Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Grace, Christ, & Us: Part 4. Holy Spirit and Fire - Changing

This is a five-part piece that covers a number of topics. It was written as a continuance, but I chose to break it so it is easier to read. For those who like to read it all the way through, I will post it as such as well. With lots of Love, Chris!

4.       Holy Spirit and Fire (Changing)

John 14:16-19
I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you as orphans: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.

One aspect mentioned here is that, talking with the Disciples, Jesus says the Holy Spirit has been with them. Before Christ came, we saw that the Holy Spirit came upon people for periods of time, not always with them permanently. This can be seen clearly with King Saul when he disobeyed God & the Holy Spirit left him (1 Samuel 16:14). This is too why King David cried out to the Lord not to remove the Holy Spirit from him as he witnessed first-hand with Saul (Psalms 51:11). But when Jesus came, the Holy Spirit was with the Disciples—but not yet in them as He had been with Jesus.

A side-note: John the Baptist was born filled with the Holy Spirit. He is the only one pre-Jesus to have that occur though the Gift of the Lord. Jesus was not even born filled with the Holy Spirit. Yes, His own Spirit was Holy (as is ours upon being Born-Again). For John the Baptist, this was unique, for the Lord called him for a purpose & equipped him for the task. God equips those He calls.

And the Father equipped Jesus as well by providing Him the Holy Spirit. And he promised, through Jesus Christ, that we too will be blessed by the Holy Spirit and fire. It’s a dual blessing of baptism.

Luke 3:15-16
Now as the people were in expectation, and all reasoned in their hearts about John, whether he was the Christ or not, John answered, saying to all, “I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire."

Why the fire? Because the fire burns up anything that does not belong to the Gospel of Grace. This is the wood, hay, & stubble that gets burned up when tested. The ways of this world test the Gospel of Christ, and this fire that is Christ will destroy what doesn’t belong. What is left after the fire is that which is the Truth: a life of Faith. Christ, His Grace, His Faith, that is our foundation to build into our lives (Hebrews 6:1-3). And the only way to maintain that True Foundation is to remove the impurities & things that do not hold up. It feels tough when we experience that test which fights against our life in Christ—it feels as though we’ve been scathed by the fire, when we have actually been saved (restored) by that fire.

1 Corinthians 3:9-15
For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building. According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

1 Peter 1:5-7
[We] are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold trials: that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

That fire is the removal process (renewing of the mind) that we go through—that the Lord wants us to go through. No, He’s not the one testing us; it is our old self, the Law / Legalistic values we hold, the doctrines we’ve learned, etc are the ones that test our life of Faith of which we do live by. And when those non-Faith things run up against Christ’s fire, it gets burned up—it get’s removed from our life. And when it does get removed, we get set free from it (saved) & then live that aspect of our life in Faith. But if we, after it’s been burned (removed / destroyed) build it up again, it just gets burned up again & again. This creates the frustration of “living a Christian life” that we feel. We then (no pun intended) get burned-out with Christianity. Not because it’s hard, but because we keep piling up wood, hay, & stubble to the fire & feel the heat (struggle) from it. We never set ourselves free because we keep fighting the fire that will never go out.

Paul warned about building back the Law / Legalistic way he used to live by. Because if he did, he’d make himself a transgressor against the Faith of Christ Jesus.

Galatians 2:15-19
We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid. For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.

His fire is a cleansing tool for us. This fire Jesus baptizes us with is a wonderful Gift we need to embrace. It truly sets us free. It gives us that means & ability to become free! And the Holy Spirit is the power (Help) we need to make that happen. He not only is that needed Help, but also the Comforter that ministers to us in those moments we seem to be in the fire. He gives us understanding to what we are experiencing, feeling, & emotionally go through. He is our Counselor that will listen to us as thoughts race through our heads with questions, our blame (finger-pointing at others, ourselves, or even the Lord), guilt, shame, anger, fear, frustration & agitation. He brings meaning & Truth to the situation—and it is often that revelation of Truth that sets us free from our thoughts, feelings, & emotions.

The group that was gathered at Pentecost experienced this baptism by Jesus Christ. The manifestation of the Holy Spirit was that of “cloven tongues of fire” symbolizing what John the Baptist prophesized (Luke 3:16)—that being, “The Holy Spirit and fire”. And this Baptizing has not stopped—it is for all who ask the Father.

Luke 11:9-13
And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

And He has given us the Holy Spirit! To all people everywhere. He poured out the Holy Spirit upon the whole earth. At Creation, the Holy Spirit “moved upon the face of the waters” (Genesis 1:2). And now, because of what Christ accomplished, we have Him back on this earth—not just hovering, but side-by-side with every person on the face of the earth! He Truly is a personal God to each & every person. He’s not just “hovering out of reach” where we have to call Him down to be with us. No! He is with every person. He speaks to every person. He never leaves us ever, no matter if we’ve left Him or not even come to Him.

Acts 2:16-18
this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: and on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy.

And this is what Jesus prayed about (John 14:16-19). Jesus’ prayers always come true. We have the Holy Spirit with each of us because He speaks to each of us. To a non-believer, He speaks the Truth of Jesus Christ to them. He speaks to everyone that we have all been made Righteous in Christ Jesus. And He speaks to all people that Satan has been Judged.

John 16:7-11
Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
[Reprove the world] of sin, because they believe not on me;
[Reprove the world] of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;
[Reprove the world] of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.

“Of sin, because they believe not on me.” This is crucial: the Holy Spirit is not convicting us of our sins—those of the flesh—for all our fleshly sins have been forgiven. The only sin being addressed is the Sin of not believing on Christ Jesus. When we believe, then this Sin is taken care of & there is no other sin to address. No other sin we commit is held against us. The Holy Spirit never points out our sins, He points out our Righteousness. Christ came to set us free from sin & condemnation.

1 John 3:19-24
And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.

And as a believer, He doesn’t address any sin. Instead, He gently just speaks to us to remind us that we have Him to help us do all things through a belief in Him.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Philippians 4:13

“Of Righteousness, because I go to my Father, and you see me no longer.” The Holy Spirit reminds us of our Right-Standing with God . We are Righteous because Christ Jesus accomplished all He did on earth. And because all is accomplished, He has gone to Heaven to sit at the Right Hand of His Father. He is resting in His Completed Work.

Hebrews 10:11-18
And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: but this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; from henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.

“Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.” Satan has been found guilty & has been defeated. His fate is set, his authority stripped, & his eternal demise established. He was cast out from Heaven, conquered by Jesus Christ, and placed beneath us (no longer having authority over us). No longer can he go before God & accuse anyone—he has been removed (cast down) from Heaven.

Luke 10:17-20
And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.

Revelations 12:7-12
And there was war in heaven (Matthew 11:12): Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth (Luke 10:18), and his angels were cast out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.

His short time is the time he has until the Lord comes again. Satan has been judged—the Lord made their decision (judgment) & what is done can never be undone. Satan is nothing but a liar & a deceiver upon this earth. But he does not have any more authority over us that we don’t allow. But our Righteousness through Christ Jesus far overcomes him!

The Holy Spirit is our reminder in that & more. For in all three cases from John 16:7-11, the Holy Spirit testifies of the Truth that is Christ Jesus, all He accomplished & gifted to us, and the Truth to believe in Him.

John 15:26-27
But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: and ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.

He speaks the Truth of all things to all people; helping everyone through what they are experiencing. This is why we need to desire Him more. For the Holy Spirit (Holy Ghost) wants so much to be an overwhelming (powerful) force in our lives. And He has both the ability & desire to be that integral part of our lives! He doesn’t just want to be with us, He wants to fill us—to be in us as that overflowing Spirit of Life.

Acts 1:8
But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.

John 7:37-39

If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

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