“When I am weak, then am I strong” - 2Cor. 12:10 - This is Paul’s testimony. When he realized he had no strength in himself, then he turned to the Lord for his support. All the work accomplished in and through the Christian is achieved by the power of the Holy Spirit. - Before the Lord left His disciples to return into heaven, He promised them that they would, “receive power” Acts 1:8 - He was referring to the coming of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost when He would empower the disciples to witness and live for the Lord. This age called the Church age is the dispensation of the Holy Spirit. He is the prominent person of the Trinity during the temporary, physical absence of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Let us consider the, Work Of The Spirit, in the,
BELIEVER, and in the
WORLD, “he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment” John 16:8 - He convicts the sinner and leads him to repentance and faith in the Lord for salvation. - Peter reminds us in, 1Peter 1:12, that it is the Holy Spirit who empowers the preacher to proclaim the Gospel. - Again, Paul tells us in 1Thes. 1:5 that the Gospel came not in “word only” but in the power and with much assurance of the Holy Spirit. -- Consider the work of the Spirit, in the
BELIEVER. - He saves us by regeneration and the renewing ministry in the believer. - Titus 3:5 - The Spirit leads the believer into an intimate relationship, enabling us to cry, “Abba Father” Gal. 4:6 - The Spirit also removes the bondage of fear and introduces the status of “adoption” Rom. 8:15 - Finally, the work of the Spirit in the
CHURCH. - The Spirit indwells both the believer and the Church. They are the temples of the Holy Spirit. 1Cor. 3:16 - The Spirit provides and develops the spiritual gifts in the Church. He equips and sends missionaries into the world. Acts. 13:2-4
THE HOLY SPIRITS’ RELATIONSHIPS To The Unbeliever And Believer.
I. THE HOLY SPIRIT AND THE UNBELIEVER
1. Resisted by unbelief. Ac. 7:51
2. Ignored by ritualism. (Chose Law over grace) Heb. 10:29
3. Blasphemed by rationalism. Mat. 12:28-32
4. Tempted by deception. Acts. 5:1-9
5. Reproves the world of sin, righteousness and judgment. John. 16:8
II. THE HOLY SPIRIT AND THE BELIEVER
1. Convicts of sin. “He will reprove the world of sin” John. 16:8
2. Sets apart for salvation. “The sanctification of the Spirit.” 1Peter. 1:2
3. Regenerates through the Word. “Born again...” 1Peter. 1:23
4. Seals, “with that holy Spirit of promise” Eph. 1:13
(1) The seal is. “The earnest of our inheritance...” Eph. 1:14
5. Sons have, “The Spirit of his Son...crying, Abba, Father” Gal. 4:6
6. The Spirit of Truth reveals Christ who is the “Truth”. John. 14:16,17
7. The indwelling Spirit will give life to our mortal bodies. Rom. 8:11
8. The Spirit bears witness with our spirit. (Assurance) Rom. 8:16
9. Intercedes in our prayers; “He helps us and makes intercession...” Rom. 8:26
10. Those who are “led by the Spirit...are the sons of God” Rom. 8:14
11. Prepares us for service.
(1) Calls to service. (Barnabas and Saul) Acts. 13:2
(2) Guides in service. “The Spirit suffered them not” Acts. 16:7
(3) Empowers for service. “Ye shall receive power...” Acts. 1:8
**Heb.5: 11-14; 1Peter.2: 1-3; 2Peter.3: 18 - (Key verses on spiritual maturity)
1. A command, not an option. “...Grow…” 2Peter.3: 18
2. The provision. “…Milk/meat of the Word…” “...Grace...”
3. The requisite. “…Lay aside…” “...Knowledge of our Lord...”
4. The goal. “To him is glory both now and for ever. Amen”
5. Maturity is essential for spiritual discernment. Heb.5: 13,14
6. Retarded spiritual growth is inexcusable.
TRATES OF IMMATURITY: see, 1Cor.3: 1-4
1. Carnal Christians are spiritually retarded. They act like natural men. 3
(1) The first symptom is the, “works of the flesh”. Gal.5: 19
(2) Three classes, Natural, Spiritual and Carnal. See, 1Cor. 2:14 - 3:1
2. They are undisciplined and childish in attitude and behavior.
(1) Self-centered. They like attention, pampering and entertainment.
(2) Selfish. They are reluctant in sharing. “Give me…that’s mine”
(3) Ungrateful. Slow to say, “Please and thank you.”
(4) Combative. Rather quarrel then help. “Envy and strife” 3
3. Hero worshippers. “I am of Paul, etc.” - (Follow the preacher) 1Cor .3:4
MARKS OF MATURITY (Steady progress - physical and spiritual)
1. From baby talk, to intelligent conversation.
2. From baby food (milk) to solid meat of the Word.
3. From stumbling to a steady forward walk/race.
4. From dependence to responsible activities.
5. Childhood relics are replaced. “I put away childish things” 1Co.13: 11
(1) From dolls, and Teddy Bears to parental roles, etc.
6. From spectator, to participant.
(1) Becomes a student of Scripture to share, not just spoon-fed.
7. A growing love and appreciation for Christ and God’s Word.
8. A hatred of sin and love for righteousness. (Separation)
9. Sensitive to the will of God.
10. A compelling compassion for the lost.
11. A genuine love for assembly fellowship.
12. A heart in tune for worship.
13. A changed life, “new life in Christ”. Ro. 8:2 - 2Co. 5:17
14. A commitment that leads to reproach for Christ. Heb. 13:13
15. Examine priorities, weights and hindrances. (Good, better and best)
16. A display of the, “fruit of the Spirit” Gal. 5:22
BIBLE EXAMPLES of spiritual growth.
1. Peter; backslider to preacher.
2. Paul; Persecutor to bond slave of Christ.
3. John; Son of Thunder to a disciple of love.
4. Thomas; doubter to worshiper.
5. Hannah made a new coat for Samuel each year. 1Sam. 2:19
DIVINE PROVISIONS for stimulating growth.
1. Good diet, the Bible. “Milk and meat of the Word” - 1Pet. 2:2
2. Good Instructor, the Holy Spirit instructing and guiding.
3. Good instruction, Christ who indwells and intercedes.
4. Good experience, trials and temptations. Rom. 5:3-5
5. Good involvement, corporate worship and assembly fellowship.
6. Good occupation, active service. (Healthy diet and exercise)
V. LESSONS FROM PAUL’S NURTURING TIMOTHY see, Php.2: 19-23
1. Good materials, his mother and grandmother prepared him. 2Tim. 1:5
(1) Moses got his early training at his mother’s knees.
2. Timothy proved dependable, dead to self and committed. 21
3. Paul was concerned with both development and accomplishment.
4. Paul created an atmosphere for development.
(1) Treated him as a person, friend, son and co-equal.
(2) He commended him for progress but avoided flattery.
(3) He gave constructive criticism in love as needed.
5. A son, father relationship is built on mutual love, trust, respect, etc.
6. Rejoice when they pass you up and carry the baton.
1. Elevator Christians, lots of activity but no progress.
2. Don’t expect mature behavior from youth.
(1) Allow them the luxury of a few mistakes, like we had.
(2) Development thrives on encouragement, not unnecessary reprimands.
(3) When correction is needed, do it in love.
3. Infancy is normal and beautiful but not immaturity or carnality.
4. A final word, “grow up!” - Be men of courage. (Strong) 1Cor. 16:13
5. Grow until you reach, “the stature of the fullness of Christ.” Eph. 4:13
Seed Thoughts & Sermon Starters
The SPIRIT, In Galatians Chapter Five
1. All believers “live in the Spirit” but not all “walk in the Spirit” Gal. 5:25
2. To walk in the Spirit, assures, victory over the flesh. Gal. 5:16
3. The Spirit and the flesh are in conflict with each other. Gal. 5:17
4. Being, “led by the Spirit” - gives freedom from the law. Gal. 5:18
5. Liberty in the Spirit makes us free to bear the “fruit of the Spirit” Gal. 5:22
6. To “live in the Spirit” is unconditional, for all believers. Gal. 5:25
7. To walk and be led by and bear fruit, in the Spirit, is voluntary and conditional.
The Spirits: - Coming, Comfort And Companionship
1. The Spirit’s
COMING - was dependent, (1) On Christ’s absence. John 16:7
(2) On Christ’s ascension. John 14:28
(3) On Christ’s advocacy. John 14:16
2. The Spirit’s
COMFORT - makes Christ dearer, the word clearer and heaven nearer. John 16:13,14,15
3. The Spirit’s
COMPANIONSHIP - Is in and with the believer.
SEAL, Eph. 1:13; 4:30
EARNEST, Eph. 1:14; 2Cor. 1:22
RESIDENT, Rom. 8:11- 1Cor. 6:19,20
ANOINTING, 2Cor.1: 21- 1John. 2:20
WITNESS, Rom. 8:16 Heb. 10:15
THE LORD’S RELATIONSHIP To The Believer
1. BEFORE to lead and direct us.
2. BEHIND to encourage and instruct us.
3. ABOVE to watch over and protect us.
4. BESIDE to befriend and walk with us.
5. BENEATH to uphold and sustain us.
6. WITHIN to empower and abide in and with us.
The Spirit Filled Life -
“Be filled with the Spirit” - Eph. 5:18
1. It is a
COMMAND to obey. - “Be filled with the Spirit”
2. It is a “
JOYFUL” life. - “Singing and making melody in your heart.” Eph. 5:19
3. It is a “
THANKFUL” life. - “Giving thanks...” Eph. 5:20
4. It is a “
GRACEFUL” life. - “Wives submit... husbands love... “ Eph. 5:22,25
5. It is a
“PEACEFUL” life. - “Fathers provoke not...” Eph. 6:4
6. It is a “
PROFITABLE” life. - “Nurture children in the admonition of the Lord”
7. It is a “
POWERFUL” life. - “Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might”
8. It is a “
PRAYERFUL” life. - “Praying always with all prayer...” Eph. 6:18
Notes & Quotes
Worry is carrying our burden too far. He is the Burden Bearer, and says, “I will give you rest”.
God may take us into His darkroom to develop our character.
Those closest to Christ are sure to be drawn closer still.
Martha, somewhat perplexed with life, was not entering into intimate communion with the Lord like her sister Mary, yet the chapter is prefaced with the statement, “Jesus loved Martha.” (John 11:5)
The obstacles that appear to us as mountains, through the mists of unbelief, are only an occasion for God to display His omnipotent power and infinite love.
An unsatisfied heart is a source of danger, and a divided heart is the continual cause of an inconsistent walk. When Christ possesses and engrosses our affections, we are superior to every temptation of the enemy.
Grace And Truth
“...Full of grace and truth” John 1:14
“...The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ...” 2Cor.8: 9
“...I am the...Truth...” John 14:6
What perfect balance we see in our Lord Jesus. He could stand for truth and yet be gracious. Pray for me! - I wont to be gracious, but have the temptation to compromise and condone in doing so. I am in danger of forfeiting faithfulness to God for popularity with man. - Our Blessed Lord said, “neither do I condemn thee, but He also said, “go and sin no more” - He said, “Woe unto thee” but He also said, “come unto Me” - Beautiful balance of grace and truth. Let us seek God’s grace and power to see this a reality in our lives.
“I know, O LORD, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me.” Psalms. 119:75
How can a faithful God allow affliction to come into our lives? It is because He loves us and in the end it will prove to be for our good and for His glory. It sometimes takes a crisis to develop this. There were two secret disciples, who had been hiding in the shadows but needed the crisis of Calvary to test their allegiance to the Lord. While the other disciples were still hiding and trembling, Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea boldly came out into the dangerous open and begged the body of their Lord to give Him a proper burial. God may use a crisis in our lives to reveal a virtue that has been lying dormant for too long.
Have thine own way Lord, have thine own way, thou art the Potter; I am the clay.
Mold me and make me, after thy will, while I am waiting, yielded and still.
“I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Rom.8: 18
“I will give her...the valley of Achor for a door of hope” Hosea 2:15
The valley of Achor is the valley of suffering, but also a door of hope; When we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, there is no need for fear because we have the assurance, that our Heavenly Shepherd is with us, and it is the door of hope into a blessed eternity. We may now be in the valley of Achor, but Paul reminds us the sufferings are only temporal, and is nothing to be compared with the glory that will follow.
He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength when the labors increase,
To added affliction He addeth His mercy.
To multiplied trials, His multiplied peace.
His love has no limit; His grace has no measure,
His power has no boundary known to men,
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus,
He giveth and giveth and giveth again! - (Annie Johnson Flint)
“I sought him, but I found him not...” So. 3:1
Mary and Joseph sought Jesus and found Him in the temple; they thought He was lost, but He was right where they left Him.
If our companionship with Him is broken, it is not He who moved, but we. We can’t lose our salvation but we can lose our fellowship. Unconfessed sin, breaks fellowship - neglecting our Bible breaks fellowship - neglect of prayer and assembling with God’s people, breaks fellowship. First, His blood cleanses from all sin - His Book teaches us precious truths about Him - on our knees we enjoy sweet communion and communication - consistent fellowship in the local Church shields us from the attacks of the evil one.
Later the bride could say, “I found him whom my soul loveth: I held him, and would not let him go...” So.3: 4 - A blessed reality for the serious believer.
Questions & Answers
QUESTION - David prayed, “Take not thy Holy Spirit from me.” Ps. 51:11 - Does this mean the Holy Spirit may depart for the believer today?
ANSWER - In the Old Testament times the Holy Spirit came upon individuals to perform a given task, and then departed. Now in the New Testament times the Holy Spirit comes to reside in the believer forever. The believer today is “sealed” by the Holy Spirit until the day of redemption. Eph. 1:13 - Eph. 4:30 - This New Testament Church age is the dispensation of the Spirit.