Holy and Human: Overcoming spiritual struggles to live a holy life


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Pentecost 2016

These are the truths we need to affirm over and over again… speak them out loud to your-self, and ask the Holy Spirit to solidify them in your own spirit. Let me begin the list by adding one that probably sums them all up. It was one I heard in a recent sermon.

Most of us may find that impossible to believe, because our sinful-ness simply overwhelms us… but the reality is God loves us with an everlasting love! Give real serious thought to the foregoing scenario — remember, He loves you so much He actually died for you. How can it be that Thou my God shouldst die for me? That is a common feeling for believers, because this world is really not their home… we were really made for heaven. One of the central themes of Christianity is that of spending eternity in heaven with God.

The Holy Spirit Himself is the firstfruits. Just as the first handful of ripened grain is a pledge of the entire harvest to follow, so the Holy Spirit is the pledge or guarantee that a future full inheritance will be ours. Specifically, He is the guarantee of the coming adoption, the redemption of the body Eph Why is this? For one thing, our bodies are weak, fragile and mortal, subject to fatigue, sickness, pain and death 2 Cor , 4.

Who will deliver me from this body of death?


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Such a shout of anguish is precisely what Paul means by our present inward groaning. Lord, all my desire is before Thee; and my sighing is not hidden from Thee. Likewise, Paul grieved over the remnants of his humanness that clung to him like a rotten garment that could not be cast off. That reality brought him great spiritual frustration and anguish Rom That truth causes each of us as Christians to suffer times of deep inner distress over the debilitating sinfulness that still clings to us. Eph ; Lord willing, you are tracking with me on this point!

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How often do you think about the glories that are yet to come? Do you habitually ponder them in relation to your present suffering? Or is your hope drowned out by an addiction to entertainment and the pursuit of happiness in a transitory world? For the believer to somehow think that his inability to articulate his feelings to God, will result in making his prayers ineffective is an extremely troubling thought. Though we frequently lack the ability to clearly articulate our prayers, God still hears our groanings and understands them.

If the Father knows the hearts of men, how much more does He know the mind of the Spirit? The Father understands exactly what the Spirit is thinking because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. To quote the late E.

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The wonderful truth here is this — when we sign with inarticulate desires, it is the Holy Spirit Himself who is interceding on our behalf, prompting these groans. Reflect upon the words of James Montgomery —. Prayer is the burden of a sigh… the falling of a tear, The upward glancing of an eye… when none but God is near Stott, p. Remember, it is the Holy Spirit who moves us to pray and gives direction to our prayers. We feel secure when the Holy Spirit guides our minds…. As believers we need to become increasingly sensitive to the influence of the Holy Spirit and receptive to the way that He is guiding us to pray, so that our prayers become increasingly aligned with the will of God.

In closing, reflect upon the words of a hymn that Kenneth Berding penned —. Many believers have chosen to preface their prayers with this prayer to the Spirit because it gives them a wonderful perspective from which to petition the throne of grace Remember, we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who was tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin Therefore, let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and grace to help in time of need.


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Hebrews In this critical chapter of Scripture, Paul describes seven key ministries of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer — Walk according to the Spirit Set your mind on the things of the Spirit Now I want to remind you of the standard that God has set. God who is absolutely holy, holy, holy will always affirm the absolute holy standard as His only acceptable standard.


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There is grace for us, there is mercy for us. We go to the throne of mercy to find that mercy, to find that grace in time of need. Now to set that in your mind, turn to 1 Peter for a moment, I want to show you a couple of passages, 1 Peter chapter 1. And here is Peter calling the believers to whom he writes to the standard that is the same for us and all believers. Verse 13 is a good place to start. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

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We are to pursue holiness at the very divine level. We are to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, we are to love our neighbor as ourselves, and we are to be obedient to the law of God perfectly. That standard cannot be lowered. You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people that belong to God, and you are to proclaim by what you say and what you live, the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.

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This is a high standard. Now on our own, we cannot attain to that standard. We know that, because in our flesh we have only the hope of disobedience and death. And yet this standard is established as the standard by which we are to live. It is defined in another way that I think is very helpful and leaves no doubt what the Lord means. There it is. You are called to holiness, to pure love, and to Christlike obedience; that is the standard. The law offers no help. The law does not empower anyone, it is weak. In order to overcome that God sent His Son in the likeness of sinful flesh as an offering for sin, and condemns sin in the flesh.

The only way you can live the Christian life is in the power of the Holy Spirit. And I know that is sanctification , but it needs to be clearly understood. If we are going to get anywhere near the standard that God has set, if we are going to please Him, if we are going to do the things that He wills as our Savior did, we have to have a power that is alien to us naturally; and that is why we have become the temple of God the Spirit.

The Spirit of God has taken up residence in us.

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Your body is the temple of the Spirit of God. That is true of every believer. Receiving the Holy Spirit is not subsequent to salvation, it occurs at salvation. First Corinthians 12 talks about the fact that when you are saved, Christ takes you by the power of the Holy Spirit, places you into the body, and then places the Holy Spirit in you to live in you. And they mystery of the Trinity is just this, that God Himself in His fullness dwells in every believer.

This is why we can live the Christian life. And now back to Galatians chapter 5 and verse Walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. And what did we say that means? One step at a time following the path the Spirit lays out. That is not some kind of emotional experience. It is not some kind of miracle. It is not having somebody hit you in the head and knock you flat; it is not that kind of thing.

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Nothing could be more alien to the true work of the Holy Spirit than that. So as the Word pours into your life and begins to control your behavior, under the power of the Word and by the power of the Holy Spirit, you walk in the way of the Holy Spirit. But what I know is that the Spirit dwells in me because I love the Lord. I love the gospel, I desire to proclaim the gospel. I desire to see people saved by the gospel. I have the longing to love the Lord with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love others as I love myself.

Holy and Human: Overcoming spiritual struggles to live a holy life Holy and Human: Overcoming spiritual struggles to live a holy life
Holy and Human: Overcoming spiritual struggles to live a holy life Holy and Human: Overcoming spiritual struggles to live a holy life
Holy and Human: Overcoming spiritual struggles to live a holy life Holy and Human: Overcoming spiritual struggles to live a holy life
Holy and Human: Overcoming spiritual struggles to live a holy life Holy and Human: Overcoming spiritual struggles to live a holy life
Holy and Human: Overcoming spiritual struggles to live a holy life Holy and Human: Overcoming spiritual struggles to live a holy life
Holy and Human: Overcoming spiritual struggles to live a holy life Holy and Human: Overcoming spiritual struggles to live a holy life

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