New Attitude Day #3....Session 5....Jeff Purswell
Jeff Purswell's message for us was on the Holy Spirit. It wasn't what I was expecting it to be on, but it was outstanding.
He asked us the question: "Where does the power come from to live and apply this orthodoxy?"
Orthodoxy becomes functional in our lives through the power of the Holy Spirit working in our lives. We ought to live what we believe. When there's no alignment between our doctrine and our lives, the error is that we minimize the importance of doctrine.
Purswell gave us 6 marks of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
First, is that the Holy Spirit reveals Christ's presence and illuminates His work. The Spirit engenders affections, making sin loathsome and forgiveness precious. This is the ultimate goal of the Holy Spirit's work. All of our thinking about the Holy Spirit must be centered on this truth.
The Holy Spirit will declare to us things concerning Christ. He will open our eyes and hearts to things we could never see/find/know/understand on our own for the glory of our Savior.
2. The Power of the Holy Spirit embraces all of life. The Spirit's work is broad and cannot be confined to narrow strips of our Christian life. The work of God in our lives comes from the same power that spoke the Universe into being. The Spirit is an essential element-He empowers ethical life in all its dimensions. Like breath and blood and brainwaves are to your physical life, so is that Spirit to your spiritual life.
Survey your life for evidences of God's grace. As you spot them, there you will find the work of the Spirit. Christ's work alone makes is possible. The Spirit's work alone makes it actual. I am self-exalting, selfish, and self-absorbed apart from the Spirit's work.
(Here, Purswell injected this important truth. While we desire gifts, this should never overshadow our desire for sanctification and regeneration and justification and salvation.)
3. The Power of the Spirit's is Ongoing and Continuous. A common misconception is to define the Spirit's work in dramatic experiences alone. We think that the Spirit comes in one fell swoop and then departs and we must wait upon him. It's Weapons of Mass Destruction. BOOM! Spirit Work. Wait for another Boom! While these moments in ministry are vital and important we should not confine the Spirit's work to these moments.
Another common misconception is to define Him by a singular point-in-time event. "Yes, I received the Spirit on that day I was saved. Let's move on"
In Scripture, the Spirit is not isolated experiences but ongoing appropriations of the Spirit.
17Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, 19addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart, 20giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Here, where it says "be filled" Purswell reminds us that this is a command (He says it is in the passive voice. Almost like we are to let ourselves get hit in the face. God is the subject here.) We are to be continually and consistently filled-to come under the influence and control of the Spirit. Too often, people think that the power of the Spirit is like a glass of water. You may have a little or a lot-half full or wholly full. You cannot have part of the Spirit. It is the same Spirit in each of us; the power of the Spirit in other's lives is just more evident than in some. There are not two roads of Spirit growth...the upper and the lower. Instead, there is one road and some are just farther along on that road.
4. The power of the Spirit is aimed at our personal sanctification, mutual edification, and evangelistic witness. (In short, Godliness which is internal and then Service and Witness which are external.)
This sums up what the Spirit is after. If you aren't pursuing these things you are not going to experience the Spirit's power. It doesn't mean you are lacking the Spirit, you just aren't getting all of His power (this goes back to the point above about the glass and the road.)
16But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. 18But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the
Purswell reminds us that this is a promise, not a command (other theologians would disagree, that it is a command.) The fruit of the spirit are suggestive, not exhaustive...these are not the only things we should strive for, they are just some examples of the Spirit's work within us.
The Spirit also will drain us of self-concern and imbue us with concern for others. The focus of all spiritual gifts is always others.
As for witnessing, every time in Acts that the Spirit comes, they preach. They share the gospel.
The power of the Spirit should include a discernibly dynamic dimension. Regardless of what you think of spiritual gifts, when believers encounter the Spirit, things happen.
1O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. 2Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? 3Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by[a] the flesh? 4Did you suffer[b] so many things in vain--if indeed it was in vain? 5Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith--
Paul here is battling legalism. Having begun in the Spirit, are you now striving in the flesh? Paul points to their previous dynamic experience of the Sprit. Charismatic are often too mechanical in their approach (with a map of how the Spirit will/should work). Others have a Cray uncle approach to the Spirit. "Oh yea. That's uncle. We don't really talk about him. He's here in the corner, but we just let him do his own thing and leave him be.
6. The power of the Holy Spirit meets us as we passionately seek God and dependently serve God. God's spirit is a gift. You can never earn it or work your way into it or manipulate God into giving it to you. Apart from humble seeking and dependent serving, the desire will often go unfulfilled.
8Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.
God is particularly near to those who draw near to Him.
Purswell then asked the question "How do we respond?"
The Bible commands attitudes toward the Spirit. It enjoins us to posture of heart.
We should be desperate. We should be aware of our need and absolute dependency. We need to abandon all thoughts of self-sufficiency. Does your soul thirst for God and your very flesh faint for God (Psalm 63)? If you are not desperate for God then you are satisfied with something else.
We should be grateful. We overlook His work, and we take credit for His work.
We should be Hungry. Ever-pursuing, ever-asking, and ever-trusting. Are you hungry or are you reluctant? Do you thirst after righteousness?