1 October 2017: Living in the Spirit

Oct 09, 17 1 October 2017: Living in the Spirit

The Bible describes two kinds of life and two ways to live:

  1. In the Flesh
  2. In the Spirit.

Romans 8:5-8 reads: “For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.  For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

The Flesh:

  • the part of us that wants to live outside of the will of God
  • the part of us that wants to do something, go somewhere, or to have an attitude that is not godly
  • We all have to deal with it every single day of our lives

Gal 5:19-21 “Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar. …

Yes, we do fail and the flesh does rear its head now and then… our minds are not always set on the Spirit.

Holy Spirit is a gift from God and the devil wants us to be confused, afraid and to reject the Spirit of God.

Galatians 5:16 tells us “… walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of
the flesh.

God has sent the Spirit to our life. Without the Spirit, we tend to gratify, to indulge in the desires of our flesh. Unless we are led by the Spirit, we can never accomplish what God has in mind for us.

We cannot know or serve God without the Spirit of God working in our lives

Jesus – The Only One person in the whole course of History who was completely and fully led by the Spirit of God.
Luke 24:48 “You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” And in Acts 1:4 – this is again just before His ascension into heaven, “Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Which,” He said, “you heard of from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.

His disciples who had followed Jesus for about 3.5 years – these believers are truly convinced of His power and godliness, they had no doubt of His authority and power, they are definitely equipped and well-qualified to be His witnesses. Yet Jesus commanded them not to make any move UNTIL they are clothed with the power from on high – until they have been
baptised by the Holy Spirit.

Jesus is saying it’s far more important to be clothed with the power of the Holy Spirit than what our experiences tell us or mind/heart are convinced about.

Jesus doesn’t want us to go anywhere or do anything until the Holy Spirit is in charge. He told His disciples and He tells us that we need to be baptised by, to be immersed in the Holy Spirit.
That was the command of Jesus. Why? Because in His entire life, all the activities – from His birth, through His resurrection and ascension, the Holy Spirit was there too.

Now, the Bible says that those who believe in Jesus Christ and bear His name – are to be His imitators – we are to be just like Him.

  • How did Jesus conduct Himself vs how do I conduct myself?
  • How did Jesus handle pressure vs how I handle pressure?
  • How did Jesus handle pain and sorrow vs how I handle pain and sorrow?

We can be like Jesus, through the Power of The Holy Spirit – we have the Spirit in us and therefore we are empowered to
imitate Christ and His ministry.

John 14:16 “..I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. You know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.” – when Jesus told the disciples He will be going away from them – and He says the Father will give the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth and the Spirit of God will be IN us.

Also, Paul writes in Gal 4:6 “And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!

Holy Spirit was with Him in His birth

Luke 1: 34-35 “Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God

Here we are introduced to the fact that Jesus is BORN OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, not born of the will of man, or human effort. He was born from above.

And so when someone says I want to be a follower, a believer, a disciple, an imitator of Christ, … when someone says that’s the desire of his life, then the very first question would be, “have you been born of the Holy Spirit? Have you been born from above?”

John 3:3 “unless a man is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

The life of the Everlasting God will come and dwell with you when you believe in Jesus and have faith in God. That’s the primary step for a person who is a Christian: be born again, not of flesh but born of the Spirit!

When Jesus was baptized, the Bible tells us in Matt 3:16-17 “And when Jesus was baptized, immediately He went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and he [John the Baptist] saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on Him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.

At this point in time, Jesus had not preached a single sermon, hadn’t performed any miracle. What He had done was to offer His body and life to do the will of the Father … and the Spirit of God comes UPON Him empowering Him to begin His ministry. And God the Father is incredibly pleased with Him – sometimes we think we please God when we do some good work. But our goodness is superficial. To God it’s never about what we do; it’s what we ARE – When the Father said He was well-pleased with Jesus, He hadn’t done anything significant but because He was born of the Spirit, filled and baptized by
the Holy Spirit.

Jesus did the will of God. Always. How can we please God? Be born of the Spirit and be FULL of God. Tell Him “Lord, I offer up my life… Lord, I want to serve You. Fill me with Your Spirit. Come upon me.”

Holy Spirit was with Him when He was tempted

After His baptism, the Bible tells us in Luke 4:1-2 “And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And He ate nothing during those days…” Jesus was led to the wilderness to be tempted – this wasn’t set up by the devil, or Jesus or His family set it up. In the Greek language, the word “led” by the Spirit is a more forceful word. It means “driven by the Spirit” – He is driven to the wilderness where He eats
nothing for 40 days!

And during this time, He is tempted relentlessly and it comes down to 3 great attacks – the Spirit of God set it up.

Toward the end of the 40-day fast, the devil attacks harder – because Jesus would be feeling much weaker now and very hungry – His body is crying out for any form of nourishment.

  1. 1st temptation: The devil tempts Jesus on the physical level: verse 3 “If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” – Because You are the Son of God, just command the stone to turn into bread.
    And here we get a great insight… Jesus born of the Spirit, offered through the Spirit, filled and empowered by the Spirit, gave a most wonderful response. He replied in Matt 4: 4 “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
    Jesus is essentially fighting the temptation as a man – He shows us an example that one does not need to
    be God to defeat the devil’s temptation – As a man born of the Spirit, baptized in the Spirit, walking in His power, He beat the devil from the position of a man. In this instance, Jesus is saying I don’t have to be God to beat you, Satan, but as a man full of the Spirit of God, I can defeat you.
  2. 2nd temptation: The devil tempted Jesus with Pride. Satan decides that since Jesus used Scripture to defeat him, he will use Scripture too. He takes Jesus to a high point and says, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, “‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and “‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’” Go ahead and jump – the angels will catch you. The devil was tempting Jesus with pride however Jesus remained humble as He had humility being full of the Spirit of God.
  3. 3rd temptation: the devil tempted Jesus with Greed. He took Jesus to a very high mountain. Matt 4:8-9 says the devil showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.”God created this world for man but when Adam and Eve fell, the devil usurped the authority, he took over and therefore he is called the god of this world, the prince of the power of the air. Verse 10 – Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written,“‘You shall worship the LORD your God and Him only shall you serve.’”

Though His body and maybe even His mind were weakened by 40 days of zero food,  Jesus, full of the Spirit, defeated the devil.

And after this wilderness experience, Jesus went home and in Luke 4:14 “Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to
Galilee…” Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to His home – The power of the Spirit of God is not needed only in the great testings of your life, but also and maybe especially when you go home.

If Jesus, the Son of God, the Second Person of the Trinity, needed the power of the Spirit every time, how much more you and I?

You need the power of the Spirit to love your spouse, to love your children… you need the power of the Spirit to be a good worker, to be a good witness. God gives you the gift of His Spirit – He doesn’t want you to live life carelessly, to be easily
angered by others. He wants you to be filled, immersed in the power of the Spirit that gives you victory.
Not only was Jesus born of the Spirit, filled, baptized with the Spirit, He offered Himself to God through the Spirit – Hebrews 9:14 “how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the Eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” Through the eternal Spirit, Jesus offered Himself without spot, without fault, without blemish to God.
Hebrews 10:5-7 says “when Christ came into the world, He [Jesus] said [quoting the Messianic Psalm chapter 40], “Sacrifices and offerings You have not desired, but a body have You prepared for Me; in burnt offerings and sin offerings You have taken no pleasure. Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God, as it is written of Me in the scroll of the book.’”

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When He came into the world, He offered the body that the God had prepared for Him – and He said, “I offer Myself to do Your will.”

The Spirit is the One that convicts us to offer ourselves to God, to give us a desire to do the will of God. It’s not enough to be born of the Spirit, we need to ask ourselves, “to whom have I offered myself? To what pursuit have I offered myself? For many, it’s the pursuit of education, the pursuit for love, the pursuit of a career, or the pursuit of wealth or comfort – all these are good – – they needn’t be chucked aside – but have you offered your whole being to them? Have I been offered to God? Have I taken my life as a sacrifice offering to God?”

God doesn’t want just a sacrifice of time and energy here and there – it’s being willing to offer this life, this body God has prepared for you – and to say, “I long… I DELIGHT to do Your will”.

That’s the desire Jesus had throughout His life and we are to have that same desire.

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