MPGC30- HOW TO TAKE WHAT JESUS HAS DONE FOR YOU AND MAKE IT YOUR OWN-Part 2
Moses had led the Israelites out of their bondage in Egypt and through the desert for 40 years. They were now on the edge of the Promised land. Moses had died and the leadership was now in the hands of Joshua who had been Moses' assistant.
In the first chapter of Joshua, verse 2, the Lord says to him, "Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give them." Then in verse 3 the Lord continues saying, "I will give them every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses."
This has an application for our lives today. Legally when we are "born again" we are heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ. Everything that belongs to Jesus belongs to us. But -- experientially we may not yet possess it. We may not have entered into everything that Jesus has promised.
In the case of the Israelites God did two big miracles FOR them to bring them into the promised land. He heaped up the Jordan River so that the whole nation could cross the river on dry ground ahead of the Egyptians pursuing them. And then the Lord destroyed Jericho for them while they obediently marched around the city walls. After this they had to fight for everything they got.
It's the same in the Christian walk. God will do some miracles to bring us "in" but after that we need to fight for what we get. Let's continue in this study to learn .....
How To Take What Jesus Has Done for You and Make it Your Own-Part 2
In part 1 of this study we saw that we need to:
1. Accept the facts of what God has done FOR us.
2. Claim what is ours and
3. Make the right choice -- i.e. commit wholeheartedly to Jesus and give up trying to work for what you already own.)
In doing these three things you are stating clearly to God that you know what He has promised you. You believe His Word and therefore want to align your life with Him. But believing alone is not enough. Now you must start the doing.
IT'S A WALK BY FAITH
Day 1- Without faith what does this verse say is impossible?
What two things does this verse instruct us to believe?
Day 2- Hebrews 11:6 tells us that faith is essential but also diligence as well. How do we get this "diligent faith"?
When we read God's word daily with a hungry heart to understand it, a river of faith begins to grow in us. The more we read and study the more faith grows in us.
Day 3- "Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ." Romans 10:17
The Greek word for WORD is "rhema" and it means the word that God is speaking to us at any given moment. This same word "rhema" is used in .....
Day 4- In other words we live by the word made real to us at any given moment by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit turns mere words on a page into God's living word to us that becomes our "rhema". This rhema can only come as a result of our relationship with the living God. It is the Holy Spirit living within us that guides us into the truth of God's word.
HOW SHOULD WE READ THE BIBLE?
Day 5 - The Bible can be read from two points of view. What are they?
1 Thessalonians 2:13
Day 6- If the Bible is just other men writing their thoughts, stories and opinions then we can take it or leave it. But if it is the word of God it will be absolutely trustworthy.
1 Kings 8:56 / Psalm 111:7 / Matthew 5:18 / Luke 21:33
Day 7- James tells us how we are to receive God's word.
When we receive the word in meekness or humility then we are acknowledging that God is our teacher and we are His student. We let God teach us.
Day 8- The proof that we take God seriously is in the doing.
James 1: 22-25
In the New Living Translation James 1:25 says, "But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don't forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it."
The word is able to "set you free" and yours will be the life that God can bless!
Therefore, a large part of each of us appropriating what God has done for us is reading and studying the word of God with the intent of acting on it.
LEARN TO RELATE TO THE HOLY SPIRIT
If faith is one of the first essential requirements to appropriate God's plan for ourselves then the second must be that we learn to relate to the Holy Spirit because He is the one that personally leads us.
WHAT DOES THE HOLY SPIRIT DO?
The Holy Spirit is not an "it" but a "He". He is a person just like God and Jesus but without a physical body. The fact is that if we belong to Jesus, the Holy Spirit uses our body to continue Christ's work in this world. He dwells within the children of God.
Day 9- The Holy Spirit is the administrator of our salvation. Jesus said that it was to our advantage that He leave the earth. Why?
From Heaven Jesus is able to work through the Holy Spirit everywhere on earth at the same time without being limited by a physical body. And what does the Holy Spirit specifically do as the administrator of our salvation?
John 16: 8-11
Day 10- The Holy Spirit guides us into truth.....
.....and then He points us to Jesus.
John 15:26 / John 16:14
The Holy Spirit never attracts attention to himself but always to Jesus. That is what is meant in John 16:14 by "He will bring glory to me (Jesus)."
NOTE: One of the great tests as to whether something is from the Holy Spirit is if it glorifies Jesus. If it exalts a human personality or puts the focus on a certain doctrine or denomination then it's not from the Holy Spirit.
Day 11- The Holy Spirit helps us to discern truth.
1 John 2:20
Day 12- He is always readily available to every child of God. Why?
Day 13- We need to wake up and realize that everything that sounds right is not right. That's how Eve got in trouble in the first place. She believed a half truth (which is really a lie) and acted on it. There is much today that contain elements of truth but overall is false. What are we commanded to do as believers and why?
1 John 4:1
Day 14- How are we to recognize what is of God and what isn't?
1 John 4: 2-3
The Holy Spirit is our only reliable guide to learning how to distinguish between the noisy, the fleshly, the ostentatious and that which glorifies Jesus. The Holy Spirit holds the key to all of God's treasures and promises. He glorifies Jesus and Jesus glorifies the Father. Until we meet Jesus face to face all that we will ever know about Him we will learn from the Holy Spirit.
Day 15- We must rely on the Holy Spirit for our life's ministry.
"Those who are led" -- this is the continuing present tense.
We are to be led by God's Spirit and not by rules, principles, techniques and procedures. These aren't wrong but they are not to be our main source of guidance. The Holy Spirit will guide us to any rule or principle that is important. He will lead us to appropriate ALL the promises of Christ's atonement. He holds the key to all God's provisions written in his word so it's vital that we learn to relate to the Holy Spirit.
MOVING FROM THE LEGAL TO THE EXPERIENTIAL
Day 16- Jesus has provided a salvation that is perfect, complete, and all inclusive. But -- to move from the legal to the experiential the cross has to become real in our lives and it involves a progressive series of experiences. At the end of
Acts 2:37 a question is asked by people who had heard Peter preach. They had been cut to the heart and therefore wanted to know, "What shall we do?" Peter tells them plainly in the next two verses.
Day 17- Repent
In the Greek this word is "metanoia" and it means "to change your mind". It's a decision. The word repent in Hebrew is "shub" and means to turn back, turn around. It's an action. Therefore putting the two words together we see the true picture of repentance. It's a decision followed by an action. It's making a u-turn. Repentance isn't complete until we are traveling in a new direction.
Isaiah 55:7 / Ezekiel 18:21
Day 18- Repentance is no light thing. It requires work and diligence on our part. As you read these verses make a list of what will be required of us.
2 Chronicles 7:14 / Ezra 10:1 / Jonah 3: 8-9
In Jeremiah 3:13-14a in the New Living Translation it says, "Only acknowledge your guilt. Admit that you rebelled against God and committed adultery against Him by worshiping idols under every green tree. Confess that you refused to listen to my voice. I the Lord have spoken! Return home you wayward children."
Day 19- Repentance must always come before we can believe for salvation.
Acts 3:19 / Acts 17:30
In Revelations, chapters 2 & 3 a message is given by Jesus through John to the seven churches. To five of these churches their first requirement was to repent. There is a wrong teaching today that if you want to be free from all your problems just come and receive Jesus. No. There is no salvation without true repentance.
Isaiah 55:7 / 2 Corinthians 7:10
Day 20- Christians that have many problems often have one root problem. They have failed to repent. For their primary problem is rebellion against God. We want our way. God will not make peace with us on any other terms but absolute surrender.
True repentance always has three elements:
A- Turning from sin -- it involves confession and then action.
Ezra 10:11 / Proverbs 28:13
B- It means we submit to God
Luke 15:21 / James 4:7-10
C- And then we commit ourselves to the Lordship of Jesus Christ
Acts 2:36 / Ephesians 1:22 / Colossians 1:17-19
BE BAPTIZED -- A PUBLIC CONFESSION
The second thing Peter tells the people to do in Acts 2:38 is to be baptized.
Day 21- When baptism began with John the Baptist's ministry it was a public acknowledgment that a person had repented of his sins.
In this same verse John reveals to us that when Jesus comes there will be a new baptism.
Day 22- When Jesus asked John to baptize him it was to "fulfill all righteousness" ( or to do all that God requires). It was not for repentance of sin because Jesus had no sin in him. In the Lord's case, baptism became the doorway in which He entered his own ministry. It was a public anointing on Him by God.
Matthew 3: 13-17
Day 23- Once Jesus had finished his earthly ministry and paid the price for our sins, John's baptism was no longer valid. A baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus replaces the baptism of John.
Acts 19: 1-5
Day 24- Christian baptism is an act whereby a person publicly identifies himself with Jesus in his death, burial and resurrection.
Romans 6:3-5 / Colossians 2:12 / 1 Peter 3:21
Christian baptism is the consummation of our salvation. Its emphasis is not on death or burial but on resurrection which opens the door to a new style of living. It's a public proclamation of where we stand.
As we go through this course and learn about all Christ has done and made available to us we'll have to make public confessions with each new item we want to appropriate. Once we see that something is for us then confession of it will be needed even before we see it. That is what the walk of faith is about. We believe God's word, we publicly stand on its truth and then we walk with confidence knowing that God will keep his word and bring it about.
RECEIVE THE GIFT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
This is the third thing that Peter told the people was necessary in Acts 2:38.
Day 25- You might remember that when Jesus appeared to his disciples after He rose from the dead, scripture says that He breathed on them and gave them the Holy Spirit.
This was an initial gift to the disciples to prepare them for their own ministries of being sent into all the world. But Jesus also made clear that they still had more to receive.
Day 26- What happened when the Holy Spirit came to them on the Day of Pentecost.
1. We see first in these verses that they were all immersed in the Holy Spirit coming down over them from above.
2. Then we see that all were individually filled with the Holy Spirit as the tongues of fire rested over each head.
3. Finally there was an overflow as the Holy Spirit filled and overflowed through them with supernatural speech that was needed on that occasion. Verse 5 tells us that there were Jews present from every nation and of course they spoke different languages.
Day 27- How do you and I receive the Holy Spirit? John gives us our answer.
1. First we must be thirsty. There must be within us an overwhelming need and desire to drink from God's well so we can have all that Jesus died to give us.
2. Second we must come to Jesus. It is his own Spirit that He gives to us to live in our bodies. This makes it possible for Christ to carry on his work in this world through us. Therefore the Holy Spirit must come from Him.
3. Third we must drink until there is an overflow. Your overflow will probably not be the same as what the disciples received because your situation is different. But once the Holy Spirit fills your life He will always flow out to reach the needs of the people that surround your life.
Day 28- If you have believed in Jesus and committed your life to Him you will probably have within you a deep desire for "more". That's because there is more! There is a universal call to come and receive the Holy Spirit.
We are not left here on earth to work things out for ourselves. The Holy Spirit wants to govern our lives from within us. His life in us is vital for appropriating all that Jesus died to give us.
These two studies (mpgc29 and 30) will be our stepping stones to appropriating a truly full salvation. Everything we'll look at in upcoming studies will need to be appropriated in the same way. Let's summarize what we've said so far.
1. KNOW THE FACTS as stated in God's word and BELIEVE THEM.
For example: In Romans 6:6 it says "For we know that our old self was crucified with him (a fact), that we should no longer be slaves to sin (another fact)."
2. CLAIM THESE FACTS as your own.
For example: Because of Romans 6:6 we can pray as Paul did, "I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live but it is Christ who lives in me." Galatians 2:20
3. MAKE THE RIGHT CHOICE
Since Christ has set us free there is no one safer to commit your life to. He will make all that He has died to give us real in our lives through His Holy Spirit.
For example: In regard to Romans 6:6 we might say, "Lord, I don't understand how it could be that when you died, I died (i.e. my old self). But I believe that it is so and I commit myself to you with my whole heart knowing that you will make all this a reality in my life."
4. Then we WALK BY FAITH IN THE TRUTH OF GOD'S WORD rather than by the sight of our eyes.
For example: Romans 6:6 says my old nature is dead but I have a situation where I break out in anger. Instead of plunging into despair and deciding it's not true for me because I became angry I might pray like this. "Lord, forgive me for the anger I just expressed. I see how Satan wants to keep my old nature alive and reacting. You have died to render this old self of mine inoperative. I submit myself to you in the midst of these temptations so that your work on the cross can become a reality in me." Then I walk through my circumstances believing and trusting in the truth that I am a new creation in Christ. I am more watchful this time of the temptation to revert to my old self ways!
5. Be quick to REPENT. We are God's children learning to walk by faith and it's a day to day process. We may step off the "highway of holiness" from time to time but the true child of God is sensitive to conviction of sin and is quick to repent or turn around and get back on track. Turn from sin, submit to God, and commit to the Lordship of Christ.
For example: My expression of anger to another is not what I really wanted to express. But, it's what rose up from me and I immediately felt it was not right. So I might say, "Lord, I have sinned in my anger towards ________. The world might say I am justified to be angry but you do not. I repent of this sin and ask that your Spirit flow forth from me when I am tempted next time.
6. Be baptized -- MAKE A PUBLIC CONFESSION. This is the true test of whether we really believe something or not. Are we willing to go on record with others?
For example: Let's say I have been a very angry and reactive person. I now believe God's word that this old nature of anger and reaction has been crucified with Christ. I might say to my brothers and sisters in Christ something like this, "You all have seen that my old nature reacts and becomes angry easily. The Holy Spirit has shown me that in reality my old angry nature has been crucified with Christ and rendered inoperative. From this day forward I am walking by faith into this truth. Anger no longer is my master. I belong to Jesus and since Christ lives in me He will replace my anger with his own gracious responses."
7. RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT and LEARN TO RELATE TO HIM DAILY. Jesus has left his own Spirit to reside within our bodies. The Holy Spirit governs us from within -- guiding, teaching, convicting, clarifying and comforting. He is the only one who helps us appropriate all that Jesus died to give us.
For example: I might say, "Holy Spirit I believe God's word that says I have been crucified with Christ. Only you can make this real in my day to day experience especially in regards to the anger that seems to rise up from within. I submit to your help and guidance so that the next time temptation comes I can be ready with the right reaction -- the one that Jesus wants to express in the situation."
All of these steps in some form or another will be needed as you claim and take hold of what Jesus died to give you. He has worked the miracle in atoning for our sins and making us right with God but now comes the fight to reclaim our rights as children of God and to reclaim our rulership in this world. Satan will not hand these over to us on a platter (even though he no longer has authority over us). We will have to take them!
Here is a simplified version of these steps to help you remember them. It spells F-A-C-T-S.
F=Facts- know and believe them
A=Act on what the word says
C=Claim and Confess
S=Spirit --Submit to the Holy Spirit in regards to the FACTS
In the next studies we will go step by step through what Jesus has bought back for us through His death on the cross. These two studies on appropriating these things will be referred to over and over. Keep this summary handy.
Next Study: MPGC#31