Personal Experience

2 Peter 1:16-18 

16For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17He received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” 18We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain.

What’s wrong?

            Lovers: How did you convince your partner to choose you? A lover boy said to a girl, “I’m the most excellent boyfriend you will have!” He was turned down. The lover boy asked. “What’s wrong with you? I am a perfect man that every girl can dream of!” The girl responded, “You are just not my type. That’s all!”

But still he was not satisfied with her answer, so he asked, “What wrong with me? What is it that you do not like about me? I am handsome, I have stable job; what else can you ask from me?” She looked straight to his eyes and said, “You’re arrogant, you’re narcissist, you’re insensitive, and you are inconsiderate!”

Many individuals are attracted to outward beauty, popularity and power, but there are admirable people who prefer character over physical appearance.

You may have heard it said, “Beauty is useless but character is the best!”

As Christians, our standard should reflect our identity as children of God.

Pertaining to the anointing of the Holy Spirit it declares in 1 John 2:27: 27But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him.

The anointing of the Holy Spirit transforms us to have godly character. Our transformation practically proves and confirms the grace and power of God over us. We do not need to devise clever stories to convince potential believers.

1.  Devise

16For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.

Jesus Christ has personally chosen and practically revealed himself and his power to the Original Apostles. Apostle Peter was one of the Original Apostles. Most of the Original Apostles were ordinary people. Did Christ choose ordinary individuals as Apostles so that they would rely upon the Holy Spirit, instead of depending on their own cleverness, education or training? It is possible!

Indeed, the Original Apostles had effectively and productively testified about their personal transformation after they were empowered by the Holy Spirit and not because of eloquence or training. During the Pentecost, the Holy Spirit filled the apostles including all disciples who were with them at that time.

It narrated in Acts 2:4-12, 4All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. 5Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. 7Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? 8Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language?

The Apostles and other disciples who were filled with the Holy Spirit spoke foreign languages. The crowd was amazed; they were puzzled how those believers can speak in foreign languages. It was not recorded if the believers traveled abroad. Nevertheless, Apostle Peter took that opportunity to testify about Jesus Christ and invited the crowd to repent and believe in Jesus Christ. About 3,000 people repented of their sins and believed in Jesus Christ that day.

To be effective and productive when obeying the Lord, we need to be filled by his Holy Spirit. We are commanded to witness for Christ and disciple believers. To be effective and productive when we testify of the transformational work of Christ in our life, it is imperative for us to seek inspiration of his Holy Spirit.

What transformation that Christ did in your life would you to tell others?

Anywhere around the globe, there are political disturbances and economic crises. It is very easy to be confused and worry about the future. How about you?

Do you sense tranquility and peace, instead of worrying about uncertainties of the future? Pray seriously that the Holy Spirit of Christ reigns in our hearts!

King David testified about his personal knowledge of God in Psalm 20:6-7: 6Now this I know: The Lord gives victory to his anointed. He answers him from his heavenly sanctuary with the victorious power of his right hand. 7Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.

We pray that we don’t need to go to war. We pray for godly wisdom for our government officials to avoid international conflicts. In most cases, we can still face personal battles. Do you expect to be victorious? Believers are anointed by the Holy Spirit of God, and we trust that he will never leave not forsake us so that we stand firm in Christ. It declares in 2 Corinthians 1:21-22. 21It is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, 22set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

The Holy Spirit of Christ assures that Christ will take us into his heaven when he returns; he removes doubt in our mind, and he also inspires us to delight in his instructions so that we diligently obey him with gladness.

How do you personally interpret what it teaches us in Psalm 37:4? 4Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

 To delight in the Lord is to trust him. We don’t force ourselves to trust in the Lord. We trust the Lord by faith. It’s a practice of faith to delight in the Lord. By faith, the Lord gives the desires of our heart so that we delight in obeying him. By faith, we delight in the Lord, and we desire to testify of his love and grace in us.

 2.  Delight

17He received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” 

The term “well pleased” is also properly translated as “delighted, approved, take pleasure, relish, have gladness or high regard of.” By godly standards, God said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” His declaration was heard audibly by those who assembled to be baptized by John the Baptist.

            It was recorded in Matthew 3:16-17, 16As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

            God did not declare in private that he is delighted with Jesus Christ. God had chosen that very moment when many people were there to be baptized by John the Baptist, why? Those who repented of their sins wanted to be baptized by John the Baptist; they were potential believers of Jesus Christ as the Messiah. Apostle Paul preaches in Acts 19:4, 4John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.

            John the Baptist testified also in Mark 1:7-8, 7After me comes the one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. 8I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

            The baptism of the Holy Spirit had become an issue among many believers.

How should we explain about the baptism of the Holy Spirit to potential believers? The term “Baptism” is properly translated as “immersed, submerged or completely washed.” To be baptized with the Holy Spirit is to be fully washed from sins. How do you compare washing from sins or to be baptized by the Holy Spirit?

The Lord invites in Isaiah 1:18, 18“Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.”

            How does faith in Christ activate? When we put our faith in Christ, we could sense the necessity to repent of our sins. We acknowledge that Christ is perfect, and sins prevent us from trusting him completely. After we sincerely repent of our sins, the Holy Spirit inspires us to completely trust Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. Life transformation practically proves that the Holy Spirit has baptized us.

            Let me emphasize that! First and foremost, faith in Christ triggers sincere repentance. Why? Repentance is agreeing that our whole being is sinful and useless before God and we need his forgiveness, that we are not worthy before him on our own human capacity. We sense reverent fear or respect of the Lord.

            God is love. So, why should we sense reverent fear before the Holy God?

Have you ever had a scary moment? Have you been scared of the dark?How about dark schemes of bad elements, economic crisis or the future? When scared, we want to run away from what scared us; we run away from problems.

In comparison, reverent fear of God is to be scared that God will turn his back to us, that he will ignore us and leave us alone or when Christ returns, we may be left behind. Reverent fear of God causes desire to be acceptable to him.

            In his letter, Apostle Peter talked about his departure, possibly his death. Peter was arrested and sentenced to death together with other believers. They were accused of burning the city of Rome. Peter used his last moment on earth to testify how God the Father revealed and divulged the Majestic Glory of Christ.

3.  Divulge

18We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain.

With hope in Christ, Peter faced his death peacefully because he personally heard it when God the Father divulged and verbally told them about Jesus Christ. Apostle Peter was not an eloquent preacher; he just told his personal experience.

He practically exemplified how we should witness for Christ. We should tell about how God revealed himself, his power and his love for us. It was recorded in

Matthew 17:1-6, 1Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. 2There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. 3Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus. 4Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” 5While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!” 6When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified.

Why did the disciples fell facedown to the ground? Why were they terrified, when they heard the voice of God? Isn’t that awesome moment to hear the voice of God? They sensed reverent fear of God. We show our respect of God when we bow down and worship him. Do you believe that God reveals his will and plan to believers he chooses to personally understand him? Peter, James and John were privileged to hear clearly from God. And, we should listen to our Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul was formerly Saul

            Before Apostle Paul became an apostle of Christ, he was formerly known as Saul. Saul was on his way to Damascus to arrest Christians, and then, Christ called him from heaven. It narrated how Saul personally heard it clearly in Acts 9:3-7, 3As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” 5“Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. 6“Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” 7The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone.

            They heard the sound but did not understand what Christ told Saul, why?

When God speaks to us personally, we can hear him clearly but others cannot. You heard of stories about church attendees when they hear a sermon and say, “Oh, how I wish that my neighbor is here to hear this wonderful sermon!”

            Don’t miss the blessing of God. God blesses believers who obey him. When we obey God, we practically experience his love and grace even more.

Pray to be inspired by the Holy Spirit and listen carefully when God speaks.

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