For three years the disciples had walked, worked and talked with Jesus. They knew Him, trusted Him and loved Him. On one particular night, however, Jesus told His disciples some very upsetting news: He would soon die.
Put yourself in the disciples’ place. How would you feel? Confused? Frightened? Helpless? They probably did, too.
But then imagine hearing Jesus tell you, as a result of His going to be with God the Father, another friend would come - one who would be with you; one who would be in you.
The friend who was to come is the Holy Spirit. An amazing thing that Jesus told His followers was that the Holy Spirit would reside in them. Even better, He would “be with them forever.” Imagine the encouragement this offered to these individuals. God would make His home within the lives of those who would love and receive Him.
In this way, the disciples would not be left with the impossible tasks of trying to imitate the character of Christ and attempting to continue His mission. Instead, through the Holy Spirit, the very life of Christ with all His character, authority and strength could be lived through their individual lives and personalities.
Twenty centuries later, Christ’s promise still remains true. He offers hope to those who are trying to live as He lived. Anyone who has sincerely attempted to reach that goal knows that, worthy as it is, it is a hopeless ideal. Only Jesus Christ can act like Jesus Christ.
And that, of course, is the uniqueness of Christianity. Instead of frustrating us with the inevitable failure of attempting to live up to impossibly high ethical, moral and spiritual standards, the only Person who ever perfectly fulfilled all those standards offers to do it again through each of us. Once Jesus has entered into a life, that person has the potential to let Him live out His life in and through him. This is available to anyone!
It sounds good, doesn’t it? The obvious question is, how can I experience the resurrected Christ living His life through me?
The following is a typed version of the Booklet. “Have you discovered the Spirit-Filled Life?”
Every day can be an exciting adventure for the Christian who knows the reality of being filled with the Holy Spirit and who lives constantly, moment by moment, under His gracious direction.
A natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised (1 Corinthians 2:14).
He who is spiritual appraises all things… We have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:15).
And I brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to carnal men, as to babes in Christ. I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able, for you are still carnal. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshy, and are you not walking like mere men? (1 Corinthians 3:1-3).
The following are 4 principles for living the Spirit-filled life
The following are some spiritual traits of the spiritual person that result from trusting God:
Love Joy Peace Patience Kindness Faithfulness Goodness Life is Christ-centered Empowered by the Holy Spirit Introduces others to Christ Has effective prayer life Understands God’s Word Trusts God Obeys God
The degree to which these traits are manifested in the life depends upon the extent to which the Christian trusts the Lord with every detail of his life, and upon his maturity in Christ. One who is only beginning to understand the ministry of the Holy Spirit should not be discouraged if he is not as fruitful as more mature Christians who have known and experienced this truth for a longer period.
Why is it that most Christians are not experiencing the abundant life?
The worldly/carnal man trusts in his own efforts to live the Christian life:
Some or all of the following traits may characterize the wordly Christian who does not fully trust God:
Legalistic attitude Impure thoughts Jealousy Guilt Worry Discouragement Critical spirit Frustration Aimlessness Fear Ignorance of his spiritual heritage Unbelief Disobedience Loss of love for God and for others Poor prayer life No desire for Bible study
(The individual who professes to be a Christian, but who continues to practice sin - should realize that he may not be a Christian at all, according to 1 John 2:3; 3:6, 3:9; Ephesians 5:5).
The third truth gives us the only solution to this problem…
The Spirit-filled life is the Christ-directed life by which Christ lives His life in and through us in the power of the Holy Spirit (John 15).
How, then, can one be filled with the Holy Spirit?
You can appropriate the filling of the Holy Spirit right now if you:
His Command - Be filled with the Spirit.
And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18).
His Promise - He will always answer when we pray according to 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 of Him. (1 John 5:14, 15).
Faith can be expressed through prayer…
We are filled with the Holy Spirit by faith alone. However, true prayer is one way of expressing your faith. The following is a suggested prayer:
“Dear Father, I need You. I acknowledge that I have been directing my own life and that, as a result, I have sinned against You. I thank You that You have forgiven my sins through Christ’s death on the cross for me. I now invite Christ to again take His place on the throne of my life. Fill me with the Holy Spirit as You commanded me to be filled, and as You promised in Your Word that You would do if I asked in faith. I now thank You for directing my life and for filling me with the Holy Spirit. Amen”
Does this prayer express the desire of your heart? If so, bow in prayer and trust God to fill you with the Holy Spirit right now.
The promise of God’s Word, not our feelings, is our authority. The Christian lives by faith (trust) in the trustworthiness of God Himself and His Word. This train diagram illustrates the relationship between fact (God and His Word), faith (our trust in God and His Word), and feeling (the result of our faith and obedience) (John 14:21).
The train will run with or without the guard’s van. However, it would be futile to attempt to pull the train by the caboose. In the same way, we, as Christians, do not depend upon feelings or emotions, but we place our faith (trust) in the trustworthiness of God and the promises of His Word.
Faith (trust in God and in His promises) is the only means by which a Christian can live the Spirit-directed life. As you continue to trust Christ moment by moment:
If you become aware of an area of your life (an attitude or an action) that is displeasing the Lord, even though you are walking with Him and sincerely desiring to serve Him, simply thank God that He has forgiven your sins - past, present and future - on the basis of Christ’s death on the cross. Claim His love and forgiveness by faith and continue to have fellowship with Him.
If you retake the throne of your life through sin - a definite act of disobedience - breathe spiritually. Spiritual breathing (exhaling the impure and inhaling the pure) is an exercise in faith that enables you to continue to experience God’s love and forgiveness.
After completing: “Have you discovered the Spirit-Filled life?” answer the following Review Questions.
(As you answer the following questions, refer to the part: “Have you discovered the Spirit-Filled life?”)
The Gospel of John chapters 7 – 8
10 The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.
8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
Exhaling (confession of sin) involves:
Repenting – a change in attitude and action.
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