Facing The Truth 30th March
Facing The Truth 30th March
Eph 1:3-6 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.
It’s amazing to think that God has known us from the womb – in fact from before the womb – He knew us before time was! God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world – mind boggling things to try and comprehend – but in the sovereignty of God, He chose, that we should live at this time. In His great, eternal plan and ever unfolding purpose, God Himself, chose to give you and I this grace and faith that we might glorify Him now in the early 2000’s
God has chosen us to be a Praise to the Glory of His Grace in Christ Jesus! – And to enable us to do that, and live that – He has given us His Spirit – that by the Holy Spirit we might know the deep things of God and glorify Jesus. This is for us the most marvellous age in all history – because this is the age God has entrusted to us!! There can be no better moment in all history for any of us than this. We might look back and read of revival and power and miracles – but this is our time.
We were born into God’s Kingdom for such a time as this – and no matter how difficult this age might appear to us – God is greater and nothing is out of His control, nothing is out of hand or order. We must look and observe the lawlessness, the depravity and the abandonment to violence the distorted sensuality – we must look and see the fatherless, the breakdown of family – we must not be ignorant of the world wide social chaos --- but God is not lost! God is not defeated!
God is still Sovereign and Glorious – Christ has still died, risen and ascended and is seated on the Right Hand of the Father! Jesus is Lord of all and over all! Hallelujah! --- And as I look out on you all this morning I can say emphatically that God has called you to this time and given sufficient grace and faith for you to fulfil anything and everything He has called you for! Church this is the most marvellous time for us to be alive!! --- Jesus said this : --
Jn 15:7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.
My Words - Jesus said. – I think we mightily underestimate this incredible truth – if we remain in Christ, and He is in us the hope of glory – we are born again by faith – as the apostle said “it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me” – so we cannot help but remain in Christ if we are at all faithful – but He went on to say and MY WORDS abide or remain in you your desires are fulfilled! Like last week we saw that as the Holy Spirit brought to their remembrance the Words of Christ ---
Those in that upper room, waiting in obedience to Jesus, began to be inspired, revelation was birthed in their hearts and they believed! – So as they waited the expectation grew and they began to long for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit by faith. It was those very Words of Jesus that are now “scripture” to us. Oh the Words of Jesus abiding in us are glorious and powerful and when taken up by the Holy Spirit will fulfill the Promises they contain!! – But I digress – Jesus said : --
Jn 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.
Truly wonderful things God had planned from before time began – He had planned it all in the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world – The Words Jesus spoke are eternal and they are life – they never pass away – they are Spirit – and here He tells the disciples and us – it is to our advantage that He goes away – because the coming of the Holy Spirit is dependent upon His departure – and He said the Holy Spirit is of greater advantage to us than if He Himself remained.
Jesus said this about the Promised Holy Spirit – and it is important for us to grasp hold of : --
Jn 16:12-15 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.
The Holy Spirit when He has come will be the guide into all truth – if we do not have the Holy Spirit we cannot know truth! We might know the things of the world, we might be intelligent, we might make lots of money – but if we do not have the Spirit of God we cannot know Truth! He is the only Guide. Then Jesus said – the Holy Spirit will not speak anything except MY WORDS – Jesus Himself said this – The Holy Spirit will take of what is Mine – and everything the Father has is Mine!
It is the Holy Spirit who glorifies Jesus, it is the Holy Spirit who makes Him known to us. It is the Holy Spirit who will bring to remembrance all the things Jesus has said! Jesus has gone away but His Words remain forever. This is the Promise He made as they waited for Pentecost – this is what they began to understand – and then after the 10 days all heaven broke loose! There was glory in that upper room, there was power, there was fire. They staggered under the glory!
Ac 2:14-18 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words. For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams. And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy.
This is that! All the Promises Jesus made about the Holy Spirit being poured out at Pentecost were fulfilled here. This is that prophesied by Joel. It was complete, a finished thing. Jesus has returned to the Right Hand of God and this is our great advantage! The new age, the dispensation of the Holy Spirit who is of greater advantage to us than the age of Christ Himself has come. This is the completed and fulfilled Promise of God in Jesus Christ.
Jn 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—
The Sovereign God of all creation has made an emphatic and direct Promise and it is impossible for God to lie – it is impossible for God to mislead us, or fool us, or tease us – God cannot deny His own Perfect and Holy Nature and character – God is Glorious, and that Glory, the very essence of God, is the most important thing to God for it is what being God is – God will not mock us He is faithful – and the Words of Jesus will last forever!!
So we KNOW that when Peter stood and preached this is that! This was that! This is that still! God only ever intended for ONE Pentecost – one outpouring of the Holy Spirit in this manner – Jesus has prayed and His Father, Our God has answered that prayer – we have received another Helper and He will abide with us forever! He will not come and go and play some elusive game with us – He is the Holy Spirit of God and is God in every way – just as the Father and The Son so the Spirit.
It is exactly as Jesus said – His Words abide forever – so when Peter stood with the 11 and preached on that great day – as the Holy Spirit took the grace of God and began to impart faith to believe there was an immediate and huge response ---
Ac 2:36-39 “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”
Remember Jesus had spoken these Words – eternal glorious Spirit Words : --
Jn 16:7-11 Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.
The Holy Spirit was poured out at Pentecost – there were tens of thousands of people there, they had come from all over the middle east – multitudes heard and saw what happened as the Spirit of Holiness came down and the men prepared by the Words of Jesus responded. They could not ignore the Holy turmoil – but among them, as many as the Lord our God had called – chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world – these ones by faith through Grace cried out!!
The Holy Spirit, just as Jesus had said convicted them of sin, righteousness and judgment – and they cried out what must we do to be saved – they were cut to the heart – but listen it was not tens of thousands – it was not even 10 thousand – it was the 3000 God had chosen in Christ – we must see this because this is one of the greatest days in all History – perhaps only shadowed by Jesus and Calvary – but look if the Holy Spirit had not been poured out Calvary was wasted!!
This Pentecost was the very means by which God has chosen to make known and convey and impart the greatest glory of all time – the ascension of Christ and this outpouring of the Spirit of God brought about this new dispensation – it is by the Holy Spirit we are able to appropriate the wonders of the Cross – but here we see the fullness of the necessity of the Trinity – Jesus in obedience to the Father came and went to the cross –
The Father then in answer to the prayers of Jesus poured out the Holy Spirit to enable us to KNOW the cross – and it is only by God giving Grace and Faith that allows us – (those chosen and called) to appropriate these amazing Truth – and all by the Words of Jesus! – but there is something here I really think we must grasp this morning – this is incredibly important for us to understand. Though the Holy Spirit has come – it is through Jesus that God speaks to us still!
Heb 1:1-4 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.
Everything is in Christ Jesus our Lord – the Holy Spirit has come to glorify Him – to magnify Him, to make Him known – He does nothing of His own initiative – but what He hears He speaks and He only speaks the Words of Jesus – and as the Bible is finished and closed up – complete and Holy, the Holy Spirit will not do, or say, or guide us into anything that is not already revealed in the W.O.G. and the Words of Jesus Himself – He will guide into all truth and Jesus is the Truth!
The Holy Spirit will not lead us into a new revelation that is not already in the W.O.G. – the Holy Spirit will not lead us into a behaviour that Jesus Himself would not do – or use any language Jesus would not speak – the Holy Spirit will not have you do anything against your own will – the Holy Spirit will not endorse, encourage or promote anything opposed to the very clear W.O.G. – He hates the same things God hates! Pride, sexual depravity, coarse humour, lies etc.
But the Holy Spirit will not prevent you doing what you want to do either – He will guide, He will prompt, He will prod, prick and convict – in fact : --
1 Co 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
1 Jn 2:26-27 These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you. But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.
There is always a way of escape – the Words of Jesus whispered, tenderly, gently – even earnestly by the indwelling Spirit of God – the deep things of God reminding, drawing, convicting - if we will allow Him – but He will not override our own will – and there are so many warnings about those who try to deceive us – but you know we are our own greatest deceivers – we are the ones who most often trip ourselves up – hardening our hearts to those very internal reminders –
The Words of Jesus being brought to our remembrance by the indwelling, always present, never to be taken away Spirit of Jesus – we deceive ourselves into believing the lies of our own desires, of our own compromise and apathy and desire to sleep – we shut Him down, we minimize Him, we ignore Him and we hear what we want to hear – but there is a constant whispering of the Words of Jesus if we will hear them, for in these days God has spoken to us by His Son!
But there is another thing we must see from Pentecost – there were 120 in that Upper Room, they had waited and prayed and the Holy Spirit had quickened them – there were the apostles, the 12 who had been with Jesus and there were 108 others – listen at that time the church was not yet born there was no structure, no doctrine, no teachers, no prophets, no evangelists, no pastors or preachers on that first day – those gifts may have been latent in them –
But when those 3000 heard the W.O.G., were cut to the heart, believed in Christ Jesus and repented, they were baptized, received the Holy Spirit – no intermediary, no priest, no laying on of hands, no man stood between them and the God who gave them grace and faith – it was not Peter or even His preaching – he was simply the vessel of delivery – but when they believed and cried out they were filled!! ---- Please receive this – later when Peter preached to Cornelius’ household :--
Ac 10:44-46 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God.
You have the Holy Spirit if you have believed – these had not been baptized and received the Holy Spirit when they believed! It is the same with us – if you have believed and repented and trusted in God you have the Holy Spirit NOW!! – and He can and will and longs to speak to you the Words of Jesus – that Jesus might be glorified in us by the Holy Spirit and begin again to convict the world of sin, righteousness and judgment.