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Does the Holy Spirit Lead Us to Do Things or Make Certain Decisions?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
December 20, 2022 6:30 pm

Does the Holy Spirit Lead Us to Do Things or Make Certain Decisions?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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December 20, 2022 6:30 pm

Episode 1123 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

CoreChristianity.com

 

Questions in this Episode

 

1. Is it better to be in church or watch online if I have a medical condition similar to Narcolepsy?

2. Is it helpful to try and make analogies for the Trinity?

3. Does the Holy Spirit lead us to do certain things and make decisions?

4. Do our loved ones see us from heaven?

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Does the Holy Spirit lead us to do certain things or make certain decisions? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. That's 1-833-843-2673. You can also post your question on one of our social media sites. In fact, we have a YouTube channel, and you can watch Adriel right now live in the YouTube, see his beautiful Christmas tree, and send him a question through YouTube. And of course, you can always email us your question. Here's our email address.

It's questionsatcorechristianity.com. First up today, let's go to Brittany calling in from Oregon. Brittany, what's your question for Adriel? Good morning, Pastor Adriel. First, I'd like to thank you so much for your ministry. I'm relatively new to the faith, and I've learned so much, and I'm so grateful for you. Thank you. Thank you, Brittany. So my question is, I have a medical condition where I fall asleep.

It hasn't been diagnosed as narcolepsy, but I fall asleep all the time. So is it better to go to church and sleep through the whole thing, but be there for the community, the communal part of it, or should I watch it online so I don't miss the worship and the sermon if I'm limited in time? Well, again, Brittany, thank you for your encouragement, and may the Lord just continue to be with you and bless you as you grow in the faith, maturing more and more in Christ each day as you grow in your understanding of the Word of God. And the question you ask is a really, really good one in light of the circumstances, you know, wondering, should I be in church even though I have this condition? My recommendation is always, yeah, let's be together with the people of God.

And maybe this is just a conversation that I don't know the avenues to talk with your pastor, the elders of that church, but to have this conversation and to say, hey, I have this condition. It's not that I'm intentionally coming and just trying to fall asleep, but going and still fellowshipping and letting them bear with that with you and come alongside of you and encourage you in your faith. And hopefully it's not the case that maybe there are times during the service where you do fall asleep, but hopefully it's the case you're still able to get elements of the worship service, maybe some singing and praying and certainly hearing the Word of God. And certainly being there with the people of God. And then if you need to go back and listen to the sermon later because you weren't able to while you were there, then I would say that's something that you could do to get the entire experience, if you will. But certainly being with the people of God and letting them encourage you and bear this burden together with you I think is a really important thing. And I've said this before, we got these questions especially throughout the pandemic and so many people were just watching church online.

Many have continued to do that. And I think in one sense that was a great blessing being able to have these different avenues where we could still hear and receive the Word of God. But there is something unique about gathering together with the people of God in person to worship the Lord.

This is what we're called to. The word church, ekklesia, is an assembling together. Sometimes people will say, well, we don't go to church, we are the church, but just the word church in the New Testament has to do with coming together with other people. And so I would say as much as you're able to still gather, be open, have conversations with the leadership of the church, do whatever you can to try and engage with the worship service, with the elements of worship and to grow in your fellowship with the people there. And may the Lord give you just much grace.

And He does indeed. And so I appreciate your question. I hope that you're able to get plugged in there, that they're just understanding and gracious and kind to you and they're accommodating to the situation that you're in. And pray for the Lord's blessing in your life. Thank you so much for calling us, Brittany. I really feel for Brittany's situation, but I have talked to several people from your church, Adriel, and they say that sometimes they find it difficult to stay completely awake during your sermon.

Oh, I'm sorry. The other day, actually, someone in our church after the worship service sent me a picture they had snapped of one of my children who was just totally laid out on the pew during the sermon and he just said, you know, good job, Pastor Adriel. And so, yeah, maybe the issue is just the preaching at that church. Could you use a little bit more energy?

I don't know. But no, certainly, you know, here's the thing. We come to church as the people of God and we come bringing these different things with us, whether it's a personal struggle with sin or just a medical issue. And I think it's so important for us within the body of Christ to be gracious and understanding and especially for those with certain medical issues and conditions to be understanding and accommodating. We want everybody to come together and to receive the means of grace that God has for his people. And Jesus welcomes us as we are there in that state. And so may the Lord bless Brittany and be with her and bless all of us as we seek to worship him together with his people. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Our phone lines are open.

And if you have a question about the Bible, the Christian life, doctrine, theology, you name it, we'd love to hear from you. Our phone lines will be open for the next 20 minutes or so. And here's the number. It's 833-THECORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. Let's go back to the phones. Viola is on the line from St. Louis, Missouri. Viola, what's your question for Pastor Adriel? Hello. Can you hear me? Hey Viola. Hi Pastor Sanchez.

I just want to tell you I'm so grateful for the way that you try to reach us. Isaiah 118 says, come let us reason together. And Jesus did that often in this ministry. And I just want you to know that you do that quite well as well. And I know that's because the Holy Spirit is inside of you.

But I want to make a comment about a question that was yesterday. And I think someone asked, how can God be God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, you know, in all those three persons. And I've had that question as well. I've had some conversation with Jehovah Witnesses.

And I want to ask you if my reasoning with them is correct or if you can give me some insight on this. So when they ask me that, I'll say something like, well, are you a grandmother? I'll say yes. Are you a mother and a wife?

Perhaps a sister? Yes. Yes. Well, if you can be all those persons in one person, why can't God be God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit as he is? And so I was just wondering what you think about that.

Yeah. Well, wonderful question. I love to hear that you're engaging with others talking about the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, certainly Jehovah's Witnesses. You know, I think we've all had instances where they've come knocking at the door and oftentimes the conversation, especially if you're a Christian, goes to the doctrine of the Trinity, the deity of Jesus Christ.

And so important for us to go to the scriptures in order to make that case before them. Now, with the analogy that you gave, it's sort of interesting, Bill, because throughout the history of the church, you know, we've realized, Christians have realized that this doctrine, the doctrine of the Holy Trinity that we see in scripture, this is God's revelation to us, and for us as creatures, it's sort of hard to wrap our minds around. So we've wanted to find different analogies to try to make sense of the doctrine of the Trinity. And the issue is, I'm not saying that all analogies are bad, but the fact of the matter is when we're talking about the uncreated God who is infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, it's impossible for us to find a perfect analogy that would do justice to this doctrine in particular. In fact, many of the analogies that people have tried to use throughout the history of the church veer into some sort of Trinitarian heresy attempts. You know, I've heard the one of, you know, the doctrine of the Trinity is sort of like, you know, you have the different forms of water, you know, you have ice, you have mist, you have liquid water.

They're all water, but they have these different forms or shapes. And so, you know, some people have tried to make sense of it like that. But the reality is that sounds very much like the oneness view of God that you find in some churches known as the ancient heresy of modalism, that God is really one person who just appears in these different forms, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. And so I would encourage, I would say this, I think it's good to try to help people understand, but the reality is we're talking about, it's okay for us to say we're talking about the uncreated God of heaven and earth.

And so it's going to be very difficult for us to describe the uncreated God with these sort of creaturely analogies and really do justice to the doctrine of God. That's why it's just best to stick with the scriptures, and when I have a conversation with Jehovah's Witnesses, let me tell you the two passages that I go to. Now, you need to understand with Jehovah's Witnesses, they use a different Bible than we do. It's called the New World Translation. I'll just say it, it's a bad translation of the scriptures. What they've done in that translation, they take a lot of the texts, especially in the New Testament, that very clearly teach that Jesus is God and they've changed them.

They'll take a word out or they'll add a word. They twist the scriptures, but there are certain places where they've sort of overlooked this. And so what I'll do oftentimes is I'll go to Psalm 102, even in their New World Translation, and it's this amazing prayer. The psalmist is crying out to the Lord, asking God for mercy, talking about how God from the very beginning created the heavens and the earth and so on and so forth. And you read all that in their Bible. It's talking about Jehovah. But then you go to the New Testament in Hebrews chapter 1, and those verses, the author of the Hebrews attributes those verses from Psalm 102 to Jesus Christ.

In other words, the author of the Hebrews says Jesus Christ is Jehovah. This is why we believe that Jesus is God. This is in part why we believe the doctrine of the Trinity. And so I think the best thing to do is not to dismiss all analogies, but let's use the scriptures, let's focus on the Word of God that's authoritative to make the case.

And that's what we want. And they've been told that it's not a biblical doctrine, so being able to show them from the scriptures that Jesus is God is very important. And I would just add, Viola, prayer. We know that it's the Holy Spirit that opens the hearts of people to embrace the truth of the gospel. So when you have these kinds of conversations, just bathing the conversation in prayer, saying, Lord, open this person's eyes.

Help them to see the truth of your word so that they might know your son Jesus. And may the Lord bless you in that, sister, and thank you for your question. Viola, thanks so much for calling and for being a regular listener here at CORE Christianity. We really do appreciate you. By the way, if you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, give us a call right now, 833-THE-CORE is the number.

That's 833-843-2673. With Christmas coming up this weekend, we want to tell you about an excellent free resource that actually answers a common question that we receive this time of year. Yeah, if you haven't gotten a hold of the resource yet, I hope that you will. Again, it's a free resource, Five Reasons Why Christmas Isn't a Pagan Holiday. This short resource helps to unravel a lot of the misconceptions about the origins of Christmas and, of course, around this time of the year. There are those who say, well, we shouldn't celebrate Christmas or give thanks for the incarnation because there are all these pagan rituals associated with Christmas. Get a hold of this resource. I think it'll encourage you. It's yours for free over at corechristianity.com.

Once again, it's called Five Reasons Why Christmas Isn't a Pagan Holiday, and you can find it on our website or call us for that resource. Again, it's corechristianity.com forward slash offers corechristianity.com forward slash offers or call us at 833-843-2673. Well, we do receive voicemails here at the core and emails as well. Our email address is questions at corechristianity.com.

Here's an email from Raymond and Adriel. He says, I grew up in an unhealthy charismatic church that taught a lot of falsehood about the Holy Spirit. Several years later, after leaving that church, I now have a better understanding of the Holy Spirit. But sometimes I hear people say things like God led me to do this today or God speaks to me in a personal way, or I can feel the Holy Spirit with me. Statements like these concern me, but I don't know how to respond to them because I feel like I don't know enough of what Scripture says about the Holy Spirit. Does the Spirit lead us to do certain things or to make decisions? Can we feel the Holy Spirit's presence? Does God speak to us, not with a voice, but maybe by putting thoughts in our heads or by putting desires in our hearts?

Such an important question, and there are a few things I want to say. First, I'm grateful, Raymond, for your growth in grace. I'm grateful for how it sounds like you're maturing in the faith, like you were a part of a church that had some strange views related to the Holy Spirit. And now you're learning more, and I trust that you're in a more solid church now as well. One of the dangers, and this is something we all face, especially if we leave one church environment, is that the pendulum can swing, and then it's reacting.

We're reacting against some false teaching here that causes us to go in the other direction, and that can be a problem. At the end of the day, what we want is we want to be biblical. We want to make sure that what we're saying about God, about the Holy Spirit, comes from the word of God. And while we don't believe that ordinarily God speaks to us by His Holy Spirit audibly today, so if somebody says to you, yep, I hear the voice of the Holy Spirit every morning when I'm having my breakfast, and he tells me, here's what you're going to do, that would raise some red flags in my mind. That doesn't mean that the Spirit of God today doesn't guide us, that we can't experience, even feel, His presence in our lives.

Now, I think that happens primarily through the word of God, through those times of fellowship with the Lord, in prayer, in scripture, with the people of God receiving the means of grace, the sacraments of the church, baptism, and the Lord's Supper. We believe that these are means through which the Holy Spirit is actively working in our lives. And for some people, right, that can come with a feeling, an emotional experience. For some people, it doesn't.

It doesn't necessarily mean that it was legitimate or illegitimate. It's based on the word of God and the promises of God. But I just wouldn't want you to go so far in the opposite direction, having left this church that maybe had some strange views related to the Holy Spirit, that now you just think, well, the Holy Spirit isn't personally active in our lives today in any way. Providentially, yeah, the Spirit can and I think does lead us, and we're called to walk in the Spirit, to be led by the Spirit. This is something that you see throughout the New Testament. That happens as the word of Christ fills our hearts. Now, sometimes I do get concerned.

It sounds like you do as well. You know, when people just sort of throw those phrases around, yeah, God spoke to me today or God did this. I don't think generally that people mean that God is literally, you know, audibly speaking.

I think they just feel like, oh, you know, I was led in this particular direction. I think it was the Lord. Maybe it was. Maybe it wasn't.

We don't know. I don't think we need to bring the hammer down on people because you're using that language. I don't know if it's the most helpful language, but I just want you to know that we can have a very personal relationship with God, that He does guide us through His word and by His Spirit, that there are seasons in the Christian life where you may feel the presence of the Lord powerfully, maybe during corporate worship or a time of prayer, and then there are seasons where we don't have those feelings. The Christian life isn't lived on the basis of feelings. We live and walk by faith, but that doesn't mean that feelings are bad or that experiences are bad. We just need to weigh everything against the word of God and scripture.

And so it sounds to me like that's precisely what you're wanting to do. Continue to focus on the word of God, to grow under the ministry of the word, and to be led by the Spirit. Now, last thing I'll say is, what does that look like? Well, it looks like the fruit of the Spirit being cultivated in our lives, love, joy, peace, patience, so on and so forth. And so you know that when the Spirit is at work in your life, that's what's being produced, and may those fruits be produced in your life, brother. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adrian Sanchez.

Just a follow-up question for you, Adrian. When it comes to God's guidance, what do you think about the whole idea of setting out a fleece like Gideon did, waiting for God to miraculously show us in some way, yes or no? Yeah, that's a great question, Bill. The concern is we don't want to test the Lord. Sometimes God has spoken to us already very clearly in His word about a particular thing, His revealed will. And because we don't like what He's already said, what He's already laid down in scripture, we're looking for a different answer. And so we say, well, I'm going to set out a fleece to know if I can and should do this, that, and the other, when God has already spoken in His word. So I would say we want to go first to scripture and see what God has revealed, and then in terms of guidance for those decisions in our lives that aren't clearly outlined in scripture.

Do I take this job or that job? I think we pray. We get a multitude of counselors because there's wisdom in that, as Proverbs says. We ask God to guide us providentially by the grace of His Spirit. Maybe He opens a door or closes a door, but that's ordinarily the way in which I think the Lord leads us. And we want to be careful that we're not testing Him, that we're not saying, God, you do this or I'm going to do that, that sort of a thing. We come humbly in faith. And so that's what I would recommend is prayerfully with other believers, seeking the Lord, seeking guidance, wisdom, as opposed to trying to set out a fleece or something similar to that. Great counsel. Thanks for that.

This is CORE Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. We should mention that after our live program ends here in just about five minutes, we're going to be recording a second episode of CORE. So if you weren't able to get in during the live show, you can call for the next 35 minutes or so. We'd love to take your question, answer your question. We'll be airing those questions at a later date, but feel free to call us right now or for the next 35 minutes. 833-843-2673.

That's 833-THE-CORE. Let's go to Mandy calling in from Missouri. Mandy, what's your question for Pastor Adriel? In the Bible it says that we have an audience. And I'm just trying to figure out if that is, I mean, God's always watching us, but if in the Bible he's talking about God and the angels, or if he's talking about our past loved ones. Like my daughter passed away last year and she was 22 of an asthma attack. And everybody always tells me that she's always watching me and she's always with me, but I don't believe that because it says in the Bible that everybody that's in heaven are always happy.

There's no sadness, no sorrow. And she left me two grandbabies. They're two and four now. And I just want to know what you think.

Yeah. Mandy, I'm so sorry to hear about the death of your daughter. I want to take a moment to pray for you. I'm raising these two beautiful babies right now and just ask for the grace of the Lord to be poured out in your life and in their lives as well. Father, we lift our sister Mandy up to you, Lord God. Pray for her.

Pray for these little children that she's raising now. I ask, Lord, that you would fill her with the grace of your Holy Spirit. That you would draw her and them close to yourself. That you would care for them. That you would strengthen them in the faith. That they would walk with you, Jesus, and know your presence, your peace, your love. That as those children grow, Lord, they would come to faith.

That they would know the goodness of the Lord and that you would provide for all of their needs, Lord. Be with Mandy, our sister. Bless her.

Strengthen her, especially in this Christmas season, we pray in Jesus' name. Amen. Mandy, the Lord is always watching. Now, sometimes people will say things like, oh, you know, our loved ones, as you said, they're in heaven watching us. But the picture that we get of our departed loved ones who were in Christ in the presence of the Lord is one where they are worshipping around the throne of God in perfect peace.

They've been perfected in holiness. Some of the places where we see these images are the book of Hebrews, Hebrews chapter 12, all the departed saints, all those who have died in Christ around the throne of God, worshipping God. The book of Revelation as well gives us this vivid imagery of the worship taking place in heaven right now. So it doesn't depict the departed saints, believers in Christ, as just sort of in the bleachers watching the things that are going on here down on earth.

No, their focus is occupied on the triune God, on perfect joy and worship, bliss, as you said. Now, to the degree that they're aware of the stuff that happens on earth, we don't really have a clear picture in the Bible. Sometimes people will point to that passage in Hebrews chapter 12 to say that, you know, we have an audience, that what you were saying, Hebrews 12, therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the sin which clings so closely and let's run with endurance the race set before us looking to Jesus. But that cloud of witnesses is referring to the departed saints described in Hebrews chapter 11 and the way in which their witnesses, it's not that they're witnessing us, focusing on us down here on earth, but their witnesses in the sense that they testify to us about God's grace, his goodness on all those who have faith. In other words, their stories speak to us.

They're stories that we find in scripture. And so I would say, you know, we have the comfort that knowing that our loved ones who have died in Christ are in the presence of Jesus, perfected in holiness, and that one day we will see them again through Christ and through his glorious work for us, his resurrection from the dead. You have that hope.

Your grandchildren have that hope. And may God give you strength to follow him and to raise these children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. God bless. Thanks for listening to Core Christianity. To request your copy of today's special offer, visit us at CoreChristianity.com and click on offers in the menu bar or call us at 1-833-843-2673. That's 833-The-Core. When you contact us, please let us know how you've been encouraged by this program and be sure to join us next time as we explore the truth of God's word together.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-22 04:04:32 / 2022-12-22 04:14:55 / 10

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