The below sermon is based upon this content.
This content has been modified from The Timothy Initiative Disciples Making Disciples (Level 1) but is based upon their framework and outline. Many statements here may be quoted directly from Chapter 1 of Disciples Making Disciples (Level 1). The book can be purchased HERE.
Untying and Raising the Sails
We have grown used to our current powerless Christian life. We forget about the powerful convictions of our forefathers and the willingness to lose their own life. There was a power, resolve, and peace in their minds. One such example:
"Hermenigildus, a Gothic prince, was the eldest son of Leovigildus, a king of the Goths, in Spain. This prince, who was originally an Arian, became a convert to the orthodox faith, by means of his wife Ingonda. When the king heard that his son had changed his religious sentiments, he stripped him of the command at Seville, where he was governor, and threatened to put him to death unless he renounced the faith he had newly embraced. The prince, in order to prevent the execution of his father's menaces, began to put himself into a posture of defense; and many of the orthodox persuasion in Spain declared for him. The king, exasperated at this act of rebellion, began to punish all the orthodox christians who could be seized by his troops; and thus a very severe persecution commenced: he likewise marched against his son at the head of a very powerful army. The prince took refuge in Seville, from which he fled, and was at length besieged and taken at Asieta. Loaded with chains, he was sent to Seville, and at the feast of Easter refusing to receive the Eucharist from an Arian bishop, the enraged king ordered his guards to cut the prince to pieces, which they punctually performed, April 13, A. D. 586."
This powerful resolve has been absent from the free Church for centuries now... I believe the reason we live so powerless is because we are not living a Spirit filled life. We are on a sailboat with a mighty wind roaring but our sails are bound and lowered. Today we will be looking at:
Untying and Raising the Sails
Expected Outcome: Every disciple maker will experience a
spirit filled life (untying and raising their sails daily).
Be Filled with the Spirit
It is first wise to distinguish between the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and being filled with the Holy Spirit. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit happens at the point of salvation (Acts 2:38 - gift after repentance; Romans 8:5-8; 1 Corinthians 3:16 - temple) and acts as a seal for our salvation, a deposit to guarantee it (Ephesians 1:13-14). Being filled with the Spirit, as commanded in Ephesians 5:18, means to be controlled by the Holy Spirit.
When you become a Christian, you get all of the Holy Spirit, but rarely do we completely obey Him. Being filled with the Holy Spirit is a process of giving Him control of our lives and submitting our will to His. We are either being controlled by our sinful desires or by the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:5-6).
"5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace."
The Importance of the Holy Spirit for the Disciple
In John 14:16-17 Jesus promised the Holy Spirit to His
"And I will pray to the Father, and He will give you another
Helper, that He may abide with you forever--the Spirit of
truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees
Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with
you and will be in you, "
Observations about the Spirit:
- The Holy Spirit was a gift from The Father, asked of by the Son.
- The Holy Spirit is the "Helper" and "the Spirit of truth."
- The Holy Spirit will be with us forever.
- Only followers of Jesus receive the Holy Spirit.
Read John 16:7-15.
7 But I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I am leaving; for if I do not leave, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.
This passage demonstrates that it is more important to be
filled with the Holy Spirit than to be in the physical presence
of Jesus. It was better that the Spirit came!!! 🤯
8 And He, when He comes, will convict the world regarding sin, and righteousness, and judgment: 9 regarding sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 and regarding righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you no longer are going to see Me; 11 and regarding judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.
12 “I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them at the present time. 13 But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take from Mine and will disclose it to you. 15 All things that the Father has are Mine; this is why I said that He takes from Mine and will disclose it to you.
Focus on John 16:7-10. Jesus also explained that the Holy
Spirit will convict the world concerning three areas:
- God's righteousness.
- God's coming judgement.
In John 16:13-15 Jesus revealed that the Holy Spirit will be our guide and will lead us into all truth. He is the vital mover in our maturity, understanding, christian living, literally everything.
Untying the Sails
In order to live a Spirit-filled life, it is essential that you begin each day by asking the Holy Spirit to fill you-to take control of your life. A simple way to do this is by adopting habits that will prepare and remind you to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.
In John 3:8 Jesus describes the Holy Spirit saying, "The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit." If the Holy Spirit is like the wind, an easy way to understand what it means to live a Spirit-filled life is to think of our lives as a sailboat. Two things need to be done to a sailboat before for the wind can fill its sails:
- You must untie the sails.
- You must raise the sails.
Before a sailboat is able to leave the harbor, the sails must be untied from the main mast. By untying the sails, you are taking the first step to preparing the boat for its voyage. Our sins are like the ropes that keep the sails tied to the mast. Sin restricts us as we try to follow God faithfully. The sins we do not confess keep us from seeing the ways that God wants to move in our lives.
We "untie the sails" by confessing all known sin and surrendering our lives again to the Lord. By confessing our sins, we express our dependence and need for God to make us new each day and to prepare our hearts for the leading of the Holy Spirit. A life that is tied down by sin and our own desire for control will not be free to be filled by the winds of the Holy Spirit (Hebrews 12:1).
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us"
Untying the Sails
Untying the sails of a ship from the mast is not enough to leave the safety of the shores. In order for the sails to catch the wind, we must "raise the sails." When you raise the sails, you are opening your life up for the possibility that the Spirit will do something great with your obedience. By raising your sails, you tell God, "I'm available! This boat is Yours! Empower me and direct me to the people You want me to share my story and Your story with. Help me to better follow the Spirit, and to respond in obedience."
There may be days or seasons when you feel that your sail is too small to have an impact. Do not let this keep you from raising your sail and committing your day to the Spirit! God will do far more than we could ever imagine with small acts of consistent obedience (Ephesians 3:2)
Group Discussion: How different would your interactions and conversations with be if you started each day by untying (confessing your sins) and putting up your sails (asking the Spirit to fill and use you)?
Model & Practice: Untying and Raising the Sails
One of the action steps below is to begin each day by asking the Holy Spirit to fill you--to take control of your life.
Your trainer will take time to demonstrate how to ask the Holy Spirit to fill you by untying and raising your sails. Your trainer will share a specific example of when God used their small act of faith (raising their sail) to bring about something great in their life or the life of another.
After doing this, divide into smaller groups to practice. identify one or two people in your group who can be your accountability partner throughout this training. Give the permission to ask if you are daily untying your (confessing your sins) and putting up your sails (asking the Spirit to fill and use you).
The Holy Spirit in the Process of Making Disciples
Jesus discipled His twelve followers for three years. The twelve lived and ministered with their Teacher, but He told them it was necessary that He go so He could ask the Father to send the Holy Spirit. He instructed them to wait in Jerusalem for the promise of the Father - the filling of the Holy Spirit. Why did Jesus want the disciples to wait for the Spirit?
You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth (Acts 1:8). Jesus promised that His disciples would receive power when the Holy Spirit filled them. The purpose of being filled by the Holy Spirit was to empower the believers to be bold witnesses for Jesus. All throughout the Book of Acts, ordinary people were led and empowered by the Holy Spirit, which resulted in lost people coming to faith in Jesus and glory being brought to God. The same promise is true for every disciple
of Jesus today!
Key Principle: God the Father is constantly drawing people to Jesus through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. He invites and expects us to join Him in that process.
Group Discussion: How does it make you feel that God is inviting us to partner with Him in this process of life transformation? How do you sense the Holy Spirit's prompting in your life through your actions, attitudes, and thoughts? How can you remain sensitive to the Holy Spirit's leading as He connects you to people the Father is drawing to Jesus?
As you journey through this training, you will be asked and held accountable to share your story (Chapter 2) and God's story (Chapter 3) with people where you live, work, study, shop, and play. Some of these people will be family, friends, or coworkers. Some will be complete strangers whom the Father is drawing to Jesus.
We call these people that the Holy Spirit is drawing to Jesus pre-Christians. They are all around us. The Holy Spirit desires to connect us with them. Are you ready? Are you intentionally looking for them? These people will often be used by God as relational "can-openers" to reaching their friends, relatives, and acquaintances with the Gospel of the Kingdom. Sometimes these catalytic people are referred to as "persons of peace." (See Luke 10 for this concept.)
Remember, one of the key roles of the Holy Spirit is to testify about Jesus. As people whom He has already been drawing to Jesus. fullness of Jesus in and through us! We do not relvon c the own
overflows from the Holy Spirit in us. Our dependene the hat
about Jesus. As you are filled each day, He will conn nnect you testis. to
strategies or unique gifts will not change the world; it
strength and giftings but serve others out of the los
Holy Spirit is the key to effective living and evangelis
Action Steps for this chapter:
- Write "I will' statements in the chapter journal on pg. 21. Make sure to share your statement with the group/trainer each week so they can hold you accountable.
- Begin each day by asking the Holy Spirit to fill you to
take control of your life.
- Memorize Acts 1:8.
- Read a chapter of Acts every day for the next 28 days. As
you read it, meditate on the following statement:
"Every believer is a disciple, and every disciple is called to be
a disciple maker."
What attributes do you see the disciples display in their lives
- Ask the Holy Spirit to connect you with a pre-Christian this week. Actively pursue identifying who this person is. When He does, share how God's love has changed you life. Be ready to report back to your trainer with you shared and what happened.
- You may need to ask the Spirit to fill you multiple
times throughout the day (1 Thessalonians 5:17-18).
- Write down all you are hearing from God in your
- Respond in obedience to what you are hearing.
- You may need to ask the Spirit to fill you multiple
- Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, begin to make a list of potential pre-Christians.
Additional study for the month:
As you read one chapter of Acts each day this month, pay
close attention to the lives of the disciples and how they live.
Take note of how they respond to trials and the way they are
empowered by the Holy Spirit. The disciples were ordinary,
unschooled, and imperfect people, but because they were
filled with the Holy Spirit and obedient to His leading, they
could do incredible miracles. Take note that in every miracle
you see, it almost always results in people putting their faith
in Jesus! The disciples are great examples of who we should
model our lives after and what we are called to do as we make
Make a list of all the actions and attributes of the disciples.
Once you have a list, consider your own life and how you can
grow to be more like them.