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Showing posts from April 19, 2015

Empowering the Church: Spiritual Immersion

This is part four of empowering the church, a key principle for the church as a whole and individual Christians in particular.



Key Principle #1: EMPOWERED part 4
"...for John truly baptized with water,
but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit
not many days from now."
Acts. 1:5
The Power of Being Immersed By His Spirit
We often are not empowered as a church and as individuals because we don’t understand what it means to be immersed with the Holy Spirit. I like the translation of “immersion” better than the word “baptized” in verse 5 because the word baptized is not actually translated from the Greek, it’s transliterated. What I mean is, the Greek word, baptizo, was not translated into an English word when the Bible was put into our language hundreds of years ago. When the Bible was first put into English, the most common form of water baptism was not immersion (that is, totally putting under water) but rather by sprinkling or pouring water over, in many cases, a baby as …

Empowering the Church: Obedience

This is part three of empowering the church, a key principle for the church as a whole and individual Christians in particular.

Key Principle  #1: EMPOWERED part 3 Acts 1:1-8 The Power of Being Commanded By God
We are empowered by God not only because when we wait on God, but also when we follow His commandments. Look at Acts 1:2, “He through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles. Again in verse four, “Jesus commanded them...”
If there is anything the church and we Christians hate more than waiting, it is being told what to do. Most of the conflicts within churches are from conflicts over power and who is going to “run the church.” Excuse me, but Christ is the head of the church, not the pastor, elder board, deacon board, or budget committee. And certainly not the majority rule of a church conference. I happen to be a Baptist (a Southern one at that) and oftentimes of late it has become a litmus test on church allegiance to affirm the Baptist Faith and Message, w…

Empowering the Church: Waiting

This is part two of empowering the church, a key principle for the church as a whole and individual Christians in particular.

Key Principle #1: EMPOWERED part 2
The Power of Waiting For God
When was the last time you called upon your Ultimate Friend in the highest place to give you power? As you read the first chapter of Acts, you’ll see that power is not automatic, it is not guaranteed or unconditional, and neither is it instantaneous. In fact, there are times when the church has power and sometimes when it almost seems impotent.  But there are some prerequisites for the church to have power and the first one is one of the hardest for Christians to do: Wait.
“And, being assembled together with them, (Jesus) commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father..” (Acts 1:4a). Put your finger in your Bible in Acts and check out the cross reference that ties this book back to the end of the Gospel of Luke, chapter 24 and verse 49. “And, behol…

Key Principles for the Church: #1 Empowered

      The following devotionals based on the book of Acts were originally written to be used as a workbook in preparation for mission trips. However, as I wrote it, I discovered that many of the lessons and the key words are not only practical and applicable for mission trips but for the church as a whole and individual Christians in particular.

Key Principle #1: EMPOWERED (part 1) Acts 1:1-8 “Who am I that You are mindful of me? That you hear me when I call “Is it true that You are thinking of me? How You love me/ It’s amazing “I am a friend of God / I am a friend of God / I am a friend of God “He calls me friend” Phillips, Craig, and Dean Do you remember having friends as a kid? It seems that having friends (or even just having one really good friend) was one of the biggest needs we had as children and even into our teenage years. But somewhere along the way, the importance of friendships goes by the wayside. Many people often say that they have never been able to establish the kind of fri…