- What was the key to the success of Jesus' ministry while a man on earth?
- Jesus only wants us acting out of His initiative in ministry because of
the __________ __ _____ ___________
- What does the Bible state about the condition of man's personality?
- Who is the only qualified minister and answer to man's problems?
- What is the only thing that makes us qualified for ministry?
Some of us may say, "Yes, but that was Jesus, He was God. That kind of
relationship with the Father was expected of Him."
This is a misunderstanding of why Jesus became a human being. Yes, Jesus
first came to die for our sins, but second He came to live a human
life with all of our human limitations. Jesus was a
one-hundred-percent human-being. He came to live a human life to demonstrate
through His relationship with the Father through the power of the Holy Spirit
the kind of relationship that He wanted to have with us individually. The writer
of Hebrews states about Jesus,
"Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, that He
might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to
make propitiation for the sins of the people. For since He Himself was tempted
in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are
tempted." (Heb 2:17-18).
Because Jesus was God as well as man, he knew all there was to know about
man, what was inside of man, and manís motivation in all that he did. But the
Bible tells us that Jesus became poor, poor in the sense of His real potential,
that we through His poverty might become rich.28 Even though Jesus
knew all that was in man because he was God, He chose to live the limitations of
a man by responding to each individual situation he encountered by the leading
of His Father through the Holy Spirit. Jesus did not respond to manís verbal
accusations based on His knowledge of their thoughts, but through the leading of
His Father through the Holy Spirit.
THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN JESUSí LIFE
In Matthew 3:16 it tells us that Jesus was Baptized in the Holy Spirit. Right
after Jesus was Baptized in the Holy Spirit the next thing that happened to him,
according to Matthew 4:1, was that he was led into the wilderness by the Holy
Spirit to be tempted by the devil.
Jesus did not just decide to take a walk out into the wilderness because he
decided he needed a break from humanity. He was led of the Holy Spirit to do so.
The whole point of Jesusí temptation in the wilderness was to see if Jesus
was going to act out of his own initiative in relationship to his human physical
needs, establishing of his ministry and drawing men to himself, take the world
through his divine power, or whether he was going to wait for His Fatherís
clear instructions through the Holy Spirit as to how He wanted Jesus to meet and
establish these needs and purposes of Jesusí life as a man on earth. The Bible
tells us that Jesus chose to stay true to his humanity and wait upon the Fatherís
provision through the Holy Spirit like any other normal human being must do.
The Bible tells us that at the end of Jesusí temptation in the wilderness
(Luke 4:14) that He came back from the wilderness to start His ministry in the
power of the Holy Spirit. He went into the wilderness by the Holy Spiritís
leading and came back in the power of the Holy Spirit.
In Mark 2:8 it tells us that Jesus perceived the truth of menís hearts and
thoughts by the Holy Spirit. Matthew 12:28 tells us that Jesus cast out demons
through the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus states in this passage, "But if
I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon
you." Even though Jesus had power in himself to cast out demons, as a man
on earth he chose to rely only on the power of the Holy Spirit just like any
other normal human being must do.
The Bible tells us that everybody Jesus prayed for was healed and delivered
from demons. If this is true then why isnít everybody that we pray for
delivered and healed one- hundred-percent of the time? John 3:34-35 tells us
"For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God; for He
gives the Spirit without measure. The Father loves the Son, and has
given all things into His hand."
Jesus was given the Holy Spirit without measure because he walked in total
one-hundred-percent obedience to God without sin. But concerning sinful man the
Apostle Peter tells us in Acts 5:32 that we are given the Holy Spirit in direct
relation to the degree of our obedience to God. Peter states, "And we are
witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to
those who obey Him."
We all have the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 1:13-14 tells us that we receive the
Holy Spirit when we believe on the Gospel. But the degree of the release of the
Holy Spirit in our lives is directly proportional to the degree of our obedience
to Jesus in our lives. Since none of us are perfect and we are always growing in
our faith, there is always room for more of the release of the Holy Spirit in
Jesus did not say nor do anything unless it was by the Holy Spirit first.
Jesus tells us in John 6:63, "It is the Spirit who creates-life;
the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are Spirit and
are life." This was because He not only came to earth to die for our sins,
but to live a manís life with all of manís limitations in His relationship
with the Father as an example for us of how we are to relate to Him and the
Father in our lives and ministry. Jesus only wants us acting out of his
initiative in word and deed, not our own.
THE COMPLEXITY OF MANíS PERSONALITY
Why does Jesus want us to operate this way in ministry, only acting or
speaking as He leads us to? Because only Jesus knows what is truly in the heart
and the mind of man and what his problems and sins are truly centered in.
Therefore, only He knows the true solution.
Because of sin, man in his soul: mind and heart, and in his flesh is
corrupted. The Bible states about the condition of manís personality that the
heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick (Jer 17:9). Isaiah
states that the head (mind) is sick and the heart is faint (weak in will-power
in the right direction) (Is 1:5-6). Paul talks about the body seemingly having a
will of its own and states "Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free
from this body of death?" (Rom 7:22-24). Paul and the writer of Hebrews
talks about the fact that the conscience is defiled and needs to be cleansed
through drawing near to God and a knowledge of the Word (1 Cor 8:7; Heb 9:14,
10:22). Paul in Colossians talks about putting aside the old man. How? Through a
true knowledge of the one who created us (Col 3:10). Proverbs talks about a
crushed and broken spirit (Prov 15:4, 13). Because Jesus is not perfectly Lord
over our lives, our soul development is not what He intended (Matt 16:24-27,
Prov 6:32, Rom 3:23).
The Prophet Jeremiah tells us that "The heart is more deceitful than all
else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?" (Jer 17:9). Jeremiah
tells us about our heart that it is so deceitful that we ourselves cannot
discern what is really going on in it. Outside of the clear teaching of
Scripture, we are not a qualified judge of the rightness or the wrongness of our
actions or of anyone elseís.
Because manís soul and flesh are corrupted, we cannot trust in our own
reasoning or the rightness or wrongness of our thoughts either. Isaiah says
about our thoughts and Godís thoughts,
"ĎFor My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My
ways,í declares the Lord. ĎFor as the heavens are higher than the earth, so
are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.í"
The writer of Hebrews states that the conscience is defiled,
"How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit
offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works
to serve the living God?" (Heb 9:14).
What are we saying here about manís constitution? Manís constitution is
not a simple matter to deal with, especially in our own reasoning and in our own
strength, and from our own perspective. The writer of Psalms states, "For
the inward thought and the heart of man are unsearchable." (Ps 64:6).
WE ARE NOT QUALIFIED
TO JUDGE OTHERS OR OURSELVES
It is because of the complexity of manís personality and our inability to
know what is really going on inside manís personality that Jesus does not want
us acting or speaking out of our own initiative. The writer of Proverbs states,
"Through presumption comes nothing but strife, but with those who receive
counsel is wisdom." (Prov 13:10). In another passage the Apostle Paul
"But to me it is a very small thing that I should be examined by you, or
by any human court; in fact, I do not even examine myself. I am conscious of
nothing against myself, yet I am not by this acquitted; but the one who examines
me is the Lord." (1 Cor 4:3-4).
From a purely surface standpoint the Apostle Paul says we are not qualified
to judge ourselves and neither is anyone else outside of ourselves.
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Section 2 Chapters