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Jesus Christ is the way, the truth and the life. Not everyone believes those powerful words from Sacred Scriptures and not everyone follows His way.
But to those who do follow the way of Jesus, He has given them the power to be called "Sons of God." And, he has poured out a portion of His Spirit on us.
Have You Made the Wonderful Discovery of the Spirit-Filled Life?
It can be yours and with it peace that surpasses all understanding.
He is one who has not received Christ. He seeks to direct his own life by himself. He sees himself as not answerable to anyone.
"A natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised" (1 Corinthians 2:14).
The natural man sees himself some times as nice. However, in the center of his being is "self." Things are done to please him. If they are not pleasing, he gets disturbed. He has no deep inner peace. There is a void within. The question in the back of his mind surfaces every now and then. It is: "What is it all about."
He is the one who believes in Jesus Christ and seeks to follow the Master. He acknowledges the truth that he is not the master of the world and that he is a finite being that will die.
The question: What is it all about, is answered by Jesus Christ words: "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will never die. On that foundation, the Spiritual man believes that what Jesus Christ said is the Truth.
The Spiritual man surrenders himself to the grace of God. That is done by admitting our nothingness , our weakness and our sinfulness - the times we have not lived in Truth and Love.
The Spiritual man has experienced the power of the Holy Spirit in his life. He has experienced forgiveness and mercy. He knows that he knows that God, Jesus Christ, loves him. The Spiritual man maintains his relationship with his new master Jesus Christ through prayer, reading of scriptures and fellowship with the followers of Jesus. He is Christ centered and seeks to do good by following the Holy Spirit by listening and discerning the Spirit.
Spiritual Man (One who is directed and empowered by the Holy Spirit) "He who is spiritual appraises all things...We have the mind of Christ" (1 Corinthians 2:15)
The Carnal man is one who has received Christ but who does not follow him.
He tries sometimes to live the Christian life but only in a half-hearted way relying just on his own strength. He has not come to realize in a full way the power of the Holy Spirit. The carnal man, like the natural man, wants to run his own life.
Carnal Man lives in defeat because he is trying to live the Christian life in his own strength) "And I brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to carnal men, as to babes in Christ.
I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able, for you are still carnal. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshy, and are you not walking like mere men?" (1 Corinthians 3:1-3).
God Has Provided For Us an Abundant and Fruitful Christian Life Jesus said, "I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly" (John 10:10). "I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing" (John 15:5).
"But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law" (Galatians 5:22, 23). "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth" (Acts 1:8).
The degree to which the Spiritual Man manifests the power of the spirit of love and truth in his life depends upon the extent to which the Christian trusts the Lord with every detail of his life, and upon his maturity in listening to Christ.
One who is only beginning to understand the ministry of the Holy Spirit should not be discouraged if he is not as fruitful as more mature Christians who have known and experienced this truth for a longer period.
Why is it that most Christians are not experiencing the abundant life?
Because they are not spending time centering on Jesus in prayer.
They are not "listening" to the Holy Spirit.
"If today you hear his voice, harden not your heart."
Carnal Christians Cannot Experience the Abundant and Fruitful Christian Life . The carnal man trusts in his own efforts to live the Christian life: He is either uninformed about, or has forgotten, God's love, forgiveness, and power (Romans 5:8-10; Hebrews 10:1-25; 1 John 1; 2:1-3; 2 Peter 1:9; Acts 1:8).
He has an up-and-down spiritual experience.
He cannot understand himself - he wants to do what is right, but cannot. He fails to draw upon the power of the Holy Spirit to live the Christian life. (1 Corinthians 3:1-3; Romans 7:15-24; 8:7; Galatians 5:16-18) The Carnal Man - Some or all of the following traits may characterize the Christian who does not fully trust God: (The individual who professes to be a Christian but who continues to practice sin should realize that he may not be a Christian at all, according to 1 John 2:3; 3:6, 9; Ephesians 5:5).
The third truth gives us the only solution to this problem.
Jesus Promised the Abundant and Fruitful Life as the Result of Being Filled (Directed and Empowered) by the Holy Spirit.
The Spirit-filled life is the Christ-directed life by which Christ lives His life in and through us in the power of the Holy Spirit (John 15). One becomes a Christian through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, according to John 3:1-8. From the moment of spiritual birth, the Christian is indwelt by the Holy Spirit at all times (John 1:12; Colossians 2:9, 10; John 14:16, 17).
Though all Christians are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, not all Christians are filled (directed and empowered) by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the source of the overflowing life (John 7:37-39). The Holy Spirit came to glorify Christ (John 16:1-15). When one is filled with the Holy Spirit, he is a true disciple of Christ. In His last command before His ascension, Christ promised the power of the Holy Spirit to enable us to be witnesses for Him (Acts 1:1-9). How, then, can one be filled with the Holy Spirit?
We are Filled by the Holy Spirit by emptying ourselves of sin and pride. We can not do that by ourselves. We need to ask the Holy Spirit to come and empty us. Show us our sin, enlighten our minds. When we realize our sinfulness and nothingness, then we realize that yes - Jesus Christ is my savior. He died for my sins. What he says in scriptures is true. You believe and put your full faith and trust in Jesus and his word.
God is love. He comes to those who humble themselves.
When we receive the Holy Spirit and sense in our heart his presence, then no one can ever tell us that he is not at work - and at work in a powerful way
. Then we can experience the abundant and fruitful life which Christ promised to each Christian. You can appropriate the filling of the Holy Spirit right now if you: Sincerely desire to be directed and empowered by the Holy Spirit (Matthew 5:6; John 7:37-39).
Confess your sins. By faith thank God that He has forgiven all of your sins - past, present and future - because Christ died for you (Colossians 2:13-15; 1 John 1; 2:1-3; Hebrews 10:1-17).
Present every area of your life to God (Romans 12:1, 2). By faith claim the fullness of the Holy Spirit, according to: His Command - Be filled with the Spirit. "And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit" (Ephesians 5:18).
His Promise - He will always answer when we pray according to His will. "And this is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked of Him" (1 John 5:14, 15).
"O Father in heaven, I need You.
I acknowledge that I have been directing my own life and that, as a result, I have sinned against You. I thank You that You have forgiven my sins through Christ's death on the cross for me.
I now invite Christ to again take His place on the throne of my life.
Fill me with the Holy Spirit as You commanded me to be filled, and as You promised in Your Word that You would do if I asked in faith.
I now thank You for directing my life and for filling me with the Holy Spirit."
I know you are surrounding me and penetrating me Jesus with the power of your Holy Spirit. Let me sense the presence of your saints and angels. Let the radiant love and prayers of your Blessed and Holy Mother shower me with graces. May the angels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael stand beside me. Let me be robed with the power of Your love and truth Jesus.
How do you Know that You are Filled with the Holy Spirit?
Did you ask God to fill you with the Holy Spirit?
Then he did.
On what authority? (On the trustworthiness of God Himself and His Word: Hebrews 11:6; Romans 14:22, 23.)
Do not depend upon feelings. The promise of God's Word, not our feelings, is our authority.
The Christian lives by faith (trust) in the trustworthiness of God Himself and His Word. This train diagram illustrates the relationship between fact (God and His Word), faith (our trust in God and His Word), and feeling (the result of our faith and obedience) (John 14:21). The train will run with or without the caboose. However, it would be futile to attempt to pull the train by the caboose. In the same way, we, as Christians, do not depend upon feelings or emotions, but we place our faith (trust) in the trustworthiness of God and the promises of His Word.
However, do not be surprised that when you pray to him with a sincere heart you will see miracles and wonders happen.
"And those who lived in darkness have seen a great light."
How to Walk in the Spirit Faith (trust in God and in His promises) is the only means by which a Christian can live the Spirit-directed life.
As you continue to trust Christ moment by moment: Your life will demonstrate more and more of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22, 23) and will be more and more conformed to the image of Christ (Romans 12:2; 2 Corinthians 3:18). Your prayer life and study of God's Word will become more meaningful. You will experience His power in witnessing (Acts 1:8).
You will be prepared for spiritual conflict against the world (1 John 2:15-17); against the flesh (Galatians 5:16-17); and against Satan (1 Peter 5:7-9; Ephesians 6:10-13). You will experience His power to resist temptation and sin (1 Corinthians 10:13; Philippians 4:13; Ephesians 1:19-23; 2 Timothy 1:7; Romans 6:1-16).
May God bless you in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit
(Original work done by Dr. Bill Bright. Mr. Bright passed on in 2003. See -- Bill Bright.bio. He was with Campus Crusade for Christ. This edited presentation was done by Leo Fasciocco)