Yesterday we began a new series titled “Do We Believe?” We looked at the Newsboys’ new song, We Believe and I asked you all to reflect on your lives to see if the beliefs you claim were evidenced in your lives. What did you find?
I know in my own life, I hold strong to my beliefs when things are going well or going my way. It is when things get out of my control that it is a little harder to see Christ in my life. Satan likes to use my insecurities against me, and time and time again I fall for his stupid tricks. I am getting wiser to his tricks, and I would like to show you how I am using the power of Christ to overcome temptations. However, we must first truly understand our beliefs in God the Father, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, and the new lives given to us through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ as these beliefs are the key to unlocking said power. So please bear with me as this is going to be a little on the long side today. But I believe it is good and leading to something even better.
We believe in God the Father
We believe in Jesus Christ
We believe in the Holy Spirit
And He’s given us new life
We believe in the crucifixion
We believe that He conquered death
We believe in the resurrection
And He’s comin’ back again, we believe (Newsboys)
Each line in this Chorus is important to our Christian walk. Each line is a stepping stone to the power I referenced above. You can’t have one without the other. It just doesn’t work.
We believe in God the Father (The first person of the Holy Trinity):
As a kid, I didn’t want to hear much about God the Father. I wanted to learn about that Jesus because he seemed a whole lot nicer. I related God to the wicked stepmothers in fairy tales. God was all about following rules and punishment. Jesus was like a fairy godmother, all about the love and the forgiveness. Ummm…I’ll take that Jesus guy any day…right? Okay, my childhood perspectives may have been a little off, but I know I am not alone.
The truth is that while you can’t have God without Jesus (I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through me John 14:6), you can’t have Jesus without the Father. It was the Father, who loved us so much that he gave his only son (John 3:16). It was the Father who desired relationships with us. How much more loving can you get? Furthermore, while tend to equate Jesus with love, scripture is clear that God is love:
1 John 4:8: But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
God the Father continually showed love and forgiveness throughout the Old Testament, beginning with Adam and Eve, through Abraham promise, and over and over again with His chosen people, the Israelites.
You can’t go to the next step of Jesus Christ, without first acknowledging what God the Father has done for us.
We believe in Jesus Christ (The second person of the Holy Trinity):
Jesus Christ is without a doubt the central figure of the New Testament and Christianity as a whole. While the Old Testament (Old Covenant) is centered around God and the Mosaic Laws, the New Testament (New Covenant) is about Jesus Christ and the new covenant of grace.
Jesus Christ is the son of God (Mark 1:1). He was created through the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary (Matthew 1:18). Jesus lived on the earth, as we all do, but remained sinless (2 Corinthians 5:21). He performed great miracles (Jon 2:1-11; John 4:46-54; Mark 1:21-28, etc.) and was a great teacher (John 13:13). He is the founder of the church (Mark 1:15).
We believe He’s given us new life; We believe in the crucifixion; We believe that He conquered death; We believe in the resurrection; and He’s comin’ back again:
(Yes, I realize I skipped the Holy Spirit; we’ll get back to him in a minute)
He is our savior and redeemer because he made the ultimate sacrifice for our sins through his death on the cross (crucifixion) (John 19). Christ’s death tore the veil that separated us from God (Mark 15:38), which allowed us to have a relationship with God. We were given a chance for our sins to be wiped away and a chance at a new life (Ephesians 2:5). I say given a chance because we have to repent and accept Christ as our savior before we can be saved (Acts 3:19 Romans 10:13; Acts 16:30; Luke 18:13). All we have to do is “ confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved (Romans 10:9-10).” As Romans 9 states, Christ did not stay dead. No, he defeated death (and thereby sin-discuss tomorrow) when he arose three days later, proving to the world that he was the Messiah that had been prophesied about and their along waited savior (Luke 24).
Oops, did I forget to mention that He is coming back (Matthew 24:30). It is important because, one, it fulfills scripture, and two, we must be ready. Nobody knows when he is coming, and we don’t want to wait until it is too late to choose him. If we are already saved than we should do our best to get as many others saved as possible.
We believe in the Holy Spirit (The third person of the Holy Trinity):
For me, the Holy Spirit is the most under appreciated and often secret entity in the Bible. A lot of Christians do not recognize it, but the Holy Spirit is a person and not a thing. Once we are saved, it is the Holy Spirit that lives inside of us. It is my belief that when we accept the Lord as our Savior,, a seed form of Holy Spirit is implanted inside of us (John 14:16). As we grow and draw closer to God, Holy Spirit grows stronger or some say bigger, and as Holy Spirit grows, evidence of said Spirit become evident in our lives through the gifts of the Spirit: love, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22).
Now, on to the controversial side of the Holy Spirit: spiritual giftings.
1 Corinthians 12:7-11: 7 A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other. 8 To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice[b]; to another the same Spirit gives a message of special knowledge.[c] 9 The same Spirit gives great faith to another, and to someone else the one Spirit gives the gift of healing. 10 He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages,[d] while another is given the ability to interpret what is being said. 11 It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.
Christians who believe in these gifts are often called Charismatic. Charismatics are often thought of as being a little bit on the crazy side of things.
I grew up Methodist and spend a lot of my early adult years under Baptist teachings and neither really ever spoke much on the Holy Spirit. If it was mentioned, it was mentioned in the terms of a “conscience” sort of thing. Under Baptist teachings, I was taught that the gift of tongues and such no longer existed today. That teaching is based on the following:
1 Corinthians 8-12: Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages[b] and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! 9 Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! 10 But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless. 11 When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. 12 Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity.[c] All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.
I was taught the “time of perfection comes” meant when the Bible was complete. That meant that the gifts of prophesy, tongues, etc. were no longer needed once the Bible was completed.
I know disagree with such teaching. It is my belief that the “time of perfection” refers to the second coming of Christ. What that means is that the gifts of prophesy, tongues, and such are still alive and active today if we just choose to act on our giftings.
It is hard for someone to explain it to someone who has never experienced it, but the truth is that Holy Spirit is real. My walk with the Lord really got real when I became “filled with the spirit.” In other words, when I surrendered to the Lord completely, the power of the Holy Spirit arose in my like never before and I began to conquer my enemy. Now, please note that before I completely surrendered to the Lord, I had felt the Spirit inside of me many times, I just human-reasoned it away. I tried to put human explanations on spiritual happenings. Many of you may be doing the same thing. If you have never opened yourself up to the Holy Spirit, let me just ask you today to consider it. Study up on it and pray about it, and I’ll bet God will change your mind.
I would love for you to join me tomorrow as I show just how we can use the power of the Holy Spirit to beat sin and Satan once and for all.
Have a blessed day,