Gospel of John [Joh 16:12-15]. The Doctrine of the HS, part 30. Eph 4:11-15; 1Pe 2:2; Php 2:5-11.
length: 82:08 - taught on Sep, 14 2014
The nature of the filling of the Holy Spirit.
The scriptures draw a clear line between the saved and the lost, but it also draws a line between the spiritual and carnal Christian, 1CO 2:9-3:4.
The distinction amongst Christians can be traced to their relationships with the Holy Spirit, GAL 5:16-17.
The believer's experience is dependent on his growth in grace. There is a distinction between maturity and spirituality.
Growth is gradual and is completely in the hands of God.
God has gifted men to the Church in order to assist in the maturing of the saints.
EPH 4:11 And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers,
EPH 4:12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;
EPH 4:13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fulness of Christ.
"mature" - te,leioj[teleios] = having reached its end, finished, complete, or perfect. The believer finishes the race but never becomes experientially perfect.
EPH 4:14 As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming;
EPH 4:15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ,
So it would seem dependent upon the pastorteacher, but what is he if he is alone? All the members of the body make up the local assembly. All who desire to function in their spiritual gifts are needed for the function of the local church in communicating doctrine so that we all grow up to maturity. Yet spirituality is dependent upon the believer alone as he chooses to be filled (passive voice) with the Holy Spirit. Hence we are not to stop here in this passage but to move on to the other members of the body of Christ that contribute to the communication of doctrine and tactical support of every advancing believer.
Spiritual Christians that produce fruit are tactical support for every other advancing believer.
EPH 4:16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by that which every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.
Some believe that the joint in this passage is exclusively the pastor, but I think it refers to each spiritually functioning member of the body of Christ.
1PE 2:1 Therefore, putting aside all malice and all guile and hypocrisy and envy and all slander,
Put off from yourself:
Malice - opposite of virtue, badness in quality, viciousness of character.
Guile - a bait, a snare, deceit.
Hypocrisy - the acting of a stage player.
Envy - the feeling of displeasure produced by witnessing or hearing the advantage or prosperity of others.
Slander - speak against, evil speaking.
1PE 2:2 like newborn babes, long for the pure milk of the word, that by it you may grow in respect to salvation,
1PE 2:3 if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.
2PE 3:17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard lest, being carried away by the error of unprincipled men, you fall from your own steadfastness,
2PE 3:18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
There obviously is a vital relation between the Christian's growth in grace and the Christian's spirituality. While the believer is assured ultimate perfection in heaven, he is exhorted to grow to spiritual maturity.
While it is impossible for any Christian to attain spiritual maturity apart from the gradual process which it entails, any Christian upon meeting the conditions may enter at once into all the blessedness of the fullness of the Spirit.
No one attains spiritual maturity outside of a gradual process, but any Christian may enter into the blessedness of the fullness of the Spirit upon meeting the grace conditions.
The Bible uses the terms babes, children, growth, mature, attain, stature, etc. Therefore the correspondence of spirituality and maturity to the health and growth of the physical body is obvious.
A child may be immature as to stage of growth but at the same time be perfectly healthy. Growth of the body requires time and development, while health is an immediate state of the body which determines its present enjoyment and growth.
Likewise in the spiritual realm, a newborn saint may have the fullness of the Spirit, while being nevertheless quite immature, and in contrast a mature saint may lack the fullness of the Spirit.
Just like there is a connection between the mental and physical health of a child and his development to maturity there is an important connection between maturity and spirituality.
A saint will mature in the faith more rapidly when living in conscious fellowship with God in the fullness of the Spirit than if wandering in the realm of the flesh.
And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to babes in Christ.
A “babe in Christ” is one who has had time to reach some maturity but whose development has been arrested by carnality. This is similar to a 40 year old having the mental maturity and lifestyle of a 16 year old. What physical health is to the growth of the physical body, the fullness of the Spirit is to spiritual growth.
All Christians are commanded to be full of the Spirit and not just the mature. All believers can produce fruit by means of the Spirit of God according to their capacity. We can imagine a less mature and more mature agape love. But not even the less mature agape will be produced without the very power of the Spirit of God within the believer.
Walvoord quotes J.E. Harrison from his work, Reigning in Life,
"Some Christians who are living on the lower plane of religious experience are not only content to dwell there, but resent the suggestion that there is anything nobler or better; while others go constantly mourning and complaining of the dreary desert way they are treading. In either case the loss is unspeakable, and the harm done to the cause of Christianity by their defective testimony and character is pitiable."
The fruit of the Spirit is intended by God to be produced in any Christian in whom the Spirit has full sway, i.e. fills that believer.
We will define the conditions of the filling of the Spirit. The sole focus of sin in the believer's life and confession of it limits the understanding of His ministry. A believer who is willing to yield to the indwelling Spirit is a vital part of enjoying His power, teaching, and guidance. Technically we could say that a failure to yield or submit to the will of God in humility is a sin. Yet confessing such a sin and continuing to fail to submit to the will of God will be fruitless and not fruitful. It is not a matter of work or works but a matter of attitude. This same attitude was found in Christ during the incarnation and it is the will of God as well as the will of Christ, your husband, that we be conformed into the same image. He depended entirely on the HS during His earthly ministry in His humanity, but the Spirit did not force Him to submit His will to the will of the Father. And by submitting His will, the Spirit was able to take that attitude and empower Him to take it all the way to the end.
Php 2:3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself;
Php 2:4 do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.
Php 2:5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus [present active imperative],
Php 2:6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,
Php 2:7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.
Php 2:8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
Php 2:9 Therefore also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name,
Php 2:10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth,
Php 2:11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.