Wednesday, November 2, 2022

A Morning Bible Study - Is God's Spirit Within You?

 Leonard V Johnson    About

Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ tells us that we will know a true Christian by their fruits – Matthew 7:15-20; 12:33-35. Is God’s Spirit within you? Are you a Spirit-begotten child of our living God – and how can you tell!?

Let us delve into God’s living word and find His answer to these IMPORTANT questions. This knowledge is vitally important to properly understand.

One of the first things listed in our Statement of Beliefs is the Holy Spirit. It is the very power, mind, and life of God. The Holy Spirit is not a Person – or a third member of a so-called trinity. The family of God is not limited to any “trinity” – as the greater majority of this world’s Christianity presumes. God is a family. And one of the greatest of mysteries of which Almighty God speaks of is the TRUTH that the God family is in the process of expanding the God family and “plant[ing] the heavens” – Isaiah 45:18; 51:16.

And our Lord Jesus Christ is the firstborn Son of this divine family! All glory, honor, and praise be to God, true Christians are to be co-heirs to inherit sonship with our Lord Jesus in the family of God! To be gifted eternal life (Romans 6:23), power, and glory, when born again into the very family of God into the glorious kingdom of God on the EARTH – 1 Peter 2:9; Revelation 5:10.

Now, we are aware that within those last two paragraphs there is a lot to digest for many. A great many of our peoples have NEVER HEARD of what God’s living word truly teaches. We have a great many articles and sermons which help explain this awesome TRUTH of God, and PLAN of God! Such as: “Personal From… What Gospel?”, “A Morning Bible Study – God’s Coming Kingdom”, “The Two Keys to Eternal Life”, “Salvation Offered To All”, “Future Rulership With Christ”, and “The Truth Concerning the Trinity Explained”.

Yet, before a true Christian can be born again, they must first be begotten by the Spirit of God so they can grow spiritually, developing the very righteous character of God. And this is only possible through the glorious Holy Spirit living within the person. CHRIST IN US! – cf. 2 Corinthians 3:17.
1) According to God’s living word – the Holy Bible – who must all Spirit-begotten true Christians strive to “grow up in all things”?
Notice what our Lord Jesus expects from His servants –

’ Therefore you shall be PERFECT [or complete – spiritually mature is what the word means], just as your Father in heaven is perfect.’ – Matthew 5:48.

“till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” – Ephesians 4:13.

The word “perfect” in Matthew 5:48 is the Greek word teleios, meaning “perfect, mature, finished.” (Strong’s Concordance #5046). So, what our Lord Jesus is saying is that His followers are to become spiritually mature.

Of course, we cannot become absolutely spiritually mature – perfect – until the glorious resurrection.

“Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. [See: Revelation 1:12-16] … 9) Whoever has been BORN of God does not sin, for His seed [the Holy Spirit] remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been BORN OF GOD.” – 1 John 3:2, 9.

In the meantime, God desires us to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” – 2 Peter 3:18.

“He who says, ‘I know Him,’ and DOES NOT keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” – 1 John 2:4.

“But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. 6) He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked – 1 John 2:5-6.

Anyone who does NOT obey and DOES NOT keep God’s commandments is NOT His! Thus, they DO NOT have the Holy Spirit of God. They have their own idea of just what the Holy Spirit actually is – but they truly are NOT His!

God does not bend His rules to fit people’s imaginations of what their religiosity or tradition claims.

The Holy Spirit is only within those who are TRULY OBEDIENT TO GOD and forsake their own lives for Jesus Christ and who OBEY GOD’S COMMANDMENTS – summed up with the TEN COMMANDMENTS!

’ IF you love Me [‘If you are loyal to Me’], keep the commandments – namely, My commandments. 16) And I will ask the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that it may be with you throughout the age’ – John 14:15-16, NET.

What is the end result of this spiritual process of growth!?

“My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you” – Galatians 4:19.

Our Lord Jesus Christ causes that new creature to be created in you, which Paul talked about.

And, this is an aspect of the Days of Unleavened Bread which many are not aware of. Instead, the remnant churches of God continue to preach – “Go around each year and look for old crumbs of bread!” That is a Judaic concept! And then somehow that was supposed to make you put sin out of your life – totally illogical. Can’t do it! Can’t put leavening out of your life – it’s everywhere! Just like yeast – it’s everywhere! And evil thoughts exist in you at every cellular level! You – of and by yourself is carnal – born into sin! cf. Psalm 51:5.

We are flesh and blood, and we’re not subject to the will of God! – Romans 8:7. But, the glorious Spirit of God begins to make a change – which is called conversion. Bit by bit – step by step. And, looking for crumbs doesn’t make it happen!

“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live [meaning not of and by our own volition, our own willpower], but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” – Galatians 2:20.

Truly, it means exactly what God’s living word says - ‘Christ lives IN me!’ and for seven days we have this physical ritual of imbibing unleavened bread to remind us WE NEED JESUS CHRIST in the innermost parts of our being!
2) According to God’s living word – does our living Lord Jesus truly “live” within Spirit-begotten children of God to help them grow spiritually!?
“To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” – Colossians 1:27.

Our Lord Jesus Christ does the ‘works’ within us! And the FOUNDATION did not come by our works! It was God’s doing! He GAVE us the FOUNDATION to build upon. And that FOUNDATION is CHRIST JESUS! – Christ In Us – cf. 2 Corinthians 13:5; Galatians 2:20; 4:19; Ephesians 3:17.

“Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 21) make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen” – Hebrews 13:20-21.

We speak quite a bit about the concept of CHRIST IN YOU!

And it actually comes from a phrase that we read about in Romans 8:10, when the Apostle Paul says, “But you are not in the flesh but IN THE SPIRIT, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if ANYONE does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.” – Romans 8:9-10.

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are [children] of God.” – Romans 8:14.

And since JESUS CHRIST is the Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:17) and your body is the temple of the Spirit – which is Christ in you, we must be nourished daily by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!! Christianity is a growth process. The begotten child of God MUST grow! And this growing process requires TIME! We MUST overcome these three – Satan the devil, this world, and our own SELVES!
3) Since our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ says that we are to know true Christians by their “fruits” – what about false prophets and false ministers!?
’ BEWARE of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16) You will know them by their fruits – Matthew 7:15-16.

Now, suppose you try and find fellowship with one of the hundreds of church groups which are in this world – which include the Baptists, Church of Christ, and Methodists. They believe in the immortality of the soul – if indeed they have not gone “modernist” – they do not OBEY God’s eternal Law and therefore cannot have His Holy Spirit. There is no basis whatsoever for fellowship with them. They are being deceived. They are of the UNFRUITFUL WORKS OF DARKNESS! What about those churches which worship on the correct day? - they may even annually keep God’s Festivals. But do they have the fruits of God’s Spirit!?

So, we MUST have fellowship first and foremost only with Jesus Christ, and only those who are joined together in the Word of God, the Truth of God, and the Plan of God – all speaking the same TRUTH.

How did our Lord Jesus describe Himself, our Holy Father, and Their truly begotten true Christians!?

’ I AM the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2) Every branch in Me THAT DOES NOT BEAR FRUIT HE TAKES AWAY; …’ – which means that we, brethren, are being winnowed and sifted as in removing chaff from wheat grain.

“ … ‘and every branch [in Me] THAT BEARS FRUIT HE PRUNES, that it may bear more fruit. 3) You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4) Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, UNLESS it abides in the vine, neither can you, UNLESS YOU ABIDE IN ME.

I AM the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, BEARS MUCH FRUIT; for without Me you can do nothing.

If anyone DOES NOT ABIDE IN ME, …’

The very Greek word here for “abide” is menō, which means “to follow His example of a life OBEDIENT to the will of God.”

And, for that matter, let’s take a look at Webster’s English definition of “abide.” –

abide \ə - ‘bīd\ vb abode \- ‘bōd\ or abid-ed; abid-ing [ME, fr. OE ābīdan, fr. ā-, perfective prefix + bīdan to bide; akin to OHG ir-, perfective prefix] vt (bef. 12c) 1: to wait for “ AWAIT ” 2 a: to endure without yielding: WITHSTAND b: to bear patiently: TOLERATE … to remain stable or fixed in a state 2: to continue in a place: SOJOURN. 1

The LORD our God’s habitation is where He lives. And the habitation (the dwelling place) that He chooses is not a town, a city, a state, a location, but within each and every one of His chosen begotten children. Our Heavenly Father and our Lord Jesus Christ abide within us – Their habitation is within Their holy temple. This is the place They wish to place Their name – within us. We MUST SOUJOURN WITH THEM!

“ … ‘he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. 7) If you ABIDE IN ME, and MY WORDS ABIDE IN YOU, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 8) By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples’ – John 15:1-8.

Once you are begotten by the glorious Spirit from Father God, you must continually be led by His Spirit and BEAR MUCH FRUIT throughout this Christian life.

But what fruit are we to bear!?

In the Book of Galatians, the Apostle Paul outlines for us the fruit we are to produce – the results of the glorious Holy Spirit living within us.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering [patience], kindness, goodness, faithfulness [faith], 23) gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law” – Galatians 5:22-23.

Love – which is the Greek word agape. The highest form of love, the love of God for man and of man for God.

“Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit [which] was given to us” – Romans 5:5.

The primary characteristic of the LORD God is love – 1 John 4:16. And it is the greatest attribute that is transmitted to us by the Spirit of God – 1 Corinthians 13:13. God’s Spirit living within us imparts to our spirit His very traits! And the first and most important fruit of God’s Spirit is love.

I recall from my youth attending a church group – with a membership over 100,000 at the time – and after three-and-a-half years was . . . Let’s just say “shunned”! It turned out, they DID NOT have God’s love. They, instead, only had a form of human love.
4) Is the love of God the very love which helps us to fulfill – to OBEY – the Law of God!?
“Owe no one anything EXCEPT to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law” – Romans 13:8.

And continuing, the Apostle Paul clearly shows us the Law he was referring to – “For the Commandments [speaking of the Ten Commandments], ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ ‘You shall not covet,’ and if there is any other commandment, are ALL SUMMED UP in this saying, namely, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’ – verse 9.
5) Again, and I add this as a direct question – because it is SO VITALLY IMPORTANT! Can an individual who DOES NOT OBEY the LORD God’s commandments possess the Holy Spirit of God which helps us produce the fruits of the Spirit!?
“’ And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given TO THOSE WHO OBEY HIM’” – Acts 5:32.

When you receive the gift of God’s Spirit, the love of God is the first and foremost important fruit that will begin to manifest within you. The other fruits mentioned by the Apostle Paul amplify this glorious characteristic of God’s very nature – love. The very divine love gifted to those whom God the Father calls out of this world and its churches.

Is faith another vital fruit of God’s Spirit?

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, 23) Meekness, self-control; against such things there is no law” – Galatians 5:22-23, NET.

It is NOT possible to please God without real faith!

“But WITHOUT FAITH it is impossible to please Him for he who comes to God MUST believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” – Hebrews 11:6.
6) Must obedience to the LORD God accompany one’s faith in order to make it alive and acceptable to God!?
“Do we then make void the Law through faith? CERTAINLY NOT! On the contrary, we establish the Law.” – Romans 3:31.

The universal message from nearly every pulpit falsely tells people that Jesus Christ abolished, or “fulfilled,” His Father’s law – but your Bible says otherwise!

God’s living divine word mentions nothing about grace being a license to disobey the Law of God! To be “under grace” means to be extended mercy and forgiveness as a result of sincere repentance and resolve to obey Almighty God.

This is explained further by the Apostle Paul –

“For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under Law but under grace. What then? Shall we sin because we are not under Law but under grace? Certainly not!” – Romans 6:14-15.

Now, does that raise a lot of tongue-wagging! The people who want to say that the Ten Commandments are done away, they will cite this verse and say, “See, you’re not under law, you’re under grace.”

We don’t have enough room here in this short Bible Study to go over this VERY IMPORTANT subject, but to learn more be sure to watch the sermons “Look To Jesus, Not Moses,” as well as “Is The Law Done Away?”

Also, a very brother to our Lord Jesus, Saint James explains to us –

“What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?” – James 2:14.

“Faith without works is dead” recorded Saint James. But what exactly did he mean!?

Turn with me if you will to Ephesians 2:8-9 – “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9) not of works, lest anyone should boast.” Yet, we need works. Saint James was inspired to write: “If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16) and one of you says to them, ‘Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,’ but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17) Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead – James 2:15-17. And, he repeats it yet again, “But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?” – verse 20. And yet again, “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also” – verse 26.

In the Word of God, when you see things repeated over and over and over, you realize that God’s truly trying to get you to wake up and to understand that this thing that He’s saying is VERY IMPORTANT!

Now, I boldened parts of those verses because of those three words – grace, faith, and works. The word grace comes from the Greek charis which means “the state of kindness and favor toward someone.” The word faith is from the Greek pistos which means “faithfulness, belief, trust, with the implication that actions based on that trust may follow.” And, the word works comes from the Greek ergon meaning “work, deed, activity, task, job.”

Now the majority of Protestants and Catholics alike base their belief wholly on the works of charity. And most Protestant churches teach that the fault with the Old Covenant was God’s Law and that as the Old Covenant was made with Israel, the New Covenant is made with Gentiles. And that the New abolishes God’s Ten Commandments and is based wholly on promises. This, of course, is NOT true! Complete obedience to God’s eternal and universal Law is a condition we must meet to have salvation. Be sure to read Acts 15:13-39 and Acts 21:17-26 – Saint James completely endorses and supports Saint Paul!

Q: Why would the LORD God want someone in Their family that has faith, but without works!? One of our greatest jobs in God's glorious kingdom will be to help people - physically and spiritually! Now, not one person can earn salvation by "works" - by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God. Yet, EVERYONE MUST PRODUCE 'good works'!

God’s grace and faith saves us. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” – Ephesians 2:10.
7) When one receives the gift of the Holy Spirit, will God’s fruits of His Spirit suddenly appear within us overnight!?
“You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; 18) but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ – 2 Peter 3:17-18.

And he also tells us how this growth must take place – “Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, HYPOCRISY, envy, and all evil speaking, 2) as NEWBORN BABES, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, 3) if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious” – 1 Peter 2:1-3.

Now, there are so many of our peoples that just want to believe what they want to believe. They absolutely refuse to accept or even hear want they don’t want to believe – whether it’s right or wrong. Prejudism is a strong barrier to growth in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

After true repentance, baptism, and the laying on of hands, and after receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit, we must continue the IMPORTANT process of spiritual growth by having our Lord Jesus Christ live within us! –

“ … ‘I AM the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in [as well as “on”] Me shall never thirst’ – John 6:35.

We can only continue to grow spiritually if we continue drinking in our daily supply of God’s living water – His Spirit. As for myself, every morning before I get out of bed, I thank God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ for another day, and ask Them to renew in me Their Spirit! – cf. 2 Corinthians 4:16; Psalm 51:10. □

1) Webster M. Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Incorporated, abide, 1996, pp 2.

Scriptural Index:

Old Testament - Psalm 51:5, 10; Isaiah 45:18; 51:16.
New Testament - Matthew 5:48; 7:15-20; 12:33-35; John 6:35; 14:15-16; 15:1-8; Acts 5:32; 15:13-39; 21:17-26; Romans 3:31; 5:5; 6:14-15; 8:9-10; 14; 13:8, 9; 1 Corinthians 13:13; 2 Corinthians 3:17; 13:5; Galatians 2:20; 4:19; 5:22-23; Ephesians 2:8-9; 10; 15-17; 20; 26; 3:17; 4:13; Colossians 1:27; Hebrews 11:6; 13:20-21; James 2:14; 1 Peter 2:1-3, 9; 2 Peter 3:17-18; 1 John 2:4, 5-6; 3:2, 9; 4:16; Revelation 1:12-16; 5:10.

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