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The Refreshing Power of the Spirit-Filled Life: Calling on God

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
November 16, 2021 3:00 am

The Refreshing Power of the Spirit-Filled Life: Calling on God

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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November 16, 2021 3:00 am

Sometimes, a child needs a little help from his mom or dad. Whether it’s trying to tie his shoe, or trying to climb a tree, sometimes he just can quite make it on his own. Well, whether we admit or not, we often need help from our Heavenly Father. When we try to live a righteous life, but still have a sin nature, that’s when we need to rely on our God. And today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie helps us see how to call on God and accept His help in our daily walk.

View and subscribe to Pastor Greg’s weekly notes.

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A New Beginning is the daily half-hour program hosted by Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Southern California. For over 30 years, Pastor Greg and Harvest Ministries have endeavored to know God and make Him known through media and large-scale evangelism. This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.

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Today's episode of A New Beginning is brought to you by Harvest Partners, helping people everywhere know God.

Learn more at harvest.org. And while you're there, browse our library of free ebooks designed to help you grow in your faith. Don't try to be righteous by trying harder. Pray for the help of the Holy Spirit. We all have a sin nature.

Don't we know that all too well? Today, Pastor Greg Laurie points out we need the help of someone more powerful than us. Stop trying to be spiritual. Stop trying to be good.

You will fail because you're bad. But God is good, and He'll give you the strength to live the life He has called you to live. Sometimes the child needs a little help from his mom or dad.

Whether it's trying to tie his shoe or trying to climb a tree, sometimes he just can't quite make it on his own. Whether we admit it or not, we often need help from our Heavenly Father. When we try to live a righteous life but still have a sin nature, that's when we need to rely on our God. And today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie helps us see how to call on God and accept His help in our daily walk. Our text that we are going to look at together is Romans 8. Romans 8 is one of my favorite chapters in all of the Bible.

And I think after this message it might become one of your favorite chapters as well. I love Romans 8 because it's a one-stop shopping destination for hope. And we discover how to live this Spirit-filled life. And that starts of course with the Holy Spirit Himself.

Let's read Romans 8 verses 1-4. There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death for what the law could not do and that it was weak to the flesh God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh on account of sin.

He condemned sin in the flesh that the righteous requirements of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. So what do we learn here about living the Spirit-filled life. The refreshing power of the Spirit-filled life.

If you're taking notes here's point number one. A Spirit-led believer lives a condemnation free life. Let me say that again. A Spirit-filled believer. A Spirit-led believer lives a condemnation free life. Romans 8 starts with no condemnation and it ends with no separation. It does not say there'll be no failures. It does not say there'll be no inconsistencies in our life.

What it does say is there's no condemnation. Here's the classic story. There's a woman who was caught in the act of adultery. She was drugged and thrown at the feet of Jesus by some religious rulers. And they said the law says this woman should be condemned to death. What do you say? What do you say? Now I wonder where was the man? He somehow got away scot-free didn't he? Here's this woman caught in the act of sin.

She should be stoned. What do you say? We read that Jesus looked at the crowd. He stooped down and wrote in the sand. Then he stood up and he said let him that is without sin cast the first stone.

That cleared the room out really quickly. You wonder what did he write in the sand? I don't think he was playing tic-tac-toe. He probably looked at one of those men Joshua and maybe wrote down the number of the commandment he was breaking.

I'm not sure. Whatever he did caused him to come under conviction and they all left. And then he turns to the woman and he says woman where are your accusers? It's interesting the word he uses there for woman is a term of respect. Almost as though he was saying lady or ma'am. She had probably not been called that in a long time.

She'd been called a lot of other things. Ma'am lady where are your accusers? She says I have none Lord. He says neither do I condemn you go in sin no more.

You say but wait. She was caught in the act of sin. How could he treat her that way? Listen to what she said in response to his question of where are your accusers.

She said I have none comma Lord. It was at that moment she believed and Jesus saw she believed. Therefore there was no condemnation because there's no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. You're a new person. The Bible says if any man be in Christ he is an altogether different kind of person.

The old things have passed away behold everything becomes fresh and new. Now spirit led people are spiritually minded people. Spirit led people are spiritually minded person.

Look at verse five of Romans 8. Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think only about sinful things. But those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the spirit. Comes down to what you think about.

This is command central. So a thought reap an act. So an act reap a habit. So a habit reap a character.

So a character reap a destiny. Protect your mind. Think about things that please the Holy Spirit. Well what things please the Holy Spirit? Paul identifies them for us here in Romans 8. Romans 8 14 says those that are led by the spirit of God are the sons of God.

Think about that. God wants to lead you as his son or his daughter. Romans 8 15 to 16 tells us God removes the spirit of rejection and assures us that we're God's children. It says God is not giving you a spirit of bondage again to fear but one of adoption whereby you cry Abba Father which is the affectionate cry of a Hebrew child.

Kind of like a little boy or girl saying daddy. And then finally Romans 8 26 and 27 tells us that the Holy Spirit gives us confidence as we approach God in prayer. So listen these are things that the Holy Spirit cares about and these are things that we should care about. Remember you're adopted by God. You're loved by God.

You're welcomed by God. Think about these things because they please the Holy Spirit. Think about the fact that you are loved by God and your lives are in His control. Because we can be devastated by our worry and forget these simple truths that we need to be reminded of over and over again.

In my first message in this series I talked about the fact that Peter says I want to remind you of these things or refresh your memories. And it's a refreshing thing to remember that I'm loved by God and that God is in control of my life. Now the contrast of living a spirit-filled life is living a worldly one. Verse 5 of Romans 8 says those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things. This is a person that just thinks about satisfying their impulses and the appetites of their flesh. It can be illicit things like sex outside of marriage, sex before marriage, drugs, booze, partying, things of that nature. It can be empty things like fame and fortune. Or it could simply be a person who only thinks about the physical and never thinks about the spiritual. Jesus talks about the non-believers who only worry about what they are going to eat, what they are going to wear, and what they are going to drink. He says don't be like those people but seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added to you.

No. You need to think about what you are going to wear. You need to think about a roof over your head.

You need to think about what you are going to eat. Jesus is not saying don't think about it. He is saying don't be obsessed with it. Don't make the entire focus of your life pursuing those things at the exclusion of pursuing God.

In fact some people ought to think a little bit more about their appearance because maybe they neglect it. You know Paul says bodily exercise profits little. But godliness is helpful for all things. So people will get out of shape and they will be really overweight and they will quote that verse. Well Paul does say it profits some.

So you can go too far either way. There is a balance in all of these things. But what the Bible is saying is be preoccupied with these things that Paul has told us about here in Romans 8. That we are adopted by God.

We are loved by God and we are welcomed by God. Don't try to be righteous by trying harder. That is another form of living in the flesh. Admit you can't do it on your own and pray for the help of the Holy Spirit. Paul does that at the end of Romans 7. He writes, oh who's going to free me from this life that I am living under the power of sin? Oh wretched man that I am.

And then he gives the answer. It's in Jesus Christ our Lord. Are you struggling with sin right now? Cry out to God. Say God I can't overcome this on my own strength.

I'm coming to you and I'm asking for your help. I'm asking for the help of the Holy Spirit. Stop trying to be spiritual. Stop trying to be good.

You will fail because you're bad. But God is good and he'll give you the strength to live the life he has called you to live. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment.

Whenever you send us an email text or post a comment on social media we read every word. Hello Pastor Greg. I don't know if you'll ever see this or not but I just wanted to say thank you for all you do. I was raised in the church and was saved at a very young age but like a lot of folks who grew up in church I fell away. Then one day I heard you on the radio and your message made me realize that I needed to get my life right with God.

Thank you. We're so grateful to hear of the changed lives through Harvest Ministries and if you have a story to tell of how these studies have touched your life or that of a family member I hope you'll contact us today. Email Pastor Greg at greg at harvest.org.

Again that's greg at harvest.org. Well Pastor Greg's current series is called Refresh What Every Christian Needs to Know and today's focus is on living a Spirit-Filled Life. Pastor Greg continues now. How can you tell if you're living a Spirit-controlled life? The Holy Spirit is at home in the hearts of Spirit-led believers.

I underline those two words at home. The Holy Spirit is at home in the hearts of Spirit-led believers. Verse 9 of Romans 8. You're in the Spirit if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Dwells in you. Now does not the Holy Spirit live in the heart of every Christian?

Answer yes. When you become a Christian the Holy Spirit seals you and He indwells you. But this word here that is used by Paul for dwell means to be at home. There's a difference between just being in a home and being at home. Have you ever noticed different homes have their own smells? I used to visit a home. I won't say whose but it always smelled of mothballs.

I think this person felt that you could never have enough mothballs. And after you left that home you would smell like mothballs. This is not a good scent people. And then another home has a strange smell. It's like were you just baking socks in the oven or what is going on in this house?

What is this odd smell? It doesn't make you want to stay there for very long. But then you go into a home and there's some great home cooking taking place. Maybe it's Italian food. Oh I love the smell of Italian food or Mexican food or barbecue and you go oh I like this place. I like just being in this room where I smell this incredible aroma. Well is the Holy Spirit at home in your heart?

Is He comfortable in your life? I mentioned earlier that the Holy Spirit has a personality. Yes He is God but yes He can be sinned against specifically. The Bible tells us the Holy Spirit can be insulted. He can be resisted and He can be blasphemed.

And listen to this. The Holy Spirit can even be made sad. Have you ever done or said anything to someone that reduced them to tears? It's so hard to look at someone crying because of something you just said or something you just did. Could we actually make God's Holy Spirit sad?

The answer is yes. Ephesians 4 30 Paul writes, don't bring sorrow to God's Holy Spirit by the way you live. Get rid of bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another just as God through Christ has forgiven you. So rage, anger, harsh words, slander. They make the Holy Spirit sad. Wow imagine if we just went out on social media especially Twitter and decided to not use it to tear any person down.

Don't denigrate anybody. What a different place it would be because some people just live for that conflict and people seem to be getting so upset these days. There's more road rage than ever and people don't even seem to know how to get on a plane and behave themselves.

Arrests of disturbances and conflicts in planes now has gone up dramatically. It's almost like after this time of COVID we've all forgotten our manners and we're all filled with this pent-up rage that makes God's Holy Spirit sorrowful. Listen you can hold a point of view and not be mean about it. You can have a certain belief and not tear others down while you're talking about it. That grieves the Holy Spirit of God. That makes God's Spirit sad and sorrowful.

And that is not living a Spirit controlled life. God wants you to be tenderhearted. He wants you to be kind. He wants you to be forgiving. That pleases the Holy Spirit.

Last point. Spirit led believers overcome the old life. Spirit led believers overcome the old life. Romans 8 13 says if you live according to the flesh you will die but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body you shall live.

Another translation puts it this way. So don't you see that you don't owe this old do-it-yourself life one red cent. There's nothing in it for us. Nothing at all.

The best thing to do is give it a decent burial and get on with your new life. God's Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go. I like that translation. You're living by the power of the Spirit. Just focus on walking with Jesus. When you are in love with Jesus these other things will fall away. Oh yeah you'll get tempted. Oh yes you will sin. But it won't be a pattern anymore. It won't be your lifestyle anymore.

Because you are preoccupied with other things. And more specifically you're preoccupied with Christ Himself. Asking Him to fill you with His Holy Spirit each and every day.

One last verse. Romans 8 14. For as many as are led by the Spirit they are the sons of God. Let me ask you are you a son of God? Are you a daughter of God?

You know I mentioned that we're adopted by God when we become Christians. I didn't ever know my biological father growing up. But my mother married a man named Oscar Laurie. That's where I got my name. Oscar.

No Laurie. And this guy was great. He adopted me formally. He treated me as a father should treat a son.

He disciplined me when I went astray. He tried to teach me lessons and do the best that he could in helping me to be a good boy. But tragically my mom left him and I didn't see him for the rest of my childhood. But I did have the privilege of reconnecting with him as a young adult after I'd become a Christian and started our church. And I also had the privilege of leading him to the Lord.

That's another story for another time. But he adopted me. And God has adopted you if you put your faith in Christ. For it says as many as are led by the Spirit they are the sons they are the sons of God. Are you a son or a daughter of God?

Are you a child of God? That comes through believing in Jesus Christ. He can pardon you of every sin you have ever committed. I mentioned that woman caught in the act of sexual sin. And Jesus said go and sin no more.

He forgave her right there in the spot. And God can do that for you right here right now. You've messed up. You've made mistakes. You've sinned. You don't have to be controlled by your past.

You don't have to be crippled by it either. You can put it behind you. And you can be a new person in Jesus Christ.

We've been talking about the Holy Spirit. How you can lie to him. You can grieve him or make him sad or sorrowful. You can resist him. And finally you can blaspheme him. Jesus described the unforgivable sin as the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. What does it mean to blaspheme the Spirit? Because you say well I you know I've cursed God and I've said a lot of things maybe I've blasphemed him. Understand as I said earlier the work of the Holy Spirit is to show you your need for Jesus.

Show you that you need to come to him. You can resist him and resist him and resist him and come to a point where you've gone too far. Yes a point of no return. That is blaspheming the Holy Spirit. The only unforgivable sin is the rejection of Jesus Christ.

For the Bible says how can we escape if we neglect so great a salvation. So if you say I don't want Jesus. I don't need Jesus.

I don't care about Jesus. I want to keep living my life the way I'm living it. You have that choice. God's given you a free will.

Now it's the wrong choice. But God's Holy Spirit is saying no come to him. Believe in him.

You're loved by him. And if you say no to the Holy Spirit and keep saying no. Yes your heart can become irreparably hard.

Don't let that happen. There might be someone I'm talking to right now that has run from God for years. Maybe even decades.

Maybe even most of their life. This is your moment to come to him. This is your moment to be forgiven by him. This is your moment to come into a relationship with the God who loves you.

He loves you so much he sent his only son Jesus Christ to come in a rescue operation to planet earth and die on the cross for your sins. And then Christ rose again from the dead. Now he stands at the door of your life and he knocks and he says if you'll hear his voice and open the door he'll come in. I would like to give you an opportunity to open your heart to a whole new life. Open your heart to radical change.

Open your heart to Jesus Christ himself who will come and live inside of you and forgive you of all of your sin. In a moment I'm going to pray a simple prayer. If you need Jesus in your life pray this prayer with me. You could even pray it out loud if you would like to. But this is your moment where everything can change for you. Let me close with this thought.

This is a yes or no proposition. Jesus said you're either for me or against me. It was those words that got the attention of a 17 year old boy many years ago on his high school campus named Greg. And he looked around at the Christians and thought well I'm not one of them. Does that mean I'm against Jesus Christ? And I certainly did not want to be. So I prayed and asked Christ to come into my life and I've never ever regretted that decision.

And you will not regret this decision either. Jesus is ready to come into your life. If you would like him to forgive you of your sin pray this simple prayer with me right now. Let's all pray. Just pray these words Lord Jesus.

I know I am a sinner but I know that you are the Savior who died on the cross for my sin and rose again from the dead. I turn from my sin now and I choose to follow you from this moment forward. In Jesus name I pray.

Amen. An important prayer on this important day for so many who are making a decision for the Lord today. Pastor Greg Laurie leading listeners in prayer today on A New Beginning. And if you've just prayed that prayer we want to be the first to welcome you into the family of God and we want to help you as you take your first steps as a new believer. We want to send you our New Believers Growth Packet. It's a free collection of resources designed to help answer your questions and help you build a solid foundation for your walk with the Lord. So ask for your New Believers Growth Packet when you write A New Beginning box 4000 Riverside, CA 92514 or call us at 1-800-821-3300. We can take your call anytime.

Again just dial 1-800-821-3300. You know Pastor Greg back when I was a young Christian contemporary Christian music or as we called it then Jesus music was sort of a soundtrack for my life and I remember the very first Christian band I saw I believe it was Mustard Seed Faith at Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa. Right. Do you remember the first Christian band you saw? Yeah I would say it was probably Love Song.

Yeah. But I became friends with all the guys in Love Song. Just saw them recently. Of course Odin Fong from Mustard Seed Faith, Lewis McVeigh, Pedro Buford and other individuals were in the band through the years.

But great little band. I did a lot of ministry with them. Traveled to a lot of places with them and I was amazed Dave had how music could open a crowd up. You know you get a crowd of people just standing around the band gets up starts playing what I would call anointed music. Music that God had his hand on. You know you think of the story of Saul the king of Israel who was being tormented by demons and the Bible tells us that David not yet the king still a shepherd boy would come in and play in a stringed instrument.

Today we might call it an electric guitar and he would play his guitar and sing his songs of praise to God and it would bring temporary comfort to King Saul. And to me that is the power of music that God has his hand on. It can open the heart of a person. This is one of the reasons why in our events and of course in our church we we put a focus on really well done Christian music.

Because I believe it's a great way to reach people and to build a bridge to people. So I saw it in its origins to the present day and I would say this Dave I think Christian music has come so far that in many ways it surpasses secular music. I don't mean lyrically I mean in the melodies in the production it's at least as good if not better and a lot of the secular stuff you're hearing out there right now.

So maybe you've wondered well how did this all start? Ah I have a book for you it's called The Jesus Music. It's brand new and it's written by my friend Marshall Terrell. Marshall and I have co-written three books together and we're working on a fourth. Marshall is a great researcher an excellent writer so he takes us back to the very origins of Jesus music to the present day of what we call contemporary Christian music. So you're going to get a little history on this music we listen to and you're going to learn more about some of the artists you've come to love. These are not perfect people. These are flawed people that God has used. People like you and me you're going to be fascinated by this book called The Jesus Music hardbound glossy pages lots of photographs interesting stories in history about this music that we have all come to love and we'll send you your own copy for your gift of any size and let me just say the reason we offer these quality resources is so we can just help you encourage you and bless you but also it's a way for you to support our ministry because as you can imagine it takes money to be on the radio and we want to continue to reach you in your area and go into new areas where we're not on yet so when you order one of these resources like The Jesus Music and you send a gift to us we put that gift to work but as our way of saying thanks we send you something of value like this book we're sending this time called The Jesus Music so for your gift of any size you'll get your own copy and I know it will be a blessing to you oh yeah it really will so get in touch today with your donation and be sure to ask for The Jesus Music it's the kind of book you won't be able to put down and you might want to give a copy to a friend maybe you're looking for a good Christmas gift for a family member again it's called The Jesus Music ask for it when you send your contribution today to A New Beginning Box 4000 Riverside California 92514 or call us anytime 24 hours a day at 1-800-821-3300 that's 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org well next time Pastor Greg explains how we often come closest to God in our times of great spiritual need it's a revealing study from Pastor Greg's refresh series join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher Greg Laurie thanks for listening to A New Beginning with Greg Laurie a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners helping people everywhere know God sign up for daily devotions and learn how to become a Harvest Partner at harvest.org
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-22 11:06:44 / 2023-07-22 11:17:19 / 11

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