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The Holy Spirit and You, Part 2 | Receiving Him

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
April 11, 2022 3:00 am

The Holy Spirit and You, Part 2 | Receiving Him

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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April 11, 2022 3:00 am

Few of us buy products to solve problems we don’t have. Why would you buy a flea collar if you don’t have a pet? But there are many people who have a problem they’re not yet aware of. They’re afflicted with the “good enough” syndrome. They’re convinced they’re good enough to get to heaven. Today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie points out that the Holy Spirit shows us our sin, shows us its penalty, and shows us our need for a solution. It’s life-saving information.

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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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You're listening to A New Beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners, helping people everywhere know God. Visit our website and learn more about Harvest Partners at We have to see the real problem, so we need to be convicted by the Spirit. Because there's no conversion without conviction. So God has sent His Holy Spirit to convince us of our sin. Few of us buy products to solve problems we don't have.

Why would you buy a flea collar if you don't have a pet? But there are many people who have a problem they're not yet aware of. They're afflicted with the good enough syndrome. They're convinced that they're good enough to get to heaven. Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie points out that the Holy Spirit shows us our sin, shows us its penalty, and shows us our need for a solution. It's life-saving information. This is the day, the day when life begins.

Or if you're French, part deux. Second part, we already did a little message on this earlier. So here's a quick review of what we already saw. And then we'll look at what we're going to see here in John 16. Number one, we already discovered together the Holy Spirit has come to indwell the believer and to seal us.

He's come to indwell us and seal us. Ephesians 1, 13 says, So these things happen to us when we believe. I don't think we realized all the incredible things that transpired when we became a Christian. You didn't feel it necessarily, but I'm telling you, it was such a dramatic shift.

It's hard to even wrap your mind around. For starters, you passed from darkness to light. For starters, you became a citizen of heaven instead of a citizen effectively of hell. For starters, all of your sin was forgiven. And if that's not enough, you were justified, which means God took all of your sins and he forgave them. And he put the righteousness of Christ into your account, and then you were sealed with the Holy Spirit. You were signed, sealed, delivered by God himself.

And the word sealed means that we have God's ID tag on us. You know, when I travel, I have ID tags on my bags. And I mentioned a while ago that I picked up one of my bags at an airport and I was wheeling it away. And some lady came chasing me and she said, that's my suitcase. And I looked at it and it was my suitcase. Well, sure enough, it was hers. We had suitcases that were identical in the way we determined whose suitcase was whose by checking the ID tag.

And I had walked off with their suitcase. God has put his ID tag on you. You belong to God now. Heard the story of an older guy who was known for his godly life. And someone asked him once, old man, what do you do when you get tempted? The old God just said, well, I just look up to heaven and I say, Lord, your property is in danger.

I like that. Because I belong to God. I'm sealed by the Holy Spirit. I'm his child, I'm one of his sheep, and I'm one of his possessions. The Bible says your body is not your own. In fact, you're not your own. You belong to God who bought you with a price and your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit.

Jesus bought me out of the slave auction and I now belong to him. Well, we can say things like that all day long and God says, I want you to know I mean business. So I'm going to drop a heavy down payment.

That's what it means when it says that there was a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance. What it means is God is saying to let you know I mean business, to reassure you that you'll go to heaven one day so you can be assured that everything I promise is true. I'm placing my Holy Spirit in your life as that down payment or that deposit. I'm not going to back down. I'm not going to change my mind.

I'm not going to abandon you or forsake you and I'm never going to stop loving you. And when you become a Christian, you have that inner testimony of the Holy Spirit. Here's what Romans 8 says in verse 15, you've not received a spirit of adoption like fearful slaves. Instead you received God's Spirit who has adopted you, made you one of his own children.

Now we say Abba Father and his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we're God's children. Do you know what I'm talking about right now? That inner conviction. You say Greg how do you know you're a Christian?

I just know. I know because God's Holy Spirit lives inside of me and he confirms it to me. And then hopefully there's fruit, a result of my life that would demonstrate that to others as well. Of course this is based on the promise of the word of God. But there is that inner conviction of the Spirit. And if you don't know right now, please do not leave this service tonight without knowing that you know.

And I'll tell you how that can happen for you. What else does the Holy Spirit do in the life of the believer? He teaches us because Jesus said in John 14, the helper of the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all things that I've said to you. You know you can read the Bible as a historical document.

It is historical. But you can also read it as God's living book. You know the Bible says of itself that it's alive and powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword. I love what Martin Luther said about the Bible. He said the Bible has hands. It takes hold of me. It has feet.

It chases after me. And have you ever had a time where you open up the word of God and ask for direction and ask for insight and it just came alive to you? That's the Holy Spirit teaching you. And then there were times when you were in a conversation with someone and a whole passage opened up that you started quoting that you don't even remember consciously memorizing. But there it was. That's the work of the Holy Spirit in your life.

Number three. The Holy Spirit helps us in our prayers and obedience to God. He helps me in my prayers and my obedience to God. Jesus said over there in John 14, if you love me and obey my commandments, I'll ask the Father and He'll give you another advocate who will never leave you. And He's referring to the Holy Spirit. You may say, well, Greg, I don't feel like I have the power to live the Christian life.

You're wrong. If you've asked Christ to come into your life, you have all the power that you need. You just need to learn how to step on the accelerator and put the pedal to the metal. Because I'm telling you, the horsepower is there. The Spirit power is there. So we need to unleash it in our lives.

And I'm not suggesting we're waiting for an emotional experience. I don't know where we come up with this idea that whenever we ask God to fill us with the Spirit, we have to feel something. Or, okay, let's pray for God to fill us with the Spirit. Turn the lights down.

Why? Is the Holy Spirit afraid of lights or something? You can do it with the lights on.

When you get up in the morning, before you even put your feet on the ground, say, Lord, fill me with the Holy Spirit. Do you have an emotional experience when you put gas in your car? Or if you have an electric car, do you have an emotional experience when you plug it into the wall? If you're standing in water, you might have an experience.

No, you just put gas in your car, you plug in your car, or whatever it is. And so the same thing is true of asking God to fill us. You might feel something. You might feel nothing.

It doesn't matter. Because Jesus says the Father will give the Holy Spirit to those that dim the lights and wait for an emotional experience. No, He said the Father will give the Holy Spirit to those that ask Him. So what do you need to do?

Ask Him. And then receive it. And He'll give you the power you need. Romans 8, 13 says, It's through the power of the Spirit you can put to death the deeds of your sinful nature. For those that are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.

The power is there. Number four, the Holy Spirit empowers me for service. Jesus said in John 14, 17, The Spirit of truth and the world cannot receive because it neither sees Him nor knows Him, but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. Now you see these disciples, when He was sharing these things, didn't have the Spirit in them yet because Jesus was still there. But after Jesus died on the cross and rose again from the dead, He appeared to them in the upper room.

Remember? And He said, Peace be to you. And the reason He would say that is people always freaked out when they saw Him risen from the dead. So He had to start with, Hey peace guys.

It's cold. Chill. It's alright.

Ok. Don't have a heart attack. Peace be to you. And then He said, Receive the Holy Spirit. And He breathed on them and the Holy Spirit came in them. But then in the day of Pentecost in Acts 1, 8, we read that the Holy Spirit of God came upon them because the Bible says you will receive power after the Holy Spirit has come upon you. So when you believe He comes in you, then He will come upon you to give you the boldness you need to share the gospel.

Ok, so that's what the Spirit does in the life of the believer. I have about a 45-minute commute to and from work and I listened to Pastor Greg Laurie's podcast. I just finished listening to one of the sermons from the series Let's Talk About Heaven.

And I had an abortion back in 2010 and it's been a long journey of healing. And when I finally came to the realization that the safest place is to be at the foot of the cross, I was able to fully experience mercy and grace and love that the Lord has for me. And I just wanted to say thank you, Pastor Greg, for this sermon series. And I'm getting a little emotional because what a day that will be to not only be reunited with my baby, but to be united with Jesus Christ.

And I just want to say thank you. What a powerful story of God's forgiveness. Do you have a story to tell of how Pastor Greg's studies in God's Word have helped you? If so, why not call and share it with us? Just call 1-866-871-1144.

Again, 866-871-1144. Well, Pastor Greg has been pointing out today what God's Spirit does in the life of the believer. He continues now with his message, The Holy Spirit and You, Part 2.

What does he want to do in the life of the non-believer? That brings us to John 16. Number one, the Holy Spirit has come to convict us of our sin.

You could also just interchange the word convince with convict. He's come to convince us of our sin. Verse 8, John 16, when he has come, he will convict or convince the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. You see, one's ignorance of sin, righteousness, and judgment can bring their destruction. So God has sent his Holy Spirit to make the non-believer aware of this. Before we can appreciate the solution, we have to see the real problem, so we need to be convicted by the Spirit.

Because there's no conversion without conviction. Being a Christian is not just living a better life. Jesus is not just helpful. He's our only hope. He has not come to improve our life. He comes to save our life.

And so we need to realize that only the Holy Spirit can show us our real need. You know, it's interesting that the word convict means to cross-examine, to cross-examine. Have you ever been cross-examined? Maybe you've been arrested, interrogated by an officer.

Maybe you have a mother, which is similar to an officer. If you were out late. Where have you been? What have you been doing?

Empty your pockets. I'm gonna give you a polygraph test. Mom, you have a polygraph test?

Yes, I do. Look me in the eyes, right? The Holy Spirit has come to cross-examine us with the purpose of convicting or refuting an opponent. He doesn't come to just convict the world in general, but to specifically show them they're lacking in the righteousness they need to get to heaven.

This is a very important distinction. It's not just sins in general. The Holy Spirit has come to show you the biggest sin of all, the sin of self-righteousness. And in its place, God wants to give you his righteousness. I bring this up because every time you turn around, people are thinking that they get to heaven by good works.

You know, I guess I don't expect non-believers to know much about this, but when I hear Christians, or at least professed believers, still subscribing to an idea like this, it just seems insane to me, but people do still think this. That, well, you know, if you live a good life, you'll get to heaven. And if you live a bad life, then you will go to hell.

Listen, use flash. There are good people that are gonna go to hell and there are bad people that are gonna go to heaven. So, well, that makes no sense at all. Well, it's biblical.

Let me explain. Being a good person will not get you to heaven. You can be a good person, but if you think you're so good you don't know Jesus, you can end up in hell. And you can be a bad person, a very bad person, but if you repent of your sin, even if it's on your deathbed, Christ will forgive you and let you into heaven.

Because heaven is not for good people, it's for forgiven people. Say, well, where do you get that? It's called the thief on the cross.

Remember that guy? And by the way, the word thief probably isn't even accurate. That's the word we use. But the word that is used in the original language implies a criminal guilty of a capital offense. He was probably a murderer, an insurrectionist, trying to bring about the overthrow of Rome.

So this is a bad dude. And Jesus says to him, today you will be with me in paradise because the man said, Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom. So the Holy Spirit, number two now, has come to bring us to Jesus.

He says in verse nine, I've come to convince them of sin because they do not believe in me. You know, it's interesting, sin, not sins. Sometimes we, I think in the church, major on minors. And by that I mean we sort of get the cart before the horse. We'll kind of focus on lifestyle choices that are sinful and we'll harp on those things.

Here's my objective. I want to establish a dialogue with a person regardless of what sinful choice they've made. So if they're living with their boyfriend or girlfriend out of wedlock or if they're gay or if they're a liar or a thief or all the above, you know, hey, I want to first talk to them about their need for Jesus because this is the way I see it. If they'll come to Jesus, everything else will get sorted out. But if I focus on those things and never get around to telling them about Jesus, I can in effect drive them away. And I think a lot of times people think of the church as being against everything. And we're gonna speak out on what the Bible says and say what it says on whatever topic it is we're addressing. But our message is the gospel and we want people to believe. And then their lives will change as a result.

So the Holy Spirit has come to show us that, to bring us to Jesus. It'll be like going to a doctor and saying, Doc, I have headaches. My head hurts all the time. Well, he can obviously say go buy some Advil and that'll help, but then your headache will come back. So a good doctor isn't gonna just deal with the symptom. He's gonna deal with the cause, right?

You know, maybe you're dehydrated or maybe there's another medical issue and after a series of tests that will be determined. But better to get to the root of it than just merely treating the symptoms. And so that is what the Holy Spirit has come to do to show us our need for him. Listen, having said that, the Holy Spirit will not force us to believe in Jesus. I do not believe in irresistible grace. That is taught by Calvinists. I reject it.

Why? Because the idea of irresistible grace is you're predestined to believe if you really want to or not. And that grace of God is irresistible so you're gonna come to Jesus if you want to or not.

I beg to differ. I think you can resist the Holy Spirit of God. You say, well, why do you think that? Well, because the Bible says so. Remember when Stephen was standing before the Sanhedrin? And he said, you stubborn people, you heathen at heart, you're deaf to the truth, must you forever resist the Holy Spirit? That's interesting because he was addressing a group of spiritual leaders that knew the word of God and the implication in the verse there is that they knew it was true and were rejecting it regardless of that fact. He says, you're resisting the Spirit. You know what I'm saying is true but you're choosing to not believe it.

So it is resistible. Verse 13, when he, the Spirit of truth, has come, he'll guide you into all truth. He will not speak in his own. He will speak only what he hears and he'll tell you what is to come.

He'll bring glory to me by taking what is mine and making it known to you. See, if you refuse to believe in Jesus, you're effectively calling the Holy Spirit a liar because 1 John 5-10 says, he that believes in the name of the Son of God has this witness in himself. He that does not believe has made him a liar because he has not believed the record that God has given of his Son. That's called insulting the Spirit. So the Holy Spirit comes and shows you you're a sinner and you need Jesus and you say, I do not. I'm a good person, I don't need Jesus. Oh, so you're calling him a liar? No, you're putting words in my mouth then.

Actually, I'm not. Because if you're rejecting the work that the Holy Spirit has come to do to show you you're not righteous enough to get to heaven and show you that Jesus is the answer, you're effectively saying he's a liar. So God has sent his Holy Spirit to bring us to Jesus. Pastor Greg Laurie, with important insight today on the role of the Holy Spirit, not only in the lives of believers, but also in the hearts of unbelievers. And there's more to come in this study here on A New Beginning. It's a message called The Holy Spirit and You Part Two. Pastor Greg, we have a special guest here in the studio.

Maybe you can introduce him. But his new book is about the afterlife. Let me ask you first of all, why do you think we're so fascinated about heaven and the afterlife? Well, we should be because it's, if you're a Christian, your future destination.

It is not the default destination for every person, of course. We decide in this life where we will spend the afterlife. But I think it's a really good thing to know as much as we possibly can about heaven. Paul in Colossians 3 said, set your mind on things above. Another way to translate that is think about heaven. Or to simplify it, think heaven. But some will say, oh, they're so heavenly minded, they're no earthly good. But I've met people who are so earthly minded, they're no heavenly good.

You know, heaven's a real place for real people where we will do real things. And I can't think of a better person to help us understand it more than the man sitting next to me right now. And unfortunately, it's radio, so you can't see. But he's wearing a very nice blue sweater. And his name is Lee Strobel. Now, Lee Strobel has written a lot of books.

Probably the best known would be The Case for Christ, which was also made into a feature film. His books have sold like 14 million, right? And he's just a prolific author, speaker, apologist extraordinaire. And these are just the things he's asked me to say.

No, he didn't ask me to say any of this. But Lee's a good friend, and he's a voice of wisdom. And so, Lee, you've written a new book, The Case for Heaven, subtitled A Journalist Investigates Evidence for Life After Death. Why a book about heaven? Well, I think you're right in what you said, that people ought to be interested in the afterlife.

We're gonna spend a lot more time there than we will here. And I think in light of the pandemic, people are conscious and aware of life and death issues more than perhaps any other time in my lifetime. I was having lunch with my wife at a restaurant, and this waitress was about 18 years old, and we were talking, and she started to cry. And we said, what's wrong? She said, oh, I'm sorry, I almost didn't come into work today.

We just lost a family member to COVID. And I thought, here's a young person, maybe 18 years old, probably never thought about life and death, probably never thought about the afterlife. But now she's full of questions. Now she's, you know, death has come knocking on her family door.

So I think people are more and more interested these days in the question of what actually occurs when we close our eyes for the last time in this world. And I think, frankly, Greg, that extends to the question of hell as well. I mean, you're one of the few pastors I know who's not afraid to talk about hell. And so I have two chapters in the book that examine the issue of hell, and it's an important topic that we need to, I think, as a church, pay more attention to. It is worth noting that Jesus spoke more about hell than all the other preachers in the Bible put together. That's right, that's exactly right.

And of course, he knows the reality of it. And so this is something we need to understand more. The afterlife, what happens? What happens to the Christian? What happens to the non-Christian?

Here's some of the chapter titles. Near-death experiences, heaven, a guide, on the edge of eternity. So if you wanna clear up your confusion about heaven, the afterlife, you wanna get a copy of this brand new book from Lee Strobel.

It's called The Case for Heaven. We'll send it to you for your gift of any size to us here at A New Beginning, and we'll use those resources to reach more people with the gospel and the teaching of the word of God. And as our way of saying thanks, we'll send you your own copy of The Case for Heaven by apologist, prolific author, and my friend, Lee Strobel.

Yeah, that's right, and we hope you'll ask for your copy today. Your investment helps these studies continue to come your way, and they help us reach out with the gospel, like we'll be doing April 23rd and 24th in Boise, Idaho. Boise Harvest is coming, and your partnership helps make outreaches like this possible. So get in touch today with your donation. You can call us at 1-800-821-3300. Call anytime 24-7. That's 1-800-821-3300. Or write A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, California, 92514.

Or go online to Well, we've been talking about the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives, and next time, Pastor Greg points out that the Spirit shows us our sin and then brings us to the Savior. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher, Greg Laurie. This is the day, the day when life begins. Hey everybody, thanks for listening to A New Beginning. This is a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners. So for more content that can help you know God and equip you to make Him known to others or to learn more about how you can become a Harvest Partner, just go to
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-08 18:35:59 / 2023-05-08 18:46:42 / 11

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