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Bless-ed! 52 Blessings You Have As a Believer! (Blessing #9)

BLESSING #9: The Blessing of the Help of the Spirit
“You will find a certain type of preacher and evangelist who claims that he is entirely dependent on the Holy Spirit. It is a blasphemous thing to saddle the Holy Spirit with the blame for rambling, wearisome, and unprepared effusions.” (William Barclay).

My unsaved friend Mike is helping me become more aware of what I have as a believer and what he doesn’t yet have. This list is not given in any sense of gloating, for I grieve for what my friend doesn’t have.
One of the greatest blessings for the believer is that —

9. WE HAVE THE SPIRIT OF GOD TO HELP US UNDERSTAND AND APPLY GOD’S WORD!



THE BLESSING: The Bible is clear about the Trinity — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Third Member of the Godhead is personal and divine and we can have a relationship with Him. His deity is made abundantly clear in Acts 5 and His personality (intellect, emotions, and will) are shown in numerous Scriptures (Romans 8, Acts 13, Ephesians, Galatians 5, etc.). Although His primary ministry is to direct our attention to Christ and to apply the Word of God to our lives, we can relate to Him. We are not to grieve Him or quench Him. And we can learn to please Him.

I’ve written a book specifically challenging believers to grow in their connection with the Holy Spirit and to do so by recognizing His ministries in their lives. One primary ministry is that of helping us understand and apply the Word of God to our daily lives.

THE BIBLE Believers should be dependent on God the Holy Spirit to lead them as they study God’s Word. But this is not a substitute for the serious study of the Word, bringing our best hermeneutical skills to the job. The Spirit of God will work with us as we pour over God’s truth.

We learn of the Spirit in Jesus’ Upper Room Discourse. Jesus says in John 16 — “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the 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.” (v. 13). We also learn in I Corinthians 2 that the Spirit of God helps us warmly embrace the truths of God. The unsaved person considers God’s Word foolishness and can’t understand it because it is discerned only through God’s Spirit. (vv. 14-15).

ACTION STEPS 1. Write out a prayer to God the Holy Spirit each day this week, asking for His help as you study a passage of Scripture.
2. Sometime this week read J.I. Packer’s article on the illumination of the Spirit entitled “THE HOLY SPIRIT GIVES SPIRITUAL UNDERSTANDING” found at: https://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/onsite/packer/Illumination.html
3. Read my short book The Forgotten Third: Developing a Biblical Relationship with God the Holy Spirit (Energion, 2022). Discuss what you have learned with another believer.
PRAYER: 4. Pray for your lost friend that his heart would be open to the Spirit’s work in his life, especially as he reads God’s Word. Pray that he would understand — and warmly embrace — the truths of God’s Word.

 
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Posted by on May 7, 2022 in blessings

 

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Bless-ed! 52 Blessings Your Lost Friend Doesn’t Have . . . And What You Can Do About It! (Part 7)

My friend “Mike” (not his real name) is unsaved, but he’s helping me become more aware of what I have as a believer and what he doesn’t yet have. This list is not given in any sense of gloating, for I grieve for what my friend doesn’t have.

In our previous posts, we’ve seen that (according to Scripture) my unsaved friends  — (1) don’t have an authoritative source for what they believe; (2) don’t have the assurance that their sins are forgiven; (3) don’t have a life-long, satisfying mission in life, (4) don’t have somewhere (beyond this world) to go with their guilt, (5) don’t have a community (being built by Jesus) where they can be trained to do God’s work, and (6) don’t have a longing to know God through studying His Word!

Let’s consider a seventh benefit of the believer as we recognize a truth about our unbelieving friends. And it is that —

7. THEY DON’T HAVE THE SPIRIT OF GOD TO HELP THEM UNDERSTAND AND APPLY GOD’S WORD!

The Bible is clear about the Trinity — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Third Member of the Godhead is personal and divine and we can have a relationship with Him. I’m working on a book specifically challenging believers to grow in their connection with the Holy Spirit and to do so by recognizing His ministries in their lives. One primary ministry is that of helping us understand and apply the Word of God to our daily lives (see John 16:13; I Corinthians 2:14-15).

The person who has not yet trusted Christ does not have the Spirit of God. He or she may read the Bible, but they are not yet open to the One whose primary tool in teaching us spiritual truth is the Word of God!

How do I pray for my unsaved friend? I can pray that he would trust Christ and be brought by the Spirit of God into God’s family. Then he can begin to understand — and warmly embrace — the truths of God’s Word. (to be continued)

“If you’re not confident in the authority of the Scriptures, you will be a slave to what sounds right.”
Matt Chandler

 

 
 

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The Forgotten Third: Developing a Biblical Relationship with God the Holy Spirit

Friends: I’ve been working on this manuscript for quite a while. And I now have a contract to get it finished! Here’s a sample of what I’m putting together for this book:

Jesus says the Holy Spirit would be “another paraclete” to His disciples. Would the term “comfort” be the first to come to mind when we think of how Jesus was to His disciples? He rebukes them for their unbelief, for their sleeping, for having no faith. He defends them when they are accused of violating sacred rules of ceremonial washing or ignoring Sabbath observance. He “comes alongside” them when their faith is too weak to exorcize a demon-possessed boy.

“Comfort” seems to imply bringing solace to one who is weeping. The disciples (during the earthly ministry of the Lord) did not know enough to weep. He does not “comfort” them – He challenges, chastises, corrects, and even cajoles them. “Comfort” is far too weak a term. And sometimes the last thing the believer needs is a sympathetic companion who wipes away his tears. We need One who is fully divine to come alongside of us and put His finger on our sins and remind our hearts, “You belong to Your Heavenly Father.” We require One who will motivate and empower us to take risks for the Kingdom of God, One who will not be satisfied with one-seventh of our week, with the leftovers of our hours and days. We need One who will be “called alongside of” us even when we ourselves don’t have enough wisdom to invite His intrusive presence.

In an age of comfort food, we need the Bread of Life broken to us by the Spirit who yearns for our sanctification. We desperately require a Defender in the face of undeserved, snarling rebukes by an unbelieving world – and in the face of deserved charges of our sins by the great Accuser, Satan himself. The Spirit is not a soothing Teddy Bear, but the Hound of Heaven who will not let us be.

Our primary need is not for Someone who will say, “There, there. It will all be okay. It really doesn’t matter.” We require Someone who will remind us that life matters greatly, that we might well die for the sake of the gospel – and we are no fools if such happens to us. We need Someone who will remind us of our sonship even when Satan, the world around us, other Christians, and even our own conduct seem to contradict the very idea that we could be loved and forgiven by God. We need to be rescued from our consumeristic culture and transformed into God-centered, other-focused ambassadors for the King. In our postmodern atmosphere where it seems no one knows who they are and have stopped asking such questions, the Spirit reminds us of our adoption into God’s family. In our subjective circles of pooled ignorance, often punctuated by “Here’s what the Lord says to me,” we need the determined Applyer of the truth of Scripture to do His mighty work in conjunction with the serious attention to the meaning of the Word. Surrounded by moral relativity and a resistance to anyone who defends the concepts of right and wrong, we desperately need the inner conviction of the Spirit who does not debate moral matters with us, but puts His divine finger on the shortcomings of our thoughts and actions. In brief, we need Someone like Jesus.

 
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Posted by on December 28, 2021 in The Holy Spirit

 

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The Forgotten Third: Developing a Biblical Relationship with God the Holy Spirit (“You talk with Him?!”)

Friends: I’ve been working on this book for a while. And you get to follow me in action! My plan is to work my way slowly — in these posts — through the chapters in this manuscript. I welcome your input and hope to have this published in the next few months.

“You talk with Him?!”

If the Holy Spirit is personal, we can — and should — speak with Him. He speaks to us through the Word of God. We speak to Him through prayer — targeted prayer that connects us with His various ministries.

But some may say, “I thought my primary attention is to be given to the Lord Jesus?” You are certainly correct. In fact, it is the Spirit’s role to bring glory to the Son (as we will see later). However, to say that Jesus deserves our primary attention does not mean that the Spirit should get no attention at all.

There is a fascinating verse in 2 Corinthians 13 that is wonderfully trinitarian in its expression. Paul prays, “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” There aren’t many clear Trinitarian references that we may inflict, I mean, share with those who aren’t convinced of that doctrine, but this one is so direct!  We have the SON (“the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ”), the FATHER (“the love of God”), and the SPIRIT (“the fellowship of the Holy Spirit”). Have you ever asked, “How am I supposed to have fellowship with the Holy Spirit?” That question we will pursue more vigorously in our next post!

 
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Posted by on July 23, 2021 in The Holy Spirit

 

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The Forgotten Third: Developing a Biblical Relationship with God the Holy Spirit (Introduction)

Friends: I’ve been working on this book for a while. And you get to follow me in action! My plan is to work my way slowly — in these posts — through the chapters in this manuscript. I welcome your input and hope to have this published in the next few months.

Introduction:

I’ve been interested in the doctrine of the Holy Spirit for a long time. My background isn’t charismatic or Pentecostal, but Brethren. And I don’t remember a lot of messages on God the Holy Spirit as I grew in my faith. I wrote my Ph.D dissertation of the Holy Spirit and also contributed a chapter on Him to a friend’s book on the Trinity.

I believe Christians often fall into one or two categories when it comes to the Person and Work of the Holy Spirit. There are those who overlook Him and there are those who overemphasize Him. I want to strive for a biblical balance in my own life.

Would you say your background overlooked or overemphasized God the Holy Spirit? In our next post we’ll talk about why it is right to give appropriate attention to the Third Person of the Godhead.

 
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Posted by on July 21, 2021 in The Holy Spirit

 

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Time for Yet Another Quote on the Holy Spirit from A.W. Tozer!

 
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Posted by on July 17, 2021 in The Holy Spirit

 

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Time for Another Quote on the Holy Spirit from A.W. Tozer!

 
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Posted by on July 15, 2021 in The Holy Spirit

 

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Time for a Great A.W. Tozer Quote . . . on the Holy Spirit!

 
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Posted by on July 13, 2021 in Holy Spirit

 

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My ISI Talk on Darby and His Pneumatology

 
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Posted by on June 3, 2021 in John Nelson Darby

 

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Ruminating on ROMANS! (Some Thoughts on Paul’s Great Epistle) #21 “Eight Blessings of Belief” (A Study of Romans 5:1-5) Blessing #8

Many of you know that my New Jersey friend Frank and I are reading through God’s Word together (described here). We’re now in the book of Romans and are reading chapter 5 each day this week. Here is something that I noticed in reading this chapter:

Here are the eight blessings that I see in this passage:

1. Justified through faith (v. 1)

2. Peace with God

3. Gained access into this grace (v. 2)

4. Boasting in the hope of the glory of God

5. Glory in our sufferings (vv. 3-4)

6. A hope that does not put us to shame (v. 5)

7. God’s love poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit

8. The Holy Spirit has been given to us

We will think about each of these blessings — one by one — in subsequent posts. Let’s consider the eighth blessing: THE HOLY SPIRIT HAS BEEN GIVEN TO US!

What an incredible gift! The Third Person of the Divine Trinity — the Spirit of God — has been given to us!  What does that mean? [I just finished producing four videos on the topic “Developing a Biblical Relationship with God the Holy Spirit.” We will be posting those videos on this blog].

Pastor John Piper makes the point in his little book God Is the Gospel that when you trusted Christ, you got GOD! Here Paul makes the point that having been justified by the finished work of Christ, you and I got the Holy Spirit!

What a conclusion to this list of blessings here in Romans 5!

Thank God today for this incredible gift — the Holy Spirit Himself!

 
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Posted by on January 16, 2021 in Romans 5

 

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