How the Holy Spirit transforms those in Christ
the guards of the High Priest arrested Jesus, he was taken
before the Caiaphas and questioned. Peter followed along; he
waited outside while they questioned Jesus. Those who stood
outside with Peter, questioned Peter, asking him if he was with
Jesus. Three times Peter denied knowing Jesus, finally after
hearing the rooster crow, he remembered the words of Jesus.
Telling him he would deny him three times before the rooster
crowed. Peter fled, weeping, feeling an utter spiritual failure.
Peter after the resurrection, but told him and the other
disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they receive the Spirit,
who would give them, power (Acts 1:8). The defeated Peter was
present, when Jesus ascended into the clouds with angels by his
In Acts chapter
2, the disciples received the Holy Spirit who appeared as
tongues of fire divided, resting on their heads. The defeated
Peter now stands with boldness and preaches to all those
gathered in the upper room, explaining what just took place.
Peter then exhorts the whole group to repent, and be baptized in
the name of Jesus, so they could receive the Holy Spirit.
Acts 5, this same Peter stands before the
High Priest preaching Jesus along with the other disciples.
Peter and the other are beaten, but rather then being afraid,
they rejoice, because they suffered for the name of Jesus.
Peter was transformed, he was now operating under the “power” of
the Holy Spirit.
power (dunamis), which transformed Peter from the ashamed
fearful disciple into bold fearless disciple is available to all
those who are in Christ. We see Peter from this point on lead
the disciples as they proclaim the Gospel throughout the Roman
Empire and beyond.
dwelling in us, transforms us, making us into a new creation.
This transformation however varies, in some its amazing, in
others hardly noticeable, why? Why can some people live a
victorious life and others remain defeated.
What does it
mean to transform?
we are born in this world, we inherit our nature from parents,
as they inherited from their parents. From our first parents,
Adam and Eve we received a fallen sin nature. When we accept
Jesus Christ, as our Lord and Savior, His death paying for our
sins, we become “Born Again”. God’s Holy Spirit dwells in our
earthly body, we now have a new nature, we are a new creation.
As a new
creation, we are transformed through the power of the Holy
Spirit. Now the extent of our transformation is not only the
job of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God works or “fellowships”
with our spirit, making intercession with our spirit (Romans
sinner, comes to Christ, the Holy Spirit gives that person power
to change, to stop sinning, which they were powerless to stop
before. This process of transformation is known as
sanctification, where we become more like Christ. We begin
our upward spiral to be Christ-like. The Holy Spirit is
working in our lives transforming us, perfecting us.
But we all, with unveiled face, beholding
as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into
the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the
Lord. 2 Corinthians 3:18
Paul in Second Corinthians refers to we all, meaning
those who are saved, those who have the Spirit of the Lord.
Therefore, this verse applies to all believers, the process of
transformation. In Ephesians Paul contrasts the two natures of
the believer, the “Old Man” and the “New Man”, notice we must
decide to put off our former conduct. We have a part to play.
We have a choice to make.
22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old
man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and
be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on
the new man which was created according to God, in true
righteousness and holiness.
With the Holy
Spirit dwelling in us we have power over our old nature, to
subdue our it and make it subject to our new man. As the
illustration used earlier, these two natures are in conflict
with one another, both seek to master the body. We must choose
to enable the God’s Spirit to have power in our life, by
starving our old nature and feeding our new nature.
Why are some
clear, being stuck at a level is not an option, either the
Christian is moving closer to being like Christ or farther away,
but not progressing means they are falling.
30 "He who is
not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me
scatters abroad. Matthew 12:30
McQuilkin, gives three reason why the Christian walk might be on
a downward spiral, going backwards.
ignorant of which direction they’re headed or of the
provision the Holy Spirit would make available to spiral up.
not yielded fully to God’s will, either because of gradual
drift away from a tight relationship with God or through
active rebellion, saying “no” to God about something.
not trusting God to keep His promise to give them the
victory, haven’t grown in faith to the place of expecting
and receiving the power-flow of the Spirit.
have to make a willful choice to allow the power of God to work
in our lives. We must make an effort, God did not make robots,
he has given us the power to progress upward in our walk, but we
need be willing to move forward. Listen to what 2nd
Peter says, we are told “add to your faith” we must be active
participants in our faith. There is success for those who
choose to move forward and not wander in the wilderness of life,
like Israel. Israel wandered because they did not think God was
up to the challenge.
5 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add
to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge
self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance
godliness, 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly
kindness love. 8 For if these things are yours and
abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the
knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 1:5-8
How can we tell
if we are spiraling upward or downward in our walk?
clear signs of our spiritual state; Galatians lists two groups
of fruits, fruits of the Spirit and fruits of the
flesh. If our Old nature is in charge we will bear the
fruits of the flesh, while God’s spirit is in charge the fruits
of the Spirit.
16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill
the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the
Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary
to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.
18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
Fruits of Spirit
Fruits of the Flesh
love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness, self-control
Adultery, Fornication, uncleanness, lewdness,
idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies,
outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions,
heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries Galatians 5:19-21
If we examine
both lists, which best describes our life? Are we becoming more
like the one list then the other?
can the downward spiral be reversed?
What kind of soil are you?
Jesus tells the
parable about word being sowed on the earth, in this
parable we can see the fruitfulness of the seed (word) depends
on the soil and its environment. Satan is an enemy not wanting
the word to take root; he opposes the kingdom of God. What
keeps the seed from taking root? Notice the word
responds to the conditions of its sowing.
"The sower sows the word. 15 "And these are the ones by the
wayside where the word is sown. When they hear, Satan comes
immediately and takes away the word that was sown in their
hearts. 16 "These likewise are the ones sown on stony ground
who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with
gladness; 17 "and they have no root in themselves, and so endure
only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution
arises for the word's sake, immediately they stumble. 18 "Now
these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones
who hear the word, 19 "and the cares of this world, the
deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things
entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. 20 "But
these are the ones sown on good ground, those who hear
the word, accept it, and bear fruit: some thirtyfold, some
sixty, and some a hundred." Mark 14:14-20
The stony soil
has no depth, meaning lack of understanding. Confrontations
because of the word quickly end its life. The seed among the
thorns is crowded out by what the world may define as more
important, all competing for attention, therefore the seed
(word) is choked off, it cannot have an effect because it is
competing for attention and loosing. Notice the types of soil:
seed sown on the good ground reaps a harvest. The question we
need to ask ourselves is what kind of soil do we have? If we
are rocky or thorny soil, then we cannot expect a great
harvest. Therefore, we should strive to be good soil.
How can we be
good soil? Well let us examine what is wrong with the other
soils, and say to ourselves, we should not allow that to be our
problem. Do we have things competing for our attention,
crowding out time with the Word? Do we go deep with the Word,
or do just have a surface knowledge? The stones in the soil
prevent the soil from being fruitful; therefore, the stones need
to be removed.
To be fruitful,
we need to have good soil; we need to cultivate our soul to
receive the word of God, like a farmer prepares his field to
bear a good harvest. He prepares and cares for the ground where
the seed is planted.
willing to prepare your soil?
Do you have
a desire to be fruitful soil?
How can we be
The good soil
bears fruit, this is what we should all strive to be. When
Israel was conquering the land of Canaan under Joshua, following
the defeat of Jericho, Israel had a problem. Confident of
victory, Israel was defeated by Ai a small city, Joshua was
devastated. He fell before the Lord face down and pleaded. The
Lord responded to Joshua saying,
10 So the Lord said to Joshua: "Get up! Why do you lie thus
on your face? 11 "Israel has sinned, and they have also
transgressed My covenant which I commanded them. For they have
even taken some of the accursed things, and have both stolen and
deceived; and they have also put it among their own stuff. Joshua 7:10-11
could defeat their enemies, the Lord required obedience. Israel
first needed to remove the sin in their midst. In the same way,
we need to remove “the things”, which prevent a victorious
life. What obstacles are in our way?
First, we need
to make a decision, to be fruitful; we cannot take our salvation
for granted. We have a limited amount of time; we need to make
it count for eternity. Second we need to act on our decision, we
need to give up the things in our life hinder our relationship
with the Lord. We need to allow God’s Spirit to reign in our
provided tools for us to accomplish this task.
Tools for the
When we are
saved, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell inside us He moves us in
prayer and life to complete sanctification process. Through
the Spirit of God, we know what hinders us, and we can know what
we need to do.
This means we
must spend time with God, to allow the Lord to move in our life
and direct us. This time is called devotions and can
include, prayer, reading the Bible and praise. Devotions are
time we set apart and dedicate to our relationship with God. We
need to hear from the Lord, we need to make our requests known
and we need to praise and thank the Lord for his goodness. This
is part of developing “good soil”, so we can be fruitful with
the time we have been given to grow.
Is the act of
communication with our Creator, it involves listening to the
Spirit dwelling in us, and our responding. God can direct our
prayers through His word the Bible, we can pray about ourselves,
or we can pray for others or events.
When we pray
for others this is known as intercessory prayer, because
we are interceding. We put ourselves between someone and God,
interceding on someone’s or some groups behalf. A great picture
of intercessory prayer is Daniel
9:2-20, here Daniel prays, praying for
himself and interceding for his people, praying for restoration.
Daniel prayed according to scripture, he read from the book of
Jeremiah, and understood the time was at hand. He was
interceding for himself and his people.
in the first year of his reign I, Daniel, understood by the
books the number of the years specified by the word of the Lord
through Jeremiah the prophet, that He would accomplish seventy
years in the desolations of Jerusalem.
3 Then I set my
face toward the Lord God to make request by prayer and
supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes.
4 And I prayed
to the Lord my God, and made confession, and said, "O Lord,
great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and mercy with
those who love Him, and with those who keep His commandments,
5 "we have
sinned and committed iniquity, we have done wickedly and
rebelled, even by departing from Your precepts and Your
judgments. Daniel 9:2-5
serious about prayer, at this point Daniel was about 80-years
old, and God had already used him in many ways. He had seen the
angel Gabriel earlier, he was rescued from the den of lions
(Daniel 6) and other amazing events, but he approached God with
awe and majesty. Daniel had a method to his prayer; he fasted
and wore sackcloth and ashes. He was serious about what he
prayed, he hungered for the Lord to hear him, and that is why
God used him.
Like Daniel, we
need to be serious about prayer. To become the fruitful soil,
we need to pray and know God’s will in our life. The Spirit
dwelling in us gives us the words and knowledge of what to pray
about, even if we can’t. So first, we need to just move forward
in faith and pray.
26 Likewise the
Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we
should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes
intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27
Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit
is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to
the will of God. Romans 8:26-27
speaking we should try to set aside a portion of time each day
to pray, Daniel for example prayed 3-times each day. We can
start out small and increase the time. By making it a habit we
can establish a pattern for our life.
Lord works according to His Word, so to understand God’s will in
our life, we need depth. God will not go against his word. So
prayers which counter His word are wasted prayers, for example
do we ask God to help us steal the most dependable car? No,
because we know stealing is a sin. In the same way, by learning
God’s word, we can increase the depth of our “soil”. We can
know the will of God.
reading and understanding scripture we attend the most important
school, which ever existed, the “University of God”. We have
the opportunity of letting God teach us, right where we are.
Read what the Psalmist says about the Word.
97 Oh, how I
love Your law! It is my meditation all the day. 98 You, through
Your commandments, make me wiser than my enemies; For they are
ever with me. 99 I have more understanding than all my teachers,
For Your testimonies are my meditation. 100 I understand more
than the ancients, Because I keep Your precepts. 101 I have
restrained my feet from every evil way, That I may keep Your
word. 102 I have not departed from Your judgments, For You
Yourself have taught me. 103 How sweet are Your words to my
taste, Sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Bible has 1189 chapters, including both Old and New Testaments.
If we read just 3.25 chapters per day, the Bible could be read
in a year. In less then ½ hour per day, we could read the Bible
in a year.
Our goal should
not be just to read the Bible, we should strive to understand
it. God’s Spirit gives us the ability and desire to understand
what we read.
addition to the Bible, a Bible Dictionary, concordance and
commentary can help us understand the context and background
about what we are reading. However reading these are no
substitute for the Bible.
The more we
hunger to be used by God, the greater our desire will be to go
in-depth with His word.
Jesus was baptized He was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,
where he fasted 40-days. At the end of his fast, Satan came to
him to tempt him. Three times Satan tempted him, and in each
case, Jesus quoted to him scripture.
1 Then Jesus was
led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the
devil. 2 And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights,
afterward He was hungry. 3 Now when the tempter came to Him, he
said, "If You are the Son of God, command that these stones
become bread." 4 But He answered and said, "It is written,
'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that
proceeds from the mouth of God.' 5 Then the devil took Him up
into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, 6 and
said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down.
For it is written: 'He shall give His angels charge over
you,' and, 'In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash
your foot against a stone.' " 7 Jesus said to him, "It is
written again, 'You shall not tempt the Lord your God.' " 8
Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain,
and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9
And he said to Him, "All these things I will give You if You
will fall down and worship me." 10 Then Jesus said to him, "Away
with you, Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship
the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.' " 11 Then the
devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.
What does that tell us? First Jesus modeled for us the power of
scripture. Jesus quoted scripture to rebuke Satan. Second Jesus
memorized scripture, to quote it you need to memorize it. So if
Jesus used it to rebuke Satan and temptation, through memory,
why shouldn’t I?
If we struggle with an area, lets learn the scripture which deal
with that area, when we are tempted we can rebuke Satan with the
Word, just like Jesus.
Remember, the Word is the Sword of the Spirit, by having the
word in our hearts, we have a weapon of the Spirit at our side
anytime its needed.
17 And take the
helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the
word of God; Ephesians 6:17
anybody not want to eat food? To loose weight, of course that’s
why most people fast. Because how they look is important enough
to them, they are willing to give up food. We also fast for
health, we stop eating certain foods, chocolates, French fries,
etc. Our health is more important then the food.
In the same way
our looks and health are important, so is our spiritual health.
Fasting indicates how serious we are about the issue at hand.
Jesus fasted for 40-days, Moses fasted, Daniel fasted, so when
we fast we are in good company. When someone wants to be
successful in business, many times they look at what the
successful people did, then they emulate their work.
with a demon-possessed boy, the disciples were unable to free
him from demonic possession. Jesus after the demon was sent
away made the following comments.
19 Then the
disciples came to Jesus privately and said, "Why could we not
cast it out?" 20 So Jesus said to them, "Because of your
unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a
mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to
there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for
you. 21 "However, this kind does not go out except by prayer
and fasting." Matthew 17:19-21
possession was so strong, prayer alone could not accomplish the
task, fasting was also required. When we fast, we demonstrate
just how serious we are about what we want. Do we have a
problem which will not go away? How serious are we about this
issue, are we willing to pray an fast? Fasting is one more tool
used by the Spirit, to overcome our “Old Man”.
someone telling me, God must really be egotistical because He
always wants praise. I thought for a while, why do I praise
God? Then I realized, Praise is merely proclaiming the truth
about who God is! God is awesome, He made the universe! He
designed me!, He gave me breath, while I am really nothing more
then dirt and water.....Wow! What an amazing God. The more I
thought the more I could not help Praise God.
enough is worthy of Praise, but even more then this, this same
Creator was willing to come into the world, to die for His
creation. The creator of the Universe loved me enough to die for
me. He could make a thousand copies of me, yet he choose to
suffer me, so I could be with Him forever! Amazing!
God wants us to
Praise Him because its truth! We are commanded to Praise God,
not for His benefit but for ours. God knows who He is, He does
not need our acknowledgment to exist. We need to acknowledge
and praise Him so we are not misled and self-deceived.
1 Praise the
Lord! Praise the Lord from the heavens; Praise Him in the
heights! 2 Praise Him, all His angels; Praise Him, all His
hosts! 3 Praise Him, sun and moon; Praise Him, all you stars of
light! 4 Praise Him, you heavens of heavens, And you waters
above the heavens! 5 Let them praise the name of the Lord, For
He commanded and they were created Psalm 148:1-5
Try the 30-day
Use the chart
below to help you grow in your Spiritual Journey, to cultivate
Try to Read the Bible ½ hour a day
Pray 15 minutes
Fast once a week
Let us know