WHO IS LEADING YOU?
R Sproul said “Sometimes we behave and perform with our lives, not for God,
but for an audience. “ According to Paul day by day we are constantly solicited to follow the flesh and this is why Paul encouraged us to constantly be putting to death the deeds of the body. The freedom we have in Christ through the gospel is liberating and releases us from this body of death. This is all due to the workings of the Holy Spirit in one’s life. “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.”
2 Cor 4:16
So then the question is “Who is leading you?” …The flesh or the Spirit. Knowing our adoption is the work of God; and our expression of this adoption is at the highest of praise “Abba Father”; this is all possible only through the work of the Holy Spirit. Here is where Paul encourages the believer. “So then, brothers” is a reminder of the magnificent privilege of victory the believer has over sin, the victory we have through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
Who is the Spirit that leads the adopted child of God
as they journey home?
The Holy Spirit was the agent of creation.
The Bible declares, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light.”
Gen 1:1-3. The Spirit here is “the Breath of the Almighty,” is the agent in creation. The Book of Beginnings reveals His power and energy; the picture is of God’s energy breathing out creation, as it were, speaking the worlds into existence, putting the stars into space.
The Holy Spirit brings conviction into the sinner’s heart.
The Spirit illuminates our sinfulness to our conscience. “And when He comes, He will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgement.” John 16:8. What does the Spirit use to convict our sinful hearts? “Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.” Romans 3:19-20. Paul said in Galatians 3:24, “So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith.” When Jesus spoke to the two individuals who were on the road to Emmaus we read, “They said to each other, "Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?" Luke 24:32
The Holy Spirit regenerates/converts the sinner’s heart.
It is important to remember that it is God through the work of the Holy Spirit who graciously grants us salvation. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” Titus 3:4-7. In this rebirth we are made new. “And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Cor 6:11
The Holy Spirit is the primary agent through which we are reborn.
The Holy Spirit produces in the soul, making one a new man or woman as we would read in
2 Cor 5:17; Eph 4:23-24.The Holy Spirit resides in the believer permanently. The Holy Spirit in Old Testament times was temporary in nature....for example Psalm 51:11. The Holy Spirit in the New Testament permanently takes up residence within the believer at the moment of salvation. “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.” I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” John 14:16-18. The Holy Spirit in the believer’s life is the guarantee that Jesus is coming back again and the Teacher of truth.
The Holy Spirit baptizes the believer at the moment of conversion.
The believer is baptized by the Holy Spirit at the moment of salvation, which means that that he/she has a new life with Christ once for all. This is most evident in here in the book of Romans. 6:1-4. In 1 Cor 12:13 Paul says, “For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.”
The Holy Spirit seals the believer.
The sealing of the Holy Spirit is God’s guarantee of eternal redemption for the believer. This sealing speaks of a finished transaction in which God has implied ownership of the believer. “In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. “ Eph 1:13-14. The Spirit as a sealing…. shows ownership, a completed transaction, validation, authority and security for the child of God.
The Holy Spirit fills the believer daily to live for Christ.
The filling of the Spirit in the life of the child of God is one of the most important issues of the true Christian life. Why? It depends on our complete yielding to the Spirit that dwells in us. “Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit,” Eph 5:17-18. For the unsaved they will always resist the Spirit. “You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you.” Acts 7:51. But the believer can quench, (1 Thess 5:19) we can grieve, (Eph 4:30) , But we must walk in the Spirit (Gal 5:25)
The Holy Spirit brings God’s blessings this way….
The Holy Spirit empowers life….. “When you send forth your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the ground.” Psalm 104:30
The Holy Spirit gives us life in regeneration…… “…but the Spirit gives life.” 2 Cor 3:6
The Holy Spirit purifies……. “…by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Cor 6:11
The Holy Spirit reveals and gives evidence of God’s presence…… “…the Spirit bears witness with our spirit.” Rom 8:16
The Holy Spirit unifies……. “…any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit….” Phil 2:1-2
The filling of the Holy Spirit ultimately results in:
Fruit of the Spirit….. Galatians 5:22-23
Joyful and sharing hearts…..Ephesians 5:19
This is the Third Person of the Trinity who resides, directs, convicts, and prepares the adopted son or daughter for glory. Paul says, “all who are led” is in the present passive. (v14)
This puts the responsibility on Who?
The responsibility of this leading is by the Holy Spirit who is the motivating power in the life of the believer. This passive form of the Greek verb gives the supremacy to the Holy Spirit in determining, and directing the actions of the believer. The Holy Spirit is the One who is actively, continually acting on and in the believer. “He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Phil 1:6. The Holy Spirit leads the believer in the truth of God. “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.” John 16:13-14. The Holy Spirit will lead the believer away from sin; and will conduct and accompany the believer along the way and comfort them. “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” John 14:26
“Helper” has a legal dimension; it refers to one who would be an advocate. In its wider context, it speaks of comfort, of protection, of counsel, and of guidance. The Holy Spirit will produce in you and me a life pleasing to God as God fulfills His purposes in your life. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Gal 5:22
This active leading by the Spirit produces this in our lives….
We are different, strangers, foreigners in a waste land of sin. We are a people today who are doing the same thing with the Gospel. We are a people who are to point people to the already finished work on the cross. We are a people who are to spread the news or pave the way so that people can find forgiveness and restoration and most of all eternal life. We are a people who are to plead with people about the pending dome for those who don’t believe in Jesus Christ. We are a testimony of the grace that has already been given to mankind. We are the set apart ones who are crying out to a world that is hardened and evil and wants nothing to do with the One who saves to the uttermost.
We may be strangers with a message that is unacceptable
and hostile to sinful world. But never forget! It’s this same message that saved you, and set you apart.
Our identity is hidden in the light of truth found in Christ which
is led by the supremacy of the Holy Spirit.
Our identity makes us unique and unusual, so don’t be surprised when someone asks you that question “Who are you?” My question for you is “Has anyone asked you that question lately?”
Who is leading your life despite the circumstances you are
presently going through, or faced with?
Knowing I am led by the Spirit elevates what Paul says in (v16-v17) Here we see the blessed assurance as Paul expresses two important realties in the life of the believer.
1. The Holy Spirit Bears Witness With Our Spirit. (v16)
Paul declares that believers are children of God in whom there should be no fear. In the Greek this statement “bears witness with” means “to testify, to add testimony, or support another” The Holy Spirit is not an emotion or some charismatic rush of G-Fuel. He is there as our comforter, to guide, to instruct, to correct, and to chastise us under all circumstances. He is our joy, and blessed assurance, that we belong to God. He does this by His continual testimony over the believer’s life. He is the Author of the new birth. (John 3)
The Holy Spirit does this by constantly assuring the believer
that his or her life is secure in God.
For the true believer there is no need to waver on this truth of one’s salvation. “Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son. And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.” 1 John 5:10-13
It’s this truth… that produces stability in the life of the believer because we are grounded in what? His Holy Word. The Author Scripture as Paul said to Timothy, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” 2 Tim 3:16-17
R C Sproul said in his commentary, “If we lack assurance and want our hearts to be at peace, we must go the Word. The Spirit confirms His truth to us in and through the Word. If we want to be led by the Spirit of God, we must immerse ourselves in the Spirit-filled Word. We are called to test the spirits to make sure that the spirit who is leading us is the Holy Spirit, and the only test we can apply is the test of the Word itself.”
As Peter said, “For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” 2 Peter 1:21
We live in a sin-cursed system and its getting worse by the second but it doesn’t change the reality that I am secure in Him.
There are three things I know that is securing my heart daily.
I know I am loved by God though the Gospel confession and His Holy Word.
I know I am secure in His sovereign arms in my eternal state and residence.
I know I am loved by my family as an extension of God’s grace in the gospel.
The Holy Spirit Assures Us That We Heirs Of God, Fellow Heirs With Christ. (V17)
We are not just children of God, we are an heir to God as well. Being a child means….. I have a family; being an heir means I am included in the family forever. But what’s strange/out of sorts about this text, is what Paul says after this positon we hold in Christ. “…provided we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him.” (v17)
We are secure in this love, and we are heirs to God
but this life we now live won’t be easy.
This is not talking about our identity in Christ as in chapter 6. This is speaking about ongoing identification with Him in our day to day lives. (your day to day practical living for Christ). This will become more evident in the verses that follow (which we will be looking at next week)
It will require sacrifice of this world and submission to God. Paul never said this was going to easy street! (v17) In chapter five of 2 Corinthians Paul says, “For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight.”
2 Cor 5:1-7
Remember what Jesus said, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. "Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. "You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet. "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matt 5:3-16
Jesus said in John’s Gospel, “If the world hates you, you know that
it hated Me before it hated you.” What Jesus said next is to encourage our hearts as we press on for Him is even more amazing. “If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.” John 15:18-20. In order for us to see this glory we view our past, present, and future suffering for the cause of Christ as part of our sonship.
Who is leading you?
If the world loves you, you are in the flesh, this means that in your flesh you fit in with those of the flesh. But if you are a child of the King you have been taken out of this world. We have been placed in the Spirit and identified with Christ. This means that the world will hate us.
There will be an ongoing, unrelenting, opposition between
the world, flesh and the believer.
As Paul said, “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” 2 Cor 3:17-18