Monday, 17 August 2015

Be filled with the Spirit

Sermon by Reverend Tony Bethke

Ephesians 5: 15 - 20

“Be careful then how you live, not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is."

Paul teaches believers to live wisely and productively, investing in eternity and remaining in relationship with God, knowing his will. Rom 12: 2. A work of the Spirit.

What does it mean to live wisely?

Wisdom is not intellectual knowledge but a way of life that begins with knowledge about God and leads to avoiding all that displeases him.

Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.

A juggler was driving to his next performance when he was stopped by a traffic cop. "What are these matches and lighter fluid doing in your car?" asked the cop. "I'm a juggler," the driver answered, "and I juggle flaming torches in my act."

"OK!" said the doubtful cop. "Let's see you do it."

The juggler got out and masterfully juggled the blazing torches.

A couple driving by slowed down to watch. "Wow," said the driver to his wife. "I'm glad I stopped drinking. Look at the test they're doing now!"

There is a difference between being drunk on alcohol and being filled with the Spirit. The question is, who or what is the controlling influence in our lives?

Drunkenness affects one’s behaviour and character. Moderation is what we need.

An Evangelist once said, "All Word and no Spirit and you dry up. All Spirit and no Word and you blow up. Equal parts of Word and Spirit and you grow up!"

Speak to one another with psalms hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your hearts to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Worship has everything to do with an encounter with God. That means worshipping a God who is in the present and who responds by helping us to think and act differently to the world!

Catechism: What is the primary purpose of a Christian?

It is to worship God and enjoy him forever.

Worship helps us to express our emotions towards a loving God who enjoys our praises.

We are also drawn to one another. It engenders true fellowship and a desire to live for God in the world.

We must remind ourselves that if we feast on Sunday and fast for the rest of the week, we become weak by Wednesday and starved by Saturday. If we feast on Sunday and eat junk food (foolish behaviour) for the rest of the week, we will be spiritually sick by Wednesday and violently ill by Saturday.

Worship is the heart, mind, soul and spirit of our connection to the holy. Jesus told u to worship God in this way: “Love the Lord your God….Worship should be full of wonder (mystery), joy and certainly shouldn’t be boring. It should lead to loving action!

Being filled with the Spirit and singing? How often I wonder if we could only get people to celebrate in church as they do at parties. Apparently being foolish is more attractive and more fun.


Jesus said, "Those who eat of my flesh and drink of my blood abide in me and I in them." Perhaps the most NB thing the Spirit does is to draw us to Jesus (Prevenient grace) and enable us to abide in Him to be grafted into the Vine.

Jesus lives in us, takes up residence in our spirits and promises not to leave us. Paul says “…those who are led by the Spirit are sons of God. The Spirit himself

testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.” Rom 8: 14, 16.

There is a story about minister walking along the beach with his small son. The boy questioned his father

about Sunday's sermon. He said, "Dad, I cannot understand how Christ can live in us and we live in him at the same time." A little way down the beach, the father noticed an empty bottle with a cork in it. Taking the bottle, he half filled it with water, re-corked it and flung it out into the ocean.

They watched the bottle bob up and down, he said, “The bottle has some sea water in it but it is also in the water. That’s how Jesus lives in us and we in him!”
See John 14: 16, 17.

To be filled with the Spirit is easy, all we have to do is ask. Of course the experience that precedes this is to be connected to Jesus, i.e. to be converted and committed to His way, his truth and his life. Luke tells us in 11: 9 – 13

Ask and you will receive, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you.

Let us ask him to fill us now!


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