Series: …but by My Spirit Pt. 12
Message – Oneness with & Hunger for God II
NOTE: We had trouble with the audio today so I apologize for the poor quality. 🙁
Oneness or Union with the Father…by the Holy Spirit.
“Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit Who is from God, THAT WE MIGHT KNOW the things that have been freely given to us by God.”
Knowledge of Intimate Union with God is one of the things that has been freely given to us by God. So today we are going to continue looking at the communion we have with God the Father through our relationship with the Holy Spirit and how to stir up HUNGER for experiencing that UNION!
So far we have established these three truths, the Holy Spirit…
- Gives LIFE
- Reveals our ONENESS with the Father through Christ
- Creates a hunger for that union!
Today we are going a little further in looking at the work of the Holy Spirit as He creates a hunger for pleasing God.
There is a growing misunderstanding today in Christian circles where God’s pleasure in us is being linked to His acceptance of us in Christ. These two are very different subjects. While we are 100% accepted in the beloved, we are NOT always well pleasing to Him. Our focus verse today should make that abundantly clear. (For more on the pleasure of God – see Accepted and Pleasing.)
“Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God Who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.”
Let’s look a little closer at what Paul is saying…
Salvation. Paul is NOT saying that our eternal salvation is in question or in any way needs to be worked FOR, but rather the results of a real salvation experience needs to be worked OUT. Many baby Christians have the unfortunate tendency to hone in on certain words and immediately through up a wall of resistance. This verse represents one of many such places were Paul’s words are met with confusion and even rejection due to misunderstanding and jumping to conclusions. I say, “baby Christians” not to be condescending but out of generosity. Most people who reject what Paul says here, do so BECAUSE of what he says in other places. They like what Paul says in regard to salvation apart from works, but reject this because they wrongly assume Paul is somehow going back on his other statements regarding salvation by grace apart from works. The need to reject this statement comes from a child-like faith where the individual feels the need to defend their beliefs rather than allow their beliefs to defend them. This is always dangerous because it calls into question the inspiration of God’s word. If Paul is actually disagreeing with himself then Scripture is NOT to be relied upon. If however, we simply take the words he wrote and STUDY them we will find Paul is dealing with fruits of salvation produced by agreement with God and not salvation itself produced by works.
“work out your own salvation” – The words “work out” is actually one Greek word meaning to carry out a task until it is complete. To carry it to its ultimate conclusion.
So what is the intended conclusion of salvation?
- Christ in us – meaning the realizing of His character in my heart and life, manifested in the thoughts I think, the emotions I feel and the actions I take…bearing fruit consistent with His image.
- God’s forever home – Becoming an abiding place for God in the Spirit.
“For the LORD has chosen Zion; He has desired it for His dwelling place: (14) “This is My resting place forever; Here I will dwell, for I have desired it.”
John 14:1-2, 23,
“(1) Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. (2) In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a you a place…[or it could be rendered – you AS a place] (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 home with him.“
“(22) in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.“
(Notice it is a continuing work not a finished one!)
“(1) Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. (2) Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. (3) And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. (4) And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
Now the next part of Phil. 2:13 we will look at is “with fear and trembling”
These words simple mean that we are to cooperate with the work of forming Christ in us and becoming God’s forever home, out of a very deep and profound respect, honor, reverence and deference for God expressed in a loving abhorrence of displeasing He or Christ.
We do what we do out of respect for the One Who has been left with us, to prepare us for this very thing…namely, the Holy Spirit as we see in these next words we will examine…
“for it is God Who works in you” – The reason for the deep honor and reverence in pursuing Christ in you is because of WHO the Father and Christ left with and in you to work His image in you. Who was that? The Holy Spirit!
Finally, to what end does the Holy Spirit do this work in us?
“who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.”
What is the good pleasure of God?
ONENESS – This oneness is ultimately realized by Christ BEING formed in us and our becoming an abiding place for God in the spirit FOREVER!
Before that let’s read a few verses about the Holy Spirit – since it is out of respect to HIM that we work out our salvation.
“(13) Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
“(21) Now He Who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is the Father, (22) Who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.”
“(6) And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!”
“To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things which angels desire to look into.”
“Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart,”
…not to mention
NO wonder God tells us…
Now concerning this ONENESS the Spirit participates in generating the awareness and reality of it…
“But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, (5) not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, (6) whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, (7) that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
“(17) And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. (18) For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father. (19) Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, (20) having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, (21) in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, (22) in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.”
Communion is in many ways a “way” of realizing the Oneness we have with God, THROUGH Christ BY the Holy Spirit!
That is because part of the awareness of that union is realized in communion – 1 Cor. 11
We preach Christ until He returns – 1 Peter. 1:12 “preach gospel by the Spirit”
We enter into the death and resurrection of Christ by the Spirit – Rom. 8:10-13
“(10) And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. (11) But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. (12) Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. (13) For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.”
It is by the Spirit that we remember Christ – Jn. 14-16
It is by the Spirit that we honor God in a worthy manner – Phil. 2:13
It is by the Spirit that we search our hearts – Rom. 8:27,28
I hope this teaching will challenge you and encourage you to place your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
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