- “Redeemed” – Lesson One – ADAM – Prophecy Of A Coming Savior
- “Redeemed” – Lesson Two – ABRAHAM: Promise Of A Coming Savior
- “Redeemed” – Lesson Three – The Law Of MOSES
- “Redeemed” – Lesson Four – The Cross Of CHRIST
- “Redeemed” – Lesson Five – The Simple New Testament Plan of Salvation
- “Redeemed” – Lesson Six – Saved By Grace
- “Redeemed” – Lesson Seven – “The Church – The Family Of God”
- “Redeemed” – Lesson Eight – “The Brotherhood”
- “Redeemed” – Lesson Nine – “The Holy Spirit – How He Works In The Life Of Christians Today!”
- “Redeemed” – Lesson Ten – “Be Filled With The Holy Spirit”
- “Redeemed” – Lesson Eleven – “Today Is The Day Of Your Salvation”
- “Redeemed” – Lesson Twelve – “Heaven Bound”
- “Redeemed” – Lesson Thirteen – “Gehenna” “The Final Place Of The Wicked”
- “Redeemed” – “A Personal Note From Dad”
YOU AND I ARE NOT ALONE!!!
The news of Jesus had been preached to the multitudes of people who were there from all corners of the earth, and were there specifically to worship God. Some, perhaps many of them had cried out for the blood of Jesus a month and a half before. They had watched as He was beaten, spit on, mocked, rejected in favor of a murderer, and made to carry His own cross. They had seen Him nailed to the cross and raised up, naked, wounded and left to die… They had heard Him cry out, “O God, why have you forsaken me?” They may have been amongst the ones who stood, watched, laughed and mocked the Savior.
He died, rose again on the third day, and now they are confronted with and must deal with their guilt. Convicted by Peter’s words in Acts 2, they cry out “What must we do?” Peter continues and tells them they MUST “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins…” Acts 2:38.
However, there is more promised besides FORGIVENESS OF SINS. The gift of the Holy Spirit, which is now a reality, is given to all who are followers of Jesus, Acts 2:39. In Acts 5:32 the writer says, “And we (Peter and the apostles) are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.”
Jesus of course had promised the Spirit even before His death, (John 7:37-39). After all, the new birth (John 3) is one that involves “water” AND “Spirit.” The water referred to here of course is immersion in water, and the other element in this birth is that of the Spirit. In other words the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit then comes to live in us and we become body, soul and spirit beings.
The early church did not have the New Testament. It was being written, letter by
letter, to CHURCHES and INDIVIDUALS. When one was baptized, they were not given a copy of the New Testament with “Best wishes” written on the inside. Each Christian received the gift of God’s Spirit, literally living within them. Thus their bodies became “temples of the Holy Spirit” I Corinthians 6:19-20. It is the same for us today!
But what is the work of the Holy Spirit today in the life of the Christian? Well, the
same as in the First Century, the Spirit had then and has now a definitive work to do.
1. THE HOLY SPIRIT BINDS US TO THE BODY OF CHRIST
Paul writes, “ For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink” (I Corinthians 12:13).
We know the body of Christ is the saved, the church of God. We have learned that our entry into that body is the time we are born again of water and Spirit. Immersion in water is visible while being born of the Spirit is not, but it is just as real. Thus we are bound to the “body of Christ” with this new birth.
2. THE HOLY SPIRIT – THE “SEAL” MEANS – “YOU ARE MINE”
Football players when they are in practice, often wear T-shirts with “Property of St. Louis Cardinals” (for example). This section may be a bit repetitive, but it won’t hurt to look at it. As believers, “We are bought with a price” (I Corinthians 6:20), and that price of course is the blood of Jesus, (Acts 20:28).
God showed His presence in the Old Testament tabernacle, which signified, “This is My place, and you are My people”, now He dwells in the Christian (His temple), (I Corinthians 6:19-20).
This indwelling is the mark setting the Christian apart from the rest of the world (the lost), as one who now belongs to God. The Christian becomes “Holy Ground”, (cf. 2 Corinthians 1:20-22). So, “You belong to Me” is the idea here.
It is easy to “fall” from a legalistic system, but not from a relationship.
3. THE HOLY SPIRIT HELPS US OVERCOME THE LUSTS OF THE FLESH
Sin will always be a part of our lives, and you as a new Christian especially will struggle with sin… but keep in mind sin is not your master, nor are you the servant and slave of Satan (Romans 7:18; 8:12-17). The Holy Spirit dwells in our hearts (Acts 5:32). Yet, ‘flesh’ (lusts/pride) and Spirit are pulling in opposite directions, always in conflict, (Romans 7:15-24).
As strong as the “pull” of the flesh is, the “pull” or influence of the Spirit in our lives as a
“paraclete” (Greek for “helper”) is greater. He is our Friend in time of need, comforter
that makes us strong and bold.
When we are born again we are made alive, and spiritual beings as a direct result of the Spirit’s part in the birth, and since this is so, we are given His Divine nature to partake in, (2 Peter 1:2-3).
Now we are not left by ourselves to deal with sin. His prompting and leading in our lives gives direction and help in dealing with sin. We often pray “guard, guide and direct us”, right? Well, either He does or He doesn’t. (I) We believe He does! THE ONE YOU SURRENDER TO, WILL RULE THE ONE YOU HEED WILL LEAD. THE ONE YOU SERVE, WILL BE YOUR MASTER, (Romans 8:5-9).
Yield to the Spirit and he will help you overcome the flesh and its power.
4. THE HOLY SPIRIT HELPS US PRAY
My favorite chapter in the Bible is Romans 8… Read it! Now read Romans 8:26-27. Powerful verses right? There are many times when we are trying to pray, and we manage to express some of our thoughts and feelings but then what about those things that we really have a hard time with. Things too deep to put into words.
Good news! The Spirit of God expresses them for you to the Father. He lives in you, so He knows your feelings, and expresses them to God. The most primitive prayer, the most inadequate words, are taken by the Spirit and expressed in words that are true expressions of your feelings and presented to the Father. The most withered and impotent cries, are heard with urgency and importance.
Never under estimate this point. Always remember, that when life and struggles are too hard, and the pain seems too great… when Satan appears too strong for you, and you fall before the throne of god, that His Spirit is INTERCEEDING and presenting your prayer before your Father! Never forget this!
5. THE HOLY SPIRIT WILL BE THE POWER OF OUR RESURRECTION
Paul says, “You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you” (Romans 8:9-11). (Underline that in your Bible!)
That is powerful. The Holy Spirit works in the lives of the Christian, not only now, but even when we pass from this life. Death is feared by one and all. Lately, we have witnessed on the news how ISIS has had Christians beheaded or shot, and who knows what else they will do. I have thought about this, and wondered what I would do in that situation… Christians in the early church of the First Century also were persecuted… DO NOT THINK THAT BECOMING A CHRISTIAN WILL RID YOUR LIFE OF ALL TROUBLE AND HEART ACHE. Becoming a Christian sets you against the world, and the evil powers of the world.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Death has been conquered by our Savior, and in Him WE ARE THE WINNERS, not death.
I would like to think I would say, “Father forgive them for they don’t understand what they are doing.” Then I would like to think, I would look back at my tormentor and say, “Send me home friend!”
Grow in grace!