Saturday, November 22, 2008

Wholly Committed To The Holy Spirit?

Got some questions for you.. What do you know about the Holy Spirit? Perhaps you were taught about Him as a child when the teachers used to call Him the “Holy Ghost.” Maybe you envisioned something like Casper the ghost floating around the room in a white sheet when He was spoken of. To some people.. talk of Him could come off a bit scary. I used to see some preachers on TV talking about Him and they really were scary.. and would therefore make Him seem scary too.

When a person becomes a Christian, it was the Father working (through the Holy Spirit) who drew them to Christ. See John 6:44. The Holy Spirit literally comes along side of them to talk some sense into their minds. He comes to convict them of sin and to point them to the only viable Solution for their poor spiritual condition, and that Solution has a Name: Jesus Christ the only Way and only Savior. Yup, the Spirit is the One who introduces you to the Lord, but after that most important experience, it’s Jesus who turns around to introduce the new convert to the Holy Spirit. Why? It’s because the Holy Spirit never points to Himself—always to Jesus (and we would do well to follow His example). It’s because you are really going to need His help, His daily guidance and His world changing kind of empowering be an effective witness for God.

Did you know that you can have a relationship with this Person? Did you know that He is so for you every moment of every day; to comfort, to build up and to encourage you as you pursue a lifelong joyous and fruitful partnership with the living Lord (the ultimate Fisher of men)?

Many people have some crazy ideas today about what the Holy Spirit is about and doing here on earth. He is all about you learning to glorify and please God consistently and He’s also wanting you to become a great witness (by your holy life, your sound words and by your selfless deeds) as unto the Lord and not merely to look good. Of course some people think that when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, you will lose control of your faculties, get a liver quiver and then go berserk into a wall. Some think you will start to flop and jerk about on the floor just like a big ole salmon out of water that’s trying to get away from a hungry grizzly bear. Some think you’ll get a glazed look in your eyes like those who have been buzzed on weed and then forever act bazaar.. to the horrific public embarrassment of the Church and your entire family. This is false. These ideas are simply not true, because self-control is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. Now, think back for a moment about what were you taught regarding the Holy Spirit. Does it really square with the Bible or is it merely religious jive? Have you checked it out for yourself?

Q: Has Jesus Christ made you ready for life in Heaven yet? Have you confessed your sins, repented and asked Him to? Q: Has the Holy Spirit made you ready for life on earth yet? Nowhere in the Bible does God tell you specifically to ask to be baptized in the Holy Spirit, but as you read through the book of Acts isn't it clear to see that you need the Spirit to have all of you; that you indeed need this experience? Isn't it abundantly clear that God wants all believers to have this empowering experience?

The Bible commands, “do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit” (Eph. 5:18). God doesn't want you debauched, wasted or out of control. Jesus once asked, “If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” (Lk. 11:11-13, nkjv). God clearly wants you to strongly desire, to ask for, to be filled with, to be refilled with (over and over again) and to be controlled by the Holy Spirit!

Allow me to ask you this.. If you are ready for eternity with God, are you helping others to get ready for that journey into eternity that each one of us must take? As believers, we all we would be wise to clearly tell our friends and loved ones others about the Lord warning them to flee the wrath to come. But many of us don't know how to ..or we feel too afraid to start because we do not want to flub it.

Want to hear what Kurt and Liney really believe about this unique third person of the Trinity—the one and only Holy Spirit? We both believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit indwelling all believers who will turn from their sins, believe in Christ’s finished work on the cross and then welcome Him inside. We believe that He is available to comfort, to enable, to teach, to guide and to empower the life and ministry of each and every believer. He does this as each one wholeheartedly pursues knowing Christ in a personal way (not just in gaining head-knowledge—that’s so weak by comparison) and also in making Christ known (that’s so non-weak!!!).

Yes, we believe that the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the blessed Trinity, though omnipresent from all eternity, invaded this world in a unique manner on the day of Pentecost according to God’s divine promise. We believe He will empower every willing believer for practical spiritual service ..I mean every Christian who will allow Him to rule in and through them. He is here to unite all believers into one body for a purpose. He is the source of all power for acceptable vertical worship to God, for impacting horizontal ministry to other believers and for witnessing to lost souls. We believe that He never departs from the universal church, nor from the feeblest of the saints, but is ever present to testify clearly of Christ and of the Gospel through Christ’s body.

We are here for Him (we are His property) and not here for ourselves, for pleasure--for “a buzz.” We are not here for exotic supernatural experiences either. We believe that the Holy Spirit's abode in the world in this special sense will cease when Christ comes to receive His own to Himself at the completion of the Church (2 Thessalonians 2:7; John 14:16-17; 16:7-15; 1 Corinthians 6:19; Ephesians 2:22).

We also believe in the gifts of the Spirit for today, but not in the misapplication of these gifts for say ego’s sake or some other wrong reason (see 1 Corinthians). We believe that God the Holy Spirit works miracles and heals people today. Even physical healing is provided for us in the atonement.. but not guaranteed for everyone this side of heaven. Going to heaven is the ultimate healing. God does work miracles today, but think about this... if miracles happened as much as some Christians say they did—every day—they'd be called "regulars."
We do reject how some so called Christian "miracle workers" and "healing evangelists" that are living lavishly ..selfishly fleece God’s flock as a habit ..using so called “miracle services.” They use crafty slight of hand, slight of mind tricks with fake words or alleged gifts of the Spirit, all for their own aggrandizement and benefit. There are true evangelists and fake ones today--wolves in sheeps clothing so we must be careful to test what they say. We must keep our eyes open. We do believe that in this age, certain well-defined ministries are committed to the Holy Spirit, and that it is the duty of every Christian to recognize and understand them well and to be adjusted to them in their own life and experience. These ministries are the restraining of evil in the world to the measure of the divine will; the convicting of the world respecting sin, righteousness, and judgment; the regenerating of anyone willing to turn from their life of sin to Christ; the indwelling and anointing of those who are saved, thereby sealing them unto the day of redemption; the baptizing into the one body of Christ of all who are saved; and the filling (and refilling when needed) of power, sound teaching, and grace of those among the saved who are yielded to Him and who are subject to His will. (Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 12:13; John 3:6; 16:7-11; Ephesians 4:30; 5:18; 2 Thessalonians 2:7; 1 John 2:20-27).

Today I heard Chuck Swindoll talk about this need saying, "What a shame it would be if you had inherited a fortune but didn’t know it, living as a homeless person without enough food to eat during the day or a place to lay your head at night. How unfortunate it would be if you owned a new car but didn’t know that it needed gasoline to operate, instead pushing it everywhere you went. When a person is born into God’s family of faith, several things occur within us that others can’t identify just by looking. Among these ‘things’ that occur is the sudden and immediate presence of the Holy Spirit. Think of it! At salvation, God takes up residence in our lives. And He does so for a purpose; to enable us to operate our lives on a supernatural level of power that could not possibly be produced in the energy of our own flesh.”

When we realize what all this means, the difference the Holy Spirit can make can is unimaginable! Jesus is thee KEY, and the Holy Spirit is like the fuel to keep things running right if you will. I really need Him to keep the fire inside burning. He is the One who lubricates the gears too. He is always there for you and me!

It’s a wasted prayer for a Christian to voice.. “Lord be with us” for He always is. You’ve been in His presences all week long. It’s a waste for a believer to pray.. “Soon, Lord, send your Spirit into me” ..for He already is inside of you. Most Christian denominations and churches recognize that when a person repents and receives Christ by faith ..apart from good works (as it really happens during a biblical salvation experience).. at that moment the Holy Spirit comes to dwell inside that person. That’s absolutely true and that’s the greatest miracle that God still does today!

My question is this: If you have the Holy Spirit, does the Holy Spirit have you—have you allowed Him to take control of every area of your life? To me it’s not as important what you call this relational situation with the Spirit, but if you have the Holy Spirit. Are you filled and controlled by the Holy Spirit? Check out these verses dealing with the Spirit (within their own context even).

Ezekiel 36:26: "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh."
Ezekiel 36:27: "And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws."

John 4:10: "Jesus answered her, ‘If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked Him and He would have given you living water.’"
John 4:11: "‘Sir,’ the woman said, ‘you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water?’"
John 4:12: "Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his flocks and herds?"
John 4:13: "Jesus answered, ‘Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again,’”
John 4:14: "but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.’"

John 7:37: "On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, ‘If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink.’"
John 7:38: "Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him."
John 7:39: "By this He meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified."

John 14:16: "And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever--"
John 14:17: "the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept Him, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. But you know Him, for He lives with you and will be in you."

John 14:26: "But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you."

John 16:7: "But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you."
John 16:8: "When He comes, He will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment:"

John 16:12: "I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear."
John 16:13: "But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on His own; He will speak only what He hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come."
John 16:14: "He will bring glory to Me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you."
John 16:15: "All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you."

Romans 8:9: "You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ."
Romans 8:11: "And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you."
Romans 8:12: "Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it."
Romans 8:13: "For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live,"
Romans 8:14: "because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God."
Romans 8:15: "For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by Him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’"

1 Corinthians 2:12: "We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us."
1 Corinthians 2:13: "This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words."
1 Corinthians 2:14: "The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned."

1 Corinthians 3:16: "Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you?"

1 Corinthians 6:11: "And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God."

1 Corinthians 6:19: "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;"

2 Corinthians 1:21: "Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us,"
2 Corinthians 1:22: "set His seal of ownership on us, and put His Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come."

Ephesians 1:13: "And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the Gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,"
Ephesians 1:14: "who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession—to the praise of His glory."

Ephesians 4:30: "And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption."

Galatians 3:2: "I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard?"

Galatians 3:5: "Does God give you His Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard?"

Galatians 3:14: "He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit."

1 John 2:27: "As for you, the anointing you received from Him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But 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."

1 John 4:13: "We know that we live in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit."
1 John 4:15: "If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God."
1 John 4:16: "And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him."

Regeneration is a work of the Spirit; sealing believers is a work of the Spirit, sanctification is a work of the Spirit.. teaching us truth so we can apply it and mature is a work of the Spirit (but we still need to hear human Bible teachers that are saved as well). This "empowering of us to fish for souls" is the work of the Spirit. When we are filled with the Holy Spirit we speak to sinners and to each other correctly ..with grace, truth, tact and wisdom. When we are baptized in the Spirit, we are to live wholesome, normal lives (a "true normal" with spiritual health and practicality).

All Christians need to experience the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and believe what's true about this. Then they need to be controlled by Him! Some Christians falsely believe that when the Holy Spirit gets a hold of your life, you should live abnormally with flamboyantly uber-erratic weirdness and imbalance. Let Christians primarily look for power, good feelings and over-the-top supernatural experiences all they want.. I just want to seek the real Jesus. Hey, the world is looking for what genuine Christians have—they have an attractive authenticity; a gracious enthusiasm and a glorious joyful attitude in Jesus. They don’t get hung up on all the religious periphery junk that's distracts. When you have been baptized in the Holy Spirit, you will have freshness, a power to control your tongue.. to think pure thoughts.. to enjoy a normal marriage relationship filled with agape love (which is so rare to see these days). It will affect your walk and your talk in a good way!

A so called Christian man returned home after hearing a rabid egotistical preacher teaching at a conference for men. He had listened to the preacher for a whole week in teach on how a woman’s place is in the home and how she is supposed to submit to her husband.

When the husband got home he literally yelled for his wife to come as if she were a dog. And He really dressed her down loudly, letting her know how things would change around the home… “Listen woman! From now on, this is how it will be in this house. I am the boss and you will do what I say, because you are the wife and right here in the Bible it tells how you are to submit to me! Got that woman?” He went on and on ad nausium.

Well he didn’t see his wife for two weeks after that time. But after two and a half weeks had passed, the man started to see her a bit.. through one eye. (Hey..just a little joke to show how not to communicate).

Today we have “expert theologians” (that are not) popping up to join the aberrant “Jesus Seminar” which is wrongly respected in this world.. or they join some other cult (or cultic group preaching a false Jesus, a false Holy Spirit ..even within Christendom). Some sadly in Jesus’ Name “creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Tim. 3:6-7, nkjv). These people say they love and know the Holy Spirit, but they learn and never arrive at the truth. It’s because they reject what the Bible clearly says about Him. They unfortunately make the choice to ignore the admonitions of the real Holy Spirit and remain lost.

But we are convinced of better things for you as you get real, get honest, get humble before the Christ of the Bible. Yes, as call out to the Lord, as you get in His Word (and let His Word get in you), an assurance of salvation will be yours! You can be empowered for witnessing. The Holy Spirit is holy and is committed to sanctifying you in holiness for this purpose. Will you wholly
commit to Him!

Read More About the Spirit

Like To Read About The Spirit Baptism?
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