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And He Himself gave some to be....evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ...
- Ephesians 4:11-12

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Location: The Hill Country of Texas

Pastor - Providence Reformed Baptist Church
Director - TIME in the Word Ministries

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Be Filled with the Spirit

TIME in the Word - Daily Devotional
Together for Inspiration, Motivation, and Encouragement

NEWS FLASH
We interrupt this program to bring you breaking news of vital importance as we pause to remember this day in history.

TODAY is REFORMATION DAY! What is Reformation Day? It is on this day in 1517 that Martin Luther nailed his 95 Thesis to the church door challenging religious leaders to an open debate about the issue of selling indulgences for the forgiveness of sins. This was the last spark that was fanned into the flames of reformation and revival wherein the gospel was proclaimed clearly and God's Word was made available to the masses (no pun intended). You can read about it here: Always Reforming, or you can listen to a sermon about it here: The Protestant Reformation: Where Is It Today?

And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming.....

Verse of the Day - Ephesians 5:18
And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit

Daily Scripture Reading - Psalm 51

Puritan Catechism
Question #47 - Which is the third commandment?

Answer - The third commandment is, "You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain" (Exodus 20:7).

Devotional Thoughts
We have been reminded this week that we need to carefully read the Word of God because it it easy to fall into traditions and personal preferences instead of faithfully reading and interpreting the Word of God. At times there are social pressures or emotional arguments given that motivate us to take a stand on an issue but if we truly studied the issue through we would see that our stance cannot be supported by simple Scripture. And so we appeal to that foundational element of the Reformation, Sola Scriptura. The Scripture alone is our infallible, inerrant, and inspired rule for life and godliness.

Just as we have seen what the Bible says about wine, now we will see what the Bible says about being filled with the Spirit. This is a command, and it is a positive statement concerning the will of God. We are expected and empowered to obey the command and thus fulfill the will of God by being filled with the Spirit. But what does it mean to be filled with the Spirit?

In some pentacostal and charismatic circles there are numerous things that are believed and over emphasized about the Spirit and the way He operates in our midst. And in reformed circles there are those who have basically learned to live ignoring the Spirit for fear that someone might suspect that they are closet charismatics. How often is it that one group sees error in another and overreacts and runs too far the other way? This has been the case with the Holy Spirit in many churches and denominations.

The result then is that we must search the Scriptures and see what the Bible tells us about the Holy Spirit. Who is He? What does He do? How does He do it? These then lead to questions about gifts, Spirit baptism, and the fruit of the Spirit. And so much that we are hearing out there today is just so far from the Bible and so opposed to Biblical truth that it is amazing and frightening.

So who is the Holy Spirit? He is the third person of the Trinity. Equal to the Father and the Son in essence and power and glory, and yet distinct in personality.

Second London Baptist Confession of Faith, 1689 - Chapter 2
In this divine and infinite Being there are three subsistences, the Father, the Word or Son, and the Holy Spirit. All are one in substance, power, and eternity; each having the whole divine essence, yet this essence being undivided.

The Father was not derived from any other being; He was neither brought into being by, nor did He issue from any other being.

- The Son is eternally begotten of the Father.

- The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son.

- All three are infinite, without beginning, and are therefore only one God, Who is not to be divided in nature and being, but distinguished by several peculiar relative properties, and also their personal relations.

- This doctrine of the Trinity is the foundation of all our communion with God, and our comfortable dependence on Him.

The Holy Spirit is given as our Comforter and also convicts us and convinces us of sin and righteousness. He points us to Christ. He seals us and keeps us until we are finally and completely saved. He indwells us, living in us and through us, confirming the truth to our hearts, illuminating our minds so that we might understand the Word of God, and He gives us assurance bearing witness to us that we are children of God.

At the moment that we are saved we are at that point baptized in the Spirit. This is the moment when the Spirit immerses us into Christ Jesus making us part of His body. It is not an event that we have to seek after or pray for or that we experience later after we are already saved.

So when we are saved we are given all of the Spirit that we will ever be given. But we are told then that daily we need to be filled with the Holy Spirit, that is, we need to be walking in the Spirit - controlled by Him. In studying about the Spirit we see that we have all of Him we will ever get, but the question daily is for us to see how much of us He has! Are we fully yielded to Him and obedient to His Word?

There is so much we could say today about the Spirit and His work in our lives, but I want to be simple and clear, so today here are a few very good quotes and a few verses of Scripture to help us see the Spirit for Who He is. And as we see Him for Who He is, we will love Him, worship Him, and walk with Him, being filled with the Spirit moment by moment.

Scripture

Genesis 1:2
The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

Job 33:4
The Spirit of God has made me,And the breath of the Almighty gives me life.

Matthew 3:16
When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him.

John 14:16
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 things that I said to you.

Acts 4:31
And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.

Acts 9:31
Then the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied.

Acts 13:52
And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.

Romans 5:5
Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Romans 8:9, 14
But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

1 Cor 6:19
Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?

Ephesians 1:13
In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.

Ephesians 4:30
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

Quotes:

"Have we the Spirit? This is an inquiry so important, that the philosopher may well suspend all his investigations to find an answer to this question on his own personal account. All the great debates of politics, all the most engrossing subjects of human discussion, may well stop to-day, and give us pause to ask ourselves the solemn question—"Have I the Spirit?" For this question does not deal with any externals of religion, but it deals with religion in its most vital point. He that hath the Spirit, although he be wrong in fifty things, being right in this, is saved; he that hath not the Spirit, be he never so orthodox, be his creed as correct as Scripture-ay and in his morals outwardly as pure as the law, is still unsaved; he is destitute of the essential part of salvation—the Spirit of God dwelling in him." - Charles Spurgeon

"The Holy Spirit does his work powerfully. A believer may be in the saddest and darkest condition imaginable. Even so, the Holy Spirit is able to break through all this and bring to mind the promises of Christ. By this work, the Holy Spirit enables Christians to sit in dungeons, rejoice in flames and glory in troubles. If he brings to mind the promises of Christ for our comfort, neither Satan nor man, neither sin nor the world, nor even death itself shall take away our comfort. Saints who have communion with the Holy Spirit know this only too well. Sometimes the heavens are black over them, and the earth trembles under them. Disasters and distresses appear which are so full of horror and darkness that they are tempted to give up in despair. So how greatly are their spirits revived when the Holy Spirit brings the words of Christ to their minds for their comfort and joy. Thus, believers are not dependent on outward circumstances for their happiness, for they have the inward and powerfully effective work of the Holy Spirit, to whom they give themselves up by faith." - John Owen

"Are you renewed by the Holy Spirit? This is the momentous point, whether through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ we are partakers of the Holy Spirit or not. If any man have not the Spirit of Christ he is none of His. Whatever we have, if we have not the Holy Spirit, we do not belong to Christ. In whatever way we seek to resemble the disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ—we may be in the habit of reading our Bibles, of bowing our knees, of singing together with them, of meeting together with them, of partaking with them at the Lord’s supper, we may be reckoned among them as disciples—and yet with all this, far from God. With all this unregenerate. With all this, wanting the Spirit of Christ. With all this, not born again through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ." - George Muller

"Every Christian possesses the Holy Spirit in all His fullness from the moment he believes. There is no such thing as a Christian without the Holy Spirit. Romans 8:9 says, "If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him" (NASB). I heard a person say, "I have been a Christian for a long time but I just found out that I didn't really have the Holy Spirit. Since then, I asked God and He gave me the Holy Spirit and now my entire life has changed." I understood what he was trying to say--that he now realized what obedience to God was all about--but there is simply no such thing as a Christian without the Holy Spirit. When you become a child of God, He takes up residence by putting His Spirit within you, and as a result, you will be obedient to Him. Every Christian possesses the Holy Spirit in all His fullness. A Christian does not receive the Holy Spirit in bits and pieces. You do not even have to ask for more of the Spirit because He is there totally at salvation." - John MacArthur

"Perhaps much of our slow progress in the walk of faith is to be traced to our overlooking the love of the Spirit. We do not deal with Him, for strength and advancement, as one who really loveth us, and longs to bless us, and delights to help our infirmities (Rom 8:26). We regard Him as cold, or distant, or austere; we do not trust Him for His grace, nor realize how much He is in earnest in His dealings with us. More childlike confidence in Him and in His love would help us on mightily. Let us not grieve Him, nor vex Him, nor quench Him by our untrustfulness, by disbelieving or doubting the riches of His grace, the abundance of His loving-kindness." - Horatius Bonar

"The Holy Spirit is to come mysteriously upon the church according to the sovereign will of God; but when He comes like the wind, it is to purge the moral atmosphere and to quicken the pulse of all who breathe spiritually. This is a blessing indeed, a treasure that the church greatly needs. I would that this rushing mighty wind would come upon His church with an irresistible force that should carry everything before it-the force of truth, but of more than truth, the force of God driving truth home upon the heart and conscience of men. I would that you and I could breathe this wind and receive its invigorating influence, that we might be made champions of God and of His truth. Oh, that it would drive away our mists of doubt and clouds of error. Come, sacred wind, our nation needs You-the whole world requires You. The foul odors that brood over this deadly calm would fly if Your divine lightnings enlightened the world and set the moral atmosphere in commotion. Come, Holy Spirit, come. We can do nothing without You; but if we have Your wind, we spread our sail and speed on toward glory." - Charles Spurgeon

Links for Further Study
(links to study each daily topic in more detail if you have the desire and the time)

A Brief Definition of the Trinity by James White
What is the Doctrine of the Trinity? by Q & A with John Piper

Bible Reading For Further Study

Recommended Songs for Worship

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