Living By the Holy Spirit

By Rev. Dr. Jerry Schmoyer  jerry@schmoyer.net 

http://www.mainstreetbaptist.org/    http://india.christiantrainingonline.org/

 

INTRODUCTION:

How old does a baby start to walk (12 to 15 mo)?

What if 5 years old and still crawling around?

Walking natural, something all want to do

 

 

I. LEARNING TO WALK

Learning to walk takes time, effort, much practice

        Doesn’t come quick and easy!

Baby must learn to walk, one step at a time – Balance, timing, strength

Learning to walk: fall down get up and try again  (Same true spiritually)

        EXERCISE stretches muscle to limit, then grows

                God does that to our faith muscles, too

Spiritually we walk by the Holy Spirit”

        Get balance, timing, strength from HS, not from self

        If the Christian life were a matter of just doing your best, there was no need for God to send the Holy Spirit to help us.

 

TRANSITION

Spiritually we can’t walk on our own, need Holy Spirit within to do it, His strength

 

II. HOLY SPIRIT HELPS US WALK

 

“But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the HELPER shall not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.”     John 16:7

 

 

 

A. GENERAL FACTS ABOUT THE HOLY SPIRIT

 

PERSON (not “it” or “ghost”)

                “Spirit” = pneuma = breath

        Personal pronoun “he” used

        Works show personality

       

DEITY     Called God  Acts 5:14

                Attributes of God

 

WORKS         Author & means of insp & revelation

        In OT ‘Upon’ some at some times

        In Church Age

:      Convicts John 16:8-11      

Assures  Rom 8:16           

Guides  Rom 8:14

              Illuminates  John 16:12-15

              Intercedes  Rom 8:26

              Warns  Acts 20:23

              Teaches  John 16:12-15    

              Directs  Acts 20:22

 

                Restrains sin in general (II Thes 2:7)

                Convicts unbelievers of sin, etc  Jn 16

                Sealing  II Cor 1:22; Eph 1:13; 4:30

                Indwells all bel from moment of salvation

                        Jn 7:37-39; 14:16-17  I Cor 6:19-20

                Produces good works (fruit) Gal 5

                Guides, directs believers; teaches/reminds of God’s Word

It is said that a certain guide lived in the deserts of Arabia who never lost his way.  He carried with him a homing pigeon with a very fine cord attached to one of its legs.  When in doubt as to which path to take, he threw the bird into the air.  The pigeon quickly strained at the cord to fly in the direction of home, and thus led the guide accurately to his goal.  Because of this unique practice he was known as “the dove man.”  So, too, the Holy Spirit, the heavenly Dove, is willing and able to direct us in the narrow way that leads to the more abundant life if in humble self-denial we submit to His unerring supervision.

 

                Gives spiritual gifts to believers

Centuries ago a king called to his side his most trusted herald. He handed him a letter and commanded him to read it throughout the entire empire.  The king longed to improve the level of living for his people and to promote great happiness in the homes of the land.

   In the letter the king offered special benefits to each subject. The one stipulation said that to collect the benefits each person needed to appear at the nearest village square on the day the king’s representative came to that village.  All the benefits the king promised would be received only through a personal appearance before the king’s representative.

   So also, it can be said, that all the benefits and blessings God has for us to experience come through His Holy Spirit.  All God has for us is made a reality through the Holy Spirit.  The indwelling Spirit enables and equips us to live Christ’s own life through us.  By His grace and His gifts we are prepared to fulfill His purpose for us.

 

                Baptizing all  I Cor 12:13

 

B. WORKS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT RELATED TO WALKING BY HIM

 

            Filling  Eph 5:18

“Do not get drunk with wine, for that is drunkenness, but be FILLED with the Holy Spirit.”  Eph 5:18

 

Use glove to show filling – HS in at salv, not all fingers filled right away

Most homes are connected to a water main.  This supplies the house with adequate water for normal life.  But suppose a fire breaks out. Then firemen tap a nearby hydrant to secure a much greater flow of water to meet the emergency.  To be “full” of the Spirit is like a house supplied continuously with adequate water. But to be “filled” on occasion, as the apostles were in Acts 4:31, is to be given extra energy and power for special service. “And when they had prayed, — they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak the word of God with boldness” (Acts 4:31).  For the special task of persisting in evangelism, even when the religious leadership violently opposed them, the apostles needed a special filling of God’s power.  They had been “full of the Spirit” all along.  Now they needed “extra filling” to meet the extra demands on them.

To live the Spirit-filled life you must be absolutely and thoroughly convinced you can do nothing apart from the indwelling strength of the Holy Spirit.  The Spirit-controlled life begins with an overwhelming realization that we are absolutely helpless and hopeless apart from the empowerment of the Holy Spirit.

 

Step I = SALVATION – A mental decision to accept God’s free gift of salvation & stop refusing it.

                Once made, you can never go back on this.  You will never lost salvation.

Step II = COMMITMENT -A mental decision to live as a disciple of Jesus and not for self, to put

                Jesus first and obey Him in all things.  This needs to be reaffirmed often.

Step III = CONTROL BY HOLY SPIRIT – A mental decision to depend on & be sensitive to His     strength and leading and not your own.  This needs to be reaffirmed constantly.

 

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EXAMPLES of each one above:

 

 

INTERFERS WITH BEING ‘FILLED’

 

                        Grieve not  Eph 4:30        

Ephesians 4:30  And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

 

                  Quench not  I Thes 5:19 

                                Garden Hose or straw – bent, can’t flow through

1 Thessalonians 5:19  Do not put out the Spirit’s fire;

 

                  Walk By  Gal 5:16, 25

Galatians 5:16  So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.

Galatians 5:25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

                       

JOHN 15:1-8   ABIDING IN CHRIST

        Abide = remain, surrender, depend, open self

        Fruit = product of vine and sap, branch just holds it, not work of branch but vine

                        We are to BEAR fruit, not PRODUCE fruit

 

“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and delivered Himself up for me.”   Galatians 2:20

 

A man who drank heavily was converted to Christ and lived victoriously for several weeks.  One day as he passed the open door of a tavern, the pungent odor drifting out aroused his old appetite for liquor.  Just then he saw this sign in the window of a nearby cafe: “All the buttermilk you can drink — 25 cents!” Dashing inside, he ordered one glass, then another, and still another.  After finishing the third he walked past the saloon and was no longer tempted.  He was so full of buttermilk that he had no room for that which would be injurious to him.  The lesson is clear:  to be victorious over our evil desires, we must leave no opportunity for them to repossess us.

   Dwight L. Moody once demonstrated the principle like this: “Tell me,” he said to his audience, “how can I get the air out of the tumbler I have in my hand?”  One man said, “Suck it out with a pump.” But the evangelist replied, “That would create a vacuum and shatter it.”  Finally after many suggestions, moody picked up a pitcher and quietly filled the glass with water.  “There,” he said, “all the air is now removed.”  He then explained that victory for the child of God does not come by working hard to eliminate sinful habits, but rather by allowing the Holy Spirit to take full possession.

 

TRANSITION

Daily walk by HS not easy, often obstacles in way

        Where/how we walk important for sp health

                Not walk in unhealthy places

                Need protection from diseases in world around

 

My Heart Christ’s Home

Original text by – Robert Boyd Munger

“If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” [John 14:23]

One evening I invited Jesus Christ into my heart. What an entrance He made! It was not a spectacular, emotional thing, but very real. Something happened at the very center of my life. He came into the darkness of my heart and turned on the light. He built a fire on the hearth and banished the chill. He started music where there had been stillness, and He filled the emptiness with His own loving, wonderful fellowship. I have never regretted opening the door to Christ and I never will.  In the joy of this new relationship I said to Jesus Christ, “Lord, I want this heart of mine to be Yours. I want to have You settle down here and be perfectly at home. Everything I have belongs to You. Let me show You around.”

The first room was THE STUDY– the library. In my home this room of the mind is a very small room with very thick walls. But it is a very important room. In a sense, it is the control room of the house. He entered with me and looked around at the books in the bookcase, the magazines upon the table, the pictures on the walls. As I followed His gaze I became uncomfortable.

Strangely, I had not felt self-conscious about this before, but now that He was there looking at these things I was embarrassed. Some books were there that His eyes were too pure to behold. On the table were a few magazines that a Christian had no business reading. As for the pictures on the walls – the imaginations and thoughts of the mind – some of these were shameful.  Red-faced, I turned to Him and said, “Master, I know that this room needs to be cleaned up and made over. Will You help me make it what it ought to be?”

“Certainly!” He said. “I’m glad to help you. First of all, take all the things that you are reading and looking at which are not helpful, pure, good and true, and throw them out! Now put on the empty shelves the books of the Bible. Fill the library with Scripture and meditate on it day and night. As for the pictures on the walls, you will have difficulty controlling these images, but I have something that will help.” He gave me a full-size portrait of Himself. “Hang this centrally,” He said, “on the wall of the mind.”  I did, and I have discovered through the years that when my thoughts are centered upon Christ Himself, His purity and power cause impure thoughts to back away. So He has helped me to bring my thoughts under His control.

From the study we went into THE DINING ROOM, the room of appetites and desires. I spent a lot of time and hard work here trying to satisfy my wants.  I said to Him, “This is a favorite room. I am quite sure You will be pleased with what we serve.”  He seated Himself at the table with me and asked, “What is on the menu for dinner?” “Well,” I said, “my favorite dishes: money, academic degrees and stocks, with newspaper articles of fame and fortune as side dishes.” These were the things I liked – secular fare.

When the food was placed before Him, He said nothing, but I observed that He did not eat it. I said to Him, “Master, don’t You care for this food? What is the trouble?”

He answered, “I have food to eat that you do not know of. If you want food that really satisfies you, do the will of the Father. Stop seeking your own pleasures, desires, and satisfaction. Seek to please Him. That food will satisfy you.”  There at the table He gave me a taste of the joy of doing God’s will. What flavor! There is no food like it in all the world. It alone satisfies.

From the dining room we walked into THE LIVING ROOM. This room was intimate and comfortable. I liked it. It had a fireplace, overstuffed chairs, a sofa, and a quiet atmosphere.  He said, “This is indeed a delightful room. Let us come here often. It is secluded and quiet, and we can fellowship together.”  Well, as a young Christian I was thrilled. I couldn’t think of anything I would rather do than have a few minutes with Christ in close companionship. He promised, “I will be here early every morning. Meet me here, and we will start the day together.”

So morning after morning, I would come downstairs to the living room. He would take a book of the Bible from the case. We would open it and read together. He would unfold to me the wonder of God’s saving truths. My heart sang as He shared the love and the grace He had toward me. These were wonderful times.

However, little by little, under the pressure of many responsibilities, this time began to be shortened. Why, I’m not sure. I thought I was too busy to spend regular time with Christ. This was not intentional, you understand. It just happened that way. Finally, not only was the time shortened, but I began to miss days now and then. Urgent matters would crowd out the quiet times of conversation with Jesus.

I remember one morning rushing downstairs, eager to be on my way. I passed the living room and noticed that the door was open.  Looking in, I saw a fire in the fireplace and Jesus was sitting there. Suddenly in dismay I thought to myself, “He is my guest. I invited Him into my heart! He has come as my Savior and Friend, and yet I am neglecting Him.”

I stopped, turned and hesitantly went in. With downcast glance, I said, “Master, forgive me. Have You been here all these mornings?” “Yes,” He said, “I told you I would be here every morning to meet with you. Remember, I love you. I have redeemed you at great cost. I value your fellowship. Even if you cannot keep the quiet time for your own sake, do it for mine.”

The truth that Christ desires my companionship, that He wants me to be with Him and waits for me, has done more to transform my quiet time with God than any other single fact. Don’t let Christ wait alone in the living room of your heart, but every day find time when, with your Bible and in prayer, you may be together with Him.

Before long, He asked, “Do you have A WORKROOMin your home?” Out in the garage of the home of my heart I had a workbench and some equipment, but I was not doing much with it. Once in a while I would play around with a few little gadgets, but I wasn’t producing anything substantial.

I led Him out there. He looked over the workbench and said, “Well, this is quite well furnished. What are you producing with your life for the Kingdom of God?” He looked at one or two little toys that I had thrown together on the bench and held one up to me. “Is this the sort of thing you are doing for others in your Christian life?”

“Well,” I said, “Lord, I know it isn’t much, and I really want to do more, but after all, I don’t seem to have strength or skill to do more.”  “Would you like to do better?” He asked.  “Certainly,” I replied.  “All right. Let me have your hands. Now relax in me and let my Spirit work through you. I know that you are unskilled, clumsy and awkward, but the Holy Spirit is the Master Workman, and if He controls your hands and your heart, He will work through you.” Stepping around behind me and putting His great, strong hands under mine, He held the tools in His skilled fingers and began to work through me. The more I relaxed and trusted Him, the more He was able to do with my life.

He asked me if I had a RECREATION ROOMwhere I went for fun and fellowship. I was hoping He would not ask about that. There were certain associations and activities that I wanted to keep for myself.  One evening when I was on my way out with some of my buddies, He stopped me with a glance and asked, “Are you going out?”

I replied, “Yes.”  “Good,” He said, “I would like to go with you.”  “Oh,” I answered rather awkwardly. “I don’t think, Lord Jesus, that You would really enjoy where we are going. Let’s go out together tomorrow night. Tomorrow night we will go to a Bible class at church, but tonight I have another appointment.”  “I’m sorry,” He said. “I thought that when I came into your home, we were going to do everything together, to be close companions. I just want you to know that I am willing to go with you.”  “Well,” I mumbled, slipping out the door, “we will go someplace together tomorrow night.”

That evening I spent some miserable hours. I felt rotten. What kind of friend was I to Jesus, deliberately leaving Him out of my life, doing things and going places that I knew very well He would not enjoy?  When I returned that evening, there was a light in His room, and I went up to talk it over with Him. I said, “Lord, I have learned my lesson. I know now that I can’t have a good time without You. From now on, we will do everything together.”  Then we went down into the rec room of the house. He transformed it. He brought new friends, new excitement, new joys. Laughter and music have been ringing through the house ever since.

One day I found Him waiting for me at the door. An arresting look was in His eye. As I entered, He said to me, “There is a peculiar odor in the house. Something must be dead around here. It’s upstairs. I think it is in

THE HALL CLOSET.”

As soon as He said this, I knew what He was talking about. There was a small closet up there on the hall landing, just a few feet square. In that closet, behind lock and key, I had one or two little personal things that I did not want anyone to know about. Certainly, I did not want Christ to see them. I knew they were dead and rotting things left over from the old life. I wanted them so for myself that I was afraid to admit they were there.

Reluctantly, I went up with Him, and as we mounted the stairs the odor became stronger and stronger. He pointed to the door. I was angry. That’s the only way I can put it. I had given Him access to the library, the dining room, the living room, the workroom, the rec room, and now He was asking me about a little two-by-four closet. I said to myself, “This is too much. I am not going to give Him the key.”  “Well,” He said, reading my thoughts, “if you think I’m going to stay up here on the second floor with this smell, you are mistaken. I will go out on the porch.” Then I saw Him start down the stairs.

When one comes to know and love Christ, the worst thing that can happen is to sense Him withdrawing His fellowship. I had to give in.  “I’ll give You the key,” I said sadly, “but You will have to open the closet and clean it out. I haven’t the strength to do it.” “Just give me the key,” He said. “Authorize me to take care of that closet and I will.”  With trembling fingers I passed the key to Him. He took it, walked over to the door, opened it, entered, took out all the putrefying stuff that was rotting there, and threw it away. Then He cleaned the closet and painted it. It was done in a moment’s time. Oh, what victory and release to have that dead thing out of my life!

A thought came to me. “Lord, is there any chance that You would take over the management of the whole house and operate it for me as You did that closet? Would You take the responsibility to keep my life what it ought to be?”  His face lit up as He replied, “I’d love to! That is what I want to do. You cannot be a victorious Christian in your own strength. Let me do it through you and for you. That is the way. But,” He added slowly, “I am just a guest. I have no authority to proceed, since the property is not mine.”

Dropping to my knees, I said, “Lord, You have been a guest and I have been the host. From now on I am going to be the servant. You are going to be the owner and Master.”  Running as fast as I could to the strongbox, I took out THE TITLE DEEDto the house describing its assets and liabilities, location and situation. I eagerly signed the house over to Him alone for time and eternity. “Here,” I said. “Here it is, all that I am and have, forever. Now You run the house. I’ll just remain with You as a servant and friend.”

Things are different since Jesus Christ has settled down and has made His home in my heart.

 

CONCLUSION

A city dweller moved to a farm and bought a cow.  Shortly after he did, the cow went dry.  When he reported this fact to a neighbor farmer, the farmer expressed surprise.  The city man said he was surprised too.  “I can’t understand it either, for if ever a person was considerate of an animal, I was of that cow. If I didn’t need any milk, I didn’t milk her.  If I only needed a quart, I only took a quart.”  The farmer tried to explain that the only way to keep milk flowing is not to take as little as possible from the cow, but to take as much as possible.  Is that not also true of the Christian life?

Those who only turn to God in need miss the real joy that flows from a daily infilling of His Spirit.

 

C t O Rev. Dr. JERRY SCHMOYER
Christian Training Organization
jerry@ChristianTrainingOrganization.org
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