Tag Archive: Holy Spirit


Photo by Sias van Schalkwyk http://www.rgbstock.com/user/Seepsteen

Photo by Sias van Schalkwyk
http://www.rgbstock.com/user/Seepsteen

Jesus’ Offer of Salvation

John 7:37-39, “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, IF ANY MAN THIRST, let him come unto me, and drink. HE THAT BELIEVETH ON ME, as the scripture hath said, OUT OF HIS BELLY SHALL FLOW RIVERS OF LIVING WATER. (But this spoke he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)”

Jesus’ offer of salvation was all about receiving the promise of the Spirit to those who would believe on Him. Salvation was offered as an experience that would satisfy spiritual thirst and flow as living waters out from a believer’s belly. The Spirit would indwell and flow out from a believer’s life.

Together We Drink Into One Spirit

In writing to believers, Paul says in 1 Corinthians 12:13, “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; AND HAVE BEEN ALL MADE TO DRINK INTO ONE SPIRIT.”

Two Gifts in One

Essentially two gifts are given when we come to Christ. Our forgiveness (our justification) and the promise of the Spirit. Yet, sadly, just as many believers don’t fully grasp God’s forgiveness and experience little freedom from their guilt, many don’t fully realize and enjoy the power of the Holy Spirit who resides within to enable them to live a godly life, empower them for service and manifest in their lives with gifts, signs and wonders.

Rom 8:9, “You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.” Compare this to John 7:37-39 above.

Manifestation of The Spirit

When we first experience something extraordinary like tongues or a word of knowledge, it is not the baptism in the Spirit that we are experiencing, but a manifestation of the Spirit through a gift to someone already baptized in the Spirit. It is simply our first awareness of a supernatural flow or manifestation of the promised Spirit which we already received at salvation.

Receiving The Spirit

No long drawn out prayerful tarrying (waiting) is necessary to receive the Spirit. You will have received Him when you believed on Jesus. Rather, simply ask be filled by Him. To tarry or to wait was simply a command to the first believers who were to receive the promise of the Spirit at the feast of Pentecost, God’s appointed time to first give the Spirit to all who believe (see Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4). In so doing God fulfilled the feast to which Pentecost had pointed throughout the Old Testament.

Also, no turning over a new leaf is required either. Justification is sufficient. Just look at the Corinthians! They were not exactly an example of holiness and yet were experiencing the dynamic of the Spirit moving in and through the Body. That said, ungodliness can hinder, frustrate and quench the Spirit.

Luke 11:13, “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?”

This is what salvation is all about: from a life in the flesh to Life in the Spirit. The context of this passage implores us to simply ask. And, asking is sufficient because faith is all that is required.

The Outpouring Begins

The outpouring of the Spirit on 120 disciples at Pentecost manifested in them praising God in languages unknown to themselves, yet recognizable as the mother tongues of Jews who had come from all over the world to the feast. This manifestation drew 3000 people to pay attention. (Note that according to 1 Cor 15:6 there were at least another 380 believers elsewhere who would receive the Spirit too.)

Peter told the crowd, drawn by this inexplicable event, that what they were witnessing was promised by the prophet Joel concerning the Spirit. Peter said that the outpouring of the promised Spirit was related to Jesus being exalted to God’s right hand (being glorified, see John 7:37-39) and Him having received the promised Holy Spirit to give.

Repentance and Forgiveness

It was the man, Jesus, whom they had rejected and had killed. As a result, they were cut to the heart and were led to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins, which, Peter said, would mean that they would receive the Spirit. The Spirit, who was used as the bait for their salvation, was the goal of their salvation.

Salvation By Receiving The Spirit

We have preached salvation from sin and stopped there as though it was the main goal. But, Jesus’ message in John 7:37-39, and elsewhere, and Peter’s message at Pentecost was about the promise. God’s promise was the Spirit. God’s gift was the Spirit. Repentance and even justification, as costly as it was to purchase for us and as meaningful as it will forever be to us, remains the means and not the end. These are the pathway to the promise.

Similarly, when Peter spoke to Cornelius (a gentile) and his household about Jesus and got to saying, “’To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins’ …the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.”

What Are We To Do?

So, what should we who have received the Spirit now do? Having received the Spirit at salvation, a continual life lived from Him is available to us. The fruit of His presence in our lives (Gal 5:22) along with His wisdom, power and gifts for service.

If we lack in love we should ask to be filled with the Spirit, and if we lack in power we should ask to be filled, and if we lack in wisdom we should ask for it, and if we desire a gift we should ask for it too.

Eph 5:18, “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be (continually) filled with the Spirit”

Gal 5:25, “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”

Have Faith in God’s Goodness

A continual revelation of God’s goodness, of His deep desire for relationship with us and His unmerited favor toward us will impart faith to continually ask to be filled.

Gal 3:5, “…he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you … by hearing with faith”.

Rob Morley

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New Life

Let’s continue to look at just how good the Good News really is!!!

(Go here for The Good News of an Exchanged Life – Part 1)

I was Dead, but am now Alive 

  • But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ… (Eph 2:4-5).

I have God as my Owner 

  • Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price… (1Cor. 6:19-20).

I have a New Responsibilty 

  • So glorify God in your body (1Cor. 6:20).

I have a New Leader 

  • And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air… (Eph 2:1-2).
  • But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ… (Eph 2:4-5).

I have a New Path 

  • you once walked, following the course of this world (Eph. 2:2).
  • Jesus said …, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (Joh 14:6).

I have a New Function 

  • For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them(Eph 2:10).

I have a New Perspective

  • …and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus… (Eph. 2:6).

I was a Victim, but now I’m a showpiece of God’s Grace 

  • The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly (Joh. 10:10). 
  • … so that in the coming ages he (God) might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus (Eph 2:7).

Rob Morley

Changed Life

How Good is the Good News?

What we grasp of the Good News when we receive Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior is minuscule compared to what the Good News in its fullness really is.

You may have come to Jesus for any of the following:

  • God’s offer of pardon for sin
  • seeking a new life
  • help in a crises
  • a need for His love, etc.

We are all drawn to Jesus Christ and different aspects of the Good News found in Him, but no matter what avenue you came in on, the total package becomes yours!

Let’s look at just how good the Good News really is!!!

Exchange

Good news! I lost my status of sinner and I got Jesus’ status of the righteousness of God.

  • For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Cor. 5:21).

I am Changed

Good news! I am no longer subject to the control of my sinful nature, but I am a new creation, with a new spirit, a soft heart and the Holy Spirit to govern me.

  • Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new (2 Cor. 5:17).
  • A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them (Ezek. 36:26-27).

I am Changing

Good news! I am being changed to be more like Jesus.

  • But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord (2 Cor. 3:18).

Good news! I can participate in the change.

  • And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed (changed) by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God (Rom. 12:2).

I will be Completely Changed

Good news! This body of mine will become new and immortal, not subject to aging, sickness and pain.

  • we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. (1 Cor. 15:52-53).

Rob Morley

(See Good News – No More a Sinner! for more on the exchange from SINNER to THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD)

Praying to Angels

Should We be Praying to Angels?

A very popular trend over quite a number of recent years has been the “New Age” philosophy, which advocates praying to angels. Just by glancing through a bookstore you might have noticed that there has been a plethora of books written on this subject. Nowadays, a lot is posted on the internet too. But, are we meant to be praying to angels?

The Bible makes it clear that angels are real beings who are servants and messengers of God. Initiating prayer to them is certainly not taught in God’s Word and there is no example of this by Jesus, the apostles or the early church. As Christians, we have been given the inner compass of the Holy Spirit to guide and teach us alongside the Word of God.

Direct Access to God

We can pray directly to God to put His angels around us for protection, but we should not initiate contact with angels themselves. It cost Christ a lot for believers to be able to go directly to God Himself and enjoy a personal relationship with Him. Anyway, if you needed help, wouldn’t you go straight to the top?

The Bible is clear about where we should get our help from, “Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:14-16).

Angels or Demons?

Praying to angels is a religious sham to keep people from the extraordinary blessing that one can enjoy as a believer of personally going to God. It keeps sinners entertained with a form of religion and is a trap for uninformed Christians. Demons, who are fallen angels, use this means to interact with people who engage in this practice. They come as angels of light and they are very willing to “help” people who reach out to them. Books on looking to your angel are all connected to the demonic. Don’t mix with this stuff! It’s dangerous!

Rob & Tina Morley

Equality in Marriage – 1

Rob and Tina Morley with their kids – 2007

Why is it that there are so many messages on the subject of godly women submitting to their husbands and husbands being the spiritual head of the home? Is it because this message is so hard to swallow that we need to keep being reminded of it? I think if we had half a chance to consider how this so-called truth hasn’t improved the lives of Christian married women, we’d chuck it out for something better.

I took my older kids to see the Hunger Games movie. In the beginning of the film, the people of the districts are given a televised message by the mayor. This message is propaganda that serves as an important reminder as to the necessity of the games. Of course, it’s a twisted message that is presented as truth. A message cloaked as truth, if presented often enough, is all too easily embraced by the people.

People follow influential leaders like sheep and this is true of Christians as well. We were given minds to reason and the Holy Spirit and Scripture for instruction, but we too easily accept the majority opinion as truth and fact. This traditional message that says that the husband is the spiritual head of the home is like a pair of shoes that are too tight and cause discomfort and harm. They need to be replaced with a pair that fit and support the feet.

Earlier on in our marriage, when my husband and I disagreed on a matter, he would sometimes play the trump card that he was the leader of the home and it was my role to submit. I have written a chapter in my book, Happy Moms, Happy Homes, titled “Who’s in Control?” Here is an excerpt from that chapter:

Through books, testimonies, and searching the Scriptures, I began learning and experiencing more of the Spirit. I became more attuned to His leading. For me, it became a surrendered life. I no longer wanted to be the one in control, because God knew how to do things better.

Then I got married. My husband and I didn’t live the Christian life as well as we thought we did. We thought we were more Christ-like than we really were. Marriage brought out all our imperfections. When we couldn’t agree on something, the issue of submission would sometimes follow. Neither of us knew exactly how submission was meant to function in the marriage. I, especially, had doubts….

Now, I had no fear in submitting to the Lord, but I did have a few misgivings about submitting to my husband in every situation. How could I let him take the place of God? Was it biblical that I should be controlled by him? Was it my duty just to submit? Well, through it all, the Lord was teaching us both a hard lesson. At the end of the day, the Lord wanted to be the One in control of both of us.

Continued in part 2

In Acts 15:19 it appears that James is the leader in the church in Jerusalem when we see that he makes the final statements after the church has debated the issue of circumcision among the Gentiles. However, when we read in the translation “my judgment” it is not to be likened to the expression of a judge with the final verdict. This is simply the personal view and suggestion of the church’s brother, elder and apostle, James.

Historically, he had the last say when he shared what he did. However, it was what the whole group had been led toward by the Spirit to have agreement on through all their participation. We cannot presume that everyone was waiting for James to deliver the final verdict.  Any of the apostles or elders could have said these words and we would be wrong to read into history that they were the lead elder or senior elder simply because they were the last person to speak.

Notice too, that the letter that was sent is not from James, but from “The apostles and elders and brethren.” Also, it was not sent to some church leader, but to “the brethren” of many churches. The content also shows who was to be credited for the final verdict where it says “it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us (the brothers, elders and apostles), to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things.”

Granted, a strong argument for James’ leadership in the Jerusalem Church exists, which if true, needs to be considered as leadership without rank, as everyone’s was, in the context of the “all ye are brethren” and “it shall not be so among you” statements of Jesus.

This James (Jesus’ brother), is prominent in the New Testament, but this does not equate to rank leadership. We are reading far too much of our church experience into this historical account if we use it as a bases for the practice of having a senior pastor. This is especially a problem if the text can be comfortably viewed in a way that fits Paul’s specific instructions elsewhere and all of the other historical accounts in the New Testament.

In 1Timothy 1:3 we see Paul “urged” Timothy to “remain behind” to settle things in the church of Ephesus.  Timothy is not the pastor, nor lead pastor, but part of a church planting team. In this letter, Paul instructs Timothy on the appointment of elders among many things, but never is the appointment of a senior or lead pastor mentioned.

In Acts 14:23 we see the appointment of a plurality of elders with no sign of seniority given to any, “and when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.”

Elsewhere, Paul meets with the elders of Ephesus with no sign of a special meeting with “the senior leader”. You would think that by then, such a person would exist. Also, Paul addresses his letters to the elders and saints with no sign of a senior leader in the list of recipients or his content.

The Catholics with their tradition defend the Papal system from the Bible. We have done the same with our own systems and are so entrenched that we cannot see that what we have is wrong.

Rob

I really can’t believe, nor see it written, that the Lord would have left His deity, become a man, suffer as much as He did and die for us only to give the running of the church into the hands of a few decision makers who could get it right or wrong. Just imagine, “Oops, I (we) led you astray for the last 16 months, I’m (we’re) sorry!” This type of scenario was avoided in the early church because the structure was without rank. We so easily read hierarchical leadership into texts, but it never existed. Respect for experience and roles (not rank) play a part, but mutual submission to all, under One Head, is how things were done in the New Testament. His body doesn’t have many heads. Such imagery belongs to the dark side. He alone is the head!

The early church respected that we can all hear the voice of the Lord and that all need to participate in decision making. In Acts 15:6, 22, 28 we see that all in the church were drawn into the process to achieve consensus in hearing the Spirit before a decision was made. Peter and James had roles to play, and the elders too; nevertheless it never outweighed the Spirit and the Lord’s headship over every member. In Acts 15:22 we see how all were involved: “Then it seemed good to the apostles and the elders, with the whole church, to…”

There is love, respect for one another and God, and safety in involving everyone. Jesus made it clear, when speaking against attitude and rank that “Ye are all brothers” and when speaking of having authority over one another “it shall not be so among you”. Jesus alone calls the shots and He is well able bring about consensus through the His Spirit.

Rob

Church Governance 101

Church governance = the Holy Spirit + group consensus. In Acts 15:28 we read …it seemed good to the Holy Ghost and to us… (See also Acts15:22, 23). Here it clearly shows that neither James nor Peter was the head of the church as some would have us think, but that there was only one leader, Jesus, bringing about consensus through his Holy Spirit among His people who were living in unity demonstrated by their mutual submission.

Church leadership or eldership = Big brothers & sisters, appointed to lovingly help you along, carrying no more authority than you, except the Word of God. Acts 14:23 And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.

Is this how your church is run?

What’s missing in your equation?

Are you able to trust God to do the job?

Rob Morley (expanded from my Tweets of 1 March 2012)

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