Sunday, April 24, 2011

Spiritual and Spirit-Filled (Part Six)

It is a strange and unfortunate thing that among all those who have been born of the Spirit of God through faith in Jesus Christ, very few seem to be living daily spiritual and Spirit-filled lives. Why is this? Well, a whole book or volumes could be written on this matter and the reasons could be somewhat endless. But I believe at least part of the problem is, that to many, salvation is the forgiveness of sins with the hope of heaven someday, instead of forgiveness of sins in order to live the spiritual, Spirit-filled life of a new creature in Christ. We were first saved by receiving the Spirit that we might go on to live the rest of our lives living, walking, being led by, and being filled with the Spirit. Does this describe your daily life? If not, don't be condemned. But then again, don't be content. Seek the Lord. Repent. Search the Scriptures. Open your heart and your life to the Lord. Refuse to accept a life that looks very much like those without Christ. Pursue the Lord. Confess your sins. Hunger for the presence of God. Don't make excuses for yourself: I'm busy, I have a family, I have a job, etc. These things are not the problem. Our heart is the problem. What do we love? What do we put first in our lives? What occupies our heart, our thoughts? What are we living for? What is our hope? I believe if we are willing to deal with these questions in an open and sincere way with God, we can then go on to pursue to live spiritual and Spirit-filled lives. That being said, let's continue with some of what is known of the Spirit in Acts, Romans, and First and Second Corinthians.

*Jesus gave commandment through the Holy Spirit. (Acts 1:2)
*Power is received to be witnesses when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. (Acts 1:8)
*The disciples were all filled with the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. (Acts 2:4)
*The Spirit enabled them to speak in different tongues. (Acts 2:4)
*The Spirit was poured out at Pentecost. (Acts 2:17-18)
*The poured out Spirit can cause people to prophecy. (Acts 2:18)
*The Holy Spirit is a gift received by repenting and being baptized. (Acts 2:38)
*Being filled with the Holy Spirit causes people to speak the word of God with boldness. (Acts 4:31)
*Sometimes the Spirit is given through the laying on of hands. (Acts 8:17-18)
*The Spirit can speak very clear and specific words to lead us. (Acts 8:29; 10:19-20; 13:2; 20:23)
*It is possible to be caught away by the Spirit. (Acts 8:39)
*The Holy Spirit can fall upon people as they are hearing the word. (Acts 10:44; 11:15)
*It is possible to foretell future events through the Spirit. (Acts 11:28)
*The Holy Spirit may send us out. (Acts 13:4)
*The Holy Spirit may forbid us at times to speak the word of God. (Act 16:6-7)
*The Holy Spirit appoints overseers for the church. (Acts 20:28)
*Jesus was designated the Son of God according to the Spirit of holiness in His resurrection. (Rom. 1:4)
*God's love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit. (Rom. 5:5)
*The law of the Spirit of life has freed us from the law of sin and death. (Rom. 8:2)
*We are to be mindful of the things of the Spirit. (Rom. 8:5)
*The Spirit raised Jesus from the dead. (Rom. 8:11)
*The Spirit gives life to our mortal bodies. (Rom. 8:11)
*By the Spirit, we are to put to death the practices of the body. (Rom. 8:13)
*We are to be led by the Spirit. (Rom. 8:14)
*The Spirit witnesses to us that we are children of God. (Rom. 8:16)
*The Spirit intercedes for us in our prayers. (Rom. 8:26)
*The kingdom of God is in the Holy Spirit. (Rom. 14:17)
*Love is of the Spirit. (Rom. 15:30)
*God reveals wonderful things through the Spirit. (I Cor. 2:10)
*The Spirit searches the depths of God. (I Cor. 2:10)
*Spiritual things can be spoken in words taught by the Spirit. (I Cor. 2:13)
*We are God's temple in which the Spirit of God dwells. (I Cor. 3:16)
*We were washed, sanctified, and justified in the Spirit of our God. (I Cor. 6:11)
*The Spirit operates to distribute spiritual gifts to the members of His body. (I Cor.12:11)
*In the Spirit we were baptized into the Body of Christ. (I Cor. 12:13)
*We have been given to drink of the Spirit. (I Cor. 12:13)
*The last Adam (Jesus) became a life-giving Spirit. (I Cor. 15:45)
*The Spirit has been given to us as a pledge. (II Cor. 1:22)
*The New Testament ministry is a ministry of the Spirit. (II Cor. 3:6)
*The Spirit gives life. (II Cor. 3:17)
*Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. (II Cor. 3:17)
*The Lord, the Spirit, is transforming us. (II Cor. 3:18)
*Fellowship is of the Holy Spirit. (II Cor. 13:14)

Oh, that the Spirit would be so much more to each one of us daily and moment by moment. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all!

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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Spiritual and Spirit-Filled (Part Five)

It seems that once I get on this matter of the Spirit, it is hard for me to leave it. But I believe there is good reason for this. Consider that the Spirit is called "the Spirit of truth" (John 14:17; 15:26) who teaches us and reminds us of all that Jesus has spoken (John 14:26) and even guides us into all truth (John 16:13). Consider that, "Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard and which have not come up in man's heart; things which God has prepared for those who love Him", are revealed to us through the Spirit, even the depths of God (I Cor. 2:9-10). Consider that it is "by the Spirit" that we are to put to death the practices of our body (Rom. 8:13). Consider that we are to be led by the Spirit (Rom. 8:14; Gal. 5:18), live and walk by the Spirit (Gal. 5:16, 25), and serve by the Spirit (Phil. 3:3). This alone should impress us greatly with the importance of the Spirit in our Christian lives.

But there is much more. In fact, the Spirit is mentioned about 225 times in the New Testament. With that in mind, and with the hope that we would all have a greater awareness and enjoyment of the Spirit in our daily lives, I have decided to spend the next three lessons listing part of the 225 verses concerning the Spirit in the New Testament. We will begin with the four Gospels, go on to Acts through Second Corinthians, and finish with Galatians through Revelation. So here we go!

*The birth of Jesus was "of the Holy Spirit". (Matt. 1:18-20)
*When Jesus was baptized, the Spirit came upon Him. (Matt. 3:16)
*Jesus was "led by the Spirit" into the wilderness to be tempted by the Devil. (Matt. 4:1)
*Jesus cast out demons "by the Spirit of God". (Matt. 12:28)
*Jesus walked "in the power of the Spirit". (Luke 4:14)
*The Spirit of God was "upon Jesus", having been anointed to preach the gospel. (Luke 4:18)
*Jesus "exulted in the Holy Spirit". (Luke 10:21)
*The Father gives the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him. (Luke 11:13)
*Blaspheming against the Holy Spirit is the only unforgivable sin. (Luke 12:10)
*When being persecuted, the Holy Spirit teaches us what to say. (Luke 12:12)
*Jesus baptizes in the Holy Spirit. (John 1:33)
*To enter into the kingdom of God, you must be "born of the Spirit". (John 3:5)
*God is Spirit. (John 4:24)
*The Spirit gives life. (John 6:63)
*The Spirit is for drinking and will flow out as rivers of living water. (John 7:37-39)
*The Spirit is "the comforter" given by the Father to be with us forever. (John 14:16)
*The Spirit is the "Spirit of truth". (John 14:17)
*The Spirit teaches and reminds us of what Jesus has spoken. (John 14:26)
*The Spirit "testifies" concerning Jesus. (John 15:26)
*The Spirit "guides us into all truth". (John 16:13)
*The Spirit declares to us the things that are coming. (John 16:13)
*On the evening of the resurrection, Jesus breathed into His disciples for them to receive the Holy Spirit. (John 20:22)

I would encourage us all to print out this list to read and pray over it. Meditate upon each verse. Let the Spirit of the Lord impress upon us who He is and reveal to us His operation in our lives.

Lord, I pray that we all would have a greater appreciation, clearer revelation, and intensified realization of Your Holy Spirit in our lives. Glory be to God! Grace be with you all.

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