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Session 7 – The Effects of Pentecost Preaching – The Salvation of Sinners

Expositor’s Conference 2013

Session 7 – The Effects of Pentecost Preaching – The Salvation of Sinners (Sinclair Ferguson)

Text: Galatians 4:1–6 (NASB95)

1 Now I say, as long as the heir is a child, he does not differ at all from a slave although he is owner of everything,

2 but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by the father.

3 So also we, while we were children, were held in bondage under the elemental things of the world.

4 But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law,

5 so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.

6 Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”

 

Text: Romans 8:9–32 (NASB95)

9 However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.

10 If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness.

11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

12 So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh—

13 for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

14 For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”

16 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God,

17 and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.

18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

19 For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God.

20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope

21 that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.

22 For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.

23 And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.

24 For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees?

25 But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.

26 In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words;

27 and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;

30 and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.

31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?

32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?

 

Romans chapter 8 is the great chapter in the Bible concerning the ministry of the Holy Spirit. The language here is rich with the imagery of family – brothers, sons, adoption, children, heirs. Comparing Galatians 4 and Romans 8 we see a subtle difference in the cry “Abba, Father”. In Galatians, it is the Spirit who cries “Abba, Father”. In Romans 8 it is the spirit of adoption as sons in us which cries “Abba, Father.”

Adoption is the highest of our present privileges. The apex of the ministry of the Spirit in the believer is this gift of the spirit of adoption as sons.

1.  When the Spirit comes, He produces in us family likeness to the Son of God (v.13)

A.  Ongoing destruction of sin

B.  Ongoing construction of holiness

2.  When the Spirit comes, He brings assurance of our adoption of sons.

A.  This is the common experience of all believers.

B.  The Old Testament scriptures do not speak of God as Father of the believer.

C.  The New Testament scripture reveals God as the personal Father of the believer.

D.  This is done practically by the Spirit witnessing with our spirit.

i.      The evidence is our crying out “Abba, Father.”

a.  The cry here is the shriek of a child for help.

b.  This is not the evidence of a super-mature Christian, it is the nature of every Christian, newborn and mature. It is instinct. It is because of the Spirit in us.

3.  When the Spirit comes, he teaches us that there is significance and meaning in our suffering.

A.  We who have the firstfruits of the Spirit groan inwardly waiting for our adoption as sons. We long for that day when this adoption is fully realized.

B.  The Spirit does not release us from the sufferings and groanings. We groan because we already have the Spirit. We groan because we are not completely there yet.

i.      We groan because of suffering.

ii.      We groan because of our sins.

iii.      We groan because we have not yet been resurrected. We are not yet whole. There is a home-sickness in every believer.

C.  We endure the suffering in order to share in the glory. It is the suffering that results in the glory. It is not a now-then construction. It is a now-now construction – suffering now, glory now.

4.  When the Spirit comes, He gives us supernatural help in our weakness (v.26).

A.  “helps” contains two prepositions – “sun” and “anti”. “Sun” indicates someone who is with us. “Anti” indicates someone who stands alongside us.

B.  The Spirit knows how to pray for us in our weakness. The groanings of the Spirit are the deep-seated cries of our soul. God is able to interpret the groanings of the Spirit.

5.  When the Spirit comes, He comes as the agent which transforms us into the likeness of the Son.

A.  The Father promised the Son that He could send the Spirit into those who would be adopted as sons.

B.  One day through the ministry of the Spirit we will be just like our elder Brother.

C.  The deepest desire of the Trinity is that we will all be family.


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Session 4 – The Message of Pentecost Preaching – The Exaltation of the Son

Expositor’s Conference 2013

Session 4 – The Message of Pentecost Preaching – The Exaltation of the Son (Sinclair Ferguson)

Text: Acts 2:1–43 (NASB95)

1 When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place.

2 And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.

3 And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them.

4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.

5 Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout men from every nation under heaven.

6 And when this sound occurred, the crowd came together, and were bewildered because each one of them was hearing them speak in his own language.

7 They were amazed and astonished, saying, “Why, are not all these who are speaking Galileans?

8 “And how is it that we each hear them in our own language to which we were born?

9 “Parthians and Medes and Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,

10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya around Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes,

11 Cretans and Arabs—we hear them in our own tongues speaking of the mighty deeds of God.”

12 And they all continued in amazement and great perplexity, saying to one another, “What does this mean?”

13 But others were mocking and saying, “They are full of sweet wine.”

14 But Peter, taking his stand with the eleven, raised his voice and declared to them: “Men of Judea and all you who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you and give heed to my words.

15 “For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only the third hour of the day;

16 but this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel:

17 ‘And it shall be in the last days,’ God says, ‘That I will pour forth of My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, And your young men shall see visions, And your old men shall dream dreams;

18 Even on My bondslaves, both men and women, I will in those days pour forth of My Spirit And they shall prophesy.

19 ‘And I will grant wonders in the sky above And signs on the earth below, Blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke.

20 ‘The sun will be turned into darkness And the moon into blood, Before the great and glorious day of the Lord shall come.

21 ‘And it shall be that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’

22 “Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know—

23 this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death.

24 “But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power.

25 “For David says of Him, ‘I saw the Lord always in my presence; For He is at my right hand, so that I will not be shaken.

26 ‘Therefore my heart was glad and my tongue exulted; Moreover my flesh also will live in hope;

27 Because You will not abandon my soul to Hades, Nor allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.

28 ‘You have made known to me the ways of life; You will make me full of gladness with Your presence.’

29 “Brethren, I may confidently say to you regarding the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day.

30 “And so, because he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn to him with an oath to seat one of his descendants on his throne,

31 he looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that He was neither abandoned to Hades, nor did His flesh suffer decay.

32 “This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses.

33 “Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear.

34 “For it was not David who ascended into heaven, but he himself says: ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand,

35 Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.” ’

36 “Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified.”

37 Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?”

38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

39 “For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.”

40 And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation!”

41 So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls.

42 They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

43 Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles.

 

What Jesus does in the upper room with the disciples are parables of what would happen in reality from that point on. For instance, the washing of the disciples’ feet was parabolic to the death of Jesus Christ on the cross. When Jesus breathes on the disciples in John 20, this is parabolic of the events of Acts chapter 2.

The focus on the day of Pentecost has been on the gifts that were bestowed on the Apostles and then on a personal application of those gifts. However, we must see that the events of the day of Pentecost were unique in history. There is no personal Gethsemane, no personal Calvary, and certainly no personal Pentecost. Gethsemane and Calvary were unique to Jesus Christ. Pentecost is unique to the Apostles. It never happened before and will never happen again. Pentecost is fundamentally an event concerning the Lord Jesus Christ and not the Holy Spirit. Witness the primary subject of Peter’s sermon.

Jesus spoke of this event on the last day of the Feast of Booths. Jesus uses the picture of the water being poured out to summon those who are thirsty to come and drink. Living water flows from Jesus Christ. Jesus Himself says that the Spirit was not yet given because Jesus had not yet been glorified. This discourse is the exegetical key for understanding the events of the day of Pentecost.

In Acts 2:14, Peter begins to answer the question “What does this mean?” Notice what Peter points out in verse 33:

1) Jesus has been exalted to the right hand of God;

2) Jesus has received the promise of the Holy Spirit which he has then shed forth.

 

Five points concerning the day of Pentecost – “What does this mean?”

A. The scriptures concerning Christ are being fulfilled.

1. Just as the events of the creation are recorded in Genesis 1, we have the work of the Spirit in the new creation recorded in Acts 2.

2. Just as Genesis provides a catalog of nations on the earth, Acts 2 provides a catalog of nations who would make the church. This is a reversal of what happened at the tower of Babel.

3. God promised Abraham by way of an oath that all the nations of the earth would be blessed through him. The covenant flows forth from the work of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost.

4. God promised that David would never lack a person to sit on the throne of Israel. On the day of Pentecost we see Jesus ascended to the throne of God and given the nations for an inheritance.

i.      The giving of the Holy Spirit to the nations is the fulfillment of the inheritance.

5. We see the fulfillment of Joel 2. The last days have come. Anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

B. The new age inaugurated by Jesus Christ has dawned.

1. The pouring out of the Spirit on all flesh is the proclamation that the last days have begun.

2. The new age has dawned because Jesus Christ has ascended and is seated on the throne.

3. We are living in the last days. Maybe not the final days of the last days, but in the last days nonetheless.

4. We are living between the final two great events of Jesus Christ – his exaltation and his return.

4. Joel wrote of the marks that would indicate the beginning of the last days.

i.      The pouring out of the Spirit on all flesh, not just Jews

ii.      All would prophesy, not just Jews

1. Most Old Testament scriptures which we call prophecy is not predicting the future but interpreting the present based on the mind of God.

2. The old Mosaic distinctions between the prophet and the people has come to the end – see Numbers 11:29.

iii.      The distinction between male and female is broken down. The Spirit is poured out without distinction to sex.

iv.      We can now understand what Jeremiah means when he writes that no one will need teachers, for they shall all teach one another.

C. The coronation of Jesus Christ has taken place

1. The Lord has been seated at the right hand of God.

2. Jesus has been crowned with glory.

3. The giving of the Spirit to those on earth is evidence that Jesus has been crowned in heaven.

i.      Everyone received a gift because the king had been crowned. See Ephesians 4:8.

D. Worldwide conversion to Jesus Christ has begun.

1. The conviction of the world of sin by the Holy Spirit is directly related to the revelation of the exaltation of Jesus Christ.

2. The initial connection of the people of God to God himself through the Holy Spirit occurs with the giving of the Holy Spirit.

i.      This same connection is made to all who would believe from thereafter. We are filled with the same Spirit that was initially poured out on the day of Pentecost.

E. The church of Jesus Christ begins to be built

1. The church is the kingdom of Christ.

2. Jesus Christ is building a church that was impervious to persecution.


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The Significance of Pentecost Preaching – The Coming of the Spirit

Expositor’s Conference 2013

The Power of the Holy Spirit in Preaching

Session 2 – The Significance of Pentecost Preaching – The Coming of the Spirit (Sinclair Ferguson)

Text: John 14:15–31 (NASB95)

15 “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.

16 “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever;

17 that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.

18 “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.

19 “After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also.

20 “In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.

21 “He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.”

22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, what then has happened that You are going to disclose Yourself to us and not to the world?”

23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.

24 “He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me.

25 “These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you.

26 “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.

27 “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.

28 “You heard that I said to you, ‘I go away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced because I go to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.

29 “Now I have told you before it happens, so that when it happens, you may believe.

30 “I will not speak much more with you, for the ruler of the world is coming, and he has nothing in Me;

31 but so that the world may know that I love the Father, I do exactly as the Father commanded Me. Get up, let us go from here.

The ministry of the Holy Spirit in preaching. We live in personal communion with the Holy Spirit. He is ever present in our ministry. This communion is distinctive from the communion we have with the Father and with the Son. It is heresy to confuse the distinctives of the various forms of our communion with the members of the Trinity among the members of the Trinity. We never express our communion with God the Father as the one who died on the cross for our sins. That is our communion with only the Son. We must be aware of what is the nature of our specific communion with the Holy Spirit. It is He who sanctifies, it is He who illumines, it is He who comforts, it is He who empowers the preaching.

We must first be aware that it is the Son who sends the Holy Spirit to be with us. We know so much about the gifts of the Spirit, but we are so unaware of the person of the Spirit.

John 16:7 – this is a striking verse. How could it be advantageous for the disciples for Jesus to go away? It is ridiculous. The Christian would chose for Jesus to remain. That is because the Christian does not know the person and the power of the Holy Spirit.

The text we are considering is the chief text of the existence and the application of the Trinity.

Jesus is going to send another comforter. The word “another” here is “allos”, meaning “another of the same kind.” He will be of the same kind as Jesus. Explore what this means:

1.  The Holy Spirit would be a teacher in the same manner as Jesus (v.25-26)

a.  Jesus came as a teacher from God, teaching the very words of God.

b.  Paul writes that the Spirit will teach the deep things of God. This is what we see in verse 20. When the Spirit comes, we will not know less, but more. Specifically, we will be taught more intimately about the nature of Jesus Christ.

c.  The Holy Spirit allows us to see the intimate relationship between the Father and the Son. Even the angels cannot look into the face of God the way the Son does.

d.  The Holy Spirit reveals the depth of the grace of God. We are part of the intimate relationship between the Father and the Son because of the work of the Holy Spirit.

e.  The Spirit teaches us the glory of the Trinity.

f.  Where are we to learn these things? The Spirit will remind us of what Jesus has already said.

i.      He reminded the Apostles of what Jesus said, and they in turned preached these words and wrote about these words.

2.  The Holy Spirit would be a counselor in the same manner as Jesus (v. 16)

a.  Jesus has been the counselor of the disciples for the last three years.

b.  The word “counselor” or “comforter” here is to be taken in the sense of the legal setting. One who comes alongside for the means of defense.

c.  The Holy Spirit came as a defender of Jesus Christ and of His followers.

d.  The Holy Spirit came to convict the world concerning sin, righteousness and judgment. He prosecutes sinners. But He defends the saints.

e.  The paraclete was traditionally the longest standing and best friend who would be called to bear witness for the accused.

i.      The Holy Spirit is this paraclete for Jesus Christ

ii.      The Holy Spirit would empower the Apostles to be paracletes for Jesus Christ.

f.  The same Holy Spirit that filled Jesus Christ is the same Holy Spirit that fills each believer. The disciples would have known this Holy Spirit because they had seen Him working through Jesus and He had been with them from the beginning.

3.  The Holy Spirit would be a home-maker in the same manner as Jesus (v.18)

a.  We are very familiar with Jesus as a home-maker as revealed in John 14:1-4.

b.  The Holy Spirit comes so that we are not left as orphans.

c.  In verse 23, we see that it is the work of the Holy Spirit that the full Trinity makes their home within us.

d.  The passion of the Holy Spirit is to make the Christian a fitting home for the Father and the Son.

e.  The children adore the home-maker. The home-maker is the teacher. The home-maker is the counselor. The home-maker explains the Father.


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The Power of the Holy Spirit in Preaching

Expositor’s Conference 2013

The Power of the Holy Spirit in Preaching

Session 1: The Power of Jesus’ Preaching – His Anointing by the Holy Spirit (Steve Lawson)

 

This is Part 1. Part 2 will be in Session 8.

We must adopt the view that there are (or should be) two people standing in the pulpit when preaching – the preacher and the Holy Spirit. There is no power in the preaching of the word apart from the power of the Holy Spirit. The evidence of the power of preaching with the power of the Holy Spirit is seen by the outworking of the power of the Holy Spirit in the lives of the preacher and the hearer. For instance, consider the events of the various revivals – it is fueled by the fire of the preaching of the word of God but it works greatly in the lives of the hearers.

The power of the Holy Spirit in the preacher requires a complete transformation of the mind and heart of the preacher.

Text: Luke 4:14–21 (NASB95)

14 And Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about Him spread through all the surrounding district.

15 And He began teaching in their synagogues and was praised by all.

16 And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read.

17 And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book and found the place where it was written,

18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, And recovery of sight to the blind, To set free those who are oppressed,

19 To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.”

20 And He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him.

21 And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

 

Preaching without the power of the Holy Spirit is not preaching at all. The sovereign power of God in the proclamation of His word is lacking in preaching today. Great preaching comes only with great power (see 1 Cor. 2:1-5). Jesus promised His disciples that they would receive the power of the Holy Spirit for the preaching of the gospel. Jesus Himself preached in the power of the Holy Spirit.

 

  1. The power of the Spirit (v.14)

a. Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit.

i.      There is at least a year between v.13 and v.14. The events of John 1-4 occur during this time.

                  ii.      The fame of Jesus had spread throughout Galilee.

b. Luke 3:21-22 records the power of the Holy Spirit coming upon Jesus, marking the beginning of His public preaching ministry.

 i.      Heaven was opened – this is an indication that God is going to reveal something to men.

ii.      The Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus to anoint Him with power.

iii.     The Father speaks to confirm His pleasure of His Son. This is a direct revelation of the identity and mission of Jesus Christ.

iv.      Should we expect any less if we are called to preach?

c.  We see this idea of the power of the Holy Spirit empowering Jesus Christ continued in Luke 4:1.

i.      The Spirit leads (or compels) Jesus into the wilderness.

ii.      The power of the Holy Spirit would be crucial in Jesus facing the temptation of Satan (vv.2-12).

d.  As Jesus returns to Galilee in v.14, we see that His preaching, His ministry, His miracles healing, casting out demons are all empowered by the Spirit. This empowering of the Spirit would even be there when He went to the cross to make the sacrifice.

i.      And should we expect any less for our ministry?

ii.      There is not a person who does not need the power of the Holy Spirit when preaching the word.

2.  The priority of the Word (v.15)

a.  Wherever there is the power of the Holy Spirit there will be a priority given to the Word of God.

i.      The book of Acts shows how the person filled with the Holy Spirit cannot help but preach the very Word of God.

ii.      The most common title given to Jesus Christ in the book of Luke is “teacher.”

b.  Jesus came into Galilee and taught in their synagogues. Of course He did. The power of the Holy Spirit always results in the priority of preaching the Word of God.

 i.      Jesus was constantly and continually preaching and teaching the Word of God.

c.  Application – if we are to be constantly preaching and teaching, then we must be constantly learning from the Word of God. We must always be reading, listening to the truth. You cannot teach that which you do not know. The day we stop learning is the day we stop preaching. The well must be dug deeper every day.

3.  The pattern on the Sabbath (v.16-17)

a.  Our attention turns to Nazareth, where Jesus was raised. Scornfully, we are told that nothing good comes out of Nazareth. Jesus is the exception. Verses 23-29 shows the true character of Nazareth.

b.  Jesus went to the synagogue on the Sabbath. Notice that this was His custom.

c.  Then we see that Jesus has built some reputation as a teacher, because He stands up to read.

d.  Jesus is given the scroll of the prophet Isaiah to read.

i.      The reading of the Word of God was central to worship in the Jewish synagogue.

e.  Jesus unrolls the scroll to the exact right scripture to read for this particular moment in time.

i.      Jesus is the master of the Word of God not only because He is the author of the Word of God, but He is also empowered by the Holy Spirit in the use of the Word of God.

ii.      The book of Luke alone proves that Jesus believed the entirety of the Old Testament scriptures and used them as a master.

iii.      Application: We must likewise become a master of the Word of God, and this is possible only by the power of the Holy Spirit.

iv.      Application: If we want more power in our preaching, then we must have more scripture in our message. We must be leashed to the text. The points of the sermon must come from the text. Our illustrations must come from parallel scriptures. Our applications must come from the text.

v.      Application: God will not give the power of the Holy Spirit to the man who is attempting to build his own kingdom. Sacrifice of self is of paramount importance. Look at how Jesus sacrificed Himself.

vi.      Application: the Holy Spirit will only empower a holy vessel.


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What Does the Holy Spirit Do?

The Holy Spirit convicts the world of their sin.

John 16:7-11 (ESV)

7 Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.  

And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment:  

9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in me;  

10  concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer;  

11  concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.  

 

The Holy Spirit opens our eyes to the deep truths in Scripture.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 (ESV)

16  All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,  

17 that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.   

John 14:26 (ESV) But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.  

1 Corinthians 2:13 (ESV) And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.


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Dangerous Patience

Gal 5:22-23 (ESV) 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

While we as Christians are called to exhibit the fruits of the Spirit, we won’t ever display them perfectly.  Only the Lord can display the fruits of the Spirit perfectly.  We struggle and must strive to exhibit fruit.  Some have trouble even having a little bit of fruit to show.  But others can have overly generous rotten fruits.  Did you realize you can actually exhibit too much of a fruit?  To where it becomes sin?

Consider “Joy” how could joy be corrupted by displaying too much or displaying it incorrectly?

What if you are talking with a grieving parent over the loss of a child?  While we can still be encouraging and place our hope in the Lord and His goodness, too much joy exhibited can be hurtful.  We are told to grieve with those who grieve. (Romans 12:15)  That doesn’t take away our internal joy but just maybe it should be tempered with compassion and grieving with others.

How else might we corrupt the fruits of the Spirit?

Here is a post that will help you consider if you display corrupt rotten fruit.  Click the link to read the whole article.

Is Patience Dangerous? by Ed Welch

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Patience can be passive

If we know anything about ourselves, we know that we are not perfect. We expect to have a long agenda for growth and change. Patience, however, tends to just sit around and wait. It has a keener vision for other people’s sins than it does for one’s own sin and weaknesses. This makes it a hopeless goal because it lacks furvor for daily growth. Instead, it waits to be “tried” by people or events.

Patience can be silent

Along with the smug self-righteousness that can seep into patience, another problem is that patience offers no compelling reason to speak with the other person. Patience tends to be silent, and, especially in close relationships, the last thing you want to do is be silent when the other person is being sinful or even irritating. If we are bothered by something that has happened in a relationship, our kingdom instincts should be to speak about the matter in a way that is humble and edifying. From this perspective, I would be so sad if my wife or friends were “patient” with me.

Patience without a willingness to speak openly and in the best interests of the relationship is cowardice, even hatred.


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2 Peter 1:5-11

2 Peter 1:5-11 (ESV)

5 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge,
6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness,
7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.
8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9 For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.
10 Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall.
11 For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

How does this passage fit in with Galatians 2:22-23? That is a good question.

Galatians 5:22-23 (ESV)

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

They seem to overlap but they aren’t exactly the same.   Virtue can be translated as excellence.   But the key portion that jumped out to me is the phrase in verse 8.

2 Peter 1:8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

If these qualities are yours and are increasing you will be fruitful.  The fruit of the Spirit and these virtues are present in all Christians to some extent.  The verses in 2 Peter 1:5-11 are speaking of increasing them or supplementing them.

What is even better look at the Promise!

2 Peter 1:10-11

10 …  for if you practice these qualities you will never fall.
11 For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Can’t get any better than that.  Practicing these qualities will keep you from falling and there will be an entrance into the kingdom for you.


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Suffer It So For Now

I jumped ahead of myself when I went on to the Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  So lets go back a few chapters to see what else Jesus has to say.

Matthew 3:13-17 (KJV)
13 Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.
14 But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?
15 And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.
16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

Matthew 3:13-17 (ESV)
13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him.
14 John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”
15 But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented.
16 And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him;
17 and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”

Notice Christ Jesus tells John the Baptist to suffer it to be so for now to fulfill all righteousness.  See Jesus did things during His time on earth that were not necessary for Him to do,  just to do what was expected.  Jesus had no need of baptism for the repentance of sin.

Because John was saying “I baptize you with water for repentance,…” (Matthew 3:11)

If there is no sin, why must Jesus be baptized?  John tries to talk Jesus out of baptism, because Jesus was not a sinner.

To fulfill all righteousness.

Notice also that Jesus was baptized by a sinner.  This is a rebuke to those who feel that unless you are baptized by the “right” individual your baptism doesn’t count. 

Also contrary to some false teachings Jesus did not become God upon being baptized but His baptism was in order to fulfill the righteous requirements, despite the fact that Jesus did not need baptism.

Notice that in Matthew 3:11, John the Baptist admits that his Baptism is a picture of a mightier Baptism still to come with Fire and the Holy Spirit.

Matthew 3:11 (ESV) “I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

But even so Jesus says to suffer it to be so for now until He has fulfilled all righteousness.  But after the resurrection the mightier Baptism was received.

Acts 11:15-16 (ESV)
15 As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them just as on us at the beginning.
16 And I remembered the word of the Lord, how he said, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’

Acts 2:3 (ESV) And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them.

But Jesus was numbered with the sinners, identified with them in every step.

Isaiah 53:12 (ESV) Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors.

Not only that but He became sin for us and humbled Himself unto the cross.

Philippians 2:5-8 (ESV)
5  Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 
6  who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,
7 but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant,  being born in the likeness of men.
8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross
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Christ gave up much in order to do what He must do to fulfill all righteousness.   Even being bound by the laws of the physical flesh, the Law of Moses, submission to the Pharisees and the Roman government.



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The Necessity of the Holy Spirit in Salvation

The Necessity of the Work of the Holy Spirit to Man’s Salvation by J.C. Ryle

… The necessity of the work of the Holy Spirit arises from the total corruption of human nature. We are all by nature “dead in sins.” (Eph. 2:1.) However shrewd, and clever, and wise in the things of this world, we are all dead towards God. The eyes of our understanding are blinded. We see nothing aright. Our wills, affections, and inclinations are alienated from Him who made us. “The carnal mind is enmity against God.” (Rom. 8:7.) We have naturally neither faith, nor fear, nor love, nor holiness. In short, left to ourselves, we would never be saved….

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