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 The Dispensation of the Gospel (series) by Robert Wurtz II

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[b]The Dispensation of the Gospel[/b]
[i]Re-discovering the workings of the Holy Ghost[/i]

How can we recover the past proven methods of preaching the Gospel? How can we bring the means and messages of the likes of Finney, Moody, and Ravinhill in our times? Is it possible to bring to life the Lectures of Finney on revival? In this new series of studies we will seek to bring to our generation the discarded methods and messages of proven preachers with the hope of reaping the results of the results of these renowned revivalists.

Join in a sermon series with brother Robert Wurtz II (RobertW) as he teaches through this topic. Audio selections and Text Transcripts will be posted together as they are finished. Feel free to comment and ask questions in this thread, Robert Wurtz will be actively viewing the comments in this thread.

Lessons will be posted here.. (check below for full transcripts with the audio selections):
The Dispensation of the Gospel - Lesson 1 / View as PDF

The Dispensation of the Gospel - Lesson 2 / View as PDF

The Dispensation of the Gospel - Lesson 3 / View as PDF

The Dispensation of the Gospel - Lesson 4 / View as PDF


more lessons to come soon..


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The Dispensation of the Gospel - Lesson 1

LESSON I
THE GENUINE BORN AGAIN EXPERIENCE

TEXT. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. (John 3:3 KJV)

Salvation is the process by which a person is gloriously transformed from being a child of disobedience to a child of God. The children of disobedience are lost and have a different spirit than the saved. The lost live according to the ways of this world and according to the Prince of the Power of the Air (Ephesians 2:2). Those who have been born of water only are fleshly (carnal); but those who have been born of the Holy Spirit are spiritual. Unless a person is born again of the Spirit they cannot see the Kingdom of God, neither in this world or the world to come. In this lesson I propose,

I. To examine first the three states of unrepentant sinners.
II. To explore the methods of dealing with each ‘state’ of unrepentant sinner.
III. To explore the initial evidence of the born again experience.

I. The three states of unrepentant sinners.

A. The Careless Sinner
B. The Awakened Sinner
C. The Convicted Sinner

A. The “careless sinner” can simply “care-less” about their soul’s salvation and need for God. They are opposed to their own salvation. Some will get hostile or even violent at the proposal of being saved. Sinners are very creative in finding ways to ignore their need for God and press Him as far back in their minds as possible. They do not like to retain God in their knowledge and prefer to sin unabated. These people are enemies of both God and themselves. Some are quite subtle and simply ignore God and believe they are ‘good people.’ Yet others may be in some form of false religion. No matter which category they fall into- they are quite careless about their souls. They are deceived by Satan and are fearlessly confident in their sinful condition. They feel no need to consider the vast number of ways in which God is trying to gain their attention. They ignore the sight of a church. They skip past Christian TV and radio when skimming channels. They ignore Christian related billboards and bumperstickers. More than that, they do always resist the Holy Ghost that is using these and many other means to arrest their attention. They surround themselves with worldly things that bolster their deception and hasten their damnation.

B. The “awakened sinner” is someone that has been shocked into at least ‘considering’ their need for God. This happens at times when tragedy strikes such as a loved one passing away or being suddenly killed. It happens when the individual themselves suffer some calamity such as being diagnosed with cancer or falling into financial crisis. It can happen at times of great distress and fear such as the events of 9-11 or the Great Tsunami Disaster. It may also happen at times when sudden danger is upon them such as a Tornado Warning. The job of the minister is to awaken sinners by the truth of the Gospel. Occasionally God sovereignly shakes a sinner from slumber with prophetic dreams (Genesis 41:8, Daniel 4:5, etc.).



C. The “convicted sinner” is a person who after hearing a Gospel message and having been dealt with greatly by the Holy Spirit is convinced of their need for God and the Gospel. They are convinced they are a sinner and need to repent. They are convinced that they need to trust in Christ and turn everything completely over Him. To a lesser or greater degree they understand the Gospel. They are familiar more or less with God and His word- at least enough to be born again. The Holy Spirit has brought them to that place where they are trembling in awe of God and are halting between two opinions. They are at the crossroads- and must choose whom they will serve. At this time the Holy Spirit is in the role of Jesus Christ. Just as Jesus dealt with the rich young ruler- the Holy Spirit, in the same fashion, is dealing with this person. He is showing them in their ‘minds-eye’ what they must submit to Him in order to be saved and “have treasure in Heaven.” This is a “one-on-one” with the Holy Ghost. This is where the great striving and wrestling happens. The Holy Spirit knows what is standing between Him and them and He is showing it to them. The convicted sinner is made to know exactly what he/she is trading for their immortal soul.

II. The method of dealing with each ‘state’ of unrepentance.

A. Careless sinners require great wisdom to deal with. Proverbs 11:30 teaches us that “He that winneth souls is wise.” Since the careless sinners are opposed to themselves, they are like dealing with someone ‘suicidal.’ Careless sinners are ready at a moment’s notice to turn on themselves and harden even further. Dealing with them requires the wisdom of God. This is why prayer and the leading of the Spirit is important. Sometimes preaching will arrest their attention. Sometimes personal witnessing will do it. Dealing with sinners is on an individual basis. Awakening them with the Gospel or waiting for an opportunity to minister to them is a matter of great wisdom and timing. Sometimes there will seem to be no real opportunity and you must witness knowing there will be great resistance or worse.

B. Awakened sinners also require great wisdom in dealing with as not to miss the opportunity to share the Gospel when they are in an awakened state. The enemy is working double-time to stop their conversion when he sees them in this condition. He will distract them and fill their minds with all sorts of rhetoric and lies. He will give them a multitude of excuses as to why they should not listen to God and yield to the Holy Ghost. This is the time to take them through the scriptures leaving nothing out- nor selling the Gospel short of its requirements. A person needs to understand their condition and what salvation is as much as possible. Nothing is more important than this time! Spend the time required to bring them to genuine conversion. This is not a ‘drive-thru’ process; it can take hours, days or even weeks. The tragedy of our day is that we do not take time for reflection in the service and at the altar. This is a very serious and solemn time. Birth is a process. This is the time where they decide their eternal fate. Either heaven or hell will rejoice when it’s all said and done. Don’t yield to the temptation to take shortcuts for any reason. The enemy will fill your mind with thoughts such as “hurry-up” or “this is taking too long.” He will keep you looking at the time. Stay until you know for certain that their blood has been washed from your hands.

C. Convicted sinners are convinced of their sin and know they need to repent. They understand what is required of them. The Holy Spirit is showing them what ‘thing they lackest’ and they are striving with Him. DO NOT give them a place of refuge if they start rationalizing and minimizing their sins. FLUSH THEM OUT until you know why it is that they will not submit to God. Give them time and they will tell you what it is. Maybe it’s a pet sin or bitterness. Maybe they don’t want to reconcile old enmities or make restitution to those they harmed. If the Holy Ghost is telling them to do something or lay something down don't dare tell them differently. He knows what is holding them back and so do they. What if they go away sorrowful as did the rich young ruler? Do what Christ did and let them go. Don’t fight against the Holy Ghost by comforting them. Let them feel the full weight of what they are doing; it is their only hope. Let them dwell on it. Do not give them a false assurance. The devil will use your comforting words to fortify them in their sin and eventually damn their soul. Salvation is not a process at this stage. They have been through the process and they know what they must do! They are in rebellion. Be ye not partakers of that rebellion no matter how much the Devil tempts you to do it. Lay it all -on- the line!



III. The initial evidence of the born again experience


A. Once a person has fully submitted to God to His satisfaction a transformation will take place in which there will be a new creature. A new creature is self-announcing. Everyone will know there has been a change. The sin has moved out and the Holy Spirit has moved in. The heart of stone has been replaced with a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26). Our new Spirit will begin to cry out to God ABBA Father! (Romans 8:14; Galatians 4:6) They will know- that they know- that they know that they are a Child of God and that their sins are forgiven. This is known as the witness of the Spirit. As newborn babes in Christ they will desire the sincere milk of the Word that they may grow thereby. (I Peter 2:2) They want to know what the will of their Heavenly Father is so they might please Him. They are satisfied and fulfilled by doing HIS will. Where once they may have been fulfilled by sin- now they are contented by being a hearer and a doer of the work. This is what they live for! This is what brings them joy! There is a deep craving for God that cannot be quenched any differently than quenching a new born babies need for a bottle.

B. Newborn babes in Christ are filled with zeal for the Lord. They desire to share their new selves with others. New Christians are often a thorn in careless sinner’s sides. They seem to eat, sleep, and breathe God. They want to know when the next Church service is or when the next prayer meeting will be. They are NEW LIFE to the Church! They are often unlearned about God, but they are sincere. They may make mistakes but God knows their heart. John writes; My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. (John 10:27-29) Notice this simple progression, Jesus said that His sheep hear His voice and follow Him and that He gives them eternal life. This is one of the great evidences of the born again experience- they hear and follow Jesus Christ. Their eyes and ears are open and ready to follow. They will never again feel at home in sin. The world is not their habitat any longer.

REMARKS

The process of actually being born again is a process that does not usually happen in a few moments. Many people simply “pray-off” conviction and are not really born again of the Spirit. We then give them the right hand of fellowship as though they were children of the Kingdom. When they quit serving the Lord we say they backslid. Did they backslide or where they merely ‘convicted sinners’ that fooled us but never fooled God? We must know the difference. Sadly, some of these folks end up with a false assurance and the Church of God ends up with someone who does not rightly represent Jesus Christ. Dr. A.W. Tozer once said that the Gospel in the hands of ‘bad men’ is worse than error.
If the world is ever going to change it will only begin when we get back to this most basic thing; the born again experience at the altar. Ask people if they are saved and everyone is saved. The question should be “Are you born again of the Spirit?” What was it like when you were born again? Were you born again in a few minutes? Was their weeping and tears? Did you wrestle with God? Did you surrender all? Did you take the time to really pour out before God? What was the “one thing thou lackest” that you gave to God? Maybe it was many things.
Many times people will come to God unwilling to surrender all but want to know what are the ‘least requirements’ with which they might miss hell and go to heaven. They are content to merely ‘feel saved.’ This is not the nature of real salvation. Real salvation is the surrender of your person to another person just as a man would be committed to his wife. It is a covenant relationship that holds nothing back. Figuratively you might say that when you are born again you are married to Christ. You are betrothed among many to be His true Bride the Church. He wants our love and commitment. The born again individual has had a shift in their affection that sets the coarse for the rest of their lives. They have an affection for Christ. They have the beginnings of a great love that will transform their whole desire.


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Quote:
Feel free to comment and ask questions in this thread, Robert Wurtz will be actively viewing the comments in this thread.



My intention with this series is to try to bring the teachings of proven revivalists and Bible teachers of the past into a modern context. There are thoughts and concepts from several of these ministers and a few direct quotes.



I had a professor who used to give a lecture and then ask the class if they had any "ah-ha' experiences while listening. Feel free to post any comments or questions. if you prefer to discuss a certain topic in depth we can start a different thread.


God Bless,

-Robert


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 2005/1/7 9:10Profile
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I just listened to it last night. It was one of the best sermons I have ever heard!
Alot of great stuff in there.

Ah-ha... The careless sinner is like someone who is suicidal. That is some good insight. We need to be wise and prayerfully careful with our words and actions with them.

I am excited to hear the next one.


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Quote:
I just listened to it last night. It was one of the best sermons I have ever heard!


Yes from what I heard the sermon definetly was a blessing and says it quite directly how it is. I praise God for allowing the full truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ to be proclaimed on SermonIndex.. to God be the glory for great things [b]He[/b] has done.

I am definetly anticipating the next installment..


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The Dispensation of the Gospel - Lesson 2

LESSON II
CRUCIFIED WITH CHRIST

TEXT. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Gal. 2:20)

The natural state of man apart from the born again experience is pure selfishness. It is selfishness without mixture. Charles G. Finney defined selfishness as “regarding one's own happiness supremely, and seeking one's own good because it is his own.” The selfish places his/her happiness above all other interests and especially the glory of God. This selfishness is at the core of sin and must be crucified with Christ. Being crucified with Christ renders one free from sin and dead to sin. This truth is summed up in once verse; how shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? (Romans 6:2b). In this lesson I propose,

I. To examine those who are dead IN sin.
II. To examine those who are dead TO sin.

I. Those who are dead IN sin are without Christ. They are strangers to the covenants of promise and are without both God and hope in this world (Ephesians 2:12). They live their life self-willed, fulfilling the desires of their flesh and of their mind; and are by nature the children of wrath. They love the world and the things of this world; therefor the love of the Father is not in them. Love for God manifests itself in selfless abandonment, but love for the world manifests it self in three ways:

A. The lust of the flesh
B. The lust of the eye
C. The pride of life

A. The lust of the flesh is simply covetousness. It is an inordinate desire for things. These are things that can range from your neighbor’s house to your neighbor’s wife. Generally, it is lust for material possessions. Paris Reidhead describes them as things that soon break, rust, get old and have to be hauled off to the garbage dump. This lust for things is the opposite of the personality of a giving God.

B. The lust of the eye is the desire for illicit or illegal experience. It is the desire to trespass against a boundary that God has set up. Fornication is illegal experience. Taking drugs and getting drunk is illegal experience. Any type of desire to do something that is forbidden of God can fall into this category. The finality of these types of sins is always idolatry.

C. The pride of life is the desire for ascendancy. To make a name for yourself or move up the chain of command. To be popular or rule and reign over a people. It is the desire to exalt yourself against your neighbor in any way you can. Any desire to promote one’s self above others is rooted in the pride of life. In contrast, Paul stated in Galatians 6:14; But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. Paul was crucified to the world and the world to him. He had no use for the world and the world had no use for him. The nature of a born again believer is totally incompatible with the world. The world represents everything that the born again believer despises.



II. Those who are dead TO sin

1. The greatest miracle we could experience is to see God take an unholy man or woman out of an unholy world, given them a new heart, put them back into the world and keep them holy. Some have tried to live holy by moving away and living Monastic lives, but the enemy is just as apt to reach man in the desert as in the city if were not full of the Holy Ghost. The key to living holy in a holy world is not to move out of that world, but to DIE to sin. Those who are dead TO sin are those who have genuinely turned their life over to Christ, have been crucified with Him, and now walk in the newness of life. They have been buried with Christ in baptism unto death, to sin, and this world (Romans 6:4). Death in Christ hath set them free from the slavery of sin. Hence, dead servants are of no use to their masters. Therefor, no man can serve two masters. You are either dead to the former slavemaster of sin or are dead to God- you cannot be a servant of both.

2. Those who are dead TO sin have crucified the flesh with its affections and lusts. Paul writes; knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. Those who are dead to sin and alive to God have a different appetite than those who crave worldly things. Sin does not satisfy sinners and certainly will not satisfy the newborn believer. Peter uses gripping and colorful language to describe sin to a believer. II Peter 2:22 likens sin to vomit and says that dogs will return to vomit as pigs to the pig pen. This is precisely how true believers view sin. Yet, mysteriously Christians get re-entangled in old besetting sins. This is perhaps THE great problem of our day and it is compromise. God asks time and time again for Christian’s to lay certain sins down. Some do not realize that their “secret sin” is directly in the way of personal revival. Sin robs the believer of their appetite for God as well as their power to witness. Lay the sin down and in time the appetite will return. The power in prayer will return and so will the power to witness.

3. In Colossians 3:1-3 we read; If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. The key word here is IF. If you are risen with Christ it is because you are dead in Christ! As it is written, it is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him. (II Timothy 2:12) You died and are dead to your own self-will. You died to the child of disobedience you once were. And because you are dead your life is hid with Christ in God. Your affection is in heaven and not on this earth. You are not your own you are bought with a price, therefor you glorify God in the body and life that is now His. For the truly born again of the Spirit, the only reason for living is to give glory to God.

REMARKS

In Luke 9:23 Jesus said; If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. Again we are faced with that word IF. Do you desire to be a genuine disciple of Christ? Deny yourself daily by taking up your cross and following Him. The cross is like an altar- it is a place and the means of death. Dr. Tozer is frequently quoted as saying; “You knew one thing about a man that was carrying a cross out of the city- you knew he was not coming back.” Those who have wrestled with God in their personal Garden of Gethsemane and have declared “not my will but thine be done” are already dead. They are perpetual martyrs (witnesses) for the cause of Jesus Christ.
Are you dead to sin? Are you dead to the allurements of the world? Are you dead to criticism and praise? Are you dead to competition with your friends and family? Are you dead to climbing the corporate ladder or the management chain at your job? Are you dead to competition in ministry? Paul said let a man examine himself whether he be in the faith. This is a good means of examination. Do we have affection for God or is our affection set on this world? What governs your appetites?
Nothing is more miserable than trying to live both for God and this world. Jesus said- no man can serve two masters. So then, what is the attraction? Why even attempt it? Simply stated- they do not want God at the level He requires of them. They don’t want to die that they might live. Like Lot they don’t want the mountain. They don’t want full-blown sin- but they don’t want a close walk with God either. What happens? The outward pressures of the world and the inward struggle with the Holy Ghost become almost unbearable. The conviction and condemnation are torturous. The world wears you down as fast as God can strengthen you. Soon the joy of the Lord is gone and entertainment comes in. Rather than delighting in God- the delight is turned to worldly things. Soon fun and frivolity are misinterpreted as joy and a great confusion sets in that locks a believer up in a false feeling of genuine Christianity. Non-sinful things take the affection at first- but it is a slippery slope towards sin. Die to it! Come to the altar of death and determine to die once and for all daily to all of your own selfish appetites. Take up your cross daily, dead to sin and alive unto God.


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The Dispensation of the Gospel - Lesson 3

LESSON III
SAVED FROM SIN

TEXT. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. (Matthew 1:21)

There is a change of heart that accompanies the genuine born again experience in which sin is no longer viewed as a means to gratification or happiness. Sin is seen as the means of death that is the source of all evil, pain, and suffering. Unrepentant sinners are proficient in sin through their own vain imaginations coupled with the various inventions of others. In contrast, the born again understand that they cannot be saved from hell until they are first saved from sin. Sin is not their friend. Satan is not their friend. The world is not their friend. They realize that sin is forgiven when it is repented of and not while persisted in. The purpose of God in saving man was not to abolish the law and allow man to sin with impunity; that would be antinomianism (lawlessness). The purpose was to establish the absolute Lordship of Jesus Christ as we walk in the Spirit in harmony with the personality of God. In this lesson I propose to briefly examine:

I. Salvation from the penalty of sin.
II. Salvation from the power of sin.

I. Salvation from the penalty of sin.

Justification is an act on the part of God in which He pardons man from the penalty of sins that are past by faith in Christ’s shed blood and declares them to be righteous. The sin that once separated the sinner from God is pardoned and the sinner is sanctified unto God. To understand justification we must first realize that we are speaking primarily of the legal process of God meeting out justice for sin committed against His law. In this case we will examine:

A. The law of God
B. Charges of sins committed against that law
C. The evidence of sins committed
D. The verdict
E. The pardon

A. The law of God

The first biblical principal we must understand is that man is responsible for everything they know or should know about God’s will. Men are made to know right from wrong first by the law of God written upon their hearts from birth (Romans 2:15). The conscience uses these laws as the measuring rod with which to judge the actions. The conscience is either condemning or excusing our behavior. Additional knowledge of God’s will is added to the laws written on the hearts. Some have greater access to the knowledge of God’s will than others and all are judged based upon the extent of their privilege. Here we meet a second principal and it is that of God supplying more revelation when the first revelation is rightly responded to. For those who walk in the light they possess- God will supply more light (and so on). Excuses are void once a means of knowing God’s will is readily available. Failure to know God’s will when the means are available does not diminish a person’s accountability before God, but rather, aggravates their crimes as they have rejected the opportunity to know God’s will. (Hosea 4:6) These factors are assessed in God’s perfect justice and charged to sinner’s accordingly. This principal is summed up in one passage; to him that knoweth to do good and doeth it not to him it is sin. (James 4:17) Moreover, any doubtful act is sin. That is, if a person believes something might be sin it is certainly sin to them (Romans 14:23). A right response and true acknowledgement of God would be to refrain from any doubtful act that might possibly offend Him. In contrast to this is presumptuous sin, which is reckless willful sin against light and conscience in blatant and highhanded disregard of God. All of these and many other aspects of God’s law ought to forever humble every human being as all are convicted in their own conscience of their guilt.

B. Charges of Sins committed against that Law

God Himself has declared all to be under sin. (Galatians 3:22) As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes. (Romans 3:10-18)

C. The evidence of sins committed

Man’s own conscience testifies against him that he/she is a sinner. The conscience has made known through a pricking in the inward parts for every unlawful deed done and has reminded everyone faithfully of their neglect of known duties. Moreover, every transgression and disobedience is recorded individually by God in the eternal record of remembrance to ensure that God’s justice is fully meted out. (Hebrews 2:2)

D. The verdict

The condemnation is brought to bear upon the mind by the power of the Holy Ghost who convinces men of sin. In this life it is made known to man that they are sinner’s awaiting sentencing and execution. If they meet not God at the place of propitiation they will meet Him at the Great White Throne judgment. Men are convinced of their guilt and are admonished to accept by faith the free pardon of their sin and with that a transformation in their whole person that will allow them to walk in conformity to the will of God that they have heretofore shunned. This is summed up in this saying; Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny. (Matthew 5:25, 26)

F. The pardon

Justification is an act of God’s grace in which He pardons us for our sin by means of the death of Christ upon the Cross. This justification comes about from our having been “in Christ” by faith. Christ is the propitiation for our sin. His blood expiates our sins. Propitiation is the price paid to bring reconciliation between enemies. This propitiation allows God to pass over (Gk. paresis) our sins. When we respond rightly to the drawing of the Holy Spirit and exercise genuine faith in the blood of Jesus Christ we are pardoned of all of our past sins. This act of faith towards God is total and not partial. It is a complete turning to God with all bridges burned behind. This justification brings with it the blessedness of having ones sins forgiven and transgressions blotted out. Once pardoned, no matter have great the sin, the sinner is reconciled to God.

II. Saved from the power of sin

A. Evidence of freedom from sin

We supremely love whom we supremely desire to please. This axiom either proves our love for self or Christ based solely upon the evidence. Freedom from sin is expressed by loving the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and our neighbor as ourselves.

B. Habitual sin is unchristian and fatal to the soul

Real obedience to God involves and implies supreme regard for His authority. We honor that authority by our obedience to Him. Disobedience for a Christian is not normal and must not be habitual. Christians do not live in known sin. They are to live their lives with a conscience void of offense towards God and man. (Acts 24:16) As it is written; Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned. (I Timothy 1:5) This is to walk before God without any known sin between man and God and man and their fellow man. In the epistle of John we read; For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. (I John 3:20, 21) Trying to live the Christian life in known sin is to shatter our confidence toward God. Those who live in known sin have no confidence that God will answer their prayers or that He will anoint them for service.

REMARKS

God has set men free from the power of sin through the born again experience. This liberty also renders us justified before God and under no condemnation so long as we walk in the Spirit. Occasionally, under the force of great temptation a person may commit a sin or displease God; but this is in no wise the normal order of the genuine Christian life. Those who are justified and are born again do not continue in sin. They are dead to sin and cannot live any longer therein. (Romans 6:1, 2) Their old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin being destroyed, so that henceforth they do not serve sin. Being dead with Christ, they are free from sin. (Romans 6:6,7) The born again are dead unto sin, and alive unto God. (Romans 6:11) Sin hath no more dominion over them, who are not under the law, but under grace; but that these, being free from sin, are become the servants of righteousness." (Romans 6:14, 18) This does not mean they do not suffer temptations. (I Corinthians 10:13)

The solution to temptation is found primarily in Romans 8:13,14; For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. This passage is parallel to Colossians 3:5-6; Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience. Notice the contrast in these passages. The difference between the sons of God and the Children of disobedience is that the sons of God mortify the deeds of the body by the Holy Spirit, while the children of disobedience do not. The Holy Spirit is the means of mortifying the deeds of the flesh. You must remain filled with the Holy Ghost or there will be no victory over the flesh. This axiom is simple; when the deeds of the flesh live our relationship with God dies and when the Spirit mortifies the flesh we live.

We are saved from the power of sin by the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit does a work that puts the deeds of the flesh to death in us. The flesh is only as dead as you are full of the Holy Ghost. This fullness comes as the result of a different picture of justification of sin and it is that of the cleansing of the Temple. The sacrifice is made and the blood sprinkled to both expiate the sin and purge the defilement caused by the sin. The Spirit fills the believers, once purged, and they become the habitation of God. All of the various means of invitation to the Holy Spirit can now be employed to bring us to fullness.


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The Dispensation of the Gospel - Lesson 4

LESSON IV
FILLED WITH HIS PRESENCE

TEXT. This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. (Matthew 15:9,10)

At the root of all spiritual declension (backsliding) is an inaccurate and unworthy conception of the character of God and an over estimate of man. Matthew 15:9,10 is a reference to Isaiah 29:13, which tells of a time when the leaders in Israel were teaching the fear of the LORD by the precept of men. In our times, like in the days of Israel, something has been lost in the Body of Christ and it is the reverence for a Holy God. Many do not fear Him. They have a Satanic pride and arrogance birthed from a Gospel of Humanism. Men worship a ‘God’ of their own making; a God who they feel is a means to their own end. Yet there is something worth examining in the words of Job. A paraphrase of the passage in Job 23:15 would read; when I consider the Lord I stand in awe, trembling inside and out. This is GOD ALLMIGHTY. In this lesson I propose to show:

I. The fear of God accompanies the presence of God
II. True worship invites the Spirit of God to fill believers

I. The fear of God accompanies the presence of God

A. In our text we have a reference to Isaiah in which we are told that the teachers of Israel taught the fear of the Lord by the precept of men. This is the fear of the Lord according to man and not according to the revelation of God’s Word and His Holy Spirit. Israel would prove over and over again that they were not interested in the Glory of God. In fact, they veiled the Glory when Moses came back from the mountain. When God is near the fear of God need not be taught by men’s precepts to be experienced. Scripture is filled with accounts of men and of angels falling on their faces in the presence of God. It seems to be nearly an automatic response to the majestic splendor of God. When God is not near the fear of God is taught by the precept of men. When God is not near men draw nigh to God with their mouth and honour Him with their lips. When God is not near it is because the peoples heart is far from Him. And though they lift up their voices as a trumpet and sing with great harmony and precision; it is all in vain! Why? Because their words and their heart does not match.

B. Worship must begin with an altar. The entire sacrificial system of the Old Testament was in place for the purpose of allowing man to maintain somewhat of a relationship with God. It is a picture of what Christ has done for us on the cross. Yet we read in Exodus 20:25; And if thou wilt make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone: for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it. The beauty of an altar of hewn stone was of no consequence to God. We are to worship God in the beauty of holiness. God is not a man that is well pleased by outward beauties. God is well pleased when His people worship Him from a pure heart in sincerity. God wants all of us. He wants the entire stone (as it were) to build up an holy habitation. If we keep back a part of ourselves we are ‘tooling’ our stones. In this regard we are not just polluted by what profane thing might be added, but by what part of ourselves that we hold back.

C. Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. (I Peter 2:5) This passage parallels Romans 12:1 which tells us to present our bodies as a living sacrifice holy and acceptable unto God which is our spiritual worship. This is the purpose as to why God saves men. The Father is seeking such to worship Him. (John 4:23b)

D. You will never worship God until you get a vision of who God really is. You will never see God for who He is until you make the leap from time into eternity. This is a hard saying; but there is something about drawing nigh unto God in which He draws nigh unto us and we taste the powers of the world to come (Hebrews 6:5). Isaiah tells us of a God who is high and exalted. Angels that utter their voices and the door posts of the Temple shake. Job tells of a God who speaks from a whirlwind. A God that demanded that He stand upon his feet, gird up his loins, and answer Him like a man (Job 38). In Revelation we read of voices like thunder, voices like a trumpet, and a voice that is like the sound of many waters. In Genesis Cherubim wielded flaming swords in all directions. Before the throne they cry day and night; HOLY, HOLY, HOLY is the Lord of Hosts; the whole earth is filled with His glory. Holy is the Hebrew word qodesh, which means apartness and separateness. Literally they are saying God is separate and other and unlike anything. Over and over again, separate, apart (other), separate, apart (other).

E. The Revelation of God’s creation itself is enough to stagger the mind with awe and wonder. The fearfulness with which we are wonderfully made. They way God created the earth and hung it upon nothing. The creation alone is enough to fill our hearts with amazement at His eternal power and Godhead. The angelic host which are greater in power and might than we are only more exhibitions of the awesomeness of His creative power.

F. The time would fail to deal with the sheer number of times that men and angels are said to fall prostrate in the presence of God. The disciple whom Jesus loved fell (Revelation 1:17); the twenty and four elders fell (5:8, 14); the angels, four beasts, and the elders fell (7:11); the elders fell again (11:16); And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia (19:4). Moreover we read in Philippians 2:9-11; Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. In that day everything that has breath will praise the Lord.

II. True worship invites the Spirit of God to fill believers

A. Everyone has just as much of God’s Holy Spirit as they want. If they are filled with little, it is because they desire only a little. If they are full- it is because they desire to be full. Yet, we are commanded to be filled with the Spirit. This is a full invitation unhindered for God the Holy Spirit to walk and live in us. How do we make that invitation? What is a means of inviting the Holy Spirit to live in us? Scripture answers this question in Ephesians 5:18-20; And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. From this passage we may observe:

• Alcohol has the exact opposite effect on a person as being filled with the Holy Ghost.

• Those who are filled with the Spirit will naturally praise and worship God from the heart.

• Praising and worshipping God is a means of being filled with the Spirit.

• Melody from the mouth and lips is of no consequence if melody unto God is not in our heart.

• Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs describe the variety of means of worship with which to employ.

• Though difficult to distinguish we might suggest that psalms are those like unto the psalms of David sang with musical instruments. Hymns can be considered songs of spontaneous praise. Spiritual songs are those sang with the Holy Spirit.

• An attitude of thanksgiving is both the result and the means of inviting the habitation of God by the Spirit.

B. Those who are born again are the Temples of the living God. Jesus told the moneychangers, “My house shall be called the house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves.” We are houses of prayer. From our hearts ought to ascend up the sacrifice of praise unto God continually. We should continually entertain the Holy Spirit in our hearts resisting any temptation to bring things in that would provoke the Lord to jealousy.

REMARKS

When the Holy Ghost is ruling and reigning in His Temple He will keep the members of our body upon the earth mortified. When we entertain (as it were) the presence of the Holy Ghost continually we are enabled to walk in the Spirit. We must be continuously filled with the Spirit in order to continue in this walk that we began in the Spirit. The Holy Spirit is not just “automatically” present in His fullness. If He were fully present without any effort of our own, there had been no need to command “be ye filled with the Spirit.” There is something we must do continually. You cannot walk in the Spirit when you are not filled with the Spirit. This is why so many Christians fall into carnality.
We must offer up to God the fruit of our lips from a pure heart. We must endeavor to pray without ceasing. We must set our effections on things above and not on the earth. God is more willing to pour out His Spirit than men and women are to receive. The Father seeks such to worship Him. Dr. A.W Tozer writes; The primary work of the Holy Spirit is to restore the lost soul to intimate fellowship with God through the washing of regeneration. To accomplish this He first reveals Christ to the penitent heart (I Corinthians 12:3). He then goes on to illumine the newborn soul with brighter rays from the face of Christ (John 14:26; 16:13-15) and leads the willing heart into depths and heights of divine knowledge and communion… God wants worshipers before workers; indeed the only acceptable workers are those who have learned the lost art of worship. It is inconceivable that a sovereign and holy God should be so hard up for workers that He would press into service anyone who had been empowered regardless of his moral qualifications. The very stones would praise Him if the need arose and a thousand legions of angels would leap to do His will. Gifts and power for service the Spirit surely desires to impart; but holiness and spiritual worship come first. It is true, also, that wherever the church has come out of her lethargy and into the tides of revival and spiritual renewal, always the worshipers were back of it. A survey of church history will prove that it was those who were the yearning worshipers who also became the great workers and the selfless servants. If we give ourselves to God's call for worship, everyone will do more for the Savior than they are doing now!


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2005/3/20 23:05Profile





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