28 Jun 2015
Ephesians 5:18 Filled with the Spirit Pastor Jason Lim 28 June 2015 "It is not about you having more of the Holy Spirit, but that the Holy Spirit has more of you" God's Spirit lives in you. But He is not always seen to be working through you. Only when He fills us, then will we see God in us. This sermon will debunk myths, and lead you to the true understanding of life in the Spirit. Listen in and be blessed! Slides Transcriptions **Right Click to Do
"It is not about you having more of the Holy Spirit, but that the Holy Spirit has more of you"
God's Spirit lives in you.
But He is not always seen to be working through you.
Only when He fills us, then will we see God in us.
This sermon will debunk myths, and lead you to the true understanding of life in the Spirit.
Listen in and be blessed!
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As you know, I was on vacation, three, four weeks ago in Australia, and my wife had such a great time, she took some 600 over photos, during the trip. As for myself, I also took photo, but I only took one photo with my iPhone, and the photo is a very simple one, that looks like this. It's a picture of a service, a church service we attended while we were there. But this week, I was with my younger son, Matthias, and he grabbed my phone, he did something with it, and he brought the phone to his teacher, and says, "This is God! This is God!" I said, "When did the phone become God?" But he said, "This is God!" and he was referring to this picture on the phone. He showed his teacher: "This is God!" I laughed. I was smiling on the inside. My son is so funny. Well, in a sense, Matthias is right: God can be seen, and God can be known, but he is wrong in a sense. He thinks that God can be seen in a building, or God can be seen on the projector. Nevertheless, he is right in a sense, God can be seen. But where can God be seen?
I suggest to you, God is not seen in these physical structures, but God is seen in His people. See, the Bible tells us that God dwells in us. We are the temple of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of the living God, the third person of the Trinity, lives in every child of God today. If you have repented and believed in Jesus Christ, if you are a follower of Jesus, this is the amazing reality: Jesus, by His Spirit lives in you. The amazing thing about our salvation is that Jesus did not just die on the cross to pay for the penalty of your sins, but He comes to live in you, by His Spirit, to help you overcome the power of sin. It is such a wonderful salvation, to save us not just from the penalty, but also the power and He does this today by His Spirit living in us. And so if you are God's people, if we today belong to Jesus Christ, I tell you something, we can manifest God.
We should manifest God. People can know God, can see God in and through your lives. But maybe today, your experience is, "But Pastor, I don't quite see that in my life. I see a little bit of progress. I see a little bit of change, but I'm still struggling big time. I'm not where I should be. And I'm growing ever so slowly. What's wrong? If God lives in me, I agree with you, God should be seen in me. But why is it so slow, and so little, and so inconsistent?" One of the reasons is because we might not have understood that even though God lives in us, there's something else that needs to take place in order for Him to be fully and gloriously seen in us. That's why the Bible says in Ephesians 5:18 "Be not drunk with wine, but be filled with the Spirit." I think this is the - one of the secret recipes to the Christian life. You know how it is, right? You have a dish, and it tastes so good. Then you ask the person who cooked it, "What's your formula? What's your recipe? What's the secret sauce?" I think there's a secret sauce to the Christian life, and many Christians today might not have understood this. And, it is simply: you've got to be filled with the Spirit. The little - cute little diagram, I hope you will remember. If you want to move on in life, if you really want to progress in life, the Bible says, "You've got to be filled with the Spirit. " People struggle. People do not grow as they should, because they don't understand what it means to be filled with the Spirit.
So this morning, we're going to spend some time understanding this vital spiritual reality. The first question I want to ask, well, you might want to ask, is, "Alright, I see this phrase 'filled with the Spirit'. What does it mean to be filled? I mean, do you pour the Holy Spirit into me as I open my mouth? What does it mean?" Well, the word filled really means controlled. To be filled with the Spirit is to be controlled by the Spirit. Now, it's not hard to understand, because in Ephesians 5:18, Paul says, "Do not be drunk with wine, instead be filled with the Spirit." The understanding here is this. Don't allow yourself to be influenced or controlled by alcohol, it leads you to debauchery, it leads you to wasteful living, it leads you to riotous, excessive living. So don't be controlled by alcohol, but, be controlled by the Spirit. Again in Acts 5 and verse 3: "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart?" - (Acts 5:3 ESV). Same word, exact Greek word. And the idea here is don't let - why did you ever let Satan to control your heart? So, the idea of being filled with the Spirit is that we are controlled by the Spirit. The key to the Christian life is that we've got to be controlled by the Spirit.
So the idea, again, to make it simpler for you: To be filled with the Spirit is not that we have more of the Spirit. You can't have more of the Spirit, as if He comes in bits and pieces. No, you have all of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is a person who lives in you. So, to be filled with the Spirit is not to ask Him to come more as if we're pouring more of Him, but that the Holy Spirit will have more of us, that we would surrender more of our lives over to His control. Another way of looking at this, if you've already taken this down, if you find it helpful, is that to be filled with the Spirit means, He's not just a resident in us, but that He is President in our lives. So yes, He lives in us, but to be filled with the Spirit is to say, not only should You live in us, but You are King over our lives, You rule and reign. That's what it means to be filled. Now let me show you my artistic abilities again. I've been trying to use this over the past few sermons, right? I find it helpful to draw, to illustrate and I hope it is easy for you to understand. Suppose this is your life. In your life, you have a control center - your heart and there is a throne. This is not "h", it's a throne. There's a throne in your life. And before you came to know God, before you came to know Jesus, there is one person on the throne, and that is you, 'I'. I rule my life. Whatever my heart finds pleasing to do, I do. I do whatever I want. I do whatever pleases me, this is where you are before salvation.
Where is God? Before you came to know Him, where is God in this picture? Outside the circle. Very good. So He's out of your life, right? Now, when you came to know Jesus, what happens? Tell me, what happens in this diagram? Now, you become the temple - the dwelling place of God. And so, Christ by His Spirit comes into your life. However, when He comes into your life, He is not automatically ruling and reigning in every area of your life. The command of the Bible, according to Ephesians 5, is you've got to be filled with the Spirit - it's a command. So, He says, 'Be controlled by the Spirit.' Let Him control your life. So, not only must we have the indwelling, Ephesians 5:18 says, 'Let Christ by His Spirit rule your life', and so where are you now? You're kicked out, right? You're willing to surrender your control over to the Spirit and now you're kicked out, maybe under the throne.
However, the Christian life is not so simple, like okay, Jesus is king over my life and that's it, because this - oh sorry, wrong diagram, not another cross, I - alright. This 'I', this flesh, is not eliminated. This flesh is still very active, always trying to usurp authority, always trying to take over control. And so, the Bible actually tells us, be continuously filled with the Spirit. It's not a once-for-all decision. It's a moment-by-moment reality you've got to decide for. And, that's why the Bible uses the imagery of walking. Walk in the Spirit. Keep surrendering the control of your life to the Spirit. That's what it means.
So, Paul is telling us something very important: be filled with the Spirit. He is not just here to live in you. He's got to work in and through you. He works in and through you as you surrender control over to Him for your life, not just once, but on-going, moment-by-moment reality. Now, I know what you're thinking right now - because, to be filled with the Spirit, to surrender control to someone is always a very scary thing for us. We like to be in control. We don't like to surrender control, but what may help you is to realize what happens when you are controlling your life. That is what happens when 'I' sits on the throne, and what happens if Christ by His Spirit sits on the throne.
The difference is obvious. And if you understand that, maybe it will encourage you to surrender your life to Him even more. Now, it's a clue here, given to us in Ephesians 5:18, when you live a self-willed life, when 'I' is on the throne, there is a bad outcome out of it. It's hinted here. The Bible says, do not be drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, that is a bad thing. It's excessive, riotous, wasteful living. There's a word there - debauchery, and Paul contrasts it with being filled with the Spirit. So, if you are influenced by alcohol, it's bad but if you are influenced by the Holy Spirit, it's good! That's the idea and he clarifies it in Galatians 5: "Walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. Now the works of the flesh are evident (it's clear, it's manifest, it's obvious): sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality..." - (Galatians 5:16, 19-21 ESV). You may be a Christian today, you have believed in Jesus Christ, but, you know that these things are describing you, because you're not walking in the Spirit. Having the Spirit is not saying, you will not do these things. You've got to be walking in the Spirit, then you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. Some of you are surprised, "Oh! These sins are terrible sins, but they are the sins of the unsaved". No, these are the sins of the saved. These are the sins of those who know Jesus, but are not walking in the Spirit. It can happen, and it is happening to you, and in the church of Jesus Christ. See, the flesh is always trying to get up, and the flesh, when it sits on the throne, his rule and his reign will bring about these things. I mean this week, I tragically, I read of another mega-church pastor in the States, who admitted to an affair and has resigned from his church! You say, "How can it be? He's a pastor. He's a Christian!" Don't be surprised, the 'me', the flesh, the 'I' is always trying to get up on the throne, and it will ruin your life. When you look at it, the rest of the descriptions: the hatred, the divisions, the jealousies. When the flesh is in control, it's terrible.
But look at what happens when the Holy Spirit is in control. The Bible says, in contrast to these horrible things, the fruit of the Spirit is wonderful love, joy, peace, patience, kindness. I think if you're a child of God, you long for these things, not so that people will look well at you, but you sincerely desire these qualities. And so it might be so tempting for us as Christians to say, "Okay, let me work this out, let me try to produce this." Now look at this verse carefully, this is not what you produce. You can't. The works of the flesh are always the bad stuff! This is what the Holy Spirit produces. The key to the Christian life is not 'me' trying to be loving, patient, kind in my own strength. The key to the Christian life is surrendering control to the Spirit so that He will then be the one to manifest these beautiful attributes, these qualities of Christ, this godly living. Again, Paul says, when you are living in the Spirit, He will set you free from the law of sin and death.
In other words, He allows you in a practical way to have sanctification, that is, you become more and more holy, you become less and less like the world, you become more and more like God. Who enables you to do these things? The Holy Spirit. And it is the Holy Spirit who changes you into Christ-likeness. This transformation is not what you do to yourself, it's not like cosmetics. You know, you makeup, makeup, makeup, you can look like someone else.
This is a real change from the inside out, only possible by the Spirit. Now these are the great stuff we read about in the Bible, great effects when we are willing to trust God and surrender our lives over to Him. But that's not all. Paul says, if you're filled the Spirit, you're not going to waste your life, like those who are drunk. But we're going to walk in holiness, in beauty, in Christ-likeness and not only that, this will be another effect of that, is that you will be singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart. In other words, you will be brimming with joy and singing to God. Now by the way, this verse does not guarantee that you will sing well. It does not mean you sing in tune. I have been with Gospeliters who sing terribly. Frankly, I remember sitting beside one and he was so out of key, out of tune, that I couldn't worship at all, I couldn't sing at all, because I was just tickled at the singing, but I've no doubt the man is walking with God.
So this doesn't mean you'll sing well, but you'll sing, you have a kind of a joy, the joy that comes, even though circumstances are very difficult. That is the work of the Holy Spirit. Not only that, you'll be someone who is giving thanks always and for everything. Let me say this: giving thanks is quite easy. It really is not hard to give thanks, but to give thanks always and for everything: that is impossible, impossible in the strength of a man, of the flesh. It is only supernaturally accomplished by the Holy Spirit. The Bible tells us that this is a complaining world, Philippians 2, go check it out. This world, we are born in the world that loves to complain. It's not just a Singapore problem, it's a worldwide problem, it's a humanity's sin problem. But the ability to give thanks always, and for everything is when someone is in step with the Spirit, walking in the Spirit, controlled by the Spirit.
And not only that, you'll see that you will be able to submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. You say what do you mean? Why submit to one another? Very simple, look at Ephesians 5 verses 19 onwards, and you'll see. Paul gets down to business, that's where the rubber meets the road, he says, a wife will submit to her own husband. "But Pastor, my husband is terrible!" Out of reverence for Christ, a Spirit-controlled lady submits herself to her own husband. A husband loves his wife, and gives himself for his wife. Parents will raise their children for the Lord, in the admonition of the Lord, and not use the children for their own pride and ego, like they're racehorses. Children will obey their parents, even though it is difficult at times. Masters will treat their employees well. Employees will revere their masters. You say, what kind of life, can do all that? A Spirit-filled life. Your character changes, the way you treat people changes, and you will also be able to witness effectively. That's the whole point in the book of Acts isn't it? The book of Acts is the description of the acts of the Holy Spirit. And when the Holy Spirit comes down, He enables, He empowers the church to move forward in powerful witness, in boldness, in clarity, in conviction, in preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
I don't know about you, but it seems to me, according to Scripture: every aspect of the Christian life, every aspect of it is enabled by the Holy Spirit. That's why you've got to surrender the control of your life to Him. So often, Christians try to do Christian things on our own strength. The works of the flesh will come out, but when we surrender ourselves to Christ and His Spirit, there is a radical change. He comes to enable you to do all these things.
My son Shawn, struggles with cycling; he's not the most physically, athletically-inclined person in the world. So, we got him a bike, we attached two side-wheels, so that it's easy, you know how it is. When we ask him to cycle, he can't do it. And so we decided to send him to a cycling coach - believe that or not, alright. So there's a coach even for cycling alright, so we sent him to a cycling coach. I thought, 'What will the cycling coach do? What magic can he do?' I thought the cycling coach would do something like this, set him - of course - cycle 2 wheels la, not 4 wheels la, set him on the bicycle, and then there's a kind of a handle behind, so that he may push start Shawn and then follow him along, stabilize him, and that's why you got to pay a coach because it's a lot of work to push him and stabilize him that way. But lo and behold I realize, it's not like that at all, how stupid am I. No wonder I'm not a cycling coach. But this cycling coach does this, he cycles, he comes alongside Shawn to cycle together with him.
So from the beginning, right at the beginning, he just grabs hold of Shawn's bike and cycles along so it is very stable. I mean, of course, the cycling coach must be good at cycling la, because otherwise, both fall, it's terrible la, it's worse than if Shawn falls himself. So, he goes along, cycles and he - and it gives confidence to the boy, it gives confidence to the student to be able to do it.
When I think about that, I think about the work of the Holy Spirit. You know, when I was there - a parent says, 'OHH! That's no wonder it works! Because he comes alongside!" See, the Christian life is not God sitting up there in heaven, and saying, 'Hey, Jason, you go and do all these things la. DO! Try, try harder. GO! You can do it!'. No, God sends His Spirit into our lives to enable us to accomplish what we could never do on our own - to be more Christ-like, to love our wives, to submit to our husbands, to preach the Gospel.
We can never do these things on our own and that is never God's intention - to leave us on our own. That's why the Holy Spirit is called the Comforter. In the Greek, He's called the Parakaleo, the man or the person - not the man, the person, called alongside us. But let me tell you the difference. The difference is this. While this coach comes beside Shawn, our Parakaleo comes inside us. While this coach is slowly able to release Shawn to do his own thing, the Parakaleo stays with us all our lives to do what we can never do all by ourselves. And this is the beauty of the Christian life. The Holy Spirit comes to live in us and to enable us to do what God has commanded us. At the end of the day when we go to heaven, I tell you, who gets the glory, not you, but God, and we rejoice that we have walked with Him.
The question now, I suppose, as we conclude, is, Pastor, I get it. I get that, I know why my life is sort of short-circuited today. I'm not progressing as I should because I'm not surrendered to His control. I see that I have lots of works of the flesh, but little fruit of the Spirit. Now I want to surrender control over to the Spirit. He lives in me. I want to have Him reign and rule in my life. Now, how can I do that? Should I come to your office, and maybe for you to lay hands and there's some electric current that comes - Sssssssssssss. And wah I'm filled with the Spirit. Is that how it is to be done? Please don't come to my office. I've none, number one. Number two, I've no electric current there, maybe sweat that's all.
So how, according to the Bible, can I be filled with the Spirit? The answer, I'll not keep you on tenterhooks, the answer is a very straightforward one. It's so simple that you'll say, 'Ha! like that.' But that's what the Bible says, the answer is found in Colossians 3:16. "Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly". You say, 'Why do you take this verse? Now, let's look at it. Colossians 3:16 to 18 says, "Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly", and what will happen after that? What are the verses that follow? Well, you will be "teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, and you will have thankfulness in your heart to God and whatever you do in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him".
And then he says, wives, submit to your own husbands. Hey, look at these verses, don't they sound familiar? Sounds absolutely familiar with Ephesians 5, isn't it? Same effects, but let's compare these two phrases. From this, comparing Scripture with Scripture, I think it is clear: To be filled with the Spirit, to be controlled by the Spirit is to have the Word of Christ dwell in us richly. That means we understand the Scripture and we obey God's Word. Simply put, to be filled with the Spirit is to be obedient to His Word. It is not about emotional feelings. So many of us, we go to a church service, mega service with lights, sound, smoke, so that we may feel God. Is that really what it means to be filled with the Spirit? No.
It's what happens to you after you leave the church service. Are you going to constantly fight against self, and say, 'Christ, you rule in my life'? How? When we obey your Word, when we are willing to deny our own fleshly desires and say Your work is supreme, we surrender our control to your Spirit's hands. You see, filling with the Spirit, of the Spirit, doesn't mean that you will have no feelings or desires or temptations anymore. You will. The force of the temptation remains. But, it's a choice of the will to say, 'I will not disobey because I want to be controlled by the Spirit'. See, you have the lust to indulge in pornography, or be involved in immorality, that feeling, that desire, that temptation is real. But, the Spirit-filled man says, 'I'm going to fight that'. It's very easy for us to continue to bear hatred and animosity toward someone, but the Spirit-filled man says, 'I fight that. I'm not going to surrender to emotions. I'm going to fight it in the power of the Spirit to live a pure life because I want to be having Jesus as King over me'.
I remember a camp that I was at, some years ago. It's a Chinese ministry camp, and in the middle of the camp, we had an R&R time. So, some of us, we went to the go-carting place. It's cheaper to go-cart in Malaysia, isn't it? So, we went there. There were some older men, younger men, and then some middle people like myself, and we were going round and round. It's my first or second time going go-carting, and quite exciting- it's really quite fun, it's fast. And after getting used to, I realized there's some problem because I'm very slow. I look at the others - they seem to be able to go very fast. I mean, I've tried to go full pedal, of course at the turn you've got to slowdown, otherwise you flip, and turn, and so on, so forth. I tried to be faster, and so I gave myself an aim, I must at least catch up with someone. I don't choose the youths, the youths are somehow very fast. I don't know why - what they eat, or what, maybe because they're lighter, I don't know, but I chose one older man to be my target- at least, I'll catch up with him, and the older man is Yong Pheng.
He looks like this. (Pastor flashes picture of Brother Yong Pheng). I say, ah, come on, older man reflexes slower, I must be able to catch up with him one na! So, he doesn't know of course. I mean, this is just my imaginary goal and so he went and I was going to catch up with him and I realize that the more I tried to catch up with him, the more he caught up with me. He is much faster and he was like super cool about it - very easy and sometimes - and there was once he passed me. I was supposed to pass him, but he passed me, and as he passed me, he smiled and you know, Yong Pheng has that crooked smile, if you know him. He smiled like that, wah lau! (wow in local colloquial) Cannot take it![Loud laughter in the congregation] Now, he doesn't know I'm competing with him, of course. But he went by, and I was really - 'Why is it that everybody seems to go so fast?'. I realized one thing. I realized that when I turn, this one is a bit of physics la, when I turn to the left, let's say I turn this way, my body goes to the right. This is the centrifugal force, right? Duo bo? (Correct or not in local colloquial) Correct ah? It leads the body away from where you are turning. So when I turn left, my body turns right, like that. So what happens is that, the weight of the whole cart, shifts outwards and it's very easy to flip.
So, naturally when I do this, I will slow down. Then I observed the youth, all very smart, I don't know why, they study Physics very well or what? And Yong Pheng included, when they turn left, their body also turned left! It is natural to turn right, but they have willed themselves to turn left, so that the vehicle is more stable and no wonder they floor the pedal and go much faster than I do.
So, I learnt a secret that day. If you want to move on well in life, you cannot move on by feelings alone. To be filled with the Spirit is not always feeling the right thing. It's about surrender. It's about yielding your life. There'll be many days where you feel like going to the Internet for pornography. There'll be many days when you feel like just being abusive to your wife. There'll be many days where you feel like just living for this world.
'I' is always trying to get out there. A Spirit-filled man says, 'No, I am no more a slave to sin. I am crucified with Jesus. I don't have to listen to the flesh anymore. I don't have to be a slave to sin anymore. He has loved me with an everlasting love. He has set me free from the bondage of sin. He loves me with all His being, and so, I must love Him, I love Him in obedience. I trust in the power of the Holy Spirit. It's not about me obeying in my strength, it's about me trusting in the Spirit to live a life of Christ through me', but He's going to work only as you choose to decide to obey. That's what it means. You'll fight sin, you'll fight those temptations, you've to choose to do right, you've to choose to repent, and I think this is what it means to be filled with the Spirit. Again, it's not a once-for-all reality. It's a moment-by-moment reality. You've got to progress in faith, every single day, every decision, to say, 'Not I, but Christ who lives in me. The life which I live, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.' This is the only way you can exchange your life, exchange 'I' with Christ.
Back to this picture, well, Matthias says, 'This is God! This is God!' After the service, my wife and I, we did not see God in the building, nor in the projector, or on a projection screen. But we saw this man. It's interesting, I took this before the service started. I didn't know until now, when I was preparing, I got this picture out. We met this man. His name is Steve. Just before service, Steve came - I mean, we went in, it's like, we are just an average family, people were having conversations and I guess they didn't want to make us feel awkward or stand out or anything, so we sat there quietly, and Steve saw us. He perceived that we were there for the very first time. Steve came and introduced himself, asked us where we are from. He made us feel comfortable and then as the service starts, he says, 'Don't worry, I'll bring your kids to the children's service.' So we were worshiping and he left the worship service to bring our two the kids to the Children Ministry. And when the service is over, we were wondering, when do we pick our kids up? You know how it is, alright, when you visit a new church, you do not know what's happening, and you're always wondering, 'Where? What?' and so on. Steve says, 'Don't worry, I'm going to pick the kids for you.' He went, picked the kids, brought them to us, and before we left, he says, 'Hey, before you go, let me write to you my contact, my address, in case you come back to Brisbane again, you can call me.'
I did not see God that day in the building, but I think I saw God in Steve. I saw someone who's willing to sacrifice, who must have felt like it is probably more fun to talk to friends, and be with his khakis. But he's willing to say, 'I believe this is what the Lord wants me to do to reach out to a new family', spend his entire time, whole service, to be with us. He shared with us how his family struggles because his children, who were raised in church, left church and how he's been praying for them and now the oldest son is coming back to God, not to church, but to God. I hear of someone who is walking with God. You see, filling with the Spirit, walking in the Spirit, is not those dramatic electric currents that come from the hands. It's not that all round beams around you.
It is this practical, simple, life on life things. You see, friends, if God is in you, shouldn't He make a difference in your life? Shouldn't we live differently and do things differently? Is He resident or President in you? Our church aspires to be an Acts church for today, a people like the book of Acts. It's only possible if we are filled with the Spirit. I pray as we go to Punggol, people will not come to our church, and say, 'Wah! This building!' or 'Wah! This projector!' or 'Wah! This picture!' but, they will say, 'Wow! These people!' a people where they can see the fruit of the Spirit, a people who treat their loved ones and family, employers, employees with a dramatically different attitude, a people who are thankful, a people who are actively reaching others with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit is our Parakaleo. We can do it in His strength.
Let's bow for a word of prayer together. Imagine what your life would be if you had not been saved and imagine what your life can be, now that you are saved. Can you imagine what your life would be now if you had just been filled with the Spirit to a greater degree, when you surrender more of your life over to Him? How you would have spoken to John yesterday? How you would have treated your husband last night? How you would have dealt with difficulties and trials? How you would have been spared from that grievous sin that you know grieves God? Can you imagine what you will be like 10 years from now, if God has His way in and through you? Can you imagine what Gospel Light Christian Church would be if you are filled with the Spirit? My friends, God lives in you. He is right now in you and He wants to work His way through you.
Would you willingly surrender lordship of your life to Him? I'm not saying that you can do that all the time, but right here, right now, would you repent of your works of the flesh, and say 'Yes' to the Spirit of Christ? O what a salvation this is, that Christ liveth in me. Maybe there is sin in your life that you need to repent of today. Do it, confess it, ask for cleansing and pray and ask Him to fill your life, to manifest Jesus in your life. Maybe for a long time you have neglected the person of the Holy Spirit in you. This is a day for you to say, I'm sorry. I've been trying to do Christian things in my own way. Help me to trust You, to walk with You every day.
Maybe today you have been fearful of bringing the Gospel to your loved ones. I say, don't trust your feelings. Trust in the Spirit. Whatever the Lord is saying to you this morning, would you right here, right now pray and ask Him for grace to be the man or woman he wants you to be? Blessed Parakaleo, who comes to live in us.
Maybe this morning you're here and you do not know Jesus, and you've been saying, thinking, 'Let me be a better person before I become a Christian'. Let me say this, according to the teachings of the Bible, you can never be better, because you're rotten and corrupted in sin, but you see, God wants you to come to Him, just as you are, broken, humbled, helpless. This is the amazing thing about our God. When you are so filthy and unworthy, He loves to save you. And, indeed, He has given His son to save you. It's not proving your worth, it's acknowledging your unworthiness, coming to Jesus, repenting and believing in Him. My friends, that's where transformation begins. That's where His Spirit comes to dwell in you and that's where you can begin to change. So, this morning I urge you, if you're here with us for the first time, you do not know Jesus, start with the cross, start with Jesus Christ. Start with repenting and believing in Him. You can be saved.
Father, we thank You this morning for Your Word. May You grant us grace, so that this morning the word that we have heard would not be just to tickle our ears, but we would really enter into the, in a sense, secret formula, secret recipe for Christ-like holy, successful living. I pray today, that we will be a people conscious of your Spirit, yielding control to Him, each and every moment of our lives. Holy Spirit, living breath of God, breathe new life into our weary soul today. We thank You. We pray all this now, in Jesus' Name. Amen.
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30 Dec 2018