We are a few days removed from celebrating the day of Pentecost (it fell on June 4th this year) and because of that, I want to share a couple quotes with you. A heads up that the SECOND quote is from Billy Graham, but as you read this first quote I want you to guess who said it. Here goes:
I am convinced that to be filled with the Spirit is not an option, but a necessity. It is indispensable for the abundant life and for fruitful service. The Spirit-filled life is not abnormal; it is the normal Christian life. Anything less is subnormal; it is less than what God wants and provides for His children. Therefore, to be filled with the Spirit should never be thought of as an unusual or unique experience for, or known by, only a select few. It is intended for all, needed by all, and available to all. That is why the Scripture commands all of us, ‘be filled with the Spirit.’
If you had to guess who said those words, I bet most of you would say they came from a Pentecostal preacher that held tent revivals back in the day or an overly Charismatic Christian.
But the truth is, that quote came from none other than… Billy Graham! And in case you are wondering, this is not one of those urban legend quotes that you read on the internet, where words are put in the mouth of someone who never actually said them. (Side note: here is my favorite one of those: “Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet.” – Abrahma Lincoln 🙂 )
That quote from Billy Graham appears on page 127 of his book: The Holy Spirit: Activating God’s Power In Your Life.
And I bet it surprised you that those words come from Billy Graham. I know I was surprised — even shocked — when I first read them.
But if those words don’t surprise you, these will. They are found on page 112-113 of the same book: “I think it proper to say that anyone who is not Spirit-filled is a defective Christian. Paul’s command to the Ephesians Christians, “Be filled with the Spirit,” is binding on all of us Christians everywhere in every age. There are no exceptions. We must conclude that since we are ordered to be filled with the Spirit, we are sinning if we are not filled.
I wanted to share those quotes from Billy Graham because it shows us that being filled (a.k.a., baptized) with the Holy Spirit is NOT just a doctrine or a belief for charismatic Christians or Pentecostals. This is for ALL of us!
And that is what I will be teaching on this coming Sunday as we continue our series called Acts 29. My sermon is titled “Baptized with the Holy Spirit” and if you like this blog I hope you join us!
But between now and Sunday I want to ask you this question, a question that comes right from what Billy Graham said: Are you living a normal or abnormal Christian life?
According to the first quote I shared, Billy Graham says that the Spirit-filled life is NORMAL while not being filled with the Spirit is ABNORMAL. So are you living a normal or abnormal Christian life?
My hope is that everyone reading this blog would press into the forgotten member of the Trinity — the Holy Spirit — and begin to live the NORMAL Christian life… which means that we would be filled with the Spirit.
***Please join us on June 11th at 10:30am at The Eastside Vineyard Church. My sermon is titled “Baptized With the Holy Spirit.” We will be meeting for the FINAL TIME inside of Shelby Jr. High (51700 Van Dyke // 2 blocks north of 23 Mile). More info at tevchurch.org***