The Filling of the Spirit - Fellowship with the Sa

October 4, 2008 Acts 9:17-19

 

Over the last several weeks we have been looking at Acts 9 and the conversion of Paul to mine out truth about true conversion.

We are looking for 7 features of the Transformed Life.

The first week of this study identified our first of seven features: Faith in the Savior. We found verses 3 – 9 give us a 5 clues about this faith.

I.                  Contact

II.                  Conviction

III.                  Conversion

IV.                  Consecration

V.                  Communion

Last week we looked at verses 10 – 17 to find two more features of the transformed life. In verses 10 – 12 we discovered that the transformed life is one that is Fervent in Supplication and verses 13-17 identify that the redeemed are Faithful in Service.

Today we will pull out three more features of the transformed life.

  1. The transformed life is filled with the Spirit
  2. The transformed life has fellowship with the saints
  3. Finally, the transformed life has a fervency in speaking the things of God.

Turn in your Bible to verse 17b

The Filling of the Spirit

and be filled with the Holy Spirit. (9:17b)

  • Ananias was the bearer of far more important news to Saul than that he would regain his sight. Far more wonderfully, he would also be filled with the Holy Spirit.
  • The Spirit was already active in Saul’s life,
  • convicting him of sin (John 16:9)

John 16:9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me;

  • convincing him of the lordship of Jesus (1 Cor. 12:3)

1 Corinthians 12:3 Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus is accursed”; and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.

  • converting him (John 3:5; Titus 3:5)

John 3:5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

Titus 3:5 He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit,

  • placing him into Christ’s body, the church
  • indwelling him permanently (1 Cor. 12:13).

1 Corinthians 12:13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.

  • Beyond all that, he was to be filled with the Spirit in a way that uniquely empowered him for service (cf. 2:4, 14; 4:8, 31; 6:5, 8).

Acts 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.

Acts 2:14 But Peter, taking his stand with the eleven, raised his voice and declared to them: “Men of Judea and all you who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you and give heed to my words.

Acts 4:8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers and elders of the people,

Acts 4:31 And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness.

Acts 6:5 The statement found approval with the whole congregation; and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch.

Acts 6:8 And Stephen, full of grace and power, was performing great wonders and signs among the people.

  • It is significant that unlike the:

Jews Acts 2:1-4 When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.

The Samaritans Acts 8:14-17 Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent them Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. For He had not yet fallen upon any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they began laying their hands on them, and they were receiving the Holy Spirit.

The Gentiles Acts 10:44-46 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message. All the circumcised believers who came with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. For they were hearing them speaking with tongues and exalting God. Then Peter answered,

Saul had received the Spirit and his commissioning to service with no apostles present.

  • Saul was a Jew, so there was no need to repeat the initial coming of the Spirit that occurred at Pentecost.
  • Also, he was an apostle in his own right and did not derive his authority from the other apostles (Gal. 1:1; cf. 1 Cor. 9:1; 2 Cor. 11:5; 12:11; Gal. 1:15–17), nor was he subject to their authority.
  • Like them, he was chosen personally by the Lord Jesus Christ and received the Spirit for his commissioning and power directly from Him.
  • Meaning of the word “Filled”
  • Strongs concordance states that the word “pimpremi” means “to cause to swell, to render timid”.
  • The thought is of a sprained ankle that one becomes apprehensive to walk on.
  • Hence Paul’s flesh was sprainded and he was timid to trust it.

The Spirit transformed Saul in two fundamental ways.

First, He took Saul’s natural strengths and refined them.

  • Saul was a gifted natural leader, with strong will power.
  • He was a man of strong convictions, a self-starter, bold, a master at using his time and talents, a motivated individual, and a profoundly gifted thinker and speaker.

Second:  The Holy Spirit also eliminated undesirable characteristics and replaced them with desirable ones.

  • He replaced Saul’s
  • cruel hatred with love
  • his restless
  • aggressive spirit with peace
  • his rough, hard-nosed treatment of people with gentleness
  • his pride with humility

Only the Spirit of God can so thoroughly sanctify a life. Saul later expressed that truth to the Corinthians:

“But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit” (2 Cor. 3:18).

Fellowship with the Saints

And immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he regained his sight, and he arose and was baptized; and he took food and was strengthened. Now for several days he was with the disciples who were at Damascus, (9:18–19)

  • Immediately after Ananias’s words, there fell from Saul’s eyes something like scales, and he regained his sight.
  • In response to Ananias’s exhortation (cf. Acts 22:16), Saul arose and was baptized.
  • By that act he openly united with the very people he had hated and persecuted.
  • His hated enemies became his friends, while his former friends instantly became his enemies (cf. v. 23).
  • In keeping with the consistent pattern of believers’ testimonies in Acts, Saul’s baptism followed his conversion.
  • Saul enjoyed his first taste of Christian fellowship as he took food and was strengthened.
  • He remained for several days with the disciples who were at Damascus, allowing them to celebrate his conversion with him and minister to his needs.
  • One can imagine the overwhelming joy of those days and the incessant praise to God.
  • One sure mark of a transformed life is the desire to be with fellow Christians.
  • Fellowship has been defined as a building up, encouraging and equipping of the body by the body.
  • First John 3:14 reads, “We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death.” Believers are those who do “not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers” (Ps. 1:1). They can say with the psalmist, “I am a companion of all those who fear Thee, and of those who keep Thy precepts” (Ps. 119:63).
  • The priority of fellowship

Matthew 22:37-40 And He said to him, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ “This is the great and foremost commandment. “The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ “On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”

  • Why should we be engaged in fellowship?
  • It sharpens

                                                Proverbs 27:17 Iron sharpens iron, So one man sharpens another.

  • It strengthens

Romans 1:11-12 For I long to see you so that I may impart some spiritual gift to you, that you may be established; that is, that I may be encouraged together with you while among you, each of us by the other’s faith, both yours and mine.

  • Because we are all part of the body

1 Corinthians 12:26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.

  • What does fellowship look like?
  • Study, communion, prayer

Acts 2:42 They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

  1. Carrying one-anothers burdens

Galatians 6:2 Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.

  1. Building each other up

Ephesians 4:15-16 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.

  1. Encouraging each other

Hebrews 3:13 But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.

 

  • That does not mean, of course, that Christians are to have no contact with unbelievers (1 Cor. 5:9–10).
  • But a professing Christian who prefers the company of the people of the world is probably still one of them.

Fervency in Speaking

And immediately he began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is the Son of God.” And all those hearing him continued to be amazed, and were saying, “Is this not he who in Jerusalem destroyed those who called on this name, and who had come here for the purpose of bringing them bound before the chief priests?” But Saul kept increasing in strength and confounding the Jews who lived at Damascus by proving that this Jesus is the Christ. (9:20–22)

  • Those transformed by the saving grace of God cannot stop speaking about it (Acts 4:20),
  • Saul was no exception. After a few days of fellowship with the saints, he immediately began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues.

1 Corinthians 5:9-10I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world.

  • To the shocked Christians, surprised by his conversion, can be added the shocked Jews, who were expecting him to take Christians prisoner, not preach Jesus Christ in their synagogues.
  • From the beginning he felt that courageous compulsion that later caused him to exclaim, “Woe is me if I do not preach the gospel” (1 Cor. 9:16).
  • In the very synagogues to which he had come with warrants for the arrest of Christians, Saul now began to proclaim Jesus.
  • The content of that preaching was that Jesus is the Son of God, a title for our Lord that speaks of His deity

John 10:31-36 The Jews picked up stones again to stone Him. Jesus answered them, “I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?” The Jews answered Him, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.” Jesus answered them, “Has it not been written in your Law, ‘I said, you are gods’? “If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), do you say of Him, whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?

  • The shock and consternation Saul’s preaching produced is inconceivable for us.
  • The most zealous defender of Judaism now became the most zealous evangelist for Christianity.
  • Not surprisingly, all those hearing him continued to be amazed, and were saying, “Is this not he who in Jerusalem destroyed those who called on this name, and who had come here for the purpose of bringing them bound before the chief priests?” They could not comprehend the drastic change in Saul.
  • Far from wilting under the pressure of confusion turning into hostility, Saul kept increasing in strength and confounding the Jews who lived at Damascus by proving that this Jesus is the Christ.

Like Stephen before him, he met the Jews in open debate about the deity and messiahship of Jesus. Saving faith “comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ”, Romans 10:17.

  • That Saul was confounding the Jews in this dialogue should surprise no one. He had the finest education first-century Judaism could offer, and they could not hope to match his knowledge of the Scripture.
  • Once he understood who Jesus was, he had the key that unlocked the whole Old Testament. He was then able to use his vast knowledge of those Scriptures and his Spirit-controlled brilliance, as well as the truth of Jesus’ miracles, words, death, and resurrection, to prove that this Jesus was indeed the long-awaited Messiah.

The Filling of the Spirit - Fellowship with the Saints - Fervency in Speaking