THEOLOGICAL STUDIES

THE HOLY SPIRIT

The Holy Spirit and Believers (part 3)

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INTRODUCTION

PURPOSES OF THE HOLY SPIRIT (cont'd)

Holiness

According to 1 Thess. 4:7 "God has not called us for the purpose of impurity but in ____________________________. Consequently, he who rejects this is not rejecting man but the God who gives His ________________ ________________."

According to 1 Pet. 1:16 why should we be holy?

We need to take the concept of holiness seriously. God has not placed just any spirit within us; He has placed His HOLY Spirit to live within us. When we stand before God on Judgment Day, all our excuses are going to be seriously lame when we try to excuse all the unholiness we allow into our lives and our minds--through movies, music, language, relationships, etc. There is no excuse for the impurity in our lives because of the Holy Spirit God has placed within us.

I personally have felt convicted about movies. In 1990 I felt like God was convicting me not to go to any more "R"-rated movies. I have not been to one except for The Passion of the Christ since then. Lately I've been feeling convicted about movies in general because of their content. Milton really came down hard on Christians for going to movies which use God's name in vain. Maybe he's right. It's just that we have become so desensitized to the filth in our culture that we may be on the verge of being impure ourselves.

Let me tell you how bad it has gotten. I was watching day-time TV on my day off; the show I was watching was actually a great family movie, Hoosiers. All of a sudden a commercial comes on. The commercial was so bad I will not describe it; it was a not-too-subtle form of bestiality. The editing was such that you didn't know when the movie was going to be interrupted and the commercial was going to start. What was so indecent about the commercial appeared right at the beginning of the commercial so that you didn't have time to change it--even when it came on for the second or third time.

Below is something to help you evaluate the degree of purity in your life. Rate yourself in these areas on a scale of 1-10, 1 being impure and 10 being pure.


AREA OF PURITY DEGREE OF PURITY
Movies .........................
Music .........................
Jokes .........................
General conversation (even with other men) .........................
Reading Material .........................
Internet Websites .........................
Internet Chatrooms .........................
Pornography .........................


OK, so you're 90% pure. You're doing great. Right? Gary Nease tells the story of a family whose children wanted to go see a PG-13 movie. It had a great message, great acting, great technical values, etc. In just a few spots were some bad actions, words, etc. The children begged their dad to let them go since it was mostly a pure show. The dad who was not giving in then illustrated his point by baking his children some brownies. They were excited about the brownies until he told them that the brownies were actually 90% pure brownie and 10% dog poop. There was no way the children were going to eat those brownies. It's incredible though that we will feed our minds and our souls something we would never feed our bodies.

God does not give us His HS so that we can feel superior to everbody else and then condemn to hell everybody not like us. According to 1 Pet. 1:22 why should we be holy, that is, be clean?


Evangelism

According to Jesus "you shall receive power when the HS has come upon you, and you shall be My _________________" (Acts 1:8).

Bill Bright, late founder and and president of Campus Crusade for Christ, claims that the church is devoid of the power of the HS because the church refuses to carry out the work of the Spirit. We expect God's Spirit to endorse our agenda and bless our plans. That is just not going to happen. We may succeed in our endeavors, but it is not because the Spirit has blessed us. The HS has come into our lives for the purpose of bearing witness to Jesus; when you refuse to bear witness to Jesus, you are not going to experience His power.

We as a church staff can attest to this. In 1998-1999 we conducted the FAITH evangelism program in our church in which we went door to door witnessing. When we started off the evening, we would be justifiably nervous; however, once we started obeying the Lord, we sensed the Lord's presence AND joy. We started looking forward to sharing the gospel cold turkey with people on a consistent basis. The joy did not come from us but from the HS.

The key to experiencing the abundant life of the HS is to follow the HS and do the work of the HS. The other morning while I was in Washington D.C. I was praying and told the Lord that I just wasn't experiencing the abundant life He came to gave me. I felt like He told me, "All you have to do is follow the HS." This includes following Him in the area of witnessing.

The Construction of the Body of Christ, the Church

According to Paul what is another reason God has placed His Spirit within each of us: "For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one ______________, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free . . ." (1 Cor. 12:13)?

The idea that we can live Christian lives isolated from other believers contradicts the Bible. God's Spirit loves to bring God's people together. Sure you can worship God on the lake; yet He promises to make His presence known to us when what condition is filled (Matt. 18:20)?



Conformity to the Image of Christ

Finally, Jesus gives us His HS so that we might be conformed into the image of Christ. According to Gal. 5:22,23 what are some of the attributes of the person who is in the image of Christ, that is, filled with the Spirit of Christ?


To Know the Mind of God

Earlier when we discussed "the image of God," we said that Roman Catholics believe that the mind was not affected by Adam's sin. Protestants though believe that every part of the person was affected by Adam's sin, even the mind. Some misunderstand this concept and basically claim that we really can't know God's mind, God's will. It is as if God has left us in the dark. In 1 Cor. 2:6-9 Paul says that the unbeliever does not know the things of God. According to verse 10 though who has revealed the things of God to Christians?


Why is the HS eminently qualified to reveal to us the things of God (1 Cor. 2:11)?


What have Christians received which enable them to know the thoughts and will of God (1 Cor. 2:12)?


To conclude this thought Paul says that we can know the thoughts of God because "we have the _____________ of _____________" (1 Cor. 2:16).


To Eliminate All Social Distinctions

Instead of a being a purpose of the gift of the HS, this last element may actually be a natural result of the HS coming into the lives of each believer. According to Paul "For all of you who were ________________ in Christ Jesus have ____________ with Christ" (Gal. 3:27). Gal. 3:28 explains the result of us all being clothed with Christ: "There is neither Jew nor __________, there is neither ______________ nor freeman, there is neither _____________ nor ______________. For you are all ____________ in Christ Jesus."

It is so ironic whenever people call Christianity "the opiate of the masses" or "a crutch the weak need to lean on." The truth is that Christianity is the greatest liberating force known to man. Slavery still exists in certain Islamic countries. Milton says that if you believe that all religions are the same, then you need to look at the condition of women under the various religions. For all practical purposes women are slaves in the Islamic faith, whereas women experience true liberty in Christianity. Minette Drumwright, wife of the late dean of the school of theology at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, said that she didn't want equal rights because for her that would be a step down. Her Christian husband had her on a pedestal; equality would have brought her down to his level! That is the true result of Christianity.