Tag Archives: holy spirit

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – His Gifts and Powers

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“It is the same and only Holy Spirit who gives all these gifts and powers, deciding which each of us should have” (1 Corinthians 12:11).

As I counsel in the area of Christian service, I find much confusion among many Christians regarding the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Believers often are so involved in trying to discover or receive additional spiritual gifts that they are not developing and using their known gifts and abilities to do God’s will.

For this reason, I caution against going to great lengths to discover one’s spiritual gifts. Rather than emphasize gifts, I encourage a person to surrender fully to the lordship of Jesus Christ and appropriate by faith the fullness of the Holy Spirit.

Then, by faith and hard work, while depending on the Holy Spirit, a person can set out with determination to accomplish that to which God has called him.

Paul wrote about this important principle in his letter to the Philippians:

“Dearest friends, when I was there with you, you were always so careful to follow my instructions. And now that I am away you must be even more careful to do the good things that result from being saved, obeying God with deep reverence, shrinking back from all that might displease Him….

“For I can do everything God asks me to do with the help of Christ who gives me the strength and power” (Philippians 2:12; 4-13). This, of course, can be done only if a Christian totally submits himself to the lordship of Jesus Christ and the control of the Holy Spirit.

Bible Reading: I Corinthians 12:1-10

TODAY’S ACTION POINT:  I’ll be more concerned about being yielded to the moment-by-moment direction and control of God’s Holy Spirit than about discovering my spiritual gift(s).

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – One More Reason to Praise

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“His presence within us is God’s guarantee that He really will give us all that He promised; and the Spirit’s seal upon us means that God has already purchased us and that He guarantees to bring us to Himself. This is just one more reason for us to praise our glorious God” (Ephesians 1:14).

To me, this wonderful verse means that, as children of God, we have the ability to obey God’s laws if we are filled continually with the Holy Spirit and refuse to obey the old evil nature within us.

In order to live the supernatural life which is available to us through the indwelling Holy Spirit, we must know our rights as children of God. We need to know our spiritual heritage. We must know how to draw upon the inexhaustible, supernatural resources of God’s love, power, forgiveness and abundant grace.

The first step is to learn everything we can about God. We also need to know about the nature of man and why he behaves as he does. The best way to learn who God is, who man is and about our rights as children of God is to spend much time – even at the sacrifice of other needs and demands on our schedules – in reading, studying, memorizing and meditating on the Word of God, and in prayer and witnessing.

Paul wrote to the Christians at Rome, “For His Holy Spirit speaks to us deep in our hearts, and tells us that we really are God’s children. And since we are His children, we will share His treasures – for all God gives to His Son Jesus is now ours too. But if we are to share His glory, we must also share His suffering” (Romans 8:16,17).

Bible Reading: Ephesians1:15-23

TODAY’S ACTION POINT:  I will acknowledge God’s presence, believe His promises and surrender to His special will for me, and thus will I praise Him throughout the day.

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Gift of His Spirit

dr_bright

“This is what God has prepared for us and, as a guarantee, He has given us His Holy Spirit” (2 Corinthians 5:5).

A dynamic young business man sat across from me in my office. By almost every standard of human measure he was an outstanding success in both his business and his religion.

He was one of the leading men in his field of specialty in the world. A highly moral, religious person, he was very active in his church. And yet, he was not sure that he was a Christian.

He wanted desperately – more than anything else in the world – to have real assurance, but he did not know how to go about obtaining it. Step by step, I explained to him from the Bible how he could receive Christ into his life and be sure of his salvation.

Soon we were on our knees in prayer, after which he went on his way rejoicing in the assurance of his salvation to begin a supernatural walk with God.

Many pastors and other Christian leaders, I have discovered, also have this same gnawing doubt about their salvation. One pastor who had preached the Bible-centered gospel for 40 years told me that he was still unsure of his salvation.

The wife of an evangelist confided, “During the past 30 years, my husband and I have introduced thousands of people to Christ, but I have never been sure of my own salvation. Never before have I had the courage to share this concern with anyone, but now I am so desperate that I have come to seek your help.”

I explained that we receive Christ as our Savior by faith or on act of the will; then, as a guarantee, He gives us His Holy Spirit.

Bible Reading: II Corinthians 5:6-10

TODAY’S ACTION POINT:  With God’s Holy Spirit as my constant witness, I will daily give thanks to Him for assurance of my salvation.

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – His Mark of Ownership

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“He has put His brand upon us – His mark of ownership – and given us His Holy Spirit in our hearts as guarantee that we belong to Him, and as the first installment of all that He is going to give us” (2 Corinthians 1:22).

Some time ago, a young Christian came to share his problems. He was very frustrated and confused, and he spoke of the constant defeat and fruitlessness which he experienced in the Christian life.

“You don’t have to live in defeat,” I said to him.

The young man registered surprise.

“You can live a life of victory, a life of joy, a life of fruitfulness,” I assured him. “In fact, by the grace of God – and to Him alone be the glory – for more than 25 years as a Christian I do not recall a single hour of broken fellowship with the Lord Jesus.”

He was really shocked at that.

“Do you mean you haven’t sinned in 25 years?” he asked.

“No, that’s not what I mean, I replied. “I have sinned regrettably, I have grieved and quenched the Spirit at times with impatience, anger or some other expression of the flesh. But when I grieve the Spirit, I know exactly what to do. I breathe spiritually. I confess my sin to God and immediately receive His forgiveness and cleansing, and by faith I continue to walk in the fullness and power of the Holy Spirit.”

Bible Reading: I Corinthians 12:3-11

TODAY’S ACTION POINT:  Realizing that a believer can live a supernatural, holy life only as he yields to the control of the Holy Spirit, I will seek to practice holiness in my personal life and encourage other Christians to do the same.

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – The Holy Spirit Enlightens

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“But the man who isn’t a Christian can’t understand and can’t accept these thoughts from God, which the Holy Spirit teaches us. They sound foolish to him, because only those who have the Holy Spirit within them can understand what the Holy Spirit means. Others just can’t take it in” (1 Corinthians 2:14).

Though I have been a Christian for more than 35 years, I still have much to learn. I am far from perfect. And I do not ever expect to be – in this lifetime. Only our Lord Jesus Christ was without sin.

However, I know from experience that the more time I spend with God through reading, studying, memorizing and meditating on His Word, with the help of the Holy Spirit to interpret God’s truth to me, the more I become like our Lord Jesus Christ, God’s Son.

When you spend time daily in Bible reading and study, your life will change. After reading God’s Word consistently for several months, you will be amazed by the things God has done in your life.

How can we understand the Bible? How can we experience its life-changing influence in our lives?

The non-believer and the disobedient, carnal Christian have difficulty in understanding the Bible because they must rely on their human faculties in their attempt to understand things that are of a spiritual nature in God’s Word.

As Paul writes to the church at Corinth,” …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” (KJV).

Bible Reading: I Corinthians 2:9-13

TODAY’S ACTION POINT:  Since the Holy Spirit inspired holy men of old to record God’s Word, the Bible, I will ask Him to interpret God’s message to my own life, and today I will encourage someone, or several others, to depend upon the Holy Spirit and to join me in living a supernatural life for the glory of God.

Our Daily Bread — The Link To Life

Our Daily Bread

Titus 3:1-11

According to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit. —Titus 3:5

By the time he was 16, Morris Frank (1908–1980) had lost his sight in both eyes. Several years later, he traveled to Switzerland where he met Buddy, the canine who would help to inspire Frank’s involvement with the Seeing Eye guide-dog school.

With Buddy leading the way, Frank learned to navigate busy sidewalks and intersections. Describing the freedom his guide provided, Frank said, “It was glorious: just [Buddy] and a leather strap, linking me to life.” Buddy gave Morris Frank a new kind of access to the world around him.

God’s Holy Spirit gives us access to abundant spiritual life in Christ. When we accept Christ as Lord, God washes our sins away and renews us “by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior” (Titus 3:5-6 NIV). Once we know Christ, the Holy Spirit helps us experience God’s love (Rom. 5:5), understand God’s Word (John 14:26), pray (Rom. 8:26), and abound in hope (Rom. 15:13).

Today, as you think about your relationship with God, remember that the Spirit is your guide to life in Christ (Rom. 8:14). —Jennifer Benson Schuldt

Holy Spirit, Light divine,

Shine upon this heart of mine.

Chase the shades of night away;

Turn my darkness into day. —Reed

The Holy Spirit guides us into knowledge and spiritual growth.

Bible in a year: Judges 1-3; Luke 4:1-30

Insight

In the book of Titus, Paul instructed his younger coworker Titus on how to teach believers in the young church of Crete to live holy lives. Paul emphasized the importance of godly leadership (Titus 1) and of gracious behavior within the church family (ch.2) and in society at large (ch.3).

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – We Are Each a Part

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“Each of us is a part of the one body of Christ. Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves and some are free. But the Holy Spirit has fitted us all together into one body. We have been baptized into Christ’s body by the one Spirit, and have all been given that same Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:13).

I find that most Christians agree that the Holy Spirit baptizes the believer into the Body of Christ, as this verse affirms. But the unity of the body is divided here on earth by many differences of interpretation concerning a “second baptism,” speaking in tongues and “Spirit-filling.”

Most believers agree, however, that we are commanded to live holy lives and the Holy Spirit supernaturally makes this human impossibility a reality. He does this when we totally submit ourselves to His indwelling love and power. Or, to use a metaphor of the apostle Paul, “For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves in Christ” (Galatians 3:27, NAS).

In His high-priestly prayer, our Lord prayed that we who are believers may be one with Him, even as He and the Father were one. We are commanded to love one another. “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (John 13:35, KJV). No one who criticizes his brother is Spirit-filled. No one who sows discord among his brethren is Spirit-filled. In fact, the test as to whether or not we are controlled by the Holy Spirit is how we love our brothers.

It is my joy and privilege to know most of the famous Christian leaders of our time, men and women whom God is using in a mighty way to help change our nation and some other nations of the world with the gospel. How I rejoice at every good report that comes to me of God’s blessing upon their lives and ministries. In fact, it is one way of checking my own walk with Christ. If I were jealous and critical, fault-finding and sowing discord, I would know that I am not walking in the light as God is in the light.

Bible Reading: I Corinthians 12:14-20

TODAY’S ACTION POINT:  I will not allow my interpretation of the Spirit-filled life to separate me from other members of the body of Christ, but will love them and seek to promote unity among believers.

 

Our Daily Bread — Make It Personal

Our Daily Bread

2 Chronicles 24:1-2,15-22

Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. —Galatians 5:16

During my days as a teacher and coach at a Christian high school, I thoroughly enjoyed interacting with teenagers, trying to guide them to a purposeful, Christlike life—characterized by love for God and love for others. My goal was to prepare them to live for God throughout life. That would happen only as they made their faith a vital part of life through the help of the Holy Spirit. Those who didn’t follow Christ floundered after they left the influence of Christian teachers and parents.

This is demonstrated in the story of King Joash of Judah and his uncle Jehoiada. Jehoiada, a wise counselor, influenced Joash to live a God-honoring life (2 Chron. 24:11,14).

The problem was that Joash did not embrace an honorable life as his own. After Jehoiada died, King Joash “left the house of the LORD” (v.18) and began to worship in a pagan way. He turned and became so evil that he had Jehoiada’s son murdered (vv.20–22).

Having someone in our lives to guide us toward faith and Christlikeness can be good and helpful. Even better is getting to know the Lord ourselves and learning to rely on the Holy Spirit to be our guide (Gal. 5:16). That is making our faith personal. —Dave Branon

Lord, thank You for the people in my life who

influence me toward following You. Help

me not to depend on them primarily—but to

depend on Your Holy Spirit to guide me.

The faith of others encourages; a faith of our own transforms.

Bible in a year: Deuteronomy 11-13; Mark 12:1-27

Insight

Joash was the youngest king to reign in Jerusalem. Because he was 7 years old when his reign began, he was in special need of guidance. In the New Testament, Paul highlights the importance of mentors when he says, “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ” (1 Cor. 11:1).

 

Alistair Begg – Remember the Holy Spirit

Alistair Begg 

Nehemiah 9:20

Common, too common, is the sin of forgetting the Holy Spirit. This is folly and ingratitude. He deserves better from us, for He is good, supremely good. As God, He is good essentially. He shares in the threefold ascription of “Holy, holy, holy” that ascends to the Triune God. He is unmixed purity, truth, and grace. He is good benevolently, tenderly bearing with our waywardness, striving with our rebellious wills, quickening us from our death in sin, and then training us for heaven as a loving father trains his children. How generous, forgiving, and tender is this patient Spirit of God. He is good operatively.

All His works are good in the most eminent degree: He suggests good thoughts, prompts good actions, reveals good truths, applies good promises, assists in good attainments, and leads to good results. There is no spiritual good in all the world of which He is not the author and sustainer, and heaven itself will owe the perfect character of its redeemed inhabitants to His work. He is good officially: Whether as Comforter, Instructor, Guide, Sanctifier, Quickener, or Intercessor, He fulfills His office well, and each work is filled with the highest good to the church of God.

Those who yield to His influences become good; those who obey His impulses do good; those who live under His power receive good. Let us then act toward Him according to the dictates of gratitude. Let us revere His person and adore Him as God over all, blessed forever; let us own His power and our need of Him by waiting upon Him in all our holy enterprises; let us hourly seek His help and never grieve Him; and let us speak His praise whenever occasion occurs. The church will never prosper until it more reverently believes in the Holy Spirit. He is so good and kind that it is sad indeed that He should be grieved by slights and negligences.

The family reading plan for February 16, 2014 Job 15 | 1 Corinthians 3

 

 

Charles Stanley – The Holy Spirit, Our Teacher

Charles Stanley

John 16:12-15

God sends His indwelling presence—the Holy Spirit—to personally instruct believers in His ways. This is a wonderful gift from the Father to every person who chooses to be His follower. And the Spirit of God is certainly well qualified to be our divine teacher: as a member of the Trinity, He is omniscient, just like the other two Persons of the Godhead. Because He knows all truth, He is clearly capable and trustworthy to provide guidance concerning divine matters (John 16:13).

So how can we benefit from the Holy Spirit’s teaching? First, we must trust in Jesus Christ and receive Him as Lord and Savior. The Spirit is freely given to every believer, but He isn’t present in the lives of those who have not yielded to Christ. For this reason, faith in Jesus is the essential first step.

Second, we must believe that the Bible is the Word of God. In it, the Lord shows us His ways, with the intent of drawing us ever closer to Himself. Scripture is God’s revelation to man, and though all 66 books were conveyed through human authors, every verse is fully divine.

Third, instead of relying on our own intellectual ability, we must depend on the Holy Spirit to teach us. Even the most admired human thinkers cannot begin to grasp the mind of the Lord. To the world, the gospel is foolishness, but in fact, it is the power of God (1 Cor. 1:18-25).

The wonders of the Lord are freely available to all who call upon His name. In the power of the Holy Spirit, ask God to bless your studies of His holy Word.

 

John MacArthur – Receiving Spiritual Enlightenment

John MacArthur

“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened” (Eph. 1:18).

Spiritual enlightenment doesn’t come through self-effort orintrospective meditation but through God’s Holy Spirit.

Our society has been enamored with the pursuit of spiritual enlightenment, especially since the influx of Eastern thought into the West duringthe 1960s. Now we are drowning in a sea of false religions and New Age philosophies.

True enlightenment continues to elude many because they have denied itssource and have turned to gurus and teachers who have no light to give. They propagate self-effort and introspective meditation, but spiritual enlightenment doesn’t come through such means. It comes only through the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 2:14-16). That’s why Paul prayed that God Himself would enlighten the hearts of the Ephesian believers (Eph. 1:18).

We might expect Paul to pray for enlightened minds rather than hearts, butthat’s because we associate the word heart with emotions rather than with thought. But in Hebrew and Greek thinking, the heart was considered the seatof knowledge, thinking, and understanding. For example, Jesus said that evilthoughts come out of the heart (Matt. 15:19). Emotions are important, butthey must be guided and controlled by an enlightened mind.

How does the Spirit enlighten you? As you pray and study God’s Word, He transforms and renews your mind (Rom. 12:2) by filling you with “the knowledge of [God’s] will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding” (Col. 1:9). He teaches you to recognize and uphold what is excellent so that you will be “sincere and blameless” before God (Phil. 1:10). He implants Biblical truthinto your thinking so that your responses become more and more like Christ’s.

How wonderful to know that each moment of the day God is workingwithin you in such a way. Be diligent to pray and spend time in the Word sothat your spiritual progress will be evident to all (1 Tim. 4:15).

Suggestions for Prayer:

Thank God for the Spirit’s transforming work within you.

Reaffirm your love for Him, and express your willingness to bechanged by His Spirit in any way He sees fit.

Be alert for attitudes or actionsthat need to be changed. Rely on His grace and strength in doing so.

For Further Study:

Read Genesis 27–33, noting how God used the events of Jacob’s life to transform his weak spiritual commitment to one that was strong and unconditional (see especially Gen. 28:20-22; 32:9-12).

 

Charles Spurgeon – The personality of the Holy Spirit

CharlesSpurgeon

“And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever: 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.” John 14:16,17

Suggested Further Reading: Acts 2:32-39

Observe here, that each person is spoken of as performing a separate office. “I will pray,” says the Son—that is intercession. “I will send,” says the Father—that is donation. “I will comfort,” says the Holy Spirit—that is supernatural influence. Oh! if it were possible for us to see the three persons of the Godhead, we should behold one of them standing before the throne with outstretched hands crying day and night, “O Lord, how long?” We should see one girt with Urim and Thummim, precious stones, on which are written the twelve names of the tribes of Israel; we should behold him crying unto his Father, “Forget not thy promises, forget not thy covenant;” we should hear him make mention of our sorrows, and tell forth our griefs on our behalf, for he is our intercessor. And if we could behold the Father, we should not see him a listless and idle spectator of the intercession of the Son, but we should see him with attentive ear listening to every word of Jesus, and granting every petition. Where is the Holy Spirit all the while? Is he lying idle? Oh, no; he is floating over the earth, and when he sees a weary soul, he says, “Come to Jesus, he will give you rest.” When he beholds an eye filled with tears, he wipes away the tears, and bids the mourner look for comfort on the cross. When he sees the tempest-tossed believer, he takes the helm of his soul and speaks the word of consolation; he helps the broken in heart, and binds up their wounds; and ever on his mission of mercy, he flies around the world, being everywhere present. Behold how the three persons work together.

For meditation: Salvation is all of God—the work is all done by him. And yet he grants to believers the privilege of being co-opted as his fellow-workers to advertise the gospel on his behalf (2 Corinthians 5:18-6: 1).

Sermon no. 4

21 January (1855)

 

Greg Laurie – Powered by His Spirit

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Don’t act thoughtlessly, but try to understand what the Lord wants you to do. Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit. —Ephesians 5:17–18

When we think of being filled with the Spirit, we often relate it to an emotional experience or a feeling of euphoria. But in reality, the word filled could be translated “controlled by.” It is a word that speaks of what happens when the wind fills the sails of a boat and guides it along. So God is saying that we are to let His Spirit fill us and control our lives.

Another interesting thing about this word is that in the original language, it’s in a tense that speaks of something that should be done continually. So you could translate this sentence, “Be constantly filled with the Spirit.” This isn’t a one-time event. Instead, it is something that takes place again and again, just as we repeatedly fill the gas tanks in our cars to keep them running. God wants to refill us with His Spirit. It is a great thing to say each day, “Lord, fill me with Your Spirit. . . . Lord, fill me once again.” You may have an emotional experience, or you may not. But that has very little to do with the reality of being filled with and controlled by the Spirit.

One other thing about this phrase from Ephesians 5:18 is that it’s a command, not a suggestion. The Scripture isn’t saying, “If it works with your schedule, if you don’t mind, would you please consider maybe letting the Holy Spirit fill and control you?” No, in Ephesians

5:18 God commands us — orders us — to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

He knows very well that an intimate relationship with Himself will bring us the greatest fulfillment and happiness in our lives that we could ever know. 

 

Joyce Meyer – Power of the Spirit

Joyce meyer

Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit . . . says the Lord of hosts.—Zechariah 4:6b (NKJV)

“I’m a nobody,” my friend Gary said, “and besides, God has so many millions of people to look out for, and in comparison with some of them, my problems seem so petty.”

His words shocked me. Of course, God has millions to care for—but He can care for all of them at the same time.

Gary missed something very important. God wants us to ask for help—and to ask often. Look at it this way: If Satan constantly attacks our minds, how else can we fortify ourselves? We fight back—but our major weapon is to cry out to the Lord asking for His strength to become ours.

Too many times, we think we can do it ourselves. In some instances, that may be true, but if we’re going to win continually over the attacks against our minds, we must realize that willpower alone won’t work. What we need is the humility to turn to the Holy Spirit and ask Him to strengthen us.

I realize that many people do not grasp how the Lord lovingly operates in their lives. Not only does God love us like a father, but He also has caring concern for every part of our lives. Our heavenly Father wants to intervene and help us, but He waits for an invitation to get involved. We issue that invitation and open the door for God’s help through prayer. God’s Word says, “You do not have, because you do not ask” (James 4:2 NKJV).

Perhaps we can think of it this way. God is watching us all the time, and He is aware of the temptations, struggles, and hardships we face—and we all face them. If we think we can do it by ourselves, God takes no action. But He remains ready to jump in and rescue us as soon as we cry out, asking for the power of the Holy Spirit to operate in our lives.

Our victory begins with right thinking. We have to be convinced that God cares, wants to act, and waits for us to cry out. When we cry out, we understand the words quoted previously, that it’s not by force or power, but by God’s Holy Spirit that victory comes.

For example, take the matter of personal fellowship—daily time spent in prayer and reading the Word. As Christians, we know this is what God wants and what we need if we’re going to mature spiritually. At one time in my life, I tried to maintain spiritual self-discipline. I determined that I would pray and read my Bible every single day. I would do well for two or three days, and then something would interfere—sometimes my family or something at our church, but mostly little things that took my attention away from daily fellowship with my Lord.

One day, in desperation, I cried out, “Without Your help, I’ll never be faithful in doing this.” That’s when the Holy Spirit came to me and gave me the self-discipline I needed. It was almost as if God watched me struggle and allowed me to become frustrated and angry with myself. But as soon as I sincerely asked for help, the Spirit came to my rescue. We are too independent, and we experience a lot of unnecessary frustration simply because we try to do things without God’s help.

With the Spirit’s help, I am learning—yes, still learning—that I can choose what I want to think about. I can choose my thoughts, and I need to do that carefully. Unless I’m in regular fellowship with Him, I won’t know the difference between healthy thoughts and unhealthy ones. And if I don’t know the difference, I provide the opportunity for Satan to sneak into my mind and torment me. Spend plenty of time studying God’s Word, and you will quickly recognize each lie that Satan tries to plant in your mind.

Dear loving God, I want to think thoughts that honor You. I want to have a mind that’s fully centered on You, and I know that can’t happen unless I spend daily time with You. Help me, Holy Spirit; help me to be obedient and eager to be in constant fellowship with You. Amen.

 

 

Charles Stanley – The God Who Rescues

Charles Stanley

Hebrews 10:1-14

In ancient Israel, the priests were continually offering sacrifices to atone for the people’s sins. Specifically, the high priest annually entered the most sacred room in the temple to prepare a sacrifice that would absolve the entire nation of sin for that year. This room, which is known as the Holy of Holies, was where God’s Spirit dwelled in those days.

Jesus’ death on the cross and His resurrection changed the process. He became the High Priest, and the sacrifice was His own life—an offering powerful enough to pay the sin debt of all mankind. Through Jesus’ one offering, He made holy any person who trusts in Him as Savior. He does not have to die every year. And unlike the Jewish priests who could enter God’s presence only once annually, Jesus sat down at the Father’s right hand, to remain in His holy presence forever. There, Christ continues His work as High Priest by interceding on behalf of believers when Satan accuses them.

God recognized that in our humanity, we would remain weak—even after being born again (John 3:3; 2 Cor. 12:9). So His rescue plan extends beyond pardoning our sins. He also sends His Holy Spirit to indwell every Christian. That means the Helper is always present to guide us in making wise, righteous decisions.

The Father’s redemption plan meets all of mankind’s needs. Jesus Christ offered a perfect sacrifice to cover our every sin, and now He continues to intercede on our behalf. At the same time, the indwelling Holy Spirit molds us into holy creatures while helping us to avoid temptation.

 

 

Charles Spurgeon – The Holy Spirit and the one church

CharlesSpurgeon

“These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.” Jude 19

Suggested Further Reading: Romans 8:5-13

The Holy Spirit when he comes in the heart comes like water. That is to say, he comes to purify the soul. He that is to-day as foul as he was before his pretended conversion is a hypocrite and a liar; he that this day loves sin and lives in it just as he was accustomed to do, let him know that the truth is not in him, but he hath received the strong delusion to believe a lie: God’s people are a holy people; God’s Spirit works by love, and purifies the soul. Once let it get into our hearts, and it will have no rest till it has turned every sin out. God’s Holy Spirit and man’s sin cannot live together peaceably; they may both be in the same heart, but they cannot both reign there, nor can they both be quiet there; for “the Spirit lusteth against the flesh, and the flesh lusteth against the Spirit;” they cannot rest, but there will be a perpetual warring in the soul, so that the Christian will have to cry, “O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” But in due time the Spirit will drive out all sin, and will present us blameless before the throne of his Majesty with exceeding great joy. Now, answer this question for thyself, and not for another man. Hast thou received this Spirit? Answer me.

For meditation: When the Holy Spirit enters a person at the new birth, he begins to change that person for the better; but that involves declaring war on the flesh (Galatians 5:17). An intensified awareness of one’s sinfulness can be very distressing (Romans 7:24), but the believer can take courage in the knowledge that God is at work. Those who know nothing of these experiences since professing conversion should examine their professed faith, no matter what other experiences of the Spirit they may claim to have had.

Sermon no. 167

13 December (1857)

 

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – At Least As Much

dr_bright

“And if even sinful persons like yourselves give children what they need, don’t you realize that your heavenly Father will do at least as much, and give the Holy Spirit to those who ask for Him?” (Luke 11:13).

A Christian leader approached me after one of my messages on the person and ministry of the Holy Spirit.

“I want to be a Spirit-filled person,” he said, “but I don’t know what to do. I have read many books about the Holy Spirit and have sincerely sought His fullness, but to no avail. I am seriously considering giving up Christian ministry and returning to a business career. Please help me.”

With great delight I shared with this earnest seeker the truths about the Holy Spirit. To be filled with the Holy Spirit is to be controlled and empowered by the Holy Spirit. We cannot have two masters.

There is a throne, a control center, in every life and either self or Christ is on that throne. This concept of Christ being on the throne is so simple that even a child can understand it.

It is such a simple truth, and yet, in its distilled essence, that is what the supernatural, Spirit-controlled life is all about – just keeping Christ on the throne. We do this when we understand how to walk in the control and power of the Holy Spirit, for the Spirit came for the express purpose of glorifying Christ by enabling the believer to live a holy life and to be a productive witness for the Savior.

The key to supernatural living is a life centered in the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ. This supernatural life is often called the Spirit-filled Christian or the Christ-centered life. The spirit-filled Christian is one who, according to Romans 6:11, has considered himself to be dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Christ is now at the center of his life; He is Lord.

Bible Reading: Romans 8:9-14

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I will not allow self to usurp the rightful place of Jesus Christ – in the person of His Holy Spirit – at the control center, the throne, of my life.

 

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – He Does the Work

dr_bright

“And I am sure the God who began the good work within you will keep right on helping you grow in His grace until His task within you is finally finished on that day when Jesus Christ returns” (Philippians 1:6).

Howard was adamant in his conviction. “I would never lead anyone to Christ that I could not personally follow up to be sure he matures and grows and becomes all that God wants him to be.”

“Since when did you assume the responsibility of the Holy Spirit?” I asked.

Obviously, we are to do everything we can to help a new believer grow to maturity in Christ – by teaching him to trust God, study His word, pray, live a holy life, and share his faith with others. But no matter how much we do, it is the Holy Spirit who helps the new believer come to Christ, and who illumines his heart with the Word. The Holy Spirit teaches us how to pray and empowers us to witness. In fact, there would be no supernatural life apart from the Holy Spirit.

Paradoxically, you and I can be confident, yet humble, when we think of all that we are, and all that we have in Christ, and realize that we are not responsible for any of it, but it is something which God has given us according to His grace. My only boast is in God, His Son Jesus Christ and His indwelling Holy Spirit. How can I boast of my abilities and achievements, when it is the Giver alone who is worthy of all honor and praise? The apostle Paul had the strong conviction that the work God had begun in the believer would be permanent. All events that transpire in our lives, all influences, heartaches, testings and sorrows, as well as all of the blessings, are designed to conform us to the image of Christ.

Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:4-9

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: God, who saved me, continues to work in my life, conforming me to the image of Christ. Therefore, I will continue to trust and obey Him, as I draw upon His supernatural resources

 

Alistair Begg – The Role of the Holy Spirit

Alistair Begg

Do not grieve the Holy Spirit.

Ephesians 4:30

All that the believer has must come from Christ, but it comes solely through the channel of the Spirit of grace. Just as all blessings flow to you through the Holy Spirit, so also no good thing can come out of you in holy thought, devout worship, or gracious act apart from the sanctifying operation of the same Spirit.

Even if the good seed is sown in you, it still lies dormant until He works in you to will and to do of His own good pleasure.

Do you desire to speak for Jesus-how can you unless the Holy Spirit touches your lips?

Do you desire to pray? Sadly, what dull work it is unless the Spirit makes intercession for you!

Do you desire to subdue sin? Would you be holy? Would you imitate your Master? Do you desire to rise to superlative heights of spirituality? Are you looking to be made like the angels of God, full of zeal and love for the Master’s cause? You cannot without the Spirit-“Apart from me you can do nothing.”1

O branch of the vine, you can have no fruit without the sap! O child of God, you have no life within you apart from the life that God gives you through His Spirit!

So let us not grieve Him or provoke Him to anger by our sin. Let us not quench Him even in one of His faintest motions in our soul; let us foster every suggestion and be ready to obey every prompting.

If the Holy Spirit is indeed so mighty, let us attempt nothing without Him; let us begin no project and carry on no enterprise and conclude no transaction without seeking His blessing.

Let us give Him the due homage of feeling our entire weakness apart from Him, and then depend alone upon Him, having this for our prayer: “Open my heart and my whole being to Your fullness, and uphold me with Your Spirit when I have received that Spirit in my inward parts.”

1 John 15:5

 

 

Charles Stanley – The Promised Holy Spirit

Charles Stanley

John 14:23-26

Jesus assured His followers that it would be to their benefit if He left the earth. He could then send His Spirit, who plays an essential role in the life of each believer (John 16:7).

The indwelling Holy Spirit serves as our:

• Security. At salvation, we are placed in Christ and sealed in Him by the third person of the Trinity. The presence of God’s Spirit marks us as the Father’s children and is a pledge that we will belong to Him forever (Eph. 1:13-14).

• Helper. God the Holy Spirit provides wisdom, knowledge, and understanding (1 Cor. 2:12). Because He is divine, He knows ways to help us that no mere human could figure out. He strengthens us when we are weak and prays for us when we do not know how (Rom. 8:26).

• Guide. The Holy Spirit can direct us appropriately because He knows the truth of every situation, the hearts of people around us, and our own attitudes and motives. His guidance will always be right because He knows the Lord’s will for us (1 Cor. 2:9-11). We can trust what He says—He doesn’t speak on His own initiative but communicates only what He hears from God (John 16:13-14).

• Spiritual Power Source. The Spirit releases His power into our lives for the purpose of fruitful service and godly living (Eph. 3:16). This divine energy and authority is always available to us, as long as we are yielded to His control.

The Holy Spirit is a VIP—a very important person. Fully God, He lives within us to carry out our triune God’s divine purposes. Are you following His lead?