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Thread: the Spirit life

  1. #1
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    the Spirit life

    My personal testimony is simple. I spent most of the 1st 17 years of my life going to church and being a Christian, praying every day and believing in the doctrines of Lutheranism. It was not, however, until I understood that God speaks to my heart on a daily basis that I became a "spiritual Christian."

    I found that there needs to be this active relationship between God's living word to my mind and an obedient response from me. When I put this word into action, I'm Spirit-filled, and fulfil what a Christian should really be!

    Even more so, I found that God wants me to be into this relationship of word to obedience on a constant basis--otherwise, I lose any sense of being Spirit-filled.

    In other words, the 1st 17 years of my life were largely wasted as a somewhat "nominal Christian." I believe true Christianity requires an association with God in which we hear God's word and respond to it in obedience.

    Don't get me wrong. I'm not "hearing voices," and responding to direct commands from God! Rather, it wasn't until about my 17th birthday that I recognized that I wasn't doing everything that God wanted me to do, that God wanted me to be listening to Him *all the time!*

    The question is: Do you believe there is a biblical basis for this? A lot of Christians like to refer "God's word" to the Scriptures, and not to a personal relationship with God. They think that believing in the core doctrines of the church is enough to make one a genuine Christian.

    What do you think? Please provide Scriptural basis for any argument you may make on this.

  2. #2
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    Re: the Spirit life

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    My personal testimony is simple. I spent most of the 1st 17 years of my life going to church and being a Christian, praying every day and believing in the doctrines of Lutheranism. It was not, however, until I understood that God speaks to my heart on a daily basis that I became a "spiritual Christian."

    I found that there needs to be this active relationship between God's living word to my mind and an obedient response from me. When I put this word into action, I'm Spirit-filled, and fulfil what a Christian should really be!

    Even more so, I found that God wants me to be into this relationship of word to obedience on a constant basis--otherwise, I lose any sense of being Spirit-filled.

    In other words, the 1st 17 years of my life were largely wasted as a somewhat "nominal Christian." I believe true Christianity requires an association with God in which we hear God's word and respond to it in obedience.

    Don't get me wrong. I'm not "hearing voices," and responding to direct commands from God! Rather, it wasn't until about my 17th birthday that I recognized that I wasn't doing everything that God wanted me to do, that God wanted me to be listening to Him *all the time!*

    The question is: Do you believe there is a biblical basis for this? A lot of Christians like to refer "God's word" to the Scriptures, and not to a personal relationship with God. They think that believing in the core doctrines of the church is enough to make one a genuine Christian.

    What do you think? Please provide Scriptural basis for any argument you may make on this.
    Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

    I was raised the same as you and I thank God for believing parents and being taught as a child to pray to God and that to me started my relationship with God. I was taught about Jesus with stories from the Bible. So to me I was a believer from a very young age. To me the Spirit of the Lord has been directing things all my life. I pray I keep that child like faith. I was raised having parents in the word of God for themselves, so it was not just a go to church relationship. I believe there are many in the church with real relationships with the Lord so I would not judge that as far as a denomination goes.

    The way you present this, it is like you think people in these denominations are not saved or have no relationships with the Lord. You make it sound like you didn't know the Lord as a child. I do not agree with you about that. Jesus didn't put stipulations on the Holy Spirit that I have noticed. He said He would send Him.

    To me our understanding grows and our walk becomes more personal as we mature this may lead us to different paths as we get older as it did with you. My path changed too, but I believed in Jesus as a child, therefore I believe I was saved.

    Proverbs 3:6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

    I believe my paths were directed of the Lord.

    Luke 1:50 And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.

  3. #3
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    Re: the Spirit life

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    In other words, the 1st 17 years of my life were largely wasted as a somewhat "nominal Christian." I believe true Christianity requires an association with God in which we hear God's word and respond to it in obedience.

    Don't get me wrong. I'm not "hearing voices," and responding to direct commands from God! Rather, it wasn't until about my 17th birthday that I recognized that I wasn't doing everything that God wanted me to do, that God wanted me to be listening to Him *all the time!*

    The question is: Do you believe there is a biblical basis for this? A lot of Christians like to refer "God's word" to the Scriptures, and not to a personal relationship with God. They think that believing in the core doctrines of the church is enough to make one a genuine Christian.

    What do you think? Please provide Scriptural basis for any argument you may make on this.
    John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

    And if Jesus is our example:

    John 12:48 There is a judge for the one who rejects Me and does not receive My words: The word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day. 49I have not spoken on My own, but the Father who sent Me has commanded Me what to say and how to say it. 50And I know that His command leads to eternal life. So I speak exactly what the Father has told Me to say.
    Matt 9:13
    13 "But go and learn what this means: ' I DESIRE COMPASSION,AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
    NASU

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    Re: the Spirit life

    I can only echo your belief that we need a living, active, virile and intimate relationship with our Lord Jesus. It is one thing to be saved from one's sins and avoid the Lake of Fire, but it is fully another thing to be in constant communion with our Lord Jesus. And it is this intimate and constant communion that leads us to obedience. I propose three scriptures;

    (1) In John 14:23, "Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him." There is a difficulty here that must be settled. The word "love" is "agapeo" in the Greek. It is a difficult word to define, but its usage is not difficult to see. It is generally used to show God's love for His Son, and His People. And this cements the dire need for a Christian to be close to the Lord for "agapeo" does not proceed from man. The natural love of a man is "philadelphia" (brotherly love) and "eros" (erotic love). "Agapeo" is exclusively God's love and must be obtained from God's nature. This doubles the requirement for intimacy. To "love" God we have to already have been seeking and have found Him. It is true that "agapeo" is imparted to men at rebirth, for the divine nature is not given piecemeal, but it has to be nurtured on the one hand, and simultaneously the old nature that wishes to love oneself must be squashed. When our Lord asked Peter if he loved Him three times, He used "agapeo" twice. Note Peter's humble answer. "Yes, he loved the Lord BUT ONLY WITH "PHILADELPHIA"! We must seek the higher and more effective love - agapeo, which is only to be had from God.

    (2) In Matthew 7:23 Christians are in view and the setting is the Bema, the Judgement Seat of Christ. The Christians are famous. They have exercised the enormous power given by the Holy Spirit for service. They have cast out demons and done MANY wondrous works. But then, CRUSHINGLY, "And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." The WORKS are not denied by the Judge. But the judgement is DAMNING. Notice the following salient facts.
    1. The Lord never "knew" them. The Greek word for "knew" indicates "awareness". It is one thing to intellectually know something, but fully another thing to have the personal awareness of something. Joseph "knew" Mary as a companion and an espoused, as a friend and a woman, but in that he had not ever made love to her, he had not "known" her (Matt.1:25). Thus our Lord Jesus knew these disciples by name and position, but that intimate awareness was missing.
    2. Our Lord Jesus does not deny the works. It is NOT "you who do works of iniquity" for the casting out of demons must be via the "finger of God". It is, "you that work iniquity". That is, the persons had involved them themselves in works that were not called for. The context shows this for they are called into question at the Judgement Seat as to whether "they did the will of the Father in heaven". Many a good corporal will lead his men well in battle, and will also have an appreciation of the flow of the battle. But if he acts outside of His General's orders, though it might seem right at the time, he will be shot for treason. So also these Christians. They had the weaponry. They had the Talent. They could apply the Holy Spirit's power. But they did it WITHOUT ORDERS! WHY? Because they were not INTIMATE with the General!
    3. The loss is NOT their "salvation". Their rebirth is NOT annulled. Their portion of divine life and nature is not removed. They are with those raptured to the Bema in the air. They are in the Company of other Christians. They are the "many". What then is their loss? The same a Saul's. They may not be king for their disobedience (1st Sam.15:23-26). The Judgement Seat of Christ FOR CHRISTIANS is not to decide concerning the Lake of Fire. It is not to decide whether the Christian has the rebirth or the divine life. It is to decide if he INHERITS the earth. It is to decide of he has shown himself worthy and obedient in order to represent Christ's Kingdom well for 1,000 years. For this he was saved by the death of Christ. And what has he done? He has squandered it. He is disowned as an heir. And all this because HE WAS NOT INTIMATE WITH HIS LORD.
    4. And finally, he must "DEPART". The Lord has been with him during this age, but he has not been with the Lord. Now the state of things is et in order. The Lord seeks you to be intimate. Do you seek Him? You want to act independent of the Lord now? OK! You will be alone in the next age! DEPART from the presence of Christ for the duration of the Kingdom on earth as we know it - 1,000 years!

    (3) In Matthew 25:12 we have another achingly sad narrative. The Christian is the only "Virgin" of the new Testament. Israel are in chastisement and divorced. The Nations hate Christ and fornicate with Babylon. The "Virgin" of Matthew 25 is a Christian. His Lamp is burning. That is, his spirit is enlightened, enlivened and burning (Prov.20:27). He is in the company of other Virgins. He waits for His Bridegrooms coming. Neither Israel nor the Nations wait for the Coming of the Groom - Jesus. He is woken from his sleep with the other like Virgins. He is still looking forward to the Groom. He trims his Lamp for this. He "goes forth" with the others. He is, in every respect, the same as the other 9 - a true Christian with his spirit "burning" for Christ. But he has made TWO terrible mistakes.
    1. He thought that EVERYTHING was for free. Yes! His rebirth and partaking of the divine life was for free. His sins were put away for free. His position IN Christ was for free. But to FUNCTION in the coming Kingdom of Christ, he needed extra oil in his VESSEL. Rebirth and forgiveness are the fundamental requirements to start a journey in which a man is transformed into the likeness of Christ (Rom.8:29). This is done by an INTIMATE WALK with Christ's Spirit (2nd Cor.3:18). Paul says that "know" Him we must be partakers of His sufferings and be conformed to His death (Phil.3:10). For an extra portion of the Spirit A PRICE MUST BE PAID. The price is your soul-life and even your physical life as a martyr.
    2. The Virgin did know this! WHY? Because he did not walk with Christ. He did not shun the world and riches. He loved the good life above the road that Christ walked. He thought everything was for free and was not prepared to pay the price so that, "... Christ be formed in you." (Gal.4:19). He was not intimate and close and listening and desiring Christ to the uttermost.

    Does he lose his rebirth? NO! Does he lose his escape from the Lake of Fire? NO! Is his Lamp (his spirit) extinguished? NO! is he still called a "Virgin"? YES! May he go forth to BUY the necessary oil? YES. But on his return to the Wedding Feast, the place of ultimate "joy of the Lord", he meets the damning reason why this all happened. "But he (the Groom) answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not." WHY? Does not the Lord Jesus know His sheep? Again the Greek answers for us. This time it is "oida". This Greek word which we render "know" is always past tense and means "I never perceived you", or "I never had sight of you". Why did Christ never see this Virgin? Because he DID NOT WALK THE SAME ROAD. He walked the road where that was for free he got and then thought that all was for free. But our Lord's road was NOT FOR FREE. It cost Him ALL He had. It cost Him His high position with the Father in heaven. It cost Him poverty. It cost Him denial and rejection and hate. It cost Him His "soul-life" and His physical life. It cost Him his rightful position on the throne of Israel for 2,000 years. It cost Him His inheritance - Canaan, for 2,000 years. His ROAD is our road if we are to WALK with Him and be "perceived by Him". He is not looking for Christians who are walking the wide and easy path that leads to destruction. He is looking for those who walk the narrow path to LIFE.

    There are THREE ways the lord speaks to us Christians:
    1. His Written Word. This fixed in writing and will never be overthrown
    2. His instant Word spoken in the meetings by the prophets for, "... edification, and exhortation, and comfort." (1st Cor.14:3)
    3. His voice in our human spirit (Rom.8:14). The context is the One who "dwells in you" - twice in verse 11

    Only those who spend time with the Lord in His Word, who seek intimacy with Him and whose spiritual ears are open will hear what He is saying at any given time, and those who walk His road, will hear and obey.

  5. #5
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    Re: the Spirit life

    Quote Originally Posted by kyCyd View Post
    Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

    I was raised the same as you and I thank God for believing parents and being taught as a child to pray to God and that to me started my relationship with God. I was taught about Jesus with stories from the Bible. So to me I was a believer from a very young age. To me the Spirit of the Lord has been directing things all my life. I pray I keep that child like faith. I was raised having parents in the word of God for themselves, so it was not just a go to church relationship. I believe there are many in the church with real relationships with the Lord so I would not judge that as far as a denomination goes.

    The way you present this, it is like you think people in these denominations are not saved or have no relationships with the Lord. You make it sound like you didn't know the Lord as a child. I do not agree with you about that. Jesus didn't put stipulations on the Holy Spirit that I have noticed. He said He would send Him.

    To me our understanding grows and our walk becomes more personal as we mature this may lead us to different paths as we get older as it did with you. My path changed too, but I believed in Jesus as a child, therefore I believe I was saved.

    Proverbs 3:6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

    I believe my paths were directed of the Lord.

    Luke 1:50 And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.
    Interesting. Thank you for that. I think my parents were as dedicated to the church as your parents were, but your parents may have had a more intimate personal relationship with God than my parents did. That my parents believed in Christ there is no question. But the real issue for me is, How much did our parents respond to the inner voice of the Holy Spirit in their daily lives?

    I was raised from birth as *every week at church* Christians. We were 100% participants, going back to my Dad's parents, who emigrated here. My dad did everything from play the organ and lead the choir to teach adult Sunday School. They believed in tithing.

    But if you know anything about Lutheranism at all, it tends to be lifeless, spiritually. I can't remember a single sermon that impressed me, although I was quite young when I attended. A few people in the congregation did, however, impress me with their faith. In my view, this was much too little, as I understand it now. I'm glad I quit in my late teens! I am, on the other hand, extremely grateful for the discipline I learned, and for the confirmation classes! And the many years of Sunday School had to give me a foundation for my Christian faith.

    As for my own personal Christianity, I knew God and talked to God, every night and at every meal for many years. I talked to God when I had problems at school, and even later, in the midst of my rebellion. I sincerely apologized to God at Communion services. I never stopped going to church as I compromised my faith outside of the church. I felt guilty, and this helped to lead me back to God, and to a complete commitment to God.

    My point is, I missed the most important aspect of Christianity in all this, which is turning my *whole life* over to Christ, listening to God's word to my heart *continually.* I had only gone to God when I needed Him. I never thought about asking Him in making important decisions in life--perhaps I was too young? But in my latter teens, as I went through a moral crisis, I found I was unable to secure victory until I completely capitulated to God's help and guidance. I call this "living in relationship with God," being subject to His word at all times. This is not a "slavery" relationship, but rather, a consultation relationship. The Holy Spirit has become a very present reality in my life, performing a "counseling" service. However, His moral authority is absolute.

    This has come home to me personally in the last few weeks, as I've watched my daughter--my only blood child--advance to her 30th birthday, only to experience divorce and hysteria. I had thought we raised her to be a Christian, and like me, she has spent almost every week of her life in church. But recently she informed us that she had only been a "nominal Christian," and only now was learning to commit fully to God. She claims her life now is more "spiritual." And one of my pastors told my wife yesterday that our daughter has "received the Spirit." This pastor has known our daughter for many years, and insisted she had really been a Christian, but simply had not "received the Spirit."

    So I suppose this is the old Pentecostal doctrine of the "Baptism of the Holy Spirit." And this is what I'm inquiring about. Sorry about the long post, but I felt your interest required I provide greater detail. Thanks for your input!

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    Re: the Spirit life

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Mark View Post
    John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

    And if Jesus is our example:

    John 12:48 There is a judge for the one who rejects Me and does not receive My words: The word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day. 49I have not spoken on My own, but the Father who sent Me has commanded Me what to say and how to say it. 50And I know that His command leads to eternal life. So I speak exactly what the Father has told Me to say.
    Thank you! Succinctly put. God's word is something that we *hear* from within us. It's not just knowledge of the Scriptures. It is hearing God personally in a way unique to the Christian life. The Holy Spirit has been given to us as a "counselor." We are told that we are not slaves, but children. I believe we can eat of any tree of the garden freely. But there are some trees the Holy Spirit tells us to stay far away from!

  7. #7
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    Re: the Spirit life

    Quote Originally Posted by Walls View Post
    I can only echo your belief that we need a living, active, virile and intimate relationship with our Lord Jesus. It is one thing to be saved from one's sins and avoid the Lake of Fire, but it is fully another thing to be in constant communion with our Lord Jesus. And it is this intimate and constant communion that leads us to obedience. I propose three scriptures;

    (1) In John 14:23, "Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him." There is a difficulty here that must be settled. The word "love" is "agapeo" in the Greek. It is a difficult word to define, but its usage is not difficult to see. It is generally used to show God's love for His Son, and His People. And this cements the dire need for a Christian to be close to the Lord for "agapeo" does not proceed from man. The natural love of a man is "philadelphia" (brotherly love) and "eros" (erotic love). "Agapeo" is exclusively God's love and must be obtained from God's nature. This doubles the requirement for intimacy. To "love" God we have to already have been seeking and have found Him. It is true that "agapeo" is imparted to men at rebirth, for the divine nature is not given piecemeal, but it has to be nurtured on the one hand, and simultaneously the old nature that wishes to love oneself must be squashed. When our Lord asked Peter if he loved Him three times, He used "agapeo" twice. Note Peter's humble answer. "Yes, he loved the Lord BUT ONLY WITH "PHILADELPHIA"! We must seek the higher and more effective love - agapeo, which is only to be had from God.

    (2) In Matthew 7:23 Christians are in view and the setting is the Bema, the Judgement Seat of Christ. The Christians are famous. They have exercised the enormous power given by the Holy Spirit for service. They have cast out demons and done MANY wondrous works. But then, CRUSHINGLY, "And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." The WORKS are not denied by the Judge. But the judgement is DAMNING. Notice the following salient facts.
    1. The Lord never "knew" them. The Greek word for "knew" indicates "awareness". It is one thing to intellectually know something, but fully another thing to have the personal awareness of something. Joseph "knew" Mary as a companion and an espoused, as a friend and a woman, but in that he had not ever made love to her, he had not "known" her (Matt.1:25). Thus our Lord Jesus knew these disciples by name and position, but that intimate awareness was missing.
    2. Our Lord Jesus does not deny the works. It is NOT "you who do works of iniquity" for the casting out of demons must be via the "finger of God". It is, "you that work iniquity". That is, the persons had involved them themselves in works that were not called for. The context shows this for they are called into question at the Judgement Seat as to whether "they did the will of the Father in heaven". Many a good corporal will lead his men well in battle, and will also have an appreciation of the flow of the battle. But if he acts outside of His General's orders, though it might seem right at the time, he will be shot for treason. So also these Christians. They had the weaponry. They had the Talent. They could apply the Holy Spirit's power. But they did it WITHOUT ORDERS! WHY? Because they were not INTIMATE with the General!
    3. The loss is NOT their "salvation". Their rebirth is NOT annulled. Their portion of divine life and nature is not removed. They are with those raptured to the Bema in the air. They are in the Company of other Christians. They are the "many". What then is their loss? The same a Saul's. They may not be king for their disobedience (1st Sam.15:23-26). The Judgement Seat of Christ FOR CHRISTIANS is not to decide concerning the Lake of Fire. It is not to decide whether the Christian has the rebirth or the divine life. It is to decide if he INHERITS the earth. It is to decide of he has shown himself worthy and obedient in order to represent Christ's Kingdom well for 1,000 years. For this he was saved by the death of Christ. And what has he done? He has squandered it. He is disowned as an heir. And all this because HE WAS NOT INTIMATE WITH HIS LORD.
    4. And finally, he must "DEPART". The Lord has been with him during this age, but he has not been with the Lord. Now the state of things is et in order. The Lord seeks you to be intimate. Do you seek Him? You want to act independent of the Lord now? OK! You will be alone in the next age! DEPART from the presence of Christ for the duration of the Kingdom on earth as we know it - 1,000 years!

    (3) In Matthew 25:12 we have another achingly sad narrative. The Christian is the only "Virgin" of the new Testament. Israel are in chastisement and divorced. The Nations hate Christ and fornicate with Babylon. The "Virgin" of Matthew 25 is a Christian. His Lamp is burning. That is, his spirit is enlightened, enlivened and burning (Prov.20:27). He is in the company of other Virgins. He waits for His Bridegrooms coming. Neither Israel nor the Nations wait for the Coming of the Groom - Jesus. He is woken from his sleep with the other like Virgins. He is still looking forward to the Groom. He trims his Lamp for this. He "goes forth" with the others. He is, in every respect, the same as the other 9 - a true Christian with his spirit "burning" for Christ. But he has made TWO terrible mistakes.
    1. He thought that EVERYTHING was for free. Yes! His rebirth and partaking of the divine life was for free. His sins were put away for free. His position IN Christ was for free. But to FUNCTION in the coming Kingdom of Christ, he needed extra oil in his VESSEL. Rebirth and forgiveness are the fundamental requirements to start a journey in which a man is transformed into the likeness of Christ (Rom.8:29). This is done by an INTIMATE WALK with Christ's Spirit (2nd Cor.3:18). Paul says that "know" Him we must be partakers of His sufferings and be conformed to His death (Phil.3:10). For an extra portion of the Spirit A PRICE MUST BE PAID. The price is your soul-life and even your physical life as a martyr.
    2. The Virgin did know this! WHY? Because he did not walk with Christ. He did not shun the world and riches. He loved the good life above the road that Christ walked. He thought everything was for free and was not prepared to pay the price so that, "... Christ be formed in you." (Gal.4:19). He was not intimate and close and listening and desiring Christ to the uttermost.

    Does he lose his rebirth? NO! Does he lose his escape from the Lake of Fire? NO! Is his Lamp (his spirit) extinguished? NO! is he still called a "Virgin"? YES! May he go forth to BUY the necessary oil? YES. But on his return to the Wedding Feast, the place of ultimate "joy of the Lord", he meets the damning reason why this all happened. "But he (the Groom) answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not." WHY? Does not the Lord Jesus know His sheep? Again the Greek answers for us. This time it is "oida". This Greek word which we render "know" is always past tense and means "I never perceived you", or "I never had sight of you". Why did Christ never see this Virgin? Because he DID NOT WALK THE SAME ROAD. He walked the road where that was for free he got and then thought that all was for free. But our Lord's road was NOT FOR FREE. It cost Him ALL He had. It cost Him His high position with the Father in heaven. It cost Him poverty. It cost Him denial and rejection and hate. It cost Him His "soul-life" and His physical life. It cost Him his rightful position on the throne of Israel for 2,000 years. It cost Him His inheritance - Canaan, for 2,000 years. His ROAD is our road if we are to WALK with Him and be "perceived by Him". He is not looking for Christians who are walking the wide and easy path that leads to destruction. He is looking for those who walk the narrow path to LIFE.

    There are THREE ways the lord speaks to us Christians:
    1. His Written Word. This fixed in writing and will never be overthrown
    2. His instant Word spoken in the meetings by the prophets for, "... edification, and exhortation, and comfort." (1st Cor.14:3)
    3. His voice in our human spirit (Rom.8:14). The context is the One who "dwells in you" - twice in verse 11

    Only those who spend time with the Lord in His Word, who seek intimacy with Him and whose spiritual ears are open will hear what He is saying at any given time, and those who walk His road, will hear and obey.
    A lot of good material here--I just don't seem to share some of your eschatology. It would require a good number of posts to explain our differences. But overall I appreciate your emphasis on the need to advance beyond a purely "nominal" stage of Christianity, in which we may do good works and yet not please the Lord with obedience.

    I do agree that many Christians will "get into heaven," and fail to achieve all they were called to be as Christians. But I also believe there are many false Christians who will suffer eternal separation from the communion of saints. The important thing for us is to ensure that we arrive at our destination, proud that we had been obedient and in intimate contact with the Lord.

  8. #8
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    Re: the Spirit life

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    Thank you! Succinctly put. God's word is something that we *hear* from within us. It's not just knowledge of the Scriptures. It is hearing God personally in a way unique to the Christian life. The Holy Spirit has been given to us as a "counselor." We are told that we are not slaves, but children. I believe we can eat of any tree of the garden freely. But there are some trees the Holy Spirit tells us to stay far away from!
    Indeed! There has always been two main trees and still are today. The pharisees had memorized the word of God, but they did not know God's voice. God still speaks to us today even about things that are not found in scripture. Yes, He does explain the scriptures, but He also guides and directs and counsels us in many ways.

    How does a man know he is called to preach? Does he not hear God's call? There are many stories about saints throughout history that heard God speak to them and they acted accordingly.
    Matt 9:13
    13 "But go and learn what this means: ' I DESIRE COMPASSION,AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
    NASU

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    Re: the Spirit life

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    My personal testimony is simple. I spent most of the 1st 17 years of my life going to church and being a Christian, praying every day and believing in the doctrines of Lutheranism. It was not, however, until I understood that God speaks to my heart on a daily basis that I became a "spiritual Christian."

    I found that there needs to be this active relationship between God's living word to my mind and an obedient response from me. When I put this word into action, I'm Spirit-filled, and fulfil what a Christian should really be!

    Even more so, I found that God wants me to be into this relationship of word to obedience on a constant basis--otherwise, I lose any sense of being Spirit-filled.

    In other words, the 1st 17 years of my life were largely wasted as a somewhat "nominal Christian." I believe true Christianity requires an association with God in which we hear God's word and respond to it in obedience.

    Don't get me wrong. I'm not "hearing voices," and responding to direct commands from God! Rather, it wasn't until about my 17th birthday that I recognized that I wasn't doing everything that God wanted me to do, that God wanted me to be listening to Him *all the time!*

    The question is: Do you believe there is a biblical basis for this? A lot of Christians like to refer "God's word" to the Scriptures, and not to a personal relationship with God. They think that believing in the core doctrines of the church is enough to make one a genuine Christian.

    What do you think? Please provide Scriptural basis for any argument you may make on this.
    One element of relationship with God I KNOW is true, when a person understands only 20% of the Bible but DOES even 80% of that 20%, is in a much better relationship with God, than anyone who KNOWS 80% of the Bible but only does 20% of what they have read.

    Action and change (renewing of the mind) is when relationship with God thrives and a servant becomes just that... a servant, completely obedient and when needed, fully empowered (anointed) to do God's will.

    It's why we see newbies in Christ (you know, the babes) praying for healing, or for breakthrough in their own or other's lives (those who they are interceding for) and mighty testimony results from HOW God responds and answers in miraculous ways.
    Slug1--out

    ~Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men,~

    ~Honestly, the pain of persecution lets you KNOW you are still alive... IN Christ!~

    ~Colossians 1:28 Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.~


    ~"In the turmoil of any chaos, all it takes is that whisper that is heard like thunder over all the noise and the chaos seems to go away, focus returns and we are comforted in knowing that God has listened to our cry for help."~


  10. #10
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    Re: the Spirit life

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    So I suppose this is the old Pentecostal doctrine of the "Baptism of the Holy Spirit." And this is what I'm inquiring about. Sorry about the long post, but I felt your interest required I provide greater detail. Thanks for your input!
    Acts 1 & 2 use the word "baptism of the Holy Spirit" and "filled with the Holy Spirit" interchangeably. Ephesians talks about being filled with the Spirit. IMO, the baptism is real but when I am with people who don't like to call it that, I just call it "being filled" and they are fine. It happens over and over again in the Christian life or it should. It is not a one time event. But I do believe it is an event that happens after salvation.

    In John 20 (maybe it's 21 I can't remember exactly) Jesus breathed on the disciples while telling them to "receive the Holy Spirit". IMO, that was when they became indwelt. But Acts 2, is when they became filled/baptized.
    Matt 9:13
    13 "But go and learn what this means: ' I DESIRE COMPASSION,AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
    NASU

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    Re: the Spirit life

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Mark View Post
    Acts 1 & 2 use the word "baptism of the Holy Spirit" and "filled with the Holy Spirit" interchangeably. Ephesians talks about being filled with the Spirit. IMO, the baptism is real but when I am with people who don't like to call it that, I just call it "being filled" and they are fine. It happens over and over again in the Christian life or it should. It is not a one time event. But I do believe it is an event that happens after salvation.

    In John 20 (maybe it's 21 I can't remember exactly) Jesus breathed on the disciples while telling them to "receive the Holy Spirit". IMO, that was when they became indwelt. But Acts 2, is when they became filled/baptized.
    A verse I use during Bible study concerning being "filled by the Holy Spirit" more than once, when the Apostles and all those present (all who have already received the Holy Spirit through belief) with them prayed for boldness, the Holy Spirit filled them AGAIN... Acts 4:31

    All one has to do is go back to v8 even. Being filled in the Holy Spirit is more about the authority of God manifesting and this manifestation doesn't always have to be a supernatural miracle. Instead, it can be just what these scriptures I posted is about... boldness, an assure comfort that God is moving within oneself and any fear or any hesitation literally vanishes and what NEEDS to be spoken, is spoken. When a servant is "led" by the Holy Spirit, the POWER is obvious and is about being filled by the Holy Spirit. This can happen many times in a servants life.

    Literally, when this happens and anyone who has had this happen, will understand what I'm about to say. It is a surprise even to the one speaking and when the Holy Spirit FILLS a person for the purpose of speaking, whatever is spoken it can be like one is listening to themselves. One of the most common experiences I personally have is when people may come to an altar call and I am praying. I usually ask if there is anything specific they may want prayed about, some answer with specifics and some don't. Usually, when a person doesn't I will be praying and then, I find myself switching to a totally different topic that (as I mentioned) surprises me and at times I've literally just listened to myself speak louder and with a firm (assured) authority I don't normally pray with. Based on the sudden bursting of crying from the person I am praying over, the Holy Spirit is filling me with the SPECIFICS that needed to be spoken in prayer.

    These prayers, are ALWAYS answered in one way or another and God's blessed me and fulfills me with joy as many have informed me later how God answered the prayer. God blesses me in this simple fact, by involving me as a servant He worked through. Some have asked, HOW did I know? To God all the credit and glory. As a servant, I can only be truthful and say it's NOT me, it was all God.

    Faith is exercises and grown also.
    Slug1--out

    ~Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men,~

    ~Honestly, the pain of persecution lets you KNOW you are still alive... IN Christ!~

    ~Colossians 1:28 Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.~


    ~"In the turmoil of any chaos, all it takes is that whisper that is heard like thunder over all the noise and the chaos seems to go away, focus returns and we are comforted in knowing that God has listened to our cry for help."~


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    Re: the Spirit life

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Mark View Post
    Indeed! There has always been two main trees and still are today. The pharisees had memorized the word of God, but they did not know God's voice. God still speaks to us today even about things that are not found in scripture. Yes, He does explain the scriptures, but He also guides and directs and counsels us in many ways.

    How does a man know he is called to preach? Does he not hear God's call? There are many stories about saints throughout history that heard God speak to them and they acted accordingly.
    I must say that over the last number of decades I have evolved, somewhat, and grown. The "voice within" remains in a "conscience" role, convicting me when I'm acting in an unloving manner. The Holy Spirit tells me when I'm displeasing God.

    On the other hand, the Holy Spirit seems to work together with divinely-led circumstances, to confirm that a particular direction is okay to go in. Sometimes I feel like Paul, walking in "fear and trembling," afraid to displease God.

    But we can rest confidant that if God loved us when we were yet sinners, how much more does He love us now that we're living in obedience to Him?

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    Re: the Spirit life

    Quote Originally Posted by Slug1 View Post
    One element of relationship with God I KNOW is true, when a person understands only 20% of the Bible but DOES even 80% of that 20%, is in a much better relationship with God, than anyone who KNOWS 80% of the Bible but only does 20% of what they have read.
    However, my problem was different than this. Your idea of "understanding the Bible"--no matter what %, is different from how I understood the Bible. I knew it, and I knew what it meant. But I didn't understand it as anything more than "being good." This was an authentic good, but I had little recognition of what the Bible meant by an active relationship with God.

    By "active relationship with God" I'm referring to walking with God on a daily basis, hearing His acceptance of what I do, and knowing that He is in my life, inspiring both deeds and words. One of the 1st great books to wake me up on this was Watchman Nee's "The Ministry of God's Word." This book was the 1st to inform me about hearing God for myself, as opposed to just reading the Scriptures.

    I read through the entire Bible during confirmation at 13 years old. But I didn't know what it meant by a personal walk with God! I just though it meant just being good and talking with God. I didn't know there was any specificity to God's guidance in our lives. I didn't see the pattern of His guidance in my life, nor did I understand how He reveals things to us to share with others.

    Quote Originally Posted by Slug1
    Action and change (renewing of the mind) is when relationship with God thrives and a servant becomes just that... a servant, completely obedient and when needed, fully empowered (anointed) to do God's will.

    It's why we see newbies in Christ (you know, the babes) praying for healing, or for breakthrough in their own or other's lives (those who they are interceding for) and mighty testimony results from HOW God responds and answers in miraculous ways.
    Yes, even a babe in Christ would've been more effective than me in my nominal Christian walk. We really need to learn how to do the "good confession." Even if we can only utter a few words about our testimony of Christ we will do better than someone who doesn't know how the word of God is active in his or her life! Being good is good. But it's way better to be a babe and just communicate a few words of revealed truth.

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    Re: the Spirit life

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Mark View Post
    Acts 1 & 2 use the word "baptism of the Holy Spirit" and "filled with the Holy Spirit" interchangeably. Ephesians talks about being filled with the Spirit. IMO, the baptism is real but when I am with people who don't like to call it that, I just call it "being filled" and they are fine. It happens over and over again in the Christian life or it should. It is not a one time event. But I do believe it is an event that happens after salvation.

    In John 20 (maybe it's 21 I can't remember exactly) Jesus breathed on the disciples while telling them to "receive the Holy Spirit". IMO, that was when they became indwelt. But Acts 2, is when they became filled/baptized.
    I think the "Spirit Baptism" is designed to be part of our salvation upon conversion. I don't think it's necessarily "speaking in tongues." Rather, I think it's walking with the Lord and being "filled with the Spirit," as you suggested.

    Somewhere along the line I came to the awareness of this need. I think the Lutheran denomination suppressed my recognition of it, in all of the learning I had there. One way to stifle your awareness of the work of the Spirit is to live among those who don't do it themselves. Hanging out with the "world" not only kept me blind, but it also led me into gross sin. I try to stay away from the world unless it is a matter of necessary business or an opportunity to share the gospel.

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    Re: the Spirit life

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    However, my problem was different than this. Your idea of "understanding the Bible"--no matter what %, is different from how I understood the Bible. I knew it, and I knew what it meant. But I didn't understand it as anything more than "being good." This was an authentic good, but I had little recognition of what the Bible meant by an active relationship with God.

    By "active relationship with God" I'm referring to walking with God on a daily basis, hearing His acceptance of what I do, and knowing that He is in my life, inspiring both deeds and words. One of the 1st great books to wake me up on this was Watchman Nee's "The Ministry of God's Word." This book was the 1st to inform me about hearing God for myself, as opposed to just reading the Scriptures.

    I read through the entire Bible during confirmation at 13 years old. But I didn't know what it meant by a personal walk with God! I just though it meant just being good and talking with God. I didn't know there was any specificity to God's guidance in our lives. I didn't see the pattern of His guidance in my life, nor did I understand how He reveals things to us to share with others.
    Here is a question I've asked people face to face when they basically explained the same as you just did. I ask, "do you feel you were an academic religious person?" I explain some of what I wrote in the other post. I'll add, application OF the Word is fruit of a relationship with God while with some, it is more a relationship with a church, a denomination and the tenets of doctrine the denom follows, or actually, with a "God" that one wants, and not with "God who is."


    Yes, even a babe in Christ would've been more effective than me in my nominal Christian walk. We really need to learn how to do the "good confession." Even if we can only utter a few words about our testimony of Christ we will do better than someone who doesn't know how the word of God is active in his or her life! Being good is good. But it's way better to be a babe and just communicate a few words of revealed truth.
    Jesus does say to be like a "child" and the academics who read this "logically reason" this in a wrong way. Jesus is telling His children that as a child one is MATURE in their dependence ON HIM! Has nothing to do with being "immature" (child-like). It's all about being LIKE Him, the Son of God who was DEPENDENT on His Father, who listened to His Father, DID what the Father told Him to do. That is what Jesus means when He says to be like a child. Submit, listen to, mind, depend, adore, etc.

    A child doesn't KNOW much at all, but what they do know, they apply (prayerfully) and in a trusting dependent relationship with God, they can apply 100% of what little they actually know. AND, always a bunch of ands... the MORE childlike one is, just means the MORE mature that they are in submission/dependence, trust, etc, with God. They have MORE experience with God, not always more knowledge and as we know, experience goes a lot farther than academic knowledge ever will. Even in the secular world, wise employers will prefer an experienced worker than any academic that has little experience.

    I bet God finds it EASIER to work with Christians who are like children and in so, are mature enough to recognize His voice in greater ways and be willing to be obedient than any academic who is actually immature in relationship with God and can't recognize His voice and won't do anything CRAZY that He tells them to do.
    Slug1--out

    ~Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men,~

    ~Honestly, the pain of persecution lets you KNOW you are still alive... IN Christ!~

    ~Colossians 1:28 Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.~


    ~"In the turmoil of any chaos, all it takes is that whisper that is heard like thunder over all the noise and the chaos seems to go away, focus returns and we are comforted in knowing that God has listened to our cry for help."~


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