The Signature of The Holy Spirit Part 2/Day 1
A signature can be a cursive, handwritten name that seals a deal or identifies an owner. A signature can authorize a check, verify a contract, or purchase an electric service. A signature can also be a characteristic or identifying mark that points to a particular individual. Big ears, small stature, a receding hair line, or big feet can be signatures of one’s family. Signatures identify and certify – depending on the context.
The church of Jesus Christ should have a signature – and identifying mark – not of programs, activities or marketing schemes, but of the Holy Spirit. A Spirit empowered and Spirit filled local church will have the signature of the Holy Spirit on it. When a local church is filled with the Holy Spirit, there is a clear signature of His power and presence.
After the ascension, the H.S. baptized the church on the day of Pentecost. This all took place in Jerusalem, and a crowd gathered to see what was happening. Peter stood, with the other 11 disciples and preached so that 3000 people were saved. The church began meeting and the following characteristics can be seen in their ongoing ministry according to Acts 2:42-47
In part one, this signature of the Holy Spirit on the early church displayed focused instruction (2:42a), fellowship communion (2.42b, 2.46), corporate prayer (2.42). Those characteristics of this signature continue. Consider these characteristics of the signature of the Holy Spirit.
Powerful Worship: 43, 46-47a
“Fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people.”
Amazing things were happening as the believers gathered. They gathered to exalt Christ and worship Him. As they did, their worship was characterized by four things...
1. There was a deep reverence out of a fear of God. -- “fear came upon, sense of awe”
2. There was a drastic revelation out of a focus on God – “wonders”
3. There was a definite reminder of the presence of God – “signs”
4. There was a daily reunion of the people of God – v.46 - “continuing daily...in the temple (corporate)..and from house to house”
5. There was a detailed response to the goodness of God – “praising”
For them, gathering was not about getting what they needed personally, but it was pouring out their hearts toward God. There is no doubt in my mind that every believer NEEDS to be in worship much worse than he or she needs to be in a deer stand, shopping mall, horseback, golf course or sleeping in. Yet, our need to be in corporate worship is not the primary reason for gathering. The primary reason for gathering in corporate worship is God.
Suppose one of the schools caught on fire, and you happened to be driving by. You stopped and acted quickly. You realized that there were two classrooms of students and teachers trapped by the fire. They would all die if something was not done. Without any consideration of your own life or well-being, you climbed on to the roof of the building and rescued all 45 people in those two classrooms.
You were so brave and so heroic, with no regard to your own life, that the county is throwing a big banquet for you, and you can invite anyone you want. The banquet is for the county to honor and award you for this amazing feat of bravery. They are going to have a meal, honor you with songs and talk about the great things you did.
You invite a group of friends to come to that banquet that is honoring you. You are the guest of honor. Suppose out of all 100 friends they invited, only about 50 can come. The other 50 have cars to wash, fish to catch, deer to kill, relatives to visit, overtime to work and grass to mow.
In addition, suppose that out of the other 50 who come, 30 of them do not notice you at all. They complain because it is too hot. They talk about it being too cold. They tell you about their week and talk about their new car or house. Others in that group of 30 complain that they could not read the menu properly or that the food was newfangled recipe’s that they did not like. Still others said that the food was too old fashioned, and they were bored with it.
Finally, there is a group of about 20 people who come to you and tell you what a great thing you did. These people hug you, pat you on the back, and speak of the amazing things you accomplished by your selfless act. Some of this 20 even bring you gifts and give you rewards because you saved their children.
After it is all said and done, an amazing thought crossed your mind. You realize that out of 100 people that were invited to be at a banquet honoring and praising you, only about 20 realized it was for you. The other 80 people seemed to think that the banquet did not matter or that it was for them.
Each week we have the opportunity to gather to praise God, recount God’s goodness, revere His power and reveal His greatness. We have an opportunity to honor Him and Him alone.
How many believers really understand worship is about God? How many believers who sit at home, find other things to do or go somewhere else fail to realize that it is about God? How many believers who do walk in these doors really think worship service is really about their needs rather than about God’s glory?