The main ministry of the Holy Spirit is to empower us to live this Christian life out. Is there anybody in here that could use more power to live out the Christian faith?
Yes, me. I want more power. I want more of God to fill me so I can be a better believer and be a better witness to other people. Welcome to Cross the Bridge with David Magee. Just like our cars need gas in order to go, we need the Holy Spirit to fill us. So that we can walk in peace and love. Find out more about this amazing truth today as Pastor David continues in Romans 15 with his teaching, The Source.
Here's David Magee. Turn with me to Romans chapter 15. Getting towards the end of Romans and last week we got into 13, just kind of scratched the surface. So we want to take a look at verse 13 again and see what this book of Romans has to say to us personally, today, right now, right where we are.
So we're going to pick it up. Romans chapter 15, verse 13. Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
When we talk about the Holy Spirit, of course, what we want to do is we want to, you know, look biblically what the Bible says about the Holy Spirit. One of the things that the Bible mentions that is we should have fruit in our lives and that we should have the fruit of the Holy Spirit in our lives. It does not say that we should be fruits. It says we should have fruit. Sometimes we think, you know, the weirder and the more of a jerk we are than the more spiritual we are.
And, you know, I have a serious issue with that. So the Bible doesn't say we're supposed to be fruits. It says we're supposed to have the fruit of the Holy Spirit over and over. Galatians chapter 5, verse 22 says, but the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
Against such there is no law, and those who are Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. And if we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit and let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. Now, it's interesting this this picture of the fruit, and that's not just in one place.
It's in several places. I'll give you yet another. Ephesians chapter 5, verse 8 says, for you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light, for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth. So we are supposed to bear fruit. Now, let's understand and have fruit trees, and there's something about them. Fruit does just kind of happen in fruit trees, and yet fruit trees take care.
They take cultivation. There's certain things you need to do if this tree is going to bear fruit. One of the things is pruning. That's not an enjoyable job, and to be honest, I need to actually prune them now.
But, you know, I've said that one tree went for a couple of years without me pruning, and I spent about six hours pruning that one tree. And see, the Lord wants to prune us in our lives, not because he's some mad gardener. Because when we talk about God pruning, you know, we have this, I don't know, vision from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre of some mad man running. But God is lovingly wanting to redirect our energy.
And there's certain things in your life that maybe are dragging your energy out of you, eating up your energy, that friend, you've got no business being involved with. And God wants to prune those areas. So you can bear fruit in the good areas.
That's what he wants to do. Another thing is you have to sometimes dig around the fruit tree, you have to fertilize it, you have to feed it. Now, one of the cool things is, as far as bearing fruit, cultivating and feeding, you guys are doing something right now that will help you bear fruit. And that is coming together, worshiping God together, and listening to a Bible study, a teaching of the Word of God.
Why? Because this Word of God feeds your soul. And as you feed on the Word of God, it helps you to bear good fruit. The New Living Translation of this verse says, So I pray that God, who gives you hope, will keep you happy and full of peace. As you believe in Him, may you overflow with hope through the power of your Holy Spirit. Give you hope, keep you happy, full of peace. Now, friend, if you be honest for a second, when you look at that verse, I mean, there should be something about that verse you go, wow, I want that. I need that.
I don't have that. Well, God offers you that through what? The power of you. Through the power of you? That's not what it says. Through the power of pride? Not what it says. Through the power of unity? Not what it says. Through the power of the Holy Spirit.
So here's the first life lesson. We need the Holy Spirit to fill us so we can walk in peace and hope. We need the Holy Spirit to fill us so we can walk in peace and hope. Now, let's understand, we start talking about the Holy Spirit, you know, and if you're kind of new here and, you know, you come in all the time about the Holy Spirit's one of those churches, you know. But let's understand, there's no need, there's no need to be freaked out about the Holy Spirit.
Now, I understand you may have had some bad experiences. Maybe you saw some stuff on television and some weirdness happened and then, you know, it was like, well, it's the Holy Spirit, you know. Maybe you went to a church one time and somebody went, you know, screaming through the congregation yelling, clucking like a chicken or something and you said, what in the world was that? It's the Holy Spirit, you know. Let me assure you as pastor of this church, if somebody runs through here clucking like a chicken, they can do that once.
But then, you know, I'm going to sit down and I'm going to say, you know, we don't cluck like chickens here. And now, you know, some people, they weigh the service by those types of things. And if those things happen, they have good church hours.
And if those things don't happen, it's like, well, man. I've heard people say, oh, such a great service, a pastor never even opened the Bible. And I'm grieved because, friend, I believe in the power of the Holy Spirit. This book teaches in the power of the Holy Spirit, but the Holy Spirit always points to Jesus.
Always. And when something goes on and somebody says that was the Holy Spirit, ask yourself, well, was it really pointing to Jesus? And if it was pointing to Jesus, probably was the Holy Spirit. If it wasn't, might not be the Holy Spirit.
Now, sometimes, and I'm not going to, I'll go off on this another time, but sometimes in those situations you go, well, what was that? I go, it was the Holy Spirit. I didn't look like the Holy Spirit.
It's kind of weird. Oh, don't blaspheme the Holy Spirit. Don't question whether that was of God. That is not blaspheming the Holy Spirit. The blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. Now, if anybody wonders if they've ever blasphemed the Holy Spirit, then you haven't.
And here's why. The main ministry of the Holy Spirit to somebody who doesn't believe in God is to convict them of their sins. Now, if you reject that convicting power of the Holy Spirit, you are in essence blaspheming the Holy Spirit and therefore you will not be forgiven of your sins.
Why? Because you fought the conviction and never asked Jesus to forgive you of your sins. So when we talk about the Holy Spirit, we're going to look at what the Bible has to say about the Holy Spirit. And again, look at these phrases, these words, joy, peace, hope, power. Now, when you look at these words, again, they're very appealing words.
I don't think anybody who's being honest would look at those words and go, nah, I'm cool. I don't need any more of that. I got plenty of joy, peace, hope, power.
I'm good. No, we look at that and go, wow, I could use more of those things. How do I get them? Well, you know, Walmart's got a special today. And no, you can't get these things in a retail section of a store. You get them through God. You get them through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Now, again, we sit in here and I understand that people come from various backgrounds. There's people in here that come from churches where you've been told, well, the Holy Spirit simply doesn't interact with people anymore, that that went out with the age of the apostles. You need to understand that is an unbiblical position. You cannot show me through the word of God that God no longer interacts with people or no longer does miracles.
I'm sorry, I reject that. The Bible tells us to pray for the sick. If the Holy Spirit never interacts with people anymore, what do we pray for the sick for? If God never heals anybody, why pray for them? Why does the Bible say to pray for them? If you're in a church that doesn't believe God, he no longer does miraculous things, somebody's sick. Will you pray for them?
Sure, sure. Okay, yeah, I'll pray for you. Yeah, God, we know you don't heal people anymore.
This person's sick. You can take them home to heaven, amen. No, God still interacts, okay? At the same time, there's probably some people from the background of a church where lots of stuff happens in a service, and what we want to do is apply the biblical concept of the Holy Spirit, and this Bible tells us. So don't sit in here and, you know, Holy Spirit, oh, it's going to get weird. It's going to get weird.
It's one of those churches. He's going to call people up, and they're going to close their eyes. He's going to push them on the forehead and knock them over. We don't do that here. I'm not saying that God would never do that, that God wouldn't so overwhelm somebody that they just are filled and consumed with the power of God. What I'm saying is I don't see that in the Bible, and since I don't see that in the Bible, we're not going to have closed service with people coming up and falling over and pushing them.
We're not doing it. And again, I've been around this, and people say, well, yeah, yeah, yeah, when Jesus was in the garden and the soldiers fell backwards. Those soldiers were unbelievers. And to take that as a proof text for being slain in the Spirit, boy, that is stretching it. Now, I'm not saying that all churches that do that, that's wrong, that's bad, and not God. I'm not pastoring those churches, but I am pastoring this one.
So I don't see a proof text, so we're not going to do that. So feel safe that we're going to apply a biblical model to the Holy Spirit. Now, the Holy Spirit in the Hebrew Scriptures, in the Old Testament, the ministry was different, and here's why. Because the Holy Spirit would come upon a person to perform an office or a duty. The Holy Spirit would not indwell a person in the Hebrew Scriptures, and here's why. Because the blood of bulls and goats did not wash away the sins.
It only covered over. So the Holy Spirit could empower and anoint over a person, but not indwell them. Once Jesus died for our sins and we could be forgiven of our sins, remember, it's the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit can't dwell in a place that's not holy. Once we can ask Jesus to forgive us of our sins, then the Holy Spirit can dwell inside of us.
It changes the relationship with the Holy Spirit, if you will. And remember, the apostles were told to wait in Jerusalem in Acts chapter 1, verse 8 says this. It says, but when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, you shall receive power and will tell people about me everywhere. In Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth, you shall receive power.
The Greek word there is dunamis, where we get our word for dynamite. And why do we want to receive this power? Well, so we can run around the room screaming, no, no, no, no, no. This verse tells us. So we can be witnesses.
So we can live out the Christian faith. Now again, let's be honest. Is there anybody in here, don't raise your hand, but is there anybody in here that could use more power to live out the Christian faith?
Yes, me. I want more power. I want more of God to fill me so I can be a better believer and be a better witness to other people. I think sometimes we emphasize the gifts so much that we neglect the giver of the gifts. And again, the main ministry of the Holy Spirit is to empower us to live this Christian life out. Not the gifts.
I mean, we put a lot of emphasis on the gifts and praise God for the gifts, but it's for the power to live our Christian life. Donald Gee said this in an interesting analogy. He said, you know, when if you watch a steam train go by and you watch it blow the whistle, and when it does that, you know, this big plume of white steam comes up, you know, you can watch that and go, OK, the steam is for the whistle. No, the steam is not for the whistle. Steam is what's driving the train.
The whistle is just kind of a byproduct, if you will. It's the same with the Holy Spirit. So you can look at gifts and go, oh, the Holy Spirit's all about the gifts. No, the Holy Spirit is to drive your Christian life, to empower you to live as Jesus did. And friend, we need that power.
So how do we get that power? Well, some would say the moment you ask Jesus to forgive you of your sins, boom, you get all the Holy Spirit. Well, I believe that when you ask Jesus to forgive you of your sins, you are endued with power from on high that you do receive a portion of the Holy Spirit. But I believe there's something more to it. I believe we are to ask God to fill us with the Holy Spirit.
And I'm going to say not even a one-time event. I think it should be a daily thing to say, God, fill me with your Holy Spirit. Now, if you're sitting here going, well, I've never heard that we were supposed to ask God to fill us with the Holy Spirit.
Where do you get that we're supposed to ask God to fill us with the Holy Spirit? I just made up. No, I'm kidding.
I didn't make that up. It's in the Bible. I wouldn't tell you something.
The Bible. And listen. And here's the thing. What keeps you from asking God to fill you with the Holy Spirit?
I can tell you. Number one thing, fear. Fear. Who wants you to be afraid? I don't know.
Who do you think? If God's got a bunch of weapons lined up for you to pick up to fight the fight, who doesn't want you to pick up the weapons? If I'm getting ready to duke it out with a guy and at his feet are an M16, an AK-47, and a bazooka, I'm going to try to, oh, don't pick those up. Those are dangerous. You might get hurt.
I don't want him picking up those weapons. That's happened with the Holy Spirit. And sadly to say, sometimes, you know, the Holy Spirit, you know, had a neighbor. Every time he did this nervous little twitch thing, every time I'd mention the Holy Spirit, you know, God did the Holy Spirit, you know, and finally I was like, dude, what is up, man? And he said, well, he said, I knew a guy and he said he went to a church service and pastor called people up and at the end of the service and he said he fell over and for two hours he was paralyzed, couldn't move, couldn't talk, couldn't get up off the floor.
And his free will was completely violated by what was going on. And he said, and this guy was a Christian that was sharing this about his friend. He said, when he told me that, he said it just, it sounded weird and it didn't to me, it didn't sound like the Holy Spirit. And I said, friend, that does not sound like the Holy Spirit to me either. And because of this fear, he was being robbed of the blessing of being filled with the Holy Spirit. So where does it say this? Well, interesting enough, Jesus is addressing a fear issue when he tells us that we should ask.
Check it out. Luke 11 13 says, if you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him? So if you ever wondered if you were to ask God to fill you with the Holy Spirit, you have your answer there in the book of Luke that God will fill you with the Holy Spirit if you ask him. And he says, look, if you ask for the Holy Spirit, I'm not going to give you a serpent or a stone or something weird. When God fills you with the Holy Spirit, oh, I'm afraid of what happened.
You better be afraid of what will not happen if you're not filled with the Spirit because you will walk in weakness and frailty and failure. You've been listening to Cross the Bridge. We'll return to David's study in Romans in just a moment. But first, I would like to let you know about a new product that we're excited about here at Cross the Bridge. Each year, David McGee spends countless hours coming through the Bible in preparation to teach God's word. This is clearly seen every week as he proclaims the amazing truths found in the Bible to his home church and through the radio ministry. That's why this month we want you to be blessed by some of our favorite teachings from this year with the Cross the Bridge Best of 2013. These three powerful teachings will help you to live victoriously in Christ through a better understanding of who Jesus really is. The Best of 2013 is our gift to you this month when you give to Cross the Bridge. Your gift will be used to reach countless people with the gospel while also encouraging other believers to stand firm in the faith.
To help us take God's word to the world, please contact us at 877-458-5508 or visit us online at crossthebridge.com. Now let's return to our verse-by-verse study of Romans. Verse 14 says, Now I myself am confident concerning you, my brethren, that you also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another and to teach one another to sometimes confront lovingly, humbly, gently one another.
So Paul is saying, hey, you know what? Because of the power of the Holy Spirit, you can do these things because you're filled with Him. Incidentally, filled with Him, not filled with it. When you refer to the Holy Spirit, don't use the word it. The Holy Spirit is a person, so use a personal pronoun. If, you know, if somebody was talking about your kids, they wouldn't say, well, is it coming to eat with us?
I mean, that would just be weird. So when you're talking about the Holy Spirit, don't. And, you know, I was talking to somebody and they'd say, well, I got it. And I said, well, you got it. Got the Holy Spirit. You don't got it.
You got Him. So we're supposed to do these things, and because of the Holy Spirit, we can do these things. Okay? Now it uses admonish, and since that's not a word we use a lot in everyday language, in the Greek it's neuathito, it's where we get our word for neuathetic counseling in that we're supposed to lovingly, gently encourage, sometimes, correct one another. And that's what we're supposed to be doing with one another. Okay?
People in your family encouraging them and sometimes gently reproving them, if you will. Let's get back to this thing of what we're able to do because this talks about you're able to do this and you're able to do that. Jesus did something very interesting in the Bible. And I think because we are looking back on the Bible, we don't recognize the significance of it. Jesus, on more than one occasion, would go up to, let's say, a lame man, would go up to a lame man and say, get up and walk. Now we think, oh, isn't that cool? That's just a warm, fuzzy Jesus.
No, wait a minute. Imagine if you were standing there when it happened and Jesus walked up to somebody lame, by definition, that somebody can't walk. Walked up to somebody that was lame and said, get up and walk.
My first inclination was, oh, that's not very nice. Man's lame, he can't walk. What do you mean get up and walk? That's impossible for him to do. But when Jesus told somebody to do something, it was no longer impossible. When Jesus tells somebody to do something, it goes from the realm of impossible to the possible to the point that Jesus told a lame man to get up and walk and the man got up and walk. Jesus told a blind man that he could open his eyes and see and he did. Jesus told a deaf man to open his ears so that he could hear and he did. Jesus called out to a dead man in a tomb and brought back life to him.
He takes pleasure in doing the impossible. Now, what was it you said you can't do? I mean, you may have your problems, but I'm thinking being dead is not one of them. So whatever it is, you, through the power of the Holy Spirit, can do it.
See, once you come to Jesus, there's two words you can never actually use again in terms of doing things for God. I can't. Well, you should witness. I can't. Yes, you can.
You should live for him. I can't. Yes, you can. Why?
You should spend time on the work. Well, I can't. Yes, you can. Now, you may choose not to do any of those things, but I can't. No, no, no, no, no, no.
It doesn't work anymore. Now, here's the life lesson. You are able through the Holy Spirit to do the things the Bible tells you to do.
You can do it. Maybe during this video today you saw some of your personal excuses about sharing your faith. And you did notice the word I used, excuses, not reasons. The one that tickles me the most is, oh, it just becomes socially awkward if I, you know, talked about my faith or told them that they, you know, need to know Jesus as their personal savior. I think social awkwardness will take on new meaning when, according to the Bible, we may be able to look over the gulf of those who are not allowed into heaven.
And that person that you said it was socially awkward to share your faith with looks over that gulf and sees you and realize you knew and you never told them. See, you can do it. You can do it.
Why? Because you have the power of the Holy Spirit. Ask Him for more power. Ask Him for more of Him.
There's three, another three words of love in the Bible. He is able. He's able.
The grave couldn't hold Him. He is able. Give you a few verses. Verse 321 says, Who will transform our lowly body that He may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able, even to subdue all things to Himself? 2 Timothy 1.12 says, For this reason I also suffer these things.
Nevertheless, I am not ashamed. For I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that day. Hebrews 2.18. In that He Himself has suffered being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.
Probably one of my favorites in this category. Ephesians 3.20 says, Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us. Exceedingly, abundantly above all that we ask or think. He, He is able.
He wants to do this in our lives. Let's move to verse 15. It says, Nevertheless, brethren, I have written more boldly to you on some points as reminding you because of the grace given to me by God.
Now, a couple points on here. Notice He says boldly. And there's parts, if you've been with us through this whole book of Romans, there's parts of the book that are very bold, very plain spoken, if you will.
I relate to that because sometimes I'm, you know, I'm up here and I'm saying some pretty bold things, some in-your-face things, and sometimes they're gentle. But again, a lot of what I do is I'm reminding you. You know, that's the way we learn. We're reminded of stuff.
We need to be reminded of stuff. That's the way kids learn. That's the way students learn.
That's the way we learn. We get reminded. You may come in occasionally and you may hear something, Wow, I never knew that.
That's pretty cool, you know. But be careful about trying to find that in every service. Because, friend, when you're coming here, mainly I'm here to remind you. Remind you of what? Usually simple stuff, basic stuff. Like what? Well, stuff you forget.
Like what? God loves you. Sometimes you may be in here just for that, just to hear that, just to be reminded God loves you.
Maybe you go through a hard week, you're getting beat up, beat down. Come in here and I say, Oh, man, God loves you. And you're just like, Oh, I just need to hear that.
I can go home now. God loves me. It's going to be all right. Jesus died for you. These simple things, these are the things that we need to be reminded of. Friend, do you know for sure that your sins have been forgiven?
You can know right now. I want to lead you in a short, simple prayer, simply telling God you're sorry and asking Him to help you to live for Him. Please pray this prayer with me out loud right now. Dear Jesus, I believe you died for me, that I could be forgiven. And I believe you were raised from the dead, that I could have a new life. And I've done wrong things. I have sinned. And I'm sorry. Please forgive me of all those things.
Please give me the power to live for you all of my days. In Jesus' name, amen. Friend, if you prayed that prayer, according to the Bible, you've been forgiven. You've been born again. Jesus said He would not turn anybody away who comes to Him.
And He came for those people who knew they needed forgiveness, those who were sick, not the righteous. So congratulations, friend. You just made the greatest decision that you will ever make. God bless you. If this was your first time praying that prayer with Pastor David, we would love to hear from you. You can call us toll free at 877-458-5508 to receive our First Steps package, with helpful resources to help you begin your walk with Christ. Also, if you contact us this month, we will send you the Cross the Bridge Best of 2013 for your gift of any amount. If you've ever wondered how we can walk in the full power of God's Spirit, then this new product is just for you and we'll send it to you as a way of saying thanks for your donation. You can give any time by calling us toll free at 877-458-5508.
That's 877-458-5508. Or go online to crossthebridge.com. While there, make sure to sign up for the free email devotional. That's just one more way we can bless you in your walk with Christ. Again, that website is crossthebridge.com. Thank you for listening, and I pray you'll join us next time as we cross the bridge.
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