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June 5, 2024

The Afterglow: Led by the Spirit: How the Holy Spirit Guides the Believer

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Passage: John 16:12-15
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In this sermon titled "The Afterglow: Led by the Spirit: How the Holy Spirit Guides the Believer," Pastor Allen Victor of Calvary Chapel West Jacksonville explored the profound ways in which the Holy Spirit leads and empowers believers. The foundation of this message was laid in John 16:12-15, where Jesus promised that the Spirit of truth would come to guide us into all truth, speaking not on His own authority but declaring to us what He hears and glorifying Christ by revealing His teachings to us.

Pastor Allen began by emphasizing the primary role of the Holy Spirit: leading us to Christ. Drawing from John 14:17, he explained that the Spirit of truth, though unseen and unknown by the world, dwells with and within believers, making this guidance personal and transformative. He highlighted other roles of the Holy Spirit, referencing Galatians 5:22-23 to show that a Spirit-filled life produces fruit such as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Furthermore, the Holy Spirit empowers believers (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8), as illustrated by a personal anecdote about a church member who, despite initial reluctance, was able to pray and share her faith boldly at a car wash.

The sermon continued with the Holy Spirit's role in convicting us of sin (John 16:9, 14), bestowing spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12:8-11), and guiding us in all truth (John 16:13). Pastor Allen used various phrases such as "Led by the Holy Spirit," "Walking in the Spirit," "Moved by the Spirit," and "Compelled by the Spirit" to describe this divine guidance.

He then delineated the effects of being led by the Spirit. According to Galatians 5:16, those led by the Spirit do not gratify the desires of the flesh. They are not inclined towards actions like drunkenness, theft, or infidelity. Instead, they exhibit a selflessness akin to John the Baptist, who did not care about his appearance or material comfort. Moreover, being led by the Spirit means rejecting fear (2 Timothy 1:7), not seeking personal glory (John 16:13), and adhering to biblical principles.

Pastor Allen illustrated these concepts with biblical examples. Jesus, filled with the Holy Spirit, was led into the wilderness (Luke 4:1), not to be tempted but to be tested, proving His faith genuine. This journey highlighted that the Holy Spirit leads us out of sin and into righteousness. The fivefold ministry of the Holy Spirit as seen in Luke 4:14-21—proclaiming good news, liberating the captives, healing the blind, setting the oppressed free, and proclaiming the Lord's favor—was underscored as the hallmarks of a Spirit-led life.

The story of Philip in Acts 8 further demonstrated the Spirit's guidance. Through various circumstances, such as persecution leading him to Samaria and later his encounter with the Ethiopian eunuch, Philip's life showed that the Holy Spirit uses our situations to direct us where we are needed most. Pastor Allen pointed out that ministry led by the Spirit is dynamic and not bound by tradition or comfort zones.

Peter’s vision in Acts 10:9-20 exemplified how the Holy Spirit can lead us to break away from cultural and religious norms for the sake of the gospel. Peter’s willingness to visit Cornelius, a Gentile, marked a significant shift in early Christian ministry, emphasizing that the Holy Spirit often challenges our preconceptions to expand God's work.

Pastor Allen urged the congregation to examine if they are led by the Spirit by reflecting on their involvement in evangelism, liberation, healing, deliverance, and grace. He encouraged prayers for personal filling of the Holy Spirit and to be guided in specific ministries—praying for neighbors, coworkers, and broader communities.

Calvary Chapel West Jacksonville, led by Pastor Allen Victor, continues to inspire and guide believers in their spiritual journey. For more information about Calvary Chapel West Jacksonville, visit ccfjax.org or support the ministry at CCFJax.org/give.

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