Holy Spirit & Correcting Each Other
This sermon is about letting the Holy Spirit lead us to correct, admonish, teach and encourage each other.
Mark 9:43- If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. . .
That’s a pretty drastic statement. It’s a tough way to start a sermon. Jesus doesn’t explain to the people that He doesn’t mean this literally. He’s just turns to the crowd and says, “If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off.”
Mark 9:43-45 If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out. And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell.
Again, Jesus didn’t explain by telling them, “Hey, guys, I don’t mean this literally. I just mean for you to have a zealous heart.” Picture for a moment this situation. We have heard the commentaries so much that we understand (we think) what Jesus said. Jesus healed people and spoke with authority. In some things He spoke very clear and concrete, but then He came along and said this about sin. Now I am not at all advocating you go out and cut off your hand or foot. But I think we lose the impact of what Jesus said because we water it down so much with our commentaries. We need to really take in what Jesus says and realize there must be some very zealous dealing with sin in our lives.
Mark 9:47 And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, where “their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.”
Notice He says, “their worm does not die.” He doesn’t say “the worm.” He makes the point that each person has their own individual worm of sin that continues to eat within them. It’s a cancer that simply won’t go away. “Where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.” It’s never purified. The sin is never cut off and you’re never delivered from the sin that agonizes you. Hell is simply a bottomless pit where you continually fall away from God and fall more and more into sin. The sins you try to deal with and overcome, or the things that just slightly plague you but aren’t all that bad, become very sinister when you look at them in the context of eternity. In other words, if I deal with a temper now and I am able to control it somewhat by my own nice techniques, it will be let loose in hell. As the sin of my temper begins to grow in the context of hell, by the time I’ve been there 10,000 years that anger has consumed me. That worm of anger, lust, gluttony or whatever the sin, it never ever dies and you continue to grow in it. So think for a moment about your sin of self-pity. By the time you have been in hell 5 million years, you will be a ball of self-pity. That’s what hell is. There the worm does not die and God’s anger and wrath never rests. The fire never goes out.
Mark 9:49-50 Everyone will be salted with fire. “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with each other.”
Jesus said all this in the context of dealing with sin. Jesus said if you get this saltiness in your life, it will cause you to purify and correct other people. If the Spirit is able to work this kind of fellowship and baptism of fire, and you lose your saltiness you will never gain it again. If you receive the Holy Spirit and begin to walk in Him and then you turn your back on God, you’ll never come back again. You’ll never have it again. Hebrews declares that left and right.
Mark 9:50 Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with each other.
We often read the passages about cutting off our hand, plucking out our eyes and cutting off our feet in terms of dealing with sin in our own life. Yet in verse 50 He said in the context of dealing with sin to have a saltiness, a purifying quality in yourself, and be at peace with each other. In other words, deal with sin, and let the Holy Spirit work the fire so you will be pure and the sin will be dealt with. The Holy Spirit will lead us into fellowship where we will correct and admonish one another. We can cut each other’s sin off. We can go up to a brother or sister and “pluck out their eye, or cut off their foot or hand,” and have that to be a source of peace. To have this cleansing salt within us, a purifying fire that deals with sin, yet love one another and be at peace is a rare quality to find.
Most churches pride themselves on loving one another, but you couldn’t correct or rebuke them. Not by the power of the Spirit anyway.
Proverbs 27:5-6 Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.
They talk about fellowship, loving each other in Jesus Christ, and being kind to each other, but it’s only a multiplication of kisses because there are no wounds from a friend. Nobody comes along with the ax to cut off a hand or a tool to pluck out an eye so sin can be dealt with. We do not desire it or allow it. So we really become enemies toward each other. Verse 5 says an open rebuke is love. Speaking clearly and truthfully by the Spirit is an act of love and grace, but we don’t often view it that way.
The following is a very important passage. Remember, we are talking about the Holy Spirit and correction. We are NOT talking about correcting one another. The title of this sermon is not, “Correcting One Another in Jesus Christ,” it is “The Holy Spirit and Correction.” There’s a vast difference between churches that have rules and regulations and those who follow the Spirit. Every religion will admonish and correct you for stepping out of their lines. We are talking about the Holy Spirit creating a fellowship that is not the result of some outward demand or activity.
Colossians 1:24 Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you. . .
What will the Holy Spirit first lead each of us to do? If correction is really of God by the power of the Holy Spirit, what will happen in our lives? We will begin to suffer for each other. There isn’t very much suffering going on for each other, is there? Most of our activity toward other people is for some selfish motive, not suffering to present them perfect or make them holy.
Colossians 1:24 Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church.
This is not about creating a correcting congregation. I won’t lay before you a chart with 15 different ways to correct one another and try to define all kinds of situations and then tell you to go live it. This is really about a motivation of the heart. If God will work this kind of purification fire within us, what needs to be in our hearts? We need a desire to suffer for the body. We have to fill up in our flesh the sufferings of Jesus Christ. No man is worthy to correct, rebuke, or admonish me unless he is filling up within his body the afflictions of Jesus Christ. Otherwise, he is merely laying rules upon me of his opinion of what he thinks I should be. I have had thousands of people attempt to put on me their different ideas of what I should be in Jesus Christ. They were not suffering or filling up in their flesh, by the power of the Spirit, the things of God.
Colossians 1:25-27 I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints. To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
“Christ in you.” That will be very crucial as we look at some other passages. It will be the mystery that is worked within you. The purpose of spiritually “plucking out an eye and cutting off a hand” is for the purpose that Jesus Christ might be in you. Not that you might conform to some outward rules, but that Jesus Christ himself, the living God, would dwell and work in your heart. How few people have that goal in mind. Therefore, all of their correcting and admonishing is absolutely worthless. The next two verses are what hold it together.
Colossians 1:28 We proclaim him. . .
We don’t proclaim the church or our opinion. We don’t proclaim our thoughts of what is best for another person. We proclaim Jesus Christ. Jesus meant everything to Paul, so Paul could fill up within his body the afflictions of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit caused Paul to suffer and lay down his life for the body. Paul’s goal was for Jesus to be formed in the people of Colosse.
Colossians 1:28 We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ.
What moved Paul to admonish others? What caused him to lay hold of somebody and say, “I will present you perfect in Jesus Christ”? The Holy Spirit and the cross of Jesus Christ in his life were the only things motivating him. Paul had a purity and singleness of heart that is rare to find. This verse says he will present everyone perfect in Christ. There are no exceptions to this. This kind of fellowship is grand, holy, and joyful, but nobody is exempt from it. The Holy Spirit will not allow anybody to say they are a Christian and be in fellowship without somebody laying hold of them to present them perfect. Not only did Paul seek to present others perfect, but look at the zeal with which he did it.
Colossians 1:29 To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me.
The Greek means to wear one’s self out and become exhausted. So you get brothers and sisters that wear themselves out to present you perfect. They exhaust themselves to make you holy. We contend for a prize and run as if in an athletic contest. Every faculty and part of your being is for the purpose of presenting others perfect in Jesus Christ. To fill up in his body the sufferings of Jesus Christ. Think about that kind of fellowship. Imagine everybody in that church contending, struggling, laboring, and wearing themselves out to present people perfect.
Every church will say they seek to present people perfect and that their church preaches holiness. Every church gives lip service. But there’s one central key that makes all the difference in the world. It’s the very thing we are talking about and the reason the title of the sermon is “The Holy Spirit and Correction.”
Colossians 1:29 To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me.
Not my energy, not my strength, nor my wisdom. Not the power that comes from sermons, hearing words or reading books. He struggles, labors, and fills up in his body the afflictions of Jesus Christ. He did that by the energy of Christ. Paul had his own energy and wisdom, but he didn’t use any of that when it came to presenting people perfect in Jesus Christ. He sought to present people perfect. He labored and struggled with only the power of the Holy Spirit. “Which so powerfully works in me.” He knew it was there. He declared it with authority. What he said in words and lived in fellowship, was the divine power of God working within him. Can we say that about our fellowship with one another in truth and honesty? Can we say that our corrections, admonishing, teaching, loving and wanting to perfect each other is a result of God moving with His power and His energy through our life? Is the cross of Jesus Christ so alive in us by the power of the Spirit that it is God who works and wills within us to present each other perfect? Or do you merely go to someone and tell him or her they are doing something wrong because you know it to be wrong. Let’s say you heard in a sermon “It’s wrong to steal,” so you go to someone and tell them it’s wrong. You might tell someone, “It’s wrong to steal,” and be right in what you are saying, yet there’s no life in your words. I don’t care if you are technically right or not. If it’s not said by the power of the Holy Spirit, Him who has the source of life, you are not giving life to anybody. My goodness, the world tells people not to take drugs. Is that a correct thing to tell them? Of course it is. We would agree that people should not take drugs. But there is no life in the world’s advice. There’s no purpose or leading toward God. If I tell someone by the power of the Holy Spirit, with God’s energy, not to take drugs there’s life and power in that. Paul said in Corinthians that no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the power of the Spirit. I can get hundreds of people to say, “Jesus is Lord” with their lips. Everything comes down to God’s energy and the working of the Holy Spirit. But how many people just copy the things of Scripture and then in their own effort, strength, and design, set out to perfect each other. They might as well be like the world and have a D.A.R.E. campaign (Dare not to take drugs), with all the fancy programs. Why? It’s because they are not relying on the Spirit. I do not need the programs. I don’t need charts, diagrams, and 15 different steps. What is the solution? Go back and fill up in your body the afflictions of Jesus Christ. Pick up a cross and let the Holy Spirit give you a love for the body. Let His power work within you, and I guarantee, you will know how to present one another perfect. You cannot have the Spirit of the Living God live in you and not see this begin to happen. This will happen for everybody. He said everybody will be salted with fire. “Have salt within you and be at peace with each other.” Do we really want a fellowship like this?
Colossians 2:1-2 I want you to know how much I am struggling for you and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not met me personally. My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding
Again if we stopped right there we would be right where most people are. Most people would say, “My purpose is that you may be encouraged in heart and united in love.” Every church wants to encourage people and they all have a love campaign. “So that you may have the full riches of complete understanding.” Most churches stop right there. They study the Greek, Hebrew and traditions or the context of the situation. They think that’s what understanding God is all about. That wasn’t Paul’s goal. His goal really was not that they be encouraged in heart. You can go to a football game and become encouraged in heart. His goal was not just that they be united in love. Everyone has family sessions where they get together and air their dirty laundry. That’s not really the goal. Let’s read on.
Colossians 2:2 in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ,
“That you may know the living God.” Isn’t that just what we read earlier in Colossians? “That you may be filled with the Spirit.” Sure, Paul’s purpose was also that they be encouraged and united in love, but the end result and the goal of that is to know Jesus Christ. But this kind of fellowship by the power of the Spirit has to be searched after.
Colossians 2:3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
I want you to remember this verse because we will look at a Proverb that talks about searching for wisdom and knowledge. Great effort has to be put forth and a tremendous amount of surrender before you’ll have it. I promise you will not gain it with head knowledge. You will not gain it in your mind. It takes a purification of the heart. The Holy Spirit will come to us and say, “It’s time to cut the hand off, pluck out the eye, or cut off the foot.” Do we want it? Do we really want to be encouraged in heart and united in love?
I want you to be aware that there are certain people that you just shouldn’t listen to. Saying that we can correct one another by the Holy Spirit means there will be people who are not of the Holy Spirit that will seek to correct us. They will tell us we are doing something wrong in Jesus Christ or we don’t quite have the proper understanding of His word.
Galatians 2:3 Yet not even Titus, who was with me, was compelled to be circumcised, even though he was a Greek.
The pressure was overwhelming. There was every reason for Titus to be circumcised. It’s not just about the issue of circumcision; it’s about circumcision of the fleshmen doing something outwardly to the flesh to look holy. If you pray 5 hours a week you’ll be holy. That’s circumcision of the flesh. If you fast for 39.3 days you’ll be holy. If you sing these songs, memorize this scripture, or get this certain tape series, you’ll be godly. All this is outward circumcision.
Galatians 2:3-4 Yet not even Titus, who was with me, was compelled to be circumcised, even though he was a Greek. This matter arose because some false brothers had infiltrated our ranks to spy on the freedom we have in Christ Jesus and to make us slaves.
A simple act of circumcision would have made them slaves to these men. Did Paul accept their correction? Did he take their rebuke? Of course not.
Galatians 2:5 We did not give in to them for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might remain with you.
Paul did not agree with them for one second or say they were right in one single area. He wanted the truth of the gospel to remain. Men came in and said, “Be circumcised like us. Conform. Outwardly be like us and you will be holy.” Everything about a person who walks in the Spirit will say, “I will not give in to that kind of foolishness for one single moment.” This doesn’t mean you take correction from just anybody. What you have to decide is how soft of a heart you have. If you don’t have a soft heart you will like these circumcision men. If you have a soft heart, you will detest them. There’s no middle ground. You either detest the Holy Spirit working His power through others as you are corrected and admonished, or you run to men of God if you have a soft heart. The decision is yours.
Matthew 23:1-3 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. “
Jesus said that these people represent the law and God’s word. To the degree they are preaching the word you need to be obedient to it. In other words, they might say, “Do not steal or commit adultery,” and you would not do those things. They sit in Moses’ seat. They have the authority with which to speak.
Matthew 23:3-5 So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy loads and put them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them. Everything they do is done for men to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long.
Jesus made an absolute blanket condemnation. “Everything” they do is done for men to see. Their programs, projects, evangelism, and preaching are for one purpose for other people to see and say, “Oh, look how spiritual they are. Look at how noble they are and right with God.” “Everything they do is done for men to see.” He goes on to give a few examples. What is a circumcision of the flesh? It is a desire to outwardly demonstrate that you are right with God. It’s to have something that will show you are spiritual. It might be a goofy hat or your works or projects that demonstrate you are spiritual, holy, and obedient. Circumcision is always outward.
Matthew 15:12 Then the disciples came to him and asked, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?”
How spiritual the disciples are. They were indignant and rebuked Jesus Christ because He offended the spiritual leaders of the day.
Matthew 15:13 He replied, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots.”
Every Pharisee who is not filled with the Holy Spirit will be pulled up. Every person who claims to be a Christian, but God has not planted and put His seal of approval on, will be pulled up by the roots. There will be nothing good left. All the things they have and all that they boast of will mean nothing. They will be pulled up so there will be no roots left. They will never grow again. What are we to do with these people? Verse 14 is very clear. Leave them. Anybody who is not filled with the Spirit or picking up his cross and following Jesus Christ you must leave alone.
Matthew 15:14 Leave them; they are blind guides. If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.”
That means if you follow and hang around these people you will go to hell also. I know a lot of people who pride themselves in saying, “I know these men and how wicked they are, but God has called me to stay in this church.” Are we able to mock God’s word? Can we look at this and say, “I can survive there because I am spiritual”? There was a woman who visited with us at a Christian Expo. At that time we were on the radio and I had talked about the fact that you need to leave these types of people. She said, “I was really under conviction. I really felt that I needed to leave them because scripture is clear. But then I prayed about it and knew I was supposed to stay.” People do it all the time. They are not willing to offend the Pharisees. Don’t give into them for a moment. Not everyone who comes to you with a correction or rebuke comes by the Spirit. Just be soft hearted enough to know the difference.
Psalms 141:1 A psalm of David. O LORD, I call to you; come quickly to me. Hear my voice when I call to you.
This is a prayer everyone prays. Everybody gets into the prayer closet and says, “O Lord, come to me. I cry to you. Hear my voice when I call to you.”
Psalms 141:2-4 May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice. Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips. Let not my heart be drawn to what is evil, to take part in wicked deeds with men who are evildoers; let me not eat of their delicacies.
This man asked very noble things of God. He said, “Lord, deliver me from evil men. Put a guard over my mouth so that I speak holy things. Come and fellowship with me.” But then look at what he said in verse 5:
Psalms 141:5 Let a righteous man strike me it is a kindness; let him rebuke me it is oil on my head. My head will not refuse it. Yet my prayer is ever against the deeds of evildoers;
He asked for permission. He went literally into the prayer closet and said, “Oh, God, let a righteous man strike me. It is a kindness. Let him rebuke me, it is oil on my head.” How did he see the living God acting toward him? Sure, it is Jesus in us, but it’s more than that. He went through verses 1-3 asking, “Come to me quickly, O Lord. Accept my prayer. Put a guard over my mouth and let not my heart be drawn to evil.” How would he see God begin to work those things in his life? By letting a righteous man strike him and rebuke him. The Holy Spirit will work a deep amount of correction and admonishment within a church that is seeking Him. If you cry out, “O Lord, I want you, I want to be holy and have my mouth made clean. I want to have a soft heart so You can cut this sin off my hand and pluck out my eye when I sin,” how will God begin to weave and work that in your life? For sure He will convict you individually, and be absolutely sure your heart will convict you. But in this Psalm what is the focus? God is trying to tell us that He will work it in the context of fellowship. What is your attitude to be?
Psalms 141:5 Let a righteous man strike me it is a kindness;
Do we really consider this a kindness? How many times have people told me to be kinder and more loving to them? So I reach out and strike them some more by showing them their sin, and they don’t like it. Yet they keep asking me over and over to be kind. We don’t seem to understand what true kindness is in Jesus Christ.
Psalms 141:5 Let a righteous man strike me it is a kindness; let him rebuke me it is oil on my head. My head will not refuse it. Yet my prayer is ever against the deeds of evildoers;
You have a choice. You can listen to flattering lips or you can let a righteous man strike you. The key to all this is only a righteous man is filled with the Spirit and picks up his cross. Not the Pharisees, they are blind guides and you have to leave them. You can’t give in to them for a single moment. “Let a righteous man strike me.” His prayer is against evildoers. He wants the Lord to reveal the Pharisees and men who circumcise the flesh. His prayer actively pursues them and is against their activities. You do not need to receive everybody who comes to admonish and correct you. Don’t play the false humility game with these types of people, “Oh, I’ll consider it before the Lord.” Or, the old game where people say, “I’m not perfect and I know you’re not perfect,” and we’re supposed to agree we’re both not perfect and then go from there. Just get to the point.
Proverbs 15:31 He who listens to a life-giving rebuke will be at home among the wise.
This does not say, “He who listens to a rebuke will be at home among the wise.” That is NOT what it says. It says a “life-giving” rebuke. Not everybody who comes to me is filled with the Holy Spirit or knows what they are talking about. Not everybody who comes to me has the power and energy of God moving in his life to say, “These things need to change in your life.” Not everybody who reaches out to strike and correct me has the power and energy of Jesus Christ living in him or her. The scripture says, “If you listen to a life-giving rebuke.” Well, who is the author of life? Who has all love contained and is the source of love but God? Anybody picking up the cross without surrender cannot offer me a life-giving rebuke, even if they say the exact same words as the man who is filled with the Spirit.
If you pray and ask God for this kind of fellowship, sparks will fly. It will happen. If we really take this seriously and everybody gets on their knees and says, “Ok, Lord, I want you to fill me with your Spirit. I want your energy to work in me. I want to wear myself out to make Tim perfect before you. I want you to work your will within me in order that he might be presented perfect” and begin to wear ourselves out by the power of the Spirit to present each other perfect, there will be a lot of tough situations that take place. The congregations that have the most “peace” do not allow the Spirit to do this work.
Colossians 3:12-13 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
Be involved enough in a body where all of this takes place. Have enough fellowship to forgive one another. Get to know each other so well that you know each other’s sins. Those sins will trample on you at times and you will have to forgive each other and clear the slate. This is a fellowship where people really do know each other.
Colossians 3:14-15 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
The word “rule” in this verse means “the one referee, the supreme authority.” That’s why he said “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts since as members of one body you were called to peace.” He warned that conflicts will arise if you seek to present each other perfect. Two people may come to each other about sin and find out they are both wrong. Or you go to somebody to admonish and correct him or her, and part of what you are saying is from the Spirit, but part of it is your own wisdom. A lot of things have to be siphoned through. The only way that will happen is if we let the peace of Christ rule. When it comes down to the issue of who’s right and who’s wrong we have to let the peace of Christ come into our hearts and referee the situation. You’ve seen children playing together, it’s not long before they begin to fight and quarrel. You step in to say, “There will be peace here, you will be quiet now,” and try to work through the situation by listening to both sides of the story. You try as best as you can to whittle down exactly what was said and done and how the whole thing got started. The referee, the peace of Christ, sets in. If Lisa came to me with something that she thought needed change we may go back and forth in our discussion. The ultimate outcome is we both turn to Jesus Christ and ask, “Who is right?” We ask Him to show us who is right or if we’re both wrong. We must have a living relationship with Jesus Christ for this kind of fellowship to happen. I don’t sit there and pull rank on her and say, “I’m a pastor. Shut your mouth and get out of here.” We both want to know what Jesus Christ has to say in every situation. We want His peace. We want Him to referee so He can tell us the truth about the situation.
I’ve seen the following situation happen many times. Someone may come to you about a sin but they don’t have the words exactly right and they don’t say it in the spiritual way you want to hear it. So you mow them down. I’m real good at that. I can mow people down with all kinds of logic. I used to do that to Carla when we were first married. She would come to me and be absolutely right, and I would get her off the subject and make her feel like she did something wrong. It’s not the logic with which someone comes to you; it’s what Jesus Christ is saying. When Carla finally started submitting and shutting her mouth, that’s when I really got in trouble because it’s hard to argue against the Holy Spirit. He just keeps whispering in your ears and heart, “You are wrong.” This type of fellowship creates sparks and lots of questions. It will be hard to have peace. But you each have to go back to the prayer closet and be willing to be 120% wrong. That’s what he meant by “let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” Oh, be eternally thankful if you have brothers and sisters who will do this.
Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.
What does it mean to let the word of Christ dwell in your heart richly? Does it mean that I have every scripture memorized? It means I let the living Jesus Christ, the Word of God, dwell in my heart richly. He controls, works, speaks, and puts the scriptures in my life. He says, “This is what applies and this is how it will work.” We need a soft heart before a living God. Why is that so hard for us to see? Why do we have so much head knowledge but we don’t have the word of Christ dwelling within us? To dwell means He lives, breathes, and acts of His own accord. It doesn’t mean I take ink and put it in my mind and then try to breathe into it the breath of life. I am not God. I wish churches would put the Bible on the floor and try to breathe the breath of life into it. There is no life in the Bible. It’s a living Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit dwelling within us who does his work. We are the temple of the living God.
Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another . . .
This kind of fellowship begins by teaching each other the word of God. I don’t ever tell somebody that I’ve already read a passage of scripture before. As the Word dwells richly within us, we will begin to teach each other what the Word means. I don’t care if you’ve read it 100 times before the Spirit can make it new. And as you get admonished and corrected it’s not some heavy hard situation (depending on your heart. You can make it that way, but that’s not the goal).
Colossians 3:16 …and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.
Everybody teaches and admonishes each other by the power of the living God. Everybody seeks to present others perfect and they are doing it with song. They are singing, “Let a righteous man strike me. Let him rebuke me. This is great stuff.” That is the attitude of those filled with the Spirit. They are thankful for real fellowship. Do we really sing songs and hymns? Are we really thankful when people come to us? Do you know why you can be so thankful? Because everybody is honestly trying to be in touch with the living God. There’s has been a lot of times where tough situations have come between two people. But they were able to say by the Spirit that the other person was not just trying to do evil. They were just trying to present each other perfect. That cools a lot of the anger. There were other times when I have thoroughly rebuked someone who would have rebuked someone else because they were not in the Spirit with what they would have said. The point is when everybody seeks only God it produces songs, hymns, spiritual songs, and gratitude toward one another. The back biting and grumbling begins to disappear. People stop thinking evil of one another. It always increases in love and wraps itself in compassion. Though it comes with a strike and in some very hard ways, it’s always wrapped in the kindness and gentleness of Jesus Christ. There is a purity of heart that no man can create. It comes from heaven. So don’t even try to live this out until you have the Spirit and His energy moving within you.
Proverbs 2:1-3 My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding,
Let’s put all this together. Let’s take the ink of the Bible and put it in our heads and then let the Holy Spirit bring life to the words.
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.