Holy Spirit, Experience Him again for the first time.

I. What is the role of the Holy Spirit and what took place at conversion?

II. In these sermons about the Holy Spirit, we start with the assumption and fact that Jesus Christ died on the cross and was raised again three days later to secure our salvation. We move on from there to the out pouring of God’s Spirit on all flesh.

III. Are we supposed to live a life of worship and devotion to God and have no experience with the Holy Spirit?

IV. Did God just say, “believe in my Son and be happy with that”?

V. God purposely, injected us with His Spirit and gave us new life so that we can walk in power and newness of life. God wants us to experience Him daily!

a. Conversion!!!!!

i. At conversion, God made you a son or daughter and gave you a destiny.

ii. At conversion, God spoke destiny over you.

iii. At conversion, God proclaimed “Abundant Life” over you!

iv. At conversion, God implanted Himself in you.

v. At conversion, God transferred you from a child of hell to a child of God.

vi. At conversion, God moved into your life and adopted you as a child.

vii. At conversion, you should have experienced the living God.

viii. At conversion, God gave you a heritage and a future.

ix. I have several questions for us, “Are we experiencing the living God in every aspect of our life”.

x. Do we have abundant Life?

xi. Is God master of our house, our life, our finances, our marriage, our time, our giving, our day-to-day activity?

xii. Do we come to the King of kings daily and cry out to Him and say “Abba Father”?

xiii. Are the walls of our spiritual well caved in where there is no more living water?

xiv. If so, are we re-digging that well in search of the “living water” that Jesus talked about?

xv. Parents, do our kids experience God?

xvi. Do we experience God?


b. Romans 5:5 God gave us His Spirit.

c. 2 Cor 1:21 God anointed us with His Spirit.

d. Titus 3:6 God poured out His Spirit generously on us.

e. Eph 1:13 and 4:30 God sealed you with the Spirit.

f. 1 Cor 2:12 and 2 Cor 11:4 Christians received the Spirit.

g. 2 Thes 2:13 and Romans 15:16 Christians have been saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit.

h. Romans 2:29 Christians have had a heart transplant by the work of the Spirit.

i. 1 Cor 6:17 We have been joined to Christ becoming one with the Spirit.

j. 1 Cor 6:11 As Christians, we have been washed, sanctified, and justified by the Spirit of God.

VI. Were we born of the Spirit or born of the flesh?
a. Gal 3:1– O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? Does Jesus who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith- just as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”?
i. Paul demands that the Galatians remember their starting point of Christianity.
ii. Paul is emphatic that we live a life filled with the Spirit and not works of the flesh.
b. I ask us today, do we remember the Spirit? Do we take for granted the Spirit that has worked miracles among us?
c. We must stand in faith that God has our backside and that He wants to do more in us before He comes back.

VII. Who is of the Spirit?

a. 1 Cor 2:6-16 Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”—
these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.
The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

b. Romans 8:7- For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
i. We must walk in the Spirit.
ii. Do we speak life or death?
iii. Are we always depressed?
iv. Are we looking out for the needs of others more than our needs?
You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to Him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of God who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.

Are you experiencing the Spirit of God everyday?


Heart Transformation
July 4th, 10.

Ezekiel 36: 26-And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. You shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers, and you shall be my people, and I will be your God.

Mal 4:4 Remember the law of my servant Moses, the statutes and rules that I commanded him at Horeb for all Israel.
“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. And He (Jesus) will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.

I. God’s heart and will is to give us life and not death. That is why He offers to live in us.

Col 2:6-Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Jesus, rooted and built up in Jesus and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.

II Everything in the world that is not of Christ or glorifies Christ is vain and wrong.

For in Jesus the whole fullness of deity (God) dwells bodily, and you have been filled in Him, who is the head of all rule and authority. In Jesus also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ,

III. In Jesus we were made new, we were given new life, we were given a new heart. Our heart transplant is done by Holy Spirit.
When Christ died and then was raised again on the third day, we were raised with Him by the same Spirit.

(Eph 2:11 Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, were called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands)—
(Romans 2:29 But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God),

Col 2 having been buried with Jesus in baptism, in which you were also raised with Jesus through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised Jesus from the dead.

Romans 6:4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life (New Heart).

Col 2 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh (Heart), God made alive together with Jesus, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands.

Romans 7:4 Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to Jesus who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God.

IV. True Christians are fruit bearers, they produce godly things. They walk in a spirit of repentance. They humble themselves when they are wrong. They have a heart for the lost and the will of God.

Col 2 This Jesus set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.
Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism

V. Human ideas and logic.
1 (as·cet·i·cism)
• the doctrine that a person can attain a high spiritual and moral state by practicing self-denial, self-mortification, and the like.
• rigorous self-denial; extreme abstinence. )

and 2 worship of angels, 3 going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his 4 sensuous mind,

VI. We only worship Jesus Christ and put no confidence in the flesh or human counsel.

Eph 4:17 Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds.

Col 2 and not holding fast to the Head, (Jesus) from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.
If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations— “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.

VII. We obtain (spirituality) because of a new heart, not through human regulations and rules.

Sermon II

God sized transformation

I. Recap
a. God’s plan—to give His Spirit to people who repented of their sin, both Jew and Gentile.
b. Ezekiel 36: 26-And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you.
c. Jeremiah 31:31- Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law (Spirit) within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

d. Joel 2:28-And it shall come to pass afterward,
that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh;

e. Down payment
f. Sealed us——–The Holy Spirit was God’s seal or down payment to all that would repent and follow Him, nothing else qualifies us as Christians except that we have the Holy Spirit living in us.

i. Eph 1:13-In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit,

ii. Eph 4:30-And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

II. God’s Transformation:
a. Col 1:11-14 May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

b. Van’s transformation.

c. Key—Spirit in us. It is the Spirit that transforms our lives from darkness to light, from eternity in hell to eternity with God. God designed our transformation to show us that we have no ability to transform our selves, only the Spirit can do it.

III. God’s kingdom:
a. Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
i. Not earthly
b. Righteousness: In right standing before God.
c. Peace: Complete peace in the midst of any storm of life. God’s peace is a peace that goes beyond your own understanding, you cannot comprehend God’s peace.
d. Joy, complete joy in the midst of any trial or suffering.
e. KEY: Spirit of God—To live out the kingdom of God can only be done through the Spirit and His power. Righteousness, Peace, and Joy, can only be obtained by God’s great grace and power (Spirit).

IV. The Transformer: Jesus is THE TRANSFORMER!! All authority and power is in Jesus and Jesus gave us His Spirit to live a live a transformed life.
a. Col 1:15-Jesus is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Jesus all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through Jesus and for Jesus. And Jesus is before all things, and in Jesus all things hold together. And Jesus is the head of the body, the church. Jesus is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything Jesus might be preeminent. For in Jesus all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through Jesus to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of Jesus’ cross. And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, Jesus has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death,

in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before God.
The reason Jesus can present us (Christians) holy and blameless before the Father is because our lives have been transformed by the power of Jesus and by the Holy Spirit living inside us.

I. Jewish perspective: A look back on God’s promise.

a. The outpouring of God’s Spirit on His people was to mark the beginning of the end.

b. Ezekiel 36: 26-And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. You shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers, and you shall be my people, and I will be your God.

c. Jeremiah 31:31- Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

d. Joel 2:28-And it shall come to pass afterward,
that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh;
your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
your old men shall dream dreams,
and your young men shall see visions.
Even on the male and female servants
in those days I will pour out my Spirit.

II. For the NT writers, the out poring of the Holy Spirit marked the Messianic age, in other words, it marked the beginning of the New Covenant.
a. Acts 2-When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.
b. Acts 2:17-“‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh,
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions,
and your old men shall dream dreams; even on my male servants and female servants, in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.
And I will show wonders in the heavens above
and signs on the earth below,
c. Acts 2:37- Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”

III. The Holy Spirit was the guarantee that a person was “saved” or “born again”.

a. Nothing else proved that you were a Christian except that you had received the Holy Spirit into your life.

b. John 14:23—Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.

IV. Paul’s Metaphors concerning the new birth.

a. Down payment: Greek meaning (the first installment for the total amount due).
i. II Cor 1:21-22 And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.
ii. II Cor 5:5 He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.
iii. Eph 1:14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

1. It does two things
a. Establish a contract with God, He gave us His Spirit as our down payment for heaven.
b. It guarantees the fulfillment of the contract.

b. First Fruits; is used as a metaphor to show that Christ’s resurrection was a guarantee of our resurrection to come.
i. Romans 8:23-And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.
ii. 1 Cor 15:20-But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. As we have received the Spirit of Christ, we have already received our adoption as sons and daughters.
But, we are still waiting our final adoption which will come in the resurrection of our bodies.

c. Seal is the third metaphor that Paul uses. A Seal was a stamped impression in wax that carried with it ownership and authenticity. God has claimed us for His own by sealing us with His Spirit.

i. 2 Cor 1:21-And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.

ii. Eph 1:13-In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit,

iii. Eph 4:30-And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

V. These metaphors give us a starting point to work with when it comes to what God meant for the Christian life.

VI. What’s in it for us?

a. Salvation!

b. Transformation!

c. Relationship instead of religion! We become ONE with the Father.

d. A life filled with the very presence of God!

e. A chance to make a mark!

f. A call on your life!

Eternal Life

Eternal Life

Where does eternal life come from?
How do we receive eternal life?
Who gives eternal life?
How many roads lead to eternal life?

These questions and many more are asked everyday by people all over the world who are seeking something greater than themselves. Jesus gives us all the answers to these questions as He became God in the flesh. Jesus went to His death in order that we might have life and abundant life at that.

Because Jesus was God and man, and a sinless man at that, He was good enough to pay the price for our sin. He went to His death as a substitute for our death. Now He is offering us Eternal Life; don’t pass it up.

I can write my opinion on these questions, but I feel it is a lot easier to just go to the scriptures and see what Jesus says about eternal life. I have focused on a few scriptures below, but I suggest you go to a Bible and just spend time in the book of John and allow Jesus to speak to you about eternal life.

John 3:5-6
Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit

John 3:8
The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.

John 3:34
For He whom God has sent utters the words of God, for He gives the Spirit without measure.
(Some say it is God who gave Jesus the Spirit with out measure and that is right, but I believe it says that Jesus gives the Spirit to us with out measure.)

John 4:1-14
Now when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John (although Jesus himself did not baptize, but only his disciples), He left Judea and departed again for Galilee. And he had to pass through Samaria. So he came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the field that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there; so Jesus, wearied as He was from his journey, was sitting beside the well. It was about the sixth hour.
A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and he would have given you living water.” The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.”

John 4:23-26
But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.” Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.”

John 4:34
Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” So the disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought him something to eat?” Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work”.

John 5:25-27
“Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. The Father has life in himself, so He has granted the Son also to have life in Himself. And he has given him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man.
John 6:26-27
Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on Him God the Father has set his seal.” Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” So they said to him, “Then what sign do you do, that we may see and believe you? What work do you perform? Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.”
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to Me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in Me shall never thirst.

John 6:53-58
The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on Me, he also will live because of Me. This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like the bread the fathers ate and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.”

John 6:63
It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all.

John 7:37
On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” Now this He said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

John 14:5-7
Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know Him and have seen Him.”

John 14:23
Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and We will come to him and make our home with him.

I Corinthians 12:12-13
For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.

I hope that after reading these scriptures that you can see Christ and the hope we have in Him. Jesus is the only one that gives eternal life.
If you are asking yourself how or what do I do, I say; “cry out to Jesus”.

Pastor Van

How do we continue to see Christ and walk with Him?

I. Allow God’s word to transform us.

Hebrews 4:12-13
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

1. Living and active.
2. It is sharper than any two edged sword.
3. It divides between the soul and spirit.
4. It divides between the joints and marrow.
5. It discerns the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
6. No one can hide from God and we all must give an account to Him.

A. Allow the Word to mold us into a servant like Christ.

Phil 2:1-8
So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, He humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

1. Same mind.
2. Same love.
3. Being in full accord and of one mind.
4. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit.
5. In humility, count others more significant that yourselves.
6. Don’t just look at your own interests, look at the interests of others.
7. Jesus made Himself nothing.
8. Jesus took the form of a servant.
9. Jesus humbled Himself even unto the point of death.

B. Allow the Word to give us patients so we don’t react when wronged.

1 Peter 2:18-25
Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued , entrusting himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

1. Servants, workers, be subject to your maters, (employer), even if they are unjust.
2. If you suffer for doing good, endure it, for this is a gracious thing in the sight of God.
3. We are called to suffer like Christ did as we present the true gospel of Christ.
4. When Christ was reviled, He did not revile in return.
5. When He suffered, He did not threaten, but continued entrusting Himself to God who is just.

*Spouses, Husbands and wives??????????
*Children, do you obey your teachers, coaches, pastors, and parents.
*All employees, how are our attitudes towards our bosses.
*All Christians, if we are wronged, do we “get back”, or do we find a way to love and win them to Christ?

C. Allow the Word to purify us into the image of Christ.

Galatians 5:16-24
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit; you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

1 Corinthians 6:13
“Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food”—and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.

Knowing Christ 2

Jesus lays a heavy one on us when tells us that the only way to get into heaven is to know Him; especially when He tells religious people who have done great miracles in His name that they are going to hell because “He never knew them”. Jesus also tells us that we must forsake all things to follow Him. He told a very rich man that in order to go to heaven he must sell all that he had and give it to the poor and then follow Jesus. Jesus told Peter in John 21 that He would be crucified to the death and that Peter’s death would glorify the Father. Peter was mad at Jesus for predicting how He would die and Peter turned to John and asked Jesus how John would be killed for the gospel. Jesus said to Peter, (paraphrase), don’t worry about anyone else, just “follow Me”. Jesus also tells the people of His day that unless they drink of His blood and eat of His flesh, they would not see the kingdom of God. Now Jesus wasn’t saying that people would actually become cannibals, He was telling people that they would have to forsake all things in order to follow Him. In a parable, Jesus tells us about a great treasure that someone found. “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then, in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field”, Matthew 13:44. This awesome treasure is Jesus and the person who found it sacrificed everything to keep it. In all these accounts Jesus basically explains to us that the separation between God and man was so great that it could only be bridged by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

There is a lot of false information out there about what it means and what it takes to go to heaven. It is hard to find a man or woman who will preach the same message that Jesus preached. Many messages being preached today just tell you to say a little prayer and ask Jesus into your heart. Or, they might say something like this, ‘if you need Jesus to come into your heart, just lift up your hand and repeat after me’. I like to describe this as “adding Jesus” to your life. All you have to do is invite Him in or say the right prayer and you win. Jesus is now a part of your life. I also call this “Christian Idolatry”. Christian Idolatry is when we as sinners just add another idol (Jesus) to our life and call it Christian faith when all it really is, is pure idol worship. Instead of taking a piece of wood and carving an idol to the shape we want, many people take a ‘imaginary statue of Jesus’ and put Him into their back pocket. They do this for several reasons. One, they want Him there just in case He might come in handy someday, two, they like to be able to say they are Christian when it benefits them, and three, they just feel safe if they think they have Him close by. The reason I call this Christian Idolatry is because we are still in charge of our life and Jesus is nothing more than a rabbit’s foot.

Before I was a Christian, I tried this very thing by adding Jesus to my life and I found out that it only added more stress and an eventual hard heart towards God when He did not do what I thought He should do or act the way I thought He should act. This is why so many people in our country will spend eternity without God. So many messages being preached today encourages us to add ‘this Jesus’ idol to our life and then we are to just continue down the road of success. Success in the eyes of God isn’t making our lives better here on earth; success is ‘Gaining Christ”. Paul says it best in Philippians 3:8-16 “Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and may share in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

Jesus (Bible) continually makes it simple when He explains what it means and what it takes to be a true follower of Him. Religious sects on the other hand make getting to heaven so difficult. All forms of religions have one thing in common when it comes to entering into heaven; they all demand that we work our way into heaven instead of getting in through Jesus Christ. In the gospels, Jesus makes it very clear that He is the way, the truth, and the life and no one will see the Father unless they go through Him. I realize that there are a lot of people who just don’t believe that very statement by Jesus, but the one thing you have to take into consideration is that Jesus Christ is the only one in the history of mankind that was actually crucified on a cross, put into a grave, and rose from the dead three days later. Through His death and resurrection, Jesus justified everything He claimed to be. If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, there would be no Christian faith on earth today, and I would have no reason to write this blog.

Lets just examine a few scriptures and see what Jesus said about being a true follower (Christian) of Him. In John chapter three, Jesus told a person that ‘He must be born again in order to enter the kingdom of God or heaven. This is simple, the process goes as follows; the Holy Spirit convicts a person of their sinful state (and yes, we are all sinners). When that person becomes convicted of their sin (read my blog entitled ‘Why me Lord?), and actually sees the absolute holiness of God compared to their own sin, that person instantly repents of their sin before God. When a person truly repents of their sin, (because they were convicted by the Holy Spirit), then Jesus and the Father move in and gives our spirit a re-birth, this is what Jesus calls being born again or saved. The Bible also defines this as Jesus baptizing us in or with the Holy Spirit.

Lets look at another scripture that details this event. John 14:23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and my Father will love him, and We (Jesus and the Father) will come to him and make Our abode (home) with him. Simply put, when a person is convicted of their sin by God; that person repents and confesses Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior (by faith), and then Jesus and the Father (in the form of the Holy Spirit) move into your life. Your spirit man is regenerated or reconciled to God the Father. He now lives in and through you.

When this actually happens, the Bible says that you become a new creation in Christ. You are no longer the same person because God Himself lives in you. As in my first blog, I told you that I went to church and thought I was good but my life was still full of sin and wickedness. When I truly repented of my sin and asked Jesus for forgiveness, He came in and baptized me with the Holy Spirit and I was made new. Before my salvation I loved sin but right after my conversion, I hated sin and wanted to please my Father in heaven. It has been 23 years since that day and I want to please my Father even more now. Even though I still sin because I live in this earthy body, I hate it because Jesus hates it. Jesus lives in me (His Spirit), therefore I love the things that God loves and hate the things that God hates.

What does this mean? Here is an example from my life. Before I was born again I was a major partier at college. I loved to drink and spend time with friends who drank with me. We would stay up late and party like crazy. I am sure some of you might know what I am talking about. After I got saved, I could no longer get drunk and party because in my spirit I knew it was wrong. I didn’t turn over a new leaf or try to become good; I felt something different inside and I knew it was wrong. I have never been drunk in 23 years and I don’t miss it a bit. The reason is because the Holy Spirit moved into my life and I became a new person ‘In Christ’.

Remember in Matthew 7 where Jesus says that we will know people by what kind of fruit (life style) they produce. Jesus told religious people that did great miracles in His name that they were going to hell because He never knew them. That means that those people never really repented of their sinful state and made Jesus Christ Lord and Savior. They used the name of Jesus for personal gain (Christian Idolatry) instead of becoming a servant of the Most High God. When you see people out there that are knowingly living in a state of sin like adultery, fornication, living together but not married, always lying and cheating, but they call themselves Christians, Jesus said we will know them by their fruit. See how simple it is, sinful people produce sin and true Christians produce righteousness. If a true Christians sins, (which we all do), then we should be quick to repents and make amends where needed. This is called the fruit of repentance.

When I am too harsh with my kids or if I do not treat my wife correctly then I have to go and repent like Jesus taught us. The reason I have the ability to go and repent is because the Holy Spirit lives in me and my desire is to please Jesus. In the verse we just read, Jesus said that if we are Christians (paraphrase), then we would obey His word. Because true Christians have the Holy Spirit living in them, they love to obey the commandments of Jesus. A person who is of the world or still lives in their sin hates to follow Jesus.

This is the difference between a person who thinks they are a Christian and one who really is. A person who thinks they are tells people about it but still lives in their sinful state and are a slave to that sin. A person who is a true ‘born again’ Christian has been freed from the slavery of sin and follows the leading of the Holy Spirit, which leads to righteousness in Christ Jesus.

Here is a very common example that I hear often from people who think they are Christians; they will say something like this. ‘I really want to follow Jesus but I can’t or I fail and fall back into sin’. I do believe that person is usually honest and forth right, but ignorant of true Christian faith. The reason they can’t follow Christ is because they do not have the Holy Spirit living in them, which if they did, would give them the power to live right before God. These people are like me when I was going to church and still living a worldly (sinful) life style. The next verse explains it.

Romans 8:14 says, For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons and daughters of God. So, how do we know if we are a Christian going to heaven or a hypocrite going to hell? Are you being led by the Spirit of God which leads you away from sin, or by the spirit of the world which leads you to continue in your sin? Jesus said in John 10 that His sheep (people that know Him) will hear His voice. People who really know Christ have the Spirit of God living in them and their desire is to follow after Christ. All other people simply continue in their sinfulness and have no regard for God’s commandments.

I Corinthians 12:13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free, and we were all made to drink from one Spirit. Paul explains to us here that all true Christians are baptized by Jesus into the Holy Spirit making up the true church of Jesus Christ all around the world. In other words, all true followers of Jesus Christ have one thing in common and that is, they all have been baptized into the Holy Spirit. The evidence of our Christian conversion is that we all have the Spirit of God living in and through us. John 3, John 14:23, Romans 8:14, and I Corinthians 12:13 all shows this.

Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 6:19, Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?
1. People who are ‘known by Jesus’ that are going to heaven; have the Spirit of God living in them.
2. The Holy Spirit is from God the Father and Jesus.
3. We are no longer our own because we have been bought with a price.
4. That purchase was made when Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, died, was buried, and rose again for our sin.
5. Jesus died and paid the price for our sin so that we could repent and have the Holy Spirit of God living in and through us.
6. Simply put, we can ‘Know Christ’ personally.

Pastor Van