TEEN TREE            OF LIFE

Commands Regarding Attitude, Actions and Living in The Spirit

Part 3 - January 16, 2022

Before you begin, ask yourself a very important question: Do you believe that Jesus Christ died on The Cross for all of your sins? If you answered yes, you will need to be sure that you are filled with The Holy Spirit. How do you do this? You name your sins to God The Father in His Son’s Name. This is called Rebound. As a Christian, you must rebound any time you sin. This is taught in 1 JOH 1:9: If we confess [name] our sins [directly to God], He [God] is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins andto cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Now, if you have never believed that Jesus Christ died on The Cross for all of your sins, all you have to do is say to yourself that you believe in Him and you are saved! The Bible verse which teaches us this is ACTS 16:31: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.”

            We ended last week with Paul’s command to give thanks in everything. It’s summed up like this in 1 THESS 5:18 (New American Standard Bible): …in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus. Note that Paul attached the statement for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus to this command. The context here applies this statement to all three commands that we noted. The three commands, as we learned last week, are: Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Give thanks no matter what happens. (1 THESS 5:16-18 New International Reader’s Version)

Every command of God is His Stated Will, and all three of these commands appear in many other Scriptures. The emphasis here is to make sure that the readers know that these commands originate from God and not Paul. God’s desire is for every Christian to always rejoice, continually pray, and in everything give thanks. These three are very connected because those who continually pray with thanksgiving in everything will always rejoice.

The next set of commands all have a relationship to walking properly with The Holy Spirit, because a believer who follows the previous commands, laid out by Paul will naturally and easily carry out each of these commands.

            The first command in this second group is “Do not quench The Spirit,” found in 1 THESS 5:19 (New International Reader’s Version): Don’t try to stop what The Holy Spirit is doing. This translation makes it easier to understand what Paul is saying. When you quench The Holy Spirit, you’re allowing your Old Sin Nature to control your soul while at the same time you’re stopping The Holy Spirit from working in your life. The word “quench” in the Greek is sbennumi. It means to “extinguish a fire.” In this context, it’s used figuratively and so it means to suppress or stifle the activity of The Holy Spirit. But what does that mean? Obviously man is incapable of either extinguishing or controlling The Holy Spirit. But man is capable of resisting the Work of The Holy Spirit by unbelief as we learn in ACTS 7:51 (The Message Bible): “And you continue, so bullheaded! Calluses on your hearts, flaps on your ears! Deliberately ignoring The Holy Spirit…” Like those “bullheaded” believers, Christians can also be both ignorant and stubborn. This can stop them from paying to attention to The Ministry of The Holy Spirit in their lives, and the influence of such people can also suppress the Work of The Holy Spirit in the lives of others.

But what is the Work of The Holy Spirit? It is multifaceted, but in the life of a believer it begins with conviction concerning sin, righteousness, and judgement: “When he [The Holy Spirit] comes, he’ll expose the error of the godless world’s view of sin, righteousness, and judgment: He’ll show them that their refusal to believe in me is their basic sin; that righteousness comes from above, where I am with the Father, out of their sight and control; that judgment takes place as the ruler of this godless world is brought to trial and convicted.” (JOH 16:8-11 The Message Bible).

The Holy Spirit also quickens or makes alive the spirit of the unbeliever so that he can repent and believe in Christ to be saved: So he [God The Father] gave us new life because of what Christ has done. He gave us life even when we were dead in sin. God’s grace has saved you. (EPH 2:5 New International Reader’s Version)

The Holy Spirit’s Ministry continues in the life of a believer in bringing about sanctification through adoption as a child of God: The Spirit you received doesn’t make you slaves. Otherwise you would live in fear again. Instead, the Holy Spirit you received made you God’s adopted child. By the Spirit’s power we call God Abba. Abba means Father. The Spirit himself joins with our spirits. Together they tell us that we are God’s children. As his children, we will receive all that he has for us. We will share what Christ receives. But we must share in his sufferings if we want to share in his glory. (ROMANS 8:15-17 New International Reader’s Version)

One of the very cool things that The Holy Spirit does is He assists and intercedes in our prayers. This is taught in ROM 8:26-27 (New International Reader’s Version): In the same way, the Holy Spirit helps us when we are weak. We don’t know what we should pray for. But the Spirit himself prays for us. He prays through groans too deep for words. God, who looks into our hearts, knows the mind of the Spirit. And the Spirit prays for God’s people just as God wants him to pray.

The Holy Spirit indwells the believer teaching us the things of God: But you have received the Holy Spirit from God. He continues to live in you. So you don’t need anyone to teach you. God’s Spirit teaches you about everything. What he says is true. He doesn’t lie. Remain joined to Christ, just as you have been taught by the Spirit. (1 JOH 2:27 New International Reader’s Version) He leads us into righteousness and away from sin. He pours out God’s Love within our hearts and gives gifts to us, individually, to serve The Lord so that the whole body can be built up. The Holy Spirit seals us, as a pledge of God’s Faithfulness to fulfill His Promises to us.

Again, The Holy Spirit Himself cannot be extinguished, but His Ministry to the believer can be suppressed in many ways. The first is being ignorant of what God has said. Neglect of Bible study will suppress The Holy Spirit’s Ministry in your life.

Second would be believing and applying incorrect or false doctrine in your life. This is a danger for those that rely more on what others have said about what is in the Bible than in reading and studying the Bible under a prepared pastor-teacher.

Third would be placing greater value on the approval of men than the approval of God as The Lord Jesus Christ warned in JOH 12:42-43 (The Message Bible): On the other hand, a considerable number from the ranks of the leaders did believe. But because of the Pharisees, they didn’t come out in the open with it. They were afraid of getting kicked out of the meeting place. When push came to shove they cared more for human approval than for God’s glory. This was a major problem for the Pharisees, and it remains so today for all who fall into this same trap.

The fourth way a believer can suppress the Ministry of The Holy Spirit is by failing to deal with sin, and even worse, stumbling and then being stubborn in sin. Doing this not only stifles the Spirits’ work in your life, but it can also lead to being humbled by God. Another way a believer can suppress the Ministry of The Holy Spirt is by being resistant to The Spirit’s Leading. This will quench the Spirit’s Fire that should be burning in you. And keep in mind that what you do will influence others, so we are never to be the cause of others stumbling.

The Holy Spirit will surely continue His Work as Paul the apostle tells us in PHIL 1:6 (New International Reader’s Version): God began a good work in you. And I am sure that he will carry it on until it is completed. That will be on the day Christ Jesus returns. But stifling His work will result in slower progress in your Christian Walk.

{to be continued}

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