Posts Tagged 'empowerment'

Pentecost: The Breath of God

Pentecost: The Breath of God Sermon Audio Here

1 Cor. 12:3-13

I recently heard an advertisement for hyperbaric oxygen chamber treatment: sit in a pressurized tank and breathe oxygen. Studies show mixed results… but what about a SPIRITUAL hyperbaric experience?

What Difference Did Pentecost Make?

We Are “Christ-Crafted” ~ 1 Cor. 12:3-6

  • v3 truth is truth, but spiritual truth is from the Spirit about Christ
  • v4 The Spirit gives as HE chooses, not us
  • v5 Lots of ways to serve the Lord; not all the same
  • v6 working=the effect of God’s energizing action in us; our outcomes won’t all look the same, but they’ll be spiritual, and they’ll point to Jesus in us
You Are Carefully Crafted By God; Remember Your Worth!

We Are “Air-Powered” ~ 1 Cor. 12:7-11

  • v7 2 things: EVERYONE is gifted; EVERYONE benefits
  • v8 wisdom: knows just what to say;
    • knowledge: insight from the Spirit down to us (God’s viewpoint)
  • v9 faith: trusting faith (by context, more than just saving faith);
    • gifts of healings: isolated incidents (not “the power to heal”, but the healings themselves)
      NOTE: these gifts are not RESIDENT SUPERPOWERS; more like sunlight reflecting from a mirror; the SPIRIT is at work, and uses US to make that work available;
      CHARISMATA =”the presence of that which is given”
  • v10 miraculous: ENERGEMATA=”the presence of the power that is sent”; WE don’t do miracles; GOD does miracles, and sometimes uses people;
    • prophecy helps us understand: a prophet receives a specific message from the Lord and delivers it;
    • a miracle worker receives a specific ability to do a task from the Lord and does it;
    • distinguishing: God gives the insight if something is HIS or not; varieties of speech (like Pentecost),
    • the ability to understand them tied to the presence of the Spirit, not the person through whom the language happens
  • v11 The Spirit chooses; we don’t (this means the Spirit isn’t some impersonal “force”
You Are Powered By the Spirit; Remember Your Charge!

We Are “Fire-Welded” ~ 1 Cor. 12:12-13

  • v12 Trinitarian nod; cf. Gen 1:1,2; Deut 6:4 God is ONE COMMUNITY; we belong together to God
  • v13 our origins are different, our circumstances are different, but our connection and destination are the same: we are ONE in the Spirit
You Are Connected to Christ; Remember Your Identity!
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Walking in Two Worlds: Kingdom or Republic?

Walking in Two Worlds: Kingdom or Republic? Sermon Audio Here


1 John 5:1-6

In 1908, Methodist pastor Lynn Harold Hough wrote a pledge for the new (at the time) Christian Flag: I pledge allegiance to the Christian flag and to the Savior for whose kingdom it stands; one brotherhood, uniting all mankind in service and in love.

The concept of pledging allegiance (to a flag, or a concept, or a nation) brings to mind the question:

What Shapes Our Kingdom Citizenship?

We are marked by obedience
1 John 5:1-2 Obedience sets us apart as Kingdom People

  • v1 belief is our birthright; brotherly love is our response
  • v2 love is shown by obedience

We are motivated through obedience
1 John 5:3-4 Kingdom work is empowering

  • v3 obedience is NOT obligation (not have to, but want to)
  • v4 faith enables our obedience, and so we can overcome

Jesus modeled obedience
1 John 5:5-6 Jesus’ ministry was obedience to the Father

  • v5 to win at life, you need faith
  • v6 water of baptism; blood of the cross;
  • – both acts of submission to the Father

We are called to live as subjects of a Kingdom even as we live as members of a republic. The key to this balancing act is submission: we submit to the Father, and because of that, are empowered to be His servants in a hurting world.


Pastor Ed Backell

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