Title: When the Transformer Reigneth
Theme: Evidences of a Holy Spirit Led Life
Introduction: What do you think of when you hear the word "reign" or as the Old King James language would say, "reigneth?" I took time to look up the word reign in the dictionary. When used as a noun it means, "dominating power or influence: the reign of law." When used as a verb it means, "to have control, rule, or influence of any kind." Synonyms are "overrule, be in power, or to be in the drivers seat."
Every Christian can tell you the repercussions of a life not controlled by the Holy Spirit. However, everyone appreciates the life that walks insteps with the Lord. Through the writer of the Book of Galatians we see the contrast of a life led by the human flesh and a Spirit-led life. Paul writes, "So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law. The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. (Galatians 5:16-24)
Let us Pray!
The Bible has just given the facts of life, suffer the consequence of being controlled by the human flesh or enjoy the benefits of a Spirit-filled life. You and I have family members who live their lives with an attitude of the song lyrics sung by Frank Sinatra, "My friend, I'll say it clear, I'll state my case, of which I am certain... I did it my way." These lyrics are in the song, My Way of which we find the opening stanza saying, "And the end is near; And so I face the final curtain." God in His Sovereignty spoke some powerful truths in this song that was so wonderfully and powerfully sung by Mr. Sinatra. Truths worth grasping and hanging onto, and truths that cause a Spirit filled Christian to tremble with a holy fear, "I did it my way."
Just as the Bible gives a sharp contrast between a life lived under the influence of a world-view, a life controlled by the flesh of man's ideas and the lies of the devil. Is the testimony of Pastor, Adrian Rogers, a man who preached God's Word effectively. In his early years of ministry he pleaded with God in prayer, "'Lord, give me your Holy Spirit so I may better know Your Word. I need your Holy Spirit so I may better teach Your Word. Empower me with Your Holy Spirit that I might have a influential ministry.' Pastor Rogers pointed out during his testimony, 'There are many Christians who sit in the pew of a church, who think that is a good prayer, but to Christians filled with the Holy Ghost, that pray is full of I and me.' Pastor Rogers went on to explain, 'I prayed and got nothing back from the Lord. As time went on that prayer changed, Lord, I want what You want for me.' From that time on, Pastor Rogers ministry exploded into a work that has effectively changed lives and is still going on under the banner, A Love Worth Finding. (Pastor Rogers Testimony, 1994 North American Conference for Iterant Evangelist, Louisville, Kentucky)
Two statements will be heard when the final curtain is raised, one, "I did it my way" the other, "Lord, I want what You want for me." One of those statements opens the spiritual heart to a Holy Spirit-filled life that effects others for Christ.
I believe with all my heart, it is imperative to catch the truths of the this message, When the Transformer Reigneth.
Interrogative Sentence: Just what are some signs that the Holy Spirit Reigneth in our lives? This message is not a complete teaching on the Holy Spirit-filled life, but contains foundational truths to walking instep with the Lord.
Proposition: I would propose to you that there is a huge difference between trying to live a good Christian life and allowing the Holy Spirit of God to transform your life. It is imperative that people who are exposed to what is called the church, see a huge difference between the conjecture of man and a church that is filled with the Holy Spirit.
The late Pastor David Wilkerson, author of, The Cross and Switchblade wrote, "In order to be a good solder in the service of our Lord Jesus Christ, it is not enough to just be saved. There is much more for you: you need to be [filled] with the Holy Ghost." At the North American Conference for Itinerant Evangelist in 1994, the Billy Graham team charged the attendees, "If you are not filled with the Holy Spirit, do not leave until you are."
After the Lord's suffering, He appeared to the disciples over a period of forty days, teaching about the Kingdom of God. Jesus told the disciples, “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 1:5)
The Apostle Paul knew the value of the Holy Spirit in the church. During His work with the Lord he asked the believers in Ephesus, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed." (Acts 19:2) In Acts 8: we see Peter and John praying for the Samaritan disciples, "...that they might receive the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit had not yet came on any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. (Acts 8:15-16) Like many today, they were missing out on God's best for them.
Transitional Sentence: With such clear instructions coming from Jesus and the whole counsel of God's Word, lets us consider, some of the Holy Spirit's influence upon our lives? Jesus said, "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. (Acts 1:8) Our Lord also taught, "But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My Name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you." (John 14:26) The Holy (ἅγιος - hagios) Spirit (πνεῦμα - pneuma) sent on behalf of Christ will teach us all things through the Spirit of revelation and wisdom. Just as Jesus taught His disciples the Word of God, the Holy Spirit will teach the Lord's truths to those who seek Him and He enables them to teach others. (Matthew Henry Commentary; Daily Bible Study Series; The Exposition Commentary) Jesus called the Holy Spirit the, Advocate (NIV) (παράκλητος - Parakletos) or helper (ESV). His chief call is to glorify Jesus Christ as He indwells believers. (Romans 8:9-11)
While missionary Jack Lockwood was planting a church in Moscow Russia, he discovered a young man, Oscar, he had been a Christian for just a few months. Jack was amazed of this young man's knowledge of the New Testament, especially his ability to teach from the Book of Acts.
Dr. Horton writes, "The Book of Acts might we be entitled, The Acts of the Risen Lord by the Holy Spirit in and Through the Church." (The Book of Acts, by Stanely Horton)
Transitional Sentence: Being filled with the Holy Spirit enables us to be taught by the very same Spirit that rose Jesus from the dead. (Romans 8:11) Jesus said, "...In this world you will have tribulation. But take heart I have overcome the world." (John 16:33) The Book of Ephesians tells about the full armor of God of which the children of God may take their stand. One of the weapons of defense is, "...the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God." (Ephesians 6:17) The writer of the Book of Hebrews tells us this, "For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart." (Hebrews 4:12, ESV)
"The word of God" (ὁ λογος του θεου [ho logos tou theou]) is "living" (ζων [zōn]) Jesus said, "The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you - they are full of the Spirit and life." (John 6:63) The word living is active, giving us a natural impulse for the life of the living God, Who utters it's existence. (The Pulpit Commentary) God's living Word is able to cut loose "those sinful habits that have become so natural to the soul. It cuts off ignorance from the understanding, rebellion from the will, and enmity from the mind, which sets itself against God." (Matthew Henry Commentary)
Christians who walk instep with the Holy Spirit have the spiritual heart of the psalmist who wrote, "Blessed are they whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the Lord. Blessed are they who keep His statues and seek Him with all their heart. They do nothing wrong; they walk in His ways. You have laid down precepts that are to be fully obeyed. Oh, that my ways were steadfast in obeying your decrees!" (Psalm 119:1-5)
The psalmist closes with a knowing that there will be a day of looking into the face of God. He knows that walking in obedience to the Word of God will give him a confidence to look the Lord in the eyes.
During the time of the writing of the Book of Hebrews, "Sometimes when a criminal was being led to judgment or to execution, a dagger, with point upwards, was so fixed below his chin that he could not bow his head in concealment but had to keep it up so that all could see his face... In the end we have to meet the eyes of God. We may avert our gaze from people we are ashamed to meet; but we are compelled to look God in the face. Kermit Eby writes in The God in You: 'At some time or other, a man must stop running from himself and his God—possibly because there is just no other place to run to.' There comes a time when every man will have to meet God from whose eyes nothing ever can be concealed." (Barclay, W. (Ed.). (1975). The letter to the Hebrews (pp. 40–41). Philadelphia: The Westminster John Knox Press)
To the Spirit filled Christian, the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God is the base-line for living. They seek His word for cancel, conformation and direction. The writer of Psalm 119, "shows that godly people are happy people - through His Word, God has laid before them the right way to live which they may be sure will end in happiness, though it be strait and narrow. God's Word is the rule of their action, and governs their conversations. (Matthew Henry Commentary)
They diligently study His Word or put themselves in a place were they are being taught the things of God so they can understand His will for them. Blessed is the child of God who understands their Spiritual gifts and how to exercise those gifts in a way that bring glory to Christ and good to those they minister too. They have Holy Spirit revelation of God's promised rewards for faithfulness.
The psalmist use the phrase, "steadfast in obeying Your decrees." "Decrees" (Hebrew hoq) "is a noun derived from the trade of the stone-mason. The stone cutter chisels his words upon everlasting stone. Such then are God’s statutes. For example, the Ten Commandments, chiseled as they were onto stone tablets. Thus are the unchangeable words of the eternal God." (Knight, G. A. F. (2001). Psalms (Vol. 2, p. 221). Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press.)
When God says He will never leave or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5) - it is set in stone never to be erased. When God says He will provide for those who seek Him with all their hearts, mind, and soul, it is a yes and amen. (Matthew 6:33) When the Word says our labors with the Lord are not in vain, (1 Corinthians 15:58) it is a sure thing we will see our eternal reward.
Transitional Sentence: Spirit-filled Christians guard their hearts with the Sword, the Word of God which gives them a steadfastness in prayer. 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 says, "pray continually give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." "The word chosen for “prayer” (proseuchomai) is a general one that implies a worshipful approach to God (Rom 8:26). Paul encouraged his churches to make prayer a part of their personal spiritual discipline (Rom 12:12; Phil 4:6). He and his coworkers prayed together regularly (1:2; 2 Thess 1:11; Rom 1:10) and valued the prayers of the church on their behalf (5:25; cf. 2 Cor 1:11). Prayer was also a feature of the public worship of the assembly. Clearly, Paul expected Christians both privately and in the public assembly to approach God with praise, intercessions, requests, and thanksgiving." (The American Commentary)
A Spirit-filled Christian has a faith that moves him to pray in all things, always. "When a soldier was leaving to fight for his country, a minister said to him, 'I shall pray constantly that you may win.' The soldier replied: 'I don’t see the necessity of your prayers. If God wants to give us victory, then He will do it without your prayers. And if it is our luck to lose, do you think your prayers could prevent this?' The minister thought for a moment and said, 'All right, take off your helmet. Take off your uniform. Put your rifle away. Go and rest. It’s not necessary for you to fight. Nor is it necessary for the other soldiers to fight. If God intends to defeat the enemy, He is going to do it anyway without your arms.' The soldier got the point. God helps those who fight, not those who do nothing. The sower plants the seed. That is our job, to sow the seeds of prayer. We must pray that God will give the increase to our labors." (AMG Bible Illustrations. (2000). . Chattanooga: AMG Publishers)
Transitional Sentence: Holy Spirit-led Christians gain a deeper love for one another. The Bible says, "Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love." (1 John 4:7–8 (ESV) 1 John 3:10 says, "This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God's child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister."
"John’s claim is that everyone who loves is born of God and knows (ginōskei) God. He is referring to a particular kind of love that is found only in those who have been regenerated by Christ." (Akin, D. L. (2001). 1, 2, 3 John (Vol. 38, p. 177). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.)
Love of God and love of man are indissolubly connected. As C. H. Dodd finely puts it: “The energy of love discharges itself along lines which form a triangle, whose points are God, self, and neighbor. If God loves us, we are bound to love each other, because it is our destiny to reproduce the life of God in humanity and the life of eternity in time. John says, with almost a crude bluntness, that a man who claims to love God and hates his brother is nothing other than a liar. The only way to prove that we love God is to love the men whom God loves. The only way to prove that God is within our hearts is constantly to show the love of men within our lives." (Barclay, W. (Ed.). (1976). The letters of John and Jude (p. 98). Philadelphia, PA: The Westminster John Knox Press.)
Transitional Sentence: Holy Spirit-led Christians take seriously the teaching of Christ and the writings of John. Thus, they enquire, how do I get the Holy Spirit. Luke 11:13 says, "If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”
Every parent who has the means to give, is ready to supply their children's needs and gratify their desires. If a child would ask for anything that would harm him, naturally, a wise parent would deny him. God who knows mankind's heart will with discretion give the Holy Spirit for the nourishing of the human soul. (Henry, M. (1994). Matthew Henry’s commentary on the whole Bible: complete and unabridged in one volume (p. 1861). Peabody: Hendrickson)
The Lord, who knows your heart will send the Holy Spirit to guide, empower, and enlighten you. You need to have your heart aright before God and He will send the Holy Spirit to empower whatever work He has called you to do.
Every parent knows the heartache of watching their children make destructive choices, struggle in their endeavors and fail to achieve their goals. We have all felt the heartache of them rejecting our instructions, ignoring our guidance, and missing the doors God has opened for them.
I remember hearing about a man who had rejected his fathers instructions, ignored his families guidance, and refused to walk through the doors opened to him, because of the sacrifices his father had made in his business affairs. He had the talent, all the necessities, and opportunity. But, he chose his own way, depended on his own efforts and tried to kick in his own doors. One business after another failed. Even to this day, now in his late fifties, he has not enjoyed the success in business and marriage that his father has. Every one who knows him, his father and His families wealth are amazed that he does not go to his father and ask for the help he needs to succeed.
Sometimes, I wonder if God sets up in heaven and watches His children fail in many of the projects they try to do on their own. I wonder how often the angels, who are called to minister to us, if Jesus, who made the ultimate sacrifice for us, and the Holy Spirit who is able to guide and empower us, look in amazement over the fact we do not ask for the help we need. All we need to do is ask in Jesus name, for the promised Holy Spirit.
In keeping with the flow of the Scripture today, there is the contrast, the joy that fills God's heart when the people of God seek Him for the Holy Spirit's anointing. I think of Bill Gaither, a man who for many years have prayerfully sought God for those who are teachable in music ministry. He has enjoyed answers yes to prayers, for He has been anointed to disciple music ministers. Young men and women whom want the Holy Spirit to fill them with guidance and empowerment as they sing for the glory of God. The multitudes that have enjoyed their ministry is an amazing amount of people. It is very evident that the Holy Spirit Reigneth in their lives and anoints their singing.
In Closing: All of us need the Holy Spirit in the driver's seat. Romans 8:5-8 gives God's truth - "Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God." When the transformer reigneth - there is peace, and security in this life and before God in all eternity. Let us pray!