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Questions On Spirit-Filled Living

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Questions on Spirit Filled Living

Sermon Transcript by Rev. Ernest O’Neill

These Sunday evenings we’re talking about the post crucifixion life of a Christian. And maybe it’s good to emphasize that once every three or four weeks. We’re talking about the post crucifixion life. Now brothers and sisters it’s very important to emphasize that, otherwise you sink into this as the power of positive thinking. In other words, we’re talking tonight about people who are filled with the Holy Spirit and the problems that they meet in their mind during these few weeks.

Now it’s important for us to see that. That if you’re not filled with the Holy Spirit then you’ll have all kinds of problems in your mind that don’t come from evil spirits at all. They just come from the fact that you have a double mind and that you have a divided heart. And when we talk tonight about the problems that evil spirits cause in a Christian’s mind, we’re talking about the mind of a Christian who is crucified with Christ and who has been filled with the Holy Spirit.

Otherwise you see, you’re going to become confused over this issue and a great many things rise in the minds of half surrendered or control surrendered Christians because their will is divided and double. Now we’re talking on these Sunday evenings of people who have come to the place where they have a single eye and where their mind is single. Where they have been filled with the Holy Spirit, they have died to their own glory or their own satisfaction and they’re living only for Jesus’ glory.

Now it’s in the minds of people like that, that the demons begin to work and Satan begins to operate. The other people who have still a double mind, and are still uncertain about whether they are living for Jesus’ glory or partly for their own glory, Satan doesn’t need to get subtle or sophisticated with them. No, he just makes their will do at times what he wants them to do and lets their will at times do what Jesus wants them to do. That way he keeps bluffing them that Jesus is really the Lord of their lives. And it’s only when they realize that if he’s not Lord of all, he’s not really Lord at all. Indeed, he’s only Lord by permission of Satan. It’s only then when they begin to seek the experience of a real crucifixion with Christ, a real acceptance that they have been crucified with him.

Now Jesus made that distinction plain in Matthew 6:22 and it might be good to look at it. “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is sound, your whole body will be full of light; but if your eye is not sound, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!” Now the eye of the body is really the mind and that’s governed by your will. And if your will is not fully consecrated and surrendered to God then you’re going to have part darkness in your life at times and part light.

Now most of us have been in that position at one time or another. We have entered into the first part of believing in Jesus, that is the part where we believe that Jesus had died for our sins. And we received, in his name, the forgiveness of our sins. And we know we are children of God. We have received the Holy Spirit. We are born of the Spirit. We sense at times the Spirit of Jesus making us want to obey God. But at other times the good that we would we do not and the evil that we want to avoid, that’s the very thing we do.

Though we are children of God and born of the spirit, yet we have not a single eye. We are not intent on Jesus’ glory alone. Indeed, most of us in that condition have decided, “Now I have my

sins forgiven, God loves me. I’m ready for heaven. Now I shall get on with my own life.” And we get back to defending and asserting our own reputation to getting our own way at home, to insisting on our own rights. And we live that partly defeated, partly victorious, Christian life.

Now brothers and sisters that life will continue until you really accept that when Jesus died you died. And when he died to his rights you died to your rights. And when he was crucified you were crucified. And when his future ended your future ended. And when his reputation was destroyed your reputation was destroyed. And only when you enter into that by belief plus submission of the will is Jesus able to fill you with the Holy Spirit and anoint you with the Holy Spirit. And that’s what we mean by being baptized with the Spirit.

When a person comes to a place where he believes not only that Jesus died for him but that if Jesus died for all then all died. And you remember that is, I believe, in 2 Corinthians 5:14. And, you remember, I’ve talked about it at times as the big and the small print in the Christian contract that we sign with God in Jesus’ name. “For the love of Christ controls us, because we are convinced that one has died for all.” Now that is what has normally been presented in our churches as becoming a Christian, when you believe that Christ died for you, died in your place, so that God could forgive you. Normally in our churches we say, “You become a Christian if you believe that.”

That’s not what the early Christian church believed. The early Christian church was in no doubt. When the people came up and said to Peter, “What must we do now that we see we have crucified the son of God?” Then old Peter said, “You must repent and you must be baptized into the name of Jesus for the remission of your sins and you shall receive the Holy Spirit.” Then he explained to them, “Do you know that those of you who have been baptized into Jesus have been baptized into his death? So, just as he died, you died also. And just as he was buried, you were buried also, that you might walk in newness of life.”

And so the early Christians entered into not only Jesus’ death for them but they entered into the small print of the contract described there in 2 Corinthians 5:14, “That one has died for all; therefore all have died.” They said, “That’s it. That’s why God can forgive us. He should have destroyed us, but he destroyed Jesus instead. What does that mean? It means we were destroyed with Jesus. We thank God, we’re destroyed; we’re crucified; we’re buried. This life is not ours to live. It’s his completely. Lord Jesus, we thank you. We trust you now to fill us and anoint us with the Holy Spirit so that we can live for you alone.”

It was a full and complete experience brothers and sisters. There was no half and half. There was none of this business, “Oh, I’ve had my sins forgiven but I haven’t been baptized with the Holy Spirit.” There was none of that. When that occurred it was a special case. When that occurred in Acts 8, it was regarded by the apostles as a special deviation from the norm.

There it is in Acts 8. You can see it there. Acts 8:4. “Now those who were scattered went about preaching the word. Philip went down to a city of Samaria, and proclaimed to them the Christ. And the multitudes with one accord gave heed to what was said by Philip, when they heard him and saw the sings which he did.” So there was much joy in that city in Verse 8. And then, you remember, in Verse 10, “They all gave heed to him, from the least to the greatest, saying, ‘This man is that power of God.’” And then in Verse 12, “But when they believed Philip as he preached good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Even Simon himself believed.” And yet this was a deviation from the norm. You can see it in Verse 14, “Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent to them

Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit,” in his fullness, “For it had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit.” They received the Holy Spirit in his fullness. Presumably they were born of the Spirit when they believed and were baptized but they received the Holy Spirit in his fullness then when the apostles laid their hands on them.

And you remember, it occurs once more in Acts 19, there’s a situation there where there was a deviation from the norm. Acts 19:1. “While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the upper country and came to Ephesus. There he found some disciples. And he said to them, ‘Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?’ And they said, ‘No, we have never even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.’ And he said, ‘Into what then were you baptized?’ They said, ‘Into John’s baptism.’ And Paul said, ‘John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, Jesus.’ On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them; and the spoke with tongues and prophesied.”

We should be wise about tongues. There are five instances, I think, in the New Testament where it is said that the Holy Spirit filled people. And you remember that, isn’t it in two of those that they spoke in tongues? And then in three tongues aren’t mentioned. We should see that the tongues are not the sign of being filled with the Holy Spirit. But nevertheless in the early church it was taught plainly that the experience was a complete experience.

Now brothers and sisters do you see that what we talk about on these Sunday evenings assumes that you have entered into a complete Christian experience? That is, that you have been born of the Spirit and you have died to self with Jesus.

Now loved ones, honestly, if you haven’t entered into that then a lot of this stuff that we share tonight will just end up in the power of positive thinking for you. Because you see, your mind is being filled with all kinds of things that you want it to be filled with. We’re talking here tonight about our mind being filled with things that we don’t want and that we don’t put in there ourselves, that come in from outside by Satan. But do you see that if you have a double mind and a double will, if you’re still living partly for your own glory, you’ll fill your mind with things that are not in God’s will? And those things are not necessarily put there by demons. They’re put there by you. You can’t cast those out. You have to obey those out. And it’s important for us to see the distinction, you know.

Now maybe I should pause there brothers and sisters because at times I feel some of us don’t really understand that what we talk about in these Sunday evenings is really for the person who is filled with the Spirit and for the person who is crucified with Christ. Now if you say, “Oh, but brother that puts me out. What am I going to do on Sunday evenings?” No, I think you should come. You enter into these things by hungering after them. Yeah, don’t you sit back and say, “Oh, well it’s not for me.” No, you enter into these things by being hungry. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled.

Yeah, it’s always by listening to speaking or preaching that is above where we are. Without a vision the people perish. It is with that that God lifts us up. So yeah, you keep coming but I want you to see the distinction. I don’t want you to substitute the power of positive thinking for an experience of the cross of Christ in your life. And maybe I should pause for questions there

because some may be uncertain about that.

Question from Audience:

Didn’t even Paul have problems with sin in his life?

Reply from Pastor O’Neill:

No, it seems to me brother that that was it. It was certainly before he was filled with the Spirit. Maybe we should look at Romans 7 brothers and sisters because it has been just mutilated hasn’t it by the Christian body so often. Many people believe that this Romans 7 is the picture of a defeated Christian. I think I’ll go with old John Wesley that it’s not even a defeated Christian, that it is really a Jew under the law. It is a Jew under the law who is not even born of the spirit let alone filled with spirit.

It so happens that the level that we have for the converted Christian life is so low that we think, “And maybe this is it.” But this isn’t even the level of a converted Christian life. I believe really it’s the level of a Jew under the law. Now you can see in Verse 8, “But sin, finding opportunity in the commandment, wrought in me all kinds of covetousness. Apart from the law sin lies dead. I was once alive apart from the law.” I once, that is, didn’t think anything about sin. “But when the commandment came…” When I began to come under the law as a Jew then the law exposed the independence of God–that’s what sin is–exposed the independence of God that was in me, “Sin revived and I died.” I became aware that I could not live the way this God wanted me to, and I died. “The very commandment which promised life proved to be death to me. For sin, finding opportunity in the commandment, deceived me and by it killed me. So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and just and good.”

Now then you see how he describes his own life in Verse 15, “I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good. So then it is no longer I that do it, but sin which dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do.” Now of course, even a Christian who has had his sins forgiven ought to live in a little more victory than that you see.

A Christian who has had his sins forgiven and is having trouble in a defeated Christian life is normally having trouble inside. He usually has enough will power and enough grace given by Jesus to avoid outward sin. It breaks out from time-to-time but he doesn’t walk in that sin. It is an odd exception when it breaks out. What he finds is, he wants to be angry, he wants to be irritable, he wants to be sarcastic. But it is inward sin he has trouble with. That’s why so many people say, “Well Paul is describing not the life of a defeated or half Christian here but the life of a Jew that can’t do what he ought to do.”

Now in Verse 20, “Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin which dwells within me.” So you either take it you see, as the life of a Jew under the law or the life of a Christian who only knows the forgiveness of his sins. But even for that Christian it’s a pretty low level. But you can interpret it as that: that this Christian is simply a good Jew. He’s a Jew that believes that for the sake of Jesus God will forgive him his sins. But yet he cannot walk in the victory that has been promised to him. And he looks up to those promises, “I can do anything

through Christ who strengthens me.”

Maybe I should just look at it brothers and sisters. Do you see Verse 24? “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” And most people stop there and say, “That’s the situation. That’s the normal Christian life.” It’s not you see. Verse 25, “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” Then people look at the next verse and say, “Ah, but there he is still in the old spot.” No he’s not; he’s summarizing the previous experience that he had before he entered into crucifixion with Christ. He’s saying, “So then, I of myself,” and the Greek means, I left to myself, I depending on myself–before my old self was crucified–depending on myself. “I of myself serve the law of God with my mind,” I want to do the right thing, “But with my flesh I serve the law of sin.”

But that was the old life. He’s not describing what happens after “Thanks be to God.” After “Thanks be to God,” he outlines it in Verse 8, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus for the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set me free from the law of sin and death.” And then he goes on to talk in Verse 9, “But you are not in the flesh, you are in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Any one who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.” Then he points to the assurance we have in Verse 15, “For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the spirit of sonship. When we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’ it is the Spirit himself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God.” And then he runs on you see, and describes the victorious life in which he finds himself.

Question from Audience: (inaudible)

Reply from Pastor O’Neill:

That’s right. Brother, I believe that Paul’s experience was the complete one that he describes, you remember, in Acts. Maybe we could look at it. Some of you will have to help me because I don’t know the exact chapters but if you look at Paul’s experience you remember, of conversion. You remember, where Ananias laid his hands on him. I think someone will have to find the exact chapter and verse. Acts 9:17. “So Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, ‘Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came, has sent me that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.’ And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized, and took food and was strengthened.”

Now do you see that Paul’s new birth presumably occurred the previous day didn’t it on the road to Damascus because there in Verse 4, “And he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?’ And he said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’” And presumably at that moment Paul identified Jesus as his Lord and was willing to give his life to him and so the conversion presumably took place that day. I think brother, that Paul had no more than one day’s distinction between his new birth and being filled with the Spirit. And so I don’t think that Romans 7 describes a defeated Christian life but rather his life as Jew.

Now we can rightfully, I think, say that it describes the life of many of us who are just good Jews. We’re Christians who have had our sins forgiven.

Question from Audience: (inaudible)

Reply from Pastor O’Neill:

No, because he describes his normal life in Romans 8, where he describes the life in the Spirit, brother. No. And you see, why we get into that trouble dear ones is we take Romans as a chronological exposition of Paul’s life which I isn’t. It’s the very opposite. He makes it plain that this is an outline of Christian doctrine. And even if you read a book like John Stott’s “Baptism With the Holy Spirit”, he’ll take Romans 6, 7, and 8, I think it is, those three chapters together. It’s an outline of doctrine. It’s not a chronological exposition of Paul’s life. And that’s where I think we get into difficulties.

Now this is good brothers and sisters I’d rather we’d clarify this than really do what we were going to do tonight.

Question from Audience:

Do we believe that you can be filled with the Holy Spirit to the extent that you walk in total obedience?

Reply from Pastor O’Neill:

It seems to me brother that from the beginning of the Bible to the very end God is saying one thing. He’s saying, “Obey me.” He keeps on saying, “Obey me.” And we keep on saying, “He doesn’t really mean it. He doesn’t believe we can obey him.” And he keeps on saying, right through every chapter of the Bible you know, you keep getting it, he says, “Obey me. Obey me. Obey me.” Jesus says, “If a man loves me he will keep my words and my Father will love him and we will come to him and make our home in his heart. If a man does not love me he will not keep my words.” And we keep on protesting and saying, “But we really do love you even though we’re not keeping your words.”

And Jesus keeps on saying, “Look, you’re doing like a man who builds his house upon sand. And the storm comes, and the floods of judgment come, and the house is just wrecked. And that’s the kind of position you people are in who hear my word and don’t do them.” Brother praise God. Yes, whosoever is born of God does not commit sin. Now don’t let’s get under that and say, “We never, never, never.” It’s your natural normal life not to commit sin.

If you do commit sin we have an advocate with the Father, even Jesus the Christ the righteous but it is an exception in our lives. It is an emergency situation. Sin is not any imperfection. It isn’t. Sin is what is described in James 2:10, as whosoever knows what is right to do and fails to do it. For him it is sin. Sin is not a mistake, it’s not ignorance. Many of us make mistakes and many of us do things through ignorance but sin is known rebellious attitude towards God.

And if you say to me, “Well brother then I’m not crucified with Christ if I’ve ever committed a sin?” Yes, but sin is not a normal natural part of your life it is an exception, it is an emergency situation where you get before the Father and you get real forgiveness for it. Yeah brother, but that is true what you say. Yes, we are expected to walk in perfect obedience.

Not in perfection, we’re not talking about sinless perfection. People talk about sinless perfection and say, “You ought never to make a mistake. You ought never, ever to fall.” No, we’re talking about perfect obedience, obeying God in all that you know you should obey him. Yeah. The absence

of a rebellious resistant will to his. The presence of a penitent contrite heart that’s what we see.

Question from Audience: (inaudible)

Reply from Pastor O’Neill:

Brother here’s the thing: the law is specially designed to drive a man to crucifixion. God is wise and I’d rather be wise with him than try something of my own. And it is so brother. You’re dead right. That is really it. That is really it. God keeps laying this law to us–and that’s what happens to so many of us. We hear this law and we hear it laid down and we keep on saying, “Well I’m trying, I’m trying. But you’re driving me to despair.” That’s exactly where God wants us, to be driven to despair where we at last say, “There is no good thing in me. I’m going to just accept that you did the right thing Lord, you destroyed me in Jesus. And it’s about time I let that happen inside and allow him to take over.” Yes, that’s right.

Maybe I should take a sister there.

Question from Audience: Can you be filled with the Holy Spirit and not experience that crucifixion?

Reply from Pastor O’Neill:

It does seem true, doesn’t it, that it is unto you according to your faith. And it does seem that some people, particularly those who have come through a Pentecostal emphasis have had it stressed to them again and again that Jesus will baptize you with the Holy Spirit, and you will receive the gift of tongues and you will have available to you the other gifts of the Spirit.

And it does seem that some people have entered into that by faith and so they have ministered in the gifts of the spirit and they have never had light on this subject of their crucifixion with Christ. And so it has been unto them according to their faith. And it has lasted for a while. And then the Holy Spirit has begun to try and draw them into this but they have resisted. And as they have resisted and grieved him, so he has withdrawn his gifts. But they have kept on manifesting the gifts in the flesh. And so they have persuaded themselves that they still have the baptism, as they call it. But they’re manifesting the gifts in the flesh. And you notice that they are often drawing attention to themselves and to the gifts. And there seems to be a lack of the transmission of Jesus’ life.

So it seems, sister, that even though you may enter into the power on one side or the purity on the other side, unless you are yielding to the Holy Spirit for all that he wants to do in you, you’ll lose him completely. And so it seems with those of us who see the need to enter into the crucified experience, if we don’t allow the Holy Spirit to begin to administer the gifts of the Spirit through us and to express his power through us then we will grieve him also.

So it’s neither purity nor power. It’s both and, purity and power. But it does seem that it was the Father’s will that we should come via the cross–that that is his will that we should come into the baptism of the Holy Spirit through the cross. And I know many brothers and sisters say, “Come into the anointing with power first and then you can come into the cross.” It seems that it’s hard for many to take the dizzy heights that the gifts raise them to without beginning to glorify themselves rather than Jesus.

Question from Audience: Can you believe for your crucifixion without the Holy Spirit putting light on it?

Reply from Pastor O’Neill:

Brothers and sisters here’s the simple situation. You can believe with your mind for it. It’s Galatians 5:24. Undoubtedly you can believe with your mind. That’s a different thing from saying you can enter into the reality of it by yourself. I think we often have to see that there is a sense in which we can exercise faith. God expects us to exercise faith. “And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” We have a responsibility to believe that, yes. God doesn’t say, “Now, I’m going to help you to believe that.” He says, “It’s in my word, you believe it or you don’t. I’ve written it all over the word. I’ve written in Colossians, ‘You have died with Christ.’ I’ve written in Romans 6:6 that, ‘Your old self was crucified with Christ.’ How often do you want me to repeat it before you believe it? It’s your responsibility to believe that you were crucified with Christ.”

But brother, I’m with you, in order to experience the reality of that in our own lives we need to then submit to the Holy Spirit and say, “Holy Spirit, will you give me revelation as to where I am not willing to enter into this in my own life? And if there’s any place where I am not willing to enter in, will you expose it to me? Otherwise, I’m going to submit to you now and trust you now to make the resurrection life of Jesus real in me.” Then the next day if you’re angry or you’re irritable you say, not, “I’m not crucified.” But you say, “Thank you Holy Spirit for answering my prayer, for exposing to me where I was not willing to be crucified with Christ. Now, why did I get angry?”

And then the Holy Spirit begins to show you something of what brother shared. “Well, you got angry because you were insisting on your own rights there. Now, being crucified with Christ means you die to those rights. Now are you willing?” And then you come into that.

Question from Audience: (inaudible)

Reply from Pastor O’Neill:

Oh, you cooperate with the Holy Spirit. You do. You remember, the difference between introspection and the Holy Spirit’s revelation is that the Holy Spirit initiates the process. You do not examine your own heart in order to find the pride. You look to him and look to the word and the Holy Spirit brings the pride before you. But once he brings it before you, he expects you to cooperate with him and to work out with him why you were proud. Yes, and so you should do that.

But that’s different brother from what we normally call introspection. We normally call introspection this vague groping around for something bad in us. Now there’s no place for that. But when the Holy Spirit convicts you of a definite sin, no vague guilt, but convicts you of a sin, it’s our job to track that sin down with him and cooperate with him.

Question from Audience: (inaudible)

Reply from Pastor O’Neill:

Dear ones, there are three stages – well, it’s silly to talk about that. I’m sure God sees only one stage and we silly little men make three stages. It’s helpful. It’s helpful to look at three works that God does in us. He delivers us from a guilty conscience through the blood of Jesus that has been shed for our sins. That’s the blood of Jesus deals with that. That’s what a person enters into who has his sins forgiven.

The God begins to deal with our selfish wills. That is the will that Paul talked about in Romans 7. There God deals with that through the experience of the cross of Christ. You’ll notice that that is always talked – the sins are always dealt with by the blood of Jesus. And the sin, the selfish independent will is always dealt with by the cross of Christ, by our identification with Christ in his death. And then after that begins the progressive work of the breaking of the outward man because we have also got an independent soul. That is we have a mind and emotions and a will that have been used for years to following the old self. And they have got into – the psychologists are right from that point of view. They have got into ruts in ways of thinking, in ways of feeling, in ways of responding.

We don’t want them to respond that way but they’ve just got used to it. And they’re so strongly in those ruts that those ruts have to be broken. And that’s where the progressive daily experience of bearing about in our body the dying of the Lord Jesus takes place. And that is what follows the baptism with the Holy Spirit. In other words it is very important that those of you who go to the seminars on Sunday morning go to John Larson’s seminar if you have not been filled or baptized with the Holy Spirit because that deals with the crisis experience.

Just back off from crisis, I don’t mean bells ring and the heavens thunder and lightening. I just mean it is a moment when you quietly say, “Lord Jesus, I’m willing to die to myself. I’m willing to stop living for myself. I’m willing to start living for you.” It’s just a moment that comes. It may be a quiet moment. It may not be a moment that you can identify but there comes a time when you actually do accept that you’re crucified with Christ.

Now that’s when the baptism with the Holy Spirit takes place. This brokenness of the independent soul that Roger talks about with “Release of the Spirit” in his seminar, that’s a progressive experience that you remember, we began to talk about here on Sunday evenings.

That’s good. Can anyone zero in on questions regarding that? If we can group the questions around one subject.

Question from Audience: (inaudible)

Reply from Pastor O’Neill:

The independent soul is what Paul talks about when he said, “I bear about in my body,” you remember, “The dying of the Lord Jesus.” And isn’t that 2 Corinthians? I know Paul talks about it also in 2 Corinthians 4:10, “Always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.” And then, you remember, in Verse 16 he explains what he means, “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer nature is wasting away,” our soul, our outward soul, “Our inner nature,” our spirit, “Is being renewed every day.” And you see how that takes place, Verse 17. “For this slight momentary affliction…” And it’s through trials and breaking experiences that we come into that. And that’s what you talk about there.

Romans 6:6 is what you talk about in regard to the selfish will. 2 Corinthians 4:10 is what you talk about in relationship to the independent soul. This is a daily experience. [Indicating on visual] And this [shows visual] is really a once for all experience in which you live. The reality of it you live in day-by-day.

Don’t let’s be foolish about that. You had an initial experience of the forgiveness of your sins but you live daily in that forgiveness. You thank God for the forgiveness of your sins. And so it is you have a once for all experience of your crucifixion with Christ and yet you live in the light of that death. But here you also allow that death to extend itself to your mind, emotions, and will, or your mind and emotions. Maybe it’s easier to say that.

Question from Audience:

Going along the lines of last Sunday’s morning service is it not true that at your baptism into Jesus you experience baptism into the spirit and then you receive further fillings after that?

Reply from Pastor O’Neill:

Brothers and sisters what I’m anxious for us to do is see the wholeness of the experience and see that in New Testament time they have not this business of dividing it up. And I know our job is to find out into what have we entered. Our job is certainly not to treat us all as if we’re baptized with the spirit. Our job is to find out, “Okay where do you stand?” But do you see that from the point of view of scriptural truth you must keep emphasizing that it is the Father’s will that we enter into everything? Maybe not at the same instance–maybe like Paul, one day born of the spirit the next day filled with the spirit. But we need to emphasize that it’s God’s will that we enter into the whole experience and stop this pattern that we’ve developed in our churches of being born of the spirit and living in defeat for 20 years, and then being filled with the spirit 20 years later when we’ve already brought 20 years of disrepute and shame to the name of Jesus, and claimed that we were full Christians.

And so that’s why I expressed that in New Testament times baptism into Jesus meant baptism into his death and, and his resurrection, and his ascension and baptism into his Spirit. Now many of us have been baptized into Jesus but have not entered into all of that. And so it’s our responsibility to see, “Well, what have we entered into?” Not as many of us do. Many of us argue, “Oh, I’ve been baptized into Jesus so I must have it all.” No, I say, “Look, have you love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance? Have you experienced the gift of discernment? Have you experienced the gift of wisdom? Have you experienced the gift of prophecy? Have you love that is patient and kind, that is not jealous or boastful, that is not arrogant or rude, that is not irritable or resentful? Now if you haven’t then there’s more of Jesus that you can enter into.” And I think that should be our approach.

But our approach should not be you know, “Well I have it. Pastor, I have it. I’ve been baptized, I’ve spoken with tongues.” Or, “No, I was baptized by emersion so I must have it.” No, always Jesus is realistic he says, “Well, have you the marks? Have you the marks of a crucified man? Have you the marks of a resurrected man?” Well, if you haven’t don’t get all worried and say, “Oh, I’m not a Christian.” But, “Listen to me, there’s more of me that you can enter into.” You see. And I think that’s the position.

Otherwise brothers and sisters we get into ridiculous doctrinal arguments you see. And we’re

backing Stott on this point. And we’re backing Leon Morris [Australian New Testament scholar, 1914-2006] on this point. And we’re with the Pentecostal people here and with the holiness people there, you see. And that’s endless. Satan just wants just wants us to get all occupied with defending our own position so that none of us will enter into anything. I think I should take different people if I can.

Question from Audience:

Is there any way you can help the Lord along?

Reply from Pastor O’Neill:

I think he is a bit slow at times. [Laughter] I think that all the time the Father has one thing to say to us. He says, “Look, obey me. Obey me. Read my word and enter into all that you can and strive until you’re tired striving.” And I believe that the Father wants us to do that. He wants us to run our prayer lives sensibly each day and run our bible study lives sensibly each day, and do all we can to walk in his will. And as we hunger and thirst for more of his righteousness, the Holy Spirit will lead us more and more and bring us into this.

Question from Audience:

How do you know something is of Jesus or it’s just positive thinking?

Reply from Pastor O’Neill:

It would seem to me that if it’s of Jesus it’s something that has come from his word and something that has come as a promise of God, or a commandment of God. And so you have every right to take that promise or that commandment and to enshrine it in your mind and to seek to live it. And I think that that’s it.

Now if you say, “Well, what part does will power play in it?” Well, I think you should exercise your will until you’re ready at last to die and to see the hopelessness of your will. But I remember there was a time in my life when I thought you know, “Why bother? Why bother exercising my will? I’m not succeeding anyway. Why don’t I just give up the will and wait for God to hit me with the Holy Spirit.” And then, you know, he showed me plainly, “You’re just falling into passivity. You’re just falling into a pattern where you want me to do what I cannot do. You have to yearn with all your heart. I still said, ‘Blessed are you who hunger and thirst after righteousness for you shall be filled.’” And it is our responsibility to try and obey him with all our hearts until, as brother said, we realize that it’s better to die really than to try. And we need to see that and enter into it.

Question from Audience: (inaudible)

Reply from Pastor O’Neill:

Brother, if it weren’t so late I’d get started to the study which was about that. And I think that we really – really brother, I think it would be unfair maybe to begin even the study at this point. It’s just a massive subject and I would like to continue it next Sunday evening if you’d be patient. I say that, brother, because I know that a number of us do like to spend a little time just getting

back into the center of things and seeing what all this is based on, on Sunday evenings.

I myself have thought that maybe you would be bored with going over this again but I do think there are a number of brothers and sisters are still uncertain in some of these things and we should settle it. ??