Tag Archives: Holy Spirit

The Heart of the Bible

The Heart of the Bible. The greatest paragraph in the the Word of God.

The greatest paragraph in the Word of God.

James Mongomery Boice writes in his commentary on Romans 3, Volume 1, Chapter 40, page 3 “But now things are different. There is hope because of what the Lord Jesus Christ has accomplished. The incarnation, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus have changed everything.”

Martin Lloyd-Jones calls them “the great turning point”

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

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MacArthur Monday

We are a race of Lazaruses, spiritually dead.

We are a race of Lazaruses, spiritually dead.

It is the work of the Holy Spirit to give us life. That’s what “born again” means. And the reason the Lord uses this analogy is because it expresses to us the fact that we have no participation in this birth. You had nothing to do with your first birth, your physical birth. And you will have nothing to do with your spiritual birth. It is a divine work of God. Theologians call it monergistic rather than synergistic. You don’t participate in it. I didn’t participate in it. No person who is born again makes a contribution to that. There isn’t a way to make that happen. That is a divine work of God.

To look at it in perhaps an unforgettable illustration, remember what I said about Lazarus. Lazarus is dead. He’s in the grave. He’s been dead four days. His body is in a state of decay. The Lord comes to his tomb and raises him from the dead. He does it by a call. He says, “Lazarus, come out!” And Lazarus comes to life, comes out of the grave a new creation. The grave clothes are taken off of him; he is fully alive.

We are a race of Lazaruses, spiritually dead. God gives us life and He does it through a call, through a call. Jesus gave life to Lazarus, and He declared that life through calling him out of the grave. And so it is with those who are given life by the Holy Spirit. It is by a divine call. God speaks and life comes to us.

Dr. MacArthur goes on to say “Salvation is not in any sense a human work. Human methods, human techniques, human strategies can’t accomplish regeneration. Faith is not produced in our unregenerated human nature. We receive faith, we receive a new mind. We receive a new will.”

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

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What I Learned This Week In Romans

For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace. I had no peace (Romans 5:1) when I was an unsaved man, I was at war with God, I was His enemy! Colossians 1:21. I wanted all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life 1 John 2:16 I didn’t want to please God nor did I have the capability to do so, for my mind was set on me and my flesh.

In the flesh… This the opposite of in Christ? Romans 8:9 says However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. Last week we looked at Romans 7:1-4 that we might bear fruit for God. Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.

What kind of fruit did we bear before we as believers were joined to Christ? These kinds of fruit… Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these! Galatians 5:19, 20 and 21. For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death. Romans 7:5.

In the flesh sarx has many nuances so we must make sure we get the correct context of each use of sarx… The range of meaning extends from the physical flesh both human and animal, to the human body, to the entire person, and even to all humankind!

It can refer to humans controlled by sin and its passions.

Kenneth Wuest Word Studies in the Greek N.T. says this

The expression “in the flesh” refers to the condition of a person in the absolute control of the evil nature, as is clearly seen by a consideration of Paul’s words in 8:9, where he says, “But ye are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God, dwell in you.” That is, in the case where the person is indwelt by the Holy Spirit, that person is not in the control of the evil nature. That individual is a saved person. Consequently, the one who is in the flesh is an unsaved person, the flesh here referring to the fallen nature.

These sinful passions which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death. When we were unredeemed and dead in our trespasses and sin we walked according to this world with all its lust and indulging the desires of the flesh. Ephesians 2:1, 2 and 3.

Paul say this in Romans 8:6, 7 and 8… For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, 7 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, 8 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

Paul reminds us who are in Christ that we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter. Romans 7:6.

We have died to the Law… Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. Romans 7:4. We now have a new relationship with Christ in His death and we are now joined to Christ in His resurrection, Christ suffered the penalty of death that the law demanded. We are now joined to Him, we are now “In Christ” Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law Galatians 3:13.

I love Kenneth Wuest translation of Romans 7:6 “But now, we were discharged from the law, having died to that in which we were constantly being held down, insomuch that we are rendering habitually a bondslave’s obedience in a sphere new in quality, that of the Spirit, and not in a sphere outworn as to usefulness, in a sphere of that which was written.”

John MacArthur writes in his Romans commentary “As believers, we are dead to the law as far as its demands and condemnation are concerned, but because we now live in newness of the Spirit, we love and serve God’s law with a full and joyous heart. And we know that to obey His law is to do His will and that to do His will is to give Him glory.”

It was Paul who said in Romans 13:14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.

Otherwise Stated:
Cloth yourself with Christ

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

 

 

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What I Learned This Week In Romans

Romans 6 is now complete, we finished up Romans 6:21-23 this past Sunday and it was truly a wonderful time in the word of God. This is not an exhausted study, but a brief overview in what we learned.

Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death. 22 But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Do you notice how Paul repeats the word Benefit? We learned last week that the word “benefit” is the word karpos, which literally means fruit. What you do bears fruit. If you sin, there will be fruit of sin. If you follow Jesus as Lord and Master, there will be fruit of the Spirit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life.

When we are saved it changes a man completely, we now as Paul describes become slaves of God and not sin, it reminds me of the words of Thomas Watson who said “Grace alters a man walk” the resulting benefit is sanctification. Wuest puts it this way… “The word sanctify in the Greek means to set apart, and the word sanctification refers to the setting apart process.” 

Martyn Lloyd-Jones has the right idea when he wrote… The main characteristic of people who are sanctified is that God is in the center of their lives. That is the first thing we may say about them. Before we get them to say what they do or do not do with regard to a particular action, we must be clear about the central, primary, most vital thing…Sanctification is that which separates us from sin unto God…The essence of sanctification is that I love God in whom I believe and who has been revealed to me, with the whole of my being…Sanctification is a matter of being rightly related to God, and becoming entirely devoted to him…not only separated from the world but separated unto God and sharing his life (Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Sanctified Through the Truth)

Paul says that the outcome is eternal life, our glorification, when we see Christ. Paul can say “I AM CONFIDENT” in Philippians 1:6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work (Justification) in you will perfect it (Sanctification) until the day of Christ Jesus (Glorification) We as Paul put it are “confirmed to the end” 1 Corinthians 1:8 The God who justifies is the same God who sanctifies, it was Jesus who said in John 17:17, 18 and 19 “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.

Then in verse 23 in Romans 3 we have For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. It easy to see that Paul presents two masters, Sin or God, Two ways, wages or a free gift and two eternities, life or death. The wages of sin is death and we have earned it without Christ, but the free gift of God’s grace is eternal life and you can’t earn it, because God provides the free gift through a person… but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.  

Salvation can not be earned by works or religion, For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8, 9 Jesus Christ is the only way, Peter boldly proclaim “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12

You see when God calls you, He changes your destination from eternal death to eternal life. Is Jesus your Savior and Lord? It’s either Yes or No, death or life… So come and cry out to God to save you ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’ Luke 18:13 and He will indeed alter your walk from death to life (2 Corinthians 5:17)………….

and you will spend eternity with Him forever.

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

 

 

 

 

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Marinating in the word of God

I recently came across these two pictures of steaks, one being marinated and the other, what it produced and I couldn’t help but think that’s what the word of God does to us, it gets deep into our beings. When the richness of God’s word is always on our minds and at the tip of our tongues to share with people it’s a beautiful thing!

So when Paul says Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, that’s being marinated by the word of God!

Colossians 3:16, 17…..

Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father. Then it was the Psalmist who said in Psalm 1:1, 2…… How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers! 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night.

I believe the Psalmist knew it was his responsibility to let the truth dwell in him (and Paul too), because if not for the word of God being marinated in us, how can we be controlled by it, and worse yet we will let other things control our heart and minds. That why Paul said this in Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

The word dwell ( enoikeō) in Colossians 3:16 is an interesting word it means to to live in or to be at home or as one writer says “Take Up Residence” The same idea Paul has in Ephesians 5:18 when he says… And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit.

One writer puts in this way “In other words, being filled with the Spirit and being filled with God’s word are both requisites for living joyful, useful, fruitful lives. We shall not be filled with the Spirit unless we are saturated with God’s word; and the study of God’s word will not be effective unless we yield up our inmost being to the control of the Holy Spirit. Can we not therefore conclude that to be filled with the Spirit means to be filled with God’s word? ” 

I think when we are marinated in the word of God it will permeate every aspect of our lives, taking over our thoughts, our words and our deeds. Then we can see what it produces, look at the rest of Colossians 3:16 with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

We have a great responsibility to teach and advise each other, we counsel and warn each other with our hearts filled with thankfulness to God. We want people to see us calling on His Son’s name, and not being ashamed to say we are Christians. Can we say as the psalmist say “O how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day.”

Can we not therefore conclude
that to be filled with the Spirit
means to be filled with God’s word?

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

 

 

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What I Learned In Church This Week

Paul says in the very first words Romans 6:3 Or do you not know? (Know what?)

. that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.

We learned last week that Paul anticipated a question being asked… What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? 2 May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? Romans 6: 1, 2 Though sin lives in us, believers do not live in sin…. You see, “sin remains in us but sin does not reign in a believer’s life, because we live in Christ and Christ lives in us!” To say then that because we have this super abounding grace we can sin all the more , Paul say “May it never be!”

Walking out of Sunday school class it was clear to us that we now know Paul!

Know What?

That we who have faith in Him who saved us, were once dead in our trespasses and sins Ephesians 2:1 but have been made alive, born from above by the Holy Spirit John 3:4-8, that it was His great mercy and love that even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ Ephesians 2:4. We now know that we were buried with Him in baptism by the Holy Spirit, that we were crucified with Him Galatians 2:20 and its no longer we who live but Christ who lives in us. We now know that we are new creatures in Christ going from death to life 2 Corinthians 5:17, by what He did on that cross taking our sins, the cup of God’s wrath on Himself that we may become the righteousness of God in Him 2 Corinthians 5:21.

We now know Paul the very moment we were saved by God through faith by His free gift of irresistible efficacious grace were baptized by His Holy Spirit into His death 1 Corinthians 12:13. We now know we have been baptized with Christ, we are now clothed with Christ Galatians 3:27. We now make no provision for the flesh, and we put on our Lord Jesus Christ who just happens to live in us Paul Romans 13:14. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works that we should walk in them Ephesians 2:10.

So why would we want to sin all the more? A ridiculous thought… May it never be! We are being made into the image of the glory of the Lord 2 Corinthians 3:18 because Christ is the image of God 2 Corinthians 4:4.

Paul says in Romans 6:4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.

We have a new life our old life is DEAD!

But there is much hope for us in Christ!

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

 

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MacArthur Monday

I few weeks back I posted a sermon from Dr. MacArthur titled Reclaiming the Worship of the Holy Spirit and had planned to show this one next… Spirit-Filled Living, but wanted to get Philippians 2:12,13 explained with clarity here, so today on MacArthur Monday we have Spirit-Filled Living Ephesians 5:18-21.

MacArthur writes:

You know, sometimes…well, not sometimes, most of the time people think that I overdo the teaching of the Word of God and that I need to lighten up on it and that our church is too obsessed with it. There is no other means for the sanctification of the believer. There is no experience. There is no music. There is no lighting. There is no mood that we can create that has anything to do with the Holy Spirit. Sometimes you hear a preacher say, “I can feel the Spirit of God in this place.” No you can’t. What does that mean? That just means nothing. You can’t feel the Spirit of God. You can feel whatever you feel, whatever feeling has been induced or created or manipulated or generated or whatever, but you can’t feel the Spirit of God. What the Spirit of God is doing is not available to the senses. It is internal. It is a conforming of the believer to the image of Christ as that believer focuses on the Word. So if the Spirit uses the Word to show us the example and to shape us into that example, how important is it that we be in the Word? How important is it that we focus on Christ?

Then he says this about music….

The music of the redeemed is different. It’s reflective of timeless truth, eternal truth, unchanging truth and an unchanging God and an unchanging revelation. Our music displays features that are consistent with God. It is intelligent, systematic, sequential, orderly, poetic, harmonic, rhythmic. It even possesses, imagine, resolutions. It is beautiful. It is pure. It is virtuous. It is lofty. It is holy.

Music is not worship. It is a means of worship. Music doesn’t motivate worship. You talk to people who think that in order to make people worship, you have to crank up the music. That is a Pentecostal, Charismatic deception, manipulation of the external. Music does not motivate worship. Worship motivates music. Worship comes from the heart. Music, the songs of the redeemed, are not designed to appeal to the unsaved. That is the last concern that we have. We are speaking to ourselves and to our God. Music is not an evangelistic tool. The world is at home with its own music. Its fallenness is mirrored in the fallenness of its music. Let them have their music and let us have the songs of the redeemed.

“In Ephesians 5:18-21 Paul was not suggesting that we can possess the Spirit in varying measures. The Holy Spirit is an indivisible person – one of the divine persons of the Trinity, which means that He Himself is God – and He either indwells a person or not. No one has the Spirit of God in partial measure. But to be “filled with the Spirit” is to be controlled by the Spirit. The contrast Paul made proves the point. To be drunk with wine is to have your faculties controlled by alcohol – to be so given over to its influence that the wine governs you in a negative way. To be filled with the Spirit is simply to be controlled by Him so that His power dominates you in a positive way”. John MacArthur

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

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Spirit Baptism

“Spirit baptism takes place at salvation, when the Lord places the believer into the body of Christ by means of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:13), and purifies the believer by the water of the Word (Ephesians 5:26; cf. John 15:3). Paul refers to this as “the washing of regeneration, and renewing by the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:5), almost perfectly echoing Jesus’ words in John 3:5: “unless one is born of water (the washing of regeneration) and the Spirit (and renewing by the Holy Spirit), he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (John 3:5)”


(John MacArthur The Gospel According to Jesus)

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Baptism of the Holy Spirit

I mentioned yesterday  that I had and interesting question about the baptism of the Holy Spirit during our Sunday school class in Romans… The question was: I was always told you get saved and then you pray for the filling of the Holy Spirit is that true… Does it happen after you are saved and does it keep on happening as a second blessing? Its funny! I have dug into this topic of the Holy Spirit and second blessing for about 9 month now.

I have listen to some lectures on the subject of second blessing and it’s been a very fruitful study. You can listen to that lecture series on keswick theology called Let Go and Let God from Andy Neselli (a survey and analysis of keswick theology) or if you have Logos buy the book here. Dan Phillips has a few thoughts on second and third blessings from Ephesians 1:3  here.

Well back to my response to the question at hand. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is a one time event brought on by God, we don’t seek it. At conversion the Holy Spirit takes up and indwells a believer 1 Corinthians 12:13 Galatians 3:27 Romans 8:9 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 This is not repeated or some get it and some don’t. All receive the Holy Spirit who believe and are saved by God. Look what Titus 3:5-6 says he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, God alone through His sovereignty pours out His Holy Spirit.

Saying all that we are commanded to be filled with the Spirit Ephesians 5:18… Continuously being filled with the Spirit or be being filled. We do that by confessing our sins and renewing our minds with the word of God Colossians 3:16–25 and as we do that we walk by the Spirit Galatians 5:16 We are granted the power to be filled by the Spirit by the one time baptism of the Spirit at conversion. We must make this distinction from being filled by the Spirit and the baptism of the spirit. Paul says that the baptism of the Spirit is an act of Christ where He places the believer into His body Romans 6:4–6. There is so much more that can be said about this. The time that I had during class Sunday…  This was my answer.

 

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The Five Marks of the Holy Spirit

“I place these five grand marks of the Spirit’s presence before my readers, and confidently claim attention to them. I believe they will bear inspection. I am not afraid of their being searched, criticized, and cross-examined.
1) Repentance toward God.
2) Faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
3) Holiness of heart and life.
4) Habits of real private prayer.
5) Love and reverence toward God’s Word.
“These  are the real proofs of the indwelling of the Holy Ghost in a man’s soul. Where He is, these marks will be seen. Where He is not, these marks will be lacking.” J.C. Ryle Old Paths, “The Holy Ghost”, 285.

HT: J.C. Ryle Quotes


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