This morning I’m going to unpack a little bit of the importance of how the three streams of faith… The evangelical, the Sacramental, and the Pentecostal… ALL WORK TOGETHER. They work together because they reflect the character and nature of God.
So how is it that we receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon us?
Well, just like many other elements of faith, it begins in Jesus. Jesus said “If you love Me, you will keep My Commandments. And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another counselor to be with you forever – the Spirit of Truth. “
Here we see all three streams in one verse!
Jesus says he will ask the Father. Jesus is the embodiment of the evangelical stream. The stream of the gospel. Here we see him working on the penitent. As one comes to Christ, they become a new creation. A very real creation. Paul says in 2 Corinthians, “If anyone is in Christ, they are a new creation; the old has passed away, the new has come.”
So what is the presence of Christ in us that imparts life? It is moving from death to life.
But Jesus says he will ask the Father. This is the sacramental aspect of it. It is the Father working to give that which the people need. The thing the Father gives us is the presence of Christ in the Eucharist. And just as the life we receive as we come to Christ generates a very real new creation, God is working through the priest at the altar generating a very real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. The real presence of Christ imparts grace to us.
Grace is a great acronym for a phrase that teaches us its meaning. GOD'S RICHES AT CHRIST'S EXPENSE. We bring nothing to the table, only Christ imparting His riches as the vehicle for what happens. Just as in baptism we are joined to Him in His death, burial, and resurrection; in the Eucharist, He is joined to us and impart His grace. Real creation. Real presence.
As the Father pours out the Spirit, we see the Pentecostal stream step into the picture. The third of the three streams. Here we see the vehicles the Holy Spirit working through the disciple, and this creates a Real Call. Jesus said, “as the Father sent me, I send you.” You will be my witnesses.
God never asks us to do anything He does not empower us to complete well. And so as He sends us. As He fills us with His Spirit, He imparts power.
This power is manifest in the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. These spirit empowered attributes change our character and mold us into the character of Christ. We are changed through the Real Creation of his life in us, by the Real Presence of his life in the Eucharist, to enable the Real Call that He gives us.
As His character is built in us through the fruit of the Holy Spirit, His power is manifest in us by the gifts of the Holy Spirit. These gifts involve both speaking and acting, according to Peter. Some of the gifts have been woven into our character and are a part of who God created us to be. These are gifts such as prophecy, service, teaching, encouragement, generous giving, and leadership.
But some of the gifts of the Holy Spirit manifest his power in miraculous ways, and are visible only as He gives them to us. We do not possess them, but God uses them to work through us. These are things such as messages of knowledge that convey information beyond that which we can know on our own. Messages of wisdom that allow us to apply that knowledge. Gifts of healing and other miraculous intervention, prophecy, the ability to distinguish between different types of spirits, speaking in tongues and interpreting tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and He distributes them to each one, just as He determines.
To wrap it up, God‘s goal is very simple and straightforward. He wants to see his HOLY SPIRIT operating in HOLY BELIEVERS who are consistently manifesting the gifts of the spirit in the context of a fruitful life as a HOLY WITNESS. That is the powerful witness that breaks the chains of captives and sets people free from their sin. Now we’re back at the beginning with Jesus offering the message of the gospel.
Jesus gave the disciples a command. In John chapter 20, He told them, “Receive the holy spirit.
If you have questions about the Holy Spirit, or how to receive him in power, message me and let’s discuss it.
All three streams of the faith join into one mighty river. Impacting the disciple and then further impacting the world.
We need Christ. We need the Father. We need the Spirit.
Having 1/3 or even 2/3's of God is insufficient.
Let’s embrace him in fullness, and allow Him to embrace us in a transformational manner.
All three streams, REAL FULLNESS that leads to a REAL CREATION imparting a REAL PRESENCE --- and it gives us a REAL CALL.