When the Spirit Fills the Heart
J. Gerald Harris
What we need more than anything else, as a church, is to recover the power which is demonstrated in the second chapter of the book of Acts. I believe this is God's norm for the churches of today. It's what God expects the church to be in every age until the Lord Jesus comes again.
Many years ago I read this statement and I have never forgot it. It said that the average Christian and the average church are bogged down somewhere between Calvary and Pentecost. They have been to Calvary for pardon, but they have not been to Pentecost for power.
Bethlehem means ''God with us.'' Calvary means ''God for us.'' Pentecost means ''God in us.''
J. B. Phillips, who gave us the familiar paraphrase of the New Testament, wrote something like this a few years ago. He said, ''Churches today are fat and out of breath because of prosperity. They are muscle- bound through overorganization. They are tired and weary because their calendars are full. What we need today is the wind and the flame of Pentecost.''
I think all of us would agree that this is true. We need to capture the power which is so obvious when the church met together in the upper room and the day of Pentecost occurred.
In the verses of our text, we have a very clear picture of what happens when the Holy Spirit comes to fill the hearts of the people of God. You talk about a turn-on. In Acts 2, the people in that upper room were turned on, tuned in, turned up, and turned out into their world as radiant witnesses for the Lord Jesus Christ. Actually, I can think of four things that will happen to us -- basically, fundamentally, foundationally -- four things that will happen to every one of us when the Spirit comes in to control our lives and to fill us with the fullness of Christ. Now, I don't mean that the Lord is going to use us all in the same capacity, in the same condition, in the same way, under the same circumstances. But, basically, in ou ...
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