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September 21, 2022 7:05 am
Today on Insight for living from Bible teacher Chuck Swindoll. You and I became Christians.
Each one of us was the presence of the Holy Spirit to live within us. You have Christ you have. Therefore, everything that comes with the gift of Christ. Everything looked or even quenched important dimensions of the Holy Spirit we done so with good intentions trying to keep a safe distance from the spirit, believing that going overboard leads to heretical behavior. Well, today on Insight for living, Chuck reminds us that our caution can actually become an estate God gave us his spirit for a reason. During the next half-hour will explore how to fly closer to the flame Chuck titled his message power power we got some time ago we began a series on the. My hope was that it would enable us help us free us if you will to follow and even to fly closer to the flame. Unfortunately, those who are right. I don't like the use of the term, but I don't know how else to say at those who were not in our camp. Frequently view us as those who are distant from him and don't have an awareness of the work of the spirit.
I regret that misunderstanding and that criticism I have a number of friends who who happened to believe different than I differently than I and I respect them for their further sincerity and their desire to know the spirit in an intimate way, and one of the things that has motivated me to do a series such as this, and I have this message in yet another before will be through but as we draw to a close.
Alana want to say this candidly, I haven't had a desire for a long time to communicate and and instruct the spirit so that we might feel we might know that's a better word, we might know that I he is a powerful source. He is for us the dynamic of life and he brings creativity and beauty and a depth of intimacy that no one else even the other two members of the of the Trinity. Do not bring. I also feel it's necessary at times to clarify for our sake. If if not for others who tend to misunderstand those who are not charismatic Christians that that we have a profound appreciation for an experience with the spirit of God, profound. I therefore felt it was it would be helpful to to talk openly about some of the things that I have. I have seldom heard even addressed in my years in ministry.
Both while growing up in the church and since being in ministry for these many years since the early 1960s. So this is been fresh soil to plow and I can't speak for you, but I can tell you from my point of view, it is been helpful to unravel some of this mystery and declare some of these conviction. I also know that I haven't gone far enough for some. I have gone too far for others but these convictions that I've been communicating are deeply felt and I am growing in my understanding of the work of the spirit. I want to talk on evidences of spirit filled power and as I give you that title. I deliberately leave out the definite article.
These are not the evidences of power. I think it would be presumptuous on my part to assume that I would be able to give the exhaustive list of all the evidences of power.
I don't think I could do that and I really do not believe anyone can do that God's word does not toss around the word or the promise of power loosely as a matter of fact I do not see phenomenal things occurring on an hour to hour basis in the lives of biblical believers, and I think it is both erroneous and frustrating to leave people with the expectation that if you truly have the spirit, then your life is spent from one cloud nine experience to another. Your days are marked by multiple miracles and you can tap into this source of on the ending power, as if that is the norm rather than the exception.
Now you see right away I fear being misunderstood by saying that we do not have power.
I do not say that it is not my observation from the study of the Scriptures that those with the days of the Bible when it was being written went through even in the New Testament era went through a series of constant experiences of of wonderful strange mysterious phenomenal events as a regular diet of their life. I think that the evidence the work of the spirit and discovered it experienced it.
But I think those phenomenal occurrences were the exception rather than the rule and I'll say more about that later on. So let's deal with first things first open your Bible to John chapter 1. Let's go back to basics that I think are necessary in laying a foundation for evidences of the spirit of the spirit filled power one has to do with salvation, the other has to do with being filled with the spirit so let me answer the first question and then the second. What is it mean to be a Christian. Let me finish a sentence. I am a Christian because the end of that sentence. I am rightly related to the son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ.
I am a Christian because I am rightly related to the son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Now this will be terribly elementary for many of you, but stay with me.
It's foundational for us to under understanding the spirit filled life. John 112 as many as received him, that's Christ. So let's read it that way.
But as many as received Christ to them. Christ gave the right to become children of God even or that is, to those who believe in his name as many as received him as many as believe in his name Christ gives the right to become children of God. Chapter 3 of John verse three Jesus answered and said to him, truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born a new born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.
You see the new birth is a part of receiving Christ believing in him. Verse six that which is born of the flesh is flesh, that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you. You must be born again. The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going so is everyone who is born of the spirit. Verse 36 he who believes in the son has eternal life, but he who does not obey the son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him. Chapter 14 verse six. I am a Christian because I am rightly related to the son of God 14 six Jesus said to him, I am the way and the truth and the life.
No one comes to the father but through me that that's an exclusive statement. Some would see that if you were to say it.
Today is arrogant, but it is as narrow as Christ has declared it and it is therefore true because he said it. If I'm a one other passage, also from John, but it is first John. Toward the end of the New Testament chapter 5, first John chapter 5 verses 11 and 12 and the witness is this that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his son. He who has the son has the life. He who does not have the son of God does not have the life very simple, very clear, people are not born right with God.
That's why we must be born again spiritually, people do not become Christians because they go to church or because they have been christened as babies or because they have been dedicated to children or because they have been baptized or because they are sincere and mean well as regards eternal life. People become Christians because they have the gift of salvation through faith in Christ. Ephesians 289 by grace you have been saved through faith and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God not of works, lest anyone should boast.
Salvation is a gift. I have a book in my hand if I were to reach out and give you the book and you were to take it and I say it's yours. I like you to I would be giving you the gift you take the gift and you become the possessor of what was once mine God reached out at the cross gave us eternal life in his son. All he asks is that we reach in faith and take his gift which we now possess because we have received what he is offered.
I am rightly related to the son of God and therefore I am a Christian by the way when when you and I became Christians.
I'm assuming you are a Christian when you and I became Christians 30 and more things occurred instantaneously. Did you know that among them was the giving of the Holy Spirit to each one of us.
Each one of us was given as a gift. The presence of the Holy Spirit to live within us. That is why you never see someone in Scripture, nor should we ever see anyone today. Praying to receive the Holy Spirit. We are never commanded to pray for the Holy Spirit.
We are never commanded to be baptized by the Holy Spirit.
We commanded to be regenerated by the Holy Spirit or to be sealed by the Holy Spirit. Why, because all of those things occurred. It is as though you have my book in your possession now is a gift and you say to me I would really really love to have your gift you have it. No, I really would love to have everything that is with that gift you have it you have the book. Therefore, you have everything within it. You have Christ you have. Therefore, everything that comes with the gift of Christ. Everything in first Corinthians chapter 12 verses 12 and 13 we read of all of us having the spirit even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ.
The next verse. For by one Spirit were we all. It's all past tense when we received for by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body or the Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. All one spirit. It all comes with becoming a Christian, you have the spirit of God will then what is this about the filling of the spirit that is different because we are commanded to be filled never to be sealed never to be baptized never to be regenerated never to be preserved in the Holy Spirit. All of those are givens they are facts that you can rest on them, but the filling. If I may trip you turn 1 More Pl. and will stay here a few moments. Ephesians chapter 5. You will see we are commanded to be filled. Chapter 5 of Ephesians verse 17 and 18.
So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is and do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but command be filled with the spirit. Don't be foolish. Don't get drunk, but here's something to do be filled with the spirit second part of our foundation has to do with the filling of the spirit.
I am filled with the spirit and the sentence in what I am rightly related to the spirit of God. I am filled with the spirit. When I am rightly related to the spirit of God the Holy Spirit in previous messages on this series, I have dealt with the filling of the spirit, so there's no reason to go back and redevelop what we said before, suffice to say, the filling of the spirit include such things as keeping short accounts with God. As soon as I sense a twinge of correction of correction organ or conviction within me.
I I search my heart and I find there is something that is breaking my relationship and I bring that to the Lord's attention.
I lean on him, rather than on my own understanding and strength.
I consider myself dead to sin but alive to God and I open myself for him to direct my steps. That's all part of this filling of the spirit and I live my life yielded rather than stubbornly resisting and grieving and quenching the presence of it isn't that I need to spirit again. It is that I need his power is evidence is working his cleansing is freeing, and as he fills me that takes place.
This hear me now this is not routinely ecstatic and miraculous in nature to return to our word. The Christian life is not the power life as if it were a an hour by hour tingling kind of phenomenal experience, the spirit of God does indeed bring dynamic in depth, we would not otherwise have. But his presence and his depth are not ecstatic bringing if I may overwork the word power visions and power revelations and power healings and power encounters and power miracles and power surges of incredible proportions. That is not the spirit of God in the Scriptures, and that is not the spirit of God in daily experience. Am I saying he never brings such events and things into one's life. I see when he does it is the exception rather than the rule ours. Our Lord is not competing with fantasyland.
My concern is that you and I have a broad is broad and is tolerant of view of this is the Scriptures allow and nothing more. Now, what can I say about the continual and normal evidences of Christ in my life and of the spirit in my life. What can I say about the continuation of this Christian life in the Spirit filled life. Let me address the first one first as a Christian I can count on these things routinely and continually not as an exception, but as a rule, and I've got a list in my notes that I don't have time to read back to you so let me pick and choose, 12, 13, 14 of you to write anything down just sit and listen and think you may wish to write it.
If you some of these if you wish, but these are normal everyday routine, if I may use the word as if something coming from God is routine. By that I mean they are not the exceptions. They are the rule, the normal and continual evidence is that I am a Christian would include I am in Christ. I live in him and he lives in me. I am able to live above since dominating control because I am a Christian I have immediate access to the father, through prayer, because I am a Christian I can understand the Scriptures because you and I are Christians, we can forgive and should forgive whoever wrongs us. We couldn't do that when we were lost because we are Christians we have the capacity to bear fruit daily continually routinely because we are Christians we possess at least one often more spiritual gift because we are Christians we worship with a purpose church is vital we share our faith with others. We love and need other people. We need to be accountable. We need to have fellowship with them. We need to keep the relationships open and carry I am capable of obeying the teaching of the word of God before I was lost when I was lost I could not, even if I tried. I am continuing to grow and learn. I am continuing to endure suffering and hardship without losing heart because I'm a Christian because you and are Christians. We depend on lean upon our Lord for daily strength because we are Christians we can know God's will, something that was impossible before the cross we can live in anticipation of Christ's return.
And I think of this, every funeral service. I have the assurance of heaven after I die because I am a Christian. So do you, telling you that's a pretty good list of routine normal continual kind of blessings that are ours to enjoy. Whether we are going to sleep tonight are waking up early in the morning or facing the day in the middle. In the heat of it all. We can count on these things to be true. None of the above is true for the lost person. These are unique possessions and experiences of the Christian, only in because of his grace.
Let me add none of the above would be caught what I call exceptional or phenomenal. These are normal and continual lifestyle things in the Christian life and for that we are so grateful. I have not just described. Power living not in the way it is used or power Christianity get that straight or you will live your life disappointed and frustrated, always looking for more more more more. I had a pilot tell me several years ago that flying an airplane consists of hours and hours of sheer boredom interrupted periodically with split seconds of sheer panic.
I'm not sure I will use the word boredom for the Christian life. But you get the point. The Christian life is not a life lived on the edge of sheer phenomenal powerful things every day of my life if I expected that I would live one frustrated life.
One disappointing day after another, but it's amazing. While walking with the Lord. And while being filled with the spirit. It is remarkable how on occasion he enter reps. The routine if we could call the things I listed routine with something phenomenal that only he could have done. I acknowledge that and I praise him for it.
I do not expect that day after day. Well, that's the normal Christian life is not unlike the normal married life. The normal married life is not soft footed waiters serving UT in the afternoon at the Ritz Carlton Hotel. It is not a husband coming home with flowers every afternoon is not happy, carefree teenagers anxious to help with the dishes and thrilled to keep the room clean. That is not normal married life is not a mother-in-law with a heart like Mother Teresa it is that that's not the normal married life promise of power is ours because the spirit of power, lives within power power.
We've got the power that's the title Chuck Swindoll assigned to his message today. You're listening to the daily program known as Insight for living.
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