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The Necessity for the Holy Spirit – Part 1

Living in the Light / Anne Graham Lotz
The Truth Network Radio
April 24, 2022 3:00 pm

The Necessity for the Holy Spirit – Part 1

Living in the Light / Anne Graham Lotz

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Here's Anne Graham Lotz.

And why do I keep doing the wrong thing? Let's join Anne now as we look at The Necessity for the Holy Spirit, Jesus in Me. That's from Romans chapters 6, 7 and 8.

Here's Anne. Friends, they maybe use profanity or they watch things on television that are inappropriate or they tell inappropriate stories. Maybe you know somebody at church who seems like a lovely person and they put a smile on their face and they do a lot of good things and maybe they're even teaching.

But at the same time, when pressure comes on and push comes to shove, they can lose their temper, they can become mean-spirited, they can take vengeance. So what's going on? And to be honest, maybe not using those examples, but I know that I have been, at times in my life, presented as a Christian and yet I've not acted like it either. And I expect, if you're honest, you would say the same thing. That there are times when we call ourselves Christians but we don't act like it, even though we want to.

So what's wrong? Who am I? I'm a daughter of Eve or a son of Adam. I'm also a child of God. I'm a little dust person but I'm also a living stone placed in a living temple.

I'm a flower that fades and a vapor that vanishes but I'm also a jewel in the king's crown. I'm a sinner and I'm also a saint. When I was born, I was hell-bent. Now I've been born again, I'm heaven-bound. I'm poor but I'm rich. I'm weak but I'm strong. I'm lowly but I'm exalted to live in heavenly places. I am dead but I'm more alive than I've ever been before.

So who am I? I'm living proof of the necessity for the Holy Spirit. So open your Bibles to Romans chapter 6 and we're going to look at Romans 6, 7 and 8 but I'm not going to take you verse by verse.

I'll just be referring to phrases and verses in these chapters. And we're going to begin by just pointing out something that I think we all know and that is that, and I'll just use the personal pronoun, I have a major problem. And I know that you have a major problem too. And the problem is this, if all that we describe Jesus as lives inside of me, why can't other people see him in me? And if Jesus lives in me and I'm saved and born again and the Holy Spirit is in me, then why is it that I keep doing the wrong thing? Why did I say that? Why did I do that? I didn't want to say that. I didn't mean to do that.

I just, what's wrong? So I have a major problem and this is the major problem that there are actually two people who live inside of me and two natures that live inside of me. And the first one, the nature that we're born with, this is what the Bible calls our old man or our sinful nature. Our Adam is called our Ishmael, our self, our flesh. And so the black spots are our sin. And when you're born into the human race, you're born as a sinner. Romans 3, 23 makes that clear that all of us have sinned, all have come short of the glory of God. James 2, 10 says if you ever sinned one time in all of your life, then you have the disease of sin.

It shows that your body is permeated with it. We think of sin as being murder, adultery, stealing, but Jesus said the greatest commandment in all the world was to love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength. And therefore, could it be that the greatest sin in all the world is breaking the greatest commandment, just not loving the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength? And I think in my life of all the moments, of all the days, of all the weeks, of all the months, of all the years of my life when I haven't loved the Lord with all my heart, all my soul, all my strength, all my body and that's a lot of sin just right there. And if I've done that one time, if I've not loved the Lord one moment in all my life, then it shows that I have the disease of sin. So a little baby can be innocent when it's born, but you give that little baby a chance and it, you know, after a few months it'll talk back to its mom, it'll steal a cookie, it'll kick its sibling and, you know, and it's that old nature.

We're born with that. When Rachel Ruth was little, she was sitting at the table and I can't remember her age, maybe five or six, but she came running up to me and she said, Mom, she said something's bitten me. So I pulled up her shirt and sure enough she had a little red bite. So I looked at her shirt, I didn't see anything, I said, well, whatever it is, it's gone now. So she went back to play and a few minutes later she came up to me and she said, Mom, he's bitten me again. And so I pulled up her shirt and sure enough she had two little bites. So I took off her shirt and found a fresh one, I put a fresh one on, I said, now it's okay, whatever it was is gone. And a few minutes later she said, Mom, he's bitten me all over. And I took up her shirt and she was covered in spots, she had the chicken pox.

So the first little spot showed that her body had the disease even though she hadn't broken out. Some of us are spottier than others, you know, but one little spot of sin shows that your body is riddled with the disease and that's our old nature. Romans 8 verses 7 and 8 says, The sinful mind is hostile to God, it does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. This old nature, the nature we're born with, cannot please God, it cannot stand before God, it cannot do anything that has eternal significance and value, it's condemned, it will never improve.

And I'm talking from a spiritual perspective, you can't manage it, drug it, drown it, rehab it, it is a sinful old nature that we're born with. All God ever expects of this nature is moral and spiritual failure. When we're born again, the Holy Spirit comes into us and we're given a new nature. So we have a new emotion to love God and to love somebody maybe we didn't even like, a new will to do the right thing, a new intellect to think the thoughts of God and to understand the scriptures, and so that's our new nature within. And John 3, 3, Jesus said you must be born again because the old nature can't see God, it's the new nature that is the one that is pleasing to God and that bears the eternal fruit and that one day will go to heaven. I gave you the illustration of the Virgin Mary when the angel came to her and said you're going to conceive the Son of God and she said, Be it unto me according to your will, and she conceived physically the life of the Son of God within her, and when we come by faith to the cross and we confess our sin and tell God we're sorry and we're willing to repent and turn away from it and we invite him to come in, he comes in in the person of the Holy Spirit and we conceive within us the spiritual life of Jesus.

So that inner circle, that's what that represents. That's the life of Jesus on the inside of us. That's our new creation. 2 Corinthians 5, 17 says, In Christ we're a new creation.

So we've been born again, but this is the major problem. The old nature is still there. And the old and new natures, they don't get along.

They're like oil and water, they don't mix. They never merge, they never blend, and so you have two people, if I can put it that way, two natures. This is your new nature, this is the Spirit of Christ living in you, this is your new man as the Bible calls it, and living right within that old nature within your same body. So you have two natures, two people living inside of you. So we have basic principles how we overcome the old nature. And the basic principles I'll give them to you, then I'll explain them to you. It's very simple. You know God's word and you apply God's word and you obey God's word.

So that's the way you overcome that old nature. So first of all, we know God's word, and in verse 3 it says don't you know, verse 5 we know, verse 9 we know, verse 16 don't we know. So it's emphasizing there's something we need to know, and actually two things in this passage. One, we need to know about the death of Jesus. And when Jesus died on the cross, he not only paid the penalty for our sin, so he took the judgment that should have been yours and should have been mine, and because he died on the cross in my place, and when I claim that for myself, I'm forgiven of my sin, I'm delivered from God's judgment, I'm delivered from hell, I can go to heaven. I'm made right with God, okay? Praise God. So the death of Jesus has set us free from the penalty of sin.

But listen to me, there's something else we need to know. The death of Jesus has also set us free from the power of sin in our lives. So when Jesus died, his death is sufficient to break the power of that old nature. An example would be an alcoholic who's very addicted to alcohol, and just can't ever get enough of it, and he dies, and you can take the bottle of his favorite liquor, and you can wave it under his nose, and you can pour it on him.

He doesn't flicker an eye, he doesn't move, he doesn't want it anymore. He's dead, okay? So that old man through the death of Jesus is dead.

Without that new nature, it's what Kanye West called just a dead man walking, you know? We have the life of Jesus within us, but we have this old man through the death of Jesus has also been put to death. It's died with Jesus. So we need to know about the death of Jesus and his power to set us free from the power of that old nature. Second thing we need to know is about the resurrection of Jesus. And when Jesus was raised from the dead, when we identify with his life, we're raised with him into a new life. So let me go back and look at chapter 6 verse 3 in Romans. It says, Don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? So that's what we've just talked about. And in verse 6, we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin because anyone who has died has been freed from sin, like the alcoholic who's died to alcohol.

He doesn't care about it anymore. Alright, so then we know about the resurrection going back to verse 4. We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that just as Christ was raised from the dead, through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. So we know about the resurrection that when Jesus was raised from the dead, he gave us eternal life. He opened heaven for us. We have a personal relationship with God now. We're going to live with him forever when we die. But also, he gives us this new life to live.

And he expects us to live in that new life. And like Lazarus, when he raised him from the dead, you remember? And he stood in the opening of his tomb and he was all bound with the grave clothes.

And Jesus didn't raise him from the dead so that he could just stand there like a mummy. So he said, Martha, unwrap him because Jesus raised him from the dead so that he could walk in newness of life. And Jesus, in his death, he's put to death that old man, but then he raises us into new life and expects us to live in this new nature and to enjoy the abundant life and the life of Christ that he's won for us through his death and resurrection. So we know God's word as it applies to his death. We know his word as it applies to resurrection. In fact, if you're in a Baptist church, you know, every time somebody's baptized and they immerse them, I'm not sure about some of the other denominations, but they put you under the water and they say you identify with Jesus in his death and you're buried in the water. And then when they raise you, they say you're raised now to walk in new life. And that's what the picture of that water baptism is, dying to yourself and being raised to the new life in Christ.

Okay? So we know that. Second principle is that we apply God's word. So in verse 11, it says, count yourselves dead to sin, but alive to God. So that Ephesians talks about putting off the old man and putting on the new man. So, for instance, let's see in verse 13, I'll read it.

It says, don't offer parts of your body to sin, but rather offer yourselves to God. So you put off worry and I put on peace and I put off hate and I put on love and I put off bitterness and I put on forgiveness. So we just take what we know and we apply it to those feelings. We want to deny the old nature and its emotions, will and intellect. We want to put on whatever, not the opposite, but what the new nature, emotions, will and intellect would be.

Alright? So you put off and you put on. Then you want to obey God's word. It's not enough to just know it and apply it.

You've got to live it out. So in verse 17, thanks be to God that though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obey. And this requires wholehearted obedience. So I'm just going to use some examples from my life. Okay? So I know that the Bible says that I'm not to worry about anything. One of my life's verses is Philippians 4 verse 6. That in nothing be anxious.

Alright? So I know I'm not supposed to worry. So I apply that to my health situation. So when I went into the doctor and nobody in my family has ever had this kind of cancer. And very few of us have had cancer at all. And I have a huge family.

And then they diagnosed me with cancer. So I tend to worry. You know, that's one of the besetting sins, although God has given me wonderful victory over it. But that's enough to rattle your cage.

Right? So I know that I'm not supposed to worry. I apply it to that diagnosis. But then I have to obey it. And I know the rest of that verse in Philippians tells me exactly how to obey it. It says in nothing be anxious but with everything with prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. So I've thought back over this past year.

I think I have thanked the Lord and praised the Lord more than any other year that I can remember. And I've prayed and I've asked him for help and healing and just to make it through some of those treatments. But every time we went to the hospital and chemo and radiation, Mara and I, in fact the first few times we went to the hospital. And it's so daunting.

And going over, it was about a 30-40 minute drive from the house. And we would go through the alphabet, not just the blessings, but we alphabetized the names of Jesus. And so we would take letter A and each of us would give a name of Jesus for A and B. Each of us would give a name for Jesus for B. And just until we got to the hospital and we'd gone through the alphabet.

And we're just putting the banner of his name over us. And we listened to praise music and worship music and you say, no I'm not supposed to worry. So I applied that to my health situation and then I have to obey and live it out by choosing not to worry. And then came the peace, which is the next verse in Philippians. And the peace of God that passes all understanding would guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

And I experienced that. And Joshua 1-9 says not to be afraid. And there are other scriptures that again and again were told, do not be afraid, do not be afraid, do not be afraid.

So I applied that after going through, you know, all the surgery and the treatments and the radiation and everything. Then I have a seminar here at the Cove in August. And no, I'm not supposed to be afraid. I applied it to coming here, not knowing if I could even stand up for 45 minutes, much less stand up and speak for 45 minutes. Literally, I had no idea if I had the physical strength and stamina to carry off that seminar. And so I knew I wasn't to be afraid. I applied it to that situation as I faced the seminar. And I just had to trust the Lord and then obey by walking up on this platform, standing in this pulpit, delivering the message. And God was sufficient to give me strength and stamina for the whole weekend.

Those are just some examples. So if we know that we're to forgive others as God for Christ's sake has forgiven us, we know that. And then we apply it to that person who's deeply wounded us in the church. And then we have to obey by choosing to forgive.

And that's a choice, all right? You don't have to feel forgiving, all right? They don't have to deserve your forgiveness.

They probably don't. But you make the choice to forgive them. And then I think you follow that choice to reach out and bless them.

Maybe you have to have a conversation to maybe if there's been a misunderstanding or to reconcile in some way. But if, you know, sometimes you just can't and you just choose to forgive them, to love them and to do something to bless them. All right? So that's following through. You know, you apply and you obey.

Those are the basic principles. So why aren't you experiencing victory? Why don't we have victory when we know and we apply it and we obey it?

And one reason is because we have a wretched paradox to deal with. The principles don't seem to work. And they did for me because I was using the key, which is that total reliance on the Holy Spirit. And He comes through.

But principles don't seem to work. And I remember a point in my life. It was when I was a young mother with young children in a small house and small sticky fingerprints and small words and all that. And I was so frustrated. And I was just not living the way I knew I should. I wasn't the mother that I knew my mother had been. I was disgusted with myself. I would lose my temper.

I was yelling at them, doing all the things that you do when you're tired and frustrated and interrupted a hundred times. And I had to reach that point that I admitted defeat. I can't do this. I can't be the mother that God's called me to be. I can't be the person I want to be.

And I think when I made that honest confession, that actually was the first step to experiencing victory. So I don't know if there's somebody here and you've been frustrated and you just feel like you just can't do it and you want to quit. Maybe coming to the Cove is enough. I've had people tell me.

They've come to the seminar and it's like their last chance to make good on their commitment to be a Christian and to live for Jesus. And maybe you've come to that point. And I think that's a very good point to come to because then you're willing to let go. Alright?

We can't do this. And one of the things that's difficult is that Paul knows that while we're free to do what we please, we're not free to stop doing what we please. Because our old nature is almost like quicksand. When we sin and we've been set free from the sin, right? When you come to Christ and you're born again and you're living in the new nature and it's wonderful and you're telling people about Jesus and there's joy and peace and love and you're just, you know, and then how long did it last? You know, a few days, a few weeks, a few months and then that old nature just rears up and the sin that you've been set free from, if you go back and dabble in it, that old nature is like quicksand.

It just pulls you right back in and it becomes stronger. And it becomes much harder to then break free of that sin and it becomes a big crisis for you to get rid of it. One example from my life was my prayer life. And I knew God had called me to get up and spend time with him early in the morning. And so I did.

And I had, you know, morning after morning wonderful prayer times and it was doing good even though I struggled getting awake. And then after a while I thought, I've done this. And one morning I was sleepy and I thought, well, I'm just, you know, I've got some extra time. That's why I'm just going to roll over and go back to sleep.

So I did. And the next morning I did the same thing. And I can't tell you within a short period of time that old nature had come up and robbed me of my morning. I could not get out of bed in the morning.

I could not have what Alan Redpath calls blanket victory. It was like months and even years of struggling so hard to get back that early morning time. And there's just something about sin that the habit takes over. I've never smoked but people tell me the same thing about smoking. You break the habit and you're free and then you just think, you know, I'm just going to have one more cigarette.

And what do you know? You're right back in it. Or same thing with alcohol or, you know. And it's just, it's amazing how that old nature will just dominate.

And it dominates through habits. And verse 15 says, what then shall we sin because we're not under law but under grace? We've been set free so now we can just sin by no means. Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey.

Whether you're slaves to sin which leads to death or to obedience which leads to righteousness. And so this conflict begins because the old nature is more familiar. It's old, right? You were born with it. So you've lived in it first and it's stronger because it's just been there longer. And I don't know when you were born again, when the new nature came within. But if when you had the new nature, if you didn't start to develop it and be intentional about living in your new nature, then that old nature can still dominate. And it's easier to slip back in it and tell that person off. And, you know, tell that little white lie and manipulate and get what you want and cheat on this. Or, you know, it's just, it's natural for us in a sense to live in that old nature.

And it's become a habit. So the old nature is like your evil twin. And I'll put them both up there. The one that we're born as, the spiritually dead person on the left, the person on the right has a new creation but surrounded by the old. And that person on the right is in conflict whether they admit it or not. And so there are two people inside of us. And even though the new nature is empowered by the Holy Spirit, if we don't choose to live in it, then that old nature, you wouldn't believe, well I know you do, you believe how strong it can be.

We've seen people who have lived in it, we ourselves I'm sure, at one time in certain areas have lived in that old nature so that we're crippled and we're enslaved by it. And Paul describes, this is the Apostle Paul by the way. You know, the Apostle Paul, the greatest evangelist ever lived, planted churches all over the known world, turned the world upside down, has written so much of our New Testament. This is his testimony in Romans 7 beginning in verse 14.

He says, we know that the law, and we can think of that as the Ten Commandments or God's word or coming to Bible study or coming to the cove, we know that it's spiritual. But I'm unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin because that old nature is dominating. I do not understand what I do, for what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I don't want to do, I agree that the law is good, God's standards are right, going to Bible study, coming to the cove, but as it is, it's no longer I myself who do it, but sin living in me.

In other words, I recognize I have a major problem here. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is in my sinful nature. I can't make it good. And by the way, didn't you think there was some good in your sinful nature? You know how people say there's some good in everybody? Well, there's not from God's point of view.

There's none righteous, no, not one. All of our righteousness is as filthy rags. Even the good things we do permeated with sin. Or you send Christmas cards to people who didn't send Christmas cards to you last year and you feel sort of smug.

You know, you're really, really nice and really, you know. Or you pray in public and the prayer comes out. Love when people afterwards say, you know, that was just such a beautiful prayer, and you think, yeah, you know it was. So even the good things we do are permeated with sin. So there's none righteous, no, not one. There's no good in any of us at all. In verse 18, I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. I have no power in myself, for I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I don't want to do, this I keep on doing.

Now if I do what I do not want to do, it's no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. The old nature will never change. The old nature will never get better. The old nature will, you know, never improve. And you can get so exasperated that God will just let you fail and fail and fail and fail until you're so exasperated that you admit from experience.

There's nothing good in you at all. To help and encourage you in your work for the Lord, we invite you to It's a great opportunity to further read, study, live by, and love God's Word. You'll find Anne's daily blog, her messages, Bible studies books, audio and video that will enhance your study, your going forward that Anne spoke of today. And plan to join us again for Living in the Light.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-27 21:26:04 / 2023-04-27 21:37:07 / 11

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