Holy Spirit Teach me to Abide

Spirit Abide

Sunday 01/02/22

Message –  Holy Spirit Teach me to Abide

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Holy Spirit Teach me to Abide

Our last message before Christmas week was about ‘Remaining in Him’ which are the words Jesus used in our passage in John15. Obviously you cannot remain IN a Vine you were never IN to begin with, and no amount of theological techno-babble can change that. Besides, if it did not mean that not only was Jesus misleading in His choice of words, He was totally off using an illustration of a vine and branches. However, I believe He was led to say what He said and that He meant precisely what He said.

Now we ended with my desire to not leave you on a sour note, so we read on through John 15:7-10.

In closing I reminded you that what we are learning about is our relationship with the Holy Spirit WHO has been given to us – the One Who teaches us to abide.

It is through that intimate relationship of fellowship with the Spirit that we see Jesus increasingly clearer and produce fruit from our union with Him. 

Gal. 5:22-24 says…

“(22)But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  (23)  gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.  (24)  And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”

Romans 8:1-14  [Amp] ,

“1  THEREFORE, [there is] now no condemnation (no adjudging guilty of wrong) for those who are in Christ Jesus, who live [and] walk not after the dictates of the flesh, but after the dictates of the Spirit. [John 3:18.] 2  For the law of the Spirit of life [which is] in Christ Jesus [the law of our new being] has freed me from the law of sin and of death. 3  For God has done what the Law could not do, [its power] being weakened by the flesh [the entire nature of man without the Holy Spirit]. Sending His own Son in the guise of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, [God] condemned sin in the flesh [subdued, overcame, deprived it of its power over all who accept that sacrifice], [Lev. 7:37.] 4  So that the righteous and just requirement of the Law might be fully met in us who live and move not in the ways of the flesh but in the ways of the Spirit [our lives governed not by the standards and according to the dictates of the flesh, but controlled by the Holy Spirit]. 5  For those who are according to the flesh and are controlled by its unholy desires set their minds on and pursue those things which gratify the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit and are controlled by the desires of the Spirit set their minds on and seek those things which gratify the [Holy] Spirit. 6  Now the mind of the flesh [which is sense and reason without the Holy Spirit] is death [death that comprises all the miseries arising from sin, both here and hereafter]. But the mind of the [Holy] Spirit is life and [soul] peace [both now and forever]. 7  [That is] because the mind of the flesh [with its carnal thoughts and purposes] is hostile to God, for it does not submit itself to God’s Law; indeed it cannot. 8  So then those who are living the life of the flesh [catering to the appetites and impulses of their carnal nature] cannot please or satisfy God, or be acceptable to Him. 9  But you are not living the life of the flesh, you are living the life of the Spirit, if the [Holy] Spirit of God [really] dwells within you [directs and controls you]. But if anyone does not possess the [Holy] Spirit of Christ, he is none of His [he does not belong to Christ, is not truly a child of God]. [Rom. 8:14.] 10  But if Christ lives in you, [then although] your [natural] body is dead by reason of sin and guilt, the spirit is alive because of [the] righteousness [that He imputes to you]. 11  And if the Spirit of Him Who raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in you, [then] He Who raised up Christ Jesus from the dead will also restore to life your mortal (short-lived, perishable) bodies through His Spirit Who dwells in you. 12  So then, brethren, we are debtors, but not to the flesh [we are not obligated to our carnal nature], to live [a life ruled by the standards set up by the dictates] of the flesh. 13  For if you live according to [the dictates of] the flesh, you will surely die. But if through the power of the [Holy] Spirit you are [habitually] putting to death (making extinct, deadening) the [evil] deeds prompted by the body, you shall [really and genuinely] live forever. 14  For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.”

Also, the Holy Spirit is not just referred to as the Spirit of Truth, but also the Spirit of Grace in Heb. 10:29

So what does grace teach us?

Titus 2:11-15, “(11) For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men,  (12)  teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age,  (13)  looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,  (14)  who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.  (15)  Speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no one despise you.”

So if we will do as Jesus says in John 15, we will never come to such a place of hardness so as to deny Him in heart Or in works.

So let’s pick up where we left off beginning in John 15:7,

John 15:7-10,

“(7) If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.  (8)  By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.  (9)  “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.  (10)  If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.”

John 15:11-15,  

“(11) I have spoken these things to you so that My joy may be in you and your joy may be complete

(12)  This is My command: love one another as I have loved you. 

(13)  No one has greater love than this, that someone would lay down his life for his friends. 

(14)  You are My friends if you do what I command you. 

(15)  I do not call you slaves anymore, because a slave doesn’t know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything I have heard from My Father.”

Now these words have even deeper meaning if you did not just start reading in this chapter, for it is spoken of in chapter 8 as well.

John 8:31-47,  

“(31) So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, you really are My disciples. (32)  You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 

(33)  “We are descendants of Abraham,” they answered Him, “and we have never been enslaved to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will become free’?”  

(34)  Jesus responded, “I assure you: Everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin. (35)  A slave does not remain in the household forever, but a son does remain forever. (36)  Therefore if the Son sets you free, you really will be free. (37)  I know you are descendants of Abraham, but you are trying to kill Me because My word is not welcome among you. (38)  I speak what I have seen in the presence of the Father, and therefore you do what you have heard from your father.” 

John 15:16

“(16)  You did not choose Me, but I chose you. I appointed you that you should go out and produce fruit and that your fruit should remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in My name, He will give you.”

The idea here is that once a character trait of Christ has come to fruition in the life of a believer it should remain there quite literally for eternity!

Blessings!

Hi my name is Mark and though I am opposed to titles, I am currently the only Pastor (shepherd/elder) serving our assembly right now.

I have been Pastoring in one capacity or another for nearly 30 years now, though never quite like I am today.

Early in 2009 the Lord revealed to me that the way we had structured our assembly (church) was not scriptural in that it was out of sync with what Paul modeled for us in the New Testament. In truth, I (like many pastors I am sure) never even gave this fundamental issue of church structure the first thought. I had always assumed that church structure was largely the same everywhere and had been so from the beginning. While I knew Paul had some very stringent things to say about the local assembly of believers, the point of our gatherings together and who may or may not lead, I never even considered studying these issues but assumed we were all pretty much doing it right...safety in numbers right?! Boy, I couldn't have been more wrong!

So needless to say, my discovery that we had been doing it wrong for nearly two decades was a bit of a shock to me! Now, this "revelation" that did not come about all at once but over the course of a few weeks. We were a traditional single pastor led congregation. It was a top-bottom model of ministry which is in part biblical, but not in the form of a monarchy.

The needed change did not come into focus until following 9 very intense months of study and discussions with those who were leaders in our church at the time.

We now understand and believe that the Bible teaches co-leadership with equal authority in each local assembly. Having multiple shepherds with God's heart and equal authority protects both Shepherds and sheep. Equal accountability keep authority and doctrine in check. Multiple shepherds also provides teaching with various styles and giftings with leadership skills which are both different and complementary.

For a while we had two co-pastors (elders) (myself and one other man) who led the church with equal authority, but different giftings. We both taught in our own ways and styles, and our leadership skills were quite different, but complimentary. We were in complete submission to each other and worked side-by-side in the labor of shepherding the flock.

Our other Pastor has since moved on to other ministry which has left us with just myself. While we currently only have one Pastor/Elder, it is our desire that God, in His faithfulness and timing, may bring us more as we grow in maturity and even in numbers.

As to my home, I have been married since 1995 to my wonderful wife Terissa Woodson who is my closest friend and most trusted ally.

As far as my education goes, I grew up in a Christian home, but questioned everything I was ever taught.

I graduated from Bible college in 1990 and continued to question everything I was ever taught (I do not mention my college in order to avoid being labeled).

Perhaps my greatest preparation for ministry has been life and ministry itself. To quote an author I have come to enjoy namely Fredrick Buechner in his writing entitled, Now and Then, "If God speaks to us at all other than through such official channels as the Bible and the church, then I think that He speaks to us largely through what happens to us...if we keep our hearts open as well as our ears, if we listen with patience and hope, if we remember at all deeply and honestly, then I think we come to recognize beyond all doubt, that, however faintly we may hear Him, He is indeed speaking to us, and that, however little we may understand of it, His word to each of us is both recoverable and precious beyond telling." ~ Fredrick Buechner

Well that is about all there is of interest to tell you about me.

I hope our ministry here is a blessing to you and your family. I also hope that it is only a supplement to a local church where you are committed to other believers in a community of grace.

~God Bless!

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