In his sermon last weekend, Pastor Kong Hee taught the church to acknowledge the Holy Spirit as a Person and communion with Him daily.
On the weekend of Feb 12 and 13, Kong Hee, senior pastor of City Harvest Church shared a message emphasising the importance of acknowledging, worshipping and embracing the Holy Spirit. In this final instalment of his series on Theosis, Pastor Kong reminded the church that spiritual union with God is only possible with the Holy Spirit.
BY THE SPIRIT, THROUGH THE SPIRIT, IN THE SPIRIT
“As the perfect Human, Jesus shows us how God wants us to live our lives,” the pastor began. “The perfect one is a hundred per cent yielded to the Spirit.” Pastor Kong reminded the church that throughout Jesus’s life on earth, He was immersed in the Holy Spirit.
Jesus was conceived and born by the power of the Holy Spirit. As a child, Jesus grew strong in the Spirit. When He launched His ministry, it was the Holy Spirit that empowered Him to work miracles and wonders (Lk 4:1, Acts 10:38).
“It was by the Spirit, through the Spirit, in the Spirit. Jesus, the Son of God lived this way on purpose, to show you how important the Holy Spirit must be in your life,” Pastor Kong taught. “The Holy Spirit must be our all in all, in everything we do, from our coming to our going, from morning to evening.”
Pastor Kong asserted that the Holy Spirit did not just show up during Pentecost; rather, He is embodied in the Scriptures from Genesis to Revelations. “If you only have the Word without the Spirit, you cut the Bible away from its source and your Christian life will become very dry and cold,” he added. There is no experience without the real presence and the power of the Holy Spirit.
“Most importantly, without the Holy Spirit, we can have no theosis,” the pastor emphasised. In his previous messages, Pastor Kong explained that theosis is God taking His people through the process of transformation, resulting in them having spiritual union with Him.
Pentecostal Christians often find themselves crying out for more of the Holy Spirit because they are never satisfied with their experiences of God—it is never enough. “Deep down in your heart, you know you’re on a journey to have more of the Holy Spirit; until in the end, you are fully swallowed up by the life of the Spirit,” Pastor Kong preached. Therefore, in order for theosis to take place, the Holy Spirit must be present.
THE PERSON OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Holy Spirit is a person, He is not just a force or a source of power. He is as real as God, and Jesus speaks of Him as His most intimate Friend. In John 14:16, Jesus told the disciples “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever.” This means that the Holy Spirit would stand with the believer and fight for him in difficult times.
The Holy Spirit is a healer, and He is love. Pastor Kong emphasised that the Holy Spirit is exactly like Jesus, and He is living, moving, and working among Christians today.
“The Holy Spirit is a Person. First of all, you must acknowledge Him,” Pastor Kong taught. He likened this to having a friend standing outside a person’s door, waiting to be invited in—to not acknowledge or welcome him in would be rude and hurtful. To experience the Holy Spirit, a believer must acknowledge the Holy Spirit as a Person and welcome Him into their lives with open arms.
Pastor Kong shared an interesting anecdote of the late Dr Yonggi Cho, founder of Yoido Full Gospel Church. Although Dr Cho ran a church with 800,000 members, he was never stressed as he understood that the church belonged to the Holy Spirit. All he needed to do was to hear from the Spirit and follow His instructions. Every morning, he would greet the Holy Spirit and invite Him to go on an adventure together. “Come Holy Spirit, let’s go. You and I together; let’s change the world,” he would say.
In the early days, Dr Cho would intentionally leave an empty chair in his living room, his office, and even on the stage of the church. The chair was to remind him that the Holy Spirit is a real person, and he needed to acknowledge Him. Pastor Kong encouraged the church to be intentional in acknowledging the Holy Spirit every day.
The next thing a believer must do is to have communion with the Holy Spirit. 2 Corinthians 13:14 reads, “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.” The word “communion” in Greek is koinonia and it has three meanings.
Firstly, it means fellowship—believers must fellowship with the Holy Spirit daily through prayer and communing. Fellowship also means spending time alone with the Holy Spirit in silence and solitude, allowing His love and gentleness to wash over them. “You will feel refreshed, renewed, revived and energised. Then healing happens,” he continued. “Restoration and wholeness take place.”
Koinonia also means partnership. Jesus made the Holy Spirit the most important partner in His life. Pastor Kong urged the church to do the same by asking the Holy Spirit to partner with them in their business presentations, in school, in parenting and also in finding a life partner. “If He’s your senior partner, you are guaranteed success!” the pastor quipped.
One way to be intentional in partnering with the Spirit is by speaking in tongues. When believers speak the language of the Spirit, they are immersed in the world of the Spirit. “You begin understanding the mind of God,” Pastor Kong preached. “You become very sensitive to His moving, His leading, His actions and His desires.”
Lastly, koinonia also means union—two people sharing intimate thoughts and feelings at a very deep spiritual level until they become one. Hence, theosis is impossible without the Holy Spirit. “As you acknowledge the Holy Spirit daily, fellowship with him and partner with him, you will become one with God,” the pastor concluded. This is how the Holy Spirit transforms the believer into Christlikeness. The fruit of the Spirit will come forth and theosis will take place.
CHURCH WITHOUT WALLS: TRANSFORMING THE LIVES OF FAMILIES
Church Without Walls is important, not just because it helps the poor and needy. Pastor Kong emphasised that the project allows the members to experience the compassion and love of the Holy Spirit and help them understand His heart.
Since the relaunch of the CWW movement in October last year, 3840 poor and needy families in Singapore have been helped—almost three times more than the church had projected. This was made possible by the dedication of 2984 staff and volunteers from CHC and 536 from the City Harvest Community Services Association.
There will be two rounds of volunteer mobilisation in 2022, with the first round lasting from March to June. Pastor Teo Meng How was then invited to on stage to share the works of CityOutlook. The aim of CityOutlook is to uplift a family’s outlook on life, by transforming their home environment. The church watched a video on how City Outlook volunteers blessed two families by transforming their homes.
Pastor Meng How shared that between March to June, plans are in the pipeline to help out four other families and they are looking for four cell groups to join them in their projects. CHC members with interior design resources are also encouraged to step forward to volunteer.
Next up was Dawn Lee who shared what City Homes was doing. Their works involved looking for suitable Christian homes to foster children on a temporary basis. Last year, City Homes recruited eight foster parents and adopted eighty wishes from foster children. During the Christmas season, the volunteers delivered presents to the families. In the next four months, City Homes is looking for 20 volunteers to befriend foster children and help them transit back to their biological families.
The church then watched a video of Sarah, a single mom of two boys, who shared how Harvest Kidz helped her children and how City Outlook gave their house a makeover. Sarah gave her heart to Jesus when the teachers from Harvest Kidz invited her to CHC during Christmas last year.
Lastly, Eileen Toh and Lynn Tan, pastors from Harvest Kidz went on stage to share about their outreaches. During the Christmas season, they recruited cell groups to distribute Boxes of Love to needy children. Two weeks before the event, Harvest Kidz teachers also visited all the children in Harvest Kidz, giving them materials to participate in the online Christmas event, “Out Of This World”. As a result, 3477 children took part in the Christmas event with more than 700 children giving their hearts to Christ.
Harvest Kidz also reached out to the needy children in Myanmar and India. In India, children living in slums do not have access to food, clean water and warm clothing. The church sent provisions to them and helped them during the cold season. Overall, 1556 children in ten counties benefited from these programmes. The team also started a new YouTube channel, uploading Bible lessons in the Telugu language, with a weekly viewership of 5000.
Harvest Kidz is calling for more volunteers to join their team join their free tuition and reading programme. Their target is to recruit 40 cell groups and 60 volunteers to reach out to 200 children in 2022.
If you would like to sign up as a volunteer, please sign up via www.chc.org.sg/cww.