The Life of the Spirit
January 3, 2015
Indeed, beginning in verse 13. The title of our message this morning, “The Life of The Spirit”. If you want to follow along the sermon notes on your smartphones or tablet, you’re going to need the church app for that. Just search for Calvary Hillsboro and you’ll have what you need.
Let’s pray. Father, thank you so much for the word that administers life, and we just open our hearts this morning and just pray God that You’ll just pour Your life into our soul and ignite and transform us by Your Holy Spirit, In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Well, I hope everyone is doing well. Happy new year to everyone! Hope that you had a great Christmas. A little time with your family, we had a little vacation. Appreciate the time off. And, Pastor Mathew, I know was just blessed with a – there was insight for word last week to appreciate him. And, as we think about the New Year, how many people have made a New Year’s resolution this year? A few of you. My New Year’s resolution is to no longer make New Year’s resolutions. That’s my new one.
But, you know, when you think about New Year’s resolutions, there’s always something, you know, to improve oneself. I am going to lose a few pounds. I am going to put the dirty laundry in the hamper this year. One of my favorites is this year I am not going to text anyone who is the next room over. I am not going to do that this year. But, when you think about improving one’s life, I think it’s important for us to recognize that the greatest impact on our lives is spiritual, and therefore I pray. My prayer for us as a Church is that we would press in spiritually into the deeper things of the Lord.
Because if you want transformation, you want your life to be blessed, it’s spiritual in nature. And that’s why I am excited that we are starting the year out in Romans chapter 8. Romans 8 is my favorite chapter from the whole Bible, because it’s so powerful and so practical. If we would take hold of these truths, they would radically transform our lives. And, you go back over this book; Paul has been building up to this chapter the whole time. He’s been speaking about the dilemma of the sinner’s life, the troubles that come because of the weakness of our flesh that we were born into.
We were born into sin — we were born in this flesh. We are going to die in this flesh. But, it does not mean that it has to conquer us, or be victorious over us. We can be victorious. And, chapter 8 of Romans, tells us how. The answer has everything to do with the nature of our relationship to God, the kind of relationship that we have. Chapter 7, which is a tremendous chapter because it reveals to us the contrast to Romans 8. See, in chapter 7, He describes what happens when a person tries to control their flesh by keeping it under the law. Well, that doesn’t work. The flesh, only wants to rebel from it, and the flesh starts acting like a teenager with an attitude. You know, constantly resisting their parent’s rules.
But, that brings the conflict that Paul spoke of in chapter 7. Those famous verses of chapter 7 that describe that conflict, so powerfully, and this is what he said, ‘I am a flesh, born’ – oh, excuse me, ‘sold into bondage to sin, for that which I am doing. I don’t understand, for I am not practicing what I would like to do, I am doing the very things I hate. For the good that I wish I do not do, I practice the very evil I do not wish’. In other words that was a complete failure. So much so that Paul broke that conflict to a great Chrissando. In the last verses of chapter 7 ‘Marissa, wretched man that I am. Who will set me free from the body of this death?’ And then the answer, ‘Thanks be to God, through Jesus Christ, our Lord.’ And, then it brings us right into Chapter 8.
I. True Sons are Led by the Spirit
See, chapter 8 describes what happens when we live by the power of the Holy Spirit, a completely different thing. It brings a completely different relationship. And, the victory that God desires. We are going to start in verse 13. We are not going to do the whole chapter today because it’s just too much, it’s just so rich. Verse 13 says, ‘If you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by The Spirit, you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live for all’ and this is a key verse here, ‘For all who are being led by The Spirit of God, these are the sons of God’ So, you have received – you have not received this spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out Abba! Father! The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.
And, if we are children, then we are heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ. If indeed we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him. For, I consider that the sufferings of this present time or the sufferings of this present world which we live in, they are not worthy to be compared to the glory that is to be revealed to us, for the anxious longing of creation itself, waits eagerly for the revealing’s of the sons of God. These are some interesting insights here. ‘For the creation was subjected to futility’, not of its own will.
But, because of Him who subjected in hope that the creation itself, also, would be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation grows and suffers the pain of childbirth together until now. Not only this, but also, we ourselves, having the first fruits of The Spirit, even we ourselves have grown with ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body—the redemption of our body, yeah. We are not taking these bodies to heaven with us. We are leaving these old things behind. And, the older you get, the more you appreciate that great truth. We are going to get redeemed, glorified bodies, and there He says, ‘we have this hope’ verse 24, ‘for in hope we have been saved’.
Seeing is not hope. For what one hopes is what He sees. But, if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it. Word of clarification on that word hope; in English, hope means, ‘I don’t know but I wish it so, I want it to be so, I hope the weather is good tomorrow. I hope the Docks win the big game. I mean I don’t know. It’s very likely. I don’t know’. See, that’s the word of hope in English. But, in the Greek it’s a very different thing. Hope is sure, it’s steadfast, and it’s where Paul says, ‘I know in Him - I have believed, and I am persuaded, convinced He’s able’. See, now, that’s important for us, let’s go back over these verses, and put it in his context and understand how God would apply it because here is—here are the keys to be victorious.
And, here is what we really need to see and that is that true sons, true sons and daughters of God are led by The Spirit. Now, if you remember, a few weeks ago when we were doing early verses of this chapter, Paul was talking about the significance of what happens in the mind. This is a very, very important insight, what happens in the mind, he spoke of it also in Romans 12:2 ‘Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of the mind’. Here is the point; a person cannot be victorious until they are victorious in the mind - very, very important. But, see, here is where The Spirit helps us, because The Spirit dwells inside the heart and ignites the soul and empowers, so that the mind can be victorious.
Let’s do a show of hands, how many people would say I want to be spiritually victorious? I really want to be spiritually victorious? It’s very important to say, I want it, and I long for it, and I desire it, but how? How is it so? How is it possible? The answer is what God does in the inner man. Now, the Jewish leaders in contrast didn’t understand this at all. The Jewish leaders in the days of Jesus concerned themselves only with the outward appearance of the thing, only with the outward appearance of their lives. And, they thought, nothing, about what happened in the inner man. In fact, Jesus confronted that, confronted them, in Luke chapter 11, verse 39, the Lord said, ‘You Pharisees, you clean the outside of the cup, but on the inside you are full of robbery and wickedness’. Don’t you just love the straightforward, straight speaking manner of the Lord Jesus Christ? Just calls it for what it is, because we need to hear it too.
‘You -- You Pharisees, you clean on the outside, but on the inside you’re full or robbery and wickedness, you foolish ones, did not heed, who made the outside, made the inside also’. So, earlier in this chapter, this is how Paul said it, he said, ‘Those who are according to The Spirit, they set their minds on the things of The Spirit. For the mind which is set on The Spirit is life and peace. Though, the body is dead because of sin, The Spirit is alive cause’ of righteousness. There is the key’. See, and so, the verses that we are looking at today, Paul gave us the insight on what to set your mind on, what to take hold of with that mind that it might be victorious. Take hold of these truths. Truth is powerful. Truth is transforming.
See, when God sent His son, God sent His son as the word of God. In the beginning was the word, the word was with God and the word was God. He is the word of God. So, it’s important for us to understand because when God’s word – Christ, is set up on your life. In other words, when you take hold of it and its set like concrete, its set like concrete below you, it’s a foundation. You can build your life on that foundation. Here are some verses, Saul 119, verse 89, ‘Forever, oh, Lord! Your word is settled in heaven’. It’s a great picture for us – it’s settled. Its set like solid concrete, you can build on this.
Mathew 7, verse 24, Jesus is speaking and He says, ‘Everyone who hears these words of Mine, truth, see, it’s powerful, everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, he may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock’. Yeah, build your life on this because they contrast. In James 1:8, ‘A double minded man is unstable in all of his ways’. Now, let’s get very, very practical because Romans 8 is so powerfully practical. One of the things that we need to see right from these beginning verses is that The Spirit leads the mind. The Spirit of the living God will lead the mind. All those are being led by The Spirit; these are the true children and sons of God.
A. The Spirit leads the mind
Now, remember, first of all, that the law was no help in this whole thing. The law is no help. The law, is there being bossy, and not lifting a finger to help. It’s a great picture for us, because it tells us that the mind was defeated, because the law didn’t make it any better, in fact, made it worse. The law only made the flesh want to react, like a rebellious teenager. But if by The Spirit the deeds of the body are being put to death, see, victory is possible, but how? Well, The Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God. If we can understand the nature of this relationship, when the reality of this truth is taken hold of, and it becomes like concrete to stand on, there is a completely different relationship at work.
The Spirit is the key, because The Spirit is the power that He brings upon the soul, and the effect of the mind, because the truth is transforming, the love is transforming. Let’s go back and see, remember Paul described? There’s the flesh, that which we were born in, in an atom [13:42], there’s the mind which is trying to control the flesh but it doesn’t work. There is the law that makes the flesh worse, and now we see The Spirit. When Paul was under the law, his mind couldn’t reign into flesh, it could only stand back and watch the fireworks in enmity between the law and the flesh, the bossy law and the flesh in full rebellion. The law did something wrong and the flesh only found it more enticing because it was wrong. The famous verse that we were looking up – Proverbs 9:17, ‘Stolen water is sweet’, in other words, it’s sweeter because it’s stolen. That’s the nature of the flesh that we have.
B. By the Spirit put to death the deeds of the body
‘Bread eaten in secret is pleasant’, it’s more enticing, and there is something more exhilarating, because it gets drawn. That’s the flesh. The difference that The Spirit makes is that The Spirit then leads the mind and then equips the mind and the heart with truth and empowers it because of the nearness of God. The Holy Spirit is the nearness of God, and brings the glory of God to transform. See, here’s a very practical truth, he says, ‘By The Spirit put to death the deeds of the body’, it can’t be possible. It is absolutely so. By The Spirit it is possible. See, if you’re being led by The Spirit of God, then your mind is taking hold of truth, you are being strengthened by the joy of the Lord, the soul is being ignited by the power of the Holy Spirit, and now, you have something very valuable.
I want us to see it. You have something of great treasure. Something very, very valuable, there is something so wonderful when God’s glory begins to transform the soul. And, you have the joy of the Lord; life, peace, something so wonderful about the presence of God, the glory of God, the transforming nature of the joy of the Lord, something valuable. I want us to see it. In proverb 16:11, He puts it this way, ‘You will make known to me the path of life and in Your presence is the fullness of joy. In Your right hand are pleasures forever more’. Great perspective, I love Colossians too, verses 2 to 3, ‘I pray that you attain to all the wealth’. I love this perspective – the wealth. Oh, can you see the value? ‘I pray you attain to the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in the true knowledge of God’s mystery’, that is Christ himself in whom are hidden treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Do you know what you have? The value of what God is doing?
Now, I’m leading up to something very important. Let’s look at Proverbs, chapter 3, from Proverbs 3, beginning in verse 13, because it is so well said here. Proverbs 3, beginning of verse 13, reads this right, ‘How blessed is the man who finds wisdom? How blessed is the man who gains understanding? For its profit is better than the profit of silver, and its gain is better than fine gold’, in other words, if you are given an option, you are given a choice, you can have vast silver and gold, I mean you will be a billionaire. You can have that as one option. The other option is that you will have the wealth of the treasures of the wisdom of God. Hmm, which would you choose? The vast riches of silver and gold, you will be a billionaire, or you will have the vast riches of the wisdom of God, which would you choose?
The scripture is telling us, if you’ve got that choice, choose the riches and the treasures of the wisdom of God, one of the reasons is they are fools and their money is imparted. The value of God’s treasure and wisdom, he goes on to say in verse 15, ‘She is more precious than jewels’, nothing you desire compares with her. Long life is in the right hand. In her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are pleasant ways. All her paths are peace. She’s a tree of life to all those who take hold of her. And happy, are all those who hold her fast’. Do you know what you have when the mind understands the value and the joy of the Lord?
How valuable are the treasures of wisdom then you have an answer, a very powerful answer. When the flesh says, ‘Me wants, me wants too. Me wants woman. Me wants party.’ That’s my best imitation of the flesh. ‘Me wants too’. You need an answer. See, remember, and this is important, we spoke of this a couple of weeks ago, remember, the flesh doesn’t think very well. The flesh does not calculate, doesn’t calculate the cause. The flesh, it wants what it wants, and it wants it now - which is better said in a British accent. ‘I want what I want’ that’s a terrible British accent, but you get my point. We need a powerful answer. You need an answer. One of the best perspectives, I think biblical illustrations of the cost - is the illustration of the story of the two twins, Isa and Jacob. Isa was born first, they’re twins but he was born first by a few minutes, he’s still first born. Well, he came back from the field, was famished, and he saw that Jacob had made some stew, red stew, very flavorful apparently, tastes good, looks good, smells good, ‘Me wants stew’ Jacob, being a bit of a conniver, saw an opportunity. ‘You want stew? Sure. No problem’.
Then, he’ll give you the stew, but in exchange, I get your birthright – ‘Birthright’, do you know the value of birthright? He was born first. It’s half of the inheritance, all the authority that comes with being first. You want my birthright? That is the most preposterous proposition I’ve ever heard. That’s not what Isa said, actually. What Isa said was, ‘Okay. Me wants stew’. See, you’re putting to death the deeds of your body when you say no to the flesh because you have something better to say. You have something far better. You have something far more valuable. See, when the flesh says, ‘Me wants stew’, you have an answer, at the ready.
What should you do? But, what I have is far more valuable and you’re not messing it up especially over something that’s silly as a bowl of stew. I have something valuable. You’re taking authority now. Remember, the flesh is like a spoilt brat of a child. And, when you are being led by The Spirit, then you have authority. And, you’re standing on the truth, because truth has power. Would you look at the First Corinthian of chapter 9 with me? First Corinthian of chapter 9, just a few pages to the right, starting at verse 24, we have this really powerful perspective. Paul writes it this way, ‘Do you not know that those who run in a race, all run, but only one receives the prize. Run in such a way that you may win the prize or obtain it’.
In other words, live your life victoriously. God wants you to live your life victoriously. And, He goes onto say, ‘Everyone who competes in the games, exercises self-control - in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable wreath, of an estimate value’. Therefore, He says, ‘I run in such a way, as not without aim, box in such a way that’s been in the air, I buffer my body, I make it my slave. It’s not to be in control. It’s not to have the authority. I have the authority. I make it my slave’. Less possibly, after I preach through others, I myself should be disqualified. What a tragedy that would be?
So, Paul describes the process, and he says, ‘It’s like taking every thought captive.’ This he writes in Second Corinthian, chapter 10, verses 3-5, ‘Though we walk in the flesh, we don’t war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but they are divinely powerful’. So, what does the word divinely mean? Spiritual – Godly – they are powerful because they are ignited by Holy Spirit of the living God. Therefore, he goes on, ‘We are taking every thought captive, to the’ -- get this, ‘- obedience of Christ’ Yeah, you are being led by The Spirit. These are the true sayings of God. How do you take a thought captive? That’s impractical. How do you take a thought captive?
Answer; by countering it with a greater, more excellent, more powerful thought, more powerful truth. So, this is important because many people think that they simply need to say, ‘no’ to their flesh by saying ‘no’ with more vigor. But, everyone knows that doesn’t work. That does not work. You are just copying the law, cause’ the law only made the flesh worse. Don’t do that, the flesh says, ‘Don’t do what? Can you point it out to me, please?’, which just makes the flesh want it more. No, you need a greater truth, a more excellent answer, a more excellent way. Illustration is like parenting. Every summer I teach your parents in class, and these are great insights, it’s like parenting. See, something about good parenting is when you speak and the child obeys. No? Good parenting is when you speak and the child agrees. You can get a child to obey with bossy intimidation, but you have not transformed the child.
No. Good parenting is transforming. Good parenting is when you get into the mind, and when you get into the heart of a child. So, that they learn to process and think better, because true victory only comes when the mind is victorious. And, you cannot transform a child by simple bossy authority. You have only transformed on the outside. You have done nothing to touch their heart. Good parenting happens when you get inside the mind and transform the heart. Isn’t the same thing true with The Spirit? That’s the difference. The law just sits there and is bossy. The Spirit gets inside the mind, gets inside the heart, and transforms within.
II. You Received a Spirit of Adoption
Now, this is a great illustration because the scripture tells us the reality; you have received a spirit of adoption. He is your father. It is a great illustration. There are several verses right here. Verse 14, ‘All those who are being led by The Spirit of God these are the sons of God’. Verse 16, ‘The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God’, but then, verse 15, right, in the middle explains - how? How did you become sons or daughters of God? He adopted you. Now, some get confused at this point because they say, ‘Well, I thought we became sons or daughters when we were born again’. Were we born into this? No, there is only one natural son, that’s Jesus. The rest of us, we’re adopted.
See, you were born again – there are actually two different things; you were born again, when you died with Christ. The scripture says in many places, ‘I’ve been crucified with him. I was baptized into his death’. When you died with Christ, and then, you were also raised with Him, you were living the resurrected life, you’ve been given life from the dead, you were born again. But, you became sons or daughters because He adopted you. So much so, He says, verse 15, ‘So much so that you can now cry out and say, Abba, father’. What does Abba mean? Abba is an Aramaic word and it simply means ‘daddy’. You can see that it’s the easiest word for a child to form, a child just learning words can say the word ‘Abba. Abba, just comes right out the lips. And, interestingly, it’s Aramaic. So, if you teach your kid how to say ‘Abba’. You can brag to your friends ‘My child knows Aramaic’ and, he’s only nine months old and he says, ‘Abba – daddy’.
Now, we have to step back and see something. The suggestion that God could be referred to as Abba or Daddy is a shocking revelation. In fact, I suggest you, it would have been offensive. Because, in the Jewish mind, they believed that they shouldn’t even say His name. Don’t even speak His name. Don’t even let His name be on your lips. And, in fact, modern Jews today, when they write the name of God, they write, capital G-D, why? Because, they believe this is giving God the greatest honor. The value of the highest respect, you respect God. You give Him the honor, don’t you even have His name on your lips.
And, you’re going to call L. L. Yan? L, should die? Lord Sabbath? You call him daddy? How offensive! But Jesus, when the disciples, they saw the relation that Jesus had to God, and they saw the nature of his prayers, they connected the dots together and said, ‘Teach us to pray, teach us to pray’ what did Jesus say in his first words? When you pray, you say, ‘Our father, who unto heaven, hollow would be Your name, hollow would yeah.’ You give him honor. He’s holy. But, you say, ‘My father’. This is so important because the nature of father is love. The intimacy of love, the power and the depth of that love must be understood. Abba – Now, if you have a good father, you can probably understand it, grasp it, and get a hold of it. If you didn’t have a good father, I didn’t have a good father, but God revealed Himself to me as my father. His life transformed and my life turned on that hinge point, because the nature of that relationship is transforming because love casts out fear.
A. Love casts out fear
See, Paul said, ‘We haven’t received the soul of slavery leading to fear again’, that’s not the nature of our relationship to God. When The Spirit of God comes into your heart, he doesn’t make you a slave to fear. In fact, Paul writes in Second Timothy 1, verse 7, ‘God has not given us a spirit of fear but a power, and love, and a sound mind.’ Very interesting. The nature of our relationship to God has completely changed. When God is your Abba, father, His love for you, and this is important, must be completely trusted. You must be able to completely trust that His love never fails. This is important. First John, chapter 4, verse 16 to 18, and 19, he says something really key, ‘We have come to know and believe the love that God has for us’. There is no fear in love.
The perfect love casts out fear. Fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love because He first loved us. He’s not perfected. See, love is transforming. These are truths that must be resolved. These are truths that must be settled in a person’s life, because many people, they think that God is angry with them, and every time they blow and every time they make a mistake. Then, God in his anger is trying to do something to demonstrate that anger. But, His love must be trusted - to understand it. The picture of adoption is very important to us, because we adopted two boys, may even know our story, two boys from Russia. And, I remember shortly after we adopted our boys, that the youngest one had a crisis of meltdown proportions.
And, I gave this illustration at the parent’s class because it’s so important, we raise five kids. I absolutely want them to know that my love is completely trustworthy. I will not ever leave them. My love for them will not fail. Well, after we adopt them, the meltdown of epic proportions. It all had to do with brushing his teeth, it started with that. But, it became an opportunity to get into the mind, to get into the heart. So, I came to him, his going to bed, he was under the covers, and I said, ‘Hey, did you brush your teeth?’, and he said, ‘No’, well then, I said, ‘Brushing your teeth is part of the package when you get adopted, you brush your teeth. That’s kind of the deal with the family’. So, you need to get up now and go brush your teeth, to which he said, ‘no’. I said you know what?
Let’s start at the beginning, a very good place to start, ‘Who’s the boss here?’ to which he said, ‘Not you. You’re not my dad’. Well, that’s where you’re wrong. [Everybody laughs] *Whoosh* back go the covers, swoop him up in my loving yet firmly fatherly hands, bring him downstairs, kicking and screaming, put him on the floor of our bedroom, and say, ‘Now, you will stay right there. No sleeping. No eating. No nothing. Until this is resolved’, to which he said, ‘Well, this isn’t fair, you are bigger than I am’, to which I said, ‘I think you are starting to figure this out’ [Everybody laughs]
So, he starts screaming and screaming. He is going to exert some kind of power, right? So, screaming is what he has left. So, he’s screaming and I—I am sitting there, I always sit with them in these things, and I am sitting and I am reading, or pretending to read something like Reader’s Digest. And, I was also pretending to be bored. So, he’s screaming and I’m clearly within sight turning pages like, *Yawns* [Everybody laughs] Louder and louder he screams. My wife comes in, ‘He’s right by the window, the neighbors are going to hear him screaming and they’re going to call the police’, to which I say, ‘Fine! Let the police come then the kid will know that the police are on my side. He’s going to scream us out’.
Then, he did it. Screamed and he screamed. Out came his claws and he starts raking his face. That’s it. So, I took hold of him, I am behind him, I pulled his arms back, my legs around him, I laid down on the ground and, ‘Scream’, I say.
‘Let’s go, let’s scream, let’s get this going, let’s get some screams here – go!’ And, he starts screaming more, ‘More! Come on, more! Let’s get some screams!’ No offense to women, but I said, ‘I don’t want to hear any sissy girl screams. I want to hear some man screams. Let’s go!’. So, he’s screaming as loud as he can, and I think it occurs to him at some point, ‘Now, wait a minute, this isn’t what I wanted. He’s telling me what to do and I am doing it’, you could feel his body just – relax. It’s my opportunity. Right there, it’s my opportunity to get into his heart, get into his mind.
His ear is right next to my lips, ‘Listen to me. I understand - I understand that you lost your father’. His father was murdered. ‘I understand that you lost your mother’, she died from cancer. ‘I understand, you were taken from your brother, but we brought him back. I understand you’ve lost everyone near to you. But, you must know this; I am your father, and I love you. And this, that’s happening right now, hasn’t changed anything. My love for you will continue every day. I am not going anywhere. And, the sooner that you figure out how much I love you, the sooner you’ll have peace’, to which he then said, ‘Dad, I want to go to bed’, ‘I’m sure you do, but first, we got to let those feelings out’.
So, I get him up. I am sitting, he’s standing, and I said, ‘Look me in the eyes. Who is the boss here?’ ‘You are, dad’, ‘Thank you. Now, you didn’t listen to back there. So, we are going to give you some more opportunities to listen. We are going to do some dishes, mom will help you. You’re going to put some clothes away, I’ll help you. Then, you’re going to brush your teeth, and then you are going to go to bed’. So, we do all this, and he goes to bed. And, I give him a kiss, to which he then says, ‘Dad, I am so, so sorry’, and he starts crying. I said, ‘I know. It’s okay. I forgive you. And, I want you to know something. If you do this again, I’ll still hold you, I’ll hold you as many times as you need to do this. My love, will not fail. I am not going anywhere’.
And, he did it again. And, then two weeks later, and then a month, two months, less and less, and then he stopped doing it, and today, we are close. See, this is important, He says, it is the nature of this relationship which has completely changed. It’s an Abba-father relationship. Jesus gave an illustration, a parable, in Luke 15, that we might grasp it. In Luke 15, he said, ‘There is a man with two sons. The youngest one wanted his inheritance early’. So he received a vast amount. And, he went into the city, and then went to the party, and he lived it up, and he had the life, he had the women, and he had the whole thing. But then, he ran out of money, and he started looking for a job but no job could be found because of famine had hit the land.
Finally, he got a job, but it was the worst job, a Jew could ever have. The job was feeding swine. But, he had the lower point, when he became jealous, because this swine had food and he did not. And, it occurred to him, ‘My father’s servants are treated better than this. I am going back. But I can’t go back as a son. I’m not worthy. I got to go back and just get a job. I just want a job. I just want to be an employee’. So, he headed back. The parable goes on, The father saw him a long way of which suggested he was looking for him, and the father ran down towards him, and he fell upon him, ‘My son!’, and he started kissing him.
B. We have this hope as an anchor to our soul
The son had his speech already. This is Luke 15, verse 19, noticed what he said, ‘I am no longer worth to be called your son, make me, as one of your hired men. I just want a job’. But, the parable is to teach us, the heart of the father. The father hears that speech throws it off, throws it off. And, this is what he says, Luke 15, verse 22 and verse 24, where he says, ‘Quickly!’ he says to his servants, ‘Quickly! Bring the best robe, and put it on, my son. Put a ring, on his hand. Put sandals, on his feet. For this son of mine was dead, but has come to life again. This son of mine was lost, but he has been found’. Oh, if we could only grasp, the vastness of this love. If we could only resolve this in our minds, and have our hearts settled upon it. The sooner we’ll figure that out, the sooner we will have peace. Because He says, ‘This is our hope’ verse 24, ‘and in hope we have been saved’. A hope sure, steadfast, why? We say, ‘We have this hope as an anchor to the soul’, set your mind on this, we have this glory, we have this inheritance, we are heirs of God, followers of Christ, you know what He’s done for you.
You know the vastness of His love for you. You can even call Him your papa - if you will suffer with Him. Yeah, Christians are not immune from suffering. Jesus said, ‘There will be many troubles in this world, because I know very well’. But, he said, ‘Take courage’, which is to say what? Strengthen your faith. Have greater faith man. Strengthen your courage, I’ve overcome the world. You have a hope. If we can only understand what we have and who we are, it would transform our lives. Paul says, in Ephesians, verse 18, ‘I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened or opened, so that you would know’. Grasp this, take hold of this, so you would know that hope has been calling and the riches of the glory of his inheritance. You can have a dream. It can be yours. If we could only understand what does love mean, and the presence of God in our lives.
Let’s pray. Father, thank you so much for the opportunity to have Your words ministered live to us, and speak hope into our lives. And God I pray, this morning, that we would truly open our hearts to understand the vastness of that love. The depths of that love to be able to call You Abba, father. Church this morning, I don’t know where you are in your relationship to the Lord. Maybe, you have been walking far from the Lord. Please know that if you would open your heart, He would pour the love of a father, an Abba father, into your heart. And strengthen you by his Holy Spirit and transform you. Love is a transforming power, but you got to open your heart. There is a part here, I want that love. I want to be transformed. I want the Holy Spirit in my life.
This morning, Church, would you open your heart? Would you say that to the Lord? Would you just raise your hand and say that God I want you to know it? I want you to know it God; I am raising my hand because I open my heart to You. Pour that love; because I’ve opened my heart, I want that love. Love is transforming, but then I want to be transformed by it. Pour Your Holy Spirit. Pour your – the presence of God into me. I want that victory. I want that life. I want that love. But, you got to open your heart. Anyone else? Just raise your hand. Father, thank you for everyone. Everyone who responds to the outpouring of Your love, the outpouring of Your life, the outpouring of Your Spirit upon us. We honor You as our Abba father. In Jesus’ name.