HOLY SPIRIT

BABES IN CHRIST

“…make certain about His calling and choosing you…” (2 Peter 1:10 NASB).

FATHER, it is not that You commission me to work hard so that You choose me.  No, You have already chosen me and I need to convince myself that You have chosen me.  What pleases You and proves to me that fact is my complete submission to the HOLY SPIRIT. Thank You for the joy that fills my heart when I obey.

“Religious enterprise that has not learned to rely on the Holy Spirit makes everything depend on the human intellect—‘God has said so-and-so, now believe it and it will be all right’, but it won’t.  The basis of Jesus Christ’s religion is the acceptance of a new Spirit, not a new creed,…” Oswald Chambers (ref#8, Sept 10th).

Christ had unfolded to His disciples an infinite system of truth, but it lay cold and dead in their memories. He deposited precious seed in the soil; but the soil lacked the warmth and sunshine that the Spirit of God alone could give. Compare the difference between the disciples before and after Pentecost. When the Spirit of God is in you you have spiritual

  1. Life.
  2. Satisfaction.
  3. Power.”

(D. Thomas, The Spirit With You and In You,[John 14:16], (New York, NY: The Bible Illustrator, 1905-1909, https://www.studylight.org/commentary/john/14-16.html)

“…we cannot transform ourselves.  Only the Holy Spirit can do that….we must bring ourselves under the transforming action of the Holy Spirit.  This means…that we must continually submit our minds to the Word of God, which is the chief instrument the Holy Spirit uses to transform us” Jerry Bridges (ref#192, p172-173).

“The greatest test is that the true Spirit always glorifies Christ.  Christ is always in the center….The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of order, not of disorder,  Doctrine and love are required; experience and power, intellect and mind—the whole person is involved and functions as this perfectly balanced body with no schism, with no rivalry and competition, but with the whole manifesting and ministering unto the glory of the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Make sure the Spirit of God is in you” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, Nov 5th).

CREATION

MAN IS IN THE IMAGE OF GOD

“The fact that man is in the image of God means that man is like God…”Wayne Grudem (ref#63, p442).  “The expression refers to every way in which man is like God” Wayne Grudem (ref#63, p444).

“…when God originally created man, the reason, the emotions, and the will all worked in perfect harmony. Reason led the way in understanding the will of God, the will consented to God’s will, and the emotions delighted in doing it” Jerry Bridges (ref#244, p125).

“…we are still in God’s image—we are still like God…but the image of God in us is distorted;…” Wayne Grudem (ref#63, p444).

“…with the entrance of sin into man’s soul, these three faculties began to work at cross-purposes to one another and to God.  The will has become stubborn and rebellious and will not consent to that which reason knows to be the will of God.  Or, more commonly, the emotions get the upper hand and draw away both reason and will from obedience to God” Jerry Bridges (ref#244, p125).

“These faculties were all implanted in man’s soul by God, but were all corrupted through man’s fall in the Garden of Eden.  Our reason (or understanding) was darkened (Ephesians 4:18), our desires were entangled (Ephesians 2:3), and our wills perverted” (John 5:40) Jerry Bridges (ref#244, p124).

“…the goal for which God has redeemed us is that we might be ‘conformed to the image of his Son’ (Rom 8:29)” Wayne Grudem (ref#63, p445).  “…redemption in Christ means that we can…progressively grow into more and more likeness to God…(Col 3:10)…” Wayne Grudem (ref#63, p445).

“With new birth our reason is again enlightened, our affections and desires redirected, and our wills subdued.  But though this is true, it is not true all at once.  In actual experience it is a growing process.  We are told to renew our minds (Romans 12:2), to set our affections on things above (Colossians 3:1), and to submit our wills to God (James 4:7)” Jerry Bridges (ref#244, p124-225).

FATHER, thank You for the opportunity to work out all Your redemption has put in me. You give all I need, through CHRIST’s work, to gain back more and more of Your image.

“God’s highest aim in dealing with His people is in developing Christian character” E.M. Bounds (ref#64, p64).

ASSURANCES

CHRIST’S RIGHTEOUSNESS CREDITED TO US

…FATHER, when Isaiah faced You he felt his own unworthiness.  It is the same when I come close to You.  “Therefore, it is important that we receive the same assurance that Isaiah received: ‘See…your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for’ (Isa 6:7).  …the more we grow in holiness, the more we need assurance that the perfect righteousness of Christ is credited to us” Jerry Bridges (ref#244, p44).

“The Holy Spirit makes us more aware of our lack of holiness to stimulate us to deeper yearning and striving for holiness….One of Satan’s attacks is to try to convince you that you are not a genuine Christian after all.  He will say something like, ‘A true Christian wouldn’t think the evil thoughts you’ve been thinking today.’…now that the Holy Spirit has begun to reveal how sinful your thoughts of lust and resentment and pride really are, you may begin to have doubts about your salvation” Jerry Bridges (ref#244, p44-45).

“You…if you diligently pursue holiness, must often flee to the Rock of your salvation.  You flee there, not to be saved again, but to confirm in your heart that you are saved through His righteousness alone” Jerry Bridges (ref#244, p45).

VALLEYS TO MOUNTAINTOPS

THE MEASURE OF MY LOVE TO GOD

1/31/2016

Screen Shot 2016-03-26 at 12.56.23 PMI sighed to my husband on the way home from church, “If I could just go through the day like I feel right now.” The adrenalin-filled morning was over but the adrenalin had not completely dissipated. I wasn’t tired, I didn’t hurt and I felt like I could accomplish what I wanted to without struggling. But the reality is that I’m here at the computer just three hours later feeling physically miserable and mentally and spiritually empty.

I fell asleep reading, I developed a headache napping, forced myself out of bed but then fell back asleep in the chair trying to pray. Some Sabbath. Suddenly my Sunday private time with GOD loomed more difficult than speaking spiritually to my brothers and sisters at morning church.

There doesn’t seem to be anymore to record in this journal entry. I sit here wondering what I can do with myself in the nine more hours of this Sunday?

***

Well, the bit of reading I did accomplish, “I sensed God was saying to me through a thought planted in my mind” (ref#192, p134), from Jerry Bridges that: “…the extent to which we realize and acknowledge our own sinfulness, and the extent to which we realize the total forgiveness and cleansing from those sins, will determine the measure of our love to God” (ref#192, p126).

It seems prudent as I sit here flat-lining as a result of the morning adrenalin rush to compile two lists, (1) of besetting sins I struggle with and (2) ways GOD works to forgive my sins.

As I begin this list I am thoroughly convinced that I sin lots and lots and, through CHIRST, GOD deems me forgiven for them. This is simply a fact in my head. However it seems quite possible that if I don’t review how I came to believe that statement I will eventually wonder how I ever believed it. Yes, indeed, if not reviewed that truth will fade over time. So, let me contemplate and make my two lists:

After spending a half hour or so making the lists, I am no longer tired. I listed 14 sins. I would call them folders of sins because each word represents an explosion of specific sins in specific circumstances.

I listed 34 facts about JESUS the CHRIST—facts that remind me of His character on earth and now in heaven. The list makes me realize how intent He was to His FATHER’s calling on Him—how perfectly He accomplished it—and how much now He lives for me, one of His very own. I see how easily and freely and with so much compassion He forgives my sins. The audacity of me to entertain the thought of carrying any guilt because of my sins. He so convincingly has made an end of them. I have complete freedom to love Him and love Him more than ever because I have spent a pleasurable time in my mind and in Scripture reviewing His attributes.

SABBATH

WE CAN BE HOLY AND ALSO HAPPY

“…remembering the Sabbath by keeping it holy is integral to…life as the people who are sanctified or ‘made holy’) by the Lord…” ESV Study Bible, (ref#125, p 196, [Ex 31:12-17]).

“…He [GOD] cannot compromise His holiness the least bit. His goal is to conform us to the likeness of His Son, and Jesus was completely without sin…(Heb 4:15)…we cannot…keep these commitments perfectly, but keeping them perfectly should at least be our aim” Jerry Bridges (ref#192, p160).

“…men will never worship God with a sincere heart, or be roused to fear and obey Him with sufficient zeal until they properly understand how much they are indebted to His mercy…” John Calvin (ref#192, p161).

“…it is the continual reminding of ourselves of His grace and mercy that provides the only enduring motivation to sustain such a commitment and keep it from becoming oppressive. That is why we must preach the gospel to ourselves everyday” Jerry Bridges (ref#192, p162).

“Many contemporary Christians seem to think that if they don’t study their Bibles, if they don’t familiarize themselves with the standards and principles God has given in the Bible, they will not be responsible for their sins committed in ignorance. Not so!…we had better become careful students of the revealed Word of God, for it is disobedience to His word that constitutes sin” Bob Deffinbaugh (ref#196).

Again, we can be roused to fear and obedience by recounting His grace and mercy as we conclude He keeps us because we cannot keep ourselves. Therefore a great Sabbath exercise is to list present sins then list the ways CHRIST pours out grace and mercy.

“We are being influenced by the forces of sinful society or we are being influenced by the word of GOD. There is no third option” Jerry Bridges (ref#192, p168).