Is the Anchorage Moravian Church Spirit Filled?

Commentary by Bishop William Nicholson:

If our Church is Spirit filled what does it look like? Is it about the Holy Spirit’s power and presence observable in that local church?

Yes, I think God’s Spirit and Power is manifested in the Anchorage Moravian Church, but it is not the true Spirit of God unless the following is true too, which we all need to work on:

Paul the Apostle makes it clear that discerning the Holy Spirit’s presence in the Church is an affirming of the lordship of the biblical Jesus (1 Cor 12:3). If Christ is uplifted I believe this is the Church where the Holy Spirit works and where Jesus shows His love in incredible ways to bring salvation, recommitments, transformation and discipleship. It’s a place where people love to hear the preaching of the Word of God.

Last Sunday night two people found Jesus Christ as Savior. Praise God. When the Spirit fills a congregation, we should expect to see the miracle of spiritual life in that place. People will be genuinely saved and we should never take this for granted. Seeing salvation should be a big and glorious experience for any church.

Also I think that a Spirit-filled Church is one that is not nitpicky about others. If there are personal issues we deal with them in the biblical way. Instead of judging people, first we should love them and see them like God sees them. When we look at a tree we know what kind of tree it is by the type of fruits there. When God’s presence and power is in our midst, we should see His fruit, which is one of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal 5:22-23).

Humility to each other should be there. None of us – pastors, elders, trustees, teachers, evangelists, Lords it over another. Spirit-filled people and a Church that is so full of Jesus and the infilling of the Holy Spirit should be one of people mutually yielding to one another out of reverence for Jesus (Eph 5:21). And part of humility is holiness. Those who are filled with the Holy Spirit will have a personal holiness shown in our lives..

There should be lots of people serving and we see that; people sharing their testimonies and song, edifying one another by using their spiritual gifts. KEEP IT UP!

A big thing about sin in the Church, when the Holy Spirit comes He convicts of sin and people repent. Whatever we say about the Holy Spirit, this is certain: he puts sin to death in everyone he indwells (Rom 8:13). The Spirit of God will give us knowledge of personal sin, hatred of it, sorrow over it because of its offense against God, confession of it, and turning from it (Ezek 36:31). Our United Alaska Churches have taken a stand against homosexuality, sexual sins, and worldliness and we continue to suffer for it, but glory in our sufferings.

Lastly, in regards to sin in the Church from which we all are turning from everyday. Someone else says it better: “In a Spirit-filled church, then, this will look like an atmosphere where sin is safe but not safe. It’s safe, in the sense that there is a loving, family-like trust among one another where we can be confronted if necessary, but know that we will not be condemned. However, sin is unsafe because it will necessarily be confronted and eradicated by the Spirit.”

As Moravians we know that the Spirit-filled congregation will be one who prioritizes unity in the name of Christ (Eph 4:3-4). Unity will be visible. For example: humility, believing the best about one another, looking for common ground, serving each other, a desire for good and positive relationships, grieving over and attempting to biblically solve division in the congregation, and an overall sharing of life among people with many differences. That we will go the second mile and not give up to correct problems that surface so that peace and righteousness will reign in the Anchorage Moravian Church.

The Spirit of God is showing up every time we meet! When He blows through a congregation, it should be obvious by the things I’ve shared today. It’s about God taking us just the way we are with all of our blemishes, converting us, transforming us from a life of sin and making our lives better because we believe in Jesus. And we are enriched in Scripture and want to glorify Christ and ready the people for His coming.

Amen.

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