Audio on Media page
The past few months have ramped up the political conversations. The Republicans have had several debates as they seek to put forward a nominee to run against Democratic President of the United States, Barack Obama. In watching many of the Republican debates you see many interesting things. We not only learn about the candidates but about the state of our nation in the issues we face. Further, one of the characteristics of the debates is you wonder if sometimes the candidates just want to make a point or if they really want to make a positive impact for the good of our country.
Unfortunately, I also wonder the same about Christians today. Do Christians merely want to make a moral point about society or are we willing to roll up our sleeves, face some challenges and have a life-changing impact in the world around us for Jesus Christ?
This message will challenge us to do such. In reviewing Jesus’ life of impact we can see it is simply the result of living life full of the Spirit. This passage will provide us with 4 truths of Spirit-filled living.
EXAMINE Luke 4:14-30 Spirit Filled
We fight temptation by preparing for battle (wartime lifestyle), recognizing our enemy, breathing biblical truth. Our last message focused, in a sort, on the defensive perspective. One of the things mentioned was that the same Spirit that filled Jesus is the same Holy Spirit that fills and empowers believers today. So, this message will focus on the offensive perspective of Spirit-filled living out of biblical truth. Directly, we’ll examine 4 truths of Spirit-filled living.
Spirit-filled living begins at home (4:14-16).
Luke describes Jesus’ life as being surrounded by the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is present in John the Baptizer’s life (1:15), in Mary’s life (1:35), in Elizabeth’s life (1:41), in Simeon (2:25), and then at Jesus’ baptism (3:22) and in preparation for his ministry (4:1 ff.). The catalyst for his adventures was the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Significant to note is the beginning location of Jesus’ ministry was in His hometown (Luke 23:5; Acts 10:37). He could have started in places of more significance with greater numbers of people like Jerusalem or other places; yet he chose Nazareth. God has a way of choosing the lowly and weak things of this world to cause our faith to rest in His wisdom and not man’s (1 Cor 1:27-31). And so, living in obedience to God starts where you are and moves outward.
ð Would those who live in your home honestly say you have integrity and an integral faith relationship with God?
ð Some of our homes have unbelievers (spouse, children, parents, etc.). Do you pray for their salvation and pursue gospel conversations with them?
ð Faith @Home:
- Luke Challenge as a familySummarize Sundays: Discuss the Bible teaching & application at home. Parents ask what was taught and how can we apply together.
- Future plans for VBS
- Cultivate Connection: Get to know people by inviting each other in your homes; especially those who lead & teach you and your children. This shows appreciation for their work and respect for their calling.
- Guard against Gossip: Avoid frying up church members for lunch!
Spirit-filled living is shaped by Scripture (4:17-21)
Jesus regularly attended synagogue and went to various ones to teach (v.15 plural). In Nazareth, he went to the synagogue and opened the scroll turning to Isaiah 61 and read the first two verses. The verses were Messianic in nature, describing the Spirit’s anointing and the Lord’s favor upon the poor, captives, the blind and the oppressed. After reading the Scripture, Jesus closed the scroll and with all eyes on him, said, “today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
As Jesus began his ministry he did so with the public proclamation of Scripture. His mission was rooted in the fulfillment of God’s promises. Likewise, Jesus’ followers have a mission that is rooted in God’s Spirit and God’s Word. The same Spirit that filled Jesus and the same Scriptures that Jesus read are the same ones which guide and empower our lives today.
Romans 10:17 “So faith comes from hearing and hearing through the word of Christ.”
ð Your faith will grow as you spend time reflecting on Scripture. This is why we emphasize…
- Bible Groups
- Luke Challenge
ð Share your “life verse” or favorite verse(s) with someone and how they reflect your personal calling according to God’s mission.
ð Jesus’ reading of Isaiah 61:1-2 does not finish the entire sentence. The missing ending is “[He has sent me to proclaim] the day of vengeance of our God” The time to obey God’s mission of proclaiming God’s good news and favor is limited. Jesus’ first coming was to proclaim grace but his second coming will not be merciful but of consequence.
John 3:16-17 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world but in order that the world might be saved through him.”
Jude 1:17-22 “But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. They said to you, ‘In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.’ It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. And have mercy on those who doubt, save others by snatching them out of the fire…”
Spirit-filled living results in life-change (4:18-22).
Jesus’ reading of Isaiah 61 and announcing that TODAY this Scripture was fulfilled would have been striking. The people of Jesus’ day were desperate. They had endured countless generations of exile and enslavement and wondering if God would bring hope into being. Jesus’ message and ministry was showing that God’s kingdom was not something afar but something available now.
Today, we the church must do more than talk about change. The words change and hope are buzz words in our society that have the potential to revolutionize our lives but unfortunately are slowly becoming a vapor. Can hope happen? Is change achievable? Jesus says YES, if we follow his plan.
ð Proclaim good news to the poor. The poor are both those in material and spiritual poverty. God’s people must have compassion for those who have little. And God’s people must reach out to those who have much in this world but nothing in the next. The latter are those who are often wealthy, arrogant, and self-satisfied. And as Jesus loved these so must we.
Isaiah 58:7-8 “[God chooses you] to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh; Then shall your light break forth like the dawn and your healing shall spring up speedily and your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.”
– – – > LOVE OTHERS: February “Love Neighbors” – SOUPER BOWL SUNDAY
ð Proclaim liberty to captives. There are many enslaved to all sorts of substances, whether its gluttony, alcohol, drugs illegal and legal, pornography or anything else. God’s people must call out freedom to those who are held in bondage.
2 Corinthians 10:3-6 “For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God and take every thought captive to obey Christ being ready to punish every disobedience when your obedience is complete.”
ð Recover sight to blind. Since the Fall in Genesis 3 this world has been cursed with physical disease. Followers of Jesus must extend a loving embrace and offer prayers of healing. Practically it means visiting the sick and shut-in for care and comfort. Others may discover gifts of healing through prayer or through the practice of medicine.
Romans 12:13, 15 “Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality…Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.”
ð Set liberty to oppressed. There are those without a voice who are abused and mistreated. The Bible speaks much of the orphan, the widow, and the sojourner. Christians can raise awareness by speaking out to these issues and also by taking action: adopting children, caring for pregnant mothers considering abortion, loving and providing for widows and elderly shutins.
Ultimately, we must not only bring about life-change to alleviate sufferings of this world but of the next. We bring the good news of God’s grace and forgiveness of sin and the hope of eternal life through faith in the resurrection.
1 Corinthians 1:18 “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
Spirit-filled living endures misunderstandings (4:22-30).
Following Jesus’ proclamation of his identity and inauguration of Messianic ministry, there is a negative response. The people knew Jesus was “Joseph’s son” but were amazed at his Scriptural insight and authoritative teaching. Others were insulted at Jesus’ mention of God’s healing non-Jews (widow of Zarephath & Naaman the Syrian). Jesus’ ministry would be characterized of reproving the Jews but redeeming Gentiles. Jesus would never overcome this hometown cynicism. Later in Jesus’ ministry of performing miracles of healing and raising the dead they still misunderstood the life life-change Jesus offered (18:34; 20:1-8; 23:6; 24:19-27). Jesus sought internal heart change while they wanted external rearrangements. Later, Jesus’ followers would point to His greatest change not in His miracles but in His suffering which brought eternal hope and life (Acts 2:22-39).
Today many also misunderstand Jesus and the gospel. Christianity is not meant to fulfill your happy comforts. Jesus came to make us holy not happy. C.S. Lewis said, “I didn’t go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of Port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don’t recommend Christianity.”
ð It is the Christian’s call to understand that we are seeking first God’s kingdom and not our own (Matthew 6:33).
The late Steve Jobs, legendary co-founder of Apple Computers, successfully recruited Pepsi-Co president John Sculley to take over as CEO of Apple by asking him, “Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water, or do you want a chance to change the world?”
You must ask yourself, ‘Do I want to merely make moral points or do I want to make an impact and legacy for an eternal kingdom that will last forever’ (Heb 12:28; 1 Peter 1:4).
 Cross Reference: Luke 4:1, 14, 18, 36; 5:17; 6:19; 8:46; 10:13; 24:49; Acts 1:8; 4:7, 33; 6:8; 10:38; 19:11.