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How Should Believers Expect to Hear from the Holy Spirit?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
June 19, 2024 5:00 pm

How Should Believers Expect to Hear from the Holy Spirit?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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June 19, 2024 5:00 pm

Episode 1514 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

  1. Should I abstain from inappropriate music? 2. How can I explain the oddities in the book of Genesis to a new believer? 3. How should believers expect to hear from the Holy Spirit? 4. If a Christian sins after being saved, will they then go to Hell?     Today’s Offer: How To Keep Your Faith After High School   Want to partner with us in our work here at Core Christianity? Consider becoming a member of the Inner Core.   View our latest special offers here or call 1-833-THE-CORE (833-843-2673) to request them by phone.

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How should believers expect to hear from the Holy Spirit? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of Core Christianity.

That's 1-833-843-2673. If you've got our voicemail system, feel free to leave us your message, tell us where you're calling from, and tell us your question. You can also email us anytime at questions at

And first up today, here's a voicemail we received from James in Wisconsin. God saved me last August after a really long time of living a life apart from the Lord, and I just was listening to your guys' radio, and I heard Steve talking about obsessive compulsive thoughts and that kind of a thing. And recently, I actually have been struggling with a song that, you know, was just kind of part of the roster that I used to listen to, and I don't know, I guess I must have been listening to some dance music.

I'm getting married this year, I got a lot going on. We were trying to figure out if we wanted to have dancing at our wedding and stuff, and listening to some EDM, and I guess it just triggered this memory of this song. It's a really nasty song about some stuff that I just don't want to dwell on that's not glorifying to the Lord, and I haven't been able to get it out of my head no matter what I do. I've tried, and I don't know what to do about all this. I know a lot of people get these things, they call me a worm sometimes, and I've been trying to replace it with good stuff, with honoring to the Lord, like hymns and spiritual songs and that kind of stuff.

Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you very much. Keep doing what you're doing, I would say, James. One, let me just say praise God that he drew you to himself, and congratulations on your upcoming wedding.

What a gift, man, what a blessing. Sometimes those habits, those things that get stuck in our heads, they're hard to kick, especially if it's something that you really identified with in your BC days, before Christ, when you weren't walking with the Lord, and maybe it was something that you really enjoyed, a particular kind of music, and then you hear a song and it triggers all of those memories. It's like the floodgates are open, and then it's just hard to get that out again. It's sort of like a reprogramming that takes place. You become a Christian, you're born again, the Spirit of God lives in you. Now those things no longer appeal to you as they once did.

Maybe there's still a draw there, there's a temptation there, right? But you realize, okay, this isn't honoring to God, I'm convicted by this, I can't enjoy it like I once did, because I just think, okay, what are they talking about here? It's obviously something that's just not pleasing to the Lord. And so you recognize that, that you confess that to God. There's a difference between, I think, a thought or a song popping into your head and then feeding that thought and dwelling upon it and meditating upon it. I think as Christians, we have to distinguish there, because there are some people that think, oh, I had this thought I've sinned. Well, no, just because the thought passes through your head or the song passes through your mind doesn't mean that you've sinned. The question is, are you reveling in it?

Are you giving your heart to that? I think you take those thoughts captive and you say, God, have mercy upon me, forgive me, wash my mind, renew my mind in your word. And so that looks like, instead of going to YouTube and listening to the song again and again or Spotify or whatever, it looks like exactly what you're doing, filling your mind with Scripture, with music that's pleasing to the Lord. That doesn't mean it has to be Christian music per se, but just it's not, you know, celebrating sin and evil.

And I think stirring up the sinful passions that are within you, if you see that music is doing that, a particular song, well, then, yeah, it's probably best to avoid it. Again, Paul's encouragement in Philippians 4, verse 8, finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Think about these things. You have that continual encouragement in the wisdom literature, especially in Psalms and Proverbs, to meditate upon the Word of God. We've got to do that more, I think, to meditate upon Scripture, to be still in the presence of the Lord.

And as we do that, I think our minds are renewed, washed, if you will. And so may God help you to do that. And again, God bless you. God bless your wedding coming up, and thank you for reaching out to us, brother. God bless.

Really appreciate James and his heart. And, you know, that reminds me, Adriel, what Paul says to Timothy about fleeing from immorality, to actually flee from it. And unfortunately, I think in this day and age, there are a lot of Christians that kind of sort of come close to immorality, whether it's through music or images or whatever it might be, we're to flee from it.

Yeah, Bill, you're totally right. That's what we do, isn't it, with temptation. Instead of just turning and running, we say, okay, I can handle this.

How close can I get? And I think that's precisely why you have those repeated exhortations in the Old Testament and in the New Testament, not to dabble in it, not to see how close you can get to the fire without getting burned. Once that's happening, you're already on the path of pain, and it's not worth it. And so the best thing to do is, like Paul tells young Timothy in the passage you brought up, is 2 Timothy chapter 2, verse 22, flee from immorality, flee from sexual immorality, to Timothy 2, 2, 2. So it's easy to remember that reference, and yeah, God help all of us, and praise God that He has provided for us the way of escape, as Paul says in 2 Corinthians, and so we have a great comfort in that. Amen. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez.

Our phone lines are always open. You can leave your question on our voicemail system at 833-THE-CORE. Let's go to Beth, who's calling in from Riverside, California. Beth, what's your question for Adriel?

Hi Bill and Adriel. Thanks so much for being willing to take my question today. So I was talking to a friend who's a new believer. I was talking to them about a Bible reading plan that they're going through, and they're still in Genesis. They're taking it slow, but they were noticing some of the weird things that happen in Genesis, and I think for them as a new believer, they're seeing it as hard to believe, but also weird that the writers of Scripture would include these kind of creepy, sinful things that would happen in the Bible, and they were kind of asking me, well, what's the point of having that? It seems like it makes it harder to believe, and how can I apply this to my modern life? So how can I explain the oddities of Genesis specifically to a new believer?

Okay, Beth, great. You know, it's funny, I was just talking to a guy who's a newer Christian. Not sure yet if he's a believer or not. He's, you know, getting plugged into a church and starting to read through the Bible, and we were talking, and he was saying, man, Genesis is like, whoa, you know, what is going on here? Wasn't ever raised reading the Scripture, and it sounds like you're having a similar conversation. I wasn't, I was not sure what you meant by, it sounds to me like by oddities you mean, you know, some of the real sinful behavior that we see people committing in the book of Genesis. Of course, you also have, sometimes people, you know, when they say that, they're referring to some of the great miracles that we see in Genesis, like the creation of all things. You know, how do I explain that to somebody? You know, God making all things from nothing, or the flood, or... A Nephilim. The Nephilim, yeah, there it is, Bill. You said that so well.

Thank you. That sounded like a movie trailer. I knew them. I used to hang out with them at Nephilim, yeah. Oh, yeah, before, yeah, back in your, before your Christian days, Bill, wasn't it the biker gang you were in, Bill, the Nephilim? Yeah, the Nephilim, yeah, we had leather jackets that said Nephilim.

Yes, that's right, they were all like eight to nine feet tall. Bill, you were the short one in the group, but you didn't want to mess with the Nephilim, not on the road, or anywhere, but... So, a couple of things. One, if we're talking about the miraculous stuff, well, what I would say to a newer believer is, welcome to the world in which God made. A world that is not, you know, godless, obviously, but a world in which there is a whole unseen realm, and the things that exist were made by the God who is invisible, and who sometimes breaks into history miraculously. The whole of our faith is dependent upon the miraculous working of God from the creation of all things to the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, which is, you know, the hope of a world.

It's how our sins are forgiven. And so, you know, if you're coming to the Christian faith from a really naturalistic background, that might be very new for you, right? You're seeing the world through these new eyes, rather than those naturalistic presuppositions that you've approached everything with, where it's just like, it's all meaningless, and there's a natural explanation to the existence of everything, right?

It just sort of appeared, or evolved. You know, we're saying the world that we live in is a lot more, well, fantastic than that. It was dependent upon these spiritual unseen forces, the God who made all things. But if you're talking about, and it seemed like you were alluding to this, you know, some of the sinful behavior that we see in Genesis, sometimes, and as your friend continues to read the Bible, she's going to see this more and more, right? You think of every single, quote-unquote, hero in the Bible, every patriarch, has this period, or story, or stories, where we read them and we're just like, oh, man, that was bad. And you think, why is that in there? What does that do for us?

Well, one, it shows us that we shouldn't put our hope in people. It also, you know, for those of us who are sinners, for people like me, it provides a great deal of comfort, because you see that God is at work in broken people, in people who fail, and fail miserably. God is still able to work in them, that God calls to himself people, not because of, you know, he realizes, once I make you my own, you're just going to have a perfect track record. I'm accepting you, I'm calling you to myself, because you're going to be such a great disciple. No, actually, you know, the people of God, the saints, are constantly confessing their sins, saying, Lord, man, I can't believe it.

I blew it again here in this area. And so, you know, having these stories, I think, is a great encouragement to the people of God, because we realize this is the God that we serve. He's not a God who justifies sin, or is okay with our sin, or who just treats it lightly. So our sin is heinous in God's sight, and he disciplines us when we sin, and yet we realize that he's able to work in and through our sins, and that our sins don't sabotage his holy and divine purposes. You think of, later in Genesis, you know, the story of Joseph and the terrible things that he experienced in his life, the way he was treated by his brothers, and yet him being able to say at the end of Genesis, what you meant for evil, God meant for good. In other words, God was able to work even through the sinful actions of men. And so we realize how amazing God is, his providence, his power, his care, but most of all, his immense mercy.

I love the book of Genesis. I hope your friend continues to read it. And as they have questions, realizing, for all of you who are newer to reading the Bible, the questions are good. Wrestle through those questions. Continue to ask questions. Get into a good church where you're going to have people who are going to encourage you and be able to talk with you about these things, answering your questions. But just because you don't understand everything from the get-go, or because it doesn't make sense right on the surface, don't quit. Continue to dig into the Scriptures and to do so prayerfully. And I think what you'll find is there's a rich treasure everywhere, even in these stories in Genesis where you think, oh man, what was the point of that? No, God is speaking to us. And he has something to say.

So well said. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. I want to wish you a happy Juneteenth, a very special day for so many people today.

I also want to mention and say congratulations to all the high school graduates who have just finished up, maybe heading off to college or the working world in the next few months. And we have a resource that we know will be tremendously helpful to you. Yeah, Bill, the resource is called How to Keep Your Faith After High School. Man, just want to support the church and the families of the church by providing solid discipleship material, especially for young men and women who are getting ready to go off to college. And so if you know someone who's getting ready to go off to college, would you reach out to us and get a hold of this resource? It's free, How to Keep Your Faith After High School. By the way, when you go to our website, you want to browse around and check out some of the other great resources we have, including all of our core guides and our core questions, which are free and our great core Bible studies on books from both the Old and the New Testament. You can find those by going to Well, we do receive voicemails here at the Core, and here's one that came in from one of our listeners named Sam. I am wondering about basically just a biblical explanation in terms of what is appropriate maybe for a believer to expect in terms of the Holy Spirit communicating with a believer.

What is scriptural in that and maybe what isn't? That's basically my question. Thank you.

Thank you so much for your time. Bye-bye. Okay. Great question. You know, Paul, when he's writing to the Ephesians, talks about their minds being illuminated to understand the grace given to them, the love of Christ. And when we think about how the Spirit of God speaks to us today, I think foundationally, first and foremost, the Spirit speaks through the Word of God. Now, we have the Word of God. I'm talking about the Bible here.

And we can read those words. But apart from the work of the Holy Spirit in us illuminating the text of scripture, we really can't truly understand them. Paul talks about this in the early chapters of 1 Corinthians, in particular in 1 Corinthians 2, verses 6 and following, he talks about that wisdom that comes from the Holy Spirit, that the rulers of this age, the wise of this world, don't fully grasp or understand.

It's interesting. There are people in colleges, college professors, who teach religion courses and classes on the Bible might have a lot of background in ancient Near Eastern history and so forth, and they're trying to interpret the text of scripture, but they reject Jesus and the Gospel and aren't filled with the Holy Spirit. And so here they are trying to use human wisdom to discern and to decipher the Holy Word of God, but they're missing the key to unlocking and truly understanding scripture, which is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit speaks with the Word of God, through the Word of God to us. And so I think what we don't want to do is just be like, okay, I have the Spirit, so the Spirit is supposed to be giving me these secret messages apart from scripture. Sure, I have the Bible, but I'm really looking for that still small voice.

I think when that's what we're pursuing and we're setting aside the Holy Scriptures, it's as if we're saying, I got that. I've really got that covered. I know that well enough. God, I want something else.

I want something new. And the truth is, none of us do. The Word of God is such a deep ocean of truth. And you can read the same thing every day for the rest of your life, the same passages of scripture, and still be struck by how God, through the Spirit, uses the Word to minister to you, to teach you, to convict you.

And so the Word, the Word being central. Now, can the Spirit providentially impress us in a certain way, put something upon our hearts, speak to us through some kind of an inclination? God is free to do whatever He wants.

He is. And Paul in Romans says that one of the things the Spirit does is He bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God. There's something subjective about that, right? So there's something subjective in one sense about the presence of the Spirit and the feelings or the conviction that we receive. So that can happen, but that's not what we're looking for primarily when we think about hearing from the Holy Spirit. First and foremost, I would say, dive into the scriptures and prayerfully dive into the scriptures, saying, God, illuminate Your Word to me by the power of Your Spirit. That's what he does, is he's illuminating the scriptures to us and revealing through the scriptures Jesus. That's what the Spirit does. He leads us by the hand to Jesus, as it were. And so if we're not getting Christ, then there's a real big problem. God bless. So well said. And if someone says, the Holy Spirit is leading me away from Jesus in some way, or the Holy Spirit is— That's not the Holy Spirit, man.

You better flee, as we just said. 2 Timothy 2 to 2, run as fast as you— I mean, that's—what did John say in 1 John? That's the spirit of the Antichrist that's in the world and has already been at work in the world. Any spirit that denies Jesus his person or his work or both, that's not the spirit of God. And so we're called to test the spirits.

And yeah, that's a great concern. And this is one of the problems, is when people get caught up in these sort of subjective experiences, looking for some still small voice, and they say, I got it. And it happens to lead them away from scripture and from the teachings of the Bible.

And yet they receive it. It's like Paul's warning to the Corinthians in 2 Corinthians. Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. And so, again, we need to test the spirits. We need to be discerning. And that's why there's safety in the word of God.

Speaking of being discerning, here is an email that came in from one of our listeners named Angela. And she says, I've stumbled across a few street preachers on YouTube who say that Christians have the ability to not sin after getting saved. Many of them claim to be without sin now. They also say that if you're saved and you sin and don't get a chance to repent, say you tell a lie and then get in a car crash, then you're going to hell because you stepped outside of the covering of Christ's blood. They list many scriptures to support this.

What do you think? That would be nice, wouldn't it? To be saved and never to sin again.

We long for that. We long for the day, as Christians, when we are perfected in holiness, where the indwelling sin that still plagues us is just done with fully and finally. For the believer, that doesn't happen. Until we die. When we die, when a Christian dies, their soul is immediately perfected in holiness as they enter into the presence of the Lord.

Their bodies go down into the ground, still united to Jesus, waiting for the time of the resurrection. But we're not perfected in holiness a day before that. We still have indwelling sin. And so those who teach a kind of sinless perfectionism are in error. And those who say, I've reached that sinless perfectionism, are lying.

They might think that they have, but the reality is they haven't. And in fact, John says in 1 John, if anyone says he is without sin, he's a liar and doesn't practice or know the truth. And so it's unfortunate. Part of the way people get to this, by the way, is by minimizing the law of God, is by not giving it its full force, is by removing some of its teeth.

You have this toothless law. Because when we think about God's law, ultimately what it calls us to, loving God with all of our heart, mind, and strength, and loving our neighbor as ourselves, and you think of who Jesus defined who our neighbor was, you realize, okay, I fall short of that. In my own heart, every day I sin against God in thought, word, and in deed. That's not an excuse for my sins.

That doesn't make them any more okay. It's not like God is like, hey, it's no big deal. Our sin is terrible. It's heinous in God's sight. It invites His judgment, His curse, His wrath, and yet Jesus is our propitiation.

We're forgiven in Him. We're called not to sin, not to live a life of sin, to follow the Lord, but we recognize that even as we do that, we're still going to struggle with sin until we're in the presence of the Lord. One of the distinctions that some of the Protestant reformers made that I think is massively helpful is they said, look, you're never going to be able to perform perfectly good works in God's sight. Even your good works, none of them are perfect. They can't be because you still have indwelling sin. And so every good work that we do is still tainted in one sense.

It has a mixture of unbelief, a mixture of pride, a mixture of selfishness within it. And yet, insofar as they're offered to God in faith and through the Spirit, they're truly good works. So we can't be perfect or do perfectly good works, but we can do truly good works before the Lord, even though we still have sin. And God help us to commit ourselves to those good works for His glory. Thanks for that question, and God bless. Thanks for listening to Core Christianity. To request your copy of today's special offer, go to forward slash radio, or you can call us at 1-833-843-2673. That's 833-THE-CORE. When you contact us, let us know how we can be praying for you. And be sure to join us next time as we explore the truth of God's Word together.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-06-20 02:11:59 / 2024-06-20 02:22:05 / 10

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