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The Work and Person of the Holy Spirit - Part 2 (Acts)

So What? / Lon Solomon
The Truth Network Radio
February 7, 2023 7:00 am

The Work and Person of the Holy Spirit - Part 2 (Acts)

So What? / Lon Solomon

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We are in a study, verse by verse, of the book of Acts.

And we right now have taken a very short respite from going through the chapter of two of book of Acts, verse by verse. And we're in a two-part series entitled, The Person and the Work of the Holy Spirit. And last week in part one, we learned that the Holy Spirit is a person, not an inanimate force.

A he and not an it. And we also learned that the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity, co-equal in every way with God the Father and God the Son. And then we went through 10 ministries of the Holy Spirit that he carries out on earth in this present age. And if you missed the message last week, I want to urge you to go online. and download it or pick up a CD. I mean, it was really a good message, even if I say so myself. And so, it was. And I want you to understand the ministry of the Holy Spirit in your life. And in this age, it is critical as Christians that we understand that. Now, last week, we said that one of the ministries of the Holy Spirit here in this age is to indwell us as Christians and that it's only because of this indwelling presence of God's Spirit that we are even remotely able to live a Christlike life. Now, this is what we want to talk about today. We want to talk about how to live the Christian life in the power of God's Spirit. I'm going to say some things today that might be revolutionary to you, maybe. I'm going to say some things today that maybe you've never heard before. So, I need you to put your thinking caps on as we try to teach you the right way to live the Christian life. So, are you ready? You sure? Everybody ready? All right.

Here we go. Romans chapter 7, verse 15, the apostle Paul, writing as the apostle Paul, writing as the apostle Paul. As a believer in Christ, he says, for what I want to do, I do not do, but what I hate to do. Then he says, for I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out, for what I do is not the good I want to do. No, he says, the evil that I do not want to do, this is what I keep on doing. For, he says, as a believer, I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body and my sinful human nature waging war against my mind and making me a what?

Say it. A prisoner of the law of sin that is in my members. Now, for the vast majority of Christians, this is the pattern of their Christian life. They want to do what pleases God. They want to live in a Christ-like way. We don't want to gossip. We don't want to lose our temper. We don't want to judge other people harshly. We don't want to lust after women. We don't want to lie. We don't want to act selfishly. But even though we try as hard as we can, this stuff still slips out of our life. And not only does our ability to control our sinful human nature discourage us, but it can even make us begin to doubt our very salvation.

Because we begin to say, hey, if I'm really a Christian, then how come I can't live the Christian life? Now, if that's where you are today, you have come to the right place. You say, the right place? I'm totally depressed. No, Donald wants you to be depressed. No, no, no.

Friends, this is a fixable situation. Somebody just failed to teach you how to live the Christian life correctly, which is what we're going to do right now. So follow us. Paul says in Romans 8, verse 11, if the spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, stop for a minute. If you're a follower of Christ, is the spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead living in you? Yeah, we learned that last week, right? That every follower of Christ has the indwelling spirit.

Okay, so this is you we're talking about. Pay attention. If the spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, watch, he who raised Jesus from the dead will also give life, an abundant Christian life, to your mortal bodies. Notice, next three words, say them with me, through his spirit which dwells in you. So then, the next verse says, so then what? Well, so then, because of the supernatural power that the indwelling Holy Spirit can give us, so then, we are not obligated to the flesh to live according to the flesh. Now, do we understand what the Bible is telling us here? The Bible is telling us that in spite of how strong the lusts of our sinful human nature are, that as followers of Christ, God has provided a way for us not to be obligated to obey these lusts.

And what is that way? Well, he just said it in Romans 8, verse 11, it is through his spirit. Notice the verse does not say it is through our human effort. It does not say it is through our human determination. It does not say it is through our human anything.

Do you see that? And yet, this is how most of us go out to live the Christian life every morning. We might have our Bible time, we might have our prayer time, whatever, and then we know how God wants us to live, so we walk out the front door and this is what we do. We say, I'm not gonna lie today. I'm not gonna lust today. I'm not gonna think bad of people today.

And within an hour, you've done it all. Right? Yeah, because, listen to me, the abundant Christian life is a supernatural life. Say that with me. The abundant, wait a minute, we're gonna do this. Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. That's true.

Come on now, ready? The abundant Christian life is a supernatural life. Jesus said, Matthew 5 44, love your enemies. That is supernatural.

The natural inclination of our flesh is to hate our enemies. Hey, the Bible says, 1 Thessalonians 5 16, rejoice always. That is supernatural to do that. The flesh wants to grumble all the time. Give thanks in all circumstances, the Bible says.

That is supernatural. Our sinful human nature wants to complain about all circumstances. Watch, for this circumstance you're in is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. That kind of surrender to God's will, even if you don't like it, even if you don't understand it, that is supernatural for the inclination of our sinful human nature is to argue with God and debate with God and tell him how wrong he is instead of surrendering. Hey, when in obedience to God, we forgive someone who's deeply hurt us, that is what?

Say it out loud. Supernatural, right. And when a beautiful woman walks by and we have the inner spiritual power not even to look at her, gentlemen, what is that?

Supernatural, that's right. And if your husband said that, don't get mad at him. He's just telling the truth. That's the way it is. Now, all these supernatural things that we just named, forgiving people, loving our enemies, giving thanks in all things, rejoicing always, surrendering to God's will, resisting the lust to look at women or whatever, these are what the Christian life is supposed to be, right?

Right? Okay. So let me repeat myself. The Christian life, the abundant Christian life is a supernatural life. All these things we just named are supernatural things and that life can only be lived not by human energy, not by human power, but, friends, it takes supernatural power to produce supernatural results.

Are you with me? And that's why only the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit filling us and flowing through us can produce a supernatural life. Now, it's kind of like an electric fan. You know, there are two ways to produce a breeze coming out of an electric fan.

One way is you can stick your finger in and you can rotate the blades with your finger around. You can do that. It'll produce a breeze.

I mean, it won't be a great one, but you can make it work that way. The other way to make an electric fan work is to what? Plug it in.

Yeah. And then the breeze is being made. The fan is being run not by the power of your finger, but by the power of the electricity that is flowing through it and coursing through it. And you better not put your finger in when that's happening. So this is exactly how the Christian life is. Friends, many of us try to run our Christian lives with our finger, and we're like, I'm not going to do this. I'm not going to do this. I'm not going to do this.

That will not work. You cannot, by the determination of your sinful human nature, produce a supernatural life. The only way we can do this is by plugging into the socket of the Holy Spirit and allowing His power to course and run through our life and produce that obedience to God.

Now, do we all see this? Okay. You say, well, Lon, I see this, but how do we convince the Holy Spirit to want to fill us, to want to flow through us, and to want to empower us like this?

Friends, if you don't get anything else, you get what I'm about to say. You don't have to convince Him. You don't have to convince Him. Listen, as followers of Christ, the Holy Spirit wants to fill us. That's why He's inside of us. As followers of Christ, the Holy Spirit is aching to fill us. As followers of Christ, God wants you to live an obedient, powerful Christian life more than you'll ever want to live it. And He put the Holy Spirit inside of us, and He will fill us automatically. Hear me. He will fill us automatically if we don't do something to stop Him, to grieve Him, or to quench Him. You understand what I'm saying?

You got me. And what is it that quenches and grieves the Holy Spirit in our life day by day? What is it? It's sin. Disobedience to God.

That's right. When we commit daily sin, and it can be a sin of an act, it can even be in our mind, arrogance, judgment of other people. When we commit sin, what we do is we unplug the power cord, and the Holy Spirit is quenched, and the Holy Spirit is grieved, and His filling and His free-flowing power in our life drops. But we got a wonderful verse. 1 John 1-9. If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. And once God has forgiven us, once God has cleansed us immediately upon our confession, right at that same moment, the Holy Spirit's filling and the Holy Spirit's power roars back into fullness in our life. And this is the process that we are supposed to repeat all day long. Hey, any guys ever play PlayStation?

Sure. I used to play my boys in football in PlayStation, and I would get absolutely creamed. I mean, crushed. And my hand-eye coordination just wasn't good enough. And you know when you're about to kick off in PlayStation in the football, they have this little barometer on the side where it goes up and down.

You remember what I'm talking about? And you're supposed to try to kick off when the barometer is all the way at the top and the power's at the max. But I always kicked off when the barometer was at the bottom and the ball would go dink, dink, dink, dink, dink. And my son would start on my own 30-yard line.

It was horrible. Now, the point of all that is that this is the way it works all day with us and the Holy Spirit. We want to keep the barometer, our goal is to keep it at the top, at max, all day long with his filling and his power. And when we sin, it drops. When we disobey God, it drops. But what we do is we confess our sin right away and God forgives our sin right away and the barometer goes right back up right away. Got it?

Do y'all got it? All right. And, you know, in the morning when I get up before I even get out of bed, I confess my sins to the Lord from the day before or two days before, whatever he convicts me of, or even that morning. You say, how can you have committed sin? You didn't even get out of bed yet. I can do it.

Believe me, it's possible. I can do it. And then once I've cleaned myself up, I say to the Lord, Lord, now please plug me into the socket of the Holy Spirit today. Let him fill my life right now. Let his power start flowing through my life right now. And control my eyes and keep them where they belong and control my mind and my mouth and my attitudes and keep them where they belong today, Lord. And I'm telling you, you do this long enough and you walk with Christ long enough and you can feel, you can tell when that has been accomplished in your heart.

You can feel and sense that the Spirit of God has filled your heart. And then I pray, Lord, as I go through the day, when I do something wrong, when I think something wrong, when I say something wrong and I pull the power cord out, God, make me sensitive to it immediately. Let me confess it right away. Don't let me sin at 10 a.m. and not get around to confessing it till 10 p.m. and go 12 hours unplugged and without the power I need to live the Christian life. Let me confess it at 10.01 a.m. and then 10.04 a.m. and then 10.30 a.m. and then 10.45 a.m. Hey, I don't care if you got to do it 50 times a day. I'm 100 times or more. What difference does it make?

Success is finding something that works and doing it over and over and over again. And this is how we live the Christian life, confessing sin over and over and over again and keeping the barometer at the top all day long as much as possible. Now, when we live this way, we don't live sinless Christian lives. Nobody can do that, but we can live consistent Christian lives. And this is why a brand new Christian may not be mature yet, they may not know all the Bible verses yet, and they may not know all the theology yet, and they may not be able to explain every mystery in the Bible yet, and they may never, but they can still be spiritual right away.

They can still live a powerful Christian life from day one of their salvation because a Spirit-filled life does not depend on how much theology you know, and it does not depend on how many Bible verses you know. It depends on letting the Spirit of God fill you every day, and every single Christian from day one of coming to Christ can do that. Now, some of the most powerful days of my entire Christian life were in the first months that I was saved. Bob Eckhart, the man that led me to Christ, taught me how to live the Christian life like this. And man, I was on fire for the Lord. I mean, you wouldn't believe it. I was leading people to Christ everywhere I went.

It was staggering. And then I came up to the Washington area, and I met a bunch of Christians who said to me, you can't be living a powerful Christian life like that. You're too young. You don't know enough of the Bible. You don't know enough theology. You don't know Greek and Hebrew yet.

Now, forget the fact I already was living it. They said, no, no, no, you can't do that. You've got to learn more first. You've got to get more mature. You've got to go to seminary. And you know what? They were older in the Lord than I was, so I believed them. And I'm telling you, it took me 20 years to recover, 20 years to figure out that that was wrong.

And I had it right to begin with. Look, you say, Lon, it can't be that simple. Why not? Why would God want to make it hard? God wants to make it easy enough that a child can do it. Why would He make it hard? God, I said earlier, wants you to live a powerful Christian life more than you'll ever want to live it. Why would He make it difficult for you to do it?

No. We're the ones who complicate this. We are educated beyond our intelligence, friends. We're the ones who make this hard. It's not hard. It's simple and easy if we just learn how to do it right. And so, can we summarize?

Okay. If a Christian is properly taught how, then they can and they should be living not a sinless life, but a Spirit-filled Christian life, a life of consistent spiritual power and consistent spiritual victory from day one of their salvation. And my friends, don't you ever let anybody tell you different than that. Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord. So, how do we do it? Four easy steps.

Here we go. Number one, we confess our sins in the morning and we get ourselves cleaned up. Number two, we plug into the Holy Spirit's power first thing in the morning and fill the barometer up. Number three, as the day goes on, we confess our daily sins and disobedience quickly. We ask the Holy Spirit to make us amazingly sensitive to when we have offended God in thought, in word or in deed, and we take care of it right that second. And finally, we keep plugging back in to the Holy Spirit's power all day long, 50 times, 100 times.

It doesn't matter. You say, Lon, if I did something like that, I would drive myself crazy. You know, I would become psychotic. No, you won't. You'll become consistent in your Christian walk.

You won't become psychotic. And you know, this is why Galatians chapter 5 16 says, watch, live by the what? The Spirit, watch, and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh. You say, I'm not sure you're right. I just, of course I'm right. That verse just says I'm right.

Of course I'm right. Listen, there's nothing better than to be living an almost effortless Christian life. And when you are filled by the Spirit and He is flowing through your life, I'm here to tell you that the Christian life becomes almost effortless. There is so much power inside you to do what God wants that you don't have to try to gut it out. And it's not drudgery.

If it's drudgery, you can believe your barometer's dropped. Now, final thing I want to say is that when we're living a plugged in Christian life, folks, hear me carefully, our Bible study, our prayer, our witnessing, and our fellowship become exciting. You know, we get up and we go, I've got to read the Bible. The line says I've got to read the Bible. I've got to pray.

Oh, I'm sitting next to this guy. I know I'm supposed to witness to him. This is not the Christian life God called you to. What's wrong with you?

No. Something, hasn't it occurred to you something's drastically wrong with that? No, that isn't how the early apostles lived. They were excited to share their faith, excited to pray, excited to fellowship, excited to read the Bible.

You know why? Because those things were in their proper place. They were the overflow of a Spirit-filled life, not the cause of it. Are you with me? When a Spirit-filled life is happening, the overflow is that we want to do these things and we love doing these things. Most of us make the mistake of trying to make Bible study, prayer, witnessing, and fellowship the cause of a Spirit-filled life. Folks, the only cause of a Spirit-filled life is who? The Spirit. Say it.

Who? The Spirit. That's right. Witnessing won't give you a Spirit-filled life.

It's the result of one. And you know what else is? Great worship. You need to make sure you get filled with the Spirit before you come here on Sunday to worship or your worship's going to stink.

It's going to be terrible. It's not going to be an overflow from the Holy Spirit working through you. So take a moment and make sure before you come in here for the sake of all of us that you're filled and you can contribute to the worship that's going on. You with me?

It's also an overflow of a Spirit-filled life. Now, some of you are going to walk out here and you're going to say, that man's crazy. Well, all right. Go to the Bible and check it out for yourself. But how's your Christian life doing?

I may be crazy, but you know what? I know how to live the Christian life. I don't always do it perfectly, but I know how to live it. And when I'm doing it right, my Christian life's exciting. If yours isn't, then I may be crazy, but I may be right too. I'm willing to admit I'm crazy, but I'm telling you this is right. And if nobody's ever taught you this before, no wonder you're not experiencing the abundant joy of the Christian life, like God wants you to. Check it out. I'm right.

Let's pray. Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for teaching us today. And Lord, I thank you. Bob Eckhart taught me this 45 years ago, even though for 20 years I forgot it.

And I didn't do it. But Lord, he was right. And I thank you for the privilege for us today to teach people the right way to live the Christian life, the Spirit-filled Christian life. Thank you for putting the Holy Spirit inside of us, Lord, so that he's right there to give us that filling and that power. God, help us to tap into that every moment of every day, as we've talked about today. And I pray that you would radically transform some people's Christian experience here as a result of the Word of God this day. And we pray these things in Jesus' name. What do God's people say? Amen. Amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-07 09:42:47 / 2023-02-07 09:52:22 / 10

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