CHARACTERISTICS OF A SPIRIT FILLED CHURCH
The last article I wrote was on the Spirit led life as an individual in Christ. This time I want to look at the Spirit led life in relation to the church. Is your church Spirit filled? How can we know if a church is Spirit filled? How can we know if a church is led by the Spirit of God?
Like all things, we will know by the work and fruit of the Spirit. Therefore, let us look at some characteristics of a church that is led by the Holy Spirit and Spirit filled.
First and foremost, the church will show the love they have for God and others.
Galatians 5:13-14 – “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Love for God and others is the foundation of our faith. If we love, God we will not indulge the flesh. We will live holy lives. If we love others, we will walk humbly. We will not be proud or self-centered.
See to Matthew 22:37-40.
I Corinthians 10:24 – “No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.”
Secondly, a Spirit filled church will put great importance on praise and worship.
Ephesian 5:18-20 – “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
This verse is speaking about praise and worship and how through this we are able to encourage one another in Christ. This is the result of a Spirit filled life and congregation. A church that doesn’t give adequate time (large amounts) in worshiping the Lord lacks the Spirit of God in their midst. Of course it must be true worship from the heart, and worship directed by the Holy Spirit. Heaven will be a place of continual worship. The angels and the heavenly host never cease praising God. Remember, when we speak of the church, we are not only speaking of what happens within the four walls of the church, but also the life the believer lives outside the church. One of the greatest joys of a Spirit filled believer is praising and worshiping God. A church that is fired up about worship is a Spirit filled church.
Thirdly, a Spirit filled church will put great importance on teaching, fellowship, and prayer.
Acts 2:42 – “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”
A Spirit filled believer and a Spirit filled church will give priority to solid teaching. It will consider the Bible as the infallible Word of God for us today. Therefore, they will give much place for teaching and studying the Word of God together. Along with anointed teaching, there will be precious fellowship among the saints, not only Sunday fellowship, but fellowship during the week. The saints will covet times of Spirit led fellowship. Last but not least, the believers will put great emphasis on prayer. Prayer will be one of the pillars of the church. A Spirit filled church will love to spend time in prayer, seeking the Lord.
Fourthly, a Spirit filled church will be full of the power of God and function in the spiritual gifts.
Acts 2:17-18 – “In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.18 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.”
Prophecy is the key idea in this text. A Spirit filled church will give place for prophecy. What is prophecy? It is simply speaking the Word of God in a given situation under the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Often this doesn’t happen in the church because we don’t teach this or give place for it to happen.
Acts 2:43 – “Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles.”
We see the New Testament church was full of the power of God. Many healings and miracles took place. God is able and wants to do the same today. It is through this display of power that many needs were met and many came to the Lord.
Fifthly, a Spirit filled church will have respect in the community and many will come to Christ through them.
Acts 5:12-16 – “The apostles performed many signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade. 13 No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people. 14 Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number. 15 As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. 16 Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by impure spirits, and all of them were healed.”
Non-believers will have a holy fear of the church because they will see the power of the Holy Spirit in their midst. As a result, many will come to Christ. A Spirit filled church will be well known in their community, but not through advertising or going door to door. They will be known for God’s power and holiness. A Spirit filled church will have a great sphere of influence.
There are many more characteristics of a Spirit filled church which I will share in our next teaching. I hope these teachings are a blessing to you and help you in your spiritual walk.