“THE FOUR SPONGES.”
TEXTS: Acts 2:1-4; 14-17; John 3:8
TRUTH: Spirit-filled People have a natural orientation toward the things of the Spirit. They are naturally inclined to have faith in the supernatural and a passion for seeing God’s power in their world.
- Four sponges.
- One plastic bag containing one sponge.
- 1 Bowl of water.
- SPONGES: People have a spiritual dimension.
- PLASTIC BAG: What separates people from God.
- WATER: God-He is the water of life. John 7:38
- BOWL: The realm of the Spirit.
1. SPONGE #1- ATHIEST/AGNOSTIC. = Dry sponge with no water.
Atheists believe there is no God. Agnostics doubt the existence of God.
The sponge is dry, hard, and dead. Psalm 14:1
Isaiah 50:4 –The primary way that we hear is by the inner ear of the Spirit.
Revelation 1:10-12; Isaiah 22:14; II Peter 1:21
2. SPONGE #2 – PEOPLE WHO DON’T KNOW JESUS = Dry sponge in a plastic bag.
Acts 17:26-29; Ephesians 2:1-2, 12; Isaiah 59:1-2
People can believe in God, yet experience separation from God.
The sponge is in God’s presence, but it is separated by a wall, a layer of separation called sin.
If we are going to make disciples, we will have to have the power of the Spirit.
The natural can only do so much.
- The natural cannot: forgive sin, overcome the power of evil, do the impossible, overcome death, provide heaven, and regenerate society.
- God established the church to be an extension of the ministry of Jesus – to do the same things that Jesus did. John 14:12
POINT: The Main Thing is to keep the main thing the main thing. God desires us to love Him and love others!
There are two primary purposes for the church:
- Witness to the world & discipleship.
- Establish the church to put people into ministry.
3. SPONGE # 3 – SALVATION / BORN-AGAIN = A sponge full of water.
Ephesians 2:4-6, 13-14, 18-19
The sponge is full of water, and the water is in the sponge = Showing union with Christ.
The water represents the Holy Spirit, it means to be filled with God, because the Holy Spirit is God. You cannot speak about one without the other; when you talk about receiving the Holy Spirit’s gift, you are talking about receiving more of God. I John 5:7
- The Holy Spirit is present and enters at salvation.
Romans 8:9; I Corinthians 6:19
The Spirit has gone forth to call men unto repentance. You cannot come to Christ without the Holy Spirit drawing you.
There is a subsequent experience called: “The Baptism of the Holy Spirit.”
The first-century believers gave witness to this dynamic experience. If they needed the HOLY SPIRIT, then how much more do we also require that experience today! John 14:16
4. SPONGE # 4 – SPIRIT-FILLED AND BAPTIZED = A saturated sponge in the presence of God.
John 7:37-39; Luke 4:18
The sponge is baptized, saturated, rung out, refilled = rivers of living water from the innermost being.
- The sponge is completely saturated with God’s presence and then goes into a dry world to give living water to the dead. Acts 1:8; Zechariah 4:6
- Power is supplied for us to reach our community. God pours in, and we pour out.
- Zechariah 4:6; Psalm 127:1
CONCLUSION: WE WANT TO BE PEOPLE OF HIS PRESENCE
“If we practice the presence of the Holy Spirit, then we will develop the personality of the Savior.”
POINT: The personality of the Savior produces people who are like-minded with the Spirit and
who mirror His presence.
- He is much more knowledgeable than we are.
- “God is mighty in wisdom.” Job 36:5; John 14:16, 26-27
WHAT SHOULD WE WANT? Baptize me with your presence.