Acts 2:1-4, 14-18, 41 Is He in This Place? We are reading about a moving of the Spirit of God. Not just any spirit, but God’s Holy Spirit. Not just any moving, but a moving which marked a new beginning in the relationship of fallen man with God. Understand, this is not just a Bible moving of God’s Spirit. Neither is it a merely a New Testament moving of Him. Nor is it just the moving of the Holy Ghost on the Apostles. No. This is also the moving of OUR Holy Spirit. This is the moving of God’s Holy Ghost on us. There is an ignorance of all things spiritual in our world today. 1. Few know much if any truth about God. 2. Few know much if any truth about creation. 3. Few know much if any truth about sin, salvation, or sanctification. I acknowledge that I must list myself into that number; however, there are a few things that I am certain about. 1. The Holy Ghost’s presence is for today, for this time period, for these conditions, for this generation of believers, in the same measure and manner as on this day. 2. The Holy Ghost’s presence is to glorify God. a. Some seem to think the Holy Spirit’s presence is to advance individuals in their wealth, their prominence, or their standings. b. I do not believe that is the case. While the Holy Ghost’s presence may indeed do that, that is not the purpose of His presence. (1) The Holy Ghost’s presence is to see souls saved. (2) The Holy Ghost’s presence is to defeat Satan. (3) The Holy Ghost’s presence is to grow Christians. (4) The Holy Ghost’s presence is to empower the believer. (5) The Holy Ghost’s presence is to set captives free. (6) The Holy Ghost’s presence is to encourage the discouraged. (7) The Holy Ghost’s presence is to set right the wrong. c. In short, the Holy Ghost’s presence us to glorify God. But the question I want to deal with this morning is not why is He here. The question I want to deal with this morning is "How can we have His presence?" I. To have the Holy Ghost’s presence requires CONVERSION. A. The word CONVERT is a New Testament word used to describe an aspect of our salvation. Matthew 18:3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Acts 3:19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out,… B. The word "convert" implies more than a change. 1. It implies an altering of the nature of something. a. You change the transmission in an car but you will have to covert the auto to put a stick shift into an one that had an automatic. b. You can change a mattress but you will to convert the frame to put a king size mattress where a queen size has been. 2. So to be converted means to be altered at the core of one’s being. a. This is not an external change but an internal change. b. This is not a work of the flesh but a work of God. C. Salvation is God’s means for converting a person. 1. People can change their behavior and beliefs, but to change the person, God will have to convert them. 2. Salvation is that process. 2Cor 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. Ezekiel 36:26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you… Ephesians 4:24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. 3. People may change their sins but only God can change the person. a. Most people go through life swapping one sin for another. b. A young man be an adultery, a drunkard, and a liar. (1) Then he grows some and decides to change his ways. (2) He gets a job, makes a lot of money, gets married, quits drinking so much, and settles down. (3) Is HE different? c. No. He simply swapped sins. (1) Instead of loving many women now he loves many dollars. (2) Instead of being filled with liquor, he may now be filled with pride. (3) Instead of being lying to others, he now lies to himself. (4) Nothing really changed IN the person. He just swapped one set of sins for another, a set perhaps more acceptable but sins none-the-less. 4. Salvation is more than changing oneself. a. Salvation is a conversion. b. Salvation is being made into something that you were not previously—not on the surface but on the inside, not by your own effort but by a work of God. 5. Before the Holy Ghost of God will take up residence in this man, he must be converted. a. That may not sit well with you, but it is the truth. b. The Holy Ghost will not abide on a person who has not been converted. (1) He may stop by for a visit, but He will not set up housekeeping. (2) The Holy Spirit often visits unconverted people, giving them a glimpse of who He is, but He only indwells and fills those who have accepted Jesus as their Savior. (3) How can a person be converted? Two things are required: (a) You must believe that Jesus, the Son of God, died on the cross for your sins, was buried for three days, and arose from the grave. (b) The best you know how, you must surrender yourself to Jesus Christ, II. To have the Holy Ghost’s presence requires CONVICTION. A. I use the word CONVICTION a good bit but there are actually several Bible words and phrases that mean the same thing. 1. Paul spoke of it as a godly sorrow \\#2Cor 7:10\\. 2. Jesus in describing the coming of the Holy Ghost, described the reproving that He would do. Joh 16:8 And when he (the Holy Ghost) is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 3. The word means to correct, to reprove, to point out wrong. a. Notice, the Holy Spirit does not come unless He brings conviction with Him. b. So if we want the presence of the Holy Ghost, there must be conviction. B. There are examples of the Holy Ghost doing this convicting work. Ac 5:33 When they heard that, they were cut to the heart, and took counsel to slay them. Ac 9:6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. Ac 16:29 Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, 30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? 1. But one of the best is found in our text. Ac 2:37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? 2. Consider that Peter was preaching to the very people who just 50 days ago crucified Jesus! a. What could cause such a change in them? b. I believe the text would argue that it was the coming of the Holy Ghost of God. C. Please note that the Holy Spirit often uses the Word of God, either in printed or preached form, to help bring conviction. 1. The Word of God provides the truth for conviction. Heb 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 2. The Holy Ghost provides the sorrow for conviction. D. Therefore, if we want the Holy Ghost’s presence, we should expose ourselves to the Word of God. 1. Indeed, there is a threesome that we should bring to the table: a. A hunger for the Word of God. b. Respect for the Word of God. c. Time spend in the Word of God. 2. Christian who have no compulsion for the Word of God can never have the presence of the Holy Ghost abiding on them. a. They are like the Pharisees of Jesus’ day. Matthew 22:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. b. Some of them may even suffer from the same spiritual malady as the Pharisees. They are lost. E. Conviction is an unpleasant sort of experience. 1. Few will volunteer to be reproved or rebuked by any one for any reason. 2. Yet, conviction is required if one is to have the presence of the Holy Ghost abiding upon them. 3. It is that conviction which refines and purifies the believer. 4. So, instead of avoiding conviction, we as believers seeking the presence of God’s Spirit, must seek after it. 5. And as the Spirit of God moves toward us, we must respond with surrender to Him. Ephesians 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. 1Thessalonians 5:19 Quench not the Spirit. Acts 7:51 Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye. Isaiah 63:10 But they rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and he fought against them. III. To have the Holy Ghost’s presence requires a CRUSHING. John 12:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. A. Jesus was speaking of His own death here. 1. \\#John 12:23\\ It was Jesus who was about to be glorified. 2. And it was He who was about to "lose" His life. 3. He was doing so that He might not abide alone but that we might abide with Him. B. But Jesus was also teaching us a spiritual principal from the plant world. 1. Out of death comes greater life. 2. To illustrate, Jesus spoke of corn. a. One kernel alive is one kernel, but one kernel dead and buried can become a hundred-fold. b. The reproduction of much of our eatable vegetation is built on this principal in the physical world. 3. What is true in the plant world is also true in the spiritual world. a. To be willing to die speaks of the selfless Christian life, the obedient life, the sacrificial life. b. As we are willing to give ourselves for others—all the way to the point of death—we are able to impact them for Christ, even to the point of seeing them saved. 4. I am calling this CRUSHING, allowing God to do whatever He must do in our lives to bring others to Himself. a. This may not always be death. b. It may be worse than death. c. It may be that we give ourselves over and over again to be crushed by God and others. C. In Acts 2, Peter was the main speaker and he knew something of being crushed. 1. Peter was being crushed as he watched his Lord being arrested. 2. Peter was being crushed as his own hand drew a sword to try a fleshly rescue of the Lord. 3. Peter was being crushed as fear caused him to drop the sword and flee for his life. 4. Peter was being crushed as his curiosity drew him back to the place where Jesus was being tried. 5. Peter was being crushed as he watched the blows and the stripes being laid against his Lord. 6. Peter was being crushed as the cold pulled him to stand by a fire, next to those who mocked and jeered Jesus. 7. Peter was being crushed as the fear of death ran his blood so cold that he denied the Lord three times. 8. Peter was being crushed as he heard his own voice bellow profanity and cursing in an attempt to prove that he was not one of Jesus’ followers. 9. Peter was being crushed as he glanced one last time toward his Savior, while hearing the cock grow and seeing the eyes from behind the broken face of His Lord meet his and as he remembered the prophecy that His Lord had made about him. 10. Peter was being crushed as he ran from that place to find a spot where he could be alone and weep bitterly. 11. Peter was crushed for three long days and nights, every time he saw a disciple, every time he remembered His Lord, every time he passed by a place where a miracle happened or a lesson was taught, every time he remembered his own wicked behavior. a. It is strange but Peter probably did not realized how many things had crushed him. b. In fact, he probably had completely different names for what was happening to him (i.e. temptation, frustration, stress, failure.) c. But something was happening to Peter in those days. (1) Peter fell to the ground and the self will, the self righteousness, the pride, the selfishness, the vain glory were crushed out of him. (2) He remained only an empty husk for the Spirit of God to fill and use. (3) And how God used him! (a) 3,000 souls saved. (b) The church born. (c) The presence and the power of the Holy Ghost were put on display to the whole world! Is this not what our world needs today? What would bring it? Three things, I believe. 1. a genuine conversion 2. conviction 3. some crushing God help us to be willing today.
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