Are We a Spirit-filled Church?
Here at Neighborhood we enthusiastically affirm the indwelling, empowering presence and work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the church. We delight in the role of the Spirit in every aspect of Christian life and community from regeneration to resurrection, from unifying the church to advancing global worship of the everlasting God. So does that mean NCAC is a Spirit-filled church?"
What is a Spirit-filled Church?
It is common in some circles to designate certain churches as Spirit-filled. This is often based on particular manifestations of the Spirit such as prophecy, healings, and speaking in tongues. We affirm these are biblical and valid works of the Holy Spirit in the church today. But we also believe a biblical understanding of a Spirit-filled church is characterized by much more.
What would indicate a church is Spirit-filled?
Christ-likeness: A significant emphasis of the work of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament is the building up of the church community into the likeness of Christ (2 Cor 3:18; Eph 4:12-13). In this regard, a Spirit-filled church is one that reflects the values and character of Jesus himself (Phil 2:1-5).
Unity: An important aspect of this "building up" work of the Holy Spirit is to join diverse people into a single body united around Jesus and the central tenets of the gospel (Eph 2:19-22; 4:3,12).
Empowerment: The book of Acts clearly associates being Spirit-filled with empowerment for boldly sharing the good news of salvation in Christ (1:8, 4:31), at times attended by miracles. The Holy Spirit also empowers believers with diverse spiritual gifts for building up the church as a whole (1 Cor 12:7-11).
Doctrinal Integrity: The Holy Spirit leads believers into all truth (John 16:13-14), enabling them to understand and discern what is true (Eph 1:17, 1 Cor 2:12), and therefore hold fast to God's revealed truth in Scripture without compromise.
Purification: As the Holy Spirit shapes believers into conformity to Christ, he leads them to rid their lives of remaining sin and bear the fruit of righteousness (Rom 8:13-14; Gal 5:16). Therefore, a Spirit-filled church will not mirror the values of secular society but exhibit a God-centered righteousness.
Is NCAC a Spirit-filled church?
Given the things mentioned above, an honest assessment is that there are clear signs of the Spirit of God wonderfully at work in our church. However, we are keenly aware that we have not arrived. We are ever in need of continual filling by the Holy Spirit (Eph 5:18) working powerfully in our midst that we might be to a greater extent a Spirit-filled church.