Jesus Said "But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:23-24
What Is a Spirit Filled Church?
Mention the word church to some people and their first thought is of a place of worship. Church is seen by some as nothing more than an address to a building where religious people get together regularly but the Bible says the church is more than that. Acts 8:1 tells us “the church which was at Jerusalem” was persecuted and “they were scattered throughout the region.” This implies the church is both a place and a people; “a peculiar people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation chosen by God” (1 Peter 2:4-10). The word church in the Bible more times than not refers to an assembly made up of people living together in a local area who gather in fellowship for worship, preaching, and teaching of things pertaining to the Christian faith and prayer (Acts 2:42). So finding and attending the right church in your local area is important but where do you start? It seems there are as many different types and styles of churches as there are churches. Whatever church you choose to attend it is important that it be a Spirit filled church. The phrase “Spirit filled church” is commonly used to describe a church’s core belief in the active present day ministry of the Holy Spirit and lets people know what they can expect in a church service.
Types of Church Service
The Oldness of The Letter or The Newness of The Spirit
There are two types of church services mentioned in Romans Chapter 7. One is legalistic and denounced for being more in line with the Old Testament law while the other is more in line with the New Testament life of the Spirit.
But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in the newness of Spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter. (Romans 7:6 NKJV)
God intends today’s Christian church to be a Spirit filled church serving in the “newness of the Spirit.” Spirit filled churches are characterized by life, love, and liberty whose worship is in spirit and truth (John 4:24). This means worship services can be lively, energetic, and spontaneously led by the Holy Spirit. Spirit filled churches provide a balanced diet of preaching and teaching that unites the Word of God with the Spirit of God. They acknowledge that the gifts (charismata) of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:8-10) are for us today whereas other churches and denominations may not. In this sense, a Spirit filled church is also a charismatic church. But that’s not the only difference.
Spirit filled churches are identified with Christ and the nature of the renewed born again spirit is exalted above religious rules and regulations that deal only with external actions which can never make anyone perfect (Heb.9:6-10). Jesus taught against ritualistic observances of laws for the purpose of acceptance with God and dealt more with a person’s heart knowing that when the heart is changed by the Holy Spirit through the preaching of the gospel then people’s actions will change as a result (Mt. 23:25-26). In other words, Jesus saw holiness as a byproduct of relationship with God, not a means to it. This understanding is a major difference between the Spirit filled church and churches that are simply legalistically religious. Therefore, Spirit filled churches tend to acknowledge not only the ministry of the Holy Spirit in their church services but also emphasize the role of the Holy Spirit in individual relationship with God and the outworking of salvation in the lives of those within its congregation.
God intends the Word and Spirit to come together in today’s Spirit filled churches. This is God’s best combination for building up the Body of Christ. There is a common saying that tends to support attending a well balanced Spirit filled church and that is, “All Word and you dry up, all Spirit and you blow up, but when you combine the Word and the Spirit you grow up.” (Unknown)