This is the first part in the Bible study series: Power to Change. This study will give an overview of what God does in our lives through His Holy Spirit.
[Gary Petty] Glad to see you all here. I'd like to welcome everybody that's on the web. We have people that are watching all over the country, possibly even a couple of other countries. And we'd also like to welcome the viewers of Beyond Today that may be watching. We invite those who watch the Beyond Today program to come in and watch these, participate in these Bible studies just to give them a little deeper understanding of the Scripture and just another way of supplying a service to those people. So we like to welcome you for being here also.
We just finished, of course, not too long ago, the six studies that we did concerning the Passover and between now and Pentecost we want to do a number of studies that zero in on the Holy Spirit. Of course Pentecost is about the church receiving God's Holy Spirit. So we will be going through, not so much, just going to the Holy Spirit in in terms of theologically understanding the Holy Spirit as not part of the trinity. We understand that but what the Holy Spirit does in our lives. We want to really zero in on that practical aspect of what the Holy Spirit; God's spirit does in our lives. So tonight we will be covering a very broad subject, the work of the Holy Spirit. Then, on May 14th, we will have "Inside Out", which will be presented by Darris McNeely. And then, on May 28th, "The Spirit of Love" by Mr. Steve Myers. So we will be going through these three studies and try to cover as much as we can. Even in three studies we can't even begin to cover everything that the Scripture says about God's spirit and how God uses His spirit in our lives.
We'll begin the Bible study. So, if you'll all rise, we'll ask God's blessing on the study.
"Father in heaven we come before you, very humble and very excited, Father. Here we are; we're about to get into Your word. We're about to understand, hopefully what You tell us; what we need to learn here, Father, and that takes Your spirit. You have to help us understand. You have to guide us. You have to direct us Father because, without Your spirit we are lost and so we ask You to stir up that spirit in all of us that we may get into Your word and come away with a much deeper understanding of the power that You have given to us and what that means in our lives and what should be happening in our lives because of that. So, we praise You as the Great God and King and we thank You and we ask all things in Christ Jesus name, our Savior, Amen."
Sometimes I'll hear people say, "Wouldn't it have been so exciting to be in the church in that first century." You talk about exciting times. To know Jesus personally; to know Paul and Peter and to be there, you know, at that first Pentecost when God's spirit was poured out and how exciting that must have been to actually see all these people start speaking in different languages. And see these obvious miracles. I say, "Wow! Why doesn't God to that today? Why doesn't God do as many miracles today? Why doesn't God heal as much today?" We ask those questions because we keep looking for these outward manifestations of God's spirit. And God does give gifts today and God does heal today, but the greatest work of God's spirit is inside each one of us. We discuss the power of God's spirit; what He's doing on this earth today.
I mean, our starting point I think is when Paul told Timothy that it is, when he talked about the Holy Spirit, it is "power and love and a sound mind. It is power and love and a sound mind." That's the basis for most of what we're going to talk about over the three Bible studies.
2Timothy 1:7 "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."
Here is God's power. Now the thing we have to ask is, and this is going to really help us, hopefully to zero in on, you know these inadequacies we feel as Christians and, in fact, we can overcome and we struggle so much with our lives.
Whose power is this? And whose love is this? And whose mind is this?
You know when we talk about "the Holy Spirit", God is holy and when He takes something and declares it Holy, it separates it for His use. But it is more than that. When God declares something holy, that object, that person, that things becomes a receptacle of some of His holiness. When we are talking about the Holy Spirit, we're talking about the very spirit of God. So, okay, what is that? Describe that. And there are all these theological arguments on how do you describe the Holy Spirit and what it is. It is very simple. The Holy Spirit is the power, the love, and the mind of God. So when we talk about being a Christian and receiving God's spirit, what have you received from Him?
When you are baptized and you come up out of that water and you've symbolically, you're sins have been washed away, you know that you still would go back to sin. You know you would just go back to what you were unless God does something with you and hands are laid on you and you receive God's spirit. What have you received? I think we don't fully grasp this and that's what holds us back sometimes and what we're going to talk about tonight is what God's spirit does. This is a very broad subject. I'm not going to go through a lot of details. I'm going to through some very, you know, specific points, just to open our minds and our thinking to what does it mean? What happens to us? What happened to you when God took some of His power and His love and His mind? Because we don't have a very sound mind. God has to give that to us and He puts some of that – of those qualities of Him, through His spirit – in each one of us. And now we have to learn to submit to that and grow in that. But you and I can't do that on our own. So that's what you've received. Now, when you received this Holy Spirit, this spirit of God, which is called the "Spirit of the Father and of Christ", and we'll talk a little bit about why that's important. It is the spirit of the Father and of Christ also, is that, when you receive that, there are a couple of things that didn't happen.
Okay, we're going to go through seven things that did happen. But there are two things that didn't happen.
First of all , the Holy Spirit doesn't possess us. What we see in the Bible is demon possession where people actually lose control of their mind. They lose control of their free will. When God gives us His spirit, He never takes away our free will. That's why we have so much trouble. Because here we have the love, power, mind of God coming into us and we still have our free will which means we can still resist it. We have the power to do that. He doesn't possess us. He has the power to do that. I mean, God could take over every one of our minds and we could become robots. He could do that. He doesn't because He has given us free will.
The second thing it doesn't do is it doesn't immediately erase our corrupted human nature. Don't you wish that was true and because it doesn't immediately erase our corrupted human nature, we still have trials and problems and we fight sin. I wish I had a dollar for every person who has come to me about six months after baptism and said, "You know, I don't think I received God's spirit." Well why ? "Oh, my life fell apart after I was baptized." Or, "I don't think I received God's spirit because I didn't know I had so many sins. I thought I repented. I didn't know I had so many sins." Well that's because you didn't have God's power and love and mind inside of you. You couldn't see those sins.
We are not possessed and our corrupted human nature and the fact that we still live in a corrupted world; that doesn't change. Well, it begins to be changed but it doesn't go away just like that, okay? So, that's what doesn't happen. But now let's look at what does happen. The first thing is in 2 Corinthians 5.
So, we're just going to go through seven points but I want to tie them together. Each one leads into the next one and this will also tie a little bit back into what we covered with the Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread because all the Holy days reveal the plan of God and what He is doing through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirt; His power, His love, His mind. And this will tie us back into those events that we already discussed and will point us towards the future Holy days as well. 2 Corinthians 5 and let's go to Verse 1 here. The first few verses here, and we don't really have time to go through them, but the context – to really understand the context – you have to understand 1 Corinthians 15. 1 Corinthians 15 Paul told the church at Corinth all about the resurrection. He said now you have these bodies made out of earth and you will, some day, have a spirit body. Now he didn't go on to explain that because I don't know how you explain a spirit body; but, you'll have one, okay. And he says, so that's sort of a foundation to now. You have to understand that to understand what he is saying here. Verse 1.
2Corinthians 5:1 "For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens."
In other words, if this physical body is destroyed, God's going to resurrect us and we will receive what he calls, in 1 Corinthians 15 , a "spirit body".
1Corinthians 15:44 "It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body."
2 Corinthians:5:2For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: "For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:"
V.3 "If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked."
In other words there's a time. You know we're not going to be some disembodied spirit. There is a time when we actually have a spirit body and, once again, the reference has to go back to 1 Corinthians 15 .
V.4 "For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life."
He says , "I'm not wishing for death here. I'm waiting for a better life. I'm looking forward to a better life in which I won't be physical anymore."
V.5 "Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit."
When you receive God's spirit the first thing you received was a guarantee of eternal life. This is God's purpose. You received that guarantee. Now the problem is we have a little bit of a problem with the English word, "guarantee". Because, what do we think a guarantee means? Absolute. You're guaranteed. It's going to happen. So people read that and say, "See? I somehow accepted God. I received His spirit and now I can live my life however I want." Well, that's not exactly what the Greek word means. Even in English we'll talk guarantee money or earnest money and that's what that means in the Greek. In other words, this was a down payment that sealed a covenant. What God said is, "I'm going to give you eternal life." Now remember you had to repent. You had to be baptized. There were parts we played in this covenant and then when we got to (where) this covenant is sealed, God says, "Now I give you your down payment. I give you your guarantee. This is your earnest money and is the Holy Spirit." And He gave us the spirit. Now, as you know, it even says – some Greek dictionaries will bring out – the thing about earnest money is that it can be nullified if the person does not live up to the agreement.
So this guarantee doesn't mean, "Okay. Once saved, always saved." That's not what it means. It means, "I've (God) given you thi s" because this is, now you read through this; this is God's purpose for you. If nothing else, we need to understand that God has given us His spirit because you and I cannot go where He want us to go. This is His way of getting us there. God never plans failure. God doesn't want failure. When God gives you His Holy spirit it's because He wanted you. He chose you and He gave you His guarantee; His earnest payment. And said, " Here. This is for me to show you My sincerity." You know His sincerity in our agreement. You think we would have to give Him an earnest payment, right. But, see we can't get there from here. See He gives us this guarantee.
You receive from God an earnest payment that said, "I will take you where you need to go." So, that's the first point. When you receive God's spirit, you receive the down payment of eternal life. This is a whole lot bigger concept than what you and I have. A lot of times, when we're baptized, and we receive God's spirit, at first we think , "Oh good, I'm forgiven of my sins." We see the immediate, you know. "Now I'll be able to understand the Bible better." We don't realize what God is saying, "Oh good child. I've now given you your first step in eternity." It's this huge picture. And when you were baptized; when you received God's spirit, God's intent is for you to receive eternity. So, when you receive God's sprit, that's the first thing that happened.
The second thing that happens is in 2 Peter 1 . Because the problem is, if He gives us this guarantee, this down payment of eternal life, and He doesn't do anything else, guess what happens to us? We simply return back to what we were before and we are no longer able to receive eternal life. So He has to do a number of things. Once He gives us the Holy Spirit - this is your guarantee. Now what does the Holy Spirit do? What does the power, love, and mind of God do in us that we can't do for ourselves?
2 Peter:1:2Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, "Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,"
V.3 "According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:"
Now I want you to just stop there for a minute. We struggle with, in this life, our own weaknesses, so much. We think, "I can't do this. I can't make it. I can't overcome. I can't solve my marriage problems. I can't do this. I can't do that." Maybe you don't. I do. Now He has given us "all things that pertain to life and godliness". Now tell me what is not contained in "all things". Tell me what God is holding back from us. We think something's wrong. He must be holding back something. No. If something's wrong, it's our response, which we'll talk about in a minute. Because He said, "I give you an earnest payment and I'm going to give you all things that pertain to life." And what is the product of that? The next verse. The next verse says:
V.4 "Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises:…" Who do the promises come from? God. That's why He gave you a down payment. That's why He gave you His spirit. We can't do this on our own. He's got these great promises and He's going to give us all things that pertain to life, "that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust."
You see the second thing that happens when you receive God's spirit; as you were impregnated with God's divine nature. You actually are a recipient of God's divine nature. This is why Paul makes such an emphasis on the fruits of the spirit. We can have knowledge and still not be where God wants us to be. We must be partakers of His very nature and you and I can't do that.
The whole new age thing is "discover God within you". That's baloney! It's just, it's not true! God has to put this in us; we don't have it. You can't discover it within yourself. All you'll find is a more and more corrupt nature.
This gives us a very interesting experience. We talk about how Jesus Christ had both a divine nature and perfect godly character that He'd had before. He also had a human nature and He had an uncorrupted human nature. And life was tough with a divine nature put in a body, okay? You and I have received the divine nature after we've already had a corrupt human nature. We're a mess.
I remember counselling a woman years and years ago. She was seeing a psychologist. She was seeing me every other week and him every other week. And she finally came to me and she said, "I'm not going to see my psychologist anymore" , and I said, "Well I'm not sure that's a good idea." I mean, she wasn't mentally ill. She just had a lot of emotional problems. She said, "He solved it for me. He absolutely solved it." I said, "He did?" She said, "Yes." She said , "He finally said, ‘I get it. I understand'. He said ‘You have all these beliefs system from the Bible that you're trying to do and you struggle and sometimes you fail and sometimes you feel guilty and you have to go against your own desires, at times.' He said , "If you just give up all that and give in to just your natural self, you'd be happy." And she says, "I'm not mentally ill; I'm a Christian!"
Exactly! Exactly! We have two natures warring inside ourselves. We have received the divine nature. So you think, "Boy! I can't wait till I wake up tomorrow and my Christian life is just perfect from now on." Unless you reach a point that your nature is like Christ's…. we're not there yet. So we have this warring nature within us. We received God's power; God's love; and God's sound-mindedness and our power and our lack of love and our crazy minds don't always match up very well. And that war is happening inside every day. So you have God's divine nature. So, sometimes when you struggle, that's good. Especially when the divine nature wins. And that's what's amazing about God. He can force victory on us every time and He doesn't. We have to adapt our nature to the divine nature that's been given to us. And it's a struggle as we learn. So He gives us this power.
The Bible talks about sanctification. In other words, we are being made holy. Now this takes a cooperative effort with God's spirit. You and I must become more and more sensitive to God's spirit. You know, I remember years ago giving sermons where I talk about, okay, we have to learn to use God's spirit, you know, like it was a tool. That's not a heresy or something. I don't think it's accurate. I think we have to learn to be sensitive and submit to God's spirit. If I submit to God's power, guess what happens? If I submit to God's love; if I submit to God's mind, wow, something happens. We have to become more and more sensitive to God's spirit and more and more responsive to God's spirit because, if we are, He's giving us the answers. I think God gives us the answers all the time. We just don't hear them. They're happening in here. His spirit is telling us and we just don't; we're not sensitive enough and when we do, we don't want to respond.
Now think about how many times you're about to do something wrong and a scripture pops into your mind, or a simply, "Don't do this." How many times that may be God's spirit and we just sort of shove it aside and God says He doesn't take His spirit away. What He says is, "Oh, is this gonna' hurt. Boy. I tried to tell you." And then we just plow right into Him. We have to learn to be more sensitive. How do you know it's God's spirit? Because it's in the scripture. The scripture tells us what God is going to tell us because some things are going to come into your mind that aren't from God. So, we know it's from God when we can go and find it in the sound mindedness of scripture.
Ephesians 3 . Let's go there real quick.
We spend a lot of time in some sections of Paul because Paul really spent a lot of time talking about the Holy Spirit. I think because, you know, he thought he was so perfect in Judaism and then to discover he wasn't. And then received God's spirit; he was extremely sensitive to God's spirit.
Ephesians:3:14For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, "For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,"
V.15 "Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,"
V. 16 "That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;"
V.17 "That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,"
V.18 "May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;"
V.19 "And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God."
Now this ties back into, somewhat, what we were talking about during the Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread. During the Passover we really zero in on the death of Jesus Christ because during the Passover we commemorate His death. We're told that. This is a memorial of His death. During the Days of Unleavened Bread, of course, we're taking in the unleavened bread, right? And this is still a symbol of the body of Christ but it's not the dead Christ anymore; the wave sheaf. He's resurrected. And what we have is the unleavened bread of what? Sincerity and truth. That's what Paul said. We're taking in this unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. The problem is, "Okay, I'm supposed to now become Christ-like." We all figure that out. So, sin is removed and now I've had to become Christ like. How do you do that? You can't until you receive the Holy Spirit. You and I do not have the power to become Christ like and that what he says here. I mean look what it said in Verse 16 , "strengthen with might through the spirit of the inner man that Christ may dwell in you." If I'm supposed to become like Christ – He's my brother. You know there's a family resemblance. I'm supposed to look like Him and act like Him and people are supposed to be able to look at me and say, "Oh look. There's one of Jesus' brothers." When someone looks at you and says, "There's a Christian", that's what they mean. "That person looks like Christ." So, if I'm going to look like my brother, okay, Father, how do I look like my Brother? How do I act like my Brother? It says here through the spirit. It begins to create in us this divine nature and we become. You know He says, "I'm going to give you the divine nature. Now become God." "Well, how do I do that?" Okay. He gives us the divine nature so that our corrupt, human nature can be replaced and we can become like Christ; we can understand Christ who was a human being. So now we see this model. We can follow this model. The divine nature is developed in us.
The third thing that happens in us is that, because we receive God's spirit, a very profound relationship forms between us and God. Look at Galatians 3 . Let's begin in Verse 26 . Paul here is talking to the people of Galatia, specifically gentiles and telling them , "Look you have, because you have received God's spirit, your relationship with God…" What they believed was the Jewish Christians were superior to them. And he is saying no they are not. And these gentiles were having a hard time, you know, "Do I go into Judaism? Do I go back into my Paganism?" They just couldn't figure this out. He said, "Wait a minute. Stop a minute and understand your relationship with God.
Galatians:3:26For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. "For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus."
V.27 "For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ."
V.28 "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus."
V.29 "And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."
He goes on here in:
Galatians:4:1Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; "Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all;"
It doesn't matter how rich somebody is when they have that three-year-old child. That 3 year old child may be the heir of this huge fortune and power but they're still a child and they're treated like a child. He says,
V.2 "But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father."
V.3 "Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world:"
V.4 "But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,"
V.5 "To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons."
That's a very important concept to the Greek world, I mean the Roman world. To Jews that they were adopted would have meant nothing. They were the children of God by covenant. In the Roman world a child could be born. That child was not considered a child until accepted by the father. And in the Roman world if a person, if the father rejected a newborn baby, that newborn baby was taken out to a certain place in the city and left where that baby could be picked up and sold as a slave or left to die. So, if the father looked at a child and said, "This child is deformed. I do not take this child; I do not accept it ", it was not a child. It was not even considered a human being. So adoption is a whole different idea for the Greeks and for the Romans than it was for the Jews. In fact in Rome if a man did not like his son; if he didn't like his son, what he could do is go find another man, a young man that he liked and adopt him and make him his heir. And his blood son wasn't his heir anymore. You know today, someone likes to come up and say, "I'm adopted; that's not my blood parents." That wouldn't have any real concept in the Roman world. If you were adopted, you were now a son. So, if someone said, "Are you adopted?" "I'm his son." "Were you adopted?" "I'm his son." Well, what happened to the natural son?" He's not the heir anymore. I am." So adoption was a real important thing and not being accepted as a natural child, you could be left out to die.
So, he says, "receive the adoption as sons." Again, that might have some meaning to Jews but, boy did it have meaning to people in the Roman world.
V. 6 "And because ye are sons," God has what? "God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father."
V.7 "Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ."
It's interesting there he says, "the spirit of His son." The same spirit that was in Christ is the same spirit that is in us. Why? So that we can become the children of God and that is the third thing that happens. When you receive the Spirit of God you enter into an intimate Father-child relationship with God and an intimate Brother-sibling relationship with Jesus Christ. Now we still worship Jesus Christ; He's still to be honored. But I am talking about this relationship He's talking about here.
So, when you receive God's spirit, God literally says, "This is My child." You say, "Well, yeah, but I really wasn't God's child. I was a Pagan or I was a Catholic, or I was this, or I was that…." No, now wait one moment. When you received God's Holy Spirit, what does God say? Not us. What does God say to the angels when He sees you get up in the morning and you start praying? He says, "Ah, that's one of My kids and she hasn't come to me for days. Come here, girl!" That's what God says. You think of that, "You come here, girl. Come on. Come up here and talk to Me. I know what's going on. You might as well tell Me anyways. Come here, son." Christ is saying, "Come here," Because He is our Intercessor. Come on. He's coaxing us up to the Father and brings us to the Father. And, because you have His spirit, "Abba", is this intimate Greek, you know, "Daddy", is the best thing in English. That's the relationship you have with God because you have His spirit. Don't forget that. Don't let all the stuff in the world and how fast paced our life is, the things we go through, have us forget that every day, anytime you want, whether you're on your knees, or driving in the car, or in a terrible situation, when you say, "Father," your Father says, "Come here, kid." That's what He does because you have His spirit.
You say, "Well, I'm not worthy". Your worthiness and my worthiness is not the issue. Of course we're not. It's not us saying, "Come here, God." You see the relationship is Him saying, "Come here." It's a privilege. You know I can't make that happen. We can't force it. We're not worthy. It's not the issue. The issue is that, when He gives you His spirit, that's what He says. You enter into this relationship.
The fourth thing. So you enter into this relationship. The fourth thing is in Romans, Chapter 8.
Romans:8:26Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. "Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered."
V.27 "And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God."
V.28 "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."
Now we read that in Verse 28 and that encourages us but Verse 28 is a logical progression of what starts in Verse 26, which is, there are times when you go to your Father and He says, "Come here, child." Remember being a little child; or some of you have little children and that child is overly tired and stressed out and just ate too much sugar? And you pick that child up and they are a babbling idiot. And they're crying and you say, "What's the matter?" And they just go (he made a gesture); and sound doesn't even come out. You and I go before God and God says, "Wow, this kid's messed up. You know? It's okay. I understand. I am in here. I know exactly what you're going through. I know. I'm connected to your spirit. I know." We don't even know what to pray and there's times its okay to go before God and you say, "I don't even know what to say." Now I've had people come to me and say, "I think I've committed the unpardonable sin." "Why?" I went to God and I said, "God. I'm so angry at you because this happened or that happened. I don't' even know what to say". I said , "Did He kill you?" "No." "What happened?" "Well nothing." "Maybe just go back and apologize, okay?" "Is that okay?" Yes. Go back. Get on your knees and say, "You know Father, I was really out of line." What will happen? He'll say, "Come here, kid. Don't do that again. I'll spank you next time." And He will. He'll spank you. Something will happen.
The bottom line is that's the relationship you have. You don't even know what to say and it's okay. You go and say, "I don't know what to say." He says, "I know. I figured this out long time ago. I will work this out for your good." That's what God's spirit does. Now this is one I have trouble with. I keep forgetting this one. "Where are You? Where's all this good You talked about?" And then I just babble. And God says, "Well, you're just babbling, kid."
It's not very logical. It doesn't make a lot of sense but okay. I know, in the end, He knows. And fortunately He knows I have a bad attitude. He knows when I'm angry. You know? He knows when I'm, whatever, envious. Whatever the issue is; He knows what it really is. So you might as well come clean because He already knows.
So this fourth one is, through the Holy Spirit we are able to communicate with God at a level beyond human communication. People will come out of Pentecostal backgrounds and they will say , "Well does this mean I have to speak in tongues?" No. It means what it says. Sometimes you're going to get before God and say, "I don't know what to say. I just don't know," and He's going to understand. And you're going to talk and it won't even make sense. And He'll say, "I understand."
You know every human being has a terrible need to be understood. God says, "I understand. I get it. Now, are you going to respond to My spirit? Are you going to respond now to what I want to do in your life?"
The fifth thing is in 1 Corinthians 2 . Many of you know this scripture.
1 Corinthians:2:9But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. "But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him."
V.10 "But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God."
Remember it's the power, the love, and the sound mind. So God reveals things to us through His spirit that you and I would not be able to understand on our own.
V.11 "For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God."
You and I have; there's some quality to our spirit that's different than any other life form. We were made in the image of God so you and I have an intellect and creativity that is so far above animals, it's not even measurable. But that doesn't get us where God wants us to be. To receive the Divine nature we also receive this so we can understand. We can learn. We can learn to think and reason like God. That's why studying this Bible every day is so important! This is the mind of God. This is what must be imprinted into our minds.
V.13 "Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Spirit teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual."
V.14 "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."
You, on your own; I on my own, cannot understand the real spiritual issues of life. God has to reveal that to us. But, it's Verse 16 that is very fascinating, where he goes with this thought. Because in Verse 16 he says:
V.16 "For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ."
I received the Holy Spirit; how do I have the mind of Christ? The Holy Spirit is from the Father. The Holy Spirit comes through Christ. What is the mind that God is going to develop in you? The mind of the One who came and was both God and man. He's going to develop in us the mind of Christ and that happens through the Holy Spirit.
You see now how Passover and Unleavened Bread leads us to here? I can take in Christ but what's that mean? How does this work? Ah. Well you've got to receive something you don't have. You must receive the Holy Spirit; the power, love and sound mindedness of God. When you receive His spirit, now you have in you the power for God to create the mind of Christ in you. This is what a Christian is. So we know, point five, that it is through the bonding of God's spirit with our spirit that we're able to understand spiritual truth. That's why doctrine is so important. We want to know the basic doctrines of the Bible because that's spiritual truth.
It's interesting; when we are not being properly guided by God's spirit and any time your life is messed up, guess what that means? You're not submitting to God's spirit. I don't mean when bad things happen to you outside; bad things happen to us from outside ourselves. I mean the internal struggles with our own human nature; with the fruits of the spirit; with sin. You know conflicts all the time with God and with others. When we're in that kind of a state, there's something wrong with our submission to God's spirit. So we have to submitting to God's spirit and God is guiding us into the proper truth.
There's something else that happens when you and I aren't submitting to God's spirit. Our religion becomes either ritualistic or mystical. We either get zeroed in on rituals or we get zeroed in on mysteries and secrets. Neither are where God wants us to go. We understand rituals. We have some rituals. They are to teach us lessons. There are mysteries. Those mysteries always bring us back to God's plan of salvation through Christ. They don't bring us to "If you know the secret words or have the secret knowledge". It never brings us to that which makes it very interesting. You understand spiritual knowledge that many other people don't understand and it's so easy for us to start to say, "Boy, I have secret knowledge." That's why Paul said, "Remember, whatever knowledge you have is what was given to you." You and I didn't discover this on our own. It's because God did something in our minds.
The sixth point is in John 14. So, we're going to go away from Paul, here, just for a minute and then go back for a last point. This is Jesus on the night that He was betrayed talking to His disciples. In Verse 15, He says:
John:14:15If ye love me, keep my commandments. "If ye love me, keep my commandments."
V.16 "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;"
V.17 "Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you."
V.18 "I will not leave you comfortless (orphans): I will come to you."
First of all, He told them it is with you. This is the thing about people called into the church and this is important for our children to understand. Children say , "Well I don't have God's spirit yet so, you know, it doesn't matter what I do. I'll go out and have my fun and come back later." As if God's against fun . "God really wants to ruin my life. I'll go out and have a great time. Then I'll come back when I'm too old to care; you know, like 25. And then I'll come back and I can just be an ‘old fogey' the rest of my life'." God's spirit is already with you. It is already WITH YOU. It's not in you yet. That's why Paul said, "Your children are holy" . You say, "Well, I'm not baptized yet." If you understand this, God's spirit is with you. He's taking you. He's working with you. He wants you in this relationship. But, He says He won't leave you as orphans. "I will send you a helper" and that's the sixth point. The Holy Spirit gives us power and faith to endure. We get help.
Have you ever just been struggling with so much, something, and you just pick up one of the Psalms and you start reading it and suddenly you receive help from God? Well, Paul talked about "the peace that surpasses understanding." Paul said, "I don't understand how this happens but there's times when my life is in so much turmoil." One prayer, maybe struggling for hours, praying for God; trying to make a breakthrough because the old, this corrupt human nature doesn't always work very well with the Divine nature. And suddenly there's a breakthrough. There's an understanding. There's a peace. There's a joy. There's a solution. You say, "Well, where did that come from? This helper is the power, love and sound mindedness of God Himself. It's just we have a hard time interacting with it. And so He gives it to us and we miss it. Or we don't understand it. Or we reject it. Or sometimes we're so far away He just says, "Look, until you get close to Me, I'm not going to give you this one. Pull close to me so that when I give you My spirit it just won't be wasted." You have His spirit in you! It gives us the power to endure. It gives us the power. It is the helper. God give me help. And through His mind and His power and His love He sends that out and that comes into us and it helps us.
It doesn't always fix everything. It helps us. Just like you don't always fix everything for your children. As children grow up, if you fix everything for them, you will regret it later in life. When they're 42 years old, still living at home expecting you to fix everything. There are times when you say, "Sorry, kid. I'll help you but this one you do yourself." He says, "I will help you. I'll be there right with you. I'll walk with you. I'll talk to you. I'll hold your hand. I'll get you through it." That's God's spirit in us as He does these things.
You have that in you. I have that in me. We just forget. Boy if we can remember this 24 hours a day, think of how different life would be.
And then the last point is in Ephesians 4. The parakletos, the helper, there is a very interesting word. It also means, "intercessor or defense attorney". As you have this relationship back and forth with God, it's an interesting word. It has a lot of applications. God through His spirit is working in you. There is this relationship. It's a relationship issue. It's not just electricity. "Oh good. I plugged in the ‘God Spirit' and I get some kind of power. I get electricity." It is the mind of God. It is the thoughts of God. It's the emotions of God. We have access to that! We have access to it! If we use this word to understand what He's doing. But Ephesians 4 ; this is the last point. We'll start there.
Ephesians:4:1I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, "I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,"
V.2 "With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;"
V.3 "Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."
He's talking about God's spirit here, because notice what he says in Verse 4.
V.4 "There is one body," (the church) "and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;"
V.5 "One Lord, one faith, one baptism,"
V. 6 "One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all."
Notice it says, "the Father is in you all." Now we always talk about it is the spirit of the Son that comes in us so we can have the mind of Christ in us. But it is the "spirit of the Father". God the Father is in us.
The seventh , the last point here is the Holy Spirit brings us into unity with other people with the Holy Spirit. And the disunity all the time between husbands and wives and parents and children and members of the church is a symptom of not submitting to the love, and the power and the sound mindedness of God. It's a symptom. Because we see here that one of the fruits, if you want, or the works, of the Holy Spirit, and all these things He does with us, is to bring those with the same spirit into unity.
I've been in the church a long time. It's not always been a unified place. It's because we haven't always been submitting to these difficult issues of God's spirit in the inner person. We already talked about a couple of these scriptures, "the inner man". We submit to God in the development of doctrine which we should. We must. We have to. We just went through it in Corinthians. We understand spiritual things because of God's spirit. So, we understand that there is no immortal soul. We understand it. We keep the Sabbath day. We understand and keep the Holy days. We believe and understand that there is no everlasting, burning hell. We don't keep Easter and Christmas which are paganized. And we reject them.
But the work of the Holy Spirit goes beyond that. The work of the Holy Spirit is in the inner person that binds us to God as our Father. It binds us to Christ as our elder brother and it binds us to each other as the family of God. Now we still also have corrupted human nature so we're a pretty dysfunctional family. But, do you know what? With God's power we don't have to stay that way.
What is it that God's holding back from us? What does God hold back from you so you can't at least have peace between you and your wife? What is God holding back from you so you can at least have peace between you and your roommate? Or your neighbor? Or the people in your congregation who all have God's spirit? Well, we assume everybody has God's spirit. We should.
What are we doing wrong? Because it's not God that's doing anything wrong. We have not always really understood – because we've zeroed in so much; and once again we should, in showing that the Holy Spirit is not a third person in the trinity. We've zeroed in on that and we should. We did. I'm glad we have because we don't want to believe that but what does God's spirit do? And just understanding it's not a third person in the trinity is knowledge. The power of the Holy Spirit goes WAY beyond that. And that's what's missing, many times; in the church itself is that we don't understand. We're not submitting to the power of God's spirit.
1. First: So you can see God's spirit is our guarantee of eternal life. First thing we talked about.
2. Secondly: It impregnates us with God's nature; the Divine nature.
3. Third. Through the Holy Spirit we become the Children of God. We enter into the Father/son relationship with our Father.
4. The Holy Spirit makes it possible to have a non-human level of communication with God. It's also nice that Jesus Christ is sitting right there saying, "I know what that's like. I've been there before. Been there. Know what that feels like."
5. Through the bonding of God's spirit with our spirit, it enables us to understand spiritual truth.
6. The Holy Spirit gives us the power and faith to endure if we submit to it. If we just submit to it. It's not easy. I want God to take away everything bad in my life, you know? He doesn't do that, does He? So then we have to go ask sometimes, "Give me the power to endure." And then
7. The Holy Spirit brings the children of God into unity as His family. That's a lot, isn't it? And this is just the introduction to the subject. This is just our starting point; pieces of the puzzle as we begin to understand.
We have, living inside of us, the power, love, and mind of the Almighty God. God has willingly – and I don't understand this – He has willingly agreed to bond His Holy spirit with our corrupt, unholy spirit. That has to be painful. That has to uncomfortable, to come live in here.
When He said, "I will abide in you," that's what He meant. Abide means to live in. Jesus said "The Father and I will abide in you." In here (pointing to his heart). That's got to be an uncomfortable place for God to be. Good thing He is the God who He is. He abides in us so that the mind of Christ can be developed in us. Now we have the tie in to the Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread. That means you and I need to be spending more time. You say, "How do I build this? How do I keep encouraging this?" You need to spend more time praying, asking God for these things. Asking God for that fruit to be born in your life. Go study those fruits. Asking God for this relationship. Fasting about it to draw close to God so that His spirit; we can just stop resisting it and let Him do His work. We also need to be in this Book a lot because this tells us what we know is from His spirit. If it's not from here, it's not from His spirit. When it comes from here (pointing to the Bible), it's His mind. Printed here for us; what a privilege so that we can compare and say, "Okay, I know that's from God."
Zero in on those things. Zero in now, between now and Pentecost, and realize that speaking in tongues is not what God wants you to do. If God wants you to speak in tongues, He'll let us speak in tongues. If God wants us to walk around healing everybody, He'll have us walk around healing everybody. He's done it before. There some greater miracle than that.
There is a miracle that makes the opening of the Red Sea child's play. You know what it is? There's a miracle that makes Joshua's long day, you know, manipulating the universe, child's play. There is a miracle taking place that makes raising somebody from the dead child's play. It is taking a corrupt human being and putting God's spirit into them, creating a child of God. That makes opening the Red Sea…. Do you know what that is to God? That's Tinker Toy stuff. That's Lincoln Logs. It's manipulating a few molecules. That's all that is to God. Making you and I children, that's a miracle.
So remember every day you are, since you have received God's spirit, a miracle being performed by God!
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