#10 Faith’s Continued Work

Book of Galatians
Book of Galatians
#10 Faith’s Continued Work

References: Galatians 3:1-5

We invite you to turn to Galatians chapter three in our study of Galatians this summer. We have covered the first two chapters of Galatians, which is the first part of the book as it’s kind of a narrative, a historical account of Paul and the Galatian believers and what was happening at the church in Antioch. But in chapter three, you start through another section of the book. Some explain it as chapters three and four as grace explained to us, and then chapters five and six will be grace applied to us. We’ll work our way through these chapters. But he begins chapter three in five verses that we read here in our service a minute ago with an emphasis on the Holy Spirit. And that’s what we will think about this morning as we read these five verses and go over them together. How Paul administered the Holy Spirit to the Galatian believers, remember on his first journey. I want you to do this back in Acts chapter 13. Now if you don’t use your bulletin for anything else, use it as a bookmark.
So put it back there in chapter 13 of Acts or something else that you’re not using like your cell phone or something and put it back there. And then I want to refer back to these verses throughout the message. But I’m going to go a little farther back to chapter 11 and I want to read you what happened when Peter had preached in Caesarea and what happened with the Holy Spirit there in chapter 11 of Acts verse 15 to 17. It says as I beat Peter saying as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them as upon us at the beginning, which would have been at Pentecost. Then I remembered the word of the Lord, how he said, John indeed baptize you with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit. If therefore God gave them the same gift as he gave us when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could withstand God? Now notice in these words, he says that when you believe, the Holy Spirit is given to you.
And so that is a wonderful gift. Acts chapter, excuse me, Romans 8 and 9, I’ll read it twice today I think, he says, but you are not in the flesh, but in the spirit. If so be that the Spirit of God dwells in you, but if any man has not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
And so we have a watershed doctrine here. If you are saved, you have the Holy Spirit of God. And if you are not saved, you do not have the Holy Spirit of God.
And that makes you either a believer or not a believer. You know, there’s a thing called a continental divide, you know, through the Rocky Mountains that all the water that falls west of that line all goes to the Pacific Ocean. And everything that falls to the east of that line all eventually goes to the Atlantic Ocean.
Well, the whole possessing the Holy Spirit is like that continental divide in the Christian faith. You either have him or you don’t. You either saved or you’re lost. You’re not halfway in between. You’re not going back and forth.
It’s just the way that it is. So if you’re a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit lives in you. And if the Holy Spirit does not live in you, it’s because you’re not a believer. Let me give you a few blessings that come because you have the Holy Spirit. Number one, if the Holy Spirit is living within you, you cannot be lost.
You have eternal life. He will not leave you. He does not fail in his work. He who has begun a good work in you will perform it unto the day of Jesus Christ. So if he is in you, he will always be in you and you don’t have to worry about losing your salvation.
Secondly, you have a resident teacher. It’s a wonderful thing that the Holy Spirit illuminates the word of God to you as you’re reading it and listening and studying God’s word. It’s the Holy Spirit that works on your mind and on your heart brings conviction, brings understanding, brings blessing. You have this resident teacher inside you. Thirdly, you have a sanctified conscience. You know, everybody has a conscience.
God gave it to us for a reason. But if you don’t have the Holy Spirit, your conscience can only be informed by other things, by things of the world, even by your own sinful nature and things like that. But if you have the Holy Spirit living within you, he informs your conscience by conviction, by the word, by his work in you. And so you have a sanctified conscience which you need. We all need. Not only that, then you have a means to grow.
And we’ll talk about that some in this morning’s message. You can grow in the Lord and you must be growing. You should be growing. Everything that’s alive grows. And if you’re alive in Christ, you grow.
And so you have that avenue for growth. And then two more things. Number one, if you’re alive at the rapture, You have to go because the Holy Spirit goes. If you go, the Holy Spirit has to go.
You cannot be separated from the Holy Spirit. And so when we read in 2 Thessalonians 2, he’s withholding the evil in this world from getting worse than it is. But when he goes, the church goes with him, and that’s what brings on the tribulation period because it will be so. There won’t be any restraint of sin in the world at that time. Well, not only at the rapture, but at death. At death, the Holy Spirit is going to deliver you into the Father’s hands and into the Father’s throne. I love that expression where in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, it says, and Lazarus died and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom, carried by the angels up. And so the Holy Spirit will deliver us to the Father. So we have a wonderful doctrine in the Word of God about the Holy Spirit.
We’re going to read it a little bit about it. You know, when we have the Book of Acts, which I tell you we’re going to refer to some of the things that happened up in Galatia when Paul was preaching there, we call it the Acts of the Apostles, but we can also call it the Acts of the Holy Spirit because it’s really what he was doing throughout that first century. You know, in the Old Testament, we have God the Father’s emphasis. And in the incarnation or the Gospels, we have the Son’s emphasis, the emphasis on Jesus Christ, but in the Age of Grace, we have the emphasis on the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit in us doing his work in us. So in the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit appeared in the temples, the Shekinah glory, and came down and blessed them. In the life of Christ, the Holy Spirit was in Jesus, combating Satan and delivering from demons and working miracles through Christ. But in the Age of Grace, the Holy Spirit is in us.
That is, in the church, the body of Christ. And that’s where he dwells in this age. I think I’ve said this before, but you know, somebody said, well, Jesus only had to live in a physical body for 33 years. He did it, of course, perfectly without sin and praised the Lord for that. But the Holy Spirit has to live in our bodies for the last 2,000 years.
He probably has a tougher job to have to live inside us, but we’ll learn a little about that today. So you have an outline there on your bulletin, if it’s not placed back there in the book of Acts. And I want you to notice, we read the first 5 verses, and I’ll reread them as we go through each one. But the thing I want you to notice is that there is a question mark at the end of every verse.
So there are 5, actually 6, because one has a double question mark in it, but 5 questions asked here. And that’s why I have the outline the way that I do. I have 5 questions on your outline. So we’re going to look at these in the way Paul gives, and it’s his rhetorical way of giving out information by first asking a question. So the first one comes in verse 1, and that is, Who has bewitched you?
Now, we know that he’s speaking to the believers back up in Galatia, and he’s writing this first book right after his first missionary journey, after he gets back from Galatia, and he realizes that these Judaizers are leading them astray. And so he says, Who has bewitched you? You notice I have my marker here in my Bible, back to Acts 13. So let me remind you of a verse.
In Acts 1345, when he’s preaching up there in Galatia, it says, When the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and contradicting and blaspheming, they opposed the things spoken by Paul. Who is it that has bewitched you? It’s those Judaizers, those people who were attacking me when I was up there, and now they’re attacking you, so those ones that have bewitched him. Now, foolish Galatians, you know, we shouldn’t take this word foolish in a derogatory way. As a matter of fact, the Bible warns us sometimes about using the word fool towards somebody. That Greek word is literally the word moron.
You know, you don’t treat another human being by name-calling. But here the word foolish is the word for thought, thinking, with the word no in front of it, enno. That is, you’re not thinking. You’re being mindless. You’re being unwise. So that’s the word foolish here. So he says, When you’re unwise and you’re not thinking, guess what? Somebody’s going to bewitch you.
Who is it that has bewitched you? Again, in Acts 14 and verse 2, when Luke is recording back there, he says, But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers. They have poisoned them and they have bewitched them. As someone said, they put a spiritual spell upon the believers. And so, folks, what we learn is that spiritual foolishness comes by a lack of thinking clearly. When our minds are clouded and we’re not obeying truth, then we will be bewitched as well. We will be poisoned. We can be, even as believers, when we’re not thinking clearly.
And so, don’t let the false teachers come in and do that to you. But the second part of verse 1 is he contrasts what they were doing with what he did in Galatia. So, before whose eyes, that is you, back up in Galatia, before your very eyes, Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified. What’s he referring to? He’s referring to his own preaching.
He’s referring to the fact that when he was there, here’s how I preach to you. Now, the word portrayed is an interesting word because it means to write something beforehand. It’s to portray it by, like putting it on a graph or a billboard or a placard. I watched a train go by an intersection this week and I think there was graffiti on every train car that went by.
Sadly, they do that. But Christ was portrayed. Somebody even translated this placard at you. Someone placarded you, put it on a placard in front of you so that you could see Christ crucified. And who was that? That was Paul.
He did that. As a matter of fact, chapter 13, verse 36, for David, and here’s Paul preaching up there, David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell asleep, was buried with his fathers and saw corruption. Again, Acts 13 and verse 37, but he whom God raised up saw no corruption. Therefore, let it be known to you, brethren, that through this man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins. And by him, everyone who believes is justified. There’s our great word justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.
So beware lest any has been, therefore, these things come upon you that was written. We’ll stop there. So here he is, placarding it, putting it on a billboard in front of them. I portrayed Christ to you as Christ crucified. And we have talked about that crucifixion, that justification. I want to read you something that I read this last week from a friend of mine who was writing an article that had been published. And he’s giving us statistics. And this was shocking to me. This comes from Lifeway Research, which is basically a Southern Baptist Convention’s research arm.
A 2022 survey, so very much up to date for these kinds of surveys. So my friend writing it says, it’s on, by the way, the state of theology. So he says, we discover that to the questions, quote, is Jesus the first and greatest of beings created by God? Amazingly, 50% of evangelicals agree. Now he’s going to say, well, the next sentence says, this means that up to half of evangelicals believe Jesus is a created being. Now I’m not talking about cults, because they surely do anyway. I’m not talking about unbelievers. We’re talking about those who profess to be born again.
Evangelical means you’ve had a born again experience in your life. 50% say they think that Jesus was probably created somewhere along the line. He’s not the eternal God. Then secondly says to the statement, quote, Jesus was a great teacher, but not God.
All right, that’s clearer. 43% of evangelicals agreed, which is up from 30% in 2020, just in two years. These are disturbing numbers, giving that only about 7% of Americans are considered evangelicals. But if half of this 7% believes that Jesus was created by God, the heresy known as Arianism, and if 43% do not think he is God, then he says the percentage of evangelicals has just radically sprung a leak. Imagine something as clear as the deity of Christ and who Jesus is, and among those who claim to be born again, only half of them are even straight in their mind about that.
Who has bewitched you? You should not obey the truth that was clearly presented to you in the Word of God. Just read Galatians chapter 2. It’s amazing, isn’t it? I say, folks, be very careful. Information is at your fingertips from everywhere, not just from evangelicals, but from all kinds of sources in this world. and you can be bewitched, you can be poisoned very easily, very quickly, not knowing what in the world you’re listening to.
So be careful and be grounded solidly in God’s Word. So question number one, so who has bewitched you? Question number two from verse two, how did you receive the Spirit? So verse two says, this only I want to learn from you. Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law or by the hearing of faith?
There is that familiar phrase he used in chapter 2 a number of times. Is it by the works of the law or is it by the hearing of faith? Now notice I first ask the question, did you receive the Spirit? I kind of stopped the thought right there and have to ask, do you have the Holy Spirit? Again it’s the watershed of faith in Christ.
Do you really have it? Listen to this, 1 Corinthians 12-13, for by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free, and have been made all to drink into one Spirit. And so if you’re saved you have experienced what the Bible calls the baptism of the Spirit, which is an instantaneous thing that happened at the moment you got saved.
It’s not some later thing that happens to you. And you have the Holy Spirit and then placed into Jesus Christ by the Spirit. Look at chapter 3 verse 27 of Galatians where he says, for as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. Do you want to have assurance of your salvation? Do you want to have proof that you are saved? I just say this, do you have the Holy Spirit or not? That’s what Paul said in Romans 8-9 as I read before, you’re not in the flesh, you are in the Spirit. If the Spirit of God dwells in you and if some man does not have the Spirit of God, he’s none of his.
He doesn’t belong to Christ. And so I say first of all Paul is saying to these Galatians, well do you have the Spirit or not? And then he’s going to ask, well then how did you receive the Spirit?
If you have him, how did he come to you? And so if the bottom line is you have the Spirit, you have evidence of that in your life. You have growth in your life. You have good work showing forth in your life. You have conviction of your sin in your life.
All of those things that the Holy, the God, the Spirit, the Spirit of God are all of you. How many times does he ask that? Four or three times back up in verse 16. Chapter 3 verse 5 says kind of the same thing, therefore he who supplies the Spirit to you, that’s God the Father as we’ll see in just a minute. And not only that, in that verse look at chapter 4 and verse 6, and because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of his son into your heart crying Abba, Father.
It couldn’t be clearer than that. He says that you have the Holy Spirit if you’re a believer. Now he’s also kind of asking, did the Judaizers do this for you? For all of their talking about the Old Testament, for all of their talking about you have to keep the law, you have to be circumcised, you have to keep the feast stage, you have to keep the Sabbath, all of that. Did you ever receive the Holy Spirit through their teaching?
No, you haven’t. And I say folks, how many people are out there preaching things today that no one could receive the Holy Spirit from because it’s not about salvation? You can’t receive the Holy Spirit by being a member of a denomination, being a member of a church by doing some rule that they have, by being part of their cult and those kinds of things. That’s not how you receive the Spirit of God. You receive the Spirit of God when you ask Jesus Christ to be your Savior. And at that moment he comes in.
We sung about that even this morning. At that moment to receive he comes in. So how did you receive the Spirit as the second question?
And of course the obvious answer is it’s not by the works of the law. The Judaizers didn’t do you. I did it for you. I preached to you salvation and justification. That’s how you receive the Spirit and you know that. Okay, number three in verse three, then are you perfected? If you start out in the Spirit, are you going to be perfected in your life by the law or by flesh?
Made perfect, that is. Verse three says, are you so foolish having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? And notice the two thoughts I have under that. One is about justification, one is about sanctification. That’s what he’s dividing the verse into. When he says you began in the Spirit, he means you got saved by receiving the Holy Spirit.
You got saved by coming to Jesus Christ and at that moment the Holy Spirit came in and has dwelt in you. That’s where you began. You began by the Spirit, right? Not by the works of the law.
You began by the Spirit. So is that not the truth? In chapter 13, again verse 48, he says, are Notice how he blends the Holy Spirit with their conversion. When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and glorified the word of the Lord. And as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed. And the word of the Lord was being spread throughout all the region, but the Jews stirred up the devout, prominent women, and the chief men of the city, and raised up persecution against Paul and Barnabas and expelled them from the region. But they shook off the dust from their feet against them and came down to Iconium, and the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit. So did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?
Yes, you did. Paul will say the same thing, by the way, in Caesarea, when he’s preaching there again, Acts 10.44, listen, he says, while Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished. And as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also.
Again, chapter three and verse 14 of our book says that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. That’s when you got saved. That’s when the Holy Spirit came in. What is that immediate change, folks, that comes upon a person when they get saved? What happened to Saul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus who walked away the apostle Paul? In that moment, God changed him. And the man who went there to persecute believers in Damascus ends up preaching the gospel to them and has persecuted himself.
What happened? What happens when a person prays the sinner’s prayer, as we call it, that is, ask Jesus Christ to save him? And whether bowing the knee beside a bed, bowing the knee at a church altar, wherever a person may be, they go down a center and they come up a saint. What happens at that moment? It’s that the Spirit of Christ comes in and justifies that person, as you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Peter described it as going from the power of darkness into his marvelous light, out of darkness and into light. But justification is by faith. And what he’s saying here is now, folks, if you have learned that justification is not by the works of the law, it begins by the reception of the Holy Spirit, are you so foolish then to think that now, from now on in your Christian life, you need to be sanctified by keeping the law?
No. You’re going to be sanctified by the same Spirit that justified you. And so we find in verse three, this second statement, having begun in the Spirit then, are you now made perfect by the flesh, made perfect? Now, sanctification is a word we use to describe the Christian life. Now, you know that there are, the word sanctification is used two other ways in the Bible.
At some times, I’m going to read you from Hebrews 10. It does refer to when you were immediately sanctified. That is your salvation was when God sanctified you. And then one day we will be translated into heaven and sanctified permanently, perfectly.
But from the moment of your salvation till the time you die, you’re in a progressive sanctification, you’re being sanctified. Would you do that by faith or by the keeping of the law? We actually do it by faith. Chapter three, verses 11 and 12 of Galatians, that no one is justified by the law on the side of God is evident for the just shall live by faith. Yet the law is not a faith, but the man who does them shall live by them.
We live by the faith as the Son of God who loved us and gave himself for us. Romans chapter eight, verse 13, if you live according to the flesh, you will die. I mean, if you don’t have the Spirit of God, you’ll be living by the flesh. But if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live for as many as are led by the Spirit of God. These are the sons of God. Are you led by the Spirit of God? Now that doesn’t mean we always succeed in our sanctification.
It’s an up and down process, but it’s a gradual incline anyway. And so we have to confess our sins. He’s faithful and just to forgive us our sins and so forth. Let me read to you two verses in Hebrews 10. In that great chapter, the writer says in verse 10, Hebrews 1010, by that will, the will of God for Christ to come, we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
There’s that that positional sanctification. Through Jesus Christ’s death for you, you have been sanctified. A perfect tense means you started at that moment of salvation and you have been sanctified, in that sense, saved ever since. But then in verse 14, four verses later, he says, four by one offering, he has perfected forever those who are being sanctified, and he uses the present tense. So in one sense, we have been sanctified, and in another sense, we are being sanctified. And so folks, the fact is, it’s a progression.
It’s a partnership, if you will. And so you have the Holy Spirit, he lives within you. Do you access that power? Do you access that blessing that you have? Or do you go to his word and read it so that he can bring God’s word back into your mind? Do you pray in the fullness of his spirit? Do you seek to be filled with the Spirit?
Do you do those things that the Holy Spirit is pleased with so that it helps you grow? I think you do. I’m preaching to the choir this morning. You’re here in God’s house to take in everything that we do in these couple hours to help that. So are you perfected by the flesh? No, you’re perfected by the Spirit living within you.
All right, question number four. Have you suffered for no reason? So a short verse here, he says, have you suffered so many things in vain? If indeed it was in vain?
Now, two thoughts I have here. Number one is, welcome to the Christian life. Well, welcome to suffering.
Really? Yeah, suffering is right. It’s a thing that Christians ought to even expect.
If we are preachers of the living, we ought to expect it. Suffered so many things. The word for suffered there is pasco, which is which we get our word passion. You know, when we talk about the passion of Christ, we’re talking about that last week of his sufferings, right? And especially the at the action at the cross from the gardener gets them any all the way through to his death, the passion of Christ. And he uses that of us.
Have you suffered many things? Let me remind you of a few verses, by the way, that speak of this in Acts, back in Acts chapter 14. That’s where Paul was stoned to death. I mean, his first missionary journey, he goes out on his first trip and they stone him and leave him for dead, but he lives through it. So he gets up, he goes back into town, and he has some final words and goes on to the next town to preach.
What a guy he was. But in verse 21, it says this, when they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, saying, we must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God. Between now and when we enter the kingdom of God, many tribulations. Paul wrote to the Thessalonians in 2 Thessalonians 1.5 and said, which is manifest evidence of the righteous judgment of God that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God for which you also suffer. And one more, Philippians 1.29, for to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for his sake. And we could go on with such verses. It’s not that Christians want to suffer, although we are, you know, even in Paul said, that I may know him and have fellowship in his sufferings. We want to identify with Christ, but no one enjoys the suffering. It’s a pain.
It’s supposed to be. And yet, you know, around the world, even as we sit here in our comfort today on a Sunday morning, there are Christians in places of the world, even today, suffering for this faith in Christ. And there always have been. There always will be till Jesus comes again. But modern evangelicalism says, you know what, you shouldn’t have to suffer. Maybe that’s that other 50% of evangelicalism.
It’s a therapeutic type of Christian life. We’re going to heal you. We’re going to make you feel good. We’re going to make you feel happy.
We’re going to do everything we can just to make you comfortable. There’s a prosperity type of evangelicalism. This will make you rich.
You need to know how to give to God so you can get things back from God. There is that entertainment, of course, going on so much today. Just come for one hour. We’ll have a big concert. We’ll entertain you. You’ll come happy and go away happy.
What a wonderful Christian life that is. Acceptability with the culture. Well, we don’t want them not to like us. We don’t want them to think that we’re odd in some way. We certainly don’t want them to persecute us.
So let’s work on being accepted by our culture. That folks is all modern day evangelicalism and not that God’s people try to be an irritant. It’s just that I mean, we don’t want to be the stumbling block, but the gospel is the stumbling block. The gospel condemns, the gospel convicts, the gospel says to a person that they’re a sinner and that they need salvation.
That doesn’t sit well with sinners. That’s where the suffering comes from, in one form or another. So suffering is right, but was it in vain? If indeed he says it was in vain because you know what? And any suffering for Christ is not in vain. If you suffer for Christ’s sake, not your own sake, then that’s a good thing. It may be just a sour look that somebody gives you.
It may be some harsh words back at you that somebody gives you. There are people today suffering in the body in a terrible way because they gave the gospel out. So suffering for Christ is never in vain, but if you suffer for your sake it is. Do you suffer to be seen of men? Do you look for some way to make yourself look like you’re really suffering, you’re really doing something, and really you’re just doing it for show?
Is that? And that would be in vain if you did it that way. I thought of these verses in 1 Corinthians 13.
I want to read them to you again. In the first three verses of 1 Corinthians 13, Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels and have not love, I’m going to stop there and say, that’s the same as saying, I don’t have any faith in Christ. A gap a love is to have faith in Christ. And have not love, I become sounding brass or a clanging symbol. And though I have the gift of prophecy and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith so that I could remove mountains but have not love, I’m nothing. And then he says this, Though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body even to be burned and have not love, it prophesied me nothing.
Very similar words to hear. Suffering for your sake, prophets nothing. But suffering for Christ’s sake will profit and be blessed. So, life is work, death is where we rest. Life is for work in him, for promoting the gospel of Christ. The reason we die as Christians is to go to our rest, to go to where our comfort is.
And we’re all looking forward to that too. One more question, verse 5. How does God bless you?
So verse 5 says, Therefore he who supplies the spirit to you and works miracles among you, Does he do it by the works of the law or by the hearing of faith? There’s our expression again. Now, I say God is supplying these things to you.
That’s what I have on my notes. You know, for a while, I was thinking that maybe Paul was referring to himself. He who has supplied, in other words, when I preached and the spirit came to you and you saw the miracles that I did, did I do it by faith or by the hearing of the law? But I think the capital H’s that the translators put in our versions are right. The first one in the older version comes as the first word in the sentence, and so it has to be capitalized. And the second he, further down in the New King James, is capitalized. And I think properly so, to show us, he’s speaking about God. Who gives you the spirit? God gives you the spirit. That’s where he comes from. And so that God supplied you with two things here.
Did you pick up that? He who supplies, number one, the spirit, and number two, power or miracles to you. He supplied you with the spirit. How wonderful are those verses in 1 Corinthians 6-19.
Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you? Whom you have from God. You are not your own.
You are bought with a price. Therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are gods. So he’s giving you the spirit. I think we’ve said that enough this morning. We’ve gotten the point. When we got saved, he gave us the spirit. But he also gave us power. So you see the word miracles. I thought it was interesting because miracles and wonders and signs and those kinds of English words that we have sometimes share different Greek words. I mean the same Greek word can be translated by any of those English words. Here the word is dunamis.
You know that word. Dunamis, dynamite, power. There are two words for power.
And so here it’s kind of in the plural. He gave you powers. I thought of these statements. 1 Thessalonians 1-5. Our gospel did not come to you in word only but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance. When you receive the Holy Spirit, you receive that power from God. That ability you might say to do things for God, to work for God.
And in 2 Timothy 1-7, God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind. And so you have power, if I would say it in one way, to overcome sin. We live in a sinful world. We still have a sinful nature.
But you have the power within you that God gave you in the person of the Holy Spirit to overcome those things. How has God supplied you? How has God blessed you? Then secondly, he asks again one last time, did it come by keeping the law or did it come by faith? How did you receive this from God? At salvation.
Don’t you remember? You found out that you were a sinner. You bowed your head and asked Jesus Christ to save you and at that moment the Holy Spirit lives in you. How did he supply that to you? By the works of the law?
No. By the hearing of faith. At salvation. And you have all that you need for sanctification. Peter says it, that we have all that pertains to life and godliness. You have all the power you need. You have all the help you need to live for Christ.
I say take advantage of it. Because the sanctification with the Spirit is a partnership. You have the Holy Spirit. He will never leave you. But if you don’t work to be filled with the Spirit, then he’s not going to work through you.
He’s waiting on you too as a believer to do this. I thought of this illustration, a camping illustration if you remind. This actually happened to us this week.
We’re up in Ontario and we’re out in a camp where there’s no electricity, no running water. All you ladies would really enjoy it. You ought to come and be with us. And one of the guys, the Canadian pastors up there, brought spare ribs to eat on Wednesday night. And I mean he brought his smoker, a big tall smoker with all the racks in it. They were all filled with racks of ribs all the way down. He spent the morning getting them ready and spicing them all up and everything, getting them on those trays.
Well that was the day we all went fishing when I caught nothing because the fishing wasn’t any good. Well he went too, but here’s the thing. One building, they have a generator. And that generator will light up that building and put current in the outlets. And so he had his smoker plugged in to that building and the generator was running all day. He came back and found out that it did not produce enough power to cook the ribs. And they were half done and spoiled by the time he got back. And you know what you do with that many ribs that are spoiled when you’re out in the wilderness? You take them to the other side of the lake where the bears are going to find them over there, not by you.
So all those ribs go that way. He found that the reason is that that generator has two settings. It has kind of an on-demand setting so that if there’s a demand for the power, it kicks itself up and provides the power. And you can put it on constant setting and it will always produce that much power.
Or you can have just on-demand and it spoiled everything because it didn’t demand the power that it needed. Isn’t that a great illustration? Except that we didn’t have ribs.
We had hot dogs that night. The Holy Spirit lives within you and you have two settings. Constant or on-demand. Are you going to live constantly for him and be in his word and be filled with the Spirit?
Or are you going to have kind of an on-demand mode? Well, now I need you Holy Spirit. Now I need some help. Now I don’t know. I need some wisdom now.
Are you going to be on a constant level with him? Ephesians 5.18. Be being filled with the Spirit. In other words, always be filled. Always be being filled, literally, it says.
It’s a command. You have that partnership with the Holy Spirit to be always wanting his power, always wanting him working in your life. And if you do, he will and you’ll be blessed by it.
Let’s stand together. Thank you for… Aren’t those great verses about the Holy Spirit? Just so much teaching in God’s word about the Spirit to hear it one more time and to read them in this form is a blessing. Let’s go to him in prayer and let’s ask the Lord, the Holy Spirit to speak to our hearts this morning.
Father, thank you for your word. Thank you, Father, for the teaching again of things that we’ve known and we know now that all of you to hear them again in your word, Father, blesses our hearts and reminds us of what we truly desire and that is to live for you. So, Father, look at our hearts, each one of us, convict us, Father, where we fail and falter. And I pray, Father, you would encourage us and teach us and bring to us that conviction to live for you always in this life while we have time to do it. So speak to our hearts in the way that we need and, Father, if someone listening to my voice or maybe another voice doesn’t know Christ as Savior today, I pray through the preaching of the crucifixion of Christ and the justification that comes through him, souls would be saved today. So bless now as we sing a song and ask you to speak to our hearts. We’ll thank you in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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