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"If we sowed spiritual things in you, is it too much if we should reap material things from you?"

 

 

 

 

 

Evangelism:
The Time Is Now!

Section 4, Chapter 7

Experiencing
Jesusí Love and Forgiveness
On a Daily Basis

Chapter Illustration

Back to chapter 6
Study Questions

In my basic Discipleship89 series, I cover what I consider to be the four most important concepts of discipleship that are absolutely essential if a Christian is to go on into maturity in his walk with Jesus. They are understanding our salvation in Jesus, learning how to relate to Jesus for the answer to our needs as it relates to daily time in the Word and weekly Church Fellowship, and how to properly relate to and deal with sin in oneís life which is talked about in Chapters 7 and 8 of this Section.

I have found in forty-three years of Evangelism that a Christian stands or falls depending on his mature understanding in one of these four areas. No matter what a Christianís problems may be, if he or she has an adequate understanding of these four concepts of discipleship and daily puts them into practice, he or she will come to the answer to any problem he or she may have. He or she will also grow to maturity in Jesus and have a stable Christian walk. I also find though that if a Christian lacks understanding and practice in any one of these four areas, they are having deep problems spiritually and in some cases are at a complete standstill in their walk with Jesus.

I weekly go out on the field, just as I am getting ready to do today, and share the Gospel with men. As I do this I often meet people who are born again Christians but who are no longer walking with Christ. They will say something like this:

I accepted Jesus five years ago, but I had this sin problem I could not get victory over and decided I could not live the Christian life and so gave it up.

They are right in that they are not able to live the Christian life, in fact no Christian can in his own strength. Jesus never intended the Christian to do so. What this believerís problems is, is not their sin problem, but ignorance about how to experience Jesusí love and forgiveness and how to draw upon Jesus strength and might to live the Christian life on a daily basis.90

Several years ago Campus Crusade for Christ celebrated their thirtieth anniversary. I received a letter from them asking me to share with them and Dr Bill Bright, its founder, what the single most important thing was I gained from this ministry. Without hesitation I wrote back and said that it was Dr. Bill Brightís teaching on how to experience Godís love and forgiveness on a daily basis.91 In forty-three years of ministry, I have found that the single greatest stumbling block to Christian maturity is not knowing how to experience Jesusí love and forgiveness on a daily moment by moment basis. If the new believer does not learn how to cope with and relate to weakness and sin in his life in his relationship with Jesus on a daily basis, this one problem alone will keep him from being able to go on to anything else. This is because Satan will continually heap unjustified condemnation onto that person until they give up walking with Jesus in defeat. For this reason I consider this chapter, which teaches a Christian how to cope with and experience Jesusí forgiveness over their sins on a daily moment by moment basis, to be the single most important principle of Discipleship a Christian can learn. Learning how to deal with sin in oneís life is all wrapped up in what it means to be filled with the Holy Spirit, so what we really want to deal with here is what it means to be filled with the Holy Spirit and how to stay filled with the Holy Spirit.

Jesus Sanctifies Us Through the Holy Spirit
Three Ways

By Being Filled with

The Holy Spirit

The Apostle Paul commands in Ephesians 5:18 "And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be FILLED with the Spirit."

BY WALKING IN THE SPIRIT

The Apostle Paul commands in Galatians 5:16 "But I say, WALK by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh."

By Being Baptized

In the Holy Spirit

Jesus said in the Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts,

Luke 24:49 "And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father UPON you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high."

Acts 1:8 "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come UPON you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth."92

Basically there are three levels of maturity in the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives: Being Filled With, Walking, and Being Baptized in the Holy Spirit. A Christian cannot really understand what it means to walk in the Spirit until he first understands what it means to be filled with the Holy Spirit. A Christian cannot understand the value of the Baptism of the Holy

Spirit as related to ministry outreach and release until he first understands what it means to be filled with the Holy Spirit and what it means to walk in the Holy Spirit.

Being filled with the Holy Spirit is allowing Jesus to be Lord of your life.

Walking in the Spirit is allowing Jesus to be the source of your life in every detail and in every respect.

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is allowing Jesus to be Salvation, Lord, and Source of life to others through your life. As Jesus Himself said, John 14:6 "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me."

This chapter is going to deal mainly with the work of the Holy Spirit as related to self-sanctification which is being filled with the Holy Spirit. Walking in the Spirit also deals with self-sanctification, but there are many different angles to what this means. These different angles are dealt with extensively in my Advanced Textbook titled, Relationship With Jesus The Key To Effective Ministry.79 The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is self-sanctification also, but it is Jesusí sanctification in our lives to make us vessels useful for ministry outreach and release specifically. This is dealt with also extensively in the Advanced Textbook.

Three Kinds of People

Soulish Man Illustration

For the sake of our discussion here we will talk about the soulish man who is not saved, who has no life or relationship with God in his human spirit.

The Soulish Man is a man without God. This does not mean that he may not believe in God or may not be religious, but because their is no communication or relationship between him and God through his human spirit, his perception of the world and what he thinks are Godís activities are completely motivated and controlled through the reasoning of his thoughts, his soul.93 Paul states about the soulish man,

Ephesians 4:17-18 "This I say therefore, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart."

If a soulish man were to call upon God, God would not hear him because there is a barrier between him and God as a result of his unforgiven sins.94 He has not appropriated Jesusí forgiveness through His death on the cross. He either does not care or is trying to gain Godís forgiveness through his own works.95

When a soulish man observes the activities of Godís people motivated and controlled through the Holy Spirit, these activities appear as foolishness to him. They appear as foolishness for two reasons: First, because the things of the Spirit of God are not earned but are freely given by God. The Apostle Paul states in the first book of Corinthians and the book of Galatians,

1 Corinians 1:18 "For the word of the cross is to those who are perishing foolishness, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God."

Galatians 3:5-6 "Does He then who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? Even so Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness."

The hardest person in the world to talk to about the Gospel is a religious person. This is because he has spent his life trying to gain Godís favor through his works determined through the reasonings of his soul. Therefore his heart and mind, his soul, is blinded to Godís free gift of salvation through Jesus. Paul, in relating this fact to the soulish Jews, wrote in Romans 10:2-3,

"For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge. For not knowing about Godís righteousness, and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God."

Second, the things of the Spirit of God are foolishness to the Soulish Man because the things of God are discerned through manís spirit in union with the Holy Spirit.96 Because the soulish man is dead spiritually and does not have the Spirit of Jesus dwelling in him, thus has no link with Godís Spirit, he has no means of knowing the activity of God in the present, nor does he have an inner witness of the value of what Spiritual men are doing. As a result he is guided by the prince of darkness, Satan, and without realizing it even opposes the work of God thinking he is rendering service to God.96

Discernment is a by-product of being born from above through the Holy Spirit cultivated through a deep knowledge of the Word of God and a daily surrender and obedience to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.98 Jesus said in John 3:5-8,

"Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one receives birth131 of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which receives birth131 from the flesh is flesh, and that which receives birth131 from the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ĎYou must receive birth131 from above132.í The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who receives birth131 from the Spirit."

The Soulish Man cannot discern truth in a situation because when it comes to relationship to self, man, and God, these are subjective issues; that is, issues centered in manís mind and heart, his soul, and in his spirit. The Bible plainly says that only the Holy Spirit knows the thoughts of man and the thoughts of God.99 Because the soulish man has no means of communication with God through his dead Human spirit, he can never know the true heart of a problem and thus truly discern a situation.

When a Soulish Man reads the Bible, he receives condemnation because he is reading it with his soulish mind. He is not able to see Godís love, forgiveness, and plan for his life in the Scriptures because this kind of understanding and discernment only comes through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit through manís regenerated human spirit which he does not have.100 This is why Evangelism is so important because a Christian does have the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and is able to show Godís love and forgiveness in Jesusí Word.

Life does not come through reading the Bible alone. Life comes through entering into relationship with Jesus Christ. Jesus then causes the Bible to become alive to us through the ministry of the Holy Spirit through our human spirit as it is relevant to the need of the moment.101

Spiritual Man Illustration

About the Spiritual Man Paul wrote,

1 Corinthians 2:15-16 "But he who is motivated and controlled through his spirit118 discerns all things, yet he himself is discerned119 by no man. For who has known the mind of Adonai that he should instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ."

The word in the Greek for spirit here is pneumatikov"118 (pne matikos). Pneumatikos means literally to be motivated and controlled through oneís spirit. A Spiritual Man is a believer who is completely motivated and controlled by the Holy Spirit through his human spirit. This is a person who is completely surrendered to the Lordship of Jesus Christ one-hundred-percent. He is a person who by free will choice does not act or speak out of the reasoning of his thoughts, his soul, but only out of the initiative of Jesus Christ through his spirit.

The Spiritual Man discerns the truth about all situations and needs because he does not judge things as they appear outwardly.102 He goes to Jesus about all things through worship and praise in Spirit and truth, and gains Jesusí evaluation about all things through the ministry of the Holy Spirit.96 He does this because he is aware of the complexity of manís constitution and his complete and total dependence on Jesus for everything. He takes Jesusí admonition about being as a little child to enter into the kingdom of God literally.103 He puts no trust in himself or in man about anything, but only trusts in Jesus in the light of His Word.104

Everything that he does, whether vocationally, marriage wise, or ministry wise, is motivated out of the prayer,

Jesus, in what vocation, relationship with the opposite sex, and ministry can I best glorify Your name, usher in Your kingdom, and accomplish Your will on earth as it is in heaven, and bring the most people, or people that you want me to, into a saving knowledge of who You are?105

This is the attitude of his heart daily in all that he does, says and pursues.

Because the Spiritual Man does not act out of his own initiative in anything that he pursues, whether spiritual, practical, or ministerial pursuits, he succeeds in all he does, meaning by the definition of success by Godís standards. This is because Jesus promises His provision when we obey His personal dictates to our lives through the ministry of the Holy Spirit.106 Some times when we are a success in the Lordís eyes, we are a failure in the worlds eyes. In the worldís eyes Jesus was a total failure at the end of his life: His apostles deserted him and he died alone on a cross a humiliating death. But was Jesus a failure?

Because the Spiritual Man obeys Jesus through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, he experiences the by-product of obedience which is the fruit of the Holy Spirit. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.107

The spiritual man is completely at rest in Jesus. He is completely at rest because he never allows fear to be a motivating factor in his life but trusts totally in Jesusí promise: "I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you." (John 14:18).106

Fleshly Man Illustration

About the Fleshly Man Paul wrote,

1 Corinthians 3:1-3 "And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to men motivated and controlled through your spirit, but as to men motivated and controlled through your flesh120, as to babes in Christ. I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able, for you are still motivated and controlled through the flesh. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not motivated and controlled through the flesh, and are you not walking like mere men?"

The word in the Greek for flesh here is sarkikov"120 (sarkikos). Sarkikos means literally to be motivated and controlled by the appetites and desires of the body, the flesh. This is what the Bible means by being fleshly. It means that not only is manís dead human spirit sunk down into submission to the soul, but even the soul has yielded its sovereignty to the appetites and desires of the body so that God declares of man in Genesis 6:3 "My Spirit shall not always strive121 with man; in their erring he is flesh." A Fleshly Man can be a believer as well as a non-believer. For the sake of our discussion here, we will talk about the fleshly believer who has a relationship with Jesus.

When we say Fleshly Man, we are talking about a born-again Christian who is motivated and controlled through his soul: his intellect and feelings; and through his flesh: his appetites and desires. By fleshly we mean self-dependence rather than Jesus dependence. These are Christians who are trying to live the Christian life out of their own strength and thoughts rather than relying on Jesusí strength and Holy Spirit guidance.108 Sometimes this is out of ignorance, sometimes out of self-will.

Christians who rely on their own strength and thoughts live in frustration, confusion, and defeat. Their lives are not really much different from the life of the fleshly unbeliever except that they are more miserable because they are aware of what they can have in Jesus. They are more miserable because they have experienced Godís love, forgiveness and power over their sins and plan for their lives.

In most cases they live defeated lives because, first, they do not know how to appropriate and experience Godís love and forgiveness on a daily basis in spite of daily momentary defeats. No Christian walks in the Spirit perfectly twenty-four hours a day; but if a Christian does not know how to immediately appropriate Godís love and forgiveness when he becomes aware of sin in his life, Satan can keep him in an attitude of defeat for months. Once Satan has convinced a Christian in this position of how bad he is and because of his ignorance about how to draw upon Jesusí power to overcome sin in his life, out of frustration he turns back to relying on the power of his flesh to try and solve his problems.

The only problem with this, however, is that our flesh is in bondage to sin. Therefore, when you rely on the power of your flesh to overcome your problem, you stimulate the soul and flesh. Since the soul and flesh are in bondage to sin already, to stimulate them is to also strengthen their power to sin. The end result is that for a moment the Christian seems to be making headway only in the end to find himself more in bondage to the problem he tried to overcome in his own strength in the first place. Concerning this Paul tells us in Romans 8:6-7,

"For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, Because 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."

Paul tells us plainly that the flesh cannot make itself submit to Godís law. Trying to do so only empowers it to sin all the more so that the apostle Paul cries out Romans 7:24 "Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?"

There is no one more miserable in the world than a Christian who finds himself caught up in this kind of cycle of trying to live the Christian life in the power of the flesh. It destroys his freedom in Christ and his ability to experience the fruit of the Holy Spirit in his life. The fleshly Christian finds himself unable to really trust God. This is why he is frustrated and striving. He is a very self-righteous person because the appearance of spirituality in his life is self- produced, not Holy Spirit attained. As a result he is intolerant of Christians who do not live up to his self-made standards of spirituality and even looks down upon them with a critical judgmental spirit.

The Christian life is a supernatural life. No Christian can live it in the power of the flesh. This is why Paul wrote in Ephesians 6:10, "Finally, be strong in Adonai, and in the strength of His might." This is the secret to victorious Christian living, learning how to draw upon Jesusí strength and power to live it. Appropriating Jesusí strength and power is all wrapped up in what it means to be filled with the Holy Spirit and to walk in the Holy Spirit and what it means to be Baptized with the Holy Spirit as related to ministry outreach and release.

How to Be Filled
with the Holy Spirit

What basically does it mean to be filled with the Holy Spirit? Does it mean that the Holy Spirit comes in doses, or is this a figure of speech? When a person receives Jesus into His life as Savior and Lord, he is at that moment filled with the Holy Spirit. Being filled with the Holy Spirit, then, simply means that Jesus is Lord of your life.

Maybe you have been a Christian for a while and yet have never before understood the filling of the Holy Spirit defined in this way. As a result you are not sure whether Jesus is still Lord of your life or not. Your next obvious question would be,

How can I presently be sure that I am filled with the Holy Spirit and that Jesus is presently Lord of my life?

If you are unaware of any unconfessed sin in your life at present, the way you are filled with the Holy Spirit is according to,

1.  One, Paulís command in Ephesians 5:18:

"And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit."

2.  And two, according to the Apostle Johnís promise in the first Epistle of John 5:14-15:

"And this is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him."

The Apostle Paul in Godís Word commands us to be filled with the Holy Spirit and the Apostle John in Godís Word promises that whatever we ask God according to His will is ours because He promises to answer any prayer according to His will. It is Godís will that you be filled with the Holy Spirit, or that Jesus is Lord of your life.

If you would like to reacknowledge the Lordship of Jesus Christ over your life right now, and thus be filled with the Holy Spirit, then pray the following prayer,

Jesus, I want You to be Lord of my life, so right now by faith I ask you to fill me with Your Holy Spirit and take over the control of my life. I now thank you by faith, Jesus, that I am filled with your Holy Spirit and that you are presently Lord of my life.

Accept this as a fact, not as a feeling. being filled with the Holy Spirit is not based on how you feel but on the trustworthiness of Jesus Himself and His Word. The Bible states, "It is impossible for God to lie" (Heb 6:18). Jesus promised in His Word that if we would ask Him anything according to His will that He would do it. If you just prayed the above prayer, you are presently filled with the Holy Spirit and Jesus is Lord of your life.

How to Stay Filled
With the Holy Spirit

How We Get Unfilled

How do we get unfilled with the Holy Spirit? The Apostle Paul commands in the book of Ephesians,

"And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you." (Eph 4:30-32).

We become unfilled with the Holy Spirit when we grieve the Holy Spirit. We grieve the Holy Spirit when we allow unforgiveness, bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and slander to rule in our hearts instead of forgiveness and edifying conversation. Paul says in an earlier verse,

"Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, that it may give grace to those who hear." (Eph 4:29).

We also become unfilled with the Holy Spirit when we commit any act of immorality such as is outlined in 1 Corinthians 5:11, 6:9-10, Galatians 5:19-21, and other related Scriptures.

We also become unfilled with the Holy Spirit when we disobey Jesusí instructions and commands to us through the Holy Spirit. The writer of Hebrews states,

"Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says, ĎToday if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as when they provoked Me, as in the day of trial in the wilderness.í" (Heb 3:7-8)

You might ask the question, How do I know for certain when I am grieving the Holy Spirit and have retaken the control of a certain area of my life? Grieving the Holy Spirit through attitude or action is not a guessing game. Sometimes it is obvious to us, whether Jesus makes it obvious to us through the ministry of the Holy Spirit or not, such as when we make false accusations against another. You know if you are telling the truth about someone or not. Therefore, whether you are aware of it or not by the Holy Spirit, you know when you have committed the sin of slander. If you are mindfully aware of it, then whether you feel convicted by the Holy Spirit or not the Bible says, "Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do, and does not do it, to him it is sin." (James 4:17). If you know you have knowingly sinned, then you have grieved the Holy Spirit. When you sin, you grieve the Holy Spirit.

Outside of known sin, Paul plainly says that we are not qualified to judge ourselves.

"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).

Paul says here plainly that we are not qualified to judge the rightness nor the wrongness of our actions. We are not to play the Holy Spirit. The Bible says that the Holy Spirit came to convict the world concerning sin, judgment and righteousness.109 This is what Paul is talking about in Galatians when he says, "It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery." (Gal 5:1).

Jesus came to set us free of ourselves and self-examination so that we would be free to enjoy Him and His plans for our lives and so that we would look to Him and Him only to be the judge of sin in our lives, outside of obvious sin.

As was said earlier, the Christian life is a supernatural life. Only Jesus can live the Christian life, and only Jesus can live it through us. Only Jesus can intimately. Since Jesus created us and is Lord of our lives and since only Jesus knows what His plans for our lives are, only Jesus can know for certain what is truly sin in our lives against His Lordship and personal dictates to our lives. We cannot nor can anybody else. This is what Paul means when he says, "But he who is motivated and controlled through his spirit discerns all things, yet he himself is discerned119 by no man." (1 Cor 2:15). We are discerned, or judged by no man because only Jesus knows His individual Lordship over our lives. Paul wrote,

"Therefore do not go on judging anything before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of menís hearts; and then each manís praise will come to him from God." (1 Cor 4:5).

This does not mean men will not try to judge us by appearance, but unless their judgment is motivated out of relationship with Jesus (Jesus coming and revealing the heart of the matter) backed by true investigation of the objective facts, their judgment has no valid basis, because only Jesus truly knows the motives of our hearts.110

Therefore, outside of obvious sin in our lives, we are grieving the Holy Spirit when Jesus by the Spirit makes known plainly to us that that is what we are doing.

Paul says in another passage, "But if we judged ourselves rightly, we should not be judged" (1 Cor. 11:31). Paul is not talking here about self-introspection to try and find any unconfessed sin in our lives. He is, first, talking about dealing with obvious sin, what we know is sin in our lives. Second, he is talking about sin in our lives made known to us by Jesus through the Holy Spirit as a result of our asking Jesus to make known to us any sin in our lives before partaking of communion. Third, I believe it is talking about wrongly judging others from appearanceís sake before knowing all the facts and heart motivation behind othersí actions.111 Jesus said, "Do not judge lest you be judged yourselves. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it shall be measured to you." (Matt 7:1-2).

If we judge others wrongfully then Jesus says He will judge us. Paul said that because of false judgment, "Many of you are weak and sick, and a number sleep" (1 Cor 11:30). How many of our brothersí and sistersí faith has been destroyed as a result of our wrongly judging them, by our comparing them to ourselves and by what we see only on the surface?112 Many good Christians who needed our love and support have been weakened, made sick, and even died spiritually as well as physically because of our, many times unintentional, self- righteous, moralizing condemnation of their lives without any true heart factual basis? And how many times have we been hindered in our own spiritual, mental, and physical development because of our wrong slander of others? The writer of Proverbs states, Proverbs 28:13 "He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion."113

We judge ourselves and others rightly when we look to Jesus and Jesus alone for His evaluation of our lives and others when taken into consideration with objective reality as well. Christianity is Jesus centeredness, not self-centeredness. Self centeredness and other-centeredness leads only to strife, self-condemnation, self-righteousness, intolerance of othersí weaknesses, etcetera. Because Christianity is Jesus centered, our confession of sin, aside from known sin, must be motivated out of relationship with Jesus to be meaningful and have healing virtue that will lead to life, because Jesus is Life.114

How We Get Refilled

When Jesus by the Holy Spirit makes us aware of an attitude or action in our lives that is not pleasing to Him, that is no longer surrendered to Him, He is doing this so that we can surrender or resurrender that area of our lives to Him.

One morning during my quiet time the Lord renewed to me the reality if we are to be anything in Him it must come out of relationship with Him. Jesus-stimulated by the Holy Spirit, not self-stimulated through the flesh. Self-stimulation leads to strife, self-righteousness, intolerance, and lack of love for self and others.

Jesus wants our strength, life, and change to come as a result of knowing and relating to Him. Therefore, when He makes us aware of an area of our lives not pleasing to Him or not healthy to ourselves or to others in attitude or action, He is doing this so that we will recognize our need of Him in that area of our lives and thus have more of Him in our lives. He is doing it so we can turn our weaknesses into His strengths.115 When Jesus shows us weaknesses or sin in our lives, it is not to make us feel bad or be self- condemning, but to show us our lack of Him, His power, and strength not ours, in that area of our lives.

The thing to do when Jesus manifests an area of weakness or sin in our lives is to thank Him for illuminating that area of our lives so that we will recognize more of our need of Him, and thus can have more of Jesus in our lives and so that we will surrender that area of our lives to Him enabling Him to manifest His strength to us in that area of weakness or sin. The end result will be that Jesus will manifest more of Himself to the world through us by His changing us by His power through the Holy Spirit.

When we take a wrong response over manifested sin or weakness through self-pity, self-condemnation, or self-strife over the problem, we unintentionally push Jesus even further away from ourselves in that area and manifest more of ourselves and the flesh; and thus Jesus is not manifested and glorified through the manifested weakness or sin in our lives.

These kind of responses manifest pride. Pride is simply saying, I do not need Jesus. I can overcome in my own strength and power. It is saying, Jesus, I would rather do it myself!

How do we allow Jesus to bring healing in an area of sin and weakness in our lives and thus manifest and glorify Jesus in our lives? We do it first through confession of the sin in our lives. We agree with Jesus that that attitude or action brought to our attention through the ministry of the Holy Spirit is sin. Confession involves repentance. This means turning away from the sin committed (Luke 17:1-4). We then by faith thank Jesus for His forgiveness according to His promise in 1 John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

When we say by faith we mean that we accept the fact of Jesusí forgiveness over our sins confessed based on His promise in 1 John 1:9, not on our feelings. Our feelings can change, but not the promises of Godís Word. Your forgiveness is a fact because Godís Word declares it, not because you feel it.

I want you to notice that nothing is said about asking for forgiveness. God automatically forgives you at the moment of your confession; or, the moment you confess your sin, Godís word says that you are automatically forgiven. This is true whether your sin was a small lie or something as gross as committing murder. There is no sin so small or so big that it cannot be forgiven at the moment of confession. Why is this true? Because the penalty for sin is the same for telling a small lie or committing murder: Death! And the solution for our sin is the same no matter how great or small: Jesus dying on the cross in our place. It is because of Jesus dying in our place that we are automatically forgiven at the moment of our confession, no matter how small or great our sin.

As was already stated, experiencing Jesusí forgiveness is not based on feelings. Many times after we confess our sins to Jesus we may still feel guilty, but you can be fully assured that this guilt is not coming from Jesus. It may be coming from the devil or your flesh, but it is not coming from Jesus. The only thing that is coming from Jesus is what is consistent with His Word,

Psalm 103:12 "As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us."

Psalm 103:13 "He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities."

Isaiah 43:25 "I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake; and I will not remember your sins."

Isaiah 44:22 "I have wiped out your transgressions like a thick cloud, and your sins like a heavy mist."

1 John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

What do we do with false feelings of guilt once our known sins are confessed? Simply ignore them and thank Jesus that you are forgiven because His Word declares it, not because you feel it.

The second step to being refilled with the Holy Spirit is reappropriating Jesus Lordship over that area or attitude according to one, Paulís command: be filled with the Spirit. And, two, Johnís promise: that if we ask Jesus to do anything according to His will, He hears us and answers us. Here is a suggested way to pray:

Jesus, I confess to you that I am a sinner and repent of my known sins. Thank You for forgiving me according to Your Promise in 1 John 1:9. I now ask You to refill me with Your Holy Spirit, to retake control of my life and to continue to lead me into your will and plan for my life. By faith thank You that it is done according to Your promise to answer any prayer that is according to Your will, in Your name, Jesus, amen.

Again, as was said before, this is not based on feelings, but on the trustworthiness of Jesusí promises in His Word. The promises are that if we confess our sins we are automatically forgiven (1 John 1:9) and if we ask Him to fill us with His Spirit in that known area of our life, we can accept it as being done because of His command (Eph 5:18) and promise (1 John 5:14-15) that He will do anything we ask Him to do that is according to His will. It is Jesusí will that you be filled with the Holy Spirit.

If you practice the principle of staying Filled with the Holy Spirit every time a known sin is brought to your attention by Jesus through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, you will be able to experience Jesusí love and plan for your life and Jesusí forgiveness on a continuous basis, twenty-four hours a day.

The Apostle John wrote in 1 John 1:8 and Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 7:20,

"If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us."

"Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins." (Ecclesiastes 7:20).

You are a human being. Because you are a human being, you are going to sin, but Jesus through this principle of being filled with the Holy Spirit has provided us an immediate way to deal with sin when we do, so we can continue to experience His forgiveness until He comes back and gives us our new bodies which will not sin.

As long as you are on this side of heaven, you are going to fall into sin from time to time. If you can accept that reality, you will be able to accept yourself. Jesus wants you to face yourself realistically. He knows you are going to sin from time to time. It is no surprise to Him when you do. The sin you commit ten years from now, Jesus knew you were going to commit ten years earlier when you received Him. He does not want you to be bogged down with your failures. He just wants you to confess them so you can continue to experience His forgiveness, be filled with the Holy Spirit, and then give it to Him so He can change you Himself so you will not keep falling into the same sin, and so you can continue in His plan for your life. Basically Jesus wants you to love yourself as you are no matter where you are because He does. Jesus does love you as you are. You cannot surprise Jesus with anything in your life. You are loved and accepted. Accept it!116

How to have Victory over Sin

How do we have victory over sin? First, you need to understand that the Bible teaches us that the flesh is in bondage to sin and that it never did obey Godís laws and it never will. Paul wrote in the book of Romans 7:14 "For we know that the Law is spiritual; but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin."

Romans 8:6-8 "For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because 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; and those who are in the flesh cannot please God."

Paul tells us in this passage that no amount of will power on your part will stop your flesh from sinning. This is because the flesh is in bondage to sin and thus will sin when given the opportunity.

How then do we stop from sinning? How do we have victory over sin? By controlling your thought life. How do we control our thought life? Not by trying to not think about something sinful. The moment you are idle, not occupied with work or homework or something else, sinful thoughts will start to flood into your mind and your flesh will sin. How then do we control our thought life so we will not sin? Paul wrote in Romans 13:14 "But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts." How do we do that? Paul gives us the answer in Galatians 5:16 "But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh."

How do we know when we are walking in the Holy Spirit or not? Paul wrote in Ephesians 5:15-17,

"Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of Adonai is."

We prevent the flesh from sinning and are walking in the Holy Spirit when we seek Godís will in our daily use of time and than obey God by using our time according to His will. Therefore when we are using our time according to Godís will we are occupied and the flesh does not have an opportunity to sin. This is what Paul means in Galatians 5:16 when he says "But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh." When you are occupied with Godís will in your use of time you are walking in the Holy Spirit.

When we are not using our time according to Godís will, we are not walking in the Holy Spirit. In fact, when we are not using our time according to Godís will we are out of the Holy Spirit all together and are walking in the flesh. Since the flesh is in bondage to sin and never did obey Godís laws, when you are walking in the flesh you will sin and you are sinning. You are sinning because Paul wrote in Romans 14:23 "But He who doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and whatever is not from faith is sin." The only time we are walking in faith is when what we are doing is initiated by the Holy Spirit. Therefore to not seek God in your use of time and then obey Him in that use of time is a sin in itself, because "Whatever is not from faith is sin."

For example, if you have a problem with lust, if you are not doing Godís will with your time, you will use your time to lust after the flesh even if you do not want to. Paul wrote,

Romans 7:19-24 "For the good that I wish, I do not do; but I practice the very evil that I do not wish. But if I am doing the very thing I do not wish, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wishes to do good. 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?"

However, if you are occupying Your time by focusing on and doing Godís will with your use of time, you are preventing your flesh from being idle and thus gravitating toward its object of lust which it will do if idle. Therefore, the only solution to keeping your flesh from sinning is by filling up your time and days with Godís will in your use of time, and by using your free time to share the Gospel and by planning ahead your time of relaxation, what you are going to do with it so that, that time is occupied with that which edifies and builds you up, not down. Paul wrote in Philippians 4:8-9,

"Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things; and the God of peace shall be with you."

If you donít plan what you are going to do in your play time, you will be idle in that time and Satan will fill it with that which will incite your flesh to sin.

If you are focused on using your free time to share the Gospel, you will not be idle and your flesh will not have the opportunity to sin, so plan some of your free time to share the Gospel.

Second, you keep the flesh from sinning by meditating on Godís word. David wrote in Psalm 119:11 "I have hidden Your word in my heart, that I might not sin against You." Study, meditate on and memorize Godís Word. The knowledge of Godís word brings restraint against evil. When you consider doing evil the Holy Spirit will bring to your mind the Word of God and it will restrain you from doing evil.

Why do we today have drive by shootings in schools? Because they are no longer teaching Godís word and the ten commandments in schools, thus there is no restraint over the evil of manís heart. The end result is whatever the flesh wants to do it will do.

Third, you keep the flesh from sinning through fellowshipping with Holy Spirit filled Christians; in other words by going to church and being a part of and involved in that church. As we fellowship with one another we encourage one another to do what is right. Hebrews 10:24-25 states,

"And let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more, as you see the day drawing near."

Finally, you get victory over sin by asking Jesus for His Holy Spirit grace, strength and power to overcome the problems of your flesh. Jesusí word commands us:

Ephesians 6:10 "Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might"

1 Chronicles 16:11 and Psalm 105:4 "Seek Yehovah and His strength; seek His face continually."

2 Thessalonians 3:3 "But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one."

Jesus tells us in His word to draw upon His strength and power through the Holy Spirit to over come sin in our lives. Pray like this:

Jesus, I confess to You that I cannot overcome my problems in my own strength and power and so by faith pray for Your grace, strength and power to overcome these problems in my flesh. By faith thank You for the answer to these prayers in Your name Jesus, Amen.

Whenever you find yourself having conflict with a problem in your flesh, get down on your knees and pray this prayer and ask Jesus for His Holy Spirit grace, strength and power to overcome the problem in Your flesh.

The Fruits of
The
Holy Spirit

As you learn to walk in the Spirit moment by moment through being filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus will begin developing the fruits of the Holy Spirit in your life. The fruits of the Holy Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.107

These fruits are not developed overnight. They come about as a result of our daily choosing to walk in obedience to the personal individual dictates of Jesus to our lives through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. They are produced through our focusing on obedience to Jesusí Lordship, not through focusing on the fruits themselves. The fruit of the Holy Spirit is not something you try to produce. It is the natural by-product of abiding in the Vine.

Jesus is that Vine. Jesus said in John 15:5 "I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing." You are abiding in the Vine, Jesus, when you are obeying His personal dictates to your life through the ministry of the Holy Spirit.

Learning to be filled with the Holy Spirit is Jesusí first purpose in your life because it begins the development of His character in your life. This then results in the development of the fruit of the Holy Spirit in your life which results in your being a witness to the world of Godís love and forgiveness with your life as well as your lips. Jesus said in Matthew 5:16 "Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven."

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Study Questions
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Section 4 Chapters

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