January 8, 2012

Genesis 1:1-5
Psalm 29
Acts 19:1-7
Mark 1:4-11

“Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?” Well into the Book of Acts and the story of the early Christian Church, the Apostle Paul passed through a particular region and came to the city of Ephesus, where he found some disciples. Paul asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?” And they replied, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”

It’s probably a reasonable assumption to expect that there is no one here today who has not heard that there is a Holy Spirit. Some of you may be intimately acquainted with the Spirit, having experienced its working in your lives. Perhaps it was a nudge you felt pushing you to do something for God’s mission. Maybe it was a peace that you experienced despite the fear and stress associated with a crisis in your life. Or perhaps you knew that the Holy Spirit was surrounding you when you simply had the sense that God was near and that you were not alone.

We have an advantage, compared to the first small group of Christians in Ephesus, and that advantage is that … Read more »