THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
CONFORMING US TO CHRIST
Holy Spirit Series #5
A)Will I ever become more like Jesus? – Talking w/ a Pastor friend – said – So frustrated lousy husband – long way to go as a father
B) Sometimes it is so – Frustrating – He responded what do you mean – You are a great Husband – Good Father – seen you in action
1) I might be better than some – but – they are not the Standard Jesus is
I look at Him / then I look at me – I AM IN TROUBLE
C) My only consolation is this – #1 Denise Knows that I want to grow – so we cut each other slack in the many weak areas
1) #2 I know that God has placed His HS in my life to bring me to that desired end – He is going to accomplish that work
D) Those two things go hand in hand as it relates to that work the HS is seeking to do in each of us- Make us more like Jesus
1) Desire on our part – And a Commitment on His part to continue that process
Tonight that is what we want to Consider – That work of the HS in conforming us to the image of Christ
A)Before we get to the different ways that the HS seeks to accomplish this task – lets first consider what the obstacles are
B)We read that in the beginning, God created man in His own image and likeness (Gen 1:26).
C)God is a Spirit (John 4:24), and thus He was referring to the SPIRITUAL aspect of man’s being.
NOTE: God’s chief moral characteristic is RIGHTEOUSNESS.... Thus He created us with a desire for righteousness.
NOTE: God’s chief governmental characteristic is SELF-DETERMINATION.... Thus He gave to you the capacity of choice.
NOTE: God’s chief emotional characteristic is LOVE... Thus He created you with the capacity of giving and receiving love.
A)But when man sinned, man fell from the image of God.-You can NOT look at mankind today and understand God’s intent in the creation of man.
B) Many people make that mistake. They look at man in his sinful and fallen state and wonder how a God of love could have created such a messy world.
1) But You do NOT see what God intended by looking at the world in its present state, because you see man in his FALLEN state.
C)The Bible describes man in his fallen state:
& Rom 1:29-32 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
That is the condition of man when he turns his back on the love of God. A)There is no end to the depths of moral depravity that man can go to when he turns his back on God.
& 2 Tim 3:1-4 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
B) THAT is NOT the intention of God for man.
C) To understand the intention of God for man you have to look at Jesus Christ, for in Jesus Christ you see God’s intention for man.
1) He lived as God intended for us to live.
KEY OBSERVATION The Bible tells us (Heb 1:3) that Jesus Christ is the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person,
D)In His life we see what God is like, and thus we see God’s intention for us, and it is a FAR CRY from what we see in fallen mankind.
& John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
The Bible tells us in 2 Cor 4:4 that Jesus is the image of God.
A)Now IF Man was created in the image of God and Jesus is the image of God then when you look at Jesus Christ you can see how God created man.
B)You can also see how FAR man has fallen from that intention.
C)But this what we need to Understand It is God’s intention to RESTORE us back into His image.
1) It is God’s intention to NULLIFY the effects of sin in the fall of man and to RESTORE us again into the image of God.
The Great Dilemma
A)It is here that we are faced with a tremendous problem. We see the IDEAL, Jesus Christ - He was merciful, loving and compassionate.
B)And we say: “That is how I want to live”.
1)BUT - We are faced with how we are so far from the ideal.
C)We SEE the ideal.... We DESIRE the ideal.... But the ability to ATTAIN to the ideal is not present. We have to agree with Paul when he said:
& Rom 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwells no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
D) Spirit is willing but the flesh is weak !!!! So what do we Do ?
The Great Departure Begins w/ Understanding 2 things
#1 I can’t do it !!!!!
A) It is here that Christianity is such a radical departure from the religious systems of the world.
B)The religions of the world point to an ideal and then prescribe the rules by which you attain to that ideal.
1) Man is totally dependent upon his own ability to live up to the ideal.
C)But Try as I may, I am living in this body of flesh and I can NOT
overcome my flesh to meet the Ideal !!!
1) So Christianity is NOT about man’s efforts to attain to an ideal.
THAT is impossible. 1st need to understand that
D)The most frustrated believer you will ever find is the one trying to be like Jesus with the resources of the flesh.
1) Carnally minded is death – Living by the flesh
#2 Understanding The Great Promise Work that He does
A)Christianity not only points to the IDEAL (Jesus), but it PROMISES the POWER to CONFORM to the ideal. New Cov
B)Christianity is about God the Holy Spirit coming to live within fallen man and, by HIS POWER, conforming him to the image of God.
& 2 Cor 3:18 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.
C)This is a beautiful metaphor that goes hand in hand with what Paul declares at the beginning of this same chapter.
1) In 2 Cor. 3:3 Paul declares that Christians are living epistles that are written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God..... on the tables of the heart.
The Glorious Picture
A)The Holy Spirit transcribes Christ and His character upon the living tablets of our hearts BUT - According to 2 Cor. 3:3 we are not just books.... We are ILLUSTRATED books.
The Holy Spirit is the photographer. Our part is to keep our face steadfast and our eyes fixed upon Jesus.
A)We must be PREOCCUPIED with Jesus or else the image of Christ is BLURRED.
How does it happen #1 Keep eyes on Jesus
#2 Make a Choice – Gal 5
#3 Be Yielded
&Gal 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
KEY APP: God WILL always do His part, but we must do ours.
It is CRUCIAL that I remain YIELDED to the work of the Spirit, for ONLY He can CONFORM me to the image of Jesus Christ.
Pruning – John 15 / Luke 12 / Trials / Chastening /
#4 Die to Self
& Rom 8:13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.