Sermon: Holy Spirit & The Christian Walk

Written by Timothy

Holy Spirit & The Christian Walk
Year 2001

Today we will look at what makes Christianity so difficult.

1 John 2:6 Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.

This teaching will separate those who are merely religious yet still call themselves Christians and those who really do follow Jesus Christ. It says that if I claim to be a Christian, then I have to walk as Jesus walked. This lesson will look at how Jesus walked.

Scripture tells us to lay aside all of our fears when we start talking about the Holy Spirit. We need to lay aside our fears and excuses and come before God and tell him to teach us to walk just as Jesus walked.

2 Corinthians 3:18 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.

The Christian life should be going up the ladder one rung at a time. We should be ever changing, growing, and learning more and more how Jesus walked. It doesn’t mean that we’re made perfect today and somehow we have achieved exactly what 1 John says about walking exactly as Jesus walked. But Corinthians says that with each passing day there should be within us an increasing amount of the glory of God. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory….” We come before God and all the veils are off, the excuses are gone, and the hidden things come into the light. When we do that it says we are being transformed into his likeness with ever increasing glory, which comes from the Lord. Then the last part says, “who is the Spirit.”

When we talk about the Holy Spirit we’re talking about Jesus Christ. When you talk about Jesus Christ, you talk about the Holy Spirit. Yet what happens in so many groups and discussions is a division of this concept. It’s like Jesus Christ is over here and the Holy Spirit is over there. So you divide the two and begin to talk about them in that fashion. That is, some believe the Holy Spirit doesn’t guide you in certain ways. They say they have all of Jesus Christ in them, but the Holy Spirit doesn’t work that way. We must realize that limiting the Holy Spirit is limiting Jesus Christ. To say anything about the Holy Spirit is to say it about Jesus Christ. So when I said, “The Holy Spirit and the Christian Walk,” as the title of this sermon, I might as well have said, “Jesus Christ and the Christian Walk.” That is, in order to walk as Jesus walked I have to understand and receive the Spirit of Jesus in me which is called the Holy Spirit. So let’s lay aside the fears and excuses. Let’s stop saying, “Well, I know so many people that say that they’re following God, but it’s obvious by their lives that they don’t.” The same applies to the horror stories that you begin to hear. Well, I know some people that said they were following God and God told them to kill their mother, etc. We have to lay aside these kinds of fears. There are lots of falsehoods out there. In fact, there are more falsehoods than there are truths. But that should not stop us from living the truth and understanding how Jesus Christ walked in this world.

If we understood this with our hearts and really believed it in our spirit then we would have no fear about the Holy Spirit or beginning to follow Jesus Christ by faith instead of being just a Christian.

John 15:5 I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

Does it say, “Apart from me you can do nine-tenths or one-quarter of something”? Jesus said, “apart from me you can do nothing.” Yet people all around the world right now today do things apart from Jesus Christ. He didn’t lay down some law of physics that says, “Without My Spirit being here in the world you would all die.” That’s not what He meant. He meant you can’t live, bear fruit, or walk as He walked apart from Him. That is, to deny His Spirit’s working in your life, you will not be able to live the Christian life. You won’t be able to pray, have faith, perform miracles, or hear His voice. You won’t be able to understand the Bible. You can do nothing apart from Him. The minute a man denies the Spirit in his life, the minute someone doesn’t have faith to believe in the Spirit, or begins to quench that part of God, they rob themselves of the power to live the Christian life.

John 15:6-8 If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

So when it comes to talking about following Jesus Christ and walking as He did, Jesus wants us to bear much fruit, doesn’t He? That’s His desire. Before we ever begin to pray about it, He wants us to bear much fruit. He wants you to have the obedience, joy, and strength that are in His hands. That is His desire for you. He has already said, “This is to my Father’s glory that you bear much fruit.” What keeps us from bearing that fruit? What keeps us from walking as Jesus walked? A lot of us don’t understand how He walked. Most people interpret this passage in verse 7 to mean, “If you remain in Me then My words remain in you.” They think, “If I hold on to the written words, understand these commandments, and seek to live by these principles of life, then I must be in Jesus Christ.” That is not what Jesus said. He didn’t say, “If they take certain tenets of Christianity and begin to live those out, then they are Christians and will bear fruit.”

It is because of Jesus’ heart He wanted to please God that God did something. God will do the same thing for us, though not to this degree because our hearts aren’t that soft.

John 3:34 For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit.

Jesus Christ had all of the Holy Spirit that He would ever need because His heart was soft. His desire was to be totally obedient to God. God was able to pour out His Holy Spirit through Him without limit. There was no hindrance to what God could work through Him. Now that’s not true with us. What is the problem? We won’t soften our hearts before God. We won’t have the proper faith. We won’t surrender to do His work like we need to do, so God is not able to pour forth all the Spirit that He desires. Think for a moment; give a ten-year-old the car keys to go drive the car. What will he do? He will immediately wreck it, destroy himself, and probably other people too. He might make it around the block, so he’ll get a little prideful about it, and then he’ll want to go on the freeway. Before long he’ll destroy all kinds of things. So in the same way, if God said He would give us all the Holy Spirit, power, and glory of God in our lives, do we think that we would know how to handle it? Jesus Christ did. He was able to have the Holy Spirit without limit. So what does that say about my own heart? It says the more that I soften my heart, and the more I come to God believing He will work in me to His glory then I’ll receive more of the Holy Spirit.


Acts 5:32 spells it out very, very clearly. This is the message most people do not want. They do not want to believe that receiving the Holy Spirit is conditional on a soft heart, a willingness to obey or at least a willingness to be surrendered and broken before God so that His Holy Spirit might be there. We want to think that somehow God will just give us His Holy Spirit and pour forth all of His blessings without any purification of the vessel that holds the treasure.

Acts 5:31 God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel.

What does Jesus Christ give? What is the first thing that Jesus Christ pours into our lives? Repentance. Even the sorrow that I feel for sin comes from His hand. So if I come before God, and say, “God, I want to walk as Jesus walked. I want a soft heart that allows me to receive the Spirit,” then Jesus Christ will pour out into my life repentance and forgiveness. Most people don’t want to repent over their sins it’s that simple. Most of us do not want to be cleansed. And really, we do not want to be forgiven we want to be excused. We want to say that it’s all right to continue in our sin.

Acts 5:32 We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.

To whom does God give the Holy Spirit? Why did Jesus Christ have the Holy Spirit without limit? Because He was willing to obey! A lot of us don’t have the Holy Spirit, because we are not willing to be obedient. We believe in some type of grace that believes God will just give us the Holy Spirit because He likes to give. He’s like Santa Claus. No one really takes Santa’s list seriously to see who’s been naughty or nice. God gives the Holy Spirit only to those who are willing to be obedient.

Acts 5:33 When they heard this, they were furious and wanted to put them to death.

If you teach that you won’t receive the Holy Spirit or have God’s grace unless you are willing to be obedient to God, they will become furious and seek to put you to death. If we walk around with an opinion the of gospel that says, “Believe whatever you want, accept God’s grace, and you’ll have His Spirit in your life,” everyone will love you for that. But if you say, “If you really love God and want to walk as Jesus walked if you want His grace then you must be willing to be obedient to His Spirit.” They will indeed become very furious and want to put you to death.

It is so hard to distinguish between the cleansing and working of the Spirit and when we’ve just experienced something in an outward sort of way. That is, we’ll go through times when we pray or seek God or certain things happen in our lives and we think that because those things happened to us we are being made holy.

John 6:62 What if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before!

What if you heard the angels sing to you as you drove home today? What if all the mystery of God was revealed to you? What if all kinds of miraculous things happened to you? That doesn’t mean your life is changed. It doesn’t mean that the word has really penetrated your heart or that you are obedient to a living Jesus Christ in your life. That’s why He went on to say that the Spirit gives life, the flesh counts for nothing. Again we are back to the John 15:5 aren’t we? “apart from me you can do nothing.” If the flesh prays, it’s nothing. If I give to the poor in the flesh, it’s nothing. If I read the Bible in the flesh by the power and strength of my hands it’s nothing. If I take my intellect and seek to understand God, it is nothing. It is only the Holy Spirit of God that gives life and that means an absolute and total dependence upon the Father. That’s how Jesus walked. You see why that’s so difficult to live. You can pray and look good in most churches. You can help serve in the church and look holy. You can give money to the poor and look righteous. You can do all kinds of benevolent things for other people and look good. Nobody will ask whether or not it’s of the Holy Spirit. It looks good on the outside, but Jesus says the Spirit is the only thing that counts. Jesus lived in a minute-by-minute dependence upon the Father. This gives a whole new meaning to sin, doesn’t it? It gives the proper meaning to sin. The proper meaning of sin is not to say, “I broke this law so I must be in sin,” or “I understand what this scripture says and I wasn’t obedient to it, therefore I sinned.” Sin is doing anything apart from the Holy Spirit. It is to say, “This is sin because it means I am not hooked into the Branch. I am not what I need to be.”

John 3:19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.

True Christians run to the light and can show by their lives that it was not them who did the work, but the Holy Spirit in them. It was not them who prayed but it was Jesus Christ praying through them and giving them life. It was the Spirit doing all things. Everybody else will run from the light if they don’t have this kind of life. The Pharisees hated Jesus Christ. The religious rulers and lawgivers hated Jesus Christ because He was light. He demonstrated that what they did was not done by the power of God but by their own power. It wasn’t done through God and through His power and light, it was done by man’s own accord and strength. When the judgment comes, churches everywhere will not run into the light but will run from the light because their works were not done through God. It was done by their own efforts and wisdom which is called self-righteousness, pride, and arrogance. Let’s see what it means to do everything through God. Let’s compare ourselves and ask how much we live this.

In John 5:19 Jesus gave them this answer: “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.”

Have we already heard this a couple of times? You can do nothing. The flesh counts for nothing. Jesus said He told us the absolute truth that the son can do nothing by Himself. Did He go into some mystical discussion saying, “Well I’m kind of dependent upon the Father, but God expects Me to use My arms and legs, and My mind and eyes. So then I set out to do things for God knowing that in a Star Wars kind of way that He’s just with me”? Jesus said He could only do what He saw His Father doing. Think about that for a moment. Is that what we say as we go about the day? “I am only doing this because I see it’s what the Father wants me to do”? That’s how Jesus Christ walked. “I only go to work this morning because I see that’s what the Father wants me to do. I prayed this morning because I saw that’s what the Father wanted me to do. I studied these particular scriptures and did this particular thing because I see that’s what the Father wanted me to do.” Jesus Christ could do nothing. It was impossible for Him to do anything of His own accord or His own decision no matter how righteous and good it looked. He had a complete dependence upon God. If God did it, He did it. If God didn’t do it, He would not do it. Now this is the supreme goal for all of us who claim to be in Jesus Christ. We should only do what we see the Father doing. We only do that which the Spirit leads us to do.

John 5:20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, to your amazement he will show him even greater things than these. For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it.

Jesus said He will give us the same kind of life He has. We will be able to walk as He walked. We will be able to say with ever increasing glory that we only do what the Father does. Everything I do apart from what the Father is doing is sin, self, or flesh and will eventually be crucified. Jesus Christ is pleased to give us the same kind of life He lived. How many people really want this kind of life? We are talking about falling to the ground and losing your life for Jesus Christ. We really mean that you will have the Holy Spirit who will show you what the Father is doing. Then you will have a choice to be obedient or not. It wouldn’t matter if you gave everything to the poor, slept on a bed of nails, or beat your body. None of this means anything unless that’s what the Father is doing.

Why did God put Acts 16:6 in the Bible? Because it’s not natural for man to take a commandment and begin to live it. There’s a commandment that says to go and make disciples. Without Pentecost a committee would have immediately been formed.

Acts 16:6 Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia.

God is trying to show us that if Jesus Christ says, “Don’t open your mouth to share the gospel,” don’t do it. Most of us do not have this problem. We don’t travel through the regions of Phrygia and Galatia zealously preaching the gospel so that the Holy Spirit has to hold us back. But if you will let the Holy Spirit lay hold of you to have the zeal to preach, it will burden your soul not to be able to preach. Paul didn’t just sit around and wait for God to tell him to go (although that might happen), Paul tried to open doors, but the Holy Spirit told him not to go. So you might go to work or talk to someone, and you want to share the gospel, but the Holy Spirit tells you not to open your mouth. God is saying, “That’s not my will for you today.” Whatever we see the Father doing, we do also. If He isn’t doing it, we don’t do it.

Acts 16:7 When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to.

This is unheard of in church. Do you know why men don’t believe it? Because they do not want to surrender their lives to God. It’s easy to say, “The Holy Spirit wouldn’t speak to me like that. He doesn’t work that way.” Then you are not accountable to God to live this. You really don’t have to walk a life of faith. You can only say, “The circumstances indicate that I should preach,” or “The committee said I should do this particular work. So I’ll trust that God works in their lives.” All the responsibility is shifted off your shoulders. There’s no need for the cross in your life or to die to your flesh. You can do whatever is convenient and easy.

Acts 11:10 This happened three times, and then it was all pulled up to heaven again.

Peter received a grand vision. None of us have ever had this!

Acts 11:11 Right then three men who had been sent to me from Caesarea stopped at the house where I was staying.

Even though Peter had this vision from God, he was still dependent on God for the next moment. He didn’t say, “Man, I am really close to God,” and then assume that he was supposed to accept these men.

Acts 11:12 The Spirit told me to have no hesitation about going with them. These six brothers also went with me, and we entered the man’s house.

Peter learned the lesson. He had followed Jesus Christ and walked in His steps. He understood that to walk like Jesus is to be in complete dependence upon the Father. We too, must be in this kind of communication with the Spirit if we claim to be in Jesus Christ. It is a fearful thing to walk in His steps. It’s called faith. It requires a tremendous amount of sacrifice. It means giving yourself to God and then letting Him work in your life however He sees fit. It means a life of trust as you say, “Father, no matter what You do in my life, I will trust You.” It requires a lot of wrestling to discover which voice you listen to: yourself, Satan, or the Spirit of God. The following verse reflects everything we just saw in Acts 11 and 16 where Peter was told not to hesitate but to go with the men.

John 8:42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me.”

What does this mean? It means Jesus Christ was in a relationship with the Father and He waited upon God for His directions. Therefore, what should we do? Go into the prayer closet and with every part of your heart tell God, “Lord, I am waiting upon you to send me wherever you want me to go. To work, live, marry, or do whatever you want me to do. The one thing that I dread is to do anything for You on my own.”

John 8:43 Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say.

Why is it not clear to people that this is the Christian life?

John 8:43-45 Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me!

All Jesus said was that He did not come on His own but it was the Father who sent Him. They didn’t want to hear that. They wanted Jesus to say He came on His own accord. Everything they did was done for God by their sinful nature, and in their flesh and self-righteousness. They were not like Jesus Christ who never did anything for God. He simply waited upon God to give Him the work to do. Jesus said they didn’t have the faith to believe His words because they belonged to their father, the devil. This separates true Christians from false Christians and those who are liars. The true Christian says, “I do nothing on my own. I seek to do absolutely nothing no matter how noble, good or righteous I think it is, unless God sends me to do it.” The man who lives a lie says, “I am a Christian. I do this for God. I am obedient to the word,” and then outlines all his outward deeds. He lives a lie. He belongs to the father of lies, the devil, whom he wants to please. No wonder he lives a lie. Do you think the devil will tell him the truth about his Christian life? He belongs to the father of lies. The way we get out of living the lie ourselves is to walk as Jesus Christ walked. We are to be a people who say, “I did not come on my own.” In the military, are people allowed do things on their own? I could just see a bunch of privates standing in line with the drill Sergeant and one guy walks off to go do something for the Army. The guy will be doing push ups for the Army in a few seconds. It’s not acceptable to do anything on your own. Yet when it comes to the matters of God, men do all kinds of things “for Him,” because they want to keep their sin and belong to the devil.

Psalms 127:1 Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain.

You can do all kinds of magnificent works for God. You can build a house for God and stand watch over the city. But unless the Lord is guiding and workingunless you do nothing that He might do everything through you it’s all done in vain.

Colossians 4:17 Tell Archippus: “See to it that you complete the work you have received in the Lord.”

This verse is not talking about a committee where the church decided to have a campaign to reach people for the gospel. It says he received a work from Jesus Christ and needed to complete it. Isn’t that the same thing Jesus said? “I did not come on my own. Apart from the Father I will not do this.” Look at the lives of the disciples. Did they preach the gospel? Yes. Did they cast out demons? Yes. But did they understand what they did? Were they noble servants able to be trusted in every circumstance? Absolutely not. They couldn’t do anything right until after Pentecost. Once they let the Spirit live in them they were faithful. By faithful I mean trustworthy to complete the job.

I don’t want you to think you will always understand exactly what you need to do, or that you will always hear a voice telling you were to go. I am not telling you the opposite either. You will hear that a lot. You will hear the Spirit’s guiding. He will guide you in ways that you will just have to discover yourself.

2 Corinthians 4:7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all‑surpassing power is from God and not from us.

What treasure is that? Do you think it could be the Holy Spirit? How many men do you walk away from feeling as if they were jars of clay? Their wisdom and knowledge inspire not because of college or all the things they know, but because you recognize the Spirit of God working in their life.

2 Corinthians 4:8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;

He didn’t always understand God’s will. He didn’t always hear the voice of God telling him where to go. He was often perplexed, but he was perplexed in the Spirit.

2 Corinthians 4:9-12 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

Paul explained about the crucified life and the knowledge of grace. This is seen in people who give themselves over to God to be put to death. How will we preach the gospel to other people? We will be hard pressed also. We will be perplexed but not in despair. We must seek God with the humility that comes from Him.

John 5:30 By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.

Why did Jesus say this and turn around and do something? Because He tried to teach us that if we will walk the Christian walk, if we will be as He is, we must say, “I can do nothing. I am not sent on my own accord. I am not able to do this. I have a treasure in a jar of clay.”

John 5:30 By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.

Why was Jesus able to judge the Pharisees? Why was He able to judge the apostles and say the things He said to them? Because He didn’t pass judgment. Nothing came out of His mouth except what God wanted Him to say. Do you see how far we are from what God has in mind? Suppose we took an oath right now and said, “From now on I will not say anything that the Holy Spirit doesn’t want me to speak.” We would be guilty before we hit the parking lot. So what should you do? Should you go into despair and hopelessness, throw dust up in the air and say, “Forget it. This is too hard. I think I’ll go find some easier gospel”? Or do you cling to the cross? Do you run to Jesus Christ and plead with Him to put ever-increasing glory in you? Do you ask Him to put a treasure in jars of clay? Do you repent and have the daily brokenness that you need or do you give up? It’s not hopeless by any means.

John 5:30 By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.

Jesus Christ repeated only what He heard the Father say. He never said, “In My opinion I think the Word says this.” In Jesus’ daily discourse with people, He didn’t speak “scripture,” he only spoke God’s words. That is our goal as Christians—to say only what Jesus Christ would have us say. If that doesn’t make you weak-kneed and humble before God, I don’t know what else will. All the glorious angels singing in their majesty won’t bring about the right humility if this doesn’t drive you to it. Jesus Christ only spoke and made judgments according to what He heard the Father speaking. Yet Christians always ask how to hear the voice of God. What a sad statement that is about the way they have been taught and their Christian life. We are to walk as Jesus walked. We are to make no judgments about whether someone is a good or bad Christian. We are not to say anything except what we hear God say, and yet we’re asking the question, “How do you know God’s voice?” That shows how far we are from the narrow road. That’s why it’s so easy to run to religion. You don’t have to try to hear the Father. You don’t have to feel weak and dependent upon Him. You don’t have to lose your life for Jesus Christ. People say this is a hard teaching when it gets down to this.

John 6:43-44 “Stop grumbling among yourselves,” Jesus answered. “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day.”

Jesus threw the whole doctrine into just one little sentence. He could have left that part out. He repeated again His dependence upon God, and we miss the treasure written there. That one little sentence shows His total dependence upon God. It’s right before our eyes.

John 6:44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the Prophets: “They will all be taught by God.” Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me.

Hold onback up. Everyone who listens to the Father and hears the voice of God will come to Jesus. It’s written in the Prophets and it’s the essence of the New Covenant. This does away with just reading ink on pages and thinking you know Jesus Christ. It says you can’t know Jesus Christ unless you are literally taught by God and hear His voice.

John 6:45 It is written in the Prophets: “They will all be taught by God.” Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me.

You must listen and pay attention to what you are taught. So many Christians are merely like kids going to school. They sit and listen to the teacher, but they don’t learn anything. That’s how I went through high school. I studied for the tests to get by and then forgot it as quickly as I could.

How does the true Christian life start when you are still a pagan? By hearing the voice of God. You may not have recognized it as His voice. Every young Christian will testify about God’s touch in their life. He drew you and taught you. He told you to get to Jesus Christ. Let me ask you a question; If you were that dependent upon the Father when you were a pagan and cared nothing about God, why would you ever stop listening to the voice that saved you in the first place? You either have to be taught not to listen or become so rebellious you don’t want it. Or you want to somehow go to heaven without surrendering your life to Jesus Christ. There are multitudes of reasons that people quit listening to God. But how foolish to think ourselves so noble that we don’t need to hear the voice of God anymore. You came to Jesus in the first place by hearing the voice of God in your life.

1 John 2:26 I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray.

“I want you to take a course in Hebrew and Greek so you can understand exactly what the New Testament says. And be sure to take a course that will give you the context and the cultural understanding of what the Bible really says so that these people will not take you captive by their false teachings.” Is that what this scripture says? Have you heard that said before? Yet people pride themselves in reading books about the new age so they are not taken in by this terrible movement. They think to be forewarned is to be forearmed. Scripture doesn’t say any of those things.

1 John 2:27 As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you.

They will all be taught by God. Guess what it’s the real Christian life.

1 John 2:27 As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit just as it has taught you, remain in him.

The Lord is the Spirit. The anointing is real and it comes from God. You hear God’s voice and He works in your life. He teaches you. He keeps you from being taken captive by other men unless of course we quench the Holy Spirit, deny His power, or refuse to believe and surrender. We are then taken captive by whoever wants to take us captive. Jesus only repeated and taught what the Father taught Him. Anyone who claims to be in Jesus Christ must walk as Jesus walked. How did Jesus walk? In complete dependence upon the Father to be taught everything that He understood about Scripture. It doesn’t mean that we don’t have teachers. It might be the Holy Spirit teaching you through a teacher, but you have to be totally dependent upon the Father to know whether or not that teacher comes from God. There are two extremes to this teaching. The first one is to deny that God will teach you and speak to you by His voice. The other is that you can learn from no man and have to hear things directly from God.

Ephesians 4:11-14 It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.

Let’s put this together with 1 John. This scripture says you don’t need anyone to teach you, yet Ephesians says you need teachers so you won’t be tossed back and forth by false teachings. How do we put that all together? If I stopped right here and had you write a paper you could tell me, right? Easy. What do your teachers tell you to do? They tell you to listen to God. They merely teach you how to listen. They give you the tools by which you hear the voice of God but they don’t think for you. They make you more dependent upon the Father, without becoming your guru and Holy Spirit. In other words John said, “I don’t want you tossed back and forth by people who lead you astray, and this is how you prevent it. Listen to the Holy Spirit that’s in you and you won’t be tossed back and forth.” Those who teach according to God teach you to distinguish between the voice of the flesh, Satan’s voice, and God’s voice so you can tell who you listen to. In other words your teachers teach you to be totally dependent upon the Father to build you up in the faith. They want to strengthen you in the knowledge of Jesus Christ. What is the knowledge of Jesus Christ but to walk as He walked? They show you how He walked and help you deal with the sins in your life so you can walk the same way. Then you can hear God and you won’t be lead astray. Think about it. I could lay out for you a whole doctrine as best I could and a Jehovah Witness that has better logic may come along and blow you away with one little question. It’s not a matter of teaching you all kinds of logical and doctrinal positions, and you regurgitating those back to me in a proper fashion so you are never taken in by anybody. If you come in touch with the Holy Spirit and the Word of God dwells in you, it doesn’t matter what somebody else says, because you have the Spirit of Truth living in you. You don’t need me. Do you understand the difference now between a false teacher and a true teacher? It’s your own fault if you are taken in by false teachers. We don’t want to be dependent upon God and hear from Him. We want someone to just tell us the answer and make things easy on us. Make this thing easy. Put it together for me. No, you have to go back and hear from God yourself. Let Him deal with your sinful nature. If you let God deal with your life you will wish it was me dealing with your sins. You’ll plead with me to do it because I am easy compared to Him. I can even be snowed. But you can’t come in contact with the living God and live. Not in your sinful nature.

John 7:15 The Jews were amazed and asked, “How did this man get such learning without having studied?” Jesus answered, “My teaching is not my own. It comes from him who sent me.”

Essentially Jesus said, “I didn’t accumulate all this knowledge on My own. I don’t have a certificate on My wall. I am totally dependent upon God to give Me this teaching.” 1 John says you must be taught by the Holy Spirit and walk as Jesus walked. How did Jesus walk? His teaching did not come from Himself. He didn’t take a discipleship course and then go out and make disciples. He didn’t memorize the 15 steps to salvation, present them to other people and say, “I learned this from so and so and now I pass it on to you.” His teaching came from the Father. The same must be true with us. Before you say that was just for Jesus Christ, look at the next verse. You can’t get out from under this.

John 7:17 If anyone chooses to do God’s will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.

How, pray tell, will he find out? The man who says, “I want to do God’s will,” will find out whether Jesus Christ was teaching of His own accord and by His own wisdom or whether He heard it from the Father. How do you think you will find out? If you decide to do God’s will then your teaching will also come from the Holy Spirit. You will know exactly what Jesus knows, that his teaching came from the Father. How dare anyone limit the Holy Spirit. How dare anyone have the arrogance to say the Holy Spirit doesn’t speak anymore. How angry we should be as God’s people when others teach this lie. This robs people of the very power and sanctification that will purify them. How dare all these committees and churches have classes that teach people the Word of God but they don’t leave the class knowing if the teaching comes from the Father. They just walk out with all kinds of head knowledge. They know nothing of God. Churches get by with this because we’re not taught by the Father. We don’t walk as Jesus walked or receive our teaching from Him. We are not empty branches hooked into the vine.

John 7:18 He who speaks on his own does so to gain honor for himself, but he who works for the honor of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him.

The man who chooses to do God’s will finds out whether his teaching comes from God or if he speaks on his own. How are we able to say that we follow God, yet we don’t hear his voice? If you simply turn to God in faith and say, “I will do your will,” what is one of the miraculous things that will take place in your life? You will find out that Jesus didn’t teach on His own. You will find out He heard the Father’s voice and the scriptures He taught were taught by the power of God. You will find out because it’s in your life.

John 20:19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”

All right fine so you’re fearful about all these things. It’s a scary thing to live the Christian life. If you are not in fear then something is wrong. But Jesus Christ still comes to us and says, “Peace be with you.” No matter what you are afraid of, what you’ve blocked out, or what you’re running away from, Jesus will still say, “Peace to you.” You will learn that he has all things in his hands.

John 20:20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

Though Jesus went to the cross and died, He lives by the power of God.

John 20:21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”

Think about what he said! “As the Father sent me I am now sending you.” With the same power, authority, dependence upon the Spirit, and the same teaching. “As I was sent, I am sending you.” If you don’t believe that he spoke about us having the same kind of relationship Jesus had with the Father, just read on a little bit.

John 20:22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

Why could Jesus say that? If Jesus said their sins were forgiven, were they forgiven? “The same way the Father sent me, I am sending you. Receive the Holy Spirit and go out with that kind of authority.” The disciples are not the ones doing the forgiving or condemning. It’s not them condemning anybody. They are just repeating what they hear from the Father. It’s the same with us. When we can hear from the Father we will have the power and authority to understand who is a Christian, who is forgiven and who isn’t. But this is so foreign to us and we can’t understand what He said because we won’t receive the Spirit with full faith and surrender. We won’t turn our faces toward God and believe what we hear. If we did, we would then know that when Jesus judged He did so by the power of the Father.

John 8:15 You judge by human standards; I pass judgment on no one.

This is the same Jesus who called the Pharisees snakes, vipers, and white-washed tombs. He didn’t judge anybody? That’s all he did. He said he didn’t judge anyone, yet when the disciples judged they did it by human standards. The Baptist judges me by Baptist doctrine. The Methodist judges me by Methodist doctrine. Groups judge other groups by whatever standard they have. It’s human standards of what is right and wrong. Jesus said He didn’t pass judgment on anybody.

John 8:16 But if I do judge, my decisions are right, because I am not alone. I stand with the Father, who sent me.

“I am repeating to you what the Father told Me. It’s not Me judging but merely repeating what God told Me and He’s the judge of everything.” Christians need to quit running around saying, “That person is a strong Christian,” and “That person is a weak one,” or “That person is not a Christian at all.” They need to quit making judgments and only repeat what God tells them to repeat. How much gossip would disappear and how much true judgment would begin.

I know somebody will whine and say, “That was Jesus Christ and the apostles. That was back then.” It doesn’t matter. Didn’t 1 John say I have to walk as Jesus walked? I have to be able to say, “I pass judgment on no one. I don’t judge by human standards. But if I do judge, I judge by what I hear.”

1 Corinthians 14:24 But if an unbeliever or someone who does not understand comes in while everybody is prophesying, he will be convinced by all that he is a sinner and will be judged by all,

A man can come into a church and be judged by everybody when the Spirit of Prophecy is there.

1 Corinthians 14:25 and the secrets of his heart will be laid bare. So he will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, “God is really among you!”

People should walk into the church and have the Spirit of God reveal what’s in their hearts, because God is the one judging.

John 8:27-28 They did not understand that he was telling them about his Father. So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am the one I claim to be and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me.”

How many times is that repeated in John? Once is enough, but when we see it three or four times we need to pick up on how Jesus walked.

John 8:29 The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him.

Jesus has the Holy Spirit without limit. We are to increase everyday in this glory. We are to walk more and more with the Holy Spirit in dependence upon the Father. Granted we will not be exactly like Jesus in this world, but we can be more like Him than we are today, can’t we? Verse 28 gives us the key.

John 8:28 So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am the one I claim to be and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me.”

When you really begin to view a crucified Jesus Christ is your life, and begin to understand what it is to be crucified with Christ so you no longer live, then you will understand how to walk as Jesus walked. When we begin to understand what it is to fall to the ground and lose our life for Jesus Christ, when we begin to pick up the cross daily and follow Him, then we too will understand how to walk as He walked in dependence upon the Father. But not before.

Luke 12:10 And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.

Now look at what he went on to say, because it’s so crucial to what we are talking about. Those who deny the voice of the Holy Spirit may have committed the unforgivable sin while others are extremely close. Look at what he spoke about next.

Luke 12:11-12 When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.

Now brothers and sisters, somebody who says you cannot hear the Holy Spirit must be telling you just the opposite of this scripture. This says not to worry ahead of time about what you will say. You will be brought before rulers and when you get before them the Holy Spirit will tell you what to say. The crucial question is are we surrendered enough to say whatever He tells us to say? That’s the problem. Are we willing to stand before rulers and authorities and say something that will lock us in prison for the rest of our lives or cause us to be shot on the spot? Scripture says they did not shrink from death. You have to lose your life daily to be this strong. In everything that you do—when you eat, when you get up, where you go, when you pray, what you study, the works that you do—you must be asking the Father, “Is this what I need to do?” if you expect to be victorious. Don’t think that you can do what you want to do, though it be in the name of Jesus Christ, seven days out of the week and then expect to be victorious when you are brought before people. It’s not that God won’t speak to you, it’s just that you won’t be able to hear Him. You’ve experienced that in your own walk. You heard the Holy Spirit talk but you didn’t have the death to self to speak what he said. Then you try to run back in your self-effort to make up for the situation. The Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what to say.

I want you to believe from reading this that as you surrender everything before God. He will give you the words to say to people. Say to the Lord, “I want you to scream in my ear exactly what I am supposed to say to people this week, whether I say it or not. I just want to know what you are speaking and I’ll see if I will say it or not.” Better to be under guilt that you didn’t say it than to not even be able to hear it.

Acts 4:5 The next day the rulers, elders and teachers of the law met in Jerusalem.

Don’t think it will be a bunch of pagan Satan worshipers coming after you.

Acts 4:6-7 Annas the high priest was there, and so were Caiaphas, John, Alexander and the other men of the high priest’s family. They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: “By what power or what name did you do this?”

All the noble people of Christianity are there, including the High Priest and his family!

Acts 4:8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people!”

At the time Peter was being told what to say. We can have this everyday in our lives.

Acts 4:9-10 If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a cripple and are asked how he was healed, then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed.

Ah! The Holy Spirit put the accountability where it’s supposed to be. If it had been left up to Peter I bet he would have said, “Well, we did this healing by the miraculous powers and gifts of the Holy Spirit because in the old dispensation the gifts weren’t there. But now that Pentecost has occurred and the Holy Spirit is here by the power of God, this person was made well.” But what did the Holy Spirit say? “It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified” He laid the guilt on them and used the opportunity to make them accountable for their sins. He did not use flattery like you hear today, “If you come to Jesus Christ you can have all the blessing and grand things that are in heaven.” You must see your sin in order to know the Father.

Acts 4:11 He is “the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone.”

You builders rejected.” He didn’t give a generic sermon. He didn’t hint at the situation. So you can’t understand why you don’t speak by the Spirit? Nobody is getting specific.

Acts 4:11-13 He is “‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone.’ Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.

What!? They saw the courage of Peter, the guy who denied Jesus three times! That happened before he had the Holy Spirit. You’ll deny Jesus every time without the Holy Spirit. I don’t care how bold you appear on the outside, you will still deny Jesus in some form or fashion. Once the Spirit gets a hold of us and we let go of self, we can speak with courage.

Acts 4:13 When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.

People say, “Oh, that was the apostles.” They don’t realize what they are saying. The apostles were unschooled. They were less than we are. All of us are schooled. Not that we should necessarily brag about that. They were not particularly special except for one thing—they had been with Jesus. Does this really mean that because the apostles walked with Jesus and physically saw Him that they are the only people who can expect to speak courageously and be filled with the Holy Spirit? No, it means you will have to spend some time with Jesus and let Him lay hold of you. You need to let Him work on you and crucify you, just like he did Peter, John, and the rest of the disciples.

Now I don’t want to leave you with the impression that those who are filled with the Holy Spirit are always courageous and bold. This is a life of faith and dependence upon God. It’s trusting God and knowing that your Father is with you even if you don’t feel the mighty influx of power that comes from the heavenly throne.

1 Corinthians 1:31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.” When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling.

Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit while preaching the gospel, did not stand up all bold and magnificent with his chest out, bouncing up and down across the stage, and telling them to believe in Jesus Christ. The guy was afraid. He was not only afraid; they could see he was afraid. He trembled at the pulpit.

1 Corinthians 2:4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power,

Do you see why it was God’s wisdom for Paul to be in fear and trembling? It’s so that when the people respond they respond to the Spirit of God moving in their life, not the organ music in the background playing while he prays. He doesn’t want people to respond to the band that plays and gets everybody all psyched up and hyper. Nor to the guy who comes in with the microphone that booms throughout the auditorium and moves the emotions of people like a football game. Paul stood up at the pulpit shaking and trembling. That’s how they came to God. It was the Spirit working in his life. There is a famous preacher who did a sermon called “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” Tradition says that he was 70 or 80 years old when he wrote the sermon. He stood up at the pulpit and could hardly get the words out because he was so old. He often stammered and would have to stop and repeat certain sentences. Yet people were falling onto the floor and clinging to pillars pleading with him not to continue preaching anymore. It was the Spirit of God breaking people, not the eloquence of a man preaching. Although God may cause someone to be eloquent to demonstrate that ordinary people can speak by the power of God. You don’t have to be educated. The less we are, the more the Spirit can work. You don’t have to walk in and show you are Mr. Macho and somehow have all the logic down and are prepared for every spiritual battle. You can go in fear and trembling but if you speak what the Spirit wants you to say it will be Him who does the work, not you anyway. It’s called faith. It’s called knowing your Father. Paul walked in boldness and a relationship with Jesus Christ everyday of his life yet he went into Corinth and began to tremble. But he continued to speak anyway because he knew it was God speaking. He said what he needed to say whether his voice cracked or not. He was boasting in the Lord, and was not dependent upon himself. Oh, let us learn to be totally dependent upon the Father. Then we will speak whether we feel courageous or not.

1 Peter 4:10-11 Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God.

Does that mean we can only recite scripture to each other? Does that mean when I sit down at the dinner table and say, “Please pass the salt,” I have to recite a scripture? Or if I go up to encourage people that I have to recite chapter and verse before they are supposed to accept the encouragement? No, it means I will be taught by the Father what to say to people. Whatever gift I received from the Holy Spirit will be used faithfully.

1 Peter 4:11 If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

You can serve and cook meals, you can labor, you can encourage your brothers and sisters, but is it done by the strength that God provides in your life? That’s the crucial question. Are you dependent upon the Father? Jesus Christ fed a multitude of 5,000, and encouraged people, but it was done by the strength of God. He didn’t just set out as Gandi did, to do good deeds. In everything that we do, there must be a total dependence upon God.

John 14:10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.

How did Jesus walk? You have to walk the same way. You have to grow to say, “It is not me who does the work. It is the Father who lives in me who does His work.” We are His hands and his feet. Then let Him move those hands and feet in the way that He sees fit.

John 17:10 All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them.

As we walk in the light and are dependent upon the Father, glory comes to Jesus Christ through us. Think of yourself as an empty vessel or an empty jar of clay. Empty! That is the key. You have to be empty of self. The more you are empty of self, the more the Holy Spirit fills the container. Or think of yourself as an empty branch hooked into the vine. Did anybody ever walk by a vineyard and hear the grapes saying, “Bear fruit, bear fruit” or listening to motivational tapes? Did you ever witness them trying to psyche themselves up, or see a preacher in the middle of the vineyard trying to get more grapes to be produced? Scripture says preachers should preach, “Not with wise and persuasive words but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power.” The more you are empty, the more fruit can be born. The key isn’t to psyche yourself up. If you will psyche yourself up then do something really noble in Jesus Christ—go walk on water. If you really think you can live the Christian life on your own, then go out to a lake and decide to walk across the water. Psyche yourself up, and I’ll come out and preach to you. I’ll say, “All things are yours in Jesus Christ.” We’ll claim promises together and I’ll tell you to go. Just try to walk the Christian life. You can’t do it in your own strength, can you? You can’t live the Christian life any more than you can walk across water, in your own strength. There must be a complete dependence upon the Father if you are to walk as Jesus walked. You must become nothing.

John 17:10 All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name the name you gave meso that they may be one as we are one.

Why did he have to put that in again? Right there we have capitalized the whole doctrine of dependence upon the Father, and we miss the keys every time. We’ve read it 1,000 times thinking God just didn’t have anything else to say.

John 17:10 All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name the name you gave meso that they may be one as we are one.

The name you gave me.” Have you ever noticed in scripture how many times Jesus changed someone’s name? “The name you gave me. I depend upon you, Father. I didn’t come on my own. I only do what you show me to do.” That is the Christian life.

John 17:11 . . .so that they may be one as we are one.

Think about the awesomeness of what Jesus Christ said. How was Jesus Christ one with the Father? That is the same life you are called to live. In the same way that Jesus was one in His communication with the Father, so are you called to live that kind of Christian life. Are you getting a glimpse of the difference between a religious life and one of walking by the Spirit? What an awesome difference there is. It’s hell on one side and heaven on the other. As Jesus was one with the Father so, too, He wanted us to be one also. Every disciple, every apostle, every child of God saying, “I don’t do anything on my own. I only do what the Father shows me to do.” Please don’t think for a moment that this was just for men of that generation.

John 17:20 My prayer is not for them alone.

You can’t sit content in your easy chair and say, “That was just for those guys, it doesn’t apply to me.”

John 17:20 My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message

Everything Jesus said applies to us. If you don’t believe me, look at verse 21.

John 17:21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.

It applies to you. It is the Christian life. It is what the cross came to bring. It is the purpose of the Holy Spirit and it’s what it means to call yourself a Christian. Do you know how most people interpret verse 21? They think he referred to the “unity” of the Baptists, Methodists, and every church agreeing with one another. That’s not what he said at all. He said, “Father, as You and I are one, I want everybody who believes in Me to be one with Us.” That is what you are called to live. Anything else less than this is hellish. It will not crucify your sinful nature no matter what righteous acts you do. You will never be found holy or belong to Jesus Christ if you do not begin to live this.

John 17:21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.

When you begin to walk like Jesus, then people will see Jesus Christ. When you start to say and do things the Father shows you to do, then people will believe in Jesus Christ. Let me repeat that again. Only then will they believe in Jesus Christ. Multitudes of people come forward to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Multitudes of people claim to be Christians but they do not believe in Jesus. When you present the gospel to other people do you do and say only what the Father does and says through you? That’s how they will see Jesus Christ. It’s not you that lives but Jesus Christ. Oh, the joys we miss because we quench the Holy Spirit and do not believe He will speak and work. We won’t confess our sin of the rebellious part of us that doesn’t want the Spirit to work. Let us plead with God to take hold of us and fill us with His Spirit. Ask Him to break us to pieces and fill this jar of clay with something valuable. I could go on and on for volumes because we are talking about the glory of God in Jesus’ life and ours.

John 17:22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one:

This is Jesus Christ’s prayer. He wants every single person to be one as He was one with God. That is having the Holy Spirit without limit. How hard it is in this world to live the Christian life, but how much more impossible it is when you begin to deny the power that can save you?

John 17:23-26 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. Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.

How do you grow to know the love of Jesus Christ? By being one with the Father and letting Jesus Christ answer this prayer in your life. Go before God and simply say, “Lord, I give you everything,” and let Him fill you up with His Spirit. Then tell Him, “God, I won’t say anything, go anywhere, or do anything that you do not want me to do.” Then get up and start walking by the Spirit. You will stumble and struggle, but through it all you will feel and know the love of Jesus Christ. You will then have the peace you say you want and will know His love. We don’t know His love because we don’t ask.

Luke 11:13 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 ask him!

When we look at the life of Jesus Christ, everything about us ought to say, “That’s impossible to live. I can’t walk on water. I can’t raise the dead. I can’t rebuke the Pharisees like I need to. I can’t share the gospel.” Everything about us ought to say that we don’t know how to live this. Who can be like Jesus Christ? So we turn to God and ask Him to give us the Holy Spirit. We don’t do it like we’re asking for ketchup at the table. We do it crying out with all of our heart and soul because we know the Holy Spirit is our source of life. Let us begin to surrender and ask. This is how we walk the Christian life—in total dependence upon God.

Let’s pray.

Father don’t let these words fly past us. Let us not speak idle words, but listen, Father, and let this sink in so that no matter what it costs us and no matter what you have to work to produce it, you would be able to answer Jesus’ prayer in our lives. Let us be one as He is one with the Father. We pray for the Holy Spirit to descend and work to fill us up. We pray that you give us the cross that comes from you so everything we do and say might be by your Spirit. Give us eyes to see so when it’s not by Your Spirit we can confess it as sin. Help us to keep pressing on to lay hold of the goal before us and not give in to hopelessness and despair, but know that peace and joy are in Your hands. Let us run to You, Father, so that we might walk as Jesus walked. 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.

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Host of The Consider Podcast
Examining today’s wisdom, madness, and folly.