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Believer’s Basics #9 – Holy Spirit (Part C)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
The Truth Network Radio
November 22, 2022 6:00 am

Believer’s Basics #9 – Holy Spirit (Part C)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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November 22, 2022 6:00 am

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Acts Chapter 1, Jesus told the disciples, But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem and in all Judea, Samaria, to the end of the earth. When He says you shall receive power, He doesn't mean to show off how holy you are. He's connecting it with witnessing. You shall receive the ability to witness that you never had before, but you're going to have now.

And this is for us. This is Cross-Reference Radio with our pastor and teacher Rick Gaston. Rick is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville. Pastor Rick is currently teaching through his series called The Believer's Basics.

Please stay with us after today's message to hear more information about Cross-Reference Radio, specifically how you can get a free copy of this teaching. Today, Pastor Rick will continue teaching his message called Holy Spirit. He'll begin in Luke Chapter 4 today.

All this right now. He chose to be under the control of the Holy Spirit. So we read in Matthew Chapter 12, verse 18, But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you.

If I cast them out by the Spirit of God, that's what He said. Then there is Pentecost. See, we just covered that the age of the Gospels, the age of Christ, from that perspective. Then there's Pentecost, the birth of the church. The Holy Spirit had been ministering to believers.

King David, after he sinned, he prayed to God, Take not Thy Holy Spirit from me. But things were ramped up now at Pentecost. The mission was now focused, had a global focus, and not angels.

Angels were not assigned the delivery of the Gospel. We sinners are assigned the delivery of the Gospel. And so the human spirit at Pentecost was now indwelt by the Holy Spirit in a way that had everything to do with pointing to Jesus Christ. When Adam sinned, the Holy Spirit departed. You could say the lamp went out. But at the time of conversion, the Spirit returns to the human that would have Him, and He indwells the human spirit.

He relights the lamp. One verse I'll take to make that point, 1 Corinthians 3, verse 16, Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? See, when Paul wrote that, he's right again. At the 1 Corinthians, the church was a mess. And Paul writes it, and do you not know who you are? What is going on?

You know, you are the temple of the Spirit of God, a holy God. Why are you behaving this way? They struggled with that. Paul makes a trip to Corinth to try to straighten things out. That didn't go well. And you know, if you've ever been involved in trying to repair a broken relationship, you make mistakes. You say, I don't know if I should do this or say this, but I'm going to.

Maybe it will work, and it's a disaster. Well, in the end, though, you lose the battle and you win the war. And that's how it was with Paul and Corinth. So when I struggle to find my joy in the faith, and yet I continue with my duty, nonetheless, if I say I don't have to have joy to go at the objective, I would like it. But I still, if I don't have joy, I am still required to obey orders. I don't get a pass.

And it is the Holy Spirit that upholds me. Back in 1977, I know sometime in the summer of 77, I was in Barcelona, Spain. Well, I was living on a ship. The US Navy decided to show for me around the Mediterranean Sea for several months, and they're pretty good at that. Well, one of the port of calls was Barcelona, Spain, and I wanted no parts of it.

I didn't mind seeing the city. I just didn't want to get there the way the Navy wanted me to get there. And the reason why is because the ship, the troop carrier that I was on, I was with a bunch of jar heads, too. It was a trip of 20 minutes by this little Liberty boat through the port of Barcelona to the dock, to the landing dock. And there were these huge merchant ships there. I mean, these things were gigantic. And this little, you know, little mic boat, this little boat, it holds about 120 men or so, was what was taking us.

And at night, you can't see anything. You got sailors, affectionately known as squids, holding lights, little flashlights. And what made it worse was that about four months before it was our turn to go to Barcelona, a Liberty boat just like the one we were on, at night, was struck by a Spanish merchant ship. There were 123 Marines and sailors on that little boat. 49 of them died. One of the Marines that survived shipped over.

In other words, when his six-month cruise was up, instead of going back to the States, he decided he wanted to go again. Anyway, so I asked him, how did you survive? I was so drunk, someone held me up underneath the boat that was pinned down in a pocket.

That's how I survived. I find the Holy Spirit holds me up when I'm pinned down, when I don't think, when I would otherwise not survive. This is the work of the Holy Spirit in your life. This is why He's always encouraging us. You know, dragging the knuckles is not good for you. Hold chin up, chest out, stand up straight, because I am with you. But we are so touchy-feely.

We want to feel it. I breathe. There are songs, there are times I don't feel like singing songs. Well, I mean, if the song, if I don't like the song, I sort of silent protest and just mumble it. But when you come to church, maybe you don't feel like singing, or I give in, or bust through it. If you bust through it, I think, from my own experiences, you will be better off after. You still may not feel giddy, but you will be better off.

You will say, I'm glad I did that. And so when I struggle to find my joy, it is the Spirit of God that holds me up. But witnessing is the primary role of the believer's life, and He enables us to do that.

Believe it or not, remember I mentioned Paul was told to go to places and not be afraid, and still took beatings in the process, because the objective was not to have Paul feel wonderful about his not to have Paul feel wonderful about everything and have this sweet life, but was to preach Christ, which he did. Acts chapter 1, Jesus told the disciples, but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be witnesses to me in Jerusalem and in all Judea, Samaria, to the end of the earth. When he says you shall receive power, he doesn't mean to show off how holy you are. He's connecting it with witnessing. You shall receive the ability to witness that you never had before, but you're going to have now.

And this is for us. Some of you are too afraid to share Christ. Some of you may have compromised your witness, and you've got a damage control to do. But those of you who are afraid, why are you afraid? Well, maybe you're afraid of what people will think about you.

You've got to get to a place where you don't care what wrong people think about you. It's different if their charges are valid, but if they're wrong and you're right with Christ, then what they think doesn't count. We depend only on Christ for our righteousness, our salvation. We are dependent upon the Holy Spirit as our only spiritual power, because this is the assignment he has been given.

Christ came into the world to glorify the Father. The Holy Spirit was sent into the world to glorify the Son. John's Gospel, chapter 16, verse 13 and 14, when he, the spirit of truth, has come, he will guide you into all truth, for he will not speak on his own authority. But whatever he hears, he will speak, and he will tell you things to come. He will glorify me, for he will take of what is mine and declare it to you.

The role of the Holy Spirit is about lifting up Jesus Christ. Jesus said, if I be exalted, I will draw all men to me. All men who will receive it will come. This is the process that we have been invited to enjoy and trusted with, blessed with. Salvation is the work. He is at work in salvation. The whole redemptive work was in the Spirit of God. Hebrews, chapter 9, verse 14, how much more shall the blood of Christ, through the eternal Spirit, who offered himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

As opposed to idols and little statues and other little things that everybody else was worshiping, our God is living, and he is not to be communicated in statue form. John 16, verse 8, when he has come, he will convict the world of sin and of righteousness and judgment to come. As I mentioned earlier, this is what he does, and this is what we are to do when we share the gospel, because we also give the solution, the upholding influence of the Holy Spirit. You know, you're not guaranteed these things if you don't exercise them. They're not automatic.

They are automatically made available, but if you do not avail yourself, if you disqualify yourself, then you miss out. This should stir us to action, not to discouragement. And so, his leading, the leading of the Holy Spirit.

This is a tough one. Because of my emotions and because of my logic, my ability to reason, to look and to see, if I let those two dominate the leading of God, then I'm going to be confused. And there are other things that will get in the way of being led by God.

Preference. What if, what if as pastor I say, well, I'm going to be out of the pulpit next Sunday, and I go to the one of the pastors and say, I'd like you to fill in for me, but I didn't ask the other pastor. Now, if he wants to get in the flesh and be offended at that, he's going to be offended. But if he's looking out for the Lord, he's going to say, that is the leading of the Lord, that is his prerogative, that is his role, and I am totally behind that.

Now, and this is illustrated throughout scripture. Well, how, that's how it is in the church too. How many people get offended because they were bypassed for something they wanted, instead of submitting to the leading of the Spirit? God would have had no problem calling your name out if you were the one that was supposed to do it or not. So you get bypassed. Maybe God is testing you. Maybe he wants to show you how carnal you are and how you need to correct it. Being led. It's an, it's a voluntary act, not forced.

It's an act of submission. First Thessalonians chapter three, now may the God of, now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus Christ direct our way to you. See, Paul is saying, may he direct us. Now, interesting about that verse, we have now may our God. You would say, well, why would he add Father to that if, if, why would he, it seems like a redundancy. No, he does that with the Lord too.

Our God and Father and the Lord, and the Lord Jesus. It's inclusive. That's the point. I point that out because Jehovah Witnesses will get tripped up there and think that it is a contradiction when it is not.

It's actually emphatic. And so as the, as the work of the church advances in this world, and hopefully it is advancing, the guiding power is the Holy Spirit. He directed Philip to intercept the Ethiopian unit. The Holy Spirit directed Peter to speak to the Roman centurion Cornelius. See, these men were led.

They didn't just say, I got a good idea. I'm going to just go ring this doorbell here and see if Cornelius, oh, whoever, they were led by the Spirit. He separated Paul and Barnabas, as I read earlier from Acts chapter 13, to a called work. He guided Paul on his missionary journey. If you are not serving in the church, one of the reasons why God has given the local church is a platform for service. That means there's things that need to be done in the lives of people. And the church is a platform for that.

You get a chance to be used by God in a meaningful way. If you're not serving, you need to ask God, what can I do in your house for you? You may say, I don't believe that. Well, you'll just be going against the record because there is a calling and there is work, and we find it all over the Scripture. I don't want to take up too much time with that because we're not talking about the gifts of the Spirit and the working of the Spirit in the lives of believers in the body. We're talking about the Holy Spirit, and I'll try to keep it there. He guided Paul on his missionary journeys. We understand that, but on occasion, he prohibited Paul. For example, Acts chapter 16, now when they had gone to Phrygia in the region of Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia. God said, I don't want you preaching over there. Oh, some people think, well, God cannot prohibit.

You don't know what's going on. God does. Continues in Acts 16, after they had come to Mysia, they tried to go to Bithynia, but the Spirit did not permit them. Again, he shut them down, and they were sensitive enough to get it. How do we get sensitive enough to listen to the Spirit? You've got to be willing to hurt. You have to be willing to not get what you want, what you envision. It is not our vision.

It is His, His will. Do these records of leading mean something to you? Or are they just there for Paul and Barnabas and the New Testament Church in Acts?

But not for us. I think these lessons are for us. I think the Spirit of God still speaks through these lessons. Acts chapter 18, when Silas and Timothy had come from Macedonia, Paul was compelled by the Spirit and testified to the Jews that Jesus is to Christ. You see, you shall receive power.

Well, Paul wasn't there on the day of Pentecost, but he had a personal Pentecost, just like you and I have, when Spirit comes upon us for the preaching of Christ. This is still true, and it's still missed, but this verse out of Zechariah is quite powerful. Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit says Yahweh of hosts.

That is supposed to be with everything we do. Purposely, through these believers' basics, I have been choosing or led, I like to believe, very clearly led by the Spirit to use New Testament verses. Not that the Old Testament is second class or anything like that, but we are ministers of the New Covenant. And it's through the New Testament we get understanding of the Old Testament, lest we become Judaeistic in our thinking. We are not Jews. No offense to the Jews.

Even if a Jewish person becomes a Christian, ethnically they remain a Jew, but spiritually they are Christians. So the New Testament is critical, because there's where the meat of understanding and action is going to spring from. A suppressed self-will brings sensitivity to his promptings and prohibitions. Acts chapter 5, verse 32, we are his witnesses to these things.

Don't forget that. We are witnesses, not lawyers. And so also is the Holy Spirit, a witness to these things that is, whom God has given to those, here it comes, who obey him. Why do some Christians think that disobeying God somehow brings the Holy Spirit upon them?

It is contrary to what we find in the Scripture, those rails that we travel on through this life. How independent of the Spirit whole churches and individuals too often are. Well, I love to quote A. W. Tozier, because God gifted this man with an insight in Western civilization churches that I don't think has been matched or surpassed, I should say surpassed. Tozier wrote this about the Holy Spirit and his relationship to the churches. He says, if the Holy Spirit was withdrawn from the church today, 95% of what we do would go on and no one would know the difference. If the church, if the Holy Spirit had been withdrawn from the New Testament church, 95% of what they did would stop and everybody would know the difference.

See the contrast he drew? That book, the church in the book of Acts was so led by the Spirit and if they weren't, they would have known it. But today in America, and Tozier wrote this and made that quote in the 60s, 1960s, may have been a little bit earlier, he noticed that churches just do their own thing.

They just follow this, well this is the obvious thing to do when maybe it's not. Another great Christian writer, preacher of long ago said, to be governed by God is to be constantly disturbed. You're going to be governed by God, led by God, the natural man is going to be irritated by what God calls you to do. He continues, he says, to have human arrangements interfered with. If you work in the strength of your flesh and you make all these plans in your flesh, God is going to interfere with those things. And see, if you work in the strength of your flesh, God is going to interfere with those things. And so it is best to learn how to not let it go that far. And finally, the severity of rejecting him, which is immeasurable.

It ain't worth it. Matthew chapter 12, Jesus speaking, therefore I say to you every sin and blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. That single verse should make anyone say, let me find out, let me look into this. Let me make sure that I am never guilty of offending the Spirit of God. According to these words, of course, he is God. Earlier Jesus said you can offend the Father and the Son, that can be forgiven, but you cannot blaspheme the Holy Spirit.

What does that mean? Acts chapter 6, therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. Those are men who did not resist the Holy Spirit. What does it mean to resist the Holy Spirit? Well, what is the role of the Holy Spirit? To point to Christ, to parakletos, to come beside you and convict you of sin.

Well, what happens if you say to him, I don't want to hear it, and you go to your death that way? There's no forgiveness available now. That is what Christ is talking about. Paul said, I was a blasphemer, and yet he was forgiven in this life.

Why? Because he did repent, he did give his life to Christ. So we understand, there have been, the lessons are in the scripture.

The scripture has told us what that means. The only sin that God never forgives is the sin of refusing to accept forgiveness on God's terms, which are through Jesus Christ and brought to us through the power of the Holy Spirit. And so when David says, cast me not away from your presence, take not your Holy Spirit from me, after that egregious sin, God said, okay, David, I forgive you. And David was forgiven. And he wrote that psalm in honor of God's mercy and forgiveness. And so if the first time you meet Jesus is the day of judgment, it'd be too late.

It's over. You'll meet him at the white throne, the place you don't want to see him. So I want to just close with these three verses. Writing in his first letter to the Corinthians, he says in chapter two, now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. It is critical to how we live as Christians, that we are in touch with the unseen presence of Christ in the spirit of God. In Acts chapter seven, Stephen was murdered for preaching the spirit and the truth and for telling those he was preaching to that they resist him. You stiff necked and uncircumcised in hearts and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit as your fathers did, so do you.

And they killed him. And finally, the book of Revelation is kind of an easy outline. Chapter one is the introduction. Chapter two and three is the church and the age of the church. And chapter four and five is the scene in heaven where the church is at the point of the tribulation period. Chapter six through 18 is the great tribulation on earth, which the church, the present church will not be part of.

And then you have, of course, the conclusion of the matter. Well, that section from six through 18, as powerful as it is, is quite, of course, alarming. But those two chapters, chapters two and three, are so much in there for us today. So much.

Just this little thing, for example. He who has an ear to hear, let him hear what the spirit says to the churches. This is Jesus saying this about our need to listen to the Holy Spirit. He who has an ear to hear, let him hear what the spirit says to the local assemblies.

That's who he wrote to. Thanks for joining us for today's teaching on Cross Reference Radio, the daily radio ministry of Pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville in Virginia. We hope you've been blessed by this Believer's Basics series, exploring the fundamentals of what it means to follow Christ. If you'd like to listen to more of this series or share it with someone you know, please visit crossreferenceradio.com. We encourage you to subscribe to our podcast, too, so you'll never miss another edition. Just visit crossreferenceradio.com and follow the links under radio. Again, that's crossreferenceradio.com. That's all for today. We hope you'll tune in next time to continue studying the Word of God right here on Cross Reference Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-11-22 06:59:20 / 2022-11-22 07:08:50 / 10

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