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Ephesians overview – 3:14-19, Pauls prayer (inner man: the human spirit), part 20.

EPHESIANS-1-200421
length: 61:10 - taught on Apr, 21 2020
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Class Outline:

Tuesday April 21, 2020

 

The human spirit has the nuance of motivator, or the wind and breath that drives you.

 

The Holy Spirit is within us bearing witness to our human spirit that we are the children of God. Combining that truth with the nuance the Bible gives to the human spirit, we can conclude that the Holy Spirit is teaching us how to be driven children of God within the framework of the revelation of the word of God. The Holy Spirit’s revelation within us to us makes for a passion to live as a child of God - the image of Jesus Christ.

 

A human spirit within, conformed to this understanding means that we are driven by a supernatural power to be like Christ, like a son of God.

 

ROM 8:29-30

For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren; 30 and whom He predestined, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.

 

Now, about 2,000 years after this promise was first made to the first Christians, it has been heard repeatedly. If we are familiar with it, we must not let that diminish the profoundness of this statement.

 

This is the gift of grace to every believer. All believers are predetermined to be conformed to the image of Christ. The impact of that promise is enormous when realized.  

 

If a believer realizes that his life is not one in conformity with the life of Christ, he can ask God for insight as to why. What is holding him back? What is it that he doesn’t see? What is he missing? And all of those questions to our Father comes from sons who confidently expect that they live in conformity to the life of Christ.

 

The human spirit conformed to the understanding of the Holy Spirit makes for a drive, a hunger, to press on towards conformity with the image of Christ.

 

GAL 4:6-7

And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!" 7 Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.

 

Notice Paul’s use of the indicative verb “to be” - “your are” not you might be or will be.

 

We used the man born blind in Joh 9 as an example of how our inner men must humbly ask God to help us see. The spirit of a man, and even a believer, can be in error. He can be driven and moved by the wrong things. His pride is his number one enemy. He is better off assuming that he knows less than he thinks he does, seeking from God alone the sight needed to live as a child of God in this broken, fallen world.

 

We must see everything as Christ sees it.

 

Our responsibilities concerning our own inner, human spirit: rule over it with God’s will and fervently keep it refreshed with God’s will.

 

In many passages we are warned that the flesh hijacks the spirit of a man who gives in to lust which hijacks the soul giving birth to sin. The entire inner man is overwhelmed by the flesh, but thanks be to God that we are forgiven of all sin. We can confess and leave the flesh back in its grave, moving on in the good that God has given to us.

 

As we all know, the hijacking of the inner man by the flesh can happen in an instant. That is a testimony to how weak and frail we are spiritually. Yet, as we would like to be strong, our only hope is the grace of God. If and when the flesh overcomes our inner man, we discover, confess, and change over the inner man back to our control, and by that I mean the control of God’s word and will. This we do without regret, for the repentance of God is without regret as Paul states in 2CO 7:10. That ability to change our minds and way, and to do so without regret of the past mistake and sin, is the great force of the grace of God. Understood, this does not lead us to want to “sin all the more.” (ROM 6:1-2)

 

We also know that sin that is not repented and recovered from can lead to patterns of sin where we begin to lose control of our life, meaning a life that is more often than not void of any spirituality. This happens when the cleansed sinner becomes the fool. Yet still, the grace of God is more than powerful to pull us out from under the flesh’s mastery, but that recovery is more difficult and extended. Hence God constantly warns us to treat sin, all sin, like a plague (virus).

 

We are called upon to "rule over our own spirit" (PRO 16:32; 25:28). We have freedom to choose the options before us.

 

PRO 16:32

He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty,

And he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city.

 

PRO 25:28

Like a city that is broken into and without walls

Is a man who has no control over his spirit.

 

There is so much written about the sovereign will of God as it is in conflict with the free will of man that it is of great importance that we understand that we do not hand over the control of our decisions to God. If we did, we would cease to be human and become automata.

 

Time and time again, too numerous to state together, does God tell Israel and the church to make the choice.

 

JOS 24:14-15

“Now, therefore, fear the Lord and serve Him in sincerity and truth; and put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15 And if it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve:”

 

That said, there is a filling of the man from God, a working of God within man, a sending and compelling power of God over man, but not once do we read of a man being forced by God to make a moral decision.

 

We can choose for or against God’s way, and without that choice there is no fight of the good fight, there is no buffeting of our bodies, there is no diligence, patience, endurance, testing, etc.

 

The fruit of the Spirit is self-control, but it is obvious that the Holy Spirit does not remove our self-determination. In Gal 5, Paul writes that if we walk by the Spirit, we will not carry out the desire of the flesh. We must choose self-control and trust in the Holy Spirit to supply the power to control ourselves in any and every circumstance. Only, do not tempt God by purposely putting yourself in a weak circumstance. Pick up your cross and follow Christ, and there will be opportunities galore for exercising divinely powerful self-control. We don’t have to go seeking our own.

 

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