1. The Promise of Fire
The Holy Spirit came to us in a symbol of fire. Fire was used throughout the Bible to tell about the Holy Spirit
- John in Matthew 3: 11 says Jesus will baptize us with the Holy Spirit and Fire
- Jesus stated in Luke 12: 49 how he came to kindle a fire and wished it already started
- Malachi 3: 2, 3 Says Jesus will come as a refining fire to purify us.
- Mark 9: 38 says everyone will be tested with fire.
Fire comes to change lives and burn away those things that stop us from being who we are created to be.
EXAMPLE: Fire come on the disciples and burned away fear and doubt enabling them to start the church.
2. Some people willingly cut things off
Mark 9 warns us that we can receive the presence of God, but we are to take the possibility of losing out very seriously. (To the point of cutting off a hand that offends)
The people in Acts willingly let go of things to attain something more.
1. Acts 4: 32 They were willing to give because they felt that what they owned was not their own.
2. Acts 13: 2 While fasting and worshiping they set aside Paul and Barnabas to be the first missionaries
3. Acts 8: 13 Philip left a great revival in Samaria to go and minister to one person in a chariot.
Key Point: Letting go of what is in your hand to obtain something better.
3. Fire comes to bring change.
1 Peter 1: 7 These trials are only to test your faith, to show that it is strong and pure. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold — and your faith is far more precious to God than mere gold. So if your faith remains strong after being tried by fiery trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.
Acts 8: 1 a Great wave of persecution came against the church.
Acts 8: 4 But the believers who were scattered preached the Good News about Jesus wherever they went.
How can we get the attitude that allows us to be refined rather than destroyed?
John 16 gives us some clues
1. Jesus promised trials would come (John 16: 1, 2)
2. Jesus said the Holy Spirit will guide us through these times (John 16: 12, 13)
3. The Testing will only last for a season ( John 16: 21)
4. All who live godly lives will suffer persecution (John 16: 33)