Irresistible Love - Discover the Book Ministries

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Irresistible Love

LNB-06

990523AM

THE IRRESISTIBLE LIFE IN THE HOLY SPIRIT

The 1st Century Church lived their irresistible Christian lives walking in the Spirit. Those early Christians faced the hostile world, walking in the power of the Holy Spirit. If we were to read the newspapers of the day through secular historical writers alive in the 1st Century here is what we would find.

A Peek at Early Christians

When Pliny was governor of Bithynia, he wrote a most interesting letter to the Roman Emperor Trajan, asking why Christians were being exterminated, and added: “I have been trying to get all the information I could regarding them. I have even hired spies to profess to be Christians and become baptized in order that they might get into the Christian services without suspicion.

Contrary to what I had supposed, I find that the Christians meet at dead of night or at early morn, that they sing a hymn to Christ as God, that they read from their own sacred writings and partake of a very simple meal consisting of bread and wine and water (the water added to the wine to dilute it in order that there might be enough for all).

This is all that I can find out, except that they exhort each other to be subject to the government and to pray for all men.” [1]

Their Incredible Lives as Saints

These early saints suffered greatly, and their suffering virtues are among the sweetest and noblest fruits of the Christian religion. It is not so much the amount of suffering which challenges our admiration, although it was terrible enough, as the spirit with which the early Christians bore it.

Men and women of all classes, noble senators and learned bishops, illiterate artisans and poor slaves, loving mothers and delicate virgins, hoary-headed pastors and innocent children approached their tortures the same. They faced suffering with the irresistible beauty of walking in the Spirit. They had no temper of unfeeling indifference and obstinate defiance, but, like their divine Master, with calm self-possession, humble resignation, gentle meekness, cheerful faith, triumphant hope, and forgiving charity.

Such spectacles must have often overcome even the inhuman murderer. “Go on,” says Tertullian tauntingly to the heathen governors, “rack, torture, grind us to powder: our numbers increase in proportion as ye mow us down. The blood of Christians is their harvest seed. Your very obstinacy is a teacher. For who is not incited by the contemplation of it to inquire what there is in the core of the matter? And who, after having joined us, does not long to suffer?” [2]

The Irresistible Beauty of a Christian

Walking in the Spirit

Writing in about AD 125 Aristedes a Christian philosopher looked at the believers of his day and said:

They walk in all humility and kindness, and falsehood is not found among them, and they love one another. They despise not the widow, and grieve not the orphan. He that hath distributeth liberally to him that hath not. If they see a stranger they bring him under their roof, and rejoice over him, as it were their own brother: for they call themselves brethren, not after the flesh, but after the Spirit and in God; but when one of their poor passes away from the world, and any of them see him, then he provides for his burial according to his ability; and if they hear that any of their number is imprisoned or oppressed for the name of their Messiah, all of them provide for his needs, and if it is possible he may be delivered, they deliver him. And if there is a man among them that is poor and needy, and they have not among them an abundance of necessaries, they fast two or three days that they may supply the needy with their necessary food.

That is how the Spirit of God operates. Do you see yourself supernaturally transformed by the power of Jesus through the Spirit of God? The Book of Romans introduces us to the Walk in the Spirit. In this book we have the keys that unlock the Spirit filled walk into our everyday lives.

God wants to quicken you and me this morning. We saw at the start of this series that God Almighty commands each and every one of His children to allow His Spirit to be constantly filling and controlling our lives.

What Does the Irresistible Character of 1st Century Saints Look Like?

The Holy Spirit in Romans

THE WITNESSING SPIRIT OF GOD Book of Acts ROMANS 1:3-4
THE LIBERATING SPIRIT OF GOD Clingen POWs ROMANS 8:1-4
THE TRANSFORMING & MORTIFYING SPIRIT OF GOD C. T. Studd ROMANS. 8:5-8,12-13
THE QUICKENING SPIRIT OF GOD Eye on Sparrow ROMANS 8:9-11
THE GUIDING SPIRIT OF GOD Phillip Acts 8:4 ROMANS 8:14
THE ENCOURAGING SPIRIT OF GOD Barnabus Acts 4:36 ROMANS 8:15
THE ASSURING SPIRIT OF GOD Peter 2 P 1:16-21 ROMANS 8:16-17
THE HOPING SPIRIT OF GOD John Rev. 1:10 ROMANS 8:18-25
THE INTERCEDING SPIRIT OF GOD Epaphras Col. 4:12 ROMANS 8:26-30
THE SACRIFICNG SPIRIT OF GOD Paul II Tim. 4:6 ROMANS 12:1-2
THE GLADDENING SPIRIT OF GOD Apostles Acts 5:41 ROMANS 14:17; 15:13
THE OUTREACHING SPIRIT OF GOD Church Acts 8:4 ROMANS 15:16

So the lives of the 1st Century Saints were stained by the irresistible beauty of the Holy Spirit. How did they get that way? Please stand with me and listen as Paul again explains the Walk in the Spirit in Romans 8:14-17.

What Does The Holy Spirit Produce in Lives Yielded to Him?

HE IS THE WITNESSING SPIRIT OF GOD Book of Acts ROMANS 1:3-4
HE IS THE LIBERATING SPIRIT OF GOD Clingen POWs ROMANS 8:1-4
HE IS THE TRANSFORMING & MORTIFYING SPIRIT OF GOD C. T. Studd ROMANS. 8:5-8,12-13
HE IS THE QUICKENING SPIRIT OF GOD Eye on Sparrow ROMANS 8:9-11
HE IS THE GUIDING SPIRIT OF GOD Phillip Acts 8:4 ROMANS 8:14
HE IS THE ENCOURAGING SPIRIT OF GOD Barnabus Acts 4:36 ROMANS 8:15
HE IS THE ASSURING SPIRIT OF GOD Peter 2 P 1:16-21 ROMANS 8:16-17
HE IS THE HOPING SPIRIT OF GOD John Rev. 1:10 ROMANS 8:18-25
HE IS THE INTERCEDING SPIRIT OF GOD Epaphras Col. 4:12 ROMANS 8:26-30
HE IS THE SACRIFICNG SPIRIT OF GOD Paul II Tim. 4:6 ROMANS 12:1-2
HE IS THE GLADDENING SPIRIT OF GOD Apostles Acts 5:41 ROMANS 14:17; 15:13
HE IS THE OUTREACHING SPIRIT OF GOD Church Acts 8:4 ROMANS 15:16

We saw last time that some amazing changes occur when God gets a hold of us. First we saw the Witnessing Spirit at work.

1. the WITNESSING SPIRIT OF God ROMANS. 1:3-4 concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh,4 and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead. There are 31 different Greek words used in the book of Acts to describe the 160 different times of Christians verbally communicating the Good News about Jesus [3] . It is the Holy Spirit who energized them into action. This book is not the ACTS OF THE APOSTLES but of the HOLY SPIRIT! When we are walking in the Spirit we will be talking in everyday terms to everyday people about the most extroardinary event of all time. Jesus is to be a part of life.

2. Secondly we met the Liberating Spirit in Romans 8. Has Jesus marched into your life and liberated you? Is there a vivid recollection that you can’t stop sharing? THE LIBERATING SPIRIT of god Romans 8:1-4 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.3 For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh,4 that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

3. The third element of the Holy Spirit of God’s miraculous working. Do you remember the darkness of Africa in 1910 when CT Studd arrived? Remember the total transformation of those former demon worshiping cannibals? Sounds totally impossible doesn’t it? It is apart from the work of God. THE transforming spirit of god Romans 8:5-8 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. Remember there are six practical action items to begin the MORTIFICATION process in your life. That word means, to throttle sin and crush it in our lives, sapping it of It’s strength, rooting it out, and depriving it of It’s influence. …Mortification involves the cultivation of new habits of godliness, combined with the elimination of old sinful habits from our behavior. [4] Each of these Biblical mortification commands are for us as Christians to obey. They are not something we pray for and wait. They are for us to actively grab a hold of and obey.

4. THE quickening spirit of god Romans 8:9-11 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.10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. Life giving Psalm 71 Eye on the Sparrow

5. THE GUIDING SPIRIT of god Romans 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. Phillip best illustrates the guiding spirit of god in Acts 8:4 Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word. The seven walks of Ephesians. This is the Spirit of Sonship. The use of Abba in the New Testament John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: (KJV)

6. THE encouraging spirit of god Romans 8:15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” Barnabus best illustrates the encouraging spirit of god in Acts 4:36 And Joses, who was also named Barnabas by the apostles (which is translated Son of Encouragement), a Levite of the country of Cyprus,

7. THE assuring spirit of god Romans 8:16-17 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. Peter best illustrates the assuring spirit of god in 2 Peter 1:16-21 For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty.17 For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”18 And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.19 And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts;20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation,21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

8. the hoping spirit of god Romans 8:18-25 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope;21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.24 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees?25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance. John on Patmos best illustrates the hoping spirit of god in Revelation 1:10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, Hope because we have `endless life’ Heb.7; Expectancy because `our citizenship is’ Phil.1:27

9. THE interceeding spirit of god Romans 8:26-30 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.27 Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. Epaphras best illustrates the interceding spirit of god in Colossians 4:12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a bondservant of Christ, greets you, always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. Hebrews 4:15-16 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. (KJV)

10.The sacrificing spirit of god Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Paul best illustrates the sacrificing spirit of god in 2 Timothy 4:6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. it is He who comes alongside of us calling for all. The standard is total life consuming sacrifice

11.the gladdening spirit of god Romans 14:17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Apostles best illustrates the gladdening spirit of god in Acts 5:41 So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name.

12.The witnessing spirit of god Romans 15:16 that I might be a minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering of the Gentiles might be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. ROMANS. 15:16 Paul was a minister (leitourgos-public religious servant) He was ministering (hierourgeo-perform sacrifice as priest) His ministry was presenting gentiles as an offering to God They were sanctified (higiasmene=set apart for divine service) Persecuted saints best illustrates the witnessing spirit of god in Acts 8:4 Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word.

So the lives of the 1st Century Saints were stained by the irresistible beauty of the Holy Spirit. How did they get that way? Please stand with me and listen as Paul again explains the Walk in the Spirit in Romans 8:14-17

What Does The Holy Spirit Produce in Lives Yielded to Him?

HE IS THE WITNESSING SPIRIT OF GOD Book of Acts ROMANS 1:3-4
HE IS THE LIBERATING SPIRIT OF GOD Clingen POWs ROMANS 8:1-4
HE IS THE TRANSFORMING & MORTIFYING SPIRIT OF GOD C. T. Studd ROMANS. 8:5-8,12-13
HE IS THE QUICKENING SPIRIT OF GOD Eye on Sparrow ROMANS 8:9-11
HE IS THE GUIDING SPIRIT OF GOD Phillip Acts 8:4 ROMANS 8:14
HE IS THE ENCOURAGING SPIRIT OF GOD Barnabus Acts 4:36 ROMANS 8:15
HE IS THE ASSURING SPIRIT OF GOD Peter 2 P 1:16-21 ROMANS 8:16-17
HE IS THE HOPING SPIRIT OF GOD John Rev. 1:10 ROMANS 8:18-25
HE IS THE INTERCEDING SPIRIT OF GOD Epaphras Col. 4:12 ROMANS 8:26-30
HE IS THE SACRIFICNG SPIRIT OF GOD Paul II Tim. 4:6 ROMANS 12:1-2
HE IS THE GLADDENING SPIRIT OF GOD Apostles Acts 5:41 ROMANS 14:17; 15:13
HE IS THE OUTREACHING SPIRIT OF GOD Church Acts 8:4 ROMANS 15:16


[1] Harry A. Ironside quoted by Tan, Paul Lee, Encyclopedia of 7,700 Illustrations, (Garland, Texas: Bible Communications, Inc.) 1996.

[2] Schaff, Philip, History of the Christian Church, (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.) 1997.

[3] Robert Coleman, The Master Plan of Discipleship, p.88-89.

[4] John MacArthur, The Vanishing Conscience, Dallas:Word, 1994, p. 156.

 
 
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