Remember: In order to experience God’s love and forgiveness you must confess your sin as you become aware of it, and turn again to your heavenly Father.
An amazing transformation has begun to take place since you received Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You are now beginning to live the Christian life, which isn’t a standard of performance nor a code of ethics, but a vital, personal relationship with a loving God.
Read John 7:37-39
Unfortunately, not every believer experiences the power to live his life as God intended.
Just as our relationship with God is totally dependent on what God has done through Jesus Christ, so the power to live a dynamic Christian life also comes totally from God
This computer has all the potential to do what it was created to do, but it has no power of its own.
Similarly, through your new identity in Christ, you have all the potential you need to live as a new creation in Christ.
But, you must continually draw from the proper source of power.
THE HOLY SPIRIT IS THE POWER SOURCE OF THE CHRISTIAN LIFE
Who is the Holy Spirit? Read 2 Corinthians 3:17,18
Why did He come?
- To glorify Christ (John 16:14)
- To lead you into all truth (John 16:13)
- To dwell in you (Romans 8:9)
- To convict the world of sin and justice (John 16:8)
What part does the Holy Spirit play in your relationship with God? Read Romans 8:14-16
What does He desire to produce in your life? Read Galatians 5:22,23
How do you think these qualities of God’s character (fruit of the Spirit) will grow in your life?
Read John 15:4,5
What does Jesus say we are to do in order to see this fruit produced in us?
Which of these qualities would you most like God to begin developing within you?
What does He desire to equip you to do?
Read Acts 1:8
What is a witness?
What does it mean to you to be a witness for Christ?
Why do you think the Holy Spirit’s power is needed to be a witness?
The degree to which these traits are manifested in one’s life depends upon the extent to which the Christian trusts the Lord with every detail of his life, and upon his maturity in Christ. One who is only beginning to understand the ministry of the Holy Spirit should not be discouraged if he is not as fruitful as more mature Christians who have known and experienced this truth for a longer period.
MANY CHRISTIANS ARE NOT EXPERIENCING THE HOLY SPIRIT’S POWER
You became a Christian through the Holy Spirit’s work (John 3:1-8).
From that moment you have been indwelt by the Spirit (John 14:16, 17).
Though all Christians are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, not all Christians are filled with (directed and empowered by) the Holy Spirit.
The Bible tells us there are three kinds of people:
- Natural Man
(1 Corinthians 2:14) Those who have not trusted Christ’s death to pay for their sins and thus the Holy Spirit does not indwell their lives.
- Carnal Man
(1 Corinthians 3:1,2) Those who have trusted Christ to pay for their sins, but who are trusting their own efforts to live the Christian life (Carnal refers to “flesh” as opposed to Spirit.”). When you trusted in Christ for the forgiveness of your sin, all your sins were forgiven… past, present, and future.
(1 Corinthians 2:15) Those who have trusted Christ as their Savior and are trusting in the power of the Holy Spirit to live the Christian life.
The Spirit-filled life is the Christ-directed life by which Christ lives His life in and through you in the power of the Holy Spirit.
YOU CAN BE FILLED WITH (DIRECTED AND EMPOWERED BY) THE HOLY SPIRIT
You can be filled with the Holy Spirit only by faith, by trusting God to produce in you the fruitful life He promised.
You must prepare your heart in three ways.
- Desire sincerely to be filled (Matthew 5:6).
Why do you think it is important to God that you desire to be filled with the Holy Spirit?
How would you express your level of desire to be directed and empowered by the Holy Spirit?
- Confess all known sin (1 John 1:9; Psalms 66:18). Why do you think it is important to confess all known sin in order to be filled with the Spirit?
- Yield your total life to Christ (Romans 12:1, 2). (Yielding involves your willingness to obey God in anything He has shown you to do.)
What do you think yielding every area of your life to Christ would involve?
You must respond by faith, trusting the Holy Spirit to empower your life for Christ.
- God has commanded you to be filled with His Spirit (Ephesians 5:18).
- God has promised to answer all your requests which are in accord with His will (1 John 5:14, 15).
You can be filled with the Holy Spirit by faith alone. This prayer is a good way to express that faith:
“Dear Father, I acknowledge that I have sinned against You. I thank You that You have forgiven my sins through Christ’s death on the cross. I now invite Christ to take His place on the throne of my life. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit as You commanded me to be filled, and as You promised that You would do if I asked in faith. I pray this in the name of Jesus. As an expression of my faith, I now thank You for directing my life and filling me with the Holy Spirit.”
How accurately does this prayer reflect the desire of your heart?
If this is the desire of your heart, you can pray this prayer and be filled with the Holy Spirit.
YOU CAN BE CONTINUALLY EMPOWERED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT (SPIRITUAL BREATHING)
This week, if you find that you have retaken control of your life through sin—any definite act of disobedience — simply breathe spiritually (exhale the impure and inhale the pure). This important exercise will enable you to continue to experience Christ’s loving control in your life.
Exhale – Confess your sin (1 John 1:9; Hebrews 10:1-25).
What are the three factors involved in confession?
Inhale – Yield control of your life to Christ (Romans 12:1, 2).
Claim, by faith, the fullness of the Spirit in your life (Ephesians 5:18).
Trust that He now directs and empowers you (1 John 5:14, 15).
Continue to spend 15 minutes alone each day in Bible reading and prayer.