A Heart for hearing the Spirit teach

Spirit heart

Sunday 11/20/22

Message – A Heart for hearing the Spirit teach

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A Heart for hearing the Spirit teach

We covered last week how Jesus promised His disciples, and by extension us, that it was to their advantage that He leave and send them the Holy Spirit. That the Spirit would be to them what He had been to them. The Spirit was “another” helper – comparable to Him.

This is what I like to envision as a baton pass.

The redemptive work Jesus had to accomplish on the earth as a human He had completed, and the Spirit was the One Who empowered Him and equipped Him for the work. Now, Jesus was sending the church into the world in His place, and so was also – of necessity, giving us the same Spirit for empowering and equipping as He had during His earthly ministry.

It is in fact the Spirit Who began the good work of salvation in us, and He Who began that good work will complete it! 

So from the initial work of salvation to its completed work is THE work of the Holy Spirit

To progressively form Christ in us which is accomplished by revealing Christ to us

A secondary work of the Holy Spirit which works together with His primary work of forming Christ in us is the forming of a testimony of Christ to our brothers and sisters first and then to the world.

  • So His first work within the Christian is to reveal Christ TO US.
  • His secondary work is to reveal Christ THROUGH us to others. 

We read last week as we read in John 14,15, 16 and 17 the Holy Spirit is set forth as our helper, our peace, our leader, our guide and our teacher. 

He’s the Spirit of truth AND the Spirit Who reveals truth. 

Since the one and only thing that can accomplish His work in us isn’t a thing at all but a person, the Holy Spirit’s primary, and in that only focus, is revealing Jesus to us period! 

Our conformity into Jesus’s image can never exceed our knowing of Him. 

We are in the book of First Corinthians today and if you remember it is in the same book that the famous love chapter appears. In that chapter we learn in no uncertain terms that we will only take on the fullness of the image of Jesus when we finally see Him for Who He really is. 

So the person of the work is the Holy Spirit and the environment of the work is the inward man. His work is internal to the human being.

The three things ALL humans need in order for the Spirit’s work to begin and advance within them are spiritual attunement, humility and receptiveness

Though these three things could be broken down into many subcategories they are without a doubt the primary things which are necessary to work from the initial work of salvation to its completed work in us. 

Spiritual attunement, humanity and receptiveness

You might well ask where is faith in that list? 

Well it is without question of primary importance but it is secondary to humility and receptiveness because without those two, faith cannot be produced in the heart. 

Jesus claims to be both the Author and the Developer of our faith in Him. So, as Jesus is revealed to us by the faithful work of the Holy Spirit, faith will be formed in the heart quite naturally. 

The first thing is spiritual aptitude or attunement which 1st Corinthians chapter one and two address. 

Knowledge puffs up

1Cor. 8 tells us that knowledge puffs up but love edifies. 

In the context of what we’re covering today which is spiritual attunement, humility & receptiveness… is that puffing up disqualifies you in short circuits the entire process by disqualifying us from grace. 

God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble or lowly. 

1Cor. 1:18-31, 

“(18) For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.  (19)  For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and I will thwart the cleverness of the intelligent.” 

(20)  Where is the wise man?

Where is the expert in the Mosaic law?

Where is the debater of this age?

Has God not made the wisdom of the world foolish? 

(21)  For since in the wisdom of God the world by its wisdom did not know God, God was pleased to save those who believe by the foolishness of preaching. 

(22)  For Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks ask for wisdom,  (23)  but we preach about a crucified Christ, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles

(24)  But to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. 

(25)  For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. 

(26)  Think about the circumstances of your call, brothers and sisters. Not many were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were born to a privileged position.  (27)  But God chose what the world thinks foolish to shame the wise, and God chose what the world thinks weak to shame the strong.  (28)  God chose what is low and despised in the world, what is regarded as nothing, to set aside what is regarded as something,  (29)  so that no one can boast in his presence. 

(30)  He is the reason you have a relationship with Christ Jesus, Who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption,  (31)  so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

  • John 3 – the hunt has come into the world
  • Jn 1 light to every man who comes into the world
  • Rom 1 God has shown it to them
  • 2Cor 4:6,For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”

If you remember this was addressed last week in our passages in John when Jesus told them that in a little while He would be visible to them only and not to the world. When the disciples asked about this He began to speak about the Holy Spirit Whom the world was not able to receive because they neither saw Him nor knew Him, but the disciples knew Him because He was with them and He was going to come to live within them. 

So these three things are of paramount importance to facilitate the inward work of the Holy Spirit Spiritual attunement, humility and receptiveness.

We covered many other things in this message and we will continue on from here next week.

Blessings!

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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