"THE BOOK OF ACTS" Walking In The Comfort Of The Holy Spirit (9:31) INTRODUCTION 1. In writing about the early church, Luke recorded: "Then the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied." - Ac 9:31 2. In our previous lesson, we considered "walking in the fear of the Lord"... a. The need for having a proper fear of the Lord b. The role of the Word of God in producing this fear 3. With this lesson, we shall consider "walking in the comfort of the Holy Spirit"... a. What it meant to the apostles and the early church b. What it likely means for us today [The phrase "comfort of the Holy Spirit" should naturally remind us of Jesus' promise regarding...] I. THE HOLY SPIRIT AS COMFORTER A. PROMISED TO THE APOSTLES... 1. As another Helper (parakletos, comforter) for them - Jn 14:16-18 2. To teach them all things, reminding them what He said - Jn 14:26 3. Who Himself will testify of Jesus, together with the apostles - Jn 15:26-27 4. To guide them into all the truth - Jn 16:12-13 -- We should not presume what was promised the apostles was for all Christians B. PROMISED TO ALL BELIEVERS... 1. As something new, to be given after His resurrection - Jn 7:37-39 2. As a gift to those who obey God in repentance and baptism -
Ac 2:38-39; 5:32 3. When they become sons of God through faith and baptism -
Ga 3:26-27; 4:6 4. As an earnest, a down payment toward their full inheritance-Ep 1:13-14 -- The Spirit has a significant role in the lives of all Christians [While the role the Spirit in the lives of the apostles and believers was varied, He was certainly a source of great comfort to all Christians...] II. THE COMFORT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT A. AS GIVEN TO THE APOSTLES... 1. The Spirit came while they were in Jerusalem - Ac 1:4-5; 2:1-4 2. Empowering them to be witnesses of Jesus' resurrection - Ac 1:8; 2:32-33 3. Confirming their word through signs, wonders, miracles, gifts - He 2:3-4 4. Which they passed on to some through laying on of hands -
Ac 8:14-18; 19:6 -- Again, we should not presume the apostles' experience was normative for all believers B. AS GIVEN TO ALL BELIEVERS... 1. When baptized into one body, the church - 1Co 12:13 2. Filling hearts with love, hope, and other fruits of the Spirit - Ro 5:5; 15:13; Ga 5:22-23 3. Though not all possessed the miraculous spiritual gifts then - 1Co 12:27-31 4. Such were temporary, while faith, hope, and love would continue - 1Co 13:1-13 -- The Spirit did provide a degree of comfort for all believers then [With an appreciation of the Spirit's role in the life of the early church, here are thoughts on what it meant then and what it means today to be...] III. WALKING IN THE COMFORT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT A. FOR THE APOSTLES AND EARLY CHURCH... 1. The direct guidance of the Spirit in their lives - e.g.,
Ac 8:29; 10:19; 13:2-4; 16:6-7; 20:23; 1Co 12:11; 1Ti 4:1 2. All related to revealing and confirming God's Word - cf.
Mk 16:17-20; He 2:3-4 -- The early church certainly enjoyed walking in the comfort of the Spirit as He guided them through the early years of establishing the church and revealing all truth to them B. FOR CHRISTIANS AND THE CHURCH TODAY... 1. We have the benefit of God's Word completely revealed and confirmed a. Scriptures all-sufficient to instruct and guide us - 2Ti 3:16-17 b. Providing all we need for life and godliness - 2Pe 1:3 c. Revealed once for all, for which we must contend - Jude 3 2. We enjoy the comforting presence of the Spirit today through the Word a. Which is the sword of the Spirit, an instrument used by the Spirit - Ep 6:12 b. A source of great comfort and patience, creating hope - cf. Ro 15:4 3. We enjoy the comforting presence of the Spirit today through His indwelling a. For our bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit Who is in us - 1Co 6:19 b. And the Spirit serves as God's instrumental agent to bless us - Ep 3:16,20-21 c. For empowerment, comfort, bearing spiritual fruit -
Ro 8:12-13; 15:13; Ga 4:6; 5:22-23 -- With the Spirit's indwelling in conjunction with the Word, we can walk in the comfort of the Holy Spirit! CONCLUSION 1. Returning to our text (Ac 9:31), we note that the churches multiplied when they walked both... a. In the fear of the Lord b. In the comfort of the Holy Spirit 2. If we desire to experience such growth today, then we also need to... a. Develop the fear of the Lord and walk in it b. Experience the comfort of the Holy Spirit as we walk in it Hopefully this lesson and the preceding one may encourage us to do both, for the glory of God and His Son's church...!