You are now beginning to live the Christian life, which isn’t a standard of performance or a code of ethics, but a vital personal relationship with a loving God.
god’s powerJust as our relationship with God is totally dependant on what God has done through Jesus Christ, so the power to live a dynamic Christian life also comes totally from God.
Through your new identity in Christ, you have all the potential you need to live as a new creation in Christ. But, you must continually draw from the proper Source of power.
The Holy Spirit is the power source of the Christian life.
The Holy Spirit is God.
“For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God, that we may understand what God has freely given us” (1 Corinthians 2:11-12).
The Holy Spirit came to dwell in you.
“You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ”
The Holy Spirit came to convict the world of sin and justice.
“When He comes, He will convict the world of guilt in regards to sin and righteousness and judgment (John 16:8).
The Holy Spirit came to lead you into the truth.
“But, when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on His own; He will speak only what He hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come”
The Holy Spirit came to glorify Christ.
(Christ speaking) “He will bring glory to Me by taking from what is Mine and making it known to you” (John 16:14).
The Holy Spirit confirms your relationship with God.
“….because those who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by Him we cry ‘Abba, Father.’ The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children” (Romans 8:14-16).
The Holy Spirit is the source of Christ-like qualities in your life.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22,23).
Which of these qualities would you most like God to being developing within you?
(Christ speaking) “Remain in Me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me” (John 15:4-5).
a) What does Jesus say we are to do in order to see this fruit produced in us?
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8)
b) What does the Holy Spirit desire to equip you to do?
c) What does it mean to you to be a witness for Christ?
d) Why do you think the Holy Spirit’s power is needed to be a witness?
Not all Christians experience the Holy Spirit’s power.
Although the Holy Spirit lives within all Christians, not all Christians are filled or directed and empowered by the Holy Spirit. The Bible tells us there are three kinds of people; the natural, spiritual and carnal.
The Natural Person
THOSE WHO HAVE NOT TRUSTED CHRIST’S DEATH TO PAY FOR THEIR SINS AND THUS CHRIST DOES NOT LIVE IN THEM. (See 1 CORINTHIANS 2:14)
The circle represents a person’s life. The natural person directs his or her own life and thus sits in control. (S). Christ (+) does not live in the natural person’s life and is therefore outside the circle.
The Spiritual Person
THOSE WHO HAVE TRUSTED CHRIST AS THEIR SAVIOUR AND ARE TRUSTING IN THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT TO LIVE THE CHRISTIAN LIFE.
(See 1 CORINTHIANS 2:15)
The spiritual person has invited Christ (+) into his or her life and has allowed Him to take control through the Holy Spirit. The person therefore yields to Christ’s direction.
The Carnal Person
THOSE WHO HAVE TRUSTED CHRIST TO PAY FOR THEIR SINS, BUT WHO ARE TRUSTING THEIR OWN EFFORTS TO LIVE THE CHRISTIAN LIFE. (CARNAL REFERS TO “FLESH” AS OPPOSED TO “SPIRIT.”) A CARNAL CHRISTIAN LIVES IN THE ENERGY OF THE FLESH, NOT IN THE POWER OF THE SPIRIT. (See 1 CORINTHIANS 3:1,2).
Although Christ lives in the carnal person’s life, the Holy Spirit is not allowed to direct it. Instead, the person remains in control.
Which of these three circles best represents your life?
You can be filled with the Holy Spirit.
The abundant Christian life is the Christ-directed life by which Christ lives His life in and through you in the power of the Holy Spirit. You can be filled with the Holy Spirit only by faith, by trusting God to produce in you the fruitful life He promised. The following three steps explain how you can be filled with the Spirit.
Confess all known sin.
“If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.” (Psalm 66:18).
a) Why do you think it is important to confess all known sin in order to be filled with the Spirit?
Yield every area of your life to Christ.
“Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer to parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to Him as instruments of righteousness.” (Romans 6:12,13).
b) What do you think yielding every area of your life to Christ would involve?
Trust the Holy Spirit to fill you.
1. God has commanded you to be filled with His Spirit:
“Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled (directed and empowered) with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18).
2. God has promised to answer your requests which are in accord with His will:
“And this is the confidence which we have before Him that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him” (1 John 5:14,15).
c) Is it God’s will for you to be filled with His Spirit?
You can be filled with the Holy Spirit by faith alone. This prayer is a good way to express that faith:
“Dear Father, I know that I have been directing my own life and, as a result, I have sinned against You. I thank You that You have forgiven my sins through Christ’s death on the cross. I now invite Christ to take His place on the throne of my life. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit as You commanded me to be filled, and as You promised that You would do if I asked in faith. As an expression of faith, I now thank You for taking control of my life and for filling me with the Holy Spirit.”
d) Does this prayer express the desire of your heart?
If this is the desire of your heart, you can pray this prayer right now and be filled with the Holy Spirit.
You can be continually empowered by the Holy Spirit.
If you find that you have retaken control of your life through sin — any definite act of disobedience — simply breathe spiritually (exhale the impure and inhale the pure). This important exercise will enable you to continue to experience Christ’s loving control in your life throughout each day.
a) Exhale — Confess your sin
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
Also read Hebrews 10:1-25. Remember the three factors involved in confession:
i) Agree with God that you have sinned.
ii) Thank God that He has already forgiven you.
iii) Trust God to change your wrong attitudes and actions.
b) Inhale — Claim by faith the fullness of the Spirit in your life
i) Surrender the control of your life to Christ.
ii) Trust that He now directs and empowers you.
Summary: The Holy Spirit is the power source of the Christian life. As you trust Jesus Christ, God’s Spirit will produce His character within you and empower you to be His witness.
Suggestion for further growth: Continue to spend 15 minutes alone each day with the Lord in Bible reading and prayer.
Key Questions: You can only trust someone as much as you know him. How does God want you to get to know Him better?
Answers: 1a) Remain in Jesus: rely on and stay close to Him. 1b) To be His witnesses. 1c) A witness tells what he or she has seen or heard. A Christian witness should tell others what he know to b e true about Christ. 1d) He promises to give you the right words to say and the boldness to say them. 3a) Until we consciously have clean hearts before God, He cannot have fellowship with us. 3c) Yes, His command indicates His will.