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Be Confident: Walk in the Spirit – Part 1

Living in the Light / Anne Graham Lotz
The Truth Network Radio
June 18, 2023 3:00 pm

Be Confident: Walk in the Spirit – Part 1

Living in the Light / Anne Graham Lotz

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The Masculine Journey
Sam Main
Living in the Light
Anne Graham Lotz
Living in the Light
Anne Graham Lotz

Here's Anne Graham Lotz.

Welcome to this weekly message from God's Word from our teacher Anne Graham. ...reassure you that I'm committed to you, that I love you, I'll be faithful to you, and I'm going to come back and take you, and we'll live together. We'll be married. And so he left, and a few days later she received this gorgeous gift in the mail. It was a spectacular ring, 15-carat diamond surrounded by all the diamonds.

And she knew that this man was committed to her, he would be faithful to her. The engagement ring was his pledge to marry her, to come back and take her to be his bride. And it was a gift of his love.

So that's a lame Western way of trying to describe a Jewish wedding betrothal, when the man would come to the woman and invite her to be his wife. And she agreed, and then they didn't live together for a year, and during that year he was preparing a place for her, a home, but he would send her a gift. And the gift was called a matan, and it was the gift of his love to her.

It was a gift to reveal to her that he was committed, he would be faithful, and one day he would come and take her to live with him. This is where it gets so interesting, that on Mount Sinai, when God gave the law to Moses to give to the people, the law that was given to the people was called the matan. It was the gift of God's love. And every year after that day, they celebrated one day a year, it was the day of the giving of the gift, the day of the matan.

It was called the Feast of Shavout. And 2,000 years ago, on the day of the giving of the gift, on the feast day of Shavout, when the Father gave a gift of love, God sent down his Holy Spirit. He's called the gift, the matan, that's Pentecost, took place on the Feast of Shavout. At Pentecost, God gave us a love gift on behalf of his Son, pledging that you and I would have the Son's faithfulness, his commitment, he would be thinking of us, he loved us, and one day he would return to take us to live with him forever. The Holy Spirit is the matan, the gift of the Son's love to his bride. The Holy Spirit is our engagement ring. And I want to take time to look at the ring and consider the gift that God has given us, the matan, the gift of his love.

And in this passage, Jesus is describing the engagement ring, the gift that he would send his disciples after he left on his journey to prepare a place for them. So you can be confident as we live in this final hour because we have the gift. We can walk in the Spirit, and to walk in the Spirit in the context that I'm trying to present this, just walk in God's love for you and for me. Yielding our lives to him so that we live our lives for his glory, we're in love, and he loves us. And it becomes a joy of our lives to get to know him, and so I want to do my best to help you get to know this matan, this gift from the Father on behalf of the Son.

So the first thing we're going to consider is his person. You can be confident of the person of the Holy Spirit. Eleven times in these verses, he's referred to as he or him in a personal pronoun. So let me just make it clear, the Holy Spirit is not a dove, he is not a flame of fire, he's not an icon in a stained glass window, he's not an ecstatic language, he's not an emotion. The Holy Spirit is a living, invisible person.

He has a mind to think, he has a heart to feel, he has an intellect to make decisions, he is all that God is in the Holy Spirit. In fact, we call him the third person of the Trinity, and sometimes we think he's sort of like a P.S., like he's a tacon, like an add-on, and that's not what it is at all. He's a third person because he was primarily the third to be revealed in Scripture. In Genesis 1, verse 2, we have him revealed because the Spirit of God hovered over the face of the deep, that was the Holy Spirit. But in the Old Testament, it's primarily God the Father who's revealed. And in the New Testament, in the Gospels, it's primarily God the Son who's revealed. But in Acts and the Epistles, it's God the Holy Spirit who's revealed. And the Acts is not the Acts of the early church, it's the Acts of the Holy Spirit through the early church. So, he is a person, and living, invisible person, and in Scripture, you get to know somebody by their names. So remember, Peter was named Simon because he was wishy-washy, impulsive, compulsive, and Jesus said when the Spirit would come upon him and Jesus changed his life, he would be Peter, he would be a rock. Somebody who would strengthen his brothers in their faith.

And Jesus himself, his name means Savior, the one who would save us from our sins. So the Holy Spirit has some names that help reveal to us his character, and in this passage, I'm using the NIV, the name is Counselor. And Webster's defines Counselor as someone who gives advice and manages causes, and as we live in this final hour, we're going to need advice.

We're going to need a life manager. We're going to need someone who will help us with decisions and help us know how to direct our lives and our loved ones and our children, and that's the Holy Spirit who is our Counselor. He's there to give us advice and to help us in this final hour. And that word also, maybe in your translation, calls him the Comforter, and Webster's defines that as someone who relieves us of mental distress, and I expect in this final hour, there will be some very distressful things. And a severe judgment comes, and more disasters and tragedies and troubles, and they may not be far away, they may be right near you, or you may go through some of those yourself, and you find yourself filled with grief and distress. The Holy Spirit is your Comforter. The Holy Spirit knows how, in the midst of horrific circumstances, to give you a peace that passes all understanding, and to comfort you deep down.

And I know some of you here, like I do, you know that. He's our Comforter. Maybe one of my favorite names for him, which is rather obscure, but in chapter 14, verse 16, Jesus said, I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever. And the word another means someone exactly the same as. So Jesus is saying, I'm a Counselor, and the Father's going to give you another Counselor, someone exactly the same as me. So the Holy Spirit is another Jesus, in a sense. He is all that Jesus is without His man's body. He is Jesus without skin. And so you know what that tells me? The Holy Spirit is not spooky.

He's not weird. And sometimes people do things in His name, and I don't want to be offensive, but I'm just going to tell you. I cannot imagine Jesus causing somebody to fall on the ground and foam at the mouth, or to bark like a dog, or to laugh uncontrollably. I question whether that's the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is another Jesus.

So you can be confident in His person, get to know Him, gaze at your engagement ring, and so many different facets to His beauty. And He is Jesus living inside of you. So the second thing we want to consider is the fact of His presence.

We can be confident of His presence. And in chapter 16 verse 7, Jesus said, I'll send Him to you. I'm going to send you the gift. I'm going to go away, prepare a place for you, but I'm going to send you the gift of My love, and it's the Holy Spirit. And He did that at Pentecost. And the disciples, I'm assuming they were in the upstairs room. They had been there for about 10 days, but on the Feast of Shavuot, as was customary, they would have gone to the temple. And because of the crowd that gathered, I'm assuming this took place in the temple grounds, and they were all gathered around. And you know one of the things they were praying for is, don't forget to send the gift.

Don't forget to give us the Holy Spirit. And while they were there, suddenly there was a sound of rushing wind. The wind wasn't blowing, so the trees weren't blowing, and the leaves weren't scurrying across the courtyard.

It was just the sound of a tornado. And then Peter looked at John, and he had a flame of fire on his head. And John looked at Andrew, and he had a flame of fire on his head. And Andrew looked at Matthew, he had a flame. And they were overwhelmed with an intense sense of the presence of Jesus. And they opened their mouths, and a symphony of praise, and all of Jerusalem heard the Gospel in their own language. And they knew the Holy Spirit had been given.

And that was a once and for all time. You know, just like Bethlehem was once and for all, and the cross was once and for all, the resurrection once and for all, the ascension once and for all, Pentecost is once and for all. So when we pray for another Pentecost, there will never be another Pentecost. What we're praying for is an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. God, come down, just like Isaiah 64 said. Shake us, and reveal yourself, and pour out your Spirit upon us, and revive the hearts of your people. But Pentecost is an historic time when the Holy Spirit was given.

So let me try to explain the difference that this made. Because in the Old Testament, people came into a right relationship with God primarily when they went to the temple, and they took a little lamb, and they would grab the lamb with both hands, confess their sin. It was as though the guilt of their sin traveled along their arm, was conveyed to the little lamb.

The sinner took the knife and killed the lamb, and then the priest took the blood of the lamb, and sprinkled on the altar so that the sinner's sin was atoned for. And he came into a right relationship with God as he kept the sacrifices and the ceremonies, and he belonged to God's people, and that's the way they were made right with God in the Old Testament. So in the Old Testament, they were looking forward to the cross. They still put their faith in Jesus.

They didn't know his name. They didn't know the details, but they were exercising their faith every time they went to the temple and grasped the lamb, confessed their sin, and the blood was shed to cover them and cleanse them and give them forgiveness and maintain that right relationship with God. In the New Testament, on this side of the cross, we still look back to the cross. So we're made right with God in the same way. It's just that we don't have to kill a little lamb, and aren't you thankful that we don't have to go to a temple and slaughter a little lamb? I can't imagine, but we go back to the cross by faith, and we grasp the Lamb of God with our hands of faith, and we confess our sin.

It says the guilt of our sin is transferred to the Lamb of God who's hanging on the cross, and his blood covers us and cleanses us, and we're absolved of guilt and shame, and we're forgiven of our sin, and we're brought into a right relationship with God. But in the New Testament, we have something added that they didn't know anything about in the Old Testament, because in the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit would come upon somebody to anoint them for service, so to help people as they were building the temple to work with gold or linens, or come upon somebody like Saul of Kish to anoint him to be the leader, the first king of Israel. And then when Saul sinned, God removed his spirit. And then David was anointed king, and God's Spirit came upon him, and when David sinned with Bathsheba, do you remember what he prayed? God, don't take your spirit away from me, because he knew the Spirit could be given, and the Spirit could be removed. So in the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit came and went sort of on people. In the New Testament, since Pentecost, when we come to the cross, we confess our sin, we claim Jesus as our Savior, and we invite him to come into our lives and take control as our Lord. He comes into us in the person of the Holy Spirit. We can be indwelt with the Spirit of God.

Now that's revolutionary. That's the gift. That's the matan. That's your engagement ring. The Holy Spirit comes to live inside of you.

The Old Testament, they didn't know anything about that. That's something that's a privilege for the bride. And we can be confident as we go through this final hour that the Spirit of the living God lives inside of us.

But I want to ask you, does he? When did you invite him to come in? You know, I was a little girl, and I'd watched a film about Jesus on television, came to the scene of the cross, and I'd watched it just about every Good Friday. I don't remember the year that this took place, but it used to come on every Good Friday. And this particular Good Friday, I'd watched it. And I was very aware that Jesus had died for me. I knew he had died for me, and I was convicted of my sin. And upstairs in my bedroom at the home across the valley, I got down on my knees, and I told God I was sorry, and I asked him to forgive me and come into my heart, and I claimed Jesus is my Savior. And I didn't know about the Holy Spirit, and I didn't know all the little technical things and the theological things. I just knew I wanted Jesus to be my Savior, and I was sorry for my sin.

I invited him to come in, and I believe he did. I believe as a little girl, I was born again into God's family. God doesn't have any grandchildren, you know that?

So just because I'm Billy Graham's daughter, it doesn't mean that I'm a child of God. I had to make my decision. I went down, and I remember telling my mother, and as I was going down the stairs to tell her, I can remember feeling lighter, like something had, I didn't even know I was carrying a burden as a little girl, but I just felt light and clean, and I just, from that moment on, I loved Jesus. I read the Bible through the next year. I could see fruit in my life even as I look back, and I know that I was converted. I was saved.

I had received the gift, the Matan. When did you? Can you remember a specific time? Maybe you can't remember the year, but you remember.

You can't invite somebody to come in to your home, and you might forget the date, but if you were having company, you wouldn't forget that you had them. And when you invite Jesus to come in, he comes in. Maybe you can't remember the specific date and time, but you know that you prayed a prayer and confessed your sin and invited him to come in.

If you don't remember a time like that, how do you know there is a time like that? Let me explain the virgin marriage. You know, when the angel came to her, and he said, you're going to have a baby, and she said, whoa, how can that be, because I've never known a man? And he said, the Spirit of God is going to come upon you, and that which is conceived within you is going to be the life of the Son of God.

And she said, be it unto me according to your will. And she conceived within herself Jesus physically. When you and I put our faith in Jesus, and we invite him to come in, we conceive within us spiritually the life of Jesus. We have a new creation, new mind to think the thoughts of God, new emotions to love people we didn't even like, new intellect to make decisions, to read our Bible every day, to break with that habit, to share with our neighbor, and we have the mind of Christ. So we become a new creation. So now, within me, there are two people living. So there's Ann Graham Lots, and I will have that until I see Jesus. So that old nature, I always have to be on guard.

I'm always having to put to death the things that it's trying to get me to do. I have to reject it and don't live in that old nature. I want to walk in the Spirit and learn to live in the life of Jesus within me. So I just invite you, if you can't remember a time when you've invited Jesus from the outside to come in, let me make this clear. When you invite Jesus to come into your heart, he comes into you in the person of the Holy Spirit. So if you didn't know about the Holy Spirit, like I didn't know about the Holy Spirit, that's okay. God understands.

He knows what you're asking. Jesus is in a man's body up in heaven, getting ready to come back and rule the world. He couldn't possibly come into my body. So when I invite him to come in, he comes in in the person of the Holy Spirit, who is Jesus without skin, all that Jesus is, except in spirit form to live inside of me as the gift, the matan.

So you can be confident of his presence when you have confessed your sin, been to the cross, told God you're sorry, asked him to forgive you, you're willing to repent, to turn away from your sin, open up your heart, invite him to come in. You can be confident his presence is now inside of you, never to leave you, never to forsake you. You can be confident you are not alone.

You're not going through this by yourself. And thirdly, we can be confident of his power. In Acts chapter 1, verse 8, it says, you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And this is the Holy Spirit. Do you remember in Genesis 1, verse 1, in the beginning God created everything? Verse 2, the Spirit of God hovered over the face of the deep, and the deep was just planet earth dangling in space, just like a blob, dark and had no shape, no meaning, no purpose.

And the Holy Spirit hovered over it, preparing it in the third verse to receive God's word. And God said, God's word went forth, and every day through the preparation of the Spirit and the proclamation of the word, day by day by day by day, planet earth was transformed into a place of beauty, a place where God could even see his own image reflected. And so the Holy Spirit has that kind of power to transform a human life, to transform a planet. If he can transform a planet, he can transform you, and he can transform me.

So he has the power to change you and me. And look at the disciples. Peter's such a good example because before the cross during the trials of Jesus, he was outside in the courtyard, and the little girl came up and said, you're one of his disciples. He said, no, I'm not. And the second, yes, you are one of his disciples.

No, I'm not. The third time, I saw you in the garden, and he cursed and said he never knew Jesus. He was so terrified of the opinions of other people, so terrified of what other people would say about him that he denied his Lord three times. After the cross, after Pentecost, he stands up there in the courtyard in front of these very same people who had put Jesus on trial and condemned him to death and crucified him, and he said, you have crucified the Lord of glory. And they said, what must we do to be saved? And he says, you repent and you be baptized and you can be saved, and they did and they were.

And the difference, when he was arrested, and they grilled them, and they said, how could these uneducated fishermen speak like this and preach like this and make such an impact like this? And they took note he had to have been with Jesus. And the difference they saw in Peter's life was they said he had been with Jesus. He wasn't just with Jesus. Jesus was in him.

And it makes all the difference. How can you witness to somebody who doesn't even believe there's a God, or how can you witness to somebody who doesn't believe the scripture has authority? How do you change somebody like that? How do you change somebody when you share the gospel and you say, for God so loved the world? God? You know, which God is that? He so loved the world that he gave his only son. His only son? We're all sons of God. That whosoever believes in him, wait a minute, are you saying Jesus is the only way? That sounds narrow-minded, intolerant.

We all have our own gods. And you would not perish? Perish? You believe in hell? Oh, that is so archaic.

That was so medieval. That you would have everlasting life? I don't believe in that.

I believe when you die, you just snuff out. So how do you convince somebody like that, that the gospel is true, that God does so love the whole world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever places his faith in him would not perish but have everlasting life? How do you convince them?

You don't. Only the Holy Spirit can do that. Praise God, you know? We don't have to do the convincing.

We do the sharing. How can they believe if they don't hear it? They have to hear it. We have to share our faith and share the gospel, but it's the Holy Spirit who changes them. And that's what those verses say. He convinces of sin, he convinces of righteousness, and he convinces of judgment if they don't get right with God. So we're free to just love them and to share the gospel with them, befriending people and meeting them for lunch, texting them, checking on them, just coming alongside them until sooner or later. You pray the Holy Spirit will take that and make it real so that they will want the same Jesus they see in you. And that's one reason I believe it's very important to pre-pray your day, because you never know when you're going to have those opportunities come up.

And then if an opportunity arises, you just send up a little air of prayers, help me, Lord, just clothe this with the power of the Holy Spirit. So as I share the gospel, you'll be working in the heart to change the heart and the mind of the person so you can be confident of his power. And the longer you live and the more you experience his power in your life in situations such as I described, the more confident you are. He can do it.

If we just get out of his way, he can do it. And we're confident of his precepts. In verse 13, he's referred to as the Spirit of Truth. And the Spirit of Truth is the one who wrote this book. And I know he used human vessels to write down the words, but 2 Timothy 3.16 says, All scripture is God-breathed, useful for teaching, correcting, rebuking, training, and righteousness.

So to say God's word has errors or to say it has myths or to say that God's word is not true in its entirety is to slur the integrity of the Spirit of Truth. So I think you need to make the decision if you believe it or not, from Genesis to Revelation, every single part. And I'm here to tell you, if when I get to heaven, I find out that in some battle in the Old Testament, 200,000 people killed, it was 20,000 people killed because somewhere zero got added.

I don't care. But I don't want to get to heaven and find out that I said, you know, I don't believe in Adam and Eve because who ever heard of a snake talking? And I don't think all those animals could fit on a boat and how could you get them to come anyway? And I don't believe that Jonah was swallowed by a fish because I've never heard of a man swallowing by a fish and after three days being spit out, you know? And I don't even think I believe in the resurrection of Jesus because who's ever heard of a man rising from the dead? And you go through Scripture and you pick and choose what with your finite mind you can understand? I don't want to get to heaven and find that I threw out things that were God's truth. And all those stories I just mentioned, Jesus referred to, by the way. And if Jesus is the truth, he's not going to lie, he's not going to deceive, you can take his word.

So I challenge you to make your decision about this book. I don't know how you can share the gospel with somebody else if you don't truly believe it. So you decide and we just take it by faith.

Can I tell you that I can't give you all the answers to the theological questions, I don't understand everything I read, I just know that it's true. And I believe when you approach it by faith and you believe it's true, that's when God gives you the hidden manna. That's when he gives you hidden insights into what it's saying.

That's when you do your three questions. What does it say? What does it mean to me? And what does it mean in my life? And it begins to break open. So what do you believe about the Bible? You believe it's true.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-18 16:42:50 / 2023-06-18 16:53:43 / 11

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