baptism of salvation, but then baptize them. Water baptism, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. You see, water baptism is when we identify ourselves with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is the wedding band of Christianity. It is the outward symbol of an interchange. When Colleen and I got married, we exchanged wedding rings, but it is not this wedding ring that makes me married. It is the commitment I made to her, the covenant I made to her in my heart that makes me married. The same is true with water baptism. It is not a salvation issue, but it is an outward symbol of an interchange. You got saved by grace through faith. That is all you need but when you get baptized, it is like a public declaration that I now belong to Jesus Christ.
And every example in the Bible of baptism has, water baptism, has these three components. It is always after salvation, full immersion, and an immediate response. It is always after salvation, after you put your faith in Jesus. It is always full immersion every time in the Bible, they go completely under because it is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. And it is always an immediate response. It is not a, hey, I will get around to it or one of these days or when I feel mature enough or when I have time or when I get my act together. No, no, no. That is not how it works. It is an immediate response. It is always part of the journey of following Jesus. And when you get water baptized, there is literally a breaking from the past. You are cutting off your sinful nature. You are breaking away and say, I am now new and washed clean in Jesus. Colossians 2:12 says for you are buried with Christ when you were baptized, and with him you are raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God who raised Christ from the dead.
You see, when you get baptized in water, you go down, and the old you, it is dead and gone and you are raised to a new life in Jesus Christ by the mighty power of God. There is a breaking of the past that cutting away of the sinful nature, and I do not know about you, but I love water baptisms. I love watching people come up and share their story and get into. I mean, it is one of my favorite things that we do around here, but it was not always that way. Okay. First couple baptisms I did, did not go all that well. So, I have been a little gunshot. I am going to be honest with you. First guy I baptized, I was so nervous, right. I am so nervous to baptize this guy. I am sitting there, I am shaking, and I baptize him I take him down in the water. I say, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and the Son, and I forgot the Holy Spirit. And so, I brought him back only in the Father and the Son, and he comes up with his arms up, he goes and he looks at me gives me a hug, he goes did it go alright.
Because he is underwater, he did not hear me. It went awesome. It was awesome. You are baptized and good to go buddy. The second guy I baptized, he was like 6’8’’. Guy was huge, massive towering of a guy, right and so I am in the water and I am about to baptize him and I bring him down. I bring all the way down his head hits the back of the tank.
He is so big, and I am struggling. He is such a tall guy. His head is hitting the back of the tank and everything of him is under the water except just the top of his face.
He is right here. He is still breathing. He can hear everything I am saying. He is right there, and I do not know what to do. His head is on the edge of the tank. I cannot get him on. I am like aaaah. So, I finally bring them up. Did it count.
Did it count. I do not know. Still to this day, I do not theology for you on that one. I just know, when see him I feel really bad. I am like, man, buddy, I got you all the way and everything is baptized except your face. I mean.
You are good to go, but your face in heaven, I do not know. I do not know you know like. No. That is but, but, but baptisms are amazing. And what I love about people what, what everybody that gets baptized, it is like the same thing they say, that something broke off my life when they go into those waters. You see, it is like your past chases you into the water and it dies in the water. I could teach you that from the Bible. We do not have time, but it is like your past chases you into the water. You have been dead and buried and raised back to life. You go into the water, your past chases you and your past stays under there and you are raised to a new life in Jesus Christ. And what you are doing is making a public declaration of your new identity. You are telling all of us, but more importantly, you are telling the spiritual realm. It is like a public service announcement. Hey, hey powers, principalities, demonic forces, I just want to give you a notice, I am now a new creation in Christ Jesus. I have placed my faith in Jesus and I am about to get into these waters and when I go into those waters, my past is going to chase me in and it is going to die, it is going to be cut away. I am coming up to a new life in Jesus Christ and so, I just want you to know my new identity. I am now righteous. I am clean. I am holy. I am pure. I am accepted. I am wanted. I am loved.
And I now belong to Jesus Christ. I no longer belong to myself. He has bought and paid for me. So, you want to mess with me, you got to mess with him. Just, wanted you to know I am going into the water. Okay.
That is water baptism. My question would be why would you not want to do that? Why would you not want to do that? And some of you are here and you have been saved, but you never even want to baptize man. March 2nd and 3rd, write it down right now. We are doing water baptisms in service. You need to get in those waters and take your next step of obedience with Jesus Christ, and let something break off your life so you can keep moving forward. Okay. It is baptism in the water. It is a second baptism. And then there is a third baptism. And this is the one that we do not know much about. It gets a little confusing that, that sometimes we just kind of push away from because we are just not really sure. This is baptism into the Holy Spirit. And all this means is to be dipped, to be immersed, or to be submerged into the Holy Spirit. In fact, the word baptize in the original language is talking about a ship, that has been sunk in the ocean. The water is all around the ship, but it is now also inside the ship. It is like completely covered. That is what it means to be baptized in the Holy Spirit.
Listen to these verses, Mark 1:8, John, the Baptist, talking about Jesus. He says, I baptize you with water but he, Jesus, will baptize you with the Holy Spirit. John, the Baptist, says, hey, I have been baptizing people with water but Jesus is coming, and Jesus is going to baptize you into the Holy Spirit. And what is really interesting to know is that that is recorded in all four gospels. All four gospels. The gospels are the account of Jesus’ life on the earth, right. Very few things are recorded in all four Gospel accounts, but you have to piece all the gospels together to get the totality of Jesus’ life. Very few things are recorded in all four. The Christmas story is not even recorded in all four gospels, but Jesus coming to baptize us in the Holy Spirit, it is recorded in all four gospels. Why, because it is really important. That is how Mark says it. Matthew says it like this, I baptize you with water for repentance. John, the Baptist, talking but after me will come one who is more powerful than I, who sandals I am not fit to carry, he, Jesus, will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.
You see, this is different than the baptism of salvation. The baptism into salvation, the Holy Spirit baptizes you into Jesus, but now Jesus turns around and baptizes you into the Holy Spirit. Spirit immerses you into Jesus. When you get saved, when you get baptized in the Holy Spirit, Jesus turns around and now baptizes you. He is like, I want you to be completely immersed in my spirit. In fact, Acts 1, 4, and 5, this is how Jesus says it, do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my father promised which you have heard me speak about for John, baptized with water but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit. That is what Jesus says. Jesus was excited to empower us with his Holy Spirit. You see to be baptized in the spirit or the term that I think makes us a little more comfortable that works a little better is to be filled with the Holy Spirit, to be full or to be filled with the Holy Spirit, all it means is to walk in the power and character of Jesus Christ. To be filled with the Spirit. It means you are walking in the power and the character of Jesus Christ.
I do not know about you, this morning, I want to walk in the power of Jesus. I mean, when Jesus was on this earth he gave sight to the blind, he opened up deaf ears, he set the captives free, he preached about the kingdom of God, he pushed back the forces of darkness. He had an incredibly powerful life. I want the power of Jesus, but you know what I really want, I want the character of Jesus in my life. The character of Jesus is the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, self-control. I want the character of Jesus flowing through my life. I want the power and character of Jesus Christ. I do not know about you, but I think that is a pretty good thing. Anybody want to agree that is a good thing.
I want the power and character of Jesus. I want to live anointed, life-giving loving life. And you see what happens is we get saved and we become a new creation, but you still need to be empowered to live the life that Jesus has called you to live. That is why Ephesians 5:18, Paul says, do not get drunk on wine, but rather be filled with the Holy Spirit. Do not get drunk on wine. What happens when you get drunk? You give up control. You give up control of yourself to something else. Something else now has an outside control over your life. You give up control process. Do not get drunk on wine. Do not, do not give up control. And we give up control to all the wrong things.
We allow alcohol and addictions and finances, ambition, pride, worry, doubt, fear. We allow all that stuff to control us. He says, do not let something else control you. He says, instead be filled with the Holy Spirit. Let the Spirit of the Living God control you. And we not only get filled one time, we have to be constantly refilled. It is not a onetime filling. That is what is different about this baptism. The first two are one time and that is it. This is a continual and ongoing filling of the spirit of living god. Why, because we leak. We leak.
We get filled up with the spirit and it leaks right back out of our lives, and we need to get filled again. Listen, almost every day of my life, I pray Holy Spirit will you come and fill me afresh today because I need the power and character of Jesus in my life. This morning before I come out here to share the word with you, I am in my office praying, spirit fill me up, because if you do not come with the power and character Jesus, I got nothing. I mean, I got enough, fill me. I need a fresh filling today. Last night’s filling is not going to cut it.
I need a fresh filling today to come and walk in the power and character of Jesus Christ. Even the disciples, they get filled in Acts chapter 2 and Acts chapter 4 they get refilled. Why? Because they leak too. I mean, it is a part of the journey. It comes out. We need to constantly be filled and filled again. It is not a onetime experience. It is an ongoing relationship with the Holy Spirit. And that is what we got to get. See, if you trust the spirit for salvation, why do not you want to depend on the spirit to live a godly life? We got to be willing to wait deep into the waters of God. And think about it like this, think of an old three tier fountain. You remember those, old three tier fountain, right? When you get saved, it is like the water source turns on. Three tier fountain, the water source gets turned on. It is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus says, springs of living water will come from inside of you. You are now in dwell with the Spirit of the Living God. The water source is flowing, but now take that three tier fountain and throw it into the ocean. The water is now inside the fountain, but it is now also upon. It is around. The, the fountain has the water inside of it but it is also now immersed in the water. It is submerged in the water. That is what Jesus is talking about that we not only need to be in dwelt with the spirit, we need to be empowered with the spirit. So he says, you will receive power. You will be clothed with power from on high in Luke 24. See, the spirit is in me for my sake. He is upon me for your sake. Catch that. Spirit is in me for my good, but he is upon me for your good. Spirit has in me to connect me to God. He is upon me to connect you to God. And the same is true for you. I do not know about you, but that is a good thing and I want it. Again, I want, I want that, I want spirit in me and upon. I want to be submerged in the spirit.
Have you ever sat down with a Christian? A Christian. And when you met with him, you are just like, there is something different about this person. You just mean, there is just something different. There is a purity. There is a power. There is a passion. And when you are done meeting with that person, you kind of get up and walk away and you want to seek Jesus. You ever had that experience? Just around somebody and just, just being in their presence you are like, man, I want to read the word. I want to know Jesus. I want to go to church. I want to work. Just being around. What is that? It is spirit all over their life. And the spirit does not draw attention to us. He always points tension back to Jesus. That Spirit led. That Spirit empowered. That is the spirit enabled life. That is a good thing walking in the power and character of Jesus. And yet, so many of us live these defeated, discouraged Christian lives because we are, we never get filled up by the spirit of living God. Listen, you want to be a great husband, then you need to be filled with the Spirit. You want to be a great mom, you need to be filled with Spirit. You want to be a great friend, you want to live a chapter 2 life, like we have been talking about, power, passion and the presence you got, you need to be filled with the Spirit of the Living God. It is the supernatural enablement, to do what Jesus has called you to do and to be who Jesus has called you to be.
Zechariah 4:6, not by might nor by power, but by my spirit, says the Lord. We spend so much time focusing on might and power, we got to spend more time depending on the spirit to move in our life. And when you get filled with the Spirit, catch this, this is important, the evidence is not a spiritual gift. It is not, I have got some spiritual gift. I now have ability, I am not superior or, or elite. That is nonsense, that is not the evidence. The evidence of being filled with the Spirit is that you are walking in the power and character of Jesus Christ, and more the character than anything else. Some of you are here, you have been filling up with the spirit of living god for years. You know you walk in the power and character of Jesus. I am just trying to put words to what you have already experienced. See, it is not how much of the Spirit do you have, it is how much of you does the spirit have. That is the real question that we are asking. Okay.
Three baptisms. Three baptisms simple, straightforward, all over the Bible. Are you with me on that so far?
Yes, okay. Theology is good, right. So yes, theology is good. Okay. So, here is what you need to do, hang with me. One more second, let me show you these three together that are all over the Bible and then I am going to tell you my story. Okay. The Israelites. Remember the Israelites, they are enslaved to the Egyptians. The Egyptians are their captors. The Egyptian is a symbol of the world. Right, that was always Egypt. And so God wants to free his people. This is the Old Testament. So, he comes and he tells the people to kill a lamb and to take the blood of a spotless lamb and to put it on the doorposts of their house. Blood on the doorposts represents the cross of Jesus Christ. The death angel passes over. They are now immersed or covered by the blood. They are saved. That is the baptism of salvation. The Egyptians have free them, and they go and the Israelites get all the way to the Red Sea. There is the Red Sea, and they got across it, but the Egyptians are now chasing them back down. And the Israelites have one or two choices. They can walk through the waters or they can stay and fight a battle that has already been won for them. Egyptians have already been defeated. It has already done. So, they can move through the water. They can stay and fight a battle.
Listen, this is what a lot of us do. We could save, but we refuse to walk through the waters of baptism. So, we stay and fight battles that God’s already won for us. He has already defeated the Egyptians. It has already done. You do not need to stay and fight this battle. Walk through the waters. God parts the Red Sea. They walk through the waters of baptism. They get to the other side. Their past chases them into the waters. And God brings the Red Sea over, washes out the Egyptians. They never have to deal with their past that, that was chasing them in the Egyptians again. And then once right there, the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night, the Holy Spirit. There it is, the blood, the water, and the Spirit; all three. The tabernacle. Remember the tabernacle? It was the presence of God that went around with the Israelites in the Old Testament. Tabernacle had three courts; the outer court, the inner court, and the Holy of Holies where the priests would meet with God. When it got to the outer court they had to do the thing in each of those things. The outer court they would come and they would kill a lamb, a spotless lamb, why? Blood had to be shed for the atonement of sins. There is the baptism of salvation. The, the shedding of blood being immersed in the blood. Then they would walk to a basin of water, and they would wash in the water. There is, the water and then they would go a little further and they would get anointed with oil, which oil in the Bible always represents the Holy Spirit. There it is the three again; the blood, the water, and the Spirit.
In Acts chapter 8, let me read you this real quick. Acts chapter 8, verse 12, it says but when they, the Sumerians, believed Philip. As he preached the good news of the kingdom of God, in the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized both men and women. There is the first two. They believe in the good news of Jesus Christ, in his name and then they get water baptized. So, there is the salvation and the water baptism, but verse 14, when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. When they arrived, they prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them. They had simply been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. Wait a second, they are saved. They have been water baptized and that it. Will, will know, it says that the disciples came, why? Because the Holy Spirit had not come upon. They had been in dwelt, but not empowered. The spirit was in dwelling, but not yet empowering their lives. So, they come and they pray for them. John placed their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit.
Jesus, even Jesus goes through all three. Jesus is born of the Spirit and a woman, he is salvation. He then gets water baptized, and when he comes up out of the water, it says the Spirit descended upon him and empowered him to do the work of ministry on this earth. One last one and here is the one that just clicks it for me, and then I will tell you my story. John chapter 20, verses 21 and 22, this is the resurrected Jesus Christ talking to his disciples. Again, Jesus said, peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, I am sending you and with that he breathed on them and said, receive the Holy Spirit. Resurrected Jesus Christ shows up to his disciples. He looks at him and he says, guys, I am about to give you the Holy Spirit. [blowing] He breathes on them. And it says, they received the Holy Spirit. What does that mean? That is their salvation experience. The disciples just got saved. I hate to break it to you, but for three years when they were walking around with Jesus, they were not saved.
Jesus had to die. He had to go the cross, be resurrected. This is their salvation. This is their baptism into the body of Jesus Christ in the salvation. They have now received the indwelling work of the Holy Spirit. They just got saved. That is their salvation moment, but now catch this, in Acts 1m 4 and 5, which is chronologically after, Jesus has just breathed on them and they received the Spirit. Acts 1, 4, and 5 chronologically later it says, this is Jesus talking to the same group of guys, do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For john baptized with water, but in a few days, you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit. Wait a second. In john 20, he just breathed on them, receive the Spirit. Now he is saying, wait, you still need to be baptized with the spirit. What is he talking about? Well, in john 20, they get in dwelt. They had their salvation experience, but now he is saying hang on, guys. In fact, Acts 1:8, he says but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. He says, you have been in dwelt but now you need to be empowered, so you can go and do everything that I have called you to do.
It is chronologically after. He is like, man, I need to give you everything, and in Acts chapter 2, the Spirit of the Living God comes and changes everything. And these guys go from being quiet, shy, selfish disciples to being bold, courageous, sacrificial service. Three baptisms is the grace of God, new creation, a cutting away of the flesh, and an empowerment for life and ministry. Okay. Now let me tell you my story. All three baptisms, all over the Bible, all of them are important. We need it. It is what Jesus wants for us. Okay. Here is my story. I grew up in a, in a great home. My parents loved me and they loved the Lord, and we grew up in a very traditional church. I bet like many of you I have a very similar experience. I went to church literally every single Sunday with my parents and every single Sunday was like the Hellfire and brimstone ending of the message.
Anybody else can agree with that? But, I will say that experience right. Somebody still needs healing from that one, right. I mean, that, that was my every time. And, I remember going to church every single week, and every single week, the preacher would talk about hell. I did not want to go to hell. So I was afraid. A five-year-old boy, I must have said the sinners prayer 9,364 times. I mean every week. I am praying it. What do you need me to do? I will raise a hand, say a prayer, come down front kneel that same shot where I have just, I do not want to go to hell. A five year old boy you scared of hell, right. That is all it was. And so, I say the sinners prayer a million times in my life, but I do not get saved. Nothing really changes in my life. I am just afraid. I go to church and always feel guilty. Do you realize, you should never come to church and feel guilty because when you come here and you have any guilt, you lay it at the foot of the cross and it has gone and it is paid for, and you should be celebrating and worshiping that you are now righteous in Jesus. All right. Do not hang out in a church that is always making you feel guilty because it misses the whole point of the gospel. It is on this boy growing up in my, in my family and every week we go, every week I feel bad. I am saying the sinners, but why do I keep saying it? Because I know it has not changed in my heart. Then I go to college and I am living my life and my life is going well. I play college lacrosse. I get to travel the world playing lacrosse. I mean, my life is going great for myself.
No relationship with God, but I said, I said a prayer somewhere back in the day. And then as soon as I graduated college it is like the bottom falls out of my world. In a six-month period of time the girl I dated all through college, I thought I was going to marry broke up with me out of nowhere. A few weeks after that I was on two brand new jet skies out in the river and I T-boned my best friend at 30 miles an hour, sink two brand new jet skies and put him in the hospital. A few weeks after that I am working in construction, and I accidentally, shoot myself in the leg with a nail gun. Somebody asked me last night if I did it on purpose. No. I did not do that on purpose.
What. Okay, and I had to have surgery to get the nail out because they were afraid it was going to go through my bloodstream and end up in the heart. A few weeks after I get healed from that, I go back to work and I am cutting something with a utility knife, right a razor knife and it snaps and it goes right, just boom, right into my wrist and I cut open my whole wrist. I thought I was going to bleed to death. I mean, the veins, the tendon everything. I mean, I just, there is still a really big scar there in case you are wondering, but, but I thought I was going to die literally in that job site in that moment. A few weeks after that when I get healed up, I am driving down the road and a lady in her car, she drifts over and on the side of the road and her car goes flipping, flipping, flipping, I pull over I run up to on the first person there, and I literally get to this lady, the top of her head is missing and I sit there and hold her as she takes her last few breaths. Six months, bottom fell out. I was angry. Oh, I was angry at God. And so, I remember saying to God. Here is the deal. You got six months. You are either real or you are not. If you are real you can have the rest of my life. If you are not I am done. I am done saying prayers. I am done going to church for my mom, doing the pray before we eat meals, then I am done. You got six months. You can either have the rest of my life or I am done with the whole thing. And let me just say, giving ultimatums to God is not a good idea. Okay.
It is not theology right now teaching you. I am just telling you my story. Okay. That is, that is what I did. I would take it back if I could, but that is my story. So for six months, all I did was see God. Every day I would come home from work, I would read the Bible, I would read books. I go to small groups. I would listen to sermons. I mean, I was in this voracious seeking thing, and I was at this place where I was asking those crazy questions like, God if you are good, why do babies die? If you are a good, why is there evil in the world? All that stuff that nobody can answer. And one day I was reading the Bible and it was almost as if I heard God’s voice for the first time. I read Deuteronomy 29:29, which says the secret things belong to the Lord, but the things revealed belong to us. And it was almost as if God said, John you will never know my secrets but the things I have revealed, Jesus Christ, that is what I want you to focus on. And I do not know how to tell you, but it was like man I got it. The Spirit led me to Jesus. He immersed me in the body of Jesus. I got it, I got saved and I became a new creation.
Something was different. So, you cannot say I said a prayer, got saved, but I did not change. That is not biblically accurate. When you get saved, you changed because you are a new creation. So now, I am a new creation and I know I got to get water baptized. So, I am still in the same church but now I am 23 years old and everybody in the church just think, thought I have said the sinner’s prayer 9000 times, right. And so, I remember feeling incredibly embarrassed. At 23 years old to get up and get water baptized in front of the church, and people asking me well, why are you getting baptized like, have not you already done this and did not you already say the prayer. Your sisters have been baptized, these people, then what is wrong with you? And I am like I need to block. I am not going to let somebody else robbed me of what God wants to do in my life. And so, I go into those waters and I share my testimony. I go under, man, something died. So my past get went into that water and it died. There was a cutting away of the flesh and I came out of that water, and there is some change. So then, I moved to Colorado to go to seminary. Have got keep up my end of the deal of giving God the rest of my life after that one right. So, I do not make ultimatums.
So, I go to seminary right and, and I am living in Denver but I get connected to this church in Colorado Springs. I told you a little bit about this the first week, and I am in seminary and life was going okay, but here is the crazy part. I am like pursuing ministry. I have been saved. I have been water baptized, but man, I still live this defeated life. There is like zero joy in my life. I have these sin patterns that I cannot break out of. I have this struggle, this discouragement, this fear of ministry of always recoiling and pulling back from [0:35:28.0]. I am living a defected life and it is confusing because I am like, man, I have been saved, I have been water baptized, why is there no joy? Why am I so defeated? And so, I get connected to this church in Colorado Springs. I show up the first week and it is a chapter 2 church man. I have told you this is the first week of the series. It was alive, people were worshiping. They wanted to be there. They were excited. They were talking a lot about the Holy Spirit, and I felt like the dudes in Acts chapter 19, hey, I never even heard there is a Holy Spirit, somebody help me, somebody teach me something but, but I did not get a Paul. Nobody taught me about nothing and so, I just had to start studying.
And so for four months, four months, every single day of my life I prayed something like this. Lord, will you fill me with your Holy Spirit today. Lord will you give me the gift of the Holy Spirit? Lord, I do not even know what the Holy Spirit is. Will you teach? I am reading your word and this is what your word says. So, I want that. If it is in your word, Lord will you we give that to me? Will help me understand? Four months, I prayed that prayer every single day. One night driving home from Colorado Springs back to Denver, on highway 25 at 75 miles an hour. It has just been a great night at church, doing some stuff and I was driving back. It was late at night. I am driving down the road. And I am sitting there and I am praying that prayer, Lord, I want the Holy Spirit in my life. I do not want to live defeated. I do not want to live joyless. Like, I want the spirit and living God in my life, will you give them to me? And I do not know how to describe it to any other way than this. It was like man just the spirit, just descended upon me. And there was this joy way deep down in my belly, a joy that I never experienced before they just started to bubble up inside of me.
This joy just bubbled up inside me and it moved me to praise, and I just started praising and worshiping God. Imagine pulling up next to me on the highway right, 75 miles an hour late at night and these dudes in his car, just praise and I am just praising, and the presence of living God came so heavy into that car it was like tangible, and I am telling you God moved in my life that night. Power and character of Jesus was released. Those sin patterns had been broken away. There was a movement of God. Some spiritual gifts were released into my life. This joy that I had never known bubbled up. All of a sudden I was bowled for the, for the things that God wanted me to do. I am telling you something changed. And what we want is will give me the formula, give me the formula. It is not a formula. Listen to me, do not chase an experience. Pursue a relationship. Do not chase an experience, pursue a relationship. This is not about a onetime encounter with the Spirit of the Living God. This is about an ongoing fill me up Holy Spirit.
I need the power and character of Jesus. I need to be refreshed today. I want to walk in the power and character of Jesus Christ. It is a relationship. And I told you in the first week, when I met the Holy Spirit things changed. Why, because now I had a relationship with him. And, I knew who he was and I invited him into my life and I said, I want to walk with you and know you and let you just reveal Jesus Christ to the world through my life. If you ever asked the Holy Spirit to just fill you up. Let me ask you this question. Do you want everything that God has for you? That is a question that only you can answer. I can try to inspire you all day long, you got to come up with that. I mean do you want everything that God has for you? Are you desperate for God to move in your life? Or is your life so safe and convenient, that you do not really care if you have the spirit, because you can do it by yourself. As long as I am going to have it, I am good. I just, I will keep living my life my way. Are you living a life that is safe?
See, we got to get to this place where we make room for the Holy Spirit. Just make room. It is all the disciples did in Acts 2. They just waited and they, they made room for the Spirit to come in their life. The reason we are not filled with the Holy Spirit is because we are so full of ourselves. We got to make room and get some of that stuff out of the way and say, I am making room. We got to get rid of the barriers. My encouragement to you is get rid of some of the barriers, some of the theological tradition religious barriers that we build up and here is what I would tell you to do, just do a first read approach. Go and read the Bible as if you have never read it before. Read it as a first read approach, get rid of all man’s commentary, all the things you have heard other people. Just read the Bible and say, spirit show me what is truth. He will illuminate some great stuff to you. You got to make room and get rid of the barriers, and just invite them in. Spirit will never force himself upon you, you invite him in. He cannot wait to move in. You cannot wait to come and fill up your life, and then you got to receive by faith. You got to receive by faith. Everything we have talked about today is by faith. You get saved by faith.
You get water baptized by faith. At least, I hope you do because man, it just be creepy and weird if you got into a tank of people to take a bath or take a bath in front of a bunch of people with your clothes on. That is what water baptism is, is if you do not go into those waters without faith. And then spirit received by faith. By faith spirit, I receive you in my life, come and fill me up. Last verse, Acts 2, last Acts 2:37, when the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, brothers, what shall we do? Peter replied, repent, put your faith in Jesus, and be baptized, water baptism. Every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. There it is again, all three. The blood, the water, and the Spirit.
That is a chapter to church and that is a chapter to life. And that is what Jesus has for us. So, you do this. We will close your eyes and bow your heads with me. Just for one more moment can we just be still, no stirring, no getting up and walking around, just one more moment. Let me just ask you this question, what is your story?
I told you a little bit about my story tonight. What is, what is your story. Some of you are here and today is your day to get saved. Today is your day to put your faith in your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. The spirit is drawing you to Jesus. He is pulling you to Jesus, and you do not know if you have ever put your faith or your trust in Jesus. You need help. You need redemption today is your day. If that is you, just pray something like this. Just talk to God, say, say Jesus I invite you into my life. I give you all of my sin and I take all of your righteousness.
Thank you for your forgiveness and your love, for your redemption. Thank you that I can be clothed and covered in you. I want to be immersed in you Jesus Christ that I may be a new creation and live a new life. If that is you and you mean that and you say that to God, you have just become a new creation. You have just stepped into eternal life. Some of you are here and, and you have been saved, but you have never been water baptized. And as we have talked about everything today the spirit is just encouraging you saying, come on let’s do it. Let’s do it. Let’s get in those waters, break off the past. Let’s, let’s cut away that sinful nature, let’s go in and come out with our new identity and make that declaration. Some of you, that is what the Spirit is saying. Just tell him right now, yes. Just say yes, March 2nd and 3rd, I will get baptized. I will leave here today and register today, so I do not back away from it, because Holy Spirit I want to keep being obedient and doing everything Jesus has called me to do. And then for all of us who are here as followers of Jesus, my hope would be that we would just want to invite the spirit to fill our lives, that we would not want to chase an experience but pursue an ongoing relationship of spirit.
Come and fill me fresh today, and if you feel comfortable just even do say spirit come and fill my life. Fill me up from the innermost to the outermost. Submerge me, immerse me in the power and the character of Jesus Christ. Holy Spirit, I do not even necessarily know what it means but I want to receive everything that you have for me, that I might reveal Jesus Christ to the world. And then just receive whatever he wants to deposit in your life. Let him move. Let him fill you up, and then let this be the beginning of a new relationship, and that is a constant prayer and a cry of your heart, spirit fill me today, so I can walk in the power and character of Jesus Christ. So, Lord Jesus, we just thank you that this all starts with you coming to this earth to go to the cross. We want to know you better and we want to receive everything that you have for us, and so Spirit of the Living God, we invite you into our lives to fill us, that we might walk into power and character of Jesus Christ.
If you are here today and you need prayer for anything, we are going to have people up here to pray for you. They are here to pray for you, if you need anything. Come up, do not leave if you have a prayer request on your heart or something that you need. If you are new to ValleyCreek church, I would love to invite you to get central. Some of our leaders will be in there. I will be in there. We just want to introduce ourselves to you tell you that we are glad that you are here, but I pray you go rejoicing this week in the power and the character of Jesus Christ. I love you. Blessings.