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What Keeps Us From Being Baptised With the Holy Spirit?

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Crucifixion – Condition for Being Filled

Sermon Transcript by Rev. Ernest O’Neill

If you say, “Oh I was baptized with the Holy Spirit when I was born of the Spirit.” Well I don’t think anyone is going to say it’s not possible. I think they’re going to say if you have the marks of the baptism with the Holy Spirit than that must have happened. But for many of us it has been as second step in our Christian experience.

And so we have this bookcase with the baptism with the Holy Spirit: The top section has books on filing of the Holy Spirit for purity, for inward victory. And the bottom section is anointing of the Holy Spirit for power, for the gifts of the spirit. Emphasizing you see, that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is an inward and an outward enduement: power for inward purity and power for outward witnessing. And then the third bookcase is labeled “Walking In The Spirit,” and it deals with union with Christ and with ministering life.

Now I tell you that to point out that really on these Sunday evenings we’ve been dealing again and again with the third bookcase and with that third step. And I noticed that really the seminar this morning that John leads on baptism with the Holy Spirit was overflowing. And really I think the truth is that many of us are at that stage. I think that’s true, isn’t it? Many of us are at that stage where we’re having some difficulty in some defeat in our Christian lives and what we need is the baptism with the Holy Spirit.

Now some of us are baptized with the Holy Spirit and have come into a full surrender and we really need to be walking in the Spirit and learning how to walk in the Spirit. But I think it’s necessary maybe, from time-to-time on Sunday evenings to back up and deal again with that crises experience, the baptism with the Holy Spirit. And that’s what I’d like to share a little about tonight and you’ll forgive me therefore not dealing with the Christian’s desires but in fact, just going back in the light of this morning’s message and dealing once more with the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the need of it in our lives.

I had some cream in that glass jar and I left it too long. Yeah, I did. And it’s really quite a smell. And there’s nothing as miserable as sour cream. Now do you see dear ones, if I leave that like that and you bring me some fresh cream and I say, “Okay, I’ve got a jar here,” and I take your fresh cream and I pour it in here, you know what will happen. And you’ll say to me, “Listen pastor if you pour that fresh cream on top of the sour cream the sour cream will affect the fresh cream in a matter of a day or so.” Now that’s foolish. What you need to do is clean that sour cream right out and then put the fresh cream in.

Now loved ones, that’s the situation with many of us in our Christian lives. We have come to the place where we realize there was a lot of sour cream in our lives that we needed to empty out. And we did come into a real repentance and we received Jesus into our spirits. And it wasn’t long after that until Jesus began to make us aware that there was something sour underneath that we had never really got to the bottom of. And it was still laying there in our lives. There was a doubleness of will that we had never really dealt with.

And do you see what happens? While we allow that to remain there you can receive more of the Holy Spirit in every Sunday, and you can receive a special supply of the Holy Spirit at Easter time, and a great supply of the Holy Spirit if you’re on a retreat, or at a series of evangelistic services.

But do you see that the same thing happens all the time? If that stuff at the bottom of your heart has not been dealt with then the Holy Spirit will soon be soured again by that sour lack of full surrender at the bottom of your heart.

Now that’s really what we’re talking about when we’re talking about the baptism with the Holy Spirit. We’re saying that the only way to get that sour double will out of your life is to allow the Holy Spirit to be poured in and displace it completely. And to do that you have to be willing to be filled with the Holy Spirit. And the whole deal with the baptism of the Holy Spirit is coming to a place of honesty where you really do want the Holy Spirit to fill every part of you.

Now brothers and sisters, you may say, “Oh Pastor if you had the trouble I have with my temper you’d know I want it.” But loved ones, there’s a great part of us that wants so much of the Holy Spirit but not completely and that’s what the struggle is all about, you see.

Now, this is built in to the whole message of salvation and maybe we should see that. Acts 2:38, you remember, that famous verse where the people on the day of Pentecost came up to Peter and they asked him, “What must we do to be saved?” And Peter’s answer you see really implies these two important works that the Holy Spirit does within us, regenerating us and filling us. Peter replied, you remember, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

Now the forgiveness of our sins is what Jesus’ blood was shed for. Jesus’ blood you remember, I suggested this morning, was shed to enable God to forgive us and remain a just God even though we were sinners and deserved death. And in a real sense therefore Jesus’ death was for God. In a real sense, Jesus died for his Father’s sake, to enable his Father to forgive sinners who in all justice deserved death. And this enabled his Father to forgive us even though we deserved death because his Justice was wrought upon Jesus. Now that was for the remission of our sins.

But you see the second step is, you shall receive the Holy Spirit. And of course the Bible means receive the Holy Spirit not only to regenerate you and renew your spirit and you give a desire for God but to fill your spirit completely, to cleanse your heart by faith.

Now those two things are implied in Jesus’ death for us. And dear ones, they run right through the whole of scripture. Jesus died so that God could forgive us our sins. Secondly, Jesus died so that we might die in him and God might destroy and render in operative that rebellious will of ours. Now you see, we don’t accept that at all most of the time. Most of the time we say, “Yes, Jesus died so that God could forgive us our sins. Now our job is to suppress and repress that rebellious will.” And that’s what most of us live in, isn’t it?

We believe that Jesus died so that God could forgive us our sins. We couldn’t find any other. There was no other good enough to pay the price of sin. He only could unlock the gate of heaven and let us in. But when it comes to victory within we begin to use our great willpower. We begin to suppress and repress that attitude within us which begets individual sins on the outside.

Now if you’d just be patient and look at those two verses that we did check this morning. You remember, I suggested that the first four and a half chapters of Romans deal all the time with sins in the plural: acts, and thoughts, and words that are disobedient to God. And the second three and a half chapters’ deal all the time with sin in the singular, the inward attitude that wants to disobey God. Now that’s Romans 3:25. You remember, it mentions there that Jesus died for the remission of

our sins, “Whom God put forward as an expiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins; it was to prove at the present time that he himself is righteous,” even though he forgives us, “And that he justifies him who has faith in Jesus.” Now you see, the emphasis there is on sins and the forgiveness of our sins.

Now would you look at Romans 6:6, where the emphasis is not on sins but on the inward attitude of sin which produces those sins. “We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the sinful body might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin,” in the singular. In other words, there’s a real need for us not only to believe that Jesus has died for our sins and to be willing to let go of our sins, but there’s a real need for us to realize that we were crucified with Christ and to be willing to let go of self so that he is able to free us through the Holy Spirit.

Now there isn’t a place dear ones, where you cannot find these two things emphasized you see. You look at 1 John 1:9 and it’s a verse we often quote about how really to become a Christian. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins,” and that’s the part that we again, and again preach in our churches, “He will forgive us our sins.” But do you see the second, “And cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Now it is God who will cleanse us from the unrighteousness within. It is not ourselves by willpower or the power of positive thinking, or Paul Tournier [1898-1986, A Swiss physician, author and pastoral counselor] or fellowship, or through Bible study and prayer. It is God himself who through the Holy Spirit will do this.

Now why do we say through the Holy Spirit? Well Acts 15:9 states what Peter felt happened on the day of Pentecost you remember. You remember there’s difficulty about receiving the gentiles in without first becoming Jews. In Acts 15:8 Peter explains this, “And God who knows the heart bore witness to them, giving them the Holy Spirit just as he did to us; and he made no distinction between us and them, but cleansed their hearts by faith.”

In other words, when we share this need to die with Jesus we’re not making the Christian faith harder, or the Christian life harder we’re making it possible, loved ones. It is impossible to destroy that evil inward inclination you have to have your own way and insist on your own rights. It is impossible to do that by human willpower. The only way is to see that God, through the Holy Spirit, does it and he will only do it if you’re willing to die to self.

Now you know if you say, “Oh well brother now why don’t we share this more in our churches?” Loved ones, you know why, because we want to retain some free will ourselves. We call it free will. It isn’t free will. It’s slavery to self. But you know that in our churches we’re anxious for admission into heaven. We want our sins covered by Jesus’ blood. We don’t want to be found in hell at the end of this life. But when it comes to the way we live this present life, again, and again we want to be able to live it our own way.

Now you’ll see as you go through scripture, it just isn’t on the books loved ones. It just is not that way. Now look at 2 Corinthians 5:14 and you begin to see a magnificent symmetrical logic you know, about God’s word when you see the two events that took place when Jesus died on the cross: Not only the bearing of the penalty of our sins but the bearing of ourselves into death with him. “For the love of Christ controls us, because we are convinced that one has died for all.” That’s for the forgiveness of our sins. “Therefore all have died.” In other words the two emphases are there,

that Jesus died for us but that we also died with him. And really, until we enter into that there’ll be no experience of resurrection.

You find it in the Old Testament. Ezekiel 36:25-26 and again, the two sides of the work that Jesus did on the cross. “I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you.” And it says that God will sprinkle clean water upon us: sprinkle the blood of Jesus upon us so that we are looked upon as righteous because of Jesus’ righteousness. Then in Verse 26 the real change that he will work in us: “A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will take out of your flesh the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”

And again, and again throughout scripture there’s the emphasis. God will treat you as righteous because Jesus has died for you but he will make you righteous by the filling of the Holy Spirit. Now this is pictured for us you remember, in the Israelites. You remember, they passed over the Red Sea and the escaped from the bondage and the slavery that they were in-in Egypt. And then, like many of us, they wandered for 40 years in the wilderness coming back to their old campsites, making the same old resolutions, “We’re going to win through this time. We’re going to obey you Lord whatever the cost.” And it wasn’t until they eventually crossed the Jordan and into Canaan that they came into a place of rest. And there was in a sense two different experiences for them: A coming free from slavery and then an entering into the rest that God had for them.

Now that’s what many of us have found you know, in this baptism with the Holy Spirit, that it suddenly seems to bring you into a rest. And that’s why many of us call it the second rest of the people of God, where you cease from your labors. You cease from that striving to overcome those miserable habits and you enter in through the filling of the Holy Spirit into an effortless life of obedience.

But dear ones, those are just a few of the pictures in the New Testament and I have others here you know, and could go through them.

Now where is the problem normally in the born again Christian or the child of God who has not entered into baptism of the Holy Spirit? Where is the problem? Well I suggested where it is this morning. It’s not normally in the outward life. Most of us can walk in a fair degree of outward victory. We’ve been trained, we have strong wills. We’re sophisticated western educated people. We have a fair degree of control over what we do outwardly and what we say outwardly. But the problem with most of us is in the area of attitudes, or the area of reactions, or the area of motives, or the area of tempers or desires. You see, we’re willing to do something for God and we get up here and we do it and we’re not quite sure what was the real motive behind it. We believe that it was for the glory of God and we say, “Praise God,” when somebody thanks us for it. But often inside there’s a great welling up of pride in the old natural abilities. And there’s a great pleasure derived from all eyes being upon us.

Now normally dear ones, it’s in the area of motives where we have our problems, or the area of attitudes, you know. You can hold back from being angry with a brother. You can hold back from outwardly criticizing someone. But you know if you’re heart was to be projected on one of those outdoor screens in an outdoor theatre and everybody could see it, you know you would be the most ashamed person in the whole world, because there are things in your attitudes to others: just unquestioned attitudes of criticism. Unquestioned attitudes of hatred, and grudges, and resentment that you would hate anyone to see.

Now loved ones, usually it’s in those inner areas. That’s why we often call it inward sin, you see, as opposed to outward sins. And the reason why we have no revival among us is many of us are walking about in apparent outward victory but inside our hearts our foul, and unclean, and filled with things that are not godly and are not Christ-like. And those are the things that destroy our witness.

Now if you said, “What particular things?” Well, you’d find them there in Galatians 5:19 if you wanted to look at it. They’re called, you remember, in the New Testament the works of the flesh. “Now the works of the flesh are plain: immorality, impurity,” you see, these are attitudes, all the “-y’s”, all the “y” words are normally attitudes, “Immorality, impurity, licentiousness.” See it’s not just enough loved ones, to hold back from unclean acts. It’s that God wants us to be free from a spirit of licentiousness.

See there’s a real way in which I’m all for the sap coming up in the trees at spring time and all that. And it’s beautiful. But there’s a way, too, in which there can be a licentiousness in our lives. There can be an attitude of a libertine even though it doesn’t get outside. Now that’s what is not consistent you see, with the spirit of the pure tender Jesus that is dwelling within us. That’s why he is uncomfortable so often in our lives, because he has to dwell with such unclean neighbors inside our hearts. And that’s why there’s always a struggle, because he will not stay there if you’re going to keep that neighbor there, you see. One of them must go. And that’s where the struggle comes from.

“Idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissension, party spirit, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like.” Party spirit isn’t where this group on this side of the church get up and fight against this group on this side of the church. That isn’t party spirit. Party spirit is where that’s already beginning to move in your hearts– where we’re already beginning to think of him as him or them as them and us as us. That’s party spirit beginning to develop in our hearts.

One tract that I found was good for me at the time I needed to enter into the baptism of the Holy Spirit, was this little one, and Roger is ordering more: “Traits of the Self Life.” And it’s good, you know, to ask yourself, “Have you any of these?” Because, you see, the most plain evidence that you’re not baptized with the spirit is your self life, your self life. And it has these things. “Are you ever conscience of a secret spirit of pride, an exalted feeling in view of your success or position, because of your good training or appearance, because of your natural gifts and abilities, an important independent spirit? Are you ever conscience of a love of human praise, a secret fondness to be noticed, a love of supremacy, a drawing attention to self in conversation, a swelling out of self when you have had a free time in speaking or praying?”

“Are you ever conscience of the stirrings of anger or impatience which worse of all you call nervousness or holy indignation, a touchy sensitive spirit, a disposition to resent and retaliate when disapproved of or contradicted, a desire to throw sharp heated flings at another? Are you ever conscience of self will, a stubborn unteachable spirit, an arguing talkative spirit, harsh sarcastic expressions, an unyielding headstrong disposition, a driving commanding spirit, a disposition to criticize and pick flaws when set aside and unnoticed, a peevish fretful spirit, a disposition that loves to be coaxed and humored?”

“Are you ever conscience of carnal fear, a man fearing spirit, a shrinking from approach and duty, a

reasoning around your cross? Are you ever conscience of a compromising spirit, a jealous disposition, a secret spirit of envy shut up in your heart, an unpleasant sensation in view of the great prosperity and success of another, a disposition to speak of the faults and failings rather than the gifts and virtues of those more talented and more appreciated than yourself?”

“Are you ever conscience of a dishonest deceitful disposition, the evading and covering of the truth, the covering up of your real faults leaving a better impression of your self than is strictly true, false humility, exaggeration, straining the truth? Are you ever conscience of unbelief, a spirit of discouragement in times of pressure and opposition, lack of quietness and confidence in God, lack of faith and trust in God, a disposition to worry and complain in the midst of pain, or at the dispensations of divine providence, an over anxious feeling whether everything will come out alright? Are you ever conscience of selfishness, a love of ease, a love of money?”

Now loved ones, do you see that God cannot use you if those things are down there? Loved ones, I don’t care if you know Schaeffer [Francis August Schaeffer, 1912-1984, theologian, philosopher, pastor, L’Abri founder] backwards. I don’t care if you know Watchman Nee back to front. I don’t care if you’re a Baptist or if you’re a miserable poor Methodist like me. But do you see if you have those things deep down within, then the Holy Spirit has not filled you with himself? Now loved ones, that’s just true. You have not allowed him to deal with some areas in your life.

Now if you’ve come to a place you know, where you say, “Well Pastor I believe I entered into a filling with the Holy Spirit.” Well then brothers and sisters thank the Holy Spirit for filling you and tell him about these things. Tell him, “Holy Spirit, I know it’s your desire for me to be completely cleansed from these things. Now will you reveal to me what area of my life is not nailed to the cross with Christ?” Now that’s it, loved ones.

Now if you say you know, “How do you enter in?” Dear ones, it’s trust and obey. That’s the way you enter into forgiveness of sins. You trust or you believe that Jesus died for your sins and then you obey him absolutely. You let all those things go from your own life and you obey him.

It’s the same with entering into victory over sin within. You trust and you believe that you were crucified with Christ. You believe that, that you died 1900 years ago. That that great person that your parents have made all the plans for, that you have made all the plans for, that the government has all the plans for is actually dead and that your mind and body are available for the Holy Spirit to live the life of Jesus over again in. But believe that you are crucified, that you’re dead with Christ, that you have no rights to your own way, or your own rights, or your own attitude. You’ve no right to assert yourself or defend yourself and you were crucified with Christ.

And now look to the Holy Spirit and say, “Holy Spirit if there’s any way in which I’m not really willing to be crucified then will you let me know?” Because do you see dear ones, believing is not a matter of auto suggestion, you see. The word for believe in the New Testament means obey. You can’t believe unless you’re willing to obey. I can’t say, “I believe that chair will hold me,” unless I’m willing to step on that chair. Then in the New Testament sense I believe.

The word is “pisteuo” in Greek. It means I obey what I believe, I do what I believe. Even the English word, believe, comes from “be” in Anglo Saxon and “liefan”, to be in accordance with. And until you actually are in accordance with what you say you believe the Holy Spirit cannot fill you with himself.

Now you’ll see that if you look at just two verses there in Romans and then two in Galatians. Romans 6:11 explains how to enter into the baptism of the Holy Spirit or into a full surrender or freedom from this desire to disobey God and have our own way. “So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.” That’s it. That’s what believing is. The word you remember, is translated in the King James Version reckon and the Greek word for means you don’t only reckon it, you don’t only imagine it, you are in that position. And for many of us that is the real struggle in coming into the baptism with the Holy Spirit. It’s coming to that place where we’re actually willing to be crucified with Christ.

Now that’s hard loved ones, because that means your future is not your own. That means dear sisters you cannot choose who you’re going to marry. It means there is no marriage ahead for you, there is only a marriage ahead for the Holy Spirit using your mind, and body, and emotions. Brothers, there is no future ahead for us. There are no jobs to plan for; there is only a future ahead for the Holy Spirit living inside our minds and bodies. It really means a funeral you see.

Somebody has said, “Oh, that death is more real than physical death.” And brothers and sisters I’d testify to it in my own life. You know, that was a death to all the things I held dearest, all the things I wanted myself. And God dealt with each one of them and asked me, “Would you be willing to come to a place there where you’re willing to be a failure for Jesus? Where you’re willing to be nothing for him?” Now do you see I can share these questions with you? But only the Holy Spirit can choose the area of your life where you’re not willing to reckon yourself crucified with Christ. Now in fact, you have been crucified. As far as God is concerned he sees you crucified. But that can only be made real in you if you’re willing for it to be made real just as with the forgiveness of your sins.

Now you see the second step is, after you’ve come to that place, Romans 8:13 is the way to live in this victory. In other words, you don’t come to a place where you’re really willing to be crucified with Christ and then start trying. No. “If you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body you will live.”

Now the answer to every how in the New Testament is the Holy Spirit. Mary said, “How shall these things be?” The answer was, “The Holy Spirit will conceive within you.” Now it’s the same here. How can you walk in this victory? By instant obedience and submission to the Holy Spirit.

So those are the two sides, dear ones, a reckoning that you have been crucified with Christ, that you have no rights to live your own life in your own way and then an absolute submission to the Holy Spirit.

Now I’d just point to two more verses and then we’ll have some questions if you want to ask. Galatians 5:24-25 state those two conditions that are necessary to be fulfilled in order to be entered in. The first, you see, is belief, is trust, “And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” The flesh in the New Testament is not the body or even the sexual part of us. The flesh is if you rearrange the words and leave one letter out you get what it is, it’s self. The flesh in the New Testament is self. The self love that is not the kind of self respect that God wants but is a self centered love, a self deification, a self glorification, a self aggrandizement. You see, it is those things.

Now all of us you see, that belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh. Loved ones, as far as God is concerned you don’t have a future, you see. But you’re arguing with him. You’re saying,

“Yes Lord, I have a future and I am going to have a two car garage, a motor lounge, and I’m going to have the best salary I can possibly get my hands on.” And the Father has just a controversy with you. He says, “No my child, I crucified you with Jesus. I destroyed that evil inclination to have your own way with Jesus. And you must accept that. Otherwise I cannot give you my Holy Spirit in his fullness.”

Now that’s the first step you see, that realizing that you were crucified. And then Verse 25, the obedience, “If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.” The way you walk in that victory is by instant obedience to the Holy Spirit. I’d just finish there that you see you cannot have instant obedience to the Holy Spirit if there is a great area of your life that you have not allowed the Holy Spirit to place on the cross. Then of course you’re trying to believe over a half committed and half surrendered self. Well, that’s impossible you see and you’re always going to have difficulty obeying.

Just one example, if your problem is anger, I think I used this before, or bad temper, the Holy Spirit will probably deal with what would be the consequences if you did not use anger or bad temper in your life. In other words he’ll probably point out to you, “Now listen you know you use anger to keep people off. You know you use anger to control people. You use bad temper to let them see that you want your way. Now, would you be willing not to have your way?” And then you will think in your mind, “But Holy Spirit, if I don’t get my way at times these people would trample me under foot. They would just walk over me. They would treat me as a doormat.” The Holy Spirit will pin you on that and say, “Are you willing to be a doormat? Are you willing to be trampled underfoot as much as I want you to be? Are you willing for me to be your only defense? Are you willing for me to decide when to take the heat off?”

Now when you’re willing, you see, to face the consequences of not having anger and temper as a weapon against other people then the Holy Spirit will move on to the next area in your life. And he will keep moving dear ones, until he gets to the bottom of all your resistances to God’s will. Now that doesn’t mean he’ll have no more light to show you but he’ll deal with all the areas where you have already rebelled against God and he’ll bring you down to the ground of your heart Wesley said. You’ll come to a place where you’ll see the ground of your heart. And the Holy Spirit will witness you in a place of full consecration ready to be crucified with Jesus in your own life. And faith will spring up in your heart to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Faith is not a problem when you come to that place. Then it’s a matter of walking in the same way as you entered in, trusting and obeying the Holy Spirit.

Now loved ones, will you share questions? Now brothers and sisters do you see that I’m glad to be asked a question that I can’t answer. There was a day when I was concerned about that and anxious always to have an answer. But I want you to ask questions, they may be even – well, if they’re hostile questions don’t ask them in a hostile way, ask them in a loving way. But do you see, that I want to find truth? Don’t you think if you’ve the truth there, don’t keep it wrapped up you see. Share it and push me.

Chris is asking, “Does God break us individually of different areas?” What she has found at times is she’s been broken in a certain area and later on it has cropped up.

Do you see, dear ones, that the common misunderstanding of growing in grace is that God gradually breaks us of all the things that we’re doing wrong in our lives over a period of time? That’s the normal misunderstanding of growing in grace. Dear ones don’t realize that growing in grace only

takes place after you’ve been crucified with Christ. It only takes place after you’ve entered into resurrection life. Growth in grace implies growth in the grace and beauty of our Lord Jesus, not growth out of our own ugliness. That is something that is achieved by Christ’s death on the cross.

And so the important thing I think to see is that no, the heart of all these areas is self. That is the reason why we’re bad tempered. It’s the reason why we’re jealous, why we’re proud. All those things can be traced back to self. And what the Holy Spirit does is he’ll deal with certain areas. He’ll ask us to walk in obedience in those areas. We’ll have to, in other words, start walking in obedience. We don’t want to wait for a great blockbuster some day when he’ll blast through everything. If the Holy Spirit shows me some area, I need to walk in obedience in that area. But I need to see that what the Holy Spirit wants to get at is the great self deep down.

And so I know for me, I had to ask the Holy Spirit, “Holy Spirit, show me. I see my anger, I see my ambition, but reveal to me how that comes from self and how that great self underneath me is like an iceberg, a tenth on the surface, a tenth on the surface that shows a little pride but underneath nine tenths I cannot see. And will you show me that great self? And show me that it is hostile to God. Show me that the exceeding sinfulness of that.”

Because if you had pointed out some of the things in my life I would have said, “Well, those are just little things. I mean, those I can overcome gradually.” But it was only when the Holy Spirit gave me revelation and light to see that self as a rebel against God, that I really saw that that needed to be destroyed by God. “Rendered inoperative” is a better word because there’s nothing destroyed forever, it’s only put on the cross and held there by the power of the Holy Spirit. As soon as we cease to believe it comes back down again. So it’s held there by the power of faith and willing submission to the Holy Spirit. But it is, as far as we’re concerned, it’s dead because it’s rendered inoperative by the power of the Holy Spirit.

So that would be my answer, that you need to walk in obedience, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal it to you, but the issue is to get to that heart of self. Otherwise, the things will just crop up again. Otherwise, you’re just treating the symptoms of the disease and the disease is still there. “The just shall live by faith.” We have to steer well clear of the emphasis that some dear ones, and well intentioned they were, but it is not scripture, where they say, “The flesh you see, can be once and for all done away with so that you never have to remember it again. You’ll never sin again. Once you’ve entered into the crucifixion with Christ you’ll never sin again.”

Now I see no reason why you should ever sin again, but that’s because of continual exercise of faith and submission to the Holy Spirit. In other words, you cannot get to the point where you say, “Whether I exercise faith or submission to the Holy Spirit, I’ll never sin again because that’s once and for all crucified.” Well, that’s a wrong understanding of inward sin. Inward sin and a carnal nature is not an appendix that you take out and put on the cross.

It is an attitude within us. You say to a person, “That fellow is very generous. Yes, that’s his nature. That’s the way he’s built. It’s just his whole attitude in life.” Now it’s in that sense that we mean we have a carnal nature. But that’s an attitude that can be held on the cross by the power of the Holy Spirit as long as we believe, as long as we trust and obey.

“Once the Holy Spirit has revealed to you that there’s something like pride in your life, how can you know that you’re willing to give it up unless you give it up?”

Presumably, let’s go the other step by saying, “Surely you can only walk in obedience if the Holy Spirit enables you to.”

Now do you see, dear ones, that the Holy Spirit knows if you’re willing to give it up? That’s why I’ve mentioned the witness of the Holy Spirit to your full consecration. It’s not a question you see, of wondering through this and wondering, “Am I fully consecrated? Well, I feel a bit more consecrated than last time. I think I am.” No, the Holy Spirit comes and the New Testament says, “We are sealed by the Holy Spirit.” The Holy Spirit stamps a seal upon us and says, “Yes, you’re fully consecrated.”

I remember in my own heart, I came to a place where I knew that witness of the Holy Spirit. He hadn’t filled me at that point, but he witnessed that I was fully consecrated. So, that’s it. The Holy Spirit will witness, when you’ve come to the ground of your own heart, when you’ve come to the end of yourself.

Diane says, “Then there’ll never be a time when we’ll have everything fully given over? The Holy Spirit will always be showing us more things.”

Now, here’s the distinction I would make, that most of us after walking in Jesus for six months or a year, the Holy Spirit begins to show us things where we ought to move out after him, maybe in witnessing in school, which concerns our reputation. We want to be thought a swinger and the Holy Spirit tells us to witness and be a square. And we stand back on that and our reputation becomes precious to us. It’s those resistances to the Father’s will that we’ve already established. It’s those things that the Holy Spirit wants to clear away. And you’re right, when he comes to the bottom of those he will fill us. And then he will give us more light on other areas that we’ve never seen before.

But do you see when it comes to those, the resistance of our will, will have been cleansed away by the filling of the Holy Spirit and we’ll walk willingly and obediently into those other areas.

Well, as far as God is concerned you’re clear at that point. The Father regards you as perfect at that moment, you see. Because the Father says, “Sin is, anyone who knows what is right to do it and fails to do it, for him it is sin. Now my dear child if you are walking in obedience to me and have no resistance to anything that I’ve shown you in the past, then as far as I’m concerned you are perfect in my sight.” And the Father, you see, knows a whole lot of other things where we could walk in greater perfection. But they are not obligatory on us until the Holy Spirit brings them to our hearts. Of course, he can always tell whether we’re walking purposely blind to the Holy Spirit or not. The Holy Spirit knows.

That’s why loved ones, I’ve shared with the importance of the Holy Spirit as the counselor. He alone knows whether you’re being honest or not. I don’t know. Your wife doesn’t know. Your best friend doesn’t know. The Holy Spirit knows if you’re being honest. And he determines his filling if your life by your honesty with him.

There can be no separation. If we’re dealing with New Testament Christianity, there can be no separation between belief and obedience. But you see, that today, you’re right, what we have shared is cheap grace, you see.

Bless our hearts, our tendency is to present it as a hedonistic offer to people. And it’s ridiculous you see, we say, “Now listen, if you continue as you are you’ll have a miserable life and you’ll go to hell. Now if you accept Jesus you’ll have a great life and you’ll go to heaven.” Well now anyone in their right senses will choose the latter. You know, they’ll say, “Well I’d rather have a good life here and go to heaven.” And we’ve preached you see, all they have to do is accept Jesus. And the emphasis has been on accept. And we thought it was the idea of accepting that he’s the son of God, accept all the things that they say about him, and generally try to live like him. But the New Testament experience is repent: A radical repentance, a turning from all our sins, an absolute obedience to him and a receiving his spirit into our hearts.

It’s trust and obey. And that’s why, you see, we have so many – we call them conversions–they’re not really you know. We call them even, intellectual Christians. They’re kind of intellectual conversions, most of them. They’re giving intellectual assent to the truth of scripture and trying hard. That’s really what many of them are…

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