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From 'Upon' to 'Within': The Transformative Journey of the Holy Spirit.

Introduction:

- **Attention Grabber**: Imagine you're sailing a boat. In one scenario, the wind blows into your sails, pushing you along for a brief moment. In another, you have a built-in motor that continually powers you. Both get you moving, but one is temporary and external, and the other is constant and internal.

- **Transition**: This illustration is a simple way to consider the Holy Spirit's interaction with God's people in the Old and New Testaments.


Point 1: The Holy Spirit "Came Upon" in the Old Testament


- **Scripture**: Judges 14:6 - "The Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon Samson so that he tore the lion apart with his bare hands as he might have torn a young goat."


- **Commentary**:

- The Hebrew word "ruach" implies an external force.

- The Holy Spirit empowered people for a task or role but did not necessarily dwell within them.


- **Quotes from Christian Leaders**:

- "The Holy Spirit in the Old Testament is not a permanent gift but a reversible garment." - R.C. Sproul

- **Illustration**: Think of it like a "cloak of empowerment" that God temporarily drapes over someone for a specific purpose.


Point 2: The Holy Spirit "Fills" in the New Testament


- **Scripture**: Acts 2:4 - "All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them."


- **Commentary**:

- The Greek word "pneuma" indicates an internal presence.

- This "filling" implies a continuous, abiding relationship with God.


- **Quotes from Christian Leaders**:

- "The Spirit-filled life is not a special, deluxe edition of Christianity. It is part and parcel of the total plan of God for His people." - A.W. Tozer


- **Illustration**: Going back to our boat analogy, this is the built-in motor, constantly driving you forward in your walk with God.


Point 3: The Theological Shift


- **Scripture**: Jeremiah 31:33 - "I will put my law within them and write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people."

- **Commentary**:

- This was a prophetic shift from an external set of laws to an internal transformation.

- **Quotes from Christian Leaders**:

- "The Holy Spirit cannot be located as a Guest in a house. He invades everything." - Oswald Chambers


- **Illustration**: It's like moving from being a guest in someone's house to becoming a part of the family and having your own room.


Conclusion:


- **Recap**: We've seen how the Holy Spirit has moved from an external, task-oriented force in the Old Testament to an internal, relationship-oriented presence in the New Testament.

- **Final Thoughts**: As modern-day believers, we have the privilege of being filled with the Holy Spirit, which means we have an ever-present helper in our faith journey.



Closing Prayer:


"Dear Heavenly Father, we thank You for the gift of Your Holy Spirit, the truest sign of Your covenant with us. Lord, as we have learned today, Your Spirit has transitioned from coming upon Your people for specific tasks to filling us with Your continuous and abiding presence. Thank You for that promise and that reality. We pray that we live out the fullness of this Spirit-filled life, honoring You in all we do. In Jesus' Name, we pray, Amen."


Altar Call:


"Friends, we've talked about the magnificent journey of the Holy Spirit from being a force that 'comes upon' to a Spirit that 'fills.' If you've never experienced what it's like to be filled with the Holy Spirit, today can be that day for you.


Whether you've known God for decades or you're hearing about Him for the first time today, I want to invite you to come forward. Don't resist the Spirit calling you into a closer, deeper relationship with God. Please come forward as the worship team plays softly."


The Sinner's Prayer:


(For those who come forward or who might be praying from where they are seated)


"Dear friends, please repeat after me:


'Lord Jesus, I recognize that I am a sinner and I need a Savior. I believe You died on the cross for my sins and rose again, conquering death for my sake. I invite You into my heart today. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit. Transform me from the inside out so I ay walk in Your ways all my life. Thank you, Lord, for this indescribable gift. Amen.'"


* If you've prayed this prayer for the first time today, I want to welcome you into the family of God. You've made the most critical decision of your life. For those of us who have been believers but felt a renewed calling today, may we continue to seek the filling of the Holy Spirit daily."



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