Author Topic: SDA Sab Sch Lesson 5--1st Qtr 2017--The Baptism and Filling of the Holy Spirit  (Read 1519 times)

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Richard Myers

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Lesson 5 January 28-February 3




The Baptism and Filling of the Holy Spirit





Commentary in navy     Inspiration in maroon





Sabbath Afternoon  January 29

The Baptism and Filling of the Holy Spirit



Read for This Week's Study: Mark 1:8; Eph. 5:18; Acts 13:52; Luke 11:8-10; Acts 5:32; Gal. 5:16-26.

Memory Text: "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." John 10:10

As Christians, we must be filled with the Holy Spirit. Without Him, our witness will be powerless and our Christian life nothing but a burden. We might have learning, talent, and eloquence, but without the Spirit, we cannot experience life as God intended for us to. We will not have the assurance of salvation and will not know the joy that comes from serving our Lord. We will be Christians in name only, and a Christian in name only is not really a Christian at all.

Amen. This is not human wisdom, it is Bible truth, for "if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His." Romans 8:9.

Jesus, however, wants us to live life to its fullest. He wants to give us life as it is meant to be, a life that is fulfilling and meaningful because it is rooted in the Source of all life: Jesus Christ. He is the Creator of all life, and the only way to eternal life. "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14:6 ). This fullness is possible only by being joined to Him, and this can happen only through the Holy Spirit's working in our lives.

This week we will study what the Bible says about the baptism of the Spirit and what it means to be filled with Him. We will also look at some evidence that testifies that we are, indeed, filled with the Spirit.

Well....as processing Christians, we ought to be filled with the Spirit. Not all are.

     If the fulfillment of the promise is not seen as it might be, it is because the promise is not appreciated as it should be. If all were willing, all would be filled with the Spirit. --The Acts of the Apostles, p. 50.



Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2017, 07:01:47 PM »


Sunday January 29

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit


Read

Mark 1:8 (compare with Matt. 3:11, Luke 3:16, and John 1:33)
 1:8   I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost. 

 3:11   I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and [with] fire: 
 3:16   John answered, saying unto [them] all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire: 
 1:33   And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. 

Acts 1:5
 1:5   For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. 

Acts 11:16.
11:16   Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost. 


What other rite of initiation goes together with the baptism of the Spirit?

When does baptism of the Spirit take place?


In the New Testament there are only seven passages that speak about being baptized in the Holy Spirit. Four of those passages go back to John the Baptist and point to Pentecost. Here the Holy Spirit was given to usher in the beginning of "the last days" of salvation history.

John, however, in contrast to the other Gospels, does not use the future tense when speaking about the baptism of the Spirit. Instead, he uses a present participle, indicating that this is something that has continuing validity (see John 1:33). The same tense is used by John just a few verses earlier in John 1:29, when he talks about another important work of Jesus: the taking away of the sins of the world. The ministry of Jesus consists in taking away our sins and in giving us the Holy Spirit. This twofold experience is also reported in Acts 2:38. After their eyes were opened to Christ, the disciples received both: forgiveness of sins and the Holy Spirit. The same experience is reported about the believers in the house of Cornelius in Acts 10:43, 44 and later in Acts 11:16. Water baptism is known as the baptism of repentance (Acts 19:4). When we repent of sin and are baptized in the name of Jesus, we also receive the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:28-39).

Then that would mean the thief on the cross never received the Holy Spirit. Baptism of the Holy Spirit precedes water Baptism. Water baptism is only a symbol of what has already taken place. It conveys nothing, but is representative of the conversion, death to self, that has already taken place. It is a public profession of faith. If one was not buried alive, then he was buried in the water to say that self has died and coming up out of the water is a new creature filled with the Spirit of God. If one was not dead to self, then they need to be re-baptized when they are first filled with the Holy Spirit and manifest all of the fruits of the Spirit. Love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance. This is the evidence of the new birth when one is born of the Spirit (John 3:5).

"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." The Desire of Ages, pg 676.


In the New Testament, the receiving of the Holy Spirit and baptism belong together. They signal our new birth. In baptism we are identified with Christ, and Jesus gives us the Holy Spirit so that we can live in His power and proclaim the good news. The baptism of the Spirit is no second work of grace at a later stage in life that some associate with miraculous gifts.

In 1 Corinthians 12:13, Paul does not have in mind the unique experience at Pentecost, but rather the experience of all believers. He states that by one Spirit we all are baptized into one body, and all were made to drink of one Spirit. Paul emphasizes unity. The word "all" is crucial. Paul connects the initiation of all believers into the body of Christ with the baptism of the Spirit.

What has been your own experience in being baptized by the Holy Spirit? What has He meant for your life? What would you be like without Him working in you?

Where is the Spirit when we sin a known sin?





Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Monday January 30

Being Filled With the Holy Spirit

Read

Ephesians 5:18
And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; 

Acts 13:52
And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost. 

Romans 8:9
But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His. 

What does it mean to be filled with the Holy Spirit? How does being filled with the Spirit happen in our lives?

Why were "the disciples were filled with joy"? Because they were filled with the Holy Spirit, they had every one of the fruits of His Spirit, not one was missing. And if one was missing? Then they would not have any of the fruits of the Spirit because He would not be in their hearts. And, if they be not filled with the Spirit, they would not be His. This counters the false gospels being preached and taught in God's church, and in Babylon.

The great question that must be answered is just what the author of our lesson has asked. "How does being filled with the Spirit happen in our lives?" Let's see what the lesson says.


Once we are baptized and belong to Christ, we should live in the power of the Spirit. For this to happen we have to be filled with the Spirit. There are numerous references in the New Testament where people are filled with the Spirit (Luke 1:41, 67; Acts 2:4; 4:8, 31; 9:17; 13:9). The apostle Paul uses the word filling to say that a person has completely submitted to God and is open for the guiding influence of the Holy Spirit so that God's own work can be accomplished in the person's life.

Well, this does tell us we must be "completely submitted to God, but the question remains, what must I do that I can be fully submitted to God? How can this happen? It remains a mystery to many as to how they can obtain this experience. They do not know how to come to the point of fully submitting to God. One may desire to serve God, to submit to Him, but they strive in vain to do so. I know a woman who said she got married in order to learn submission. Such foolishness. Submission is an act of the will in  response to something. If we do not submit to God, we cannot submit to anyone else for the right reason. Self will maintain control until we fall in love with Jesus. Then having learned of His character, we can submit to Him because we trust Him with all we are and all we have.


If we yield to the influence of alcohol, our walk, talk, and thoughts will be negatively affected. When we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we yield every part of our life to His transforming influence with the result that our walk, talk, and thoughts will reflect Jesus.

While the Spirit is given by the hearing of faith (Gal. 3:2) and is received through faith (Gal. 3:14) at our baptism (Titus 3:5, 6), we need to seek the infilling of the Holy Spirit every day. We can't live off a powerful experience that we had last year, or last month, or even yesterday. We need the infilling of God's Spirit each day, for each day brings its own challenges.

This is getting closer by telling us this submission and infilling of the Spirit is received through faith. But, even though a measure of faith is given to each of us while we were yet sinners, it does not tell us how to obtain this "saving" faith. What must I do to obtain this saving faith that then will allow me to submit to Christ and be filled with the Holy Spirit, that I might be a partaker of His divine nature?


In the Greek of Acts 13:52, the term filled with the Spirit is in the imperfect tense, signifying continuous action. It literally means: "being (continuously) filled." Being filled with the Spirit is not a one-time event. It is something that we should seek and receive every day. This filling has to be repeated so that every part of our life is filled with His presence, and so we are empowered to live as we should.

Amen! This is most important since the great deception says that we may sin and retain our salvation. Here the lesson tells us we must be "continuously filled" with the Holy Spirit. Remember Romans 8:9 tells us "if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His." Thus the interpretation of the Greek being given to us is in harmony with Scripture. But, we still need to know how we can be filled with the Spirit. "How does being filled with the Spirit happen in our lives?" What can I do that will lead to a full surrender to Jesus that the Holy Spirit will take possession of the heart?


Being filled with the Holy Spirit does not so much mean that we possess more of Him but that He possesses more of us. Only when we commit all aspects of our life to the Spirit every day can He use us to God's glory.

Amen!!

"I wish to impress upon you the fact that those who have Jesus abiding in the heart by faith, have actually received the Holy Spirit. Every individual who receives Jesus as his personal Saviour, just as surely receives the Holy Spirit to be his Counselor, Sanctifier, Guide, and Witness." - Ellen G. White, Manuscript Releases, vol. 14, p. 71.


Now that we know we need to make a full heart surrender to Jesus, the question remains unanswered as to how we can obtain this experience. What must I do that I may be filled with the Holy Spirit? And, then how do I keep the Holy Spirit in my heart? Does not the Bible tell me what I must do to become a partaker of Christ's divine nature? How can I become like Jesus in character? How can I be filled with all of the fruits of His Spirit?
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Tuesday January 31

Conditions: Part 1


God's Word points to certain conditions needed for the Spirit to abide in us. We will look at some important ones during the next two days.

Read Acts 2:37, 38.

37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.


What is the first condition for receiving the Holy Spirit?

Repentance is a necessary step. But we can no more repent without the Spirit of Christ than we can be pardoned. What motivates the soul to repent? What causes us to want to turn from a life of sin? When we behold the loveliness of Jesus, we see our sinfulness in broad and distinct contrast to His divine holiness--and this leads us to deep humiliation of soul, in true penitence, and we accept the gift of repentance in His Spirit's divine work to transform our sinful, unbelieving hearts to become new, created anew and filled with all of the fruits of the Spirit so that not one is missing! Hallelujah!

One condition for receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit is repentance. Hearing the Word of God arouses our conscience and can lead us to an awareness of our true sinfulness and lost condition. True repentance is more than just feeling sorry for the dire consequences of our sin. It is a thorough change of heart and mind so that we see sin for what it really is: an ugly evil and rebellion against God. The only way that we can experience true repentance is to be touched by the love of God: "Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?" (Rom. 2:4).

Read Galatians 3:14: "That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith."

and James 1:6-8:

6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.


Why can't we receive the Holy Spirit without trusting God's Word?

Unbelief separates the soul from God--it is really the greatest sin, for it rejects the promises whereby grace is received into the soul to quicken all its faculties and recreate a sinner into a believing child of God who is a new creature! When we doubt God, we grieve Him. The Holy Spirit is either welcomed into the heart and life by a full surrender of the heart, or we hold back and disbelieve Him--and then He will continue on the outside of our hearts knocking for entrance (Revelation 3:20). But while we keep Him outside, we are not in a saving relationship with Christ, for if we have not His Spirit, we are none of His (Romans 8:9).

Romans 8:9: "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his."

Jesus has promised to send the Spirit as His representative. In faith we receive the promised gift. But if we doubt God's promise and do not trust His Word, we are like a double-minded person and cannot expect to receive anything from God. Faith is more than intellectual assent. It is putting our lives on the line, trusting that God will keep His Word and not let us down, regardless of what happens.

Read Luke 11:8-10, 13.

8 I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth.
9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
10 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?


Why does persistent intercession make a difference?

"God does not say, Ask once, and you shall receive. He bids us ask. Unwearyingly persist in prayer. The persistent asking brings the petitioner into a more earnest attitude, and gives him an increased desire to receive the things for which he asks." {COL 145.3} We need Jesus to be able to be persistent--He alone can change the weak, vacillating character to one of strength and steadfastness as we behold His loveliness!

God is not reluctant to give us the Spirit. God is good and benevolent, more than we can be even to our own children. Our persistent intercession does not change His mind. Our prayer changes us and brings us into God's presence. Prayer doesn't bring God down to us but brings us up to Him. Our prayers simply reveal our determination and they prepare us for the gift.

How can we learn to be more fervent, diligent, and self-surrendering in our own prayer life? Why is it important that we do learn these things?

The answer is always the same. We need Jesus to do any good thing. We need to behold the loveliness of Jesus and to see how He lived, prayed, suffered, and died for us--and by beholding Him, we shall be changed. That is why this is at the foundation of our continual need: "It would be well for us to spend a thoughtful hour each day in contemplation of the life of Christ. We should take it point by point, and let the imagination grasp each scene, especially the closing ones. As we thus dwell upon His great sacrifice for us, our confidence in Him will be more constant, our love will be quickened, and we shall be more deeply imbued with His spirit. If we would be saved at last, we must learn the lesson of penitence and humiliation at the foot of the cross."   {DA 83.4} Please join us in the Desire of Ages forum! We are getting to rejoice in a beautiful revelation of His loveliness daily, and we would love for you to enjoy His character in your life, too! Spending time with Jesus each morning is my FAVORITE part of the day--and when we have fallen so deeply in love with Him that we would rather die than sin against such a loving Savior, than the work of the Holy Spirit is truly manifest--for He exalts Jesus and desires us to have a constant connection with Him in living faith working by love!
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Richard Myers

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Amen, Pastor Sean!   It is the goodness of God that leads us to repentance. We must see that goodness and allow Christ into the heart. The condition for conversion, being born of the Spirit, is repentance. And repentance is not of ourselves, but comes from God. It is grace that breaks the heart and kills selfishness. The Holy Spirit will come when we open the door of the heart because trust Jesus with the whole heart, not half of it, not 80%, not 99%, but the whole heart.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Wednesday February 1

Conditions: Part 2


Read Acts 5:32.
And we are his witnesses of these things; and [so is] also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him. 

Why is obedience to God's Word an important condition for receiving the Holy Spirit?

We can't obey Him until we receive the Holy Spirit.


Then, as now, the Holy Spirit is granted to all who obey God. In the Bible, love and obedience go hand in hand, and true faith is expressed in obedience. If we trust God with all our hearts, we will obey His commandments. Jesus said: "If a man love me, he will keep my words:" (John 14:23). Obedience is a choice leading to a lifestyle that follows God's will as expressed in His law. We must continue in obedience if we want to acknowledge Jesus as our Lord (Luke 6:46). In 1 John 2:4, 5 we are told "He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him." Those are strong words. From John we also know that "he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us." 1 John 3:24. When we do what God has commanded, we will have peace of mind.

Read Jude 18-21.

1:18   How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. 
 1:19   These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. 
 1:20   But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, 
 1:21   Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.


Why do we need to avoid all impurity if we want to be filled with the Spirit?

We cannot avoid all impurity unless we are filled with the Spirit. In and of ourselves apart from God we can do no good thing.


The fire of the Holy Spirit cannot keep burning in our lives when we are worldly-minded. The Holy Spirit reacts very sensitively to the existence of all sin and worldliness in our lives. Therefore we need to keep ourselves in the love of God and be connected with God through prayer so that we will shun all impurity and display a spirit of power, love, and discipline (2 Tim. 1:6, 7). Only through a close and fierce battle with self can we be the kind of people we should become. Of course, we can't do it ourselves; the battle comes in our choice of either surrendering our wills to the prompting of the Holy Spirit or allowing the flesh to dominate. The choice is ours.

The Holy Spirit speaks to us, to trust Jesus. We can learn of Him, we can behold Him. And, if do, we shall be converted and filled with the Spirit, then we will obey all we know to do.


"There is no limit to the usefulness of one who, by putting self aside, makes room for the working of the Holy Spirit upon his heart, and lives a life wholly consecrated to God."
- Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, pp. 250, 251. How can you apply these words to your own spiritual life?

We must be born of the Spirit, converted. We must die to self each day. And, if we will look to Jesus continually, we shall be applying these Words to our lives.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Thursday February 2

Self-centered Living Versus Christ-centered Living

Read Galatians 5:16-26 and compare it with Ephesians 5:1-9, 17-20.

 5:16   [This] I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. 
 5:17   For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. 
 5:18   But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. 
 5:19   Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are [these]; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 
 5:20   Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 
 5:21   Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told [you] in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. 
 5:22   But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 
 5:23   Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 
 5:24   And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 
 5:25   If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 
 5:26   Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another. 

 5:1   Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; 
 5:2   And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. 
 5:3   But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; 
 5:4   Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. 
 5:5   For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 
 5:6   Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. 
 5:7   Be not ye therefore partakers with them. 
 5:8   For ye were sometimes darkness, but now [are ye] light in the Lord: walk as children of light: 
 5:9   (For the fruit of the Spirit [is] in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) 
 5:17   Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord [is]. 
 5:18   And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; 
 5:19   Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; 
 5:20   Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; 


List the differences between a self-centered life and a life that is filled with the Spirit.

The life of a person who does not live in the Spirit is radically different from the life and values of a person who is filled with the Spirit.


The life of a person who is filled with God's Spirit is characterized by a loving obedience to God's law and a gentle spirit of compassion for others (see 2 Cor. 5:14). Having been renewed in our mind and thinking and having received a new heart and a new outlook on life, our values and behavior will change. We want to live our life no longer in our own strength but in submission to the Holy Spirit (Gal. 3:3).

Yes, our values will "continue" to change. But, more important is that at conversion when we are filled with the Spirit, our values have changed. We have a new heart that has been purified from sin. As long as we maintain our connection with the Spirit, we will not sin a known sin. The heart has been changed. The motives are pure and holy. There has been a radical transformation of character that is represented by baptism.

We cannot transform ourselves. We possess no real power to change ourselves, for sin is too deeply ingrained in us. The renewing energy must come from God. The change from within can be successful only through the transforming work of the Holy Spirit. No mere external change, such as correcting this or that bad habit, makes us Christians. The change has to come from a heart renewed by the Holy Spirit.

Amen!  And, we do not believe in once saved always saved. We must maintain our conversion. We must cling to Christ. We must continue to be filled with the Holy Spirit in order to manifest the fruits of the Spirit. And, if we have not His Spirit, we are none of His (Romans 8:9).


This is the work of a lifetime, a work that will have its up and downs, but a work that God promises to do in us if we surrender to Him. "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform [it] until the day of Jesus Christ" (Phil. 1:6).

Yes, there will be ups and downs. What do we mean by this? We mean that a baby Christian does not know his continual need of Jesus. So, he will not keep his mind stayed on Christ and will fall, sin. The work of a lifetime is generally linked to sanctification. But, here we are speaking of the need to be re-converted after sinning. We do not need to be re-baptized, the foot-washing is sufficient unless we have fallen away or committed a most grievous sin and need to make a public proclamation of our faith.

Jesus will complete the work He has begun in us as long as we will return to Him after we sin. When we sin, He does not forget us. He stands at the door of the heart, knocking, wanting back in. We must open the door of the heart to be reconciled with Him. Sanctification is not a one time event. We must die daily and we must more perfectly reflect the character of Christ. When abiding in Christ, and He in us through His representative, the Holy Spirit, we will grow in grace. While having all of the fruits of the Spirit when first converted, God wants us to manifest a greater abundance of them. We will become more patient. Job was perfect when God spoke of him before the council in heaven. But, Job was to become more patient. God will never allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear. But, through our trials, as we abide in Christ, we shall grow in our strength of character. This is the work of a lifetime.

When we are filled with the Spirit, we do not go down, only up. Going down means we are separated from the Spirit, from God. We have no power unless we are filled with the Spirit. Is that not what we just read from the author of the lesson? We need to be fully surrendered and a partaker of the divine nature (filled with the Spirit) in order to do any good thing. We are evil by nature and need Jesus to be able to keep the body (flesh) under (1 Cor. 9:27).


In what areas of your life do you see the selfish, self-centered part come through, and in what parts do you see a life that reflects the working of the Holy Spirit in you?

It is impossible to see both selfishness and the working of the Holy Spirit in the life at the same time. Who can serve two masters at the same time? If you see bad fruit, then the Holy Spirit is not in the heart. If you see good fruit, then self is dead. There is a marked difference between the "old man" and the "new man".  This is "milk". This is the foundation of our faith. If we do not understand this, and many do not, then we are in great danger of remaining in the Laodicean condition thinking we are "rich and increased with goods," not knowing we are blind and lost.


What does your answer tell you about yourself and the choices you need to make?

We either choose to surrender all of the heart, or none of it. If the whole heart is not converted, then none of the heart is converted. "Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment." Matthew 22:37,38. Do we love Jesus with all of the heart? If not, then we do not have the Son, nor the Spirit. And, if have not the Spirit, we are none of His. How can we tell? The author of the lesson gave us a chart that helps us to see the difference. If we do not manifest all of the fruits of the Spirit, then we are none of His.

What can we do? We can flee to Jesus just as we are. We can learn of Him. We can drink His blood and eat His flesh. Man does not live by bread alone. If we want to be born again of His Spirit, we must feed upon every Word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.



Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Friday February 3

Further Thought: It is only natural for any person to seek control of one's life. We normally depend on our own efforts to achieve all that we can. While many people spend their lives in a quest for control, others have an unhealthy fear of losing control. This human dilemma finds an answer only in God. He wants you to give to Him, Your Creator and Redeemer, full control. He knows and loves you as nobody else can. This opens the door for Him to work in your life. By choosing to submit your will to the leading of God's Holy Spirit, you will have His supernatural peace and boundless opportunities to be a blessing to others. But we need the desire for this power in our lives. God doesn't force Himself on any of us. To be moral beings we need to be free beings. And to be truly free in Christ we need a sense of abandonment (that of wanting to abandon our old sinful and fallen ways) and a sense of abiding (that of abiding in the power of the Holy Spirit). To be truly free, we must be truly surrendered to the control of the Holy Spirit. But there is no contradiction here. Our freedom is found in liberation from the condemnation and power of sin, which always enslaves us and always leads to death. Instead, by surrendering to the Lord, and making way for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, not only are we no longer condemned (see Rom. 8:1) but we live a life where we "walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." That's the only true freedom that we, as sinful and fallen beings, can ever know.

Amen. We must be born again of the Spirit in order to be set free from the law of sin and death. And, when we are filled with the Spirit, we are empowered to keep the law of God and to manifest the fruits of the Spirit.


Discussion Questions:

    Some people think that freedom consists of being able to do what you want, when you want, and how you want to do it. What's wrong with that concept from a Christian perspective? What is the biblical idea of true freedom? (See Ps. 119:45, Luke 4:18, John 8:34-36, 2 Cor. 3:17, and Gal. 5:1.)

Let's look at the human condition prior to a full heart surrender to Christ when we are set free from the bondage of sin. Before Adam sinned, he lived in holy flesh. He was holy in heart and flesh. When he sinned, he was no longer holy in heart or flesh. But, it was possible for him to regain holiness of heart, but not flesh, not in this life. Adam did repent, he was converted, and he was given a new heart, but the sinful flesh remained. What does this mean in terms of behavior? What is sin? The transgression of the law (1 John 3:4). One more text to help us along. "Here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus." Rev. 14:12. This is impossible unless one is born again of the Spirit. We can do no good thing until we are reconciled with God and filled with His Spirit making us a partaker of His divine nature (2 Peter 1:4).

What are we before we are born again and filled with His Spirit. We are evil by nature. We are in bondage to sin which is in our flesh. Listen to the Apostle Paul explain the awful predicament he found himself in when we realized he was not keeping the commandments of God prior to his conversion. As hard as he tried he did not know how. From Romans:

 7:18   For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. 
 7:19   For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. 
 7:20   Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 
 7:21   I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. 
 7:23   But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 

So, Biblical freedom is being set free from Satan and sin, sin which is in our flesh. The carnal heart and mind need to be cleansed. "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus." Philippians  2:5. "A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them." Ezekiel 36:26, 27.   


Paul (when he was Saul) did not know the Lamb represented Jesus. He did not know he needed a Savior to save him from himself. Do you know that? If so, why do you need a Savior? Because you, no more than Saul, can keep the law of God apart from Christ. Look again at verse 23; Until we are born again of the Spirit, we are captive to the law of sin which is in our members (flesh). And, look at verse 20 again. Where does sin dwell? "Sin that dwelleth in me," That is "in my flesh", verse 18. This ought to be easy to understand, but it is not for many because they have been led astray by false teachers preaching a false gospel.


    Why is it important to put self aside and consecrate our lives wholly to God before the Holy Spirit can work mightily through us?

There is nothing good in man apart from God. If we do not die to self, then how can the Spirit empower us?  That is why God destroyed every living thing off the face of the earth. Sinners stand opposed to God. Thus the everlasting covenant was given to man just after sin. We must be given a hatred for sin. The promise was made in the hearing of Adam and Eve just after they sinned: "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed..." Genesis 3:15. Not having enmity towards Satan and sin, God promised us this transformation of character right at the beginning of sin. The promise is just a promise until God gives it. Not all receive it. It is a conditional promise. What is the condition that we must meet before we are given this hatred of sin?


What could God do in you that would make you more of a blessing to others if you put self aside and opened your heart to the workings of the Holy Spirit in you?

    "The Christian's life is not a modification or improvement of the old, but a transformation of nature. There is a death to self and sin, and a new life altogether. This change can be brought about only by the effectual working of the Holy Spirit." - Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 172. Discuss in class the implications of these words.

This is a very important truth. What does it mean to have "a transformation of nature"?


    Compare the evidence of a self-centered life with a life that is Spirit-filled (see chart on Thursday).

The most important "evidence" was left out of the chart. Before the church votes one into church membership, there needs to be evidence that the candidate has been converted, born again of the Spirit. The Bible tells us what to look for. We are talking about something that can be discerned. What do we see in the life of one who is filled with the Holy Ghost? What do we not see in one who is born again?


Discuss with the members of your Sabbath school group what the greatest blessing of a Spirit-filled life could be for us.

There are both personal and church blessings when church members are filled with the Spirit of God. Personal, means we have love, joy, and peace that passes all understanding. We have eternal life because we are fit for heaven. The church is blessed when one is Spirit filled because there will unity when all are converted. The reason why there is rebellion and perplexity in the church is because so many have been buried alive and are not manifesting the fruits of the Spirit, but rather the works of the flesh.

     The new birth is a rare experience in this age of the world. This is the reason why there are so many perplexities in the churches. Many, so many, who assume the name of Christ are unsanctified and unholy. They have been baptized, but they were buried alive. Self did not die, and therefore they did not rise to newness of life in Christ (MS 148, 1897).   
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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On Friday's lesson, it was asked as to what would be the evidence that one is converted--ready to be baptized. The answer is simple. The soul that is fully surrendered to Jesus Christ, living by faith upon Him, will bear all of the fruits of the Spirit without one missing! When a soul is connected to Christ it is IMPOSSIBLE for him or her to manifest the works of the fallen flesh that he or she still lives in--because Christ by His Spirit keeps the flesh under. So what does that tell us if we still see the old ways of the flesh at work in the life of one who professes Christ as Savior? It simply tells us that they are not abiding in Christ, that they have neglected to remain in constant, unbroken communion with Him, and that they need to repent and receive the Holy Spirit as an abiding guest in the soul again. The Scriptures are so clear on this:

Revelation 3
19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.


If I am knocking at your door, it is because I am seeking to come in. If Jesus is knocking on the door of our heart, it is because He is not in the heart, keeping it pure by His divine presence and keeping the flesh under. There is no good in man by nature--and we can do no good thing apart from the One who alone is good--God! So we need a constant, unbroken connection with Christ by faith that will be revealed in all of the fruits of the Spirit without one missing. Thankfully, when we realize that we have not the fruits of the Spirit (when we failed to abide in Christ by letting our minds wander from Him, or choosing to serve sin instead of Christ), we are immediately given an invitation--to repent and come back into an abiding connection with Christ. Until we realize that we are not saved in our sin, and that such sin grieves the Holy Spirit and brings reproach upon Christ before the universe, we will not see its hideousness. Through communion with God, through an appreciation of the character of Christ, sin will become hateful to us. How important then that we learn to spend that "thoughtful hour" with Christ by faith each day--and in such an experience, we will be transformed! Hallelujah!!!
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Richard Myers

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Amen, Pastor Sean. When sin becomes hateful to us, the promise made in Genesis 3:15 has been fulfilled by Christ. He has made us partakers of His divine nature and the heart has been transformed in nature. It is then that sinful man, living in sinful flesh, has two natures. Having a divine nature does not give sinful repentant man  holy flesh. The flesh remains fallen, but the lust within is cleansed from the heart and the mind under the control of Christ is then empowered to keep the flesh under control. The lower powers of flesh, passions and appetite, are kept under by the higher powers of the mind, reason, intellect, and conscience. Through the indwelling Holy Spirit, man has regained holy judgment with power to do what is right because it is right. The will given to the Spirit has power. Paul says "I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway." 1 Cor. 9:27. The "body" is the "flesh."  And, notice what he says happens if he does not keep the body (flesh) under subjection to a holy mind, he would be a castaway. What does it mean to be a "castaway" when the flesh is not kept under? It contradicts the popular false teaching in the church that when we sin, we retain eternal life. When we sin a known sin, it reveals the Spirit is not in the heart, and thus the heart and mind have returned to their "default" setting, carnal. The carnal heart and mind have no power to keep the passions and appetites under control. The mind and heart must be given back to Christ who then stands outside of  the heart "knocking," as Pastor Sean has pointed out.

This is the simple truth that Paul calls "milk". If we do not understand this, then we need to ask the Holy Spirit to open our eyes to our continual need of Jesus to do any good thing. If we are willing to be made willing, then Jesus will hear and answer that prayer.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.