THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date - 8-24-03
LESSON TITLE: THE SEVEN ONE’S OF UNITY: “THE ONE SPIRIT”
Welcome to the Living Word program on this wondrous Lord’s Day. What a privilege it is to have you with us today, as we together give this time to God. I know that we will all be encouraged and uplifted by our time together this morning. So, let’s give our best to God so that He may be pleased with our offering. Furthermore, let’s do all things according to His will - so that our worship will be received by Him in a good and perfect way. Now, let’s approach His throne in prayer!
Isn’t it nice and comforting to know that there are those in this life who love us and care for us. Growing up as children, there was nothing more calming that being in the arms or presence of our loving parents. Spiritually we have a lot to be thankful for as well, because we have the ultimate care giver and provider in Jesus Christ. This morning we want to begin with a song which clarifies this care which Jesus has for you and me. So, won’t you join in with the congregation at this time as we sing together the song, “No One Ever Cared For Me Like Jesus!”
(SONG # 1)
Isn’t it hard to put God first and to always seek after His Kingdom. Especially in the fact that we have so many temptations and this in this world that are pulling us in every direction. However, the reality is, God does expect us to focus on Him and to put our thoughts, hopes and trust in Him and His Word.
In Colossians 3, Paul talks to the brethren at Colossae and reminds them what they must focus on. In verses 1-2, the Bibles says, “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” Did you catch all of that? As followers of God we are to focus on those things above - where God is! Those things which are higher than the world, good and righteous. Then in the next statement Paul goes on to tell us why this is and should be so. The answer, “for we died!”
How often do we forget that when we became Christians we truly died to ourselves and to the wants and desires of this life. At least so far as we allow these things to be first or to come before our God. For the true Christians, there is no other acceptable way to follow and serve God than to put Him first and to always focus on that which is good - and thus pertains to Him.
Another verse which helps with this same topic is found in Paul’s letter to the Philippians. In chapter 4 and verse 8 of that book, the inspired writer said, “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy; meditate on these things.” The reality is we must completely commit ourselves to focusing on those things which are God-like, if we ever expect to be what He desires of us as Christians.
Furthermore, as we have always heard, “we are what we eat.” Now bring that over to a spiritual sense. That which we take in through word, deeds and thought - really determines what eventually will come out. Isn’t that why Jesus said, “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks,” Matthew 12:34. Whatever is on the inside will be seen on the outside, no matter how hard we try to hide it or to deceive those around us. What types of things are you seeking in relationship to Christ? Are you focused on those things from above?
After our next song together, I will be leading our lesson thoughts of the day. This morning we will be considering the next lesson in our series entitled, “The Seven Ones of Unity.” Our specific lesson of the day will deal with, “The One Spirit?” So, please stay with us for this important study from God’s Word. Now it’s time to join in our second song of the morning. Won’t you join in with the congregation as we sing the hymn, “Paradise Valley.”
SONG # 2)
Speaker: Ray Sullins
“I therefore the prisoner of the Lord beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called with all lowliness and gentleness and long-suffering , bearing with one another in love endeavoring to keep the unity of the spirit and the bond of peace, there is one body and one spirit just as you were called in one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is above all and through all and in you all.”
The past several weeks we’ve been looking at a very good study together in relationship to the seven ones mentioned here by Paul of unity. I believe Paul here was trying to help the brethren at the church at Ephesus to understand truly what was necessary for them to be spiritually united, to be one in Christ Jesus from a spiritual sense once again. In fact, he says that in a nutshell here as he says basically that if we want to walk worthy, then there are things that we have to do. If we want to be considered as walking worthy, we must endeavor to have that spirit, that peaceful spirit, that unity that God wants us to have and if we’re able to do that then there are certain things that we have to agree on, that we have to believe in and those seven things are mentioned here.
So far, we’ve been able to look at the one body, the precious body of Jesus Christ, the church and to study that. We’ve been able to look at the Father, the one Father that is mentioned clearly in verse 6 there as well as we have looked at the one Lord mentioned in verse 5.
But this morning we want to look at as is mentioned clearly after the one body in verse 4, it says, “the one spirit.” Purposefully, we have chosen to put the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit in this discussion together back to back for several weeks so that we might truly be able to understand the concepts again of the Godhead, the Trinity. We mentioned certainly what the church is all about and how that God sent His son and His son, Jesus Christ, is the one that shed His blood and purchased the church, thus His body. But yet, when we talk about the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, do we really understand that they are God and do we really understand that we have no choice but to believe as the verse says, verse 6, “one God.” Do we really understand that we must believe that there is one Father? As the verses say there is one Lord, or Christ. And finally, do we understand and do we believe that there is one spirit?
The Bible is full of information that helps us to see that truly the spirit of God is very, very significant. In fact, I think that often in the religious world as well as in the church today we are individuals who give a lot of credit to the Father and we often worship and praise and glorify the Father in heaven. We talk a lot about the Son as He is the intercessor, but we forget often the Spirit and we don’t give the Spirit the proper position and really exemplify Him and uplift Him as He deserves to be as is well documented in scripture.
If you’ll notice with me in verses like Matthew 28 in the Great Commission where they were told to go and to preach the gospel to all nations, I want you to notice there in verse 19 what is said that “they were to go and to preach and therefore baptize them…” notice, “in the name of the Father, and of the Son…” (but notice it doesn’t stop there.) It says, “in the name of the Holy Spirit.” Isn’t it interesting how the Holy Spirit is put equally here in conjunction with the reason of being a Christian, of becoming a Christian as is also confirmed for us there in Mark 16:16, how the Holy Spirit is found to be equal in being baptized in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Then we go to places like Genesis, Genesis chapter 1 where the creation is revealed once again to us as is several places in scripture. There in Genesis 1 where it tells us about the great creation that God had in verse 26 it talks about how that God was plural in nature. “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” But then also in the same verses we find clearly that it is said that the spirit of God, that is God’s own spirit moved across the face of the deep, across the face of the waters, over the waters. The spirit of God was there in Genesis 1 and chapter 2. So in the beginning who was there? Well, we see clearly God the Father, God the Son, as well God the Spirit. Let us go and make nations baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. There we have it, the Godhead. The concept as man calls it the Trinity, the three-in-one, those who make up God, that is God, the God that you and I serve.
So certainly today as we consider this, we want to understand from the scripture all those evidences that might help us to understand more clearly that the Spirit truly is God. He is not somehow insignificant or lesser than Christ or the Father, but yet He is equally God and is proven through the text to be God.
There are several examples we will look to, beginning first of all in the book of Acts. You might remember a very familiar story there in Acts chapter 5, a story where clearly there were some individuals, a man and a woman, husband and wife, Ananias and Sapphira. There in these examples that we have that they were given opportunity as all that day to make sacrifice and to give to their God, but when they came to God and they had done what they thought that they should and they had maybe sold their land and possessions and were able to accumulate some money to give to God, they chose to lie. Not that they gave less or chose not to give all of it, but they chose to say they were giving it all or infer that they were giving it all when in fact they were holding some of it back. Well we know that clearly the text tells us that they had lied to God. In fact, verse 4 says they had not lied to men, those men who were there, the disciples or apostles. It says they had lied to God. But then if you’ll also notice with me in verse 3, the verse before, it clarifies there the part of God that had been lied to and it actually says there that they had lied to the Spirit. They had lied to the Holy Spirit. Verse 4, “They had lied to God then and therefore had done that which was wrong.” We know the outcome. We see that they died. They were killed and destroyed by God. Why? Because they chose to lie to God specifically to the Spirit who here clearly is evidenced as being God Himself.
Another verse that we might look at that shows the true nature of God in the Spirit which thus would prove to us that the spirit of God has to be God Himself. The reality is clarified for us there in the book of Hebrew chapter 9 that “the Spirit is an eternal Spirit.” There is no one else that I know in the Bible who is known to be eternal, who has no beginning or no end except God Himself, God the Father and God the Son.
Notice here what is said in Hebrews 9 and verse 14 about the Spirit. The Bible says this. “How much more shall the blood of Christ who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” Here He says, “How do we serve the living God? What would the blood do? How will these things work? How do we become before God without spot?” Well it’s mentioned clearly there that we do it by going through the eternal spirit. This tells us as the Spirit, the Spirit of God clarified here, is eternal. Again I ask, who else, what else do you know, what other being ever known to exist is eternal other than God? Well certainly there is none, thus showing again that the Spirit is God.
David understood this. In Psalm 139, verses 7-10, David there talks about the Spirit of God. He says, “Where can I go from your Spirit?” In other words, the Spirit of God is everywhere.” Not only is He a God that is eternal, a Spirit that is eternal but He is a God that is everywhere, all places at all times. David says the Spirit was that.
So again, how do we understand it? We understand it because the Spirit again is God.
In 1 Corinthians chapter 2, verses 10-11, it talks there about how the Spirit knows all the things of God. Do you know of anyone who knows all the things of God? Do you know anyone who has the knowledge of God who is omniscient, who knows everything other than God? This verse tells us that the Spirit knows all, knows all the things of God, again showing us that truly the Spirit is of and from God.
Well, then if I were to help you maybe understand and really ask the question, “What then does the Spirit do? What are some of the things in the Bible we see that the Spirit exemplified?” Well we find several examples. In 1 Timothy 4 and verse 1, we find where it says that “the Spirit was speaking to man.” No doubt, over and over the text tells us that the Spirit spoke. We see where the Spirit Himself indwelled men as they wrote the Word of God. Mentioned there in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 and again in the book of Peter where it says that “Holy men of God were inspired of the Spirit. The Spirit of God breathed through them inspired, taking them and using them as a tool for God.”
We also see in Romans chapter 8 and verses 26-27 that clearly there that He knows our minds. The Spirit somehow is able to know all about us, the hairs on our heads, the things in our hearts, our minds. How does He do that? Because He is God. So the Spirit knows our thoughts.
In 1 Corinthians 2 we’ve already seen His great knowledge, His vast knowledge that encompasses everything in there again Romans 15 and 30, it talks about how the Spirit is affectionate and how He loves. In Ephesians 4 and verse 30, the very text that we have been dealing with here over the last several weeks, verse 30 says that “the Spirit Himself grieves.” Not only does the Spirit grieve. Not only does He seem to have godly feelings and abilities, but He is God and He is one as we can clearly see who possesses man and who indwells man to help them know more about the true almighty Father and Son. So it is that Spirit again that indwells. Whether it be again through the Word, whether it be literally, the Spirit clearly through the text indwells and He’s a part of the key, the tool that helps man to know all things pertaining to life and godliness.
Well you might say, “What is it that the Spirit does today in our lives?” There are many texts that we could look at for this. There are many things that we’ve mentioned He did in the past. But what are some things that might help us to truly understand what the Spirit does today? I think clearly we can see a good example of this in the book of Galatians if you’ll turn there in the text in Galatians chapter 5 and we see here where it talks about the fruit of the Spirit. In other words, what if we have the Spirit, if the Spirit is with us, if He is a part of us, what is it that will exemplify? Those things are mentioned there in verse 22. It says, “The Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, fullness, gentleness, self control, against such there is no law.” Here again we find clearly that the Spirit is something special. Verse 25 goes on to say that “we must live in the Spirit and Walk in the Spirit.” Why? If you’ll notice in the text there again that the tendency is clearly given by the article where it says, “the Spirit.” God. We must walk in God. Does that sound familiar? In Christ . In the Father. Well we must also walk in the things of the Spirit.
What does He do for us? He is exemplified in everything we do Christian, Christ-like, God-like, Spirit-like. So when we have that joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, gentleness… When we have all of these attributes coming from us and our words and our deeds, then the Spirit is evident and He is there. So clearly the Spirit is seen in every action that we have. Why? Because He is a part of the God that we are commanded to exemplify in our daily lives. He is a part of that God. He is God and He is able to be the one Spirit that we need, that we must agree on, that we must believe in. As Paul said in Ephesians chapter 4, that “we might have that unity, that we might have that singleness of mind, that oneness of mind, the same judgment and be able in the end to understand together the same things about the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, the eternal Godhead, the eternal all-powerful Godhead that has given us the ability to respond to the precious gospel of Jesus Christ, to find salvation, eternal life, the promise of heaven.
So I encourage you this morning to believe in the one true Spirit, to follow Him and the will that He has presented to us through the message, the Bible and in doing so God’s rewards will be yours.He is
(SONG # 3 - “Redeemed!”)
Thanks for putting God first and choosing to be with us this morning. I hope you have benefited from our time together. Please remember, you are invited to join us every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this offering for God.
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How blessed we are to know that God sent His Spirit to reveal all things which we need to know concerning this life. Furthermore, the Bible says He has blessed us by revealing those things which pertain to Godliness. Praise be to God for all that He has done, is doing and has promised to do for us.