YOUNG CHRISTIAN'S CURRICULUM

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Holy Spirit
 

This is a vast topic that simply cannot be covered in one class. This is something to be sought more deeply through reading books authored by brothers who are authorities on this subject or through reading the Bible yourselves. Yet what we cover today will help us get a new conviction on the Holy Spirit.

A. INDWELLING

We all received The Holy Spirit at Baptism and as we studied it is important in God's scheme of salvation.

Acts 2:38
Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Galatians 3:26-27
26 You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus,
27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.


The Holy spirit changes us to become more and more like Jesus

2 Corinthians 3:18
And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
- helps us to overcome timidity
- helps us to focus on others and not ourselves
- gives us power to live dynamic lives.
- Increases our self-discipline
- Makes us fishers of men

2 Timothy 1:7
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

B. MIRACULOUS GIFTS

In the New Testament a lot of miracles are attributed to the gift of the Holy Spirit

This was passed on by apostolic laying of hands.

Acts 6:6
They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them.

Acts 6:8
Now Stephen, a man full of God's grace and power, did great wonders and miraculous signs among the people.

Acts 8:6
When the crowds heard Philip and saw the miraculous signs he did, they all paid close attention to what he said.

Acts 8:18
When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles' hands, he offered them money

After the generation of the apostles - the supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit died too.

- There was no one around to transmit them

- 2nd century church history denies the presence of miraculous gifts

- The supernatural gifts were a confirmation of the message or the spoken word of God and never the written word (Bible).

Acts 14:3
So Paul and Barnabas spent considerable time there, speaking boldly for the Lord, who confirmed the message of his grace by enabling them to do miraculous signs and wonders.

Hebrews 2:3-4
3 how shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him.
4 God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.


Mark 16:20
Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.

- Signs, wonders and miracles were marks of the apostles.

2 Corinthians 12:12
The things that mark an apostle--signs, wonders and miracles--were done among you with great perseverance.

Once the apostles completed their work and laid the foundation for the church, the supernatural apostolic ministry was no longer needed.

Ephesians 2:19-20
19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household,
20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.


CONCLUSION : there are no supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit today!

C. ARE MIRACLES POSSIBLE TODAY?

God still answers prayers.

James 5:16
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

God does heal through prayer, even though there is no supernatural gift of healing today. cBut many 'miracles' are of the devil or psychosomatic..

2 Thessalonians 2:9
The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders,

Deuteronomy 13:1
If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a miraculous sign or wonder,

Matthew 24:24
For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect--if that were possible.

Matthew 7:22
Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?'

Remember, apparent miracle activity does not prove ones' salvation.

Matthew 7:22
Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?'

1 Samuel 19:18
When David had fled and made his escape, he went to Samuel at Ramah and told him all that Saul had done to him. Then he and Samuel went to Naioth and stayed there.

Today being led by the Spirit is being taught by God to do His will through the percepts of His word.

Ezekial 36:27
And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.

D. WHAT DOES THE HOLY SPIRIT DO TODAY?

The Spirit convicts us of sin.

John 16:8
When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment:

But not apart from the Word.

Romans 10:17
Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.

The Spirit operates through the Word. For example.

(i)He quickens us

Psalm 119:50
My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.

(ii) He strengthens us

Psalm 119:28
My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word.

(iii) He sanctifies us

John 17:17
Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.

(iv) He gives us wisdom

2 Timothy 3:14-15
14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it,
15 and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.


(v) He enlightens us

Psalm 119:130
The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.

(vi) He allows us to participate in the divine nature

2 Peter 1:4
Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

(vii) But notice it is the word of God that provides all these blessings.

The Holy Spirit is not reading your feelings

Proverbs 14:12
There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.

Jeremiah 17:9
The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?

Holy Spirit helps us to put the flesh to death and become more like Jesus.

Galatians 5:16-26
16 So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.
17 For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.
18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.
19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;
20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions
21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.
25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.


Romans 8:1-16
1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,
2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.
3 For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man,
4 in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.
5 Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.
6 The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace;
7 the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so.
8 Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.
9 You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.
10 But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness.
11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.
12 Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation--but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it.
13 For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live,
14 because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
15 For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father."
16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children.


Note : John the Baptist was filled with the Spirit from birth

Luke 1:15
for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth.

But he never performed miracles.

John 10:41
and many people came to him. They said, "Though John never performed a miraculous sign, all that John said about this man was true."

CONCLUSION: Being 'filled with the Spirit' simply means being spiritual.

E. A FINAL NOTE ON MIRACLE

Today there are quite a few channels, that offer 'worship' at home from your TV sets. There are great preachers who seem to have additional 'gifts' of healing and performing miracles with an irritating plea for money and many are happy with this kind of worship because it is convenient with no accountability or commitment (except pay some money periodically).

The 'miracles' they seem to perform cannot be accepted as bona fide miracles at all. There are no miracles done by them that are not done in other world religions or at magic shows and that is embarrassing and disturbing.

Biblical miracles were done for clear theological purposes. People were really helped - medically, or to better understand the nature of God. Biblical miracles were neither for show nor to encourage viewers to make a 'donation'.

These networks will have us believe that miracles are daily occurrences in the Bible. But if miracles happened everyday, we would cease to appreciate it as miracles at all. By definition, a miracle is a rare occurrence, something out of the ordinary, a bypassing of the laws of nature by God. The fact is that miracles were not normal occurrences in Bible times. If you were the average man or woman living in Bible times, you could easily live your entire life without ever seeing a miracle.

Jesus himself played down the miraculous signs. Jesus challenged peoples' motives.

John 6:26-27
26 Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill.
27 Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval."


Jesus discouraged the miracle-seeking mentality, and so should we.

Luke 11:29-32
29 As the crowds increased, Jesus said, "This is a wicked generation. It asks for a miraculous sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.
30 For as Jonah was a sign to the Ninevites, so also will the Son of Man be to this generation.
31 The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon's wisdom, and now one greater than Solomon is here.
32 The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now one greater than Jonah is here.


In both cases the response was not effected through or conditioned by miracles. Neither the people of Nineveh nor the Queen of Sheba received a miraculous sign - and yet they were moved by God's word. How little excuse Jesus' generation had compared with these believing foreigners!

Jesus' response to his generation fits our own generation perfectly: NO sign will be given!