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The Holy Spirit and the Believer Today #2

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green
The Truth Network Radio
March 8, 2022 7:00 am

The Holy Spirit and the Believer Today #2

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green

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March 8, 2022 7:00 am

Last time, Pastor Don Green discussed the first two of three main works of the Holy Spirit- Regeneration and indwelling. Today, he'll cover sanctification, defining it for you, and he'll also point out the fruits of the Spirit, which are the mark of true believers in Jesus Christ. So have your Bible ready. thetruthpulpit.comClick the icon below to listen.

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Scripture is the authority, not the claims of a guy with poofy hair on a TV set who says God spoke to me, not from a woman who says that God meets her at 4 o'clock in the morning because he's got to have some fellowship with her.

That's not it! Where is truth found? Thanks for joining us on the Truth Pulpit with Don Green, founding pastor of Truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. And today Don continues teaching God's people God's Word.

I'm Bill Wright. Don is moving further into our series titled The Holy Spirit Today, with part two of a message called The Holy Spirit and the Believer Today. Last time, Don discussed the first two of three main works of the Holy Spirit, regeneration and indwelling.

Today, he'll cover sanctification, defining it for you. And he'll also look at the fruits of the Spirit, which are the mark of true believers in Jesus Christ. So have your Bible open and ready as we join our teacher right now in the Truth Pulpit. So, do you ask me, do I believe in the work of the Holy Spirit and the believer today?

Absolutely I do. I wouldn't be a believer without the Holy Spirit. And every true believer has the living Holy Spirit abiding in him, indwelling him from the moment of his conversion all the way to the end. Beloved, there's no man that can do that. Mary can't do that for you. There's no priest that can do that. Joseph Smith can't do that.

Mary Baker Eddy can't do that. Today's so-called prophets can't do that. This is a work that only the Spirit of God can do and he does do it for every true believer. These are great, truly great realities of which Scripture speaks. These are the great realities that make it so that a man does not go to hell for eternity, but rather dwells in heaven with Christ for eternity. These are the great realities that produce real conversion, real new life in the hearts of men who previously were hostile to God. Some of you can remember you were actively hostile to God. I was. The way I use the name of Christ in my pre-converted days is appalling.

And I was hostile to that name. Beloved, no man changed that. No man changed it in you either. The reason that you have a new disposition toward God and to his Word is because the Spirit of God worked on your heart. Now, what we must do as believers in Christ, especially in this age, is have a high and great appreciation for the eternal magnitude of that kind of work by the Holy Spirit so that we recognize it is an elevated, lofty work beyond comparison to anything else. And when you have that rooted in your mind, then you're not attracted to the cheap imitations that are done under stage lights and in controlled environments claiming to be works of the Holy Spirit.

You realize that these things are just external, that they are passing, that they are not even real. And because you know the true and because you value the true, you're not attracted to the counterfeit. You realize that Scripture speaks of a work inside the man by the Word rather than outside the Word in wonders. For now, we just want to see that for us, for you and me as fellow believers in Christ, for us to have the power of sin that used to dominate us broken in our hearts, to have a new power that is attracted to righteousness that can understand the Word of God, that loves the people of God, to have a mind that can read the Word of God with understanding when that's real in your mind, when that's real in your heart, when you've truly been born again by the Spirit, that is the most precious possession in your life.

That roots your affections on matters of the Word applied to the inner man. And we must appreciate this work that the Holy Spirit really does. In Ephesians chapter 1, verses 13 and 14, it says this, in Him, meaning in Christ, 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 with a view to the redemption of God's own possession to the praise of His glory. Scripture says you were sealed in Christ with the Holy Spirit.

What does that mean? In ancient times, ancient documents were sealed with wax to close them, to protect them, and to certify that they came from the owner. And so they were sealed in a way that protected the contents and verified them as being from the owner. What Scripture describes in this sealing aspect of the Holy Spirit is this, when the Spirit of God came upon you, He stamped you as belonging to God. He marked you out to show that you belonged to Him. There was a unique mark from God placed on you, not in the physical realm, but in the spiritual realm that showed that you were really from God, that your salvation was real.

The owner's distinct seal guaranteed the authenticity of the document. And so what's the mark of the Spirit of God in a life today? Does Scripture tell us to look for outward manifestations of signs, that that's the fruit of the Spirit? Galatians 5, 22, and 23, the fruit of the Spirit? Inner realities that manifest themselves in life. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, self-control.

I dropped one of them along the way. Galatians 5, 22, and 23, those fruit being the mark, the overflow, the impress, the action that the Spirit does on the lives of those that He saves. That is the seal, that is the mark, those of you that were converted in your adult life like I was. Didn't you see a change from the former person you were to what you became? Before you were angry and enslaved to lusts, and somehow it dawned on you that you had been born again? When you had put your faith in Christ, you started to see fruit from your life that had never been there before. That's the work of the Holy Spirit.

No man does that. And so, we love the Holy Spirit. We love the work of the Spirit. We believe in the work of the Spirit of God. We are looking to Scripture to let Scripture tell us what that looks like.

Because Scripture is the authority, not the claims of a guy with poofy hair on a TV set who says, God spoke to me. Not from a woman who says that God meets her at four o'clock in the morning because he's got to have some fellowship with her. That's not it!

That's not it. You see, we're talking about fundamental matters of how do we know what is true? Where is truth found? Not in the claims of the 21st century false prophets. In the claims of the first century writings of the appointed apostles of Jesus Christ.

We go to the Word of God and we find out what is true. And this is what God attributes as the work of the Spirit in this age. Now, one more thing about this aspect of the indwelling of the Spirit. The Spirit is a pledge to us as well.

A pledge. Look at 2 Corinthians chapter 1. 2 Corinthians chapter 1. 2 Corinthians chapter 1 in verse 21.

Again, notice the inner work. 2 Corinthians chapter 1 verse 21. Now, he who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God. Who also sealed us, there's that word, and gave us the Spirit in our hearts in the inner man as a pledge. As a pledge. Chapter 5 verse 5 of 2 Corinthians.

Chapter 5 verse 5. Now, he who prepared us for this very purpose is God who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge. The Spirit is a pledge in the sense that he is a down payment from God.

What does a down payment do on a mortgage? A down payment is a promise that there's more to come. It is a guarantee that there will be more that is delivered later. God gives us the Holy Spirit in this life. And the presence of the Holy Spirit is the indication of a promise from God that he will complete what he has begun. That there is more to come. That as the Holy Spirit has started a work, there will be a greater fulfillment in the end. A pledge, a promise that cannot be broken from God that says, I have more in store for you.

When a young man gives a young woman an engagement ring. What is it except that there's a promise of more to come? There will be a fulfillment, there will be a consummation of our relationship and this ring is a symbol of my promise that that will come. And in the wedding, another symbol of a ring is given that I'm going to keep these promises that we're now consummating. A symbol, a vow that this will take place.

And sometimes men and women don't do a great job on those, do they? But God keeps his promises. When God makes a pledge, you can know for certain that the fulfillment will take place. That there will be a consummation. And so the fact that we have the Holy Spirit dwelling within us. That we can recognize by the spiritual fruit that he produces in our lives. When there is an ongoing abiding change that takes place in a life. You're recognizing the pledge from God to that person.

This is really glorious. The pledge from God to that person that what I've started I'm going to finish. As good as the foretaste is now, as good as this preliminary feast is.

There's a consummating feast that's yet to come for you my beloved. Speaking in those terms. The promise from God that he will fulfill what he has started. The Spirit is God's pledge to that. And notice the pledge that he gave. Oh, notice it.

Notice it. The pledge not in external signs that can be manipulated and changed. But a pledge of God himself.

God gives the Spirit himself as the pledge that he will do what he says. And he has done that for you beloved fellow Christian. Beloved brother in Christ. Beloved sister in Christ. Think with me.

What have we been saying? What does Scripture say about the reality of who you were? Enslaved of various lusts. Dead in trespasses and sins. Not understanding. No one who does good.

Not even one. And here you are abiding, walking through life now as a true Christian with the Spirit abiding in you, indwelling you as a pledge from God that he's got even better things in store for you. That promotes praise from the believing heart.

That gives us spiritual confidence that overcomes, that allows us to persevere through the severe adversities of life. Beloved, these are the truths. Oh, I hope you anchor them in.

I hope you go back and listen to these things again. Because this is where it is at. These are the things that anchor you even as you are approaching death. Because even as your outer man is decaying, you lay hold of the pledge of the Spirit. You lay hold of the work of God. You lay hold of what he's done and realize that it's a promise that what he has started he will finish. And unlike so many who approach death with fear, the pledge of the Spirit is your ability to be able to look forward and to walk through that with a sense of serenity that what my God has started he will finish.

I will be safe on the other side. Because he pledged it. And the pledge that he gave was of himself. Oh finally, let's quickly look at a final work of the Spirit in the work, in the life of the believer today. It's the work of sanctification. The work of sanctification. Now, there are two aspects to sanctification which is sometimes missed. The first aspect is what theologians call definitive sanctification. Or positional sanctification. And what they mean when theologians talk this way, what they mean by this is that Christians, true Christians, have been set apart by the Spirit for Christ.

To sanctify means to set apart. And when the Spirit of God worked in your heart and you were saved, beloved, he did this. He set you apart. He took you out from the clump of humanity, of sinful humanity, and placed you in the body of Christ. He set you apart so that you were to belong to Christ henceforth and forevermore. And sin was no longer your master. Sin is no longer your master. The reason that we can grow in grace is because the power of sin has been broken. Sin is no longer the master. Christ is.

You've been set apart. You've been sanctified in that way. The Spirit, Holy Spirit, also does a work of progressive sanctification. Progressive sanctification.

Lewis Berkhoff defines it this way, the reformed theologian. He says progressive sanctification is this. It is that gracious and continuous operation of the Holy Spirit by which he purifies the sinner, renews his whole nature in the image of God, and enables him to perform good works. The Spirit purifies us. The Spirit renews our nature after the image of God. The Spirit gives us the power to perform good works.

People who find themselves just completely and utterly unable to break the power of sin should realize that that's a mark of the absence of the Spirit of God in their lives. I realize you may have prayed a prayer, walked an aisle in the past. I realize some have memories of their mama praying by their bedside when they were three or four, supposedly giving your heart to Jesus. But 20, 30 years later, there's nothing in that life that shows that they really love Christ.

It's a life given over to sin, a life given over to darkness, a life with no love for the things of God, no love for his people. That is the mark of the absence of the Spirit of God because one of the things that the Spirit of God does is he moves us in the direction of holiness. You say, but what about that time with my mama?

Well, lots of things happen on a superficial level that don't result in anything that really changed. But I prayed with my mama, to which I reply, but where is the Spirit of God in your life? Where is the mark of that? Show me your faith by your works. Show me your faith by the fruit of the Spirit in your life. You say, but if what you're saying is true, then that time with my mama, I wasn't really saved.

Yeah, that's exactly what we're saying. Because the presence of the Spirit of God is shown by the fruit that he produces in a life. And the Spirit does this sanctifying work in the hearts of everyone that is saved.

The absence of that should cause you to go back to the drawing board and reassess all of life and go to God with a humble prayer that says, God, have I missed it completely? Have mercy on my sin, dark and soul. Have mercy on me in Christ. Maybe I was never saved, God.

Help me now because this is too urgent to miss. Look at Romans chapter 8. Romans chapter 8 in verse 11.

Romans 8 verse 11. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, there's that indwelling work again, what inevitably happens? He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. There will be a mark of the life of the Spirit of God who dwells in every true Christian, remember. There will be a mark that shows the signs of spiritual life, not spiritual death. We're not saying that true believers can't struggle with besetting sins, of course they do.

We're talking about something different. Where is your love for the Word of God? Where is your love for Christ? Where is your passion for knowing him? Where is your hope as you look to eternity? Where is the mark that something other than the things of this earth are the most important thing in your life?

Where is that shown in your life somehow, someplace? Because the Spirit gives that kind of life to everyone that he indwells. Verse 12. So then, brethren, we are under obligation not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh.

Frightening words here. For if you are living according to the flesh, you must die. But if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

You could say that those who are being led by the Spirit of God and they and they alone are the sons of God. One final verse, you don't need to turn there, from Galatians chapter 5 verse 16 as we describe this work of sanctification. Paul says, walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. So what have we seen here today, beloved? What is the work of the Holy Spirit in the believer today?

Regeneration, indwelling, sanctification. Works that no man can do. Works which are known by the fruit that they produce in the heart of the one who believes. This is the work of the Holy Spirit.

Work, that, it's not too much to say. You see this, right? You see this from the Word of God. This is what the reality of the work of the Spirit of God is. And so many times, those who claim to have the Spirit by signs and wonders are notorious for their worldly, ungodly dispositions, behavior, and lifestyle. So go to the Word and see the work of the Spirit and have discernment. Go to the Word, see the work of the Spirit, and ask whether you see something of that being manifested in your life.

And if you do and you find the presence of the Spirit of God operating, know that God has saved you in the Lord Jesus Christ, that God has given the Spirit to you as a pledge that he's going to do far greater things for you even in the future. You will gather around that table. You will have a seat reserved for you at the supper, the marriage supper of the Lamb. And you'll be there. And you'll belong there.

And that will be more like home to you than anything you ever experienced on earth. So we thank the Holy Spirit. We yield to the Holy Spirit. We ask the Holy Spirit for help. And we look forward to the weeks ahead as we study these things in greater depth. And so we've looked at the Holy Spirit and the believer today. Next time, Pastor Don Green will begin a study of the Holy Spirit and the Church today as he continues our important series on the Holy Spirit here on The Truth Pulpit. Well, Don, it may seem a fine point looking at the Holy Spirit vis-à-vis the believer versus the larger Church. But what are the important distinctions at play? That's a great question, Bill.

Thank you. You know, my friend, when Jesus Christ saves us, he brings us into his body. He saves us along with others and designs us to be a part of a functioning body together in a local church. We share the Holy Spirit with other believers.

He's not our exclusive possession. And so the Spirit works in relationships within the Church. And we'll see next time how he empowers, instructs, and unites us as he does. Thanks, Don. And friend, visit thetruthpulpit.com to get free copies of this series, plus so much more. Again, we invite you to visit thetruthpulpit.com. I'm Bill Wright, inviting you back next time on The Truth Pulpit as Don Green continues teaching God's people God's Word.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-25 19:47:47 / 2023-05-25 19:56:15 / 8

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