An intimate realationship with the Holy Spirit
George Methodist church
With Peter Veysie
Romans 8:1 -17
Sunday 20th September 2020
I am sure you are aware of the both the challenges and joys of relationships. We can experience enormous highs and terrible lows. We have had deep beautiful relationships with others and we know how that feels and so much of what we have experienced in the flesh with relationships can easily define our relationship with the Lord and so I want to share this morning on how to have an intimate and deep relationship with the Holy Spirit based on Romans 8: 1-17 and so lets begin the journey.
1. A relationship with the Holy Spirit will draw you into life and not condemnation and He sets us free.
1Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. 3For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful humanity to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in human flesh, 4in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.
I want to be very clear today that it is often the case that teaching on a relationship with the Holy Spirit can immediately become condemnatory when it is premised with a question – Are you born again ? Are you filled with the Holy Spirit? People get caught in the headlights with these questions and immediately feel condemned.
At the start we need to realise that the purpose of a relationship with the Holy Spirit is to set us free and to enable us to know that when we were under the law (Mosiac) the end result was disobedience leading to death but now the Spirit enables us to start our relationship being set free and in being set free there is a supernatural desire coming from the Holy Spirit to recognise that Jesus has overcome sin and death and we are now set free to worship the Lord.
Paul contrasts two forms of slavery: legalism (slavery to law) and licence (slavery to self). You are liberated from these. Avoid both legalism and licence: ‘Just make sure that you don’t use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love’ (vv.13–14, MSG).
That is true freedom – not the absence of morality, but the freedom to serve others in love: to love your neighbour as yourself (v.14). If we continue responding to conflict as the world does, ‘biting and devouring each other’, we will destroy each other (v.15) (Nicky Gumbel Bible in one year)
2. The Holy Spirit in relationship with us transforms our minds.
5Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6The mind controlled by the sinful nature is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace. 7The sinful mind is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.
I must say that a good question to ask someone who is seeking the Lord is whether they really want to be changed and transformed by the Holy Spirit because this is a huge act of submission and handing over the rule and reign of your life to the Lord. We will then need to go into a bit of a deconstruction process as the Holy Spirit begins to sort stuff out in our lives and it’s in a relational way because as we know we fail at it so much. We have an inner ability to know the difference between right and wrong. (you don’t have to teach children how to be naughty),however, in relationship with the Holy Spirit it goes a lot deeper than this to an awareness of working with the Lord.
I often watch people “forward-slide” and find myself being patient with them because once they have tasted the desires of their fleshiness then they come running back to the safe place of rather allowing the Holy Spirit to guide them. I often find my brain thinking in one direction and then the Holy Spirit reeling me back in and drawing me into His beautiful presence.
3. In our relationship it’s also giving over control.
9You, however, are not controlled by the sinful nature but are in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. 11And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.
I spoke a little bit about this last week when we dealt with the power of the Holy Spirit because it seems as if we are power hungry and want to be in control. To give over the control of your life to the Holy Spirit is a dangerous thing. When this cleanout happens we need to also ask what would the Holy Spirit deconstruct? May I say that even our theology on the Holy Spirit needs to be deconstructed from what we may have been taught that had nothing to do with Him !!!! Start by getting the fruit right and then maybe the Lord will give you an understanding of a gift. Where we have been controlling with this we maybe need to lay it down and allow the Holy Spirit to reconstruct us in a gentle beautiful way.
4. Our obligation to live by the Spirit.
12Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. 13For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.
The word obligation is quite a hard word and it sounds a bit like the law again but the greek is rather powerful and beautiful – opheiletés -For the believer, 3781 /opheilétēs (“being a debtor”) ends at Calvary where Christ paid all our debt in His blood. He extends total release to us, forgiving the penalty for each time we spent His gift of life rather than invested it. Indeed, the blood of Jesus removes all the penalty (condemnation) of sin (Jn 19:30). It’s paid in full but our obligation is to recognise this so that we do not keep on returning to the things that pull us down but rather to the things that build us up.
5. A relationship with the Holy Spirit means that we need to be more like children.
14For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, Abba, Father.16The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17Now if we are children, then we are heirs”heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
This last point about the Holy Spirit is so intimate and special and we need to be aware of this profound deep and beautiful relationship that we can have. We are called by the Holy Spirit into a caring loving relationship which allows us to know Him as comforter,counsellor,advocate (to speak or write in favour of someone), but also a parent to a child.
The child on the side of the pool in Israel on the Kibbutz saying Abba catch me.
The child imagary here also allows us to know both intimacy(trust) and obedience. We are not interpreting it correctly by saying Daddy although yes that’s part of it, but the Lord is a lot more than this and that’s what draws us to be obedient out of freedom and reverence for Christ.
We have to develop a real childlike awareness when it comes to our relationship with the Holy Spirit trusting, being guided, lead into freedom, being freed up and finding our lives completely transformed. It’s risky to give over the control of our lives but it’s also liberating and freeing. We are not put into bondage. A really simple thing that A.W. Tozer says is that when Jesus died he left us with HIS Spirit and there is no difference between the two other than He is the Third Person of the Trinity. We need to hear Paul here saying that if we deny the Spirit, we deny Jesus !!
He is moving amongst our young people and doing a mighty work. Are we ready ? Revival of the hearts,land,unity, transformation.
It’s not a threat but rather a dissapointing journey without intimacy.
Recognise the Holy Spirit. Create an awareness daily. Pray for a deeper relationship and walk in it. John Wesley 17th May 1738 – My heart was strangely warmed.
An invitation in prayer – Come Holy Spirit and fill me afresh!!!