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Relationship With Jesus
The Key To Effective Ministry

Section 4, Chapter 3

Jesus' Tool In Sanctification
Is The Holy Spirit

Chapter Illustration

Page 1 of 2, 3
Study Questions

JESUS SANCTIFIES US THROUGH
RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM

Believe it or not, all that has just been discussed was simply a foundation to answer all the little questions you would have asked as I discuss now the rest of this section. For some of you the rest of this section is going to be the answer to the questions you formulated as a result of having read every thing previous to this. In any case, everybody gets their little questions answered, hopefully one way or the other. For the rest of you whose questions are not answered, life has its little problems.

RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS IS
THE ANSWER TO MAN'S NEEDS

As was discussed earlier, Christianity is love relationship with Jesus. It is out of love relationship with Jesus that Jesus transforms us into His image and leads us into His plan for our lives.

God's plan for our lives could not have been fulfilled any other way because the intimacy of man's constitution is beyond man's total comprehension. It is not, though, beyond Jesus' total comprehension because Jesus' comprehension has no limits. Jesus knows our sin bound souls which includes the mind, heart and emotions; and our sin bound bodies which includes our worldly lusts and desires intimately. Because only Jesus knows our constitution intimately, only He knows why we do what we do, the root cause, and therefore what is the root solution to our needs.

The message of Christianity and the only formula of Christianity is obnoxiously simple: Jesus! Jesus is the message and only answer of Christianity to the simple and complex needs of man. Only Jesus, I repeat, only Jesus knows the root of the simple and complex needs of man. Jesus said,

"Enter by the narrow gate, for the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it. For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it." (Matthew 7:13-14).

Jesus is that narrow gate. The only gate to salvation, God, and the answer to all of our simple and complex needs. Jesus said in the Gospel of John, "I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture." (Jn 10:9). The wide gate is the way of self analysis and strife, religion and humanism. This is why people stumble and reject the message of the Gospel because its message is stinkingly simple: Jesus is your answer, the answer to everything that is. Reader, listen to what I am saying here. I mean this literally in the most literal sense. I mean it literally, literally.

Faith is not the answer, though my going to Jesus may show me that the root of my need centers in my lack of faith. Being spiritual is not the answer, whatever that means, unless by going to Jesus, Jesus shows this is the root of a particular problem, etcetera.

If you do not grasp anything else in what you learn in this textbook on Evangelism, grasp this: that Jesus is the focus and answer to any of your ministry needs-period and double period and period again. "What is the answer?" Only, only, only Jesus. And Jesus said, "And blessed is he who keeps from taking offense at Me." (Matt 11:6). Taking offense at Jesus is taking offense of Him being the only answer and Savior of mankind, in the context of every physical, mental, spiritual, vocational, educational, simple, and complex level of man's problems, questions, doubts, and needs.

In Section 1 and Chapters 6-7 of this Textbook we talked about the creation, constitution and fall of man. When man sinned, when he listened to the reasoning of his soulish mind rather than to the instruction of the Holy Spirit through his spirit, he made self, his soul, his god and man came into bondage to the will of the soul and his spirit died. This naturally led also to paying more attention to the lusts and desires of the body so that not only has the spirit sunk into bondage and control of the soul, but now even the soul has sunk into bondage and control of the will and desires of the flesh. As a result, when God talks about man in the Scripture, He refers to man as being nothing but flesh. In Genesis 6:3 Yehovah states, "My Spirit shall not always strive99 with man; in their erring he is flesh100" This is what Jesus is talking about in Matthew 16:25 when He says, "For whoever wishes to save his soul shall lose it; but whoever loses his soul for My sake shall find it."

When we do not yield our lives to Jesus and seek His will and counsel for our lives and follow out His will for our lives, the reason why Jesus says we will lose our souls is because to not yield to Him is to yield to the lust and desires of our flesh. The spirit and the soul of man become dominated by the lusts of the flesh and the soul literally becomes passive and dies to the will of the flesh. The end result is that man comes to the end of his earthly life and dies and the soul life Jesus intended for him never becomes a reality now or forever. This is what is meant by losing our souls. The only way our spirit becomes the dominating factor in our constitution is when we yield our souls to Jesus and then wilfully choose to live out the soul life he calls us individually to live that He makes known in His Word and through our spirits in union with the Holy Spirit. That is the person who gains his soul, the soul life Jesus intended for him to have.

Because man's will is synonymous with his heart, his soul, and since it is the heart that makes the final decisions on how man's character is formed and what he will be, normally speaking, man's problems center in his heart. Paul writes in Romans 7:17, "For that which I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate." Here Paul is describing how his will, his soul, is in bondage to sin; that sin, rather than the desire of his soul, dictates what he will or will not do. The Apostle Paul, however, talks about another struggle of his soul: he talks about how his soul also battles against the desires and wishes of his body, his flesh. the Apostle Paul writes:

"For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind, and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?" (Rom 7:22-24).

Paul is saying in this passage that his mind and heart, his soul, are in agreement with the law of God. Not only are they in agreement with God, but they, ". . . joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man." But he finds that even though with his soul he wants to do Godís will, he is not able to overcome the will and desire of his flesh, his body, and therefore ends up doing the will of his flesh anyway. It is for this reason that he finally in frustration and desperation cries out, "Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?"

There is logic in this in terms of our present position in Christ. When we received Jesus Christ into our lives, inwardly instantly we were given a new heart and a new spirit. The prophet Ezekiel, prophesying for Yehovah about the new birth experience, states, "Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh." (Ezek 36:24). This new heart and new spirit are in harmony with God's nature and want to do what God wants. But until the resurrection of the righteous our soul and flesh remain in bondage to sin. Our sinful soul and flesh, inherited from Adam, is totally contrary to God's will and ways. The Apostle Paul states in Romans, ". . . the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the Law of God, for it is not even able to do so." (Rom 8:7). There is a double meaning in this passage. In context of Romans Chapter 7 it is talking about the bondage of the soul and flesh to sin, but it is also talking about self-dependence to overcome the sin dominated soul and flesh which will be dealt with more deeply in a later part of this Section.

The point we want to make here is that a person's problems may not always center in whether he wants to do the right thing or not but rather as a result of sins bondage over the soul and flesh that no amount of will power can change. For this reason, when dealing with a compulsive sin problem, condemning ourselves or the person we are dealing with will not solve the problem. This is part of what Jesus was talking about when he said, "Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment." (Jn 7:24).37 Compulsive sin problems are usually rooted in something deeper than just a personís surface behavior. It is the root of a personís sin behavior that we need to find if the surface sin is to be resolved.

As we can see here man's constitution is very complicated; too complicated for man to try and handle in his own strength and reasoning.38 Only Jesus knows the thoughts and the heart of man,39 and whether man's problem is willful rebellion or subconsciously hidden from his conscious mind, demonic, or man's body physically. This is especially true in the area of healing. A person's physical problems can be spiritual, soulish, physical or demonic. Only Jesus knows for sure.

The writer of proverbs states, "Through presumption comes nothing but strife, but with those who receive counsel is wisdom." (Prov 13:10). When after having collected all the objective facts we make comment to a person's need without first consulting Jesus' counsel, we only end up putting the person under condemnation and strife. Condemnation and strife lead to self-focus not Jesus-focus. Jesus is the answer to our and man's needs. The second step to our sanctification and others after considering all the objective facts is to go to Jesus through worship and praise to seek His counsel through the Holy Spirit for hidden facts not revealed through the objective research but not in contradiction to it.

Study Questions
Continued on Pages 2, 3
Bibliography & Notes
Section 4 Chapters
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