Empowerment of God’s Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit has two main jobs.
1.) Forgiveness of sins. When we ask Jesus to live in their hearts it is actually the Holy Spirit who does this and the bringing of healing to mind and soul from our sinful ways.
2.) Empowerment to witness. “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8
This promise was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost. Acts 2:1-4 says, “On the day of Pentecost all the believers were meeting together in one place. Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting. Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability.”
From this outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the Christian church began its first witnessing ministry. There is only one requirement of being baptized in the Holy Spirit, and that is salvation. If you have not received the baptism of the Holy Spirit, that does not make you less saved, loved, or forgiven. We must continue to seek the Lord and He will pour His Holy Spirit out on you in His time. When you look at the significance of the day that God chose to pour out His spirit, it will help you understand the purpose of Pentecost.
God chose Pentecost because it was the celebration of the harvest of crops. This celebration had picked up the name Pentecost because it happened fifty days after the Passover. It was however originally called the Feast of Harvest. (Ex 23:16, 34:22) It’s about the harvest of humanity. “You shall be witnesses!” It is about spreading the good news of Jesus Christ. The purpose of Pentecost is to fulfill the great command of God, and go into all the world and make disciples. That purpose is to draw all men to the saving grace of Jesus Christ.
Please take time to watch this 14 minute video:
Alton Garrison – Holy Spirit
Reaching people with the message of Jesus
In order to fully understand the purpose of the Holy Spirit, we must first understand Salvation. Man’s only hope of forgiveness is through the shed blood of Jesus Christ the Son of God. Romans 10:13-15 says, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
The inward evidence of salvation is the direct witness of the Spirit. Romans 8:16 says, “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.” The outward evidence to all men is a life of righteousness and true holiness. Titus 2:12“ It teaches us to say, “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.” It is through the outward evidence people begin to see Jesus living in us. The teaching of salvation is one of our core doctrines. For more information, please visit ag.org and click on the beliefs tab.
The Church and its Mission
The Church is the organism that God has given us to help each other live out our mission of going and making disciples. Ephesians 2:22 states “And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.” Remember that His Spirit lives in each of us to empower us. He does the same for us as a church. The Spirit moves in us and through us as a group to reach out to the lost. In being a part of Manhattan First, you are deciding to help us in our mission to Reach Manhattan and the World Creatively. We do that through two ways: going and sending.
Ways we are reaching people as a church: Annual Outreach’s, Royal Family Kids Camp (RFKC), Hinge Youth, Manhattan First Kids, Manhattan First Personal Ministries (i.e.) prison ministry, Community ministries, Life Choice Ministries, Helping International Students (HIS), and Homestead.
he next several pages will talk about stewardship because giving is the way we “SEND” people.
These Stewardship Principles are from the series ”Stewardship Pyramid” by Brian Dollar. Before you get started, go ahead and read Matthew 25:14-28
What is a Steward? A Steward is someone who takes care of another persons stuff.
Everything I Have Belongs To God! God made everything. He made you. He made me. He gave us life. He also gave us the strength and the abilities we have that help us make money. If God created me, and everything I have is a result of the gift of life He gave me, then it only makes sense that everything I have I received from God. Right?
You see, the Bible teaches that all things were created by God and belong to God. He chooses to give those things to His children. We must realize that everything we have belongs to God. We can’t say,“This is MY money!’ or “This is MY stuff!” Everything we have, we received from Him. He is just letting us use it while we are here on Earth.
I hear so many people say, “I can’t give that much of MY money to God. I know it is important to pay the tithe, but I just can’t afford to give that much of MY money to God.” Remember, it’s not YOUR money. I also hear people say ,“Well, I will use my money to pay my bills, buy important stuff for me, and if I have some money left over, then I will give that to God. If not, then oh well.”
Obedience is the very first level of stewardship. It’s the very least we can do. We must give God the FIRST 10% of the money we make. We should be choosing to put God first in our lives. We give to him FIRST, that’s how we show that we honor Him. That’s called obedience!
You see, the tithe is supposed to come out of the first ten percent of the money we make, not the last. If you put God first, it shows that you honor Him.
I Don’t Own Anything! God Owns It All!
James 1:17 teaches us that “Every good and perfect gift come from the Father above.” Psalm 24:1 says,“The Earth is the Lord’s and everything in it.” God owns everything. Everything I have comes from Him. God just lets me borrow it for the amount of time I am here on Earth and asks me to manage it. He owns it; I manage it. See – it’s not MY money – it’s HIS money. It’s not my stuff, it’s HIS stuff. Everything I have, I have because He has entrusted it to me.
An Owner Has Rights! A Steward Has Responsibilities.
Too many people view themselves as the owner of their money and stuff. So, they say things like, “I have the right to choose whether or not I want to give in the offering at church.” Or “I have the right to decide where my money is spent. Who cares if I waste it? I have the right to choose what to spend MY money on.”
The problem with this is that you are not the owner. You are just the steward. You see, the owner (God) has the right to choose what He wants to give and to whom. That’s why not everyone has the same amount of stuff. I don’t know why God chooses to give more to some and less to others. It’s like the owner in our Bible reading. He gave five bags to one servant, two bags to another servant, and one bag to the final servant. He had the right to do whatever he wanted because he was the owner.
The stewards didn’t have the right to do whatever they wanted with the owners money. The stewards had a responsibility to be wise with the owner’s money. That’s why those who invested the money wisely were commended while the one who just buried it and didn’t use it wisely was scolded. He didn’t handle his responsibility well.
If you show that you will be faithful with what you have, then God will bless you with more. That’s what happened to the good stewards in our Bible reading. They showed they could be faithful with a little, so the owner gave them, even more, to be responsible with. That’s what each one of us should long for – the day when we stand before God and He says, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” Won’t that be wonderful? That’s why it is SO important to be a faithful steward.
If we are obedient and honor God by putting Him first, recognizing that He owns everything anyway, then He will make sure our needs are taken care of. Now, that doesn’t mean that we can pay our tithe then make an Amazon Wish List of all the things we want God to give us. But, it does mean that if we put God first before money, then He will make sure our needs are met. It all starts with obedience!
Generosity = Going Above And Beyond Obedience .
Generosity comes when you take the next step beyond obedience. You are faithfully tithing, giving God the first 10% of your money that you receive. That’s obedience. Then, you make a weekly or monthly commitment to missions – that’s generous. You give money to help fund a Bible School in China – that’s generous.
We become the best giver we can be by starting with the tithe, but not stopping there. We don’t want to just give what God requires us to give. We want to give even more than that. So, while you are a child, start with giving your tithe no matter what. Every time you receive money, give ten percent of it to God. Then, as you get more mature in Christ start to give the tithe and then a little more. Then, give the tithe and a little bit more and a little bit more. Keep stretching yourself and giving more and more as you get more and more mature.
A person who struggles with being generous is called “greedy.” A greedy person lives their life trying to get as much stuff as they can and keep it for themselves. A greedy person doesn’t like to share and doesn’t like to give. A greedy person doesn’t want to share or give of their possessions to others. They don’t want to give any of their money to the church or to help other people in need. They are greedy.
The Bible teaches us that we should not live like the greedy. Being greedy is a terrible way to live. When a person lives a life of greed they say, “This is MINE!” They don’t want to give or share with anyone, including God because they believe that their money and possessions are theirs and no one deserves to have any of it. A person who is greedy says, “This is mine!” But, there is a better way to live than being greedy. The better way to live is being “generous”. A generous person realizes that everything is a gift from God. They don’t try to get as much money and possessions, as they can, to keep to themselves. They freely give of what they have to others and to God. Why? Because while a greedy person says,“This is mine!”, a generous person says,“This is God’s!”
The generous person uses the gifts God has given them to help others and build the Kingdom of God. Not only that, but God blesses them big-time. Jesus said in Luke 16:9 that “…your generosity stores up for you a reward in Heaven.” So, don’t be greedy. That’s a terrible way to live. Instead, be generous. That’s a much better way to live.
Sacrifice = Giving Up What I Need So That Someone Else Can Have What They Need.
Sacrifice is not easy. It requires us to “give up” something. Nobody likes to give up things. Giving up things is hard to do sometimes. In America, we have so much stuff – houses, electronics, new clothes, shoes, cars and more! The more stuff you have, the more you tend to want to hold onto it. But, God wants us to break away from that kind of thinking. He wants us to have a totally new attitude. What kind of attitude?
Jesus gave up His life so that we could have what we needed: salvation. He didn’t whine about it. He didn’t fight against it. He willingly sacrificed His life for us. Why? Because He understood that giving up what you need so that someone else can have what they need is an amazing thing! That’s what sacrifice is all about! Sacrifice doesn’t ask,“How much is it going to cost me?” Sacrifice doesn’t ask,“How much do I have to give?” Sacrifice asks,“How much can I give up?” When you get to the top level of the stewardship pyramid, you no longer think about what you are giving up. You do it willingly because you want others to have what they need – a relationship with Jesus! It’s important to remember, it’s not about the amount you give. It’s about the attitude you have when you give!
We think that the bigger the gift, the happier God is. But, that is not the way God is.
We don’t ever have to worry about whether or not we will have what we need. If we are willing to sacrifice, then God will always make sure our needs are met. It’s what we have learned throughout this lesson. God wants us to trust Him. If we are good stewards with the “stuff ” He has entrusted us with, then we can trust Him to bless us and take care of every need we have. So, let’s decide that we will sacrifice whatever He wants us to sacrifice. That’s the kind of attitude we must all have! That’s the kind of attitude that Jesus has!
Global impact through world missions
Missions is God’s idea. Throughout the Old and New Testament that is just one these unfolded, the redemption of mankind. The church is a sending agency and a going agency. Brett Nelson, a great missionary wrote an article called, “A Biblical View of the Heartbeat of God: Missions”Please understand that the following scriptures each of which we briefly look at provide us with only a cursory teaching of a great Biblical theme. For a more comprehensive, in-depth look at the subject of Missio Dei— the mission of God— I highly recommend the book Missions in the Age of the Spirit by Dr. John York. The point is simple: God, in His overwhelming love for mankind sent a Savior, Jesus Christ, to save all of us, every one in every nation, from our sins. This is really a love story. It begins in Genesis and carries through to revelation. As you read these verses carefully and prayer fully you will see how much God loves people, all people.
In Genesis 12:1-3 we see that God shows Abraham to bless “all peoples on earth.” It is, therefore, a grave mistake, to read the Old Testament as simply a narrative of the Jewish people. The Old Testament shows us the creator of the universe forming a nation, Israel, into which the Messiah would be born. And this Messiah, Jesus Christ Messiah would save people from their sins. The universality of his mission can’t be missed: “all peoples on earth” will receive this blessing if they choose His free offer of salvation.
Genesis 18:18-19 re-iterate the unconditional promise to Abraham in Genesis 12:1-3.
God did not create Israel simply to exist and Mark time. Rather, they had a mission: to show the other nations God‘s righteous decrees by honoring and obeying God. They were, in a very real sense, to be a light in the darkness had to show superiority of following God‘s design for life. Deuteronomy 4:5-8 explains this responsibility. The book of Isaiah is often called the gospel of the Old Testament for good reason it gives us great glimpses into God’s love and compassion for nations other than Israel. And it really begins to define the Messiah‘s mission.
See Isaiah 42:6 and 56:6-8. You will read phrases such as “light for the Gentiles“ and “salvation to the ends of the earth.” Such wording shatters any idea that Israel had or has exclusive claims to God. No, Almighty God loves the nations! He loves all people, and that includes you and me. Paul nicely completes this thought in Galatians 3:26-29, explaining clearly that great diversity exists among the saved; “you are all sons of God… There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female…”
God reminds us in the last book of the OT, Malachi of His missionary heart and purpose. “My name will be great among the nations…” (Malachi 1:11)
Jesus Christ, rather than doing away with the OT, fulfills it. God never indicates that he had a Plan B. His son, Jesus, is and always was the answer to the problem of sinful humanity.
Revelation 13:8 describes the Son of God as “the lamb that was slain from the creation of the world.” You see, Jesus always has been the only answer! And Genesis 3:5 prophesies of Jesus’ victory over Satan through His death—the Lamb of God that would be slain.
Jesus’ role in the plan of God shines brilliantly clear in John 3:16-17 where we read that “God so loved the world…(emphasis mine). Jesus was born, lived and died to fulfill God’s plan. Jesus himself tells us in Luke 19:10 that He “came to seek and to save what was lost.”
Jesus ordered His disciples to continue the mission of God in His parting words in Matthew 28:19-20. “Go and make disciples of all nations…” As Jesus’ disciples today, we too have been entrusted with the task of fulfilling God’s plan, which never changes. We must “go and make disciples of all nations.”
What is the final outcome of God’s plan of his overwhelming love for all people everywhere? John’s vision in Revelation 7:9-10 tells us of a coming day in which a great multitude from “every nation, tribe, people and language” stand before the throne of God.
God always has loved the nations. “He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (emphasis mine, 2 Peter 3:9b) How about you? Do you have the heartbeat of God— a deep and enduring love for the nations? If so, how are you participating in this ongoing love story?
These are some of the ways that we send others to make disciples.
Boys and Girls Missionary Challenge (BGMC) is the missions education program for all kids in the
Assemblies of God including our Manhattan First kids. BGMC equips kids to know, to care, to pray, to give, and to reach the lost. We have a two-fold purpose, to reach the children of the world and to create a heart of compassion in kids. Did you know? Among the Assemblies of God Missionaries, most were initially called to be missionaries while they were children!
Speed the Light (STL) Just as BGMC is a missions program for kids, STL is a program for our teenagers to give, including our Hinge Youth students! The concept is simple: we give so others can speed the light of the gospel to a world in darkness. This is accomplished by providing the “essential transportation and creative communication” equipment for missionary evangelism. Through modern transportation, radio, television, print, audio, and digital equipment, our missionaries can help make Jesus known.
Nearly 75 years later, Speed the Light is one of the most effective youth missions ministries in existence. Since its beginning, over $300 million has been raised for missionary equipment around the world. And, Speed the Light is still helping to disciple students to live a life of generosity as they become personally responsible for the mission of God by helping our missionaries make Jesus known throughout the world.
Faith Promise or Commitment Sunday is introduced to our adults during the month of September as we have reserved it for missions month. You’ll hear from dynamic missionaries, be challenged to invest in them with things like Adopt-A-Missionary, and pray for them. We spend extra time during September making sure to connect you with the opportunity to partner with them. The month culminates to one last service at the end of the month in which we challenge you to make a Faith Promise. A Faith Promise is a 1 year commitment to support our missionaries monthly. As you give your tithe each month, you also have the opportunity to partner with what God is doing around the world through monthly giving to our missionaries.
Light for the Lost helps share the gospel worldwide; no matter the language, culture or location; by providing critically-needed evangelism resources. This is our single guiding principle. These resources include printed literature, Bibles/tracts, audio devices, language-specific program, video presentation, programs and films, internet-based/compatible technologies, and apps created in local heart languages.
Short Missions Trips happen when we are able, we love to partner with our missionaries. We choose to serve them in ways that encourage and support their ministry. In the past we have sent teams to Colombia, Philippines, India and more. You may be a part of our next trip to serve.
You have now completed GROW, congrats!
GROW now needs to become grow-ing. We want to help you continue on your journey as a follower of Christ. One of the best ways we can do that is connect you with an area to serve. You will connect with Jesus and with other believers. We ask that you share some of your final thoughts and one of our office staff will reach out to you to schedule your GROW meeting with our Pastors! We’re very much looking forward to getting to know you in person.