Category Archives: Beautiful Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit And The Believer

Standard
The Holy Spirit And The Believer

Acts 2:42 NKJV

“And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and in prayers.”

The Holy Spirit helps a believer to understand things. He will guide us in all truth. Through the Holy Spirit in us we have the ability to understand God’s Word, His will (His desires) and His thoughts. Many times it is hard to understand the Word of God without the help of the Holy Spirit (our Helper). God reveals the truths in His Word to us through the Holy Spirit.

1 Corinthians 2:6-16 NKJV
“However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom of God ordained before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But as it is written:
‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him’
But God has revealed them to us through the Holy Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. For ‘who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?’ But we have the mind of Christ.”

The early believers continued steadfastly in the doctrine of the apostles. There was a uniformity in the early church concerning what they believed about Jesus Christ. The early church did not have a Bible so they relied on the word of the apostles (apostles’ doctrine). The people were not double-minded about what they believed, nor did they have a double standard. They did not change their mind about what they believed because of persecution, or because God’s way seemed too hard. The early church did not allow the world to set their standards or their beliefs. They had the mind of Christ. They relied solely on the apostle’s doctrine. There was unity in the early church because all of them continued steadfastly in the words given to them from God through the apostles by the power of the Holy Spirit. They continued to learn God’s ways and to do what He instructed them to do.
We too must have the mind of Christ. The Word of God must dwell in us and be made alive by the Holy Spirit.

Colossians 3:16 NKJV
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”

We must be a disciple of Christ. We must know His ways and we must follow His ways. We must know what the Word of God says and then we must act upon what we know. We must not just be a hearer of the Word.

Romans 2:12-13 NKJV
“For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law (for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified….”

James 1:21-27 NKJV
“Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless. Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit the orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.”

Each believer must have a teachable spirit and receive the Word of God with meekness (without resistance). As we hear and obey God’s Word (remain steadfast in the Word of God) it will keep us from falling into sinful behavior, which will lead to spiritual death. We must apply the Word of God to our daily lives. We are only deceiving ourselves if we hear the Word but do not obey it.
God has given His Holy Spirit to us to help us obey Him. The Holy Spirit gives us power to live for and to obey God and His Word. When we reject the Holy Spirit’s instructions (His leading in our lives) we are actually rejecting God.

Dear Father,
Thank-you for Your Holy Spirit who helps me understand things and guides me in all truth. Through the Holy Spirit I have the ability to understand Your Word, will, desires and thoughts. Thank-you for reveling Your truths in Your Word to me through the Holy Spirit. By the power of the Holy Spirit, help me to continue steadfastly in the Word. May I not have a double-mind about what I believe, or have a double standard. Help me to stand firm even in the face of persecution. Cause me to have the mind of Christ and may the Word of God dwell in me and make me alive by the Holy Spirit. Help me to apply Your Word to my daily life. I desire to know Your ways and follow them. May I have a teachable spirit and receive Your Word with meekness.
In Jesus’ name, Amen

Advertisements

The Holy Spirit And Sanctification

Standard
The Holy Spirit And Sanctification

Believers have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit and their bodies are the temple of God. The Holy Spirit dwells in the believer therefore, their bodies are vessels to be used for a holy or pure purpose and for the glory of God. We must allow the Holy Spirit to work in us. The indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit enables a believer to live a holy life.

Enable means to provide with the means or opportunity or to make possible, practical, or easier. Enable can also mean to allow something to be done.

The Holy Spirit guides, empowers, directs, and leads the believer, as well as convicts us of sin and bad habits. The Holy Spirit will speak to us and He will correct us in order for us to avoid sinning against God. However, He does not force us to obey – we always have a choice. When we listen and obey the Holy Spirit it makes the process of sanctification possible and easier.

John 16:13 NKJV
“However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.”

Dear Father,
Thank-you for the work that You are doing in me. I have been regenerated by Your Holy Spirit and my body is Your temple. May I always remember that my body is a vessel to be used for holy and pure purpose. And for Your glory. I desire to allow the Holy Spirit to work in me. By the power of the Holy Spirit, enable me to live a holy life – guide, empower, direct, and lead me. Convict me of sin and bad habits. Help me to be attentive to Your voice – may I listen to and obey the Holy Spirit.
Thank-you that the Holy Spirit will tell me thing to come and will prepare me for them.
In Jesus’ name, Amen

Endowed With Power

Standard
Endowed With Power

Ephesians 5:17-18 NKJV
“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”

The early church was a group of believers empowered by the Holy Spirit that spread the Good News. They waited in the upper room until they receive the promised gift from the Father. Only after they received the gift, the baptism of the Holy Spirit, did they go out into their world with the gospel.

Acts 1:8 NKJV
“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

Empowered by the Holy Spirit, they began to fulfill the great commission – they were controlled and energized by the Holy Spirit. Each of the first believers had experienced a life changing encounter with God. They did not leave their encounter with the same way, they were changed. Too many times today people will come to the altar and experience an encounter with man then leave the altar unchanged.

Throughout the church today the question is often asked, “Why don’t we see the church of Acts today?” The answer is simple, we haven’t tarried in the upper room for the endowment of power. The same gift is offered to believers today, however fewer and fewer believers are asking for and receiving that gift, the baptism of the Holy Spirit. And even less are truly walking in the Spirit.

All across the world there is a vast majority of people that have had an encounter with man (good song, good sermon, good program, etc…), but not a life changing encounter with God. Man, and the things of man, can not transform man. Only God can change and transform man – each one of us must come into the presence of God. Only in God’s presence are we changed. People can not be a witness for Christ if they have never really experienced an encounter with Him. In a court of law, a person can not testify with hear say – everything that a person bears witness of must have been personally seen or experienced by the person giving the testimony. The same is true in the spiritual realm -you cannot testify to (be a witness of) what you have not personally experienced. We can not testify to what we have not personally seen or experienced.

If we want to be an Acts church, we too, must be endowed with power. The only power that can transform us or our world comes from the Holy Spirit.

Dear Father,
By the power of the Holy Spirit, may we not be unwise, but understand what Your will is. Cause us to desire to be filled, and refilled, with Your Spirit. Cause us not to get in a hurry or become distracted, but may we tarry in the upper room until we receive the gift that You promised. Then may we go out into our world energized and empowered by the Holy Spirit, as we fulfill the great commission. Cause everything we say and do be controlled by the Holy Spirit. May each and every person that claims the name of a believer to experience a life changing encounter with Jesus and Your precious Holy Spirit. Don’t allow them to leave their encounter the same way, cause each one to be changed.
Fill each believer with a desire for more of You and for the baptism of the Holy Spirit. And cause each believer to make the choice to walk in the Spirit. May our lives be a living testimony to those around us.
In Jesus’ name, Amen

Guard Your Passion

Standard
Guard Your Passion

The Holy Spirit desires to deposit a fiery passion within you. This passion will enable you to minister in His power under His anointing. The Holy Spirit’s anointing, power and gifts are very precious and should carefully be guarded. Anything that contaminates the Spirit’s flow in our lives hinders the work of His gifts and power through us. It will also effect our passion for Jesus.

GUARD WHAT HAS BEEN ENTRUSTED TO YOU

The indwelling of the Holy Spirit will help to guard against unsound teachings. Like Timothy, we need to carefully guard and hold fast to what the Lord had entrusted to us.

2 Timothy 1:13-14 NKJV

“Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed to you, keep by the Holy Spirit who dwells in us.”

1 Timothy 6:20 NKJV

“O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge”

We must remain committed to the truth that God has taught us through His Holy Spirit and His Word. You must know what you believe and why. Over time compromise, false teaching, or a watered down gospel may try to creep into your life if you fail to remain steadfast. These things (compromise, false teaching, or a watered down gospel) will have a negative impact on your passion for Jesus.

 

GUARD YOUR HEART

The indwelling of the Holy Spirit will help guard your heart. Out of our hearts flow the living waters of the Holy Spirit.

Proverbs 4:23 NKJV

“Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.”

Jesus calls the Holy Spirit the living water flowing from within our lives.

John 7:37-39 NKJV

“On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.”

Just as we must guard the purity of fresh drinking water, not allowing anything to contaminate it, so we must guard our hearts. One definition of pure is not mixed with anything else. Our hearts cannot be filled with the things of the world and the things of God at the same time. Be careful to let nothing contaminate your life. Be holy, set apart for God.

Matthew 12:34 NKJV

“For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”

As a person thinks in his heart, so is he. We must be careful with what we see and hear because thoughts get into our hearts through our eyes and ears. When you take ungodly things into Your mind and allow them to settle in your heart it will lead to actions that can put out the flame of your heart’s passion for Jesus.

Matthew 15:18-19 NKJV

“But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man.
For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.”

 

Dear Father,

By the power of the Holy Spirit help me to guard my heart’s passion for Jesus. May I be careful to hold fast to what You have entrusted to me and remain committed to the truth that You have taught me through Your Holy Spirit and Your Word. Help me to guard against compromise, false teaching, and a watered down gospel. May I keep my heart with all diligence. I desire to be set apart for You. Help me to be careful with what I allow into my heart.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Stephen Is Filled With Boldness

Standard

BEAUTIFUL HOLY SPIRIT

Luke 12:11-12 NKJV

““Now when they bring you to the synagogues and magistrates and authorities, do not worry about how or what you should answer, or what you should say. For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”

We have been given the promise that when we (believers of Christ) are persecuted the Holy Spirit will give us the right words to say.

Acts 6:10 NKJV

“And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the Spirit by which he spoke.”

Stephen is a wonderful example of God fulfilling this promise. When persecuted, Stephen, was filled with a mighty boldness. When he spoke it astounded and convicted those hearing and it opened the windows of heaven.

Acts 6:51-56 NKJV

““You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you. Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who foretold the coming of the Just One, of whom you now have become the betrayers and murderers, who have received the law by the direction of angels and have not kept it.” When they heard these things they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth. But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and said, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!”

Although it led to his death, Stephen witnessed to the gospel of Jesus Christ. We too must boldly open our mouths, through the power of the Holy Spirit, and proclaim the Good News, regardless of the sufferings we might face.

Dear Father,

Thank-you for the promise that You have given us. When we face persecution for Your name’s sake we do not have to fear, for You will fill us with power to speak Your words. I ask You, O Lord, to fill me to overflowing with Your precious Holy Spirit that I might be filled with boldness to witness and share the Good News of Jesus Christ. May I declare with boldness Your Word regardless of the adverse opinions or the suffering I might face. Put someone upon my heart that needs to hear about You and Your great love for them and give me the right words to say to them.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

Empowered By The Spirit – The Acts Church

Standard
Empowered By The Spirit – The Acts Church

           The early church was a group of believers empowered by the Holy Spirit that spread the Good News. If we want to be an Acts church, we too, must be endowed with power. The only power that can transform us or our world comes from the Holy Spirit.

Ephesians 5:17-18  NKJV

“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”  

 

          The first believers waited in the upper room until they receive the promised gift from the Father. Only after they received the gift, the baptism of the Holy Spirit, did they go out into their world with the gospel. Empowered by the Holy Spirit, they began to fulfill the great commission.

They very first believers (each one) had experienced a life changing encounter with Jesus. They did not leave their encounter with Jesus the same way, they were changed. Too many times today people will come to the altar and experience an encounter with “man” then leave the altar unchanged.

Throughout the church today the question is often asked, “Why don’t we see the church of Acts today?” The answer is simple, we haven’t tarried in the upper room for the endowment of power. The same gift is offered to believers today, however fewer and fewer believers are asking for and receiving that gift, the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Also, today the church is full of people that have had an encounter with man (good song, good sermon, good program, etc…), not God. Man can not change man. Only God can change and transform man. People can not be a witness for Christ if they have never really experienced an encounter with Him. In a court of law, a person can not give hear say – everything that a person bears witness of must have been personally seen or experienced by the person giving the testimony. We can not testify to what we have not personally seen or experienced.

Acts 2:40-47  NKJV

“And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, ‘Be saved from this perverse generation.’ Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and in prayers. Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.”                       

          After Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit he was filled (endowed) with power. He boldly told the people that they needed to be saved from sin. He said to them, “Be saved from this perverse generation.” In order for a person to be saved (become a believer) they must first come to a realization that they personally have sinned against God. They must then be sorry and ask for forgiveness, and turn away from their sins. They can not try to hold on to God and the world at the same time. Peter told the people that the world was perverse.

After the people received salvation they were baptized. They then followed the first believers in the Apostles’ doctrine, in fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayer.

I. Apostles’ Doctrine

New believers must be trained. There must be a uniformity of core beliefs. It is essential that new believers know what we (the church) believe and why we (the church) believe it. There is a great need for discipleship training in the church today.

A disciple is a believer in the thought and teaching of any leader; follower. How can a person be a disciple of Christ when they don’t even know what they believe about Him, or they don’t follow His ways?

Acts 2:42  NKJV

“And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and in prayers.”                     

          The Holy Spirit helps a believer to understand things. He will guide us in all truth. Through the Holy Spirit in us we have the ability to understand God’s Word, His will (His desires) and His thoughts. Many times it is hard to understand the Word of God without the help of the Holy Spirit (our Helper). God reveals the truths in His Word to us through the Holy Spirit.

1 Corinthians 2:6-16  NKJV

“However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom of God ordained before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But as it is written:

‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard

Nor have entered into the heart of man

The things which God has prepared for those who love Him’

But God has revealed them to us through the Holy Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. For ‘who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?’ But we have the mind of Christ.”  

          The early believers continued steadfastly in the doctrine of the apostles. There was a uniformity in the early church concerning what they believed about Jesus Christ. The early church did not have a Bible so they relied on the word of the apostles (apostles’ doctrine). The people were not double-minded about what they believed, nor did they have a double standard. They did not change their mind about what they believed because of persecution, or because God’s way seemed too hard. The early church did not allow the world to set their standards or their beliefs. They had the mind of Christ. They relied solely on the apostle’s doctrine. There was unity in the early church because all of them continued steadfastly in the words given to them from God through the apostles by the power of the Holy Spirit. They continued to learn God’s ways and to do what He instructed them to do.

We too must have the mind of Christ. The Word of God must dwell in us and be made alive by the Holy Spirit

Colossians 3:16 NKJV

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”  

          Today, we too, must be not only be saved, but we must be a disciple of Christ. We must know His ways and we must follow His ways. We must know what the Word of God says and then we must act upon what we know. We must not just be a hearer of the Word.

Romans 2:12-13  NKJV

“For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law (for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified….”  

James 1:21-27  NKJV  

“Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless. Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit the orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.”   

          Each believer must have a teachable spirit and receive the Word of God with meekness (without resistance). As we hear and obey God’s Word (remain steadfast in the Word of God) it will keep us from falling into sinful behavior, which will lead to spiritual death. We must apply the Word of God to our daily lives. We are only deceiving ourselves if we hear the Word but do not obey it.

God has given His Holy Spirit to us to help us obey Him. The Holy Spirit gives us power to live for and to obey God and His Word. When we reject the Holy Spirit’s instructions (His leading in our lives) we are actually rejecting God.

II. Fellowship

The first church was a community of people that shared the same interest (they wanted to follow Jesus) and goals. They favored and supported of each other.

Acts 2:42  NKJV

“And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and in prayers.”  

         They continued steadfastly in fellowship, in the sharing in the lives of other believers. As they shared in each other’s lives the older believers were able to mentor the younger believers. They older believers were able to give godly advise because of their relationship with the new believers. The wisdom that they (older believers) had obtained was not only for them, it was shared with others.

New believers must be allowed and encouraged to share in the lives of other believers. They must be able (feel free) to ask for advice or counsel from other believers. Believers must fellowship with each other. We can draw strength and encouragement from others. Friendship (fellowship) in the body of Christ is something to be valued.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12  NKJV

“Two are better then one,

Because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion.

But woe to him who is alone when he falls,

For he has no one to help him up. Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; But how can one be warm alone? Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”  

          Fellowship within the body of Christ is essential for the growth of the church. There are great benefits from friendship and companionship. When we share in in each other’s lives it will help bring relief and encouragement for problems and it will help us not to feel a sense of isolation or loneliness. Friends can give assistance, comfort, strength and defense. We must fellowship together in the Spirit with other believers.

Philippians 2:1-4  NKJV

“Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”   

III. Breaking of Bread

Communion is one of the two ordinances that Christ gave to the church. It is a very intimate time between a person and God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. It is a time to reflect on Jesus’ sacrifice and all that it provides for you, His death and His resurrection.

Communion is also a time to think about Jesus’ return for His bride, the church. As the bride of Christ it is our responsibility to perfect ourselves for our groom, Jesus. We must undergo a process of sanctification. We must set ourselves apart for Jesus. We are to wait and make ourselves ready for His return. While waiting for Jesus’ return we should be in the process of being cleansed by the washing of the Word. We should conform more and more to what the Word of God teaches. Our desire should be to please Jesus, our groom. Communion is a time when believers recommit themselves to prepare to be the bride of Christ.

1 Corinthians 11:28  NKJV

“But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread, and drink of the cup.”  

          When we are unwilling to judge ourselves (self-examination) God will chasten us. Chasten means to punish to improve, discipline, purify or refine. God chastens those that will not judge themselves because He loves them and does not want them to be cast away from His presence. True self-examination will lead to true humility.

 1 Corinthians 11:31-32  NKJV

“For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. But when we are judges, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.”  

          Communion is a time when a believer is to examine their life. Only those who have properly prepared themselves will be the bride of Christ. Sin keeps a person from being properly prepared!

When we do not receive communion for the right reasons (a time of reflection, anticipation, examination and commitment) we are taking it in an unworthy manner.

Acts 2:42  NKJV

“And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and in prayers.”    

          New believers must be trained in the importance of the communion. Communion is vitally important to a church. Jesus gave every part of Himself for and to the Church. He gave His Church something that would provide strength for their journey and for healing along the way, and that something is communion. Whatever name you choose to call it communion (the grain and the drink offering / the Lord’s Supper / the love feast / the first works / the breaking of bread) is a wonderful reminder of everything that Jesus provided for us.

1 Corinthians 11:23-24  NKJV

“For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, ‘Take, eat, this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’ ”  

           There is a vast supply of power and revelation in communion, both privately and corporately.  Corporate communion brings an anointing upon the church, fresh moves of the Holy Spirit, and a harvest of souls.

Joel 1:8-12  NKJV

“Lament like a virgin girded with sack cloth

For the husband of her youth. The grain offering and the drink offering

Have been cut off from the house of the Lord; The priests mourn, who minister to the Lord.

The field is wasted,

The land mourns; For the grain is ruined,

The new wine is dried up,

The oil fails. Be ashamed, you farmers,

Wail, you vinedressers,

For the wheat and the barley; Because the harvest of the field has perished.

The vine has dried up,

And the fig tree has withered; The pomegranate tree,

The palm tree also,

And the apple tree – All the trees of the field are withered; Surely joy has withered away from the sons of men.”  

          When communion is cut off from the people the people and the church are barren spiritually. When communion is cut off from the church the manifest presence of God, the glory of the Lord, and the anointing is cut off. The church must discern the body and blood of Jesus Christ. If they don’t they will be barren, their fields will lie in waste, their land will mourn, their corn will be wasted, and the new wine will be dried up. In other no words there will be no harvest of souls, there will be no fresh moves of the Holy Spirit and no anointing upon our church or our lives.

Revelation 2:2-5  NKJV

“I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lamp stand from its place – unless you repent.”  

IV. Prayer

The early believers were trained in the discipline of prayer. The early church viewed corporate prayers as an essential part of the spiritual growth of the church.

Acts 2:42  NKJV

And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and in prayers.”  

          Prayer is the act of speaking to God (not about Him, but to Him) in worship, entering into spiritual communication with God, the act of offering worship (ascribing worth to) to God, and making earnest requests (petitions) to God. Prayer is very important to the spiritual well-being of a person and a church. It was the desire of Jesus that His house (both the individual Christian and the church) be a house of prayer

Isaiah 56:7  NKJV

“Even them I will bring to My holy mountain,

And make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices

Will be accepted on My altar; For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.”  

Luke 19:45-46  NKJV

“Then He went into the temple and began to drive out those who bought and sold in it, saying to them, ‘It is written, My house is a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a den of thieves.’ ” 

          Prayer is not, and should not be made into, a dry or boring ritual. It is a wonderful time of intimate communication between you and God Almighty, the very Creator of the universe. We cannot separate prayer and worship. They go hand in hand. When we pray we are speaking to God personally. We are spiritually communicating with Him. When we worship God we are ascribing worth to Him. We are speaking directly to Him, not about Him, through our words (sometimes spoken and sometimes sung). We must keep in mind that there is a difference between praise and worship. When we praise a person we tell others about how wonderful they are (brag about them to someone), but when we worship a person we personally tell the person (face to face) how wonderful they are.

Since the people in the early church were baptized in the Holy Spirit they often prayed in the Spirit. When we pray in the Spirit we yield (completely surrender) our tongues, minds, and hearts to the Holy Spirit, allowing Him to pray through us. The Holy Spirit knows exactly what we should pray, and as we yield control to Him, He is able to pray the “perfect” prayer. The Holy Spirit inspires us to pray both in tongues (in the Spirit) and in our own understanding.

Conclusion:

The early believers received the baptism of the Holy Spirit which gave them power to be an effective witness for Jesus Christ. Empowered by the Holy Spirit they preached repentance and lived a repented lifestyle. Through them the Holy Spirit worked to save thousands and thousands of people. The people were baptized and trained.  These new converts (believers) were trained in four areas: in the Apostles’ doctrine, in fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayer. The people apparently grew in their respect and reverence for God (fear of the Lord), because the Bible tells us, “Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles.”

The fear of the Lord describes an obedient response of wonder and awe before God.

Acts 3:1-5  NKJV

“Now Peter and John went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms from those who entered the temple; who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked for alms. And fixing his eyes on him, with John, Peter said, ‘Look on us.’ So he gave  them his attention, expecting to receive something from them.”   

          Today there are many crippled, lame, blind, hurt and dying people laying at the gates of the church (and some even come into the church). Do we have the power to say “Look on us”? Does the world expect or want to receive anything from us (the church)? Does the crippled, lame, blind, hurt and dying think that we (God through us) can change (help change) their circumstance? Do they want even what we have?