Holy Spirit And Sanctification
Acts 2:37-39- When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” Peter replied, “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. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
What does that passage mean in our life? Does it really speak of power to us? Is it just a concept of being water baptized or coming to repentance? Was it a one-time event that we experienced? Was it a little bit of joy? Are we able to tell people what that means to receive the promise that God has promised? What does it means to repent, to turn to God, and then to be immersed in the Spirit and how does that tie to my salvation? And where does that put me in relation to my salvation?
You see, most people count their salvation on the fact that they were water baptized, asked Jesus into their heart, or that they spoke in tongues. Yet what we will see today is that the Spirit is tied so much to our salvation that so very many people don’t have the salvation of God because they’re not in that unity and that fellowship with the Holy Spirit.
In Luke 11:13 Jesus says, “if you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who are water baptized”? It doesn’t say that. He said, “How much more will God give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?”
When we read Acts 2, we seem to make a doctrine that says if you’re water baptized or you’ve done the things in Acts 2:38, you’re promised the Holy Spirit and leave at that. Yet Jesus goes on to say that it’s only those who ask the Father, those who come before God asking for the good gift, receive the Holy Spirit. To Christians, the Holy Spirit is like air we have to breathe or the water we drink. You can’t survive very long without water. You can survive a long time without food but not without water. And yet for many of us the Holy Spirit doesn’t have that kind of power, it’s not our source of strength. We really have made the New Testament a law, a form of legalism, without ever realizing that we do it all because we not dependent upon the Holy Spirit.
Ephesians 1:18- I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlighten in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you …
This is not with the eyes of your mind, your intellect, or something else to study, but the eyes of your heart may be enlightened so that we might experience the hope, that it might live in us and give us the power, grace, and strength that we need. But our hearts are not enlightened. They’re full and crammed with all kinds of knowledge. We have all kinds of outward works that we point to or count upon. We say, “Well I believe this” or “I’ve done this or that” without knowing that the hope must be alive in us.
Ephesians 1:18-19…the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints.
Verse 19 tells us what this hope does in its incomparably great power for us who believe. Is that what the Christian world shows? Is that what your life shows? As you walk out in the world and among people, do you demonstrate to them that you have a power that is incomparably great to what they have? If someone who said they are a Christian (but they are not) comes along with psychology or their mumbo-jumbo ways to put their life together, do you demonstrate with your life and fire that the power they maintain cannot compare to that which you have? Do you feel like that when you get up and begin to serve the Lord, walk with Him, and fellowship with Him that you have a power that is incomparable to anything else in the world? Most of us do not. We don’t have something incomparable because we get taken in by all kinds of other teachings, don’t we? If I have something that is incomparable, nobody can bring to me anything close enough to it that I want to go for it? Can they? It is indeed incomparable for those who know it. What does verse 19 say?
Ephesians 1:19-20-That power is like the working of His mighty strength which he exerted in Christ Jesus when he raised him from the dead and seated him in the right hand in the heavenly realms.
What is the hope living in you? What is the power that must dwell within us? What do we who believe in Jesus Christ have and experience on a daily basis? The same power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead is the same power that I have living within me not in an abstract faith, or a testimony faith. I experience a power that is incomparable to anything else. It is like the power of God reaching down to the tomb and raising Jesus Christ from the dead and causing all hell to break loose below. It is like the power of people who were righteous and holy coming out of their tombs and walked around in Jesus’ time. That is what I experience. That’s what it means in Acts 2:38 to receive the promise it means that I then walk around with an incomparably great power. I show that to people, that’s what I experience. When I am humbled by the grace of God, it is incomparable humbleness. When I rejoice in God, when I am powerful in God, it is incomparable to what the world has.
When I have self-discipline, it’s incomparable to the world, isn’t it? Why do you think the world doesn’t believe the gospel? We don’t show them that we have something that is incomparable; like the mighty power of his strength reaching down and working in our lives. We have nothing to testify to. The testimonies you only hear about are, “God provided this, or God did that,” but we don’t hear about an incomparable power that exerts itself within each of us.
We read Acts 2:39 as if it were some type of doctrine that the Holy Spirit came to bring, “The promises are for you and your children and all far off...” Now we come back to Luke 11:15 where Jesus says, “I will give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.” Not like hamburgers and fries, but the crying out of the soul. He gives it to people who want the living water those who really desire the Holy Spirit. Those who see the eyes of their heart open up can see that there is a power that can be exerted and worked in us. Don’t go in there and just ask. He doesn’t mean that you just beg in a worldly manner, it means you plead with all of your soul to receive that which gives us power. And yet how many times have we read Luke 11:13 “for those who ask him” and we read it as if it were dry ink on paper. It doesn’t stir within in us. I plead. I beg. I ask. I desire. It’s the breath that gives me life. It sustains me. It is the divine power that gives me strength.
Romans 15:15-16- I have written you quite boldly on some points as if to remind you then again because of the grace God gave me to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles with the priestly duty of proclaiming the gospel of God. So that the Gentiles might become an offering acceptable to God, sanctified…
Sanctified by what? The Holy Spirit. We don’t give the Holy Spirit his due and place in our life. We go out and do our lawful thing our Christian duty. We fool and lie to ourselves. We tell ourselves that if we do these right things then we are sanctified and purified by the activity of that divine power of the Holy Spirit working in our life.
Can you tell people, “I am sanctified by the Holy Spirit,” and tell me what that is? Would I be able to sit down and say, “Come on up here,” and you tell me how the Holy Spirit sanctifies you? Would you be able to preach a sermon on it? If you don’t have something to explain to me, then what are you telling to the world?
2 Thessalonians 2:13- But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth.
Most people think they believe in water baptism and that they’ve asked Jesus into their heart, but where is the sanctifying work of the Spirit? Where is the power that is like Jesus being raised from the dead? Where is the flame? Where is the holy heat? Where is the experience of this divine power that we have been talking about? We are sanctified by the work of the Holy Spirit and that work is like God reaching down and bringing Jesus Christ out of the grave.
When God lays hold of Tim and begins to sanctify and purify, it is no minor power or mediocre work. It is a divine and holy power and nothing else compares to the work I know that’s being done. I experience it being done. It is beyond what I like and enjoy, but I rejoice in it. Is this what we tell other people? Is this what we tell them when we say, “You know, you need to be saved”? Is this what we mean by being sanctified in Jesus Christ? The activity of the Spirit cannot be compared to any other activity. Why do you think the church goes to programs and techniques? It’s because we know not the incomparable power of God. We love to lie to ourselves. You know, I don’t believe it’s not so much that people can’t believe in the Holy Spirit. I don’t think it’s that at all. I think people don’t want that incomparable power. I think most of the time the Spirit isn’t so much working on our unbelief or whether or not we can believe God can do miracles, but on whether or not we really want that power because then we are accountable. Then God deals with us and can really crucify the sinful nature. But as long as we are out here with all this other garbage, he never gets to us because we harden our hearts.
Titus 3:4-5- But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.
They weren’t just water baptized in Acts 2:38. He went on to tell them that they would receive the promise the Spirit. They would be renewed and made different by this Spirit. We can experience a divine power that we’ve never experienced before. It’s not speaking in tongues, or all kinds of miraculous things. It is God dwelling in our heart and doing the work. Now if indeed we say it is true and that we want it, then where is the fruit in our life? We have to admit before God that if it’s not there, that we are liars, we are hard, slow, ignorant, and unwilling to be taught. That’s what we have to admit before God. Why do we tell ourselves, “I want this renewal,” or “I want this transforming,” and then it doesn’t happen? It doesn’t take place. Is God waiting on us somehow? Does he have a board meeting in heaven and just hasn’t gotten around to it yet? We would be far better in the deepest of humility to come before God and say, “Oh Lord, I want this but I am slow to learn,” rather than run our own lives.
1 Peter 1:1-2 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To God’s elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit.
There is a sanctifying work waiting to be done in your life. What does this work do and how do I know if it’s having the proper effect? For obedience to Jesus Christ. The measurement of how much I have allowed this divine power to work in my life and to sanctify, renew, and purify me is measured by the fruit of obedience. If I don’t have the obedience, then I am not sanctified or changed. I have not surrendered in those areas and I had best get on with it. It is because the end result of what the Holy Spirit seeks to do is to be obedient to Jesus not obedience to a church, program, or an understanding of all the ink on these pages, but a living relationship with Jesus Christ where you’re obedient to his voice.
Galatians 5:5, But by faith we eagerly, eagerly await through the Spirit of righteousness for which we hope.
Many people wait for righteousness and long for obedience, but do they wait through the Spirit? No, they wait for their own longing, desires, or whatever they want to give up in there own time. By faith we eagerly await through the Spirit, not through a program or because we’ve been pumped up, but we wait through the Holy Spirit for the righteousness for which we hope.
This is about a communion the receiving of a promise that gives divine power, life, and fire. It is the basics of the gospel. If you don’t hear the voice of the Spirit, or have that flame or eagerness because of the Spirit that dwells in you, you don’t belong to Jesus Christ. It is that simple. You can’t get any more basic than that. Don’t tell me you were water baptized, that you received a particular gift, or speak in tongues because if you don’t have this kind of relationship with God, then you do not belong to the Father. There must be that longing, that fire, and eagerly awaiting. This is full of life.
Romans 5:5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
Why does hope not disappoint me? Why is my hope sure? ecause God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit whom He has given us. God doesn’t pour out His love through our lives when we tell ourselves we are right with God when we are not. He doesn’t give us the kind of hope that men hang on to where they hope they have a right relationship with God. We are talking about a hope that is incomparable to the world’s hope. We hope for that which is given to us from heaven. If I hope for righteousness and to see Jesus Christ, I hope through the Holy Spirit, not through my own self-effort or a longing to escape hell. No, I hope because the Holy Spirit gives me hope. Anything else is a delusion.
Ephesians 1:13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit.
What kind of relationship do you have with the Holy Spirit? If that is the seal that is pressed upon my heart the one that says I belong to Jesus Christ then I know who dwells in me. I know when I’m disobedient or when I’m obedient. I know the working of the renewal and the transformation the Spirit brings. What kind of relationship do you have? You cannot even say, “Jesus Christ is Lord,” except by the power of the Holy Spirit. You can say it with your lips and mean it intellectually. Now if it is a true statement that nobody can say, “Jesus Christ is Lord,” except by the power of the Holy Spirit, how much of our speaking of the word of God, claiming of promises, and understanding of what is in this book is nothing more than the delusions of our own mind and believing our own understanding? We don’t ask the Holy Spirit, “Is this the truth? Do I have the privilege of accepting that? Is that promise mine?”
1 Corinthians 12:3 Therefore I tell you that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.
My neighbor can say, “Jesus is Lord.” I can get a parrot to repeat the same thing back to me. Demons could tell me “Jesus is Lord.” He wasn’t talking about the utterance of a sentence, he meant that you don’t have the authority you don’t have the permission. It’s not yours to say. You don’t understand the power of what you are saying except by the power of the Holy Spirit. You cannot get up in the morning and say, “I know Jesus Christ is Lord.” When we deny and quench the Spirit; when we put out the fire and allow that disobedience to live in us; when we live our own lies and delusions, we no longer say, “Jesus is Lord,” by the power of the Holy Spirit. We say it with a vain hope that somehow we might be delivered from the fires of hell.
We cannot even get to the Father without the Holy Spirit. Why are your quiet times so dry? Why do you always feel there’s a door between Him and yourself? It’s because we come in our own vain efforts and our own trials. We don’t come in by the surrender of the Holy Spirit. We don’t come with the divine power that God has given us to march in before Him. We come in using a presumptuous faith that says, “I’ll go in before a Holy God.” We have not received first that humility that fire that baptism from God. We quenched it, if we had it one time. Whatever the case is, you only get in before the Father to pray and come into His presence by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Ephesians 1:13-14 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession to the praise of his glory.
Do you feel the seal? Do you feel the weight of his power? Do you know the strength of the working and the sanctifying power of the Spirit in your life? Why do you think it’s mentioned over and over again in Scripture that we are marked with a seal promise of the Spirit? The seal is the one thing that Christians have to begin to fellowship, rejoice in, and experience the work of the hand of God in their life. And if we don’t know that, if it not a treasure to us, if we don’t ask God and are not pleading for Him to bring it to us, what does that show us about how we value the Holy Spirit? We run in our own effort, strength, righteousness, and repentance, but we know not that submission and surrender to God.
2 Corinthians 1:21 Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ.
Do we know what that means? Jesus Christ did not come out of the grave except by the power of God. He didn’t lay there in the tombstone say, “Okay, now I will get out of here. I will bring this dead body alive.” It was by divine power. It was by the hand of God and Jesus’ total submission and surrender in the tomb it was only by the grace of God that He got up and walked around. In the same way as we lay dead in the tomb, admit how filthy and rotten we are, and smell the stench and rot, then His grace comes down, and we’re given divine power. Then our walking around is something holy, pure, divine, and of tremendous strength. Everything else is a lie and vain effort.
2 Corinthians 1:21 Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ.
Why do we try to hold ourselves up? It is because we have not surrendered to the Spirit. We try to convince ourselves with vain promises that we’re in a right relationship with God, but we don’t feel the power of walking out of the tomb because God’s hand isn’t upon us. We refuse to surrender. He anointed us, set His seal of ownership on us, and put His Spirit in our hearts as a deposit guaranteeing what is to come. I walk around with an assurance of knowing I belong to Jesus Christ because I know the anointing and the surrender. I know the work and the sanctifying and transforming power. I feel that working in my life. I know I belong to Him because He has put that deposit there and I know the power of it. I couldn’t fake it if I tried. I couldn’t live this Christian life without the grace of Him being able to do it. So I don’t walk around in worldly fear and trembling. I know Him who lives in me. I know the work that He does, and the fear and trembling that I have is working out my salvation. I learn to fear God in a holy and righteous way.
John 17:20-21 – My prayer is not for them alone, I pray also for those who believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father
That’s us. You can’t say that this is just for New Testament times, or that it died out with the last apostle. This passage is not even remotely dealing with whether or not we should have different denominations. Some would love for it to mean something worldly and earthly, like that would be easy to strive for and live. One day it may happen.
John 17:21 May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you sent me.
This kind of unity is the same kind of fellowship that Jesus Christ had with God. It is the same kind of submissive and obedient spirit that Jesus Christ had toward God. That is what Jesus came to bring and that’s what the Holy Spirit seeks to put in your life every single day.
Remember, the question we asked in the beginning? What incomparably great power do we offer the world or other people? What is it that they see? Do they see that unity between Jesus Christ and me? Do they see God working that transformation and bringing about the obedient kind of spirit that Jesus Christ had toward God? Is that what they see? Do you see that Jesus is saying that when that unity is being worked and the Spirit is able to do it when God finds that soft vessel then the world may believe, but not before? You can preach all you want and lay out all sorts of tracts, but it’s not until you have that incomparably great power; until you have that sanctifying work of the Spirit; until something so divine has laid hold of you so that you cannot control it you don’t have anything to share. When that begins to happen, then you have something to share. When you can say, “Jesus is Lord,” then it goes out in the power of the Spirit. Look at it again. “May they also be in us so that they world may believe that you sent me.”
Only as our lives are transformed, and are made different, then only do people believe that Christianity has some credibility. The world knows the talk and it has heard the lingo over and over a thousand times, but what is it the world sees?
John 17:22- I have given them the glory that you gave me that they may be one as we are one.
How much clearer can you get? Now you see why they want it to say something else. They say, “This is too demanding. This is a total surrender. This is way beyond what we like to know.”
John 17:23- I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
Now we are not just talking about obedience. We’re talking about a relationship where you know that you have the love of the Father because the same love that God has for Jesus Christ He has for you. That’s a personal relationship that is incomparable. That is a magnificent and holy grace. That is a power beyond my understanding, isn’t it?
2 Corinthians 3:17-18 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory
Sure. You go out in your job. You live your life at home. You reflect the Lord’s glory. Right? In your relationships and conversations with other people and in your heart and as you begin to fellowship with your brothers and sisters; you’re reflecting the Lord’s glory, right? That’s how surrendered we are to the Spirit. That’s how much we give credence to it. That’s how much holiness and reverence with which we come before God in our quiet times so that when we go out with unveiled faces we begin to reflect the Lord’s glory, correct? “And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” In other words, when I look at your life, you may not be perfect, but I can say that on every single day there is an ever-increasing amount of the glory of God being poured forth from your life. If I cannot see that, I can say that you are a liar. You can’t fellowship with this kind of God that we’re looking at this living God and not be transformed. You cannot call upon His name, go into your prayer closet, and leave unchanged.
We are so worn out with all this socializing kind of love. Putting little flowers on the lapels for visitors, you’ve seen that before.
Colossians 1:7-8: You learned it from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf and who also told us your love in the Spirit.
Is the love you show in the Spirit? Is it through the Spirit? Is it from that relationship, the working and sanctifying divine power that came out of the tomb? Who told us of your love in the Spirit?
Colossians 1:9- For this reason…
The rest of this doesn’t apply to anybody else. Anybody who does not have the love of the Spirit cannot begin to claim these kinds of prayers and promises we will look at. “For this reason.” I have credence and support for this. This is the reason why I can do this.
Colossians 1:9- For this reason since the day we heard about you we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.
If we have not that love in the Spirit, the sanctifying work of the Spirit, then we can’t come before God for the rest of it. You don’t have the beginning step down; you haven’t got the basics down.
Colossians 1:10-12 And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.
Do you want all that? Do you want great endurance? Do you want great patience? Do you want to understand what God’s pleasing will is in every single circumstance and in every work that is being done and with everyone you meet? Do you want to feel that sanctifying and purifying work of God bearing fruit in every single circumstance every day of your life? I can’t pray it until you get a love in the Spirit, until your belief has a sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit working there. I don’t know if anyone wants the great endurance or not or the sanctifying and purifying work that we say we want. How many times do we have to utter it before it’s ours? God came to earth to die, His son was crucified on the cross and raised him from the dead, and he’s delaying in my life?
Colossians 1:13-14 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
For this reason they believe the gospel, they have a love in the Spirit. Look at all of the rest that hinges upon and flows from that. We want joy and that sense of forgiveness of sins. Do we want the feeling of redemption? Then let us bow humbly before the Spirit and let us come to Him, let us plead and ask Him that we want the good gift, and let us begin to hear His voice. Every time we say, “I don’t know if I hear the Spirit’s voice,” let it cause indignation and alarm and let us say with David, “I will seek his face.”
2 Corinthians 13:14 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
This is fellowship with the Holy Spirit who is the Lord. Quit whining to me that you can’t hear the Spirit’s voice or don’t have enough faith. You get in the closet and get some sanctifying power so that you can. When we sin let us grieve in accordance with the grace of God.
Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Now think about it for a moment. Are these words unbelievable for us? Do we not even pick up on them or believe that they apply because we don’t think that somehow they’re in relationship with our lives? “May the God of hope fill you with all joy.” What does that mean? All joy that is in Jesus Christ can be mine. We’re talking about an incomparable power, aren’t we? We’re not talking about the nice joy that the world can put together, or you can put together from all the things that you do and you have been taught in the world to do. We’re talking about a joy that you cannot produce. All joy and peace, not just joy, I’d settle for the joy. All joy, all peace as you what? Trust in him.
Romans 15:13-So that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
What does it mean to overflow with hope? You ooze with it! It’s gross, the world can’t stand itit’s so full. We keep our petty ugly little sins and we miss all of this. We know not all joy, a joy overflowing in hope and all the peace by the power of the Holy Spirit. Why? Because we hold on to some really gross stuff that doesn’t mean anything. We justify, rationalize, and smooth it over. We think it’s noble and try to make it holy. Then we miss all the joy hidden in the Holy Spirit.
We talk about surrendering, we speak of our prayer time, but there is no hope overflowing because there’s just no surrender.
Galatians 3:13-14 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.
The grand conclusion of the cross the whole working of what Jesus came to do was to give us the promise of the Holy Spirit. Understand that when Peter said, “Repent and be baptized,” if you have that hope, you will see the promise he spoke of. Does it mean something more to us than just some type of doctrine? We’re talking about receiving the divine power and the hand of God in our lives. “He redeemed us from the curse of the law “he did completely away with that aspect. He gave us the promise of Abraham. He did all of that working for all of those thousands of years to come down to the conclusion of Pentecost.
How little we’ve appreciated the gift. How little we’ve understood the nature of what it took for God to be able to be in a position just to give me His Holy Spirit. May the eyes of our heart be enlightened. It is a valuable thing we lay hold of. It is a most holy, precious, and sensitive thing that God seeks to work.
Galatians 5:5 But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope.
I repeat again, it depends upon God.
Ephesians 2:22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
Now we’re talking about the body as a whole and as individuals. You became a Christian and walk around saying, “God lives within me!” What does it mean to walk in front of other people’s lives and say, “I’ve got the Holy Almighty God who created the universe living in me?” Is that what we share with other people? Is that what we understand? Is that what the body is, or what the church shows? When people come in to church, do they understand that God lives? Are we not talking about a holy religion? Have we not been babbling fools by saying we’re Christians? “God lives in me,” is what I tell other people. When I share Scripture with them, I’m saying that God lives within me and I speak by his Spirit not in pride and arrogance but only that which true brokenness can bring.
Ephesians 3:16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,
Come on, how much of this are we reflecting? Out of his glorious riches, not some small, meager riches. Glorious! Holy! Magnificent! Imagine, ever-increasing glory that comes from God. We begin then to have that power in our inner part of our body reflected out to other people.
1 John 3:24 Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.
Who cannot have divine power incomparably great power living in them and not know it is the hand of the living God? We don’t have enough obedience to convince ourselves. We don’t have enough fear and trembling in our own hearts. We don’t have enough humility that comes from God to know that this is for sure. Oh, some people delude and convince themselves that they have all this. But we’re talking about a fruit though that no man can fake. Who can fake the Almighty living in him? Who can fake coming out of the tomb after he’s been dead? Who can fake the humility that comes from God? You can fool other people who have not experienced it, the naive, and the young in Christ.
Romans 8:18-19 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.
The moon, the stars, the earth, the trees, the planet everything that we can see is in an eager kind of expectation to see who will become Christians or not.
Romans 8:20-21 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.
“The glorious freedom of the children of God.” He is talking about the glorious freedom that says that I have been delivered from sin. I am being sanctified. This is grand. It’s holy and it’s good. Glorious freedom.
Romans 8:22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.
How do we know that the creation has been groaning? How do we know that creation is in the pains of childbirth? Easy.
Romans 8:23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.
By the Spirit you groan as in the pains of childbirth. You groan with all of creation the whole universe that God has made. We’re so filled with the Spirit that we groan inwardly and are in this pain because we long for the redemption of our bodies and the deliverance from this sin. We feel the sanctifying, we know the power of that freedom, and we want it all. We desire to die and be with the Lord. We hate this world and despise ourselves. We long to be with Him who is holy because we have tasted that the Lord is good. Right? We know what it is to groan with the universe, we know what it is to groan with the moon, the stars, and all of the heaven and the angels, don’t we?
Romans 8:24 For in this hope we were saved.
Now if we don’t have the groaning, if it’s not there, what does that say about our hope and salvation? What does that say about the nature of the Holy Spirit that we say dwells within us? This hope the only kind of hope like it in the world that involves the pains, the childbirth, and the groaning of the universe. This is the kind of harmony that New Agers need.
Romans 8:1-5 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit. Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.
You have a choice. You either are listening to what you sinful nature tells you to do or you’re trying to be in tune with the mind of the Spirit. You have a conscience decision to make every second of every single day. You need to have an understanding of what the Spirit desires and what the sinful nature desires. Do not confuse your voice the sinful nature’s voice with the Holy Spirit. Woe unto such a man who says that the sinful nature is the Holy Spirit. The conflict and the battle are there. Are you seeking to please the Spirit or do you live the Christian life as you see fit in your own timing and your own plan? Do you deny yourself at your own rate? Have you become God knowing good from evil? Or do you know a separate distinct individual entity known as the Almighty God the Holy Spirit speaking to you as his will?
The reason people stay in law is because it’s easier. You can manipulate it. You can interpret and discuss it. But those in a relationship with the living God hear His voice say, “Do this,” there is no interpretation or altering of what you’ve heard. There is no changing of what He wants to work. It is a living relationship with a living God. You can’t argue with a living God, but you can argue with law. You can debate with me all day long about what Scripture says. You cannot debate with the living God. Seek to please the Spirit, not the ink on these pages.
Romans 8:6 The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace;
The Holy Spirit, by divine power, takes a hold of your mind and controls it. This gives us a whole different kind of understanding of 1Timothy where says God has given us a sound mind.
Romans 8:6-7 The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.
That is why so many people leave because they like to take God’s law under their own wing and live it out as they want to. They are never able to get up to what God’s Spirit has in mind. Never. We can only praise God and give thanks that when He comes. He comes in the living Spirit and if you’re going to serve this God, you serve a living God.
Romans 8:8-9 Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you.
You’ve got to ask the question: Does it live within you? Is it working on the outside to get in? Is it bringing conviction outwardly? But does it live within in you? Has it found a surrendered heart that you say that you have? Is it there? Do you reflect his ever-increasing glory?
Romans 8:9 And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.
If he doesn’t have this kind of Holy Spirit, this kind of transforming power, or a humility being worked by the Spirit of God, what can you say but that he doesn’t have the living God? He can sing hymns, talk of God, pray, and do all of these, but we’re talking about a God who comes with fire and holiness. But he comes to work.
Romans 8:10 But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness.
What an understatement. It is alive! It is full of passion and of fire because of righteousness.
Romans 8:11-13 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you. Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live,
You will not live by the Spirit if you put the sins of your life to death. You will not die to the sinful nature if you let a sermon or even Tim bring conviction to you and try to crucify the sinful nature. “If by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.” In other words, God lays a hold of you and deals with your sin in His timing, in the way He sees fit or you will go to hell. You have a relationship with the Father if you see Him coming a mile away to deal with your sinful nature, and you know that it is the Spirit of the living God dealing with you, but you don’t quench it, put it down, or put a halt to it. Instead, you let it do its work or you die in your sin. If the Spirit comes, lays hold of you, and says, “This sin will go and it will go in the way that I see fit because I know what it is best for you. I know the loving way to deal with you and it will be dealt with if you want me to do it.” I can’t fake it or do any of this. This is the Spirit of the living God.
Romans 8:14 because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
We cry out to God when we want to decide on the big decisions like where we should live. We try to make a big decision about buying this or doing that. We’re not talking about that kind of thing. You let God deal with your sinful nature and those decisions will fall right in line. You let Him lay hold of you and deal with you as He sees fit in His timing, with all of his power at his disposal, and God will take care of all the minor details that you’re so concerned about. Are you led of the Spirit when dealing with sin? If so, you will be weak-kneed. It will never be convenient ever.
Romans 8:15 For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”
We are talking about a grand relationship. Most people who don’t want their sins dealt with, and to those people who want to keep their nice private little world, this is a terrible gospel. They will hate my guts. Because they don’t want the sin dealt with. But to those who know Jesus Christ and the living God, know what it is to have the sanctifying work in their Spirit. This is the grandest freedom in all the universe. It’s incomparable. Don’t even offer me any of the rest of the dung. I know what this is. I know it’s alive and I know the freedom that it produces.
Romans 8:16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.
You’ll need that verse when He begins to deal with you.
Romans 8:17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
You get on a cross that is humiliating and shameful. It feels like God has abandoned you. You’re alone. You die. You go in the tomb. You rot and decay. You look and see who you are. You’re like Peter, you deny Jesus Christ. Everyone deserts him. You see exactly and let God work what He wants to work. If you share in His sufferings, you will share in his glory. You will not hear God say, “Come forth out of the tomb,” until you get on the cross and die and are laid in the tomb to rot.
What I want you to do is to die to the law that you’ve created. You know the law of all the righteous deeds you’ve done and put together. Of all the things you structured in a Christian way that you’ve got this concept that this is what it means to be a Christian and all your beliefs and all the voices you hear that you call the Holy Spirit and you get those crucified and get away from those and get in contact with the living God.
Romans 7:6 But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.
We have teachers, false prophets, and people giving us all kinds of written codes in order to follow God. We have all kinds of structures, techniques, tapes, seminars, and all the things they can do, but it is not the way of the Spirit of the living holy God. Why? Because we love written code. It never goes beyond us. It never goes with the way we can manipulate and say that we’re growing into it or we’re seeking to serve. It’s not the living God coming before us, confronting us, and wanting to fellowship with us. It’s not that. Then we’d have to be humble, and broken, and belong to him. We must let go of that which binds us whether it be our pride, our sin, our religion, or anything, but the living God.
Some churches deny the very power of the Holy Spirit. The Church of Christ says the gifts of the Holy Spirit basically the power of the Holy Spirit disappeared with the last apostle. Utter blaspheme. You leave people helpless by saying that. How they deny the very power of God that brings them life. Even with people who say they believe in the Holy Spirit, you still don’t their surrender or sanctification. You don’t see God dealing with them in a way that they don’t like, the way that crucifies their flesh. Why? Because they deny the very power and grace of God that could be theirs.
They harden their hearts to it. They make a law out of the gospel. You know why we’re not indignant? We’ve done the same thing. Because he who has tasted the Spirit becomes indignant and hostile toward somebody who brings something that’s lawful, dead, and full of human effort. Nobody has to tell me to get all fired up against it. I don’t have to argue and debate with them about all kinds of doctrine. I know the difference between the power of the living God and some dead church doctrine.
Galatians 5:1-2 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all.
If you use something outward; one rule, one code, or one thing that you think you can live up to, Jesus Christ is of no value to you at all. You have separated yourself from a living relationship with God. Now, he’s not talking about just a physical aspect of circumcision. My goodness, he circumcised Timothy before he took him on a missionary journey. It has nothing to do with some type of circumcision law.
Galatians 5:3-6 Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
This is the crux of law. This is the difference between legalism and obedience to Jesus Christ by the Spirit.
Galatians 3:1 You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you?
They are bewitched. Try and convince them that what they do is wrong and you have a tremendous job on your hands. Why? Because law has the same words and the same effect. Try and tell those people that they’re really not walking by the Spirit, and they will call you a liar. They are bewitched under a spell. They can’t tell. They don’t know what they’re doing.
Galatians 3:1 You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified.
Oh, now we’re back to the cross, to humility, and brokenness. We see that we to have to be crucified with Jesus Christ. We then begin to understand the power of the Spirit. Nobody can commit suicide by crucifixion. It is an act of the Spirit. Those who are led by the Spirit are sons of God. Those who put to death the misdeeds of the body by the Spirit will live everybody else will die.
Galatians 3:2 I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard?
He reminded them that the Holy Spirit is what counts.
Galatians 3:3 Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?
That is the nature of law. It leaves you to your own power. It leaves you to your own design. It gives you your own program. You eat of all of the fruit of the trees of the garden that you would like to eat. It allows you to be God to manipulate and play with God’s word as you see fit. You can do things in your timing and all the ways that seem pleasing to you. It allows you to have the pastors and teachers present the gospel to you in a fashion that will be entertaining and acceptable. Oh, they may step on your toes, but just enough to be nice. It is done by human effort, wisdom, and timing not in a prayer closet saying, “Okay God, let the living God descend upon me.”
Galatians 5:16 So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.
What are we back to again? No more than I can exist without breathing can I live the Christian life without the Spirit. And let me tell you something, God puts every man to the test. There comes a time when God removes Himself to see what’s in our hearts to see if we are dependent upon Him or our own effort, religion, church, or a man. If God begins to pull away and your very life is the Holy Spirit, you’ll cry out immediately. If you’re half way surrendered, it may take you a little longer. But if the Holy Spirit has been just some kind of plaything that you take in when you desperately need it, you’ll never notice that it’s gone. You may be mighty like Samson, but your power will be cut off and you’ll wake up and not know, as scripture says, that the Holy Spirit has left you. Do we cry out for the face of God? Do we hunger and thirst for righteousness?
Galatians 5:16 So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.
What a promise; power, grace, and strength to overcome if I live by the Holy Spirit. But you’ve got to be humbled and broken. You have to be crucified with Christ. When you live by the Spirit there is power to overcome.
Galatians 5:17 For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.
The whole Christian life is a great big, “No.” Tim no longer does what he wants to do. And the more I learn that, and the more I can say, “No” to what I want to do then guess what? The more I have the Christian life. Some of you are hanging around Jesus Christ hoping that someday He’ll agree to what you want to do. He will never, ever agree with what you want to do. Ever! If my sinful nature is in agreement with the Holy Spirit they are in deep trouble because they will never agree. They oppose each other and are war. Some of you came from obedience and came from surrender because you know somewhere along the line God will change His mind.
Galatians 5:18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.
It’s much easier to live law. Try saying from here, “I will only do what the Holy Spirit shows me to do from this very moment. I will think no other thought than that which the Holy Spirit puts in my mind. I will say anything to anybody that the Holy Spirit leads me to say. I will lay down my life for anybody that the Spirit leads me to do. I will say “No” to any and every sin that the Holy Spirit shows me from now on. I will be perfect in Jesus Christ. Live it. It’s harder isn’t it? It’s not harder it’s impossible. The Law isn’t that way the law can be lived. You can justify it to yourself. But God has given us His Spirit an incomparably great power. If we follow and keep in step in the Spirit, if we are lead by the Spirit, we will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. I will have that divine power. I will know that sanctifying work.
Galatians 6:7-8 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.
You cannot mock God. You cannot live the nice little Christian life under your own power and human effort and go to heaven. The sinful nature cannot please God. You must come in communion with the Holy Spirit. You must begin to hear the Spirit’s voice. You must begin to feel its sanctifying power or at least tell the truth and saying that you will go to hell. Do not be deceived. You can’t mock God. You can’t somehow wait around to see if he’ll change his mind. You either come into a living relationship and a surrender relationship with the Spirit or you do not belong to Jesus Christ. You will get up every single day and say, “I will only do what the Spirit shows me to do.” Yes, it’s difficult. Yes, it’s fearful. Yes, it’s a step of faith. But it’s called the Christian life and it’s great freedom for those who are trained by its discipline.
Galatians 5:25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
Where is the Spirit leading? What is He showing? What does He want to deal with today? What steps? Where am I to go? What am I to do? What does the Spirit say? I detest it when you guys go back and pray about something, and say, “I confessing this sin” and it’s like you’re guessing and hoping I’ll say, “Bingo! You’ve got it!” Is that how the Spirit comes? He brings you a list and you pick and you choose which one and maybe you’ll get it right? If you keep in step with the Spirit, He’ll show you, He’ll deal with you. It is a living personal relationship with the living God. It’s holy.
Hebrews 6:4-6 It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.
This is a very holy thing we have. I am receiving the power of the living God into my life. I am receiving a relationship like Jesus Christ had with the Father into my life. And if I trample on it, if I harden my heart, if I get to a place where I fall away, I cannot be brought back to repentance. I get one shot only. And it’s not that God is hard, not that he’s mean, it is that he is Holy! He is precious and his son is worth everything and no man deserves a second try. But we know not the Holy Spirit as this kind of sanctifying power and we treat it as an unholy thing. We pick and choose when we want to hear His voice and how we want it to work. We don’t lay flat on the floor before God and really mean what we say before God. We think that we can trample on His blood and it’s ours for us to walk all over. We claim when we want, and go back and get some more when we want when we get a little tired of our sin.
How little we value the relationship that we have with God. God shouldn’t even have to put this passage in here. It shouldn’t even be necessary. We need to love His son with all of our heart and all of our mind and all of our soul. We see people turn their backs on that and then want to come back and trample all over it again. What kind of indignation should well up within us? You can’t do that to my Savior, who I love.
Hebrews 10:29 How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?
Does that burn within us with a holy passion? Is to the degree that it is there in humility… Is to the degree that the Holy Spirit sanctify our hearts, I’m telling you… To the degree that you love Jesus Christ… To the degree that you’re poured out for him and love him with everything that is there… Is to the degree that there is fire in this passage when you meet other people? Because if you love him who is holy, no one will trample on that without experiencing some fire and some love and some indignation on the part of him who loves him. You will not speak about my God like this. You will not trample on his grace like this. It is holy. It is sanctifying. It has purified me. And how dare you come into my presence with your whitewashed gospels and all your vain attempts to seek after him and tell me that you belong to him. How much more severely a man deserves to be punished who has tasted and laid hold of this kind of God? Do we weep at his feet because we love him? Do we see him at the cross? See how he has sanctified and purified us? Do we understand what it is to experience the living grace of God? You will not trample on that which is holy and sanctified. You will not insult the Spirit of grace. You will not walk in and out of my life and say that you are a Christian and not know that there is a living God who dwells.
Since we now know the power and the strength of which God can work, then we can serve him in joy and freedom. We can best of all serve Him in humility. This next passage is so lovely and grand.
Hebrews 9:14 How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!
What a grand passage! Freedom and life! The Spirit sanctifies, works, and makes holy. I treasure it and won’t let go of it. Nothing will interfere with it. I can serve the living God and be in a relationship with him. That is the nature of the blood. Oh, let us say with God, “Lord I belong to you. I am your child.” But let us say it in holiness and understand what we pour out before him. Let us plead until we have this divine power that is incomparable. If we have to walk 30 years in humility and brokenness until we have it, then do it, that we may be one as Jesus is one with the Father.
Let’s go ahead and pray.
Father we know not what we say when we plead with you to glorify your name. Oh God, may the eyes of our hearts be enlightened. Show us oh Lord by your Spirit what it means to serve the living God. Baptize us oh Lord with your Spirit and give us that promise. Father we know that you long to, but God may you find obedient servants that you can fill us, empty vessels, oh God. May your name be glorified oh Lord. May the world see and know Jesus is real because you live within us. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.
This transcription has been edited to a reader friendly format. Every effort has been made to be true to the speaker’s original message. Any mistranslations are unintentional.