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Restoring Worship of the Holy Spirit

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
June 9, 2023 4:00 am

Restoring Worship of the Holy Spirit

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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Grace To You
John MacArthur
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Charles Stanley

We couldn't even tap into the powers of heaven to protect ourselves if we were left on our own. So if you believe some kind of theology that says you can keep yourself saved, you're going to have to reexamine that verse one more time. Because the Holy Spirit is in your life in a condition of groaning over the reality that He is keeping you to eternal glory and it is a continual struggle. Welcome to Grace To You with John MacArthur.

I'm your host, Phil Johnson. Perhaps you've wished you could have been one of Christ's disciples. For three years, they spent nearly all their waking hours with the Lord. They talked with Him.

They learned from Him. They saw Him perform countless miracles right before their eyes. And considering all that, it might surprise you to know that it's possible for you, living two millennia after the cross, to have a closer relationship with Jesus than even His closest followers had while He walked on the earth.

How could that be? Find amazing answers today as John continues his study called Lessons for a Modern-Day Disciple. And now here's John with a message. If you would please open the Word of God to the eighth chapter of Romans, and let's go back to the eighth chapter of Romans, and taking a look at a great doctrine under the heading of restoring the worship of the Holy Spirit. We could praise Him for every work of God because He is fully involved in every work of God. We could praise Him for creation. We could praise Him for the role that He plays in sustaining the creation. We could praise Him for every aspect of providence. We could praise Him for redemption in all its fullness and richness. We could praise Him for the role that He will play as laid out in Scripture in the final consummation. We could praise Him for all of that.

I want us particularly to focus down, if we can, on our own lives as believers. Remember that it was the Holy Spirit who convicted us of righteousness and sin and judgment. It was the Holy Spirit who regenerated us, who gave us life in the midst of our deadness. It was the Holy Spirit who was engaged in our justification.

It is the Holy Spirit who has taken up permanent residence in us. It is the Holy Spirit who places us into the body of Christ in that baptizing work. It is the Holy Spirit who gifts us, enabling us to minister to the body for its edification. It is the Holy Spirit who empowers us. The work of the Holy Spirit that is that greatest and most wondrous and most gracious and most joyous is that He secures us to eternal glory. In 1 Peter chapter 1 and verse 3, there is a benediction, blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you...listen to this...who are protected by the power of God. And the power of God is the Holy Spirit.

He is the blast of God, the energy of God, the ruach. We are protected to our eternal inheritance by the Spirit of God. In John 6, Jesus said, all that the Father gives to Me will come to Me and whoever comes to Me I will not turn away. And whoever comes to Me I will receive and I have lost none of them but raised him up at the last day.

Nobody falls through the cracks. In Ephesians chapter 1 verse 13, in Him you also after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation, having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise who is given as a pledge of our inheritance. The Holy Spirit came into your life at the time of your salvation as a down payment, as an engagement ring, the arabon, the pledge, the guarantee, the seal of your eternal inheritance. In Paul's language to the Philippians, he who began a good work in you will...what?...perfect it. As Paul wraps up his first letter to the Thessalonians, he says a lot of things rather rapid fire. But listen to what he says at the very last part of chapter 5, now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Paul's prayer is that you would be preserved complete to the coming of Christ.

And then he says this, faithful is He who calls you and He also will bring it to pass. And the wonderful little epistle of Jude concludes with this hopeful and glorious benediction. Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord, with glory, majesty, dominion and authority before all time and now and forever, amen. He's able to make you stand. This is the best news ever from heaven to us that our salvation is forever.

Let me tell you something. If you could lose your salvation, you would. If there was any way you could lose your salvation, you would lose it. If I could lose my salvation, I would lose it.

I couldn't get it on my own to start with. I can't keep it on my own, I would lose it and I couldn't get it back. If it depends on us, we're all damned because I'm still in a corrupt and fallen condition.

Guess what? I don't do the things I want to do and I do the things I don't want to do and I have attached to me a wretchedness that I can't get rid of. I'm under the weight of sin, the curse of God and corruption and decay and death is in me. And if I'm going to make it to final glory, I'm going to have to make it on a power that's outside of me. We are secured to final glory by the wonderful working of the Holy Spirit. Yes, He frees us from sin and death in regenerating us. Yes, He enables us to obey God's law.

We saw that earlier in Romans 8. Yes, He changes our nature. Yes, He empowers us to mortify sin and overcome temptation.

Yes, He confirms our adoption. But the most glorious of all things is He guarantees our eternal glory. So let's look at Romans 8, 26 to 39. All right, let's talk about the means of our security, the Spirit's intercession. This is one of the most gripping portions of the book of Romans, in my mind.

There's so much hope here and so much joy here, this thing just absolutely thrills me. Verse 26 and 27, in the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness, for we don't know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. Look at this verse. It starts out in the same the same way, the same way as what? What has gone before? What's come before is groaning...groaning.

What is this groaning? Verse 19, it is the anxious longing of the creation, waiting eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. The creation is subjected to futility.

It exists in hope of something better than its current cursed condition. Verse 22, the whole creation groans. Creation itself is personified as if it is a person in agony wanting to be what it was originally intended to be and falling far short. And it's a painful experience for the creation itself. It's like the pain of childbirth.

It's that agony, it's that terrible agony of trying to bring something forth that never ever comes. The whole creation groans and agonizes. Not only this, verse 23, we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, we've tasted the Spirit. As Peter says, we've tasted the Lord that He's good. We want more, don't we?

We want more. We groan, we groan like Romans 7. We groan with this body of sin attached. We groan within ourselves and what are we waiting for? The adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. We've had the internal work of God on us, we are new creations, but we're incarcerated in unredeemed human corruption and it's debilitating and discouraging.

I don't know about you, when I think about heaven, I can...I'm happy for transparent gold streets, I'm happy for jeweled gates and pearls and all of that, but what appeals to me most about heaven is the absence of sin, not in the world around me, but in me. And the longer you live, the more weary of it you get. We all groan, creation groans for something we haven't yet realized and it's painful, it's an agonizing thing. Sometimes our hearts are broken and we repent with tears and we're sick of our sin and weary of our corruption and tired of the besetting sins that come back and come back and come back and come back. We want something better and we long for heaven, the New Jerusalem. In the same way, the Spirit groans with groanings too deep for words.

Wow! If you groan, it matters to you. If you groan, it matters to you. The Holy Spirit is seen in an agonizing struggle to overcome the debilitating weakness that is in every believer in whom He lives.

He helps our weakness. We don't know how to pray as we should. What is that supposed to mean? That doesn't mean you don't know how to put a prayer list together. That doesn't mean you don't know how to tell the Lord what's on your heart, of course you do. It doesn't mean that you don't know to pray against temptation. You've been taught, lead us not into temptation, deliver us from evil. What it means is, even at your best, when you go before God and you pour out your heart, you don't have enough knowledge or enough power to protect yourself.

There's a certain element of ignorance in this. You don't know what to pray against because you don't even know what's happening in the supernatural or the spiritual world. It's simply a broad way to say we don't know how to protect ourselves. Yes, we can say, lead me not into temptation, deliver me from evil, but it's a pretty simple prayer and we need to pray it, but it's not enough.

We couldn't even tap into the powers of heaven to protect ourselves if we were left on our own. So if you believe some kind of theology that says you can keep yourself saved, you're going to have to reexamine that verse one more time because the Holy Spirit is in your life in a condition of groaning and moaning and agonizing over the reality that He is keeping you to eternal glory and it is a continual struggle. In Luke, Jesus came to Peter and He said, Satan desires to have you to sift you like wheat. If I were Peter, I'd have said, well you told him no, right? He said, go away and leave him alone.

The guy is so weak, if you do anything to him, he's going to collapse in a heap. No, Jesus said, I told him go for it. But then Jesus said to Peter, but I've prayed for you that your faith fail not. You have two intercessors. You have the Holy Spirit interceding for you inside of you against your...against the impulses and the strength of your own corruption. And you have the Son of God at the right hand of the Father interceding for you against every accusation brought against you.

It takes two full-time intercessors to secure you to glory. This doesn't just happen because God said it would happen. It happens because the Son is your defender before the Father and the Spirit is your internal defender against the enemy of your soul. It takes two members of the Trinity to get us to glory. That's why I say, if I could lose my salvation, I would. The Spirit intercedes, huperin tukkanno, it means to rescue someone who has no hope.

It means to rescue someone who has no resources. That's what the Holy Spirit does. We don't have the strength, we're too weak. We don't even know how to pray the way we would need to pray.

We don't even know how to tap the divine resources at the best level. So the Spirit Himself...I love that, auto, I love that Spirit Himself...Spirit Himself, He doesn't delegate this, this isn't a committee operation, He doesn't delegate it to somebody else, to angels, the Spirit Himself in you is constantly interceding for you with groanings too deep for words. That's the Holy Spirit groaning in a communication that is without words. The Holy Spirit groans and agonizes over your weakness and the struggle with sin as you move toward your eternal glory. And He communicates with the Father in inter-Trinitarian language, inter-Trinitarian communication, inter-Trinitarian thought. If Jesus could say to the unconverted in Jerusalem, how often I would have gathered you and weep, how does the Holy Spirit feel about those who are His?

So this is a precious insight. And verse 27 says, He who searches the hearts, who's that? First Chronicles 28, 9 says, the Lord searches every heart. Acts 2, 4 says, Lord, You know everyone's heart. The omniscient Father knows what is the mind of the Spirit.

So you have the Spirit constantly groaning over the pain, the actual divine pain of those whom He loves and in whom He dwells, being not yet perfected. And the Father knows that because the Father is in perfect harmony with that. And the Spirit always intercedes according to the will of God.

This is the first thing that I want you to grasp and that's a feeble effort at explaining it. The motive of our security is the Spirit's intercession. This will bring us to glory because it is the Father's will and the Spirit groans for the Father's will to be fulfilled. Means of our security is the Holy Spirit's intercession. Secondly, the motive for our security, the motive of our security for our security is the Father's intention. The Father's intention there at the end of verse 27, the Holy Spirit intercedes literally for the saints according to God...according to God. But it certainly means the will of God because that's what spread out in the subsequent verses, verses 28, 29 and 30.

Pick it up at that familiar verse 28. And we know that God causes all things to work together for good. We're talking here not about some kind of intermediate good.

We're not talking about good here and now, good next week, good next month. We're talking about ultimate good, final good, eternal good. He causes all things to work together for good. All the way along the line there, good, but the ultimate good is what is being emphasized here to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. When He calls you, He calls you to a purpose and therefore when God works, He works to fulfill His purpose. The Holy Spirit intercedes according to the will of God. He knows the will of God. He knows the purpose of God. And the purpose of God is to bring all His children to glory. And that's what unfolds in verses 29 and 30, those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren. And these whom He predestined, He also called and these whom He called, He also justified and these whom He justified, He also glorified.

If you don't think Calvinism is in the Bible, you missed that verse. I mean, there it is all in one verse, or two. But the point that is being made here is because of the intercessory work of the Holy Spirit in perfect harmony with the divine purpose of God, we are secured to eternal glory. That's the Father's intention. That's the Father's intention.

That's His purpose. It starts with foreknowledge. And foreknowledge is the act of electing. Foreknowledge is the act of choosing. It is predetermining a love relationship. This isn't information, this is establishing a relationship.

My sheep hear My voice and I know them. Doesn't mean He knows who they are, He knows who everybody is. He's talking about an intimate relationship. Cain knew his wife and she bore a son. He didn't know who she was, he had an intimate relationship with her.

Mary was pregnant, Joseph had not known her. This is that kind of knowledge. And it's foreknowledge because it's before time, before creation, in eternity past. God predetermines to establish a relationship, to have an intimate and eternal knowledge and communion and fellowship and shared life with certain souls.

And whomever He chose for that relationship, He predestined to the end of it. So foreknowledge looks at choosing and predestination looks at the goal of that choosing. It speaks of destiny, pro oridzo.

Oridzo is the word from which you get horizon. It's the line of demarcation. God establishes the line, the horizon, the end. He chooses and at the very moment of choosing, predetermines what He has chosen them to.

It's to mark out before and then in time He calls them. And whomever He predestined to eternal glory, He called. Every time you see the calling in the epistles of the New Testament, it is an effectual call to salvation, not a broad gospel call.

Whatever God establishes a relationship with, an intimate knowledge with, before time began, before the foundation of the world, He determines the horizon, the end. And then in time He calls them. This cannot be simply a gospel call because whom He called He justified.

There's no gap if you were called, you were justified. This is the effectual call that results in justification. And please note, whomever He justified, He...what?...glorified. There it is. There it is. By the way, glorified is in the past tense...hmm...and the Greeks loved to do that when something was being referred to that was so certain that it could be spoken of as if it already happened.

You don't see anybody falling through the cracks in there, do you? Means of our security is the Spirit's intercession which is in perfect accord with the motive for our security which is the Father's intention. Our Father, we thank You for the Word which is so profoundly rich and we have just touched the edges, feel like a little boy on the shore of a great vast ocean who scoops up a little bucket. We're so thankful that the salvation You gave us when we didn't deserve it will reach its final intended end.

And one day we will see Christ and be like Him. Father for Your plan, Christ for Your provision, Holy Spirit for Your power, we praise You. We worship You, amen. This is Grace to You with John MacArthur, Chancellor of the Masters University and Seminary, and he has titled our current series, Lessons for a Modern-Day Disciple. John, today you talked about the extraordinary power of the Holy Spirit's ministry, and as you said, the Holy Spirit makes sure that nothing can separate believers from the love of God. And I've listened to you over the years and one of the things that strikes me is how prominent the Holy Spirit is in your teaching. You talk about him a lot because the Scripture says so much about him, but despite all the Scripture says about the Holy Spirit, he is still the most misunderstood and misrepresented member of the Trinity.

Why is that? I think people are reluctant to dishonor God the Father. I think they're warned in the Old Testament to worship God in the way that God demands to be worshiped. They're less likely to be flippant about God the Father. And I think the same thing is true about Christ. People are reluctant to play fast and loose with who Christ is and what he does, but it doesn't seem to be the same with the Holy Spirit. It's as if the Holy Spirit is some kind of pliable member of the Trinity that you can sort of make into whatever you want. There seems to be less reverence for the Holy Spirit than for the Father and the Son. That's ironic, isn't it, because Jesus said the one unpardonable sin is a blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Because the work of the Holy Spirit is to reveal Christ and the work of Christ is to reveal the Father, so they're in perfect harmony. It seems that while people are thoughtful and careful in speaking of God the Father and Christ the Son, they're all over the place when it comes to the Holy Spirit and they attribute things to him that he wouldn't have anything to do with. The true work of the Holy Spirit is so important for the life of the believer, and it's along that line that I want to offer you a free copy of our new booklet, The True Work of the Holy Spirit.

That's right, free to anyone who requests it. It looks at the Holy Spirit's role in drawing unbelievers to Christ, convicting us of sin, leading us to repentance, enabling fellowship with God, sealing our salvation, and a lot more. It explores the practical consequences of living a Spirit-filled life, how you can tell when you're walking in the Spirit and when you're not. So for a limited time, we only have so many of these, we'll send you a free copy of the booklet titled, The True Work of the Holy Spirit. All you have to do is let us know. You want a copy.

Right. This brand new booklet is absolutely free. The title again to ask for is The True Work of the Holy Spirit.

Get your free copy when you contact us today. Call 800-55-GRACE or go to John's booklet on The True Work of the Holy Spirit is a quick read, but it answers some of the most common questions people have about the Spirit's ministry. You'll see what the Spirit-filled life looks like and how you can experience its power. To request your free copy of John's booklet, The True Work of the Holy Spirit, call 800-55-GRACE or go to And at our website, take advantage of a popular free Bible study tool called Grace Stream. It's a unique way to listen to John's teaching through the New Testament. We start in Matthew and play continuously through the end of the book of Revelation, and then the whole cycle starts over again. It takes a couple of months to get through. You just hop in wherever John's teaching is, and you'll hear sermon after sermon. It helps you get into God's Word fast and saturate yourself in its truth. So try Grace Stream now. It's always on, and it's free at Now for John MacArthur, I'm Phil Johnson, reminding you to watch Grace To You television this weekend, and also be here Monday when John continues to show you lessons for a modern-day disciple with another half hour of unleashing God's truth, one verse at a time, on Grace To You.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-09 05:47:55 / 2023-06-09 05:57:53 / 10

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