It is always encouraging to hear Matt Chandler share how his church is pressing into the gifts of the Spirit, and clinging to the Word of God. There is much from The Village Church, their intentionality as elders, and the testimonies they have, that all of us can glean from.
Here Matt sits down with the guys form The Remnant Radio to talk about it all. It is a good hour-long conversation of his thinking and story of pursuing the gifts of the Spirit.
Into the New Year we have sprung. Funny how it feels a lot like the last year. Political division. Work to be done. Schedules that keep us inundated. And of course the only real place of refreshment and peace, the gospel of grace.
This week two articles worth your time and thought. Both on similar perspectives. One on prayer and what one church, and maybe all of us, mean when we seek God. The second on a new move afoot to move from mere theological continuationism (believing the Holy Spirit works miraculously still today) to the actual experience of it in our churches
From Sam Storms, a reflection on his church’s days of fasting and prayer. At Reservoir we used a couple of quotes from Sam in our weekly prayer meeting as we desire the same things. One key quote:
By saying we seek “God himself” I mean greater manifestations of his presence, a tangible sense of his nearness, deeper and sweeter fellowship and communion with him, a heightened capacity to hear his voice, a movement on our hearts to feel and enjoy his affection for us, and an expanded power in us to enjoy and adore him with greater fervency. In seeking “God himself” we long to know him better, to understand his will and ways with greater clarity, to go deeper and deeper into the character of God, to be set on fire with a more passionate commitment to him and adoration of him. In seeking “God himself” we long for a satisfaction in our souls that is so rich and powerful that it drowns out the alluring and seductive appeal of the world, the flesh, and the devil.
Next is a quick note from Andrew Wilson about a comment from Tim Challies about the move afoot for Charismatic experience in our churches. Typically Calvinistic churches that believe the gifts of the Holy Spirit continue today have been reserved at best in the expression of these gifts or even the pursuit of them. But the wind is blowing. Times are changing and more and more leaders are moving from holding a theology to experiencing it.
This is something we have expressed at Reservoir, the desire to be Word and Spirit people not merely holding a doctrinal belief but living in light of it. Come Holy Spirit come.
“The truth of the matter is this. The distinctive, constant, basic ministry of the Holy Spirit under the new covenant is so to mediate Christ’s presence to believers – that is, to give them such knowledge of his presence with them as their Savior, Lord, and God – that three things keep happening…
First, personal fellowship with Jesus… Second, personal transformation of character into Jesus’ likeness… Third, the Spirit-given certainty of being loved, redeemed, and adopted through Christ into the Father’s family.”
“In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.” (Ephesians 1:13-14 ESV)
Christian, do you hear this? Upon belief in the gospel, at your belief in Jesus, you have been sealed with the promised Holy Spirit. Maybe we don’t often think of “sealing” in the context of faith but we should. The Spirit seals you, closes the case, keeps you, maintains you. You, in Christ, are guaranteed to acquire your inheritance in heaven.
Read that again. And again. Wow.
The Spirit keeps me and does so by reminding me of the truth of the gospel and the finished work, effective and complete work of Christ for me. Do you get the weight of this? You are his. Nothing can change that. You, in Christ, are sealed by the Holy Spirit for the praise of Christ’s glory. Dig into this. We transformed. Be encouraged. Be holy. It is a sure thing. Live like it!