Classic Christianity – Bob George (12-11-18) Continuation of Message from Monday
The first four chapters of Ephesians explains what Christ means to us. Jesus Christ completed the work that he began in us. He did it all. He created the universe, recreated you and me, those born again spiritually, into a new creation. He has given us his life and became life for us. He has not just given us his life but he is our life. That is why the Apostle Paul could say:
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Prior to the day of Pentecost nobody is indwelt with the Spirit of God. The Spirit came on men for divine service and then could leave. That is why David prayed this prayer in the Psalms.
Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Why David prayed that the Spirit not be taken from him is because in the time period he lived, long before Jesus even walked the earth, before he died to take away sin, the Holy Spirit did not take permanent residence in men. Why? Because until sin is taken care of, and Jesus rises again, the Holy Spirit cannot reside in fallen men. The Old Covenant law he was under required a temporary covering for sin, and the Holy Spirit operated only in those who remained obedient to God’s commands. The Spirit left Saul who became hardened of heart. But David repented of the sin with Bathsheba and murder, and through the death of his firstborn son as prophesied by Nathan, sin was atoned for and God restored David’s relationship with God. This death of the firstborn is a foreshadow of the final and all-sufficient sacrifice of Jesus Christ for sin.
Today that would be dumb to pray such a prayer as David did, for it is not based in truth. For now Jesus made a New Covenant with men, as explained in Hebrews. By his death, burial, and resurrection, Jesus Christ has secured a new covenant with men where he has promised to never leave or forsake us. Christ indwells in those who put their faith in Christ’s finished work. By his resurrection and return to His Father in heaven, he left us with the promised Holy Spirit. This Holy Spirit is the very life of Jesus Christ, eternal life. So Jesus Christ indwells us by the Holy Spirit and that is why we have eternal life in us. Jesus Christ is eternal life, having no beginning and no end, the creator of all that is seen and unseen.
When the Holy Spirit came, he came to live in us, to make our spirits complete, whole in body, soul, and spirit. Because of Adam’s fall, all of us are born dead in sin. Death i the absence of life. All of us re born physically but dead spiritually, without the life of God in us. A baby is physically alive but not spiritually alive. That is why Jesus told Nicodemus in John 3 that unless a man is born again he cannot enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, if the Spirit of God is not in you, you do not belong to Christ.
You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ.
So if you should hear teaching that says you are born again today but that you must also receive the Spirit tomorrow, then you are hearing false teaching. Since the Spirit of God lives in you the moment you believe, the promise of the New Covenant is that the Spirit will never leave you or forsake you. You have this seal of promise.
And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit
So when you heard the message of truth, and believed the message unto salvation, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit. A seal is not broken. Even in the story of Esther of a natural seal, where Haman had tricked the king into signing a seal against the Jews, that seal could not be broken. Indeed it was not broken but instead a new law was written for the Jews to be able to defend themselves. When a king seals an edict into law that seal cannot even be broken by the king.
It is an impossibility for someone not to receive the Holy Spirit when he believes the gospel for his salvation. It is also an impossibility for God to break His seal of promise in Jesus Christ. This is the promise of God as recorded in Hebrews.
because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
Jesus himself prophesied of this day when he spoke to his disciples:
28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
No one is born again until the Holy Spirit lives in you. Someone may receive another spirit but not the Holy Spirit. When someone comes to Christ they are given everything they need for life and godliness.
2 Peter 1:3
His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.
You do not need Jesus Christ plus something else. You are complete in him. Jesus Christ came to dwell in our humanity.
Our humanity is not so wonderful, and so it is really baffling to think that God would want to live in us. Why would God want to live there? The flesh is weakened by the sin inherited in Adam, and the mind of the flesh is contrary and in conflict with the Spirit. Romans 8 describes this conflict in more detail. Does the conflict go away while we are still living in this flesh of ours? No.
There will always be a conflict between the flesh and the Spirit of God who lives in you while you remain in this body. So then what happens when the Holy Spirit lives in you? There is no worry about the Spirit being distorted. That Spirit is sealed, is the same Spirit in Jesus Christ, and will never change, for God cannot change. You are sealed with the promised Holy Spirit. There is nothing in the flesh that can disturb the truth. Done deal.
18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.
You also are already seated in the heaven-lies with Christ Jesus.
6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,
God is not limited by time and space. As far as Christ is concerned, you are already there. A spiritual security is ours, sealed forever! The Spirit of God indwelling us, to never leave or forsake us, actively leading you into truth.
But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.
But that does not mean we want to be led into truth. So a conflict still exists between the Spirit and the flesh.
For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.
Have you ever heard someone say they have been delivered. Someone says “I was delivered from alcohol two years ago”. Are they telling the truth? No. What happens if they give into the desire of the flesh and starting drinking alcohol again. Would you then say they are still delivered? The only thing we have been delivered from is from darkness into light.
1 Peter 2:9
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
So you are called out of darkness. That is the only deliverance we had.
I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.
Jesus Christ and the Spirit of God certainly does not want us to stay in darkness. Anyone who believes should not stay in darkness. So, Jesus is speaking to those who would later receive the Holy Spirit, that they should not remain in darkness.
We also have this exhortation.
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
All it takes for someone to walk in darkness is to just stop letting Christ work in your life. Don’t have to work under gravity. And our flesh is like gravity. But we have the power of the Holy Spirit that can make us fly and defy gravity. Flesh is not improving, and indeed is getting worse. The more exposed to sin, the more worse you get. There is this conflict as long as on this earth. You want to be delivered? Death is the only way but that is God’s time table not yours. This then is how we are to live. Allow yourself to be controlled by the Holy Spirit.
5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
It is important to realize the Spirit of God is there to control your life. When you don’t yield to the Holy Spirit, then Satan can control you. Satan can have you do nice religious things. Satan does not always control somebody by having you foam at the mouth or be overcome with drug addiction, although that could happen. Satan rejoices in well dressed Christians in church, those just playing the Christian game, so as to neutralize the message. It is enough to inject a germ so that people do not catch the real truth, the real message that can save there soul. Satan wants you to look like nice appearing people, in church doing nice things, yet underneath the skin, hearts are far from Him. Realize such truth. Being born again is not an action but a heart condition. Turn to Jesus for salvation, he changes your heart. God desires you to yield to that divine nature that dwells within.
2 Peter 1:4
Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.So then let us speak the truth in love, so no one is hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.
15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.
If we speak truth in love, then all things grow up in Him who is Christ. Who is truth? Christ Jesus, who is the head of body, of you and me are a part,
joined together, building each other up as each part does its work.
21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
There are no heroes in the Christian faith. If you are a finger, wiggle. If an ear, hear. You can’t be all things to all people. That is where each part of body fits together. In this body, if everyone had the gift of teaching, this place would be a mess, for everyone is talking and no one is listening. If everyone is an encourager, who then will be the recipient of that encouragement. The body is strengthened and built up as each part does its work. No heroes. Teaching is not greater than encouragement. More public, more seeing, but not the greater gift.
How wonderful Jesus is, the head of the church. What should the outcome be in our lives, now that the Spirit of Christ dwells in us? Where are our deficiencies? No longer should we live as Gentiles in the futility of their thinking. We were Gentiles by birth. Jew and Gentile, both now became one body in Christ.
The gospel came to the Gentiles, of whom, most of us are. We would not be here, in the body of Christ, if not for Apostle Paul, appointed to be the apostle to the Gentiles. Our heritage is heathenistic, idol worship. Only through Christ does the Gentile world been given credibility and honor, to know God. And we received this instruction for holy living.
17 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.
The root of our problem is in our thinking. Why?
For as he thinks within himself, so he is.
Jesus is not dealing with how you behave but how you think. For how one thinks affects your behavior. Religion says I do not care how you think but what you do so that religion can control you. Religion would rather you not think but follow blindly. Root problem is the futility of their thinking. Darkened in their understanding. In the dark, so cannot see where there is no light. In total darkness. Our heritage, our root problem in thinking, is separate from the life of God by ignorance that is in them. Ignorance is due to the hardening of hearts. Hearts are hardened that produces ignorance that causes separation from God with darkness in understanding. Lost all sensitivity and given over to sensuality to indulge in every impurity with the continual lust for more. To understand losing sensitivity, think about the opposite of losing sensitivity. Sensitivity would be to do unto others as you would have others do unto you. A sensitive person considers what he says will do to another rather than just blurting it out. Sensitivity is considering how my words and actions are going to affect another person. Will they edify, build or encourage? Or discourage or tear down? Parents are instructing to not exasperate their children.
Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord
Why? Exasperating a child tears them down. Belittling them tears them down. Speak truth in love is not just blurting it out. “If it is true, just blurt it out.” No, that is not sensitivity. Helpful to have an anesthetic when having an operation. Sensitivity says this is going to hurt. You need something to deaden the pain but still need to cut out what needs cutting out. Love say that this is going to hurt. Love says they need some pain relief. But if have to choose between the two, truth and love, love is absolutely necessary even without an anesthetic. So without an anesthetic, then what do you do? You still must cut him open. But if you have an anesthetic, use it. But we have both, so use both. God has given us both truth and love. Speak truth in love. Love is the anesthetic. Truth is what cuts out error. Many times get impatient with each other. The greatest hurt is not the physical but our words. Words are cutting.
19 Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.
20 That, however, is not the way of life you learned
They have given themselves over to every kind of sensuality. Yet, do not forget the filter to do unto others as you would have them do unto you. There are not many problems with each other when use sensitivity, and most certainly a lot less.
Notice the continual lust for more. Sin is certainly cumulative. First time you kiss a girl, then the next time do you just simply think to only give half a kiss. No, you build on the first sin and then want more kissing and then more physical contact. Same with drugs, as in an addict who goes from marijuana to heroine. What is that? Indulging in every impurity with a lust for more. You did not come to know Christ that way. You did not come to Christ through this. All this made you so miserable that you came out of it to Christ to be set free from such slavery in sin. Truth in Christ Jesus sets you free. You were taught to put off the old self which is being corrupted.
21 when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds;
We are being taught that we need to put aside the former way of life. How were you before you knew Christ? Messes, most of us. Regard that former life as gone. For a Gentile world, was that an easy thing to say? Those Gentiles were totally heathen. There was no nice appearing Gentiles. In today’s world, there is this attitude of “I am not a heathen but I can be between those two and be acceptable in my religion”. Our old flesh is continually being corrupted, it still is, by its deceitful desires. What does deceitful desires mean? What is a deceitful desire? The deceitful desire says, “What is one more marijuana going to hurt?” All desires of the flesh are deceitful. Flesh will tell you “This is great stuff”. Today we are in the feel good generation that says “If it feels good, do it”.
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