Transforming From Impurity To Purity. THE HOLY SPIRIT’S WORK FROM CREATION TO PRESENT DAY Study #5 (Various Scriptures)-Revised from Original Study Original Post Date(7-28-2020)

Romans 8:10-11 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.

In this study we will focus on how we grow as the Holy Spirit guides us in the sanctification process. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 says do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. 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.

What we have learned so far about the Holy Spirit has helped us to understand so much of His role in Creation, in His work with the prophets and priests in the Old Testament, we have seen His work in the life and ministry of Jesus, His power in the resurrection of Jesus, His power in the work of redemption in every believer and the power given to every believer to be a witness. Now some may say that they just don’t feel this power or see the evidence of the Spirit in their life. They may not see how they could be used as a witness because their own life is such a mess. This is the part of knowing that we aren’t perfect yet and we are in the process of sanctification. This process is the ongoing, lifelong process of becoming holy. This is where the Holy Spirit works in you to rid the sin in your life and helps you to be more like Jesus. It’s as we see in this 1 Corinthians passage that says that we were once a person that followed our own passions and desires and now we are washed, justified and sanctified.

So in the overall picture of things when we started following Jesus we were justified, that is we now have the verdict of not guilty before God. Also in God’s perspective we are not only redeemed but we are seen as being sanctified or holy already. But as we all know we still have this lingering sinful, unredeemed body that has years and years of corruption within. Our minds have been taught by the world, our bodies have been once filled with our own desires and we live in a society that is bent towards sin. Even though God sees us as holy, we often can look and see the utter failure to be obedient. This is how Paul explained his battle with sin in Romans 7:15 For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 

This should be the cry of every believer. We all will sin but it should be our desire to grow. This desire to grow happens because of the Holy Spirit that lives within us. 2 Thessalonians 2:13 says But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth.. We see once again that the Spirit is the one that brings us through this sanctification process. So we might ask how does the Spirit do this?

What is the evidence of this in my life?

So we are going to look at some very important facts about how this sanctification process works but before getting to much into that let’s know that we need to follow the guidance that the Holy Spirit gives to us.

We must understand that our sanctification is Our responsibility. Yes I said it, we can’t just expect to get saved, go to church and everything is just going to be removed out of our life. It takes our effort to follow the Holy Spirit’s leading and to follow the commands given to us. Once again we turn to another word from one of Paul’s epistles in Philippians 2:12-13 that says Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

So we see it is God working in us but it is our command to work out our salvation. I just need to mention that this does not say to work for your salvation. The salvation we see that needs working out in each believer is the area of personal sanctification or holiness. How do we do this?

Is it by going to church?

Is it by saying a prayer wanting to be changed?

I’ll answer that those things can be important to sanctification but we must first follow the instructions given to us in the Scriptures. So for our first look at how the Holy Spirit works to sanctify us we need to know and follow His instructions in the Holy Spirit inspired Holy Bible(The Word of God).

1.Holy Bible(The Word of God).
John 17:17-19 says Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth. Jesus came to this world to be the sacrifice for our sins. He came to testify to the world and show us the Father but now has left and that makes us to be witnesses for Him. We can’t be witnesses to something we don’t know anything about and we aren’t to be witnesses to just a movement. We are called to be witnesses to the world we live in and that witness is that Jesus came to die for our sins and has brought salvation to all that believe. As you know though if you’ve ever talked with anyone about religion or anything, people will ask questions. The Bible says it like this in 1 Peter 3:15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.

This verse is clear that we are to be prepared because as we live for Christ we will be questioned of the hope we have. People will see that even through the toughest trials and temptations we can keep our faith in the only true and living God. So we see the importance of knowing the Word of God and having this knowledge but how do we know the Word?

We can’t just read the Bible and think we are going to have the wisdom we need. We need the Holy Spirit to help us in every way to know the true meaning of the Scriptures. When we allow the Holy Spirit to speak to us it’s not by some voice in our head, some supernatural mystical feeling or some vision but we look into the authority of the Scriptures, the Word of God. We have seen that Jesus prayed that we would be sanctified through the Word which is the truth. The fact is really all we need for instruction on how to live or direction in any area of life is found within the Bible. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

So the point I really want to bring to our attention is that the Holy Spirit is the one that inspired the Scriptures and it is with the Scriptures that He first wants us to go to for instruction and direction. This means that we read and study the Scriptures on an every day basis. We don’t wait for some special word to come down from heaven, or some inner inspiration or some vision that helps us along, no we look into the Scriptures and find the truth within and allow God to then work in us. This helps us in every area of life, we will see our sin, we will see the answers to how to witness to that family member or co-worker, we will see the instructions on how to live a life away from our own selfish desires and we will learn how to grow so that we will be useful for every good work as it says in 2 Timothy 3. So if we first get into the Scriptures we know which direction to go, we then will see that there is a change within us as He produces Fruit or good values within us.

2.Fruit of the Spirit
What we will learn from this concept is that the Spirit which produces fruit within us produces fruit as we walk in the Spirit. This indicates the same thing that we have seen in reading and studying the Scriptures. This walk is a step by step, day by day, daily battle to walk as the Spirit leads us. Once again we can’t expect to rid sin out of our life if we are still living in it. We must choose to walk differently. Galatians 5:16 says But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.

We are to walk along or in step with the Holy Spirit as He guides us. This is the work of the Spirit that Jesus told us about in John 14:26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.

He will teach us, He will help us as we take the steps away from the fleshly desires but we must first listen to Him through the Word of God. What we need to see is that He desires to see us grow in every area of our life. Paul desired this for the Colossian church and God desires that we would be the witnesses He’s called each of us to be. Listen to Paul as he encourages the people at Colossae in Colossians 1:9-12 And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 

He desires to see us grow but we must take responsibility to get into the Word and decide each day to walk by the Spirit’s guidance as we are directed in the Word of God.

Where do you stand as you examine where you are before the Holy God?

Have you been justified?

Then you should be in the sanctification process that could be looked at as the pruning that God does to His children from John 15:1-2 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. If He’s pruning you then you are His. If you’ve never felt this then maybe you are reading this because you need to be justified before God. This is only done by the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ. If you are seen as holy already before God then I urge to to walk in the manner of the Lord as He guides you by His Spirit. In the next study we will see how the Spirit produces gifts in each of us to be used for His glory alone.

Podcast for….Redemption In Christ By Grace. EXPOSITION ON THE BOOK OF EPHESIANS study #4 (Ephesians 1:7-10)

Redemption In Christ By Grace. EXPOSITION ON THE BOOK OF EPHESIANS study #4 (Ephesians 1:7-10) Disciple's Direction

Redemption In Christ By Grace. EXPOSITION ON THE BOOK OF EPHESIANS study #4 (Ephesians 1:7-10)

We love the idea that we have salvation and we know that it was not our own will but God’s will for us to be saved. This teaching really carries on throughout these verses even though we will not continue to press the issue of predestination but we can’t help but see God’s sovereignty in all of this. But the focus of this study will be more on the fact that God brought on this salvation by the sacrifice of His Son and our Lord Jesus Christ. Again just like in our last study we will see that this plan of redemption was a plan that has a purpose. That purpose is not just for our benefit but is for the very reason of completing God’s plan for redemption of His people. I hope this study along with what we have learned over the past 2 studies will help all of us in understanding what salvation really is and why God saved us in the first place. Let’s now look at our first point.

1.Redeemed by Christ’s blood.
Look with me at Ephesians 1:7-8 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight. What we see in these 2 verses are the basis of our salvation. Without this redemption through the blood of Christ there would be no forgiveness of sin and therefore no salvation. We have learned in the past study that we were adopted into the family of God and now we will see the means in which that transaction took place. God could not accept a sacrifice that was sinful, God can not be in the presence of sin and for that reason we do not have access on our own to enter Heaven. What we mean of God not being in the presence of sin is the idea to His moral character because as we know God is omnipresent therefore He is everywhere at all times which means He is around sin. Anyway this study is not to teach a theological viewpoint of God’s absence in the presence of sin. We need to understand that to some degree but that is not the primary focus of this study.

What we do need to see is that the Scripture says here that in him we have redemption through his blood. Now of course this in him statement takes us back to verse 5 where it says that he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ. So this of course is talking about Jesus. There is redemption in Jesus and only through Jesus. Paul says it just a little different in Colossians 1:13-14 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

This salvation we have is seen as an adoption and is seen as a transfer from the domain of darkness to the kingdom of the Son of God Jesus Christ. But notice that none of this is possible without the redemption that comes through the blood of Jesus. Now I want to make clear here that this blood of Jesus’ did not contain some supernatural element within it but His blood that was shed was the blood needed from someone that was sinless. It was the perfect and sinless nature of Jesus that made His sacrifice of His blood the fulfillment of the requirement for the redemption for our sins. Hebrews 9:11-12 says But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) 12 he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.

Then we continue to see in Hebrews 9:24-26 For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. 25 Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own, 26 for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.

It was not just the blood but it was the blood that was shed from the sacrifice that Jesus made by dying on the cross and resurrecting to give us eternal life. This redemption is not possible without the death of Jesus and it was in this way that Paul says here in Ephesians 1:7 that we have this redemption through the blood of Jesus for the forgiveness of our trespasses. Now this is the foundation of the Gospel message for salvation. If we have no forgiveness then we pay the penalty for our own sins. But it was in the redeeming act of Christ, which is His death and resurrection that has given us the redemption and adoption that we have. Jesus taught this very thing as He instituted the Lord’s Supper for the first time in Matthew 26:27-28 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, 28 for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

Of course the representation of the Lord’s Supper was that Jesus would shed His blood and die for the forgiveness of sin. I want to point out before we move on the word trespasses in Ephesians 1:7. This is the Greek word paraptóma (par-ap’-to-mah) which means a trespass, a slip or a falling away. This word carries with it the idea of deliberate sins and sins that are not deliberate. In other words there are things we do against God’s commands that we don’t even realize at times and Jesus’ sacrifice covers those sins along with the deliberate sins. This is a full redemption that has been given to us that are truly followers of the Lord Jesus. Notice also that Paul says that this redemption is not only accomplished through His blood but according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight.

To understand salvation we must understand that our salvation is only possible because of His grace. It was not an act of our own nor was it something we did by pleading mercy from God. Salvation has been given solely by His grace. This is one of the teachings that came from the Protestant Reformation, it is Grace alone. This shows that we did nothing to earn or make this salvation happen. No prayer, no giving of our money or time, not a baptism nor just attendance at church but only by the grace of God do we have redemption and the forgiveness of sins.

Paul says that God lavished this salvation and forgiveness on us in all wisdom and insight. I love the word he uses here for lavished in the Greek language. The word is eperisseusen that comes from the word perisseuó (per-is-syoo’-o) which means to abound, so the “e” at the beginning of this word intensifies the word which would give us the meaning of super abounding or going above and beyond. The idea is that this redemption is so great that we not only can’t earn it but we don’t really deserve it even though God does give this to us. This salvation is beyond anything we should receive and therefore is something that is extremely lavished on us in all wisdom and insight. This points us really to what we will see in our next point. This salvation that God has given, gives us the understanding of how all of this is worked out in the plan of God. This will be seen now in our second point.

2.The purpose of God’s plan for redemption.
Look with me at Ephesians 1:9-10 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. The wisdom and insight that God gives to us is understood by making known to us the mystery of his will Paul says here. The mystery is given to us in these verses really. There is not some hidden message that we need to be looking for but it really points us to what he says here at the end of verse 10. He says that this plan of redemption and salvation was set in motion to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

Notice the connection here that this brings all things in complete unity through this plan of redemption. It is not just to bring us to eternal life nor to give us a heavenly mansion and to walk the streets of gold but this plan is to bring unity to all things in heaven and earth. This mystery is that the Jews are not the only recipients of salvation but the Gentile people are a part of this redemption as well. Paul says in Colossians 1:24-28 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, 25 of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, 26 the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. 27 To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ.

This unity starts with the people groups of this world. God has united all people groups to be the church. This will end in all things being in unity after God initiates the end of time as we know it. Paul clearly says this very thing later on in Ephesians 3:1-6 For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles— assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for you, how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly. When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.

This mystery he speaks of is the unity of the church that gives to our Lord Jesus complete rule over all things. We will see this in more detail when we get there but to get the idea look at what Ephesians 1:19-23 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

What we need to realize is that we should be thankful that God has given us His grace and mercy so that we can be a part of His kingdom. Without His grace and mercy we would be doomed to Hell for eternity. The plan of God in our salvation is primarily to bring unity to all things for God’s glory and Jesus’ exaltation. Thank God today for this grace that He has given to you and trust that He is sovereign in every aspect of the plan of redemption even if you don’t fully understand it as none of us really do.

Podcast for….Jesus Is Full Of The Holy Spirit. EXPOSITION ON THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO LUKE study #32 (Luke 4:1-2)

Jesus Is Full Of The Holy Spirit. EXPOSITION ON THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO LUKE study #32 (Luke 4:1-2) Disciple's Direction

Jesus Is Full Of The Holy Spirit. EXPOSITION ON THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO LUKE study #32 (Luke 4:1-2)

As I began to look at this next section of Scripture here in the 4th chapter of Luke, I began by noticing the obvious that Jesus is full of the Holy Spirit. Now I know that many people may say that of course He is because He is God but we need to remember that Jesus came to Earth as a human for a specific reason. That reason was to fulfill the righteous requirement of the Law in which no other human could do. Jesus needed to be human in order to fulfill this righteousness and He too would depend on the Holy Spirit within Him to lead Him throughout His life. I believe all of this will make more sense as we move along in this study. This study will be just a look at the first 2 verses that shows us that Jesus was indeed led by the Spirit in every area of His life. We will look at the other Gospels and many verses showing Jesus’ obedience to God even though He may be led to difficult places and as we will see in the next study that He is led to the wilderness to be tempted by Satan himself. Let’s now get into our first point for this study which is….

1.Jesus is led by the Spirit.
Look with me at Luke 4:1 And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness. The primary focus of this point and really this study is going to reveal the humanity of Jesus and the need for Him to be obedient to the leading of the Holy Spirit. We must remember that yes Jesus is God but He did not use every aspect of His deity as a human. Instead He humbled Himself in a way that gives us an example to live by. Now I know we can not be sinless and perfect like Him but that direction should be how we live our lives. I want us to look at what is said of this in Philippians 2:5-8 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Jesus at times did not exercise His power or authority as God while on Earth. There was times we see Jesus use His creative and healing power, we see Jesus raise the dead but other times He chose not to use the power that He had as the Son of God. This passage in Philippians shows that very thing and we need to understand that as we begin to look at Jesus’ ministry. Jesus makes this bold proclamation of His ability to use His power but then explains why He does not always use it in Matthew 26:53-56 Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But how then should the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so?” 55 At that hour Jesus said to the crowds, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to capture me? Day after day I sat in the temple teaching, and you did not seize me. 56 But all this has taken place that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples left him and fled.

This was at the arrest of Jesus when Peter cut off Malchus’ ear. Jesus did not use His authority to call down twelve legions of angels because Scripture must be fulfilled. When we approach the temptation of Jesus as we will study on in the next study, we must remember why Jesus was tempted. Was it possible for Jesus to sin? No I think not but there was another purpose in the plan of God for these temptations and that was to allow Jesus to be tempted as a human so that He could prove to be the perfect sacrifice needed to appease God’s wrath on sinners. Hebrews 4:15 says For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.

I say all of this to show that for certain Jesus was tempted and was led to this temptation by the will of God. That is why we see Luke 4:1 say And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness.

Matthew’s account says in Matthew 4:1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.

Mark 1:12-13 says The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. 13 And he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. And he was with the wild animals, and the angels were ministering to him.

So we see clearly that the Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness for the purpose of being tempted by Satan. It is no surprise that Jesus is led by the Spirit because Luke 4:1 says that He is full of the Spirit. Jesus says this as we will see in the next few studies in Luke 4:18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed. This Jesus read in a synagogue in Nazareth from the scroll of Isaiah, we know this is from Isaiah 61:1 speaking of God’s Messiah.

Peter proclaims this very thing in Acts 10:37-38 when at the house of Cornelius: you yourselves know what happened throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John proclaimed: 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.

Jesus lived a life of obedience under the power of the Holy Spirit. He did this perfectly and never wavered in His obedience. We are told in Galatians 5:25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. In other words if we allow the Holy Spirit to guide us as we see in the previous verses in Galatians 5, then we will live by the Spirit and we will walk with the Spirit. This is what Jesus did in everything He ever did and that shows us why Jesus went to the wilderness even though He would be tempted there. This helps us to see that in His humanity Jesus exercised obedience and overcame every situation that He faced. That leads us to our next point.

2.The power of Jesus’ fast.
Look with me at Luke 4:2 for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry. We know that Jesus was led into the wilderness to be tempted but there seems to be another purpose that is seen not just here but in Matthew’s Gospel as well. Here we see that in this 40 day period Jesus ate nothing. In Matthew 4:2 is says And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.

Verse 3 in Matthew indicates that this is when the temptations began. It was after Jesus had fasted and was hungry. This shows us again the humanity of Jesus but it also shows us the power that He had through this fast. Once again Jesus is God so He could never sin but this time of fasting gave Jesus the right direction in His life. Most people now don’t fast very much, in fact any fast that is promoted through most churches include fasting from other things like social media, video games or some other activity that may distract you. I would say that doing that is good and could have some benefit for you spiritually but that is not the definition of fasting from a Biblical standpoint. Fasting is always in association to the absence of food for a period of time. It does not have to be 40 days and 40 nights, it does not even have to be for a long period of time. The idea is to abstain from food in order to focus on what God wants for your life. It is to restrain yourself from a time of food to bring you to a time of prayer. Fasting is not to weaken you but it is meant to strengthen you spiritually. This fasting of Jesus strengthened Him for not only the temptations here in the wilderness but also what He would face during His time before His death and the strength He would need as He was led to the cross.

Fasting is seen all throughout Scripture so let’s look at a few examples of this in the Bible. We see in Nehemiah 1:4 As soon as I heard these words I sat down and wept and mourned for days, and I continued fasting and praying before the God of heaven.

Daniel 9:3 says Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him by prayer and pleas for mercy with fasting and sackcloth and ashes. 

Psalm 35:13 says But I, when they were sick—I wore sackcloth; I afflicted myself with fasting; I prayed with head bowed on my chest.

When David’s child that was conceived with Bathsheba was dying David fasted. The account of this is seen in 2 Samuel 12:15-17 Then Nathan went to his house. And the Lord afflicted the child that Uriah’s wife bore to David, and he became sick. 16 David therefore sought God on behalf of the child. And David fasted and went in and lay all night on the ground. 17 And the elders of his house stood beside him, to raise him from the ground, but he would not, nor did he eat food with them.

These are examples of fasting but fasting is not supposed to be just to mourn but it is always associated with a time a prayer. Fasting is meant to strengthen us and is seen in David’s situation to do this very thing. Look with me at 2 Samuel 12:20, this is going back to the story of David after his child died that was born from his sin with Bathsheba and it says there: Then David arose from the earth and washed and anointed himself and changed his clothes. And he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped. He then went to his own house. And when he asked, they set food before him, and he ate.

David’s time of need was over and he now was strengthened through that time of prayer and fasting. If we had what happened to David, we would be wondering why God did not save the child. But David was strengthened and continues to trust God even after the death of his son. This time of fasting for Jesus was needed to guide Him into the ministry that He was set out to do. We will see this time of temptation but be sure this was not the only time in Jesus’ life that He would be tempted and tested by Satan. Jesus’ humanity was real, He hungered, He got thirsty, He got tired, He got distressed over the situations that He faced not with sinful thoughts or a lack of trust but because He was human. All of this shows us the humanity of Jesus but we will also see that He had unbelievable strength to fast for this period of time and then remain focused on what He came to do instead of falling to the tempting that comes directly at His humanity from Satan. In our next study we will unfold the temptations that Jesus endured and look at each temptations importance that guides us to live with the same perspective that Jesus had in doing what God wants no matter what situation we find ourselves in.

Podcast for….The Spirit’s Power In Every Follower Of Christ. THE HOLY SPIRIT’S WORK FROM CREATION TO PRESENT DAY Study #4 (Various Scriptures)-Revised from Original Study Original Post Date(7-20-2020)

The Spirit's Power In Every Follower Of Christ. THE HOLY SPIRIT'S WORK FROM CREATION TO PRESENT DAY Study #4 (Various Scriptures)-Revised from Original Study Original Post Date(7-20-2020) Disciple's Direction

The Spirit’s Power In Every Follower Of Christ. THE HOLY SPIRIT’S WORK FROM CREATION TO PRESENT DAY Study #4 (Various Scriptures)-Revised from Original Study Original Post Date(7-20-2020)

Romans 8:10-11 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.

At the end of Jesus’ life on Earth, He shared with His disciples that after He went back to His rightful place in Heaven that the Father would send the Holy Spirit. In John we see much of this conversation. John 14:26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.

Then also in John 16:8-13 that says And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgmentconcerning sin, because they do not believe in me; 10 concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; 11 concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. 12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.

So the question comes up is what does this all mean for the disciples and for all followers of the Lord Jesus Christ? Well as we will see this promise of the Spirit was to show the disciples that they would have the Spirit to be in each of them and guide them. This is so we can be a witness to the lost world. That is our calling, that is why we are commissioned to make disciples. We looked at last time how the Spirit is involved in salvation. What we need to remember is that salvation has 3 parts or phases. The first is justification, then sanctification and finally glorification. If you are saved then you’ve been justified and are in the process called sanctification. We will spend some time in this study and the next seeing the truths on how the Spirit works in the sanctification process in us (making us holy and pure). First let’s look briefly at the Spirit’s work in…

We know that without the sacrifice of Jesus we would not have the sufficient atonement needed to give us the verdict of being righteous. So we must understand that not all people will receive this righteous verdict and enter Heaven. We also need to understand that the Bible says that no one is righteous, no not one, no one understands; no one seeks for God in Romans 3:10-11. So even though Jesus provides the sacrifice for our sins there is another element of how we receive this salvation. This is where the work of the Holy Spirit comes in. We see first in 1 Corinthians 6:11 the Spirit working in justification along with the work of Jesus as it says there: you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

So the Spirit of God is active in salvation and apart from the work of the Spirit in individuals, justification is not possible. You can’t be saved because of morality, or good works of service, or just because you decide it on your own. Remember there is no one righteous and none that seeks after God, so with this in mind we come to the question of how then are we saved?

We have the sacrifice of Jesus that provided the atonement or payment for our sins and it is by the illumination of the truth revealed to us that salvation comes to us. In Romans 10:13 the Bible says For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” There is so much to say about this verse alone, that’s for another time but what we will see is what Paul says in the next verse that helps us to understand the Spirit’s work in salvation or justification. Look at what Romans 10:14 says How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?

So the question here is, how can they call on the Lord if they have never heard the truths about the Lord? This is done by preaching, by reading the Holy inspired Bible and by in depth Bible study. The Spirit isn’t going to give you some mystical vision or word but will rather reveal to you the truth of who Jesus is through the written Word of God. When the Bible is taught and preached with truth then the Holy Spirit convicts people of their sin of rejecting Christ as the only Savior and they then turn from that sin and are justified. The Holy Spirit reveals this truth to sinners. Sinners can’t understand the things of God without the Spirit first revealing the truth to them. 1 Corinthians 2:12-16 says it like this Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. 13 And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. 14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. 15 The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. 16 “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

The Spirit reveals the truth to us concerning the judgement of sin from the Father, the payment of that judgement by the Son Jesus Christ and our future eternity with or without this atonement for our sins. Jesus said that salvation can’t happen without being born by the Spirit in John 3:5-7 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’

So now that we have established the Spirit’s role in justification we will move on to what the Spirit does in our life after we are justified. This is called sanctification and there are many elements to this as we will see. We will spend a great deal of time studying these truths in this study and over upcoming studies. The first thing to look at is the significance of what happened on the day of Pentecost when the Spirit fell on the disciple’s and the others in the upper room.

Before getting to far let’s be clear about what sanctification really is. The Greek word is hagiazó and its meaning is to make holy or to purify. This is the process we are in after receiving salvation. It is in a basic understanding, a lifelong removal of sinful behaviors in the life of a believer. It is what Paul expressed to the Philippians in Philippians 2:12-13 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

As we will see in this study that this is a battle and isn’t always just some easy task. But with the power that we posses in us we will see victory and will move from one removal of self to another throughout our life. We could never do it on our own and we could never be the witnesses for Christ that we need to be if it wasn’t for the power that lives in us. This power is the indwelling of the Spirit and this indwelling and power was first poured out on the disciples and the rest of the 120 that were gathered on that day of Pentecost after the Lord Jesus’ ascension. This power was given to us for a purpose that we will look at first…..

Power to be witnesses
We see this promise and command in Acts 1:6-8 So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” 

Notice Jesus tells His disciples that they will receive power. The Greek word used here translated power is the word dunamis. This word is where we get the word dynamite and this is a very important statement here in reference to what it is used for. Look again at what He said, He said this power was to be used so that they will be His witnesses. It does not say here that they would get some unique gift that no one else could have, it doesn’t say that they would receive anything new that no one else would get or just a select few but it clearly says that this power was to be for a witness of Jesus to clearly proclaim the gospel to the world. We see this in the account given to us in Acts 2:1-4 When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Now this verse has been wrongly used to say that they received some heavenly language but as we will see this isn’t anything other than the disciples speaking in other known languages for the purpose of the people that were gathered on the day of Pentecost. Look at Acts 2:5-13 Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, 11 both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.” 12 And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” 13 But others mocking said, “They are filled with new wine.”

In this movement of the Spirit which is the consummation of the New Covenant we see that the Spirit went from empowering just a few select people like He did in the Old Covenant, to indwelling and empowering all believers. Peter proclaims to the people there that this is the fulfillment of the prophecy spoken by Joel. We see the prophecy in Joel 2:28-32 but we must notice that this prophecy has not been completely fulfilled but Peter states that this is the beginning of the New Covenant promised in the Old Testament as seen in Jeremiah 31:31-34 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord. 33 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

The only way that the hearts of sinful people could know God is if the Holy Spirit indwells them. Now in this New Covenant era the sacrificial system is not needed and neither is the role of the priest that would offer the sacrifices to God. Therefore we are considered His priesthood and His witnesses. 1 Peter 2:9-10 says But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

We see that we have received this honor of salvation and the indwelling Spirit to share the excellencies of all the God has done. This is why we have been given the Holy Spirit, He will reveal truth and help us to reach the lost and dying world that’s heading to eternal punishment. On the day of Pentecost Peter preached a sermon of conviction that had a result of 3000 people being saved that day. He didn’t preach a feel good sermon but spoke the truth of all that happened with the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus. He spoke of the Spirit that was empowering them to reach these people. That is our calling too. He has empowered EVERY believer to be a witness for Him.

In the next upcoming studies we will continue to look at the power of the Spirit as He works in us to sanctify us. He does this in various different ways that we will study, some of these are the fruit He gives us, knowledge, gifts, restraint of sin and wisdom to live in a fallen world without following after the worlds ways. For now look at your life and first ask if you have followed the call to be justified through the payment of the penalty paid for by Jesus Christ?

If you are saved already are you being the witness that the Spirit has empowered you to be? I urge you to not turn away from the call to salvation. Don’t hinder the Spirit in your life by living in all out disobedience. I will close with the exhortation that Peter proclaimed on the day of Pentecost that rings out to each person today. Acts 2:38-39 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”

Predestined To Adoption By The Will Of God. EXPOSITION ON THE BOOK OF EPHESIANS study #3 (Ephesians 1:4b-6)

We will now tie in God’s sovereignty in salvation from the standpoint of His predestination of the recipients of salvation. We need to remember that we made clear in our last study that God’s sovereignty in His choosing for salvation is something that was done from before the foundation of the world as stated in Ephesians 1:4. This of course is not that God just knew who would come to Him and then He ordained them to be saved but rather that in His sovereignty He did this without anything that was from any human effort. It was a gift given because of His love in which we will see from the beginning of our look into our next verses that this was the motivation of His act of mercy and grace.

I’ll say this again as I did last study, this study nor the last study is an attempt to convert people to believe in Calvinism but rather to understand this doctrine that can not be avoided in the text that we have looked at in our last study and that we will look at in this study as well. We will tie all of this together at the end of the study and as we move along in these 2 verses for this study. So let’s dive right in to our first point.

1.God’s will in salvation.
Look with me at Ephesians 1:4b-5 In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will. I want to make clear that what we are going to talk about in this point will not end with this verse. In fact this concept of God’s predestined will being done is a topic that comes up over and over in this letter to the Ephesians. It is this reason why it baffles me that so many people try to deny the truth in the Scripture or try to twist the Scripture to make it easier to understand in our finite minds. This concept is not easy to grasp but we must not deny it because it is so clearly seen in the Bible. We may not be clear in our thinking on it but the Bible is very clear of the intentions on this subject.

To better understand this let’s look at the word predestined in verse 5 here. This is the Greek word proorizó (pro-or-id’-zo) which means pre-horizon, pre-determine limits (boundaries), foreordain or to mark out before hand. This word has the Greek word horízō which means to establish boundaries and the prefix pro which means before. This combination strictly means to pre-establish boundaries or to foreordain and in no way can mean anything but that. It does not suggest to us that this is some kind of foreknowledge where God looks down the time of history and makes decisions based off of a humans actions but rather that the decisions were made before anything was even in place. Do we know that God knows all things and knows what will happen? Yes we do, but that is not the concept we find in these verses, we clearly see that this word means that God predestined or made boundaries and limits before time as we know it began.

So now we need to answer the question of what is this word predestined tied to here? Verse 5 says that he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ. Now the idea here is that this predestined act of God is not just for our benefit even though we do get the benefit of being recipients of salvation. I want to come back to this in a little bit but first notice the idea of adoption here. Paul uses a great idea here that needs to be understood in the context of the 1st century. In our time adoption is a great thing still and most of the time it is to help a child that has been born under horrible circumstances from the biological parents either giving the child up for adoption or the child being taken from the parents for some reason. But in the 1st century adoption had a different significance. The Roman officials used adoption to guarantee that an heir to the throne or to some position would be carried on by their own family. You can search this out even in the Julio-Claudian dynasty of the Roman empire.

Adoption was used as a political move but would not only guarantee political positions but would also give the fortune of the inheritance to the adopted child. This idea here goes along with what Paul is speaking of when thinking about our salvation. We had nothing to do with the adoption other than coming before the judge to be given the new status as a child to our new family. In Rome this was usually a move that any family wanted because this was done towards poor families. This would give their child a chance to gain success and even give his biological family money and a connection to positions within the government. This was a great thing and we see that Paul does not hesitate in what he says about God adopting us into this salvation that we have. What Paul says here about adoption goes right along with what he says in Romans 8:14-17 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.

Our salvation is seen as an adoption that we had no control over but was initiated by God and as we have already seen this adoption is for His will. Look again at the complete verse of Ephesians 1:4b-5 In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will. It was in love that this act was done towards us not because we deserved it but because God preordained it. This was done not because He loved us more than other people but because He ordained this before any other thing was set in place or before the Earth was made. All of this was done not for our benefit but according to the purpose of his will.

See we are so self-centered in our thinking that we can’t get past the idea that salvation was primarily for our benefit. Yes God loves us and has always loved us, yes we get the reward of eternal life but the primary purpose of our salvation is because God willed to do it. The motivation was love but the act was carried out because of God’s pre-ordained purpose and will. To see this in a complete flow we need to go back to Romans 8 again. Look at the flow of this idea of salvation that initiated by God and completed by God from the standpoint of His predestined will. Romans 8:29-30 says For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

Now this is where some people lose the concept of predestination because we see here the word foreknew. So I want to clear this up with what this word means. This is the Greek word proginóskó (prog-in-oce’-ko) which means to know beforehand. Of course in this idea of foreknowledge we know that God does have foresight but again we must take the entirety of what is said here to understand the whole idea. We know that God knows what is going to happen, we know that God also determines what is going to happen as well by what we have already looked at. So how do we understand this fully? This is summed up in what this knowledge that God has means. This word comes from the Greek word ginóskó (ghin-oce’-ko) which means to know, especially through personal experience (first-hand acquaintance). This word carries the idea of knowing someone intimately and personally. Even though this word is used in relation to sexual activity too this word is not limited to that but means to love in a personal an close way. So when we place the prefix pro in front of this word again what we have is that God loved us beforehand. This means he loved us before we did anything right or wrong, or before we made a choice to love Him. 1 John 4:10 says In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

1 John 4:19 says We love because he first loved us.

Paul says in Romans 9:11-13 concerning God’s will in choosing Jacob over Esau:  though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls— 12 she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” 13 As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”

Then to answer the question of God’s justice in His action of pre-determining we see what Paul says in Romans 9:14-16 What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! 15 For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. 

Some people will argue that this chapter is strictly for the keeping of God’s covenant with Israel therefore He does predestinate certain things for that purpose. But if that is the case then why does Paul bring in the concept of the Gentiles into this chapter as well. Look at what is said in Romans 9:22-26 What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— 24 even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles? 25 As indeed he says in Hosea, “Those who were not my people I will call ‘my people,’ and her who was not beloved I will call ‘beloved.’” 26 “And in the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ there they will be called ‘sons of the living God.’”

All of what we have seen has determined that God does indeed pre-ordain, He has foresight, foreknowledge but none of what is done in salvation is done outside of His will. God does not pre-ordain personal choices that lead people to sin but He does determine who He will give this adoption to. I know this is a hard concept to understand as I struggled with it for years and years as most people do. But there is no denying this is what the Bible teaches here. This leads us to a short final point that we will pick back up next study.

2.Glory to God alone.
Look with me at Ephesians 1:6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. This final verse will be really the theme over the next several verses and that is if salvation is solely a work of God then God gets all of the glory. Our adoption in Christ is for His will and for His glory. We get the benefit of this salvation but it was not determined by us. Somehow God’s will and our choice works together in salvation but in order to receive this gracious gift of grace, God pre-determined it and worked in us. It is really what Jesus meant in John 6:44 where He says No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.

God preordains us for salvation, calls us to salvation, draws us to Himself and guarantees our salvation. We will see this more as we move along in this chapter in Ephesians 1 when Paul speaks about us being sealed by the Holy Spirit. All of this tells us one thing, God is in control and His will and purpose will be carried out in every area of salvation for His glory and by His glorious grace.