Pursuing Everything God Has

Intro -
Wednesday - Andre did a great job sharing his testimony. If you did not see it, go to our website to hear it.
Had a great Valentine Banquet Friday
We are in Week 2 of Our Church… probably should have called it HIS Church.
Series is built on this verse.
Matthew 16:18 NLT
18 Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.
There is a lot of crazy stuff going on in our culture, but God is the one who builds HIS church. He says that all of the forces of hell, and there are a lot of them, will not destroy is church.
The Church is God’s answer to the world we live in right now. That’s god’s answer.
When the next verse was written, society was crumbling… nations were crumbling. Everything was unsettled because all of the institutions were crumbling.
Isaiah 28:16 NIV
16 So this is what the Sovereign Lord says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who relies on it will never be stricken with panic.
The Church is the answer, and God is setting us up to help many people who are panic stricken.
We don’t have to worry as long as we build on the foundation of Jesus.
This series about why we have a church. Last week, we touched on one of the reasons Kathy and I wanted to start a church.
LW - We wanted to be a passionate church. We want to he on fire for the Lord. Passion for prayer, for people. We want the same passion or Zeal that Jesus had.
We want to be a church that pursues all that God has for us.
All that we have is not all that God has. He is the God of more.
Too many people just get enough… fire insurance. I don’t know about you, but I want more. We named this Church River Church because we want not to be along the River, but in the River go what God is doing. We don’t want to be a dull dead church, we want to be in the Flow of what God is doing.
We want to…

We want to Go after All that God has

We want to pursue all that God has. We want you to pursue all that God has, but there is often resistance to that. There is misunderstanding here… I hope today to convince you that River Church is a church that wants to pursue everything that God has.
What does that look like?
1 Corinthians 2:9–10 NIV84
9 However, as it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him”— 10 but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.
Not about heaven. It’s present tense. Paul is introducing the Holy Spirit here.
Spirit - Pneuma - wind… life … breath…
Today, we will go deeper. More than anytime in my history, we cannot afford to live without the power of God operating in our lives. We live in a crazy time… pandemic… violence all over the nation. We need to depend on God, not ourselves. Come on somebody…
1 Corinthians 2:4–5 NIV84
4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.
Paul was brilliant, but he wanted to depend on God’s power.
1 Corinthians 4:20 NLT
20 For the Kingdom of God is not just a lot of talk; it is living by God’s power.
I want to invite you into that. We don’t need to try to live in our own power, but God’s. I want to invite us into this today. I want to give you a theology of this.
I want to tell you about three things God wants for you and the actual theological term is Baptism.

Three Baptisms God Offers

Baptism is not just talking about whenever you got sprinkled or dunked. Baptism is a theological term for inviting you into the Faith.
Baptizo - to immerse yourself in Today, we would say go all in.

1. Baptism into the Body of Christ - Salvation

1 Corinthians 12:13 NIV84
13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.
When you give your life to Jesus, You don’t just join Jesus when you are saved, you join his family. This is why we gather on Sundays… We are the family of God.
Galatians 3:26–27 NIV84
26 You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.
This is Salvation -

2. Water Baptism - Public declaration of my faith in Jesus Christ

This is your public declaration of your faith. This is a separate baptism. These two cannot be the same because then Baptism would be a work. It would violate Eph 2:8-9
Acts 2:41 NIV84
41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.
The water Baptism does not save you. You are saved by Grace.
Some say that not only do you have to be Baptized to be saved, but what the person baptizing you says is critical.
Imagine you are in the tank and you are under water… you don’t hear anything… years later you are standing in front of Jesus and you say, Oh Jesus I can’t wait to enter heaven… but he says… Man I am so sorry, the guy that Baptized you messes up.
Some will say you have to say in the name of the Father Son and HS. Others say in Jesus name… Churches fight over this. We just do it all.
Baptism doesn’t save us - it’s our public declaration. Some of you may need to do this…
Wedding Ring ILL - The ring doesn’t make me married, it shows everyone that I am.
It’s important to acknowledge the one who saves your soul…
Matthew 10:32–33 NLT
32 “Everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. 33 But everyone who denies me here on earth, I will also deny before my Father in heaven.
If you have never been water Baptized, you need to do it. Check your connection card.

3. Baptism in the Holy Spirit - Living a Spirit Empowered Life

This has nothing to do with your salvation. Salvation is about your eternal existence. Baptism in the HS is about living a spirit empowered life.
The Bible talks about this more than the other two.
Why are they separate?
They are separate because God never wanted to complicate salvation. He never wanted a Work to be part of Salvation.
There are denominations that say that if you don’t speak in tongues, you can’t go to heaven. That’s wrong… Jesus paid the price… he paid it all.
But there is more and God wants us to have more.
Let’s look at this.
Acts 8:5 NLT
5 Philip, for example, went to the city of Samaria and told the people there about the Messiah.
Philip’s out there preaching…
Acts 8:12 NLT
12 But now the people believed Philip’s message of Good News concerning the Kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ. As a result, many men and women were baptized.
So the Apostles heard that a group in Samaria got saved, the apostles sent Peter and John…
Acts 8:14–17 NIV84
14 When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. 15 When they arrived, they prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, 16 because the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them; they had simply been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
It’s a separate experience. They went to a deeper place…
This is not necessary for salvation but totally necessary to live a spirit empowered life. We can be spirit filled without being spooky. I know there are a lot of spooky things on TV.
We don’t want experience to keep us from experiencing what God shows he wants for us in his word.
1 John 5:7–8 NKJV
7 For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. 8 And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one.
Jesus - Word …
3 at work on earth - Spirit -Pneuma, Water - Public Declaration, Blood - Cross… Jesus
These three agree… but do they agree with you? We need to agree on this. God wants us to be saved… he wants us to publically declare our salvation… he wants us to experience the power of the HS.
friend leading worship in Laplace - guy fell out… I thought I would get fired…
testimony of being filled with Spirit - went to Mr Paran Church of God… got filled at a little church in Rome… fell out on the floor… got up different.
We have to go all in. Some of you have told the HS that you want him as long as he behaves himself. Listen, if it comes from the Lord, it’s good.
I tell you today… I am spirit filled but not spooky. I need God’s power in this church. We want to see miracles in this church.
So why don’t we pursue more?

Why are some people reluctant to be Baptized in the Holy Spirit?

Some people are uninformed

You are in good company. All through ACTS people are getting filled with the HS and then in Acts 19
Acts 19:1–2 NLT
1 While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul traveled through the interior regions until he reached Ephesus, on the coast, where he found several believers. 2 “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” he asked them. “No,” they replied, “we haven’t even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”
These folks were saved… they were going to heaven. That’s what we do, but Salvation is the beginning of the faith walk. The beginning is Salvation… but there is more.
People think all sorts of things… Charismatics are… you know snake handlers… That’s not what it means.
Cartersville - snake handling church…
Charismatic - means you are receiving God’s spiritual gifts.
How many people have refused to go for more because they have believed something totally wrong?

Some people have grown apathetic

A-Pathos - without passion
They have no passion. Apathetic. They have their fire insurance… but that’s enough.
In the season we are in right now, you won’t make it if you are a lukewarm apathetic Christian.
Word in Chemistry - Entropy - it’s how energy is dispersed. If you leave something alone, it declines… becomes less. Spiritually, You may be running on your own energy and you will make it under normal circumstances, but then a 2020 and a 2021 come along and YOU had better be plugged into the power of God or You will not make it.
The Holy Spirit is not here for fun, He is here for function. He is here to help you thorugh years like these.
Romans 12:11 NIV84
11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.

Some people are afraid

I know people … They are afraid that if they go all in, God will send you to a place where you live in a hut… You are actually afraid of God. The devil is a liar.
James 1:17 NIV84
17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

Pursue all that God has for you!

You are no longer un-informed. Don’t be apathetic or afraid. Go for it.

Give God a year of your life

If you do, your life will change dramatically for the good. Get in a group. Get on a ministry team. When we offer a class, take it. When we offer a conference, go.
Your life will change dramatically if this year is your best year Spiritually.
Let me land this plane.
Ezekiel 47:3–5 NIV84
3 As the man went eastward with a measuring line in his hand, he measured off a thousand cubits and then led me through water that was ankle-deep. 4 He measured off another thousand cubits and led me through water that was knee-deep. He measured off another thousand and led me through water that was up to the waist. 5 He measured off another thousand, but now it was a river that I could not cross, because the water had risen and was deep enough to swim in—a river that no one could cross.
Some of you don’t want to get out into the river too dip to walk… You don’t want to lose control.
Ezekiel 47:9 NIV84
9 Swarms of living creatures will live wherever the river flows. There will be large numbers of fish, because this water flows there and makes the salt water fresh; so where the river flows everything will live.
We started this church so that we could be a church that’s in the river. Get in the River.
Prayer time -
Give your life to Jesus - If you need Jesus, today is your day. Pray with me… Salvation Prayer
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