11/03/13 Yeild to the Holy Spirit!

Posted by Pastor Steve Siegrist on Wednesday, November 6, 2013 Under: Sermon
Text: 1 Thessalonians 5:19-22 (NKJV)

19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies. 21 Test all things; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.

Intro: Today much of the evangelical church has minimized the importance of the Holy Spirit and God’s Word in the spiritual lives of believers. “How foolish can you be? After starting your Christian lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort?” Galatians 3:3 (NLT)

We must be careful not to be conformed to this world. We live in the world and we are to function while we are sojourners but it is crucial that we stay focused!

Human effort, what’s that mean? The church must be careful not to substitute man-centered approaches for biblical truth in dealing with problems. I believe what is crucial in the well-being of the church and the individual is; continue to stay focused while in the world by the guidance of the Holy Spirit, using the Word and be sure you’re plugged into prayer. As your Pastor I hope we never allow the Holy Spirit to take a back seat and we “quench the Spirit” and our discernment becomes worldly. Paul was addressing the Thessalonians with the concern in the church’s de-emphasis of the Holy Spirit’s working through the Word and a lack of spiritual discernment.

Let me share a paraphrase from what Paul was proclaiming to Thessalonica: Strong Doctrinal clarity, clear understanding in the church of the importance of continue convictions from the Holy Spirit. Teach right from wrong, and if it offends the unbeliever explain in Love! Caution with removing the word as not to offend the world. Immaturity is alright for a season for the church needs new converts to continue to be obedient to the mandate God has brought forth. The self-absorbed church, preoccupied with attaining personal comfort, success, and achieving man-centered solutions to life’s problems, possesses a superficial faith that cannot discern between good and evil, or truth and error. But Paul’s clear admonitions in 1 Thessalonians 5:19–22 directs believers toward their true responsibilities to not quench the Spirit, to respond to God’s Word, and to be discerning in all things.

Application: Don’t stop it is your responsibility to continue.

1. The Responsibility NOT to Quench the Spirit: vs. 19 “Do not quench the Spirit.”

As a believer in Christ we have a responsibility and obligation to remember the role the Holy Spirit must continue to have in our life. The bible reminds us: “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” We are no longer slaves to habitual sin. It is that process of progressive sanctification by the Spirit that Paul warned the Thessalonians not to quench. The metaphor quench means to extinguish, stifle, or retard the power or energy of something. Sometimes Scripture represents the presence of the Spirit as a fire, so the apostle warned the Thessalonians not to smother the Holy Spirit’s work within them, don’t extinguish the fire! Let’s face it we have some Christians who are all wet.

Jesus promised to send all believers the Holy Spirit - as a Helper to assist them in ministry and progressively sanctify them. Believers grow spiritually only as they feed on the Word, when they “like newborn babies,” long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it they may grow in respect to salvation. Believers can quench this aspect of the Spirit’s work by failing to study Scripture or misinterpreting it. It is important to understand, it is a never ending process of growing. There is no breaks, no vocation it is always without ceasing and always with the giving of thanks. The Holy Spirit grants believers inward strength to help them stay on the path of progressive sanctification. “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 (ESV)

Understanding our responsibility will give us the power of God to avoid quenching the spirit.

2. The Responsibility to respond to God’s Word: vs. 20 “Do not despise prophecies.”

The Word of God is infinitely superior to all the words of man. Jesus summarized its excellence when He quoted Deuteronomy, “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.”

Here is the simple truth to the matter we are to preach the Word! “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.” 2 Timothy 4:2

Prophecy is essential to the health of the church, which is why Paul urged the Thessalonians not to despise it. Prophecy, as a term, is actually used to refer to God’s written Word. The apostle Peter wrote: “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, 21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” 2 Peter 1:20-21

The Old Testament reminds us: “These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”

It is the church and the individual believers responsibility to magnified the word of God!

3. The Responsibility to Be Discerning: vs. 21-22 “Test all things; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.”

Spiritual discernment is the ability to distinguish divine truth from error and half-truth. “Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.” 1 Timothy 4:16

Paul exhorted the Thessalonians to examine everything. Examine translates a common New Testament word that often refers to testing something for authenticity. It entails distinguishing between true and false, right and wrong, or good and bad. “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” What is pleasing to the Lord!

Once we examine everything, believers must then hold fast to that which is good. Hold fast means to embrace wholeheartedly, name and claim it!

There is a warning here, like news you might see at the bottom of the TV screen. Place this in your spiritual mind: “abstain from every form of evil.” This means believers are to have a complete avoidance of any evil teaching or behavior. Nowhere does Scripture permit believers to expose themselves to the influences of what is false or evil; instead, they are to abstain from such things, even flee them.

Paul’s exhortation was a general call for believers to discern truth from error, good from evil, righteousness from sin, and a command to shun any of the negative teachings, influences, or behaviors that would displease God.

Believers who yield to the Holy Spirit’s complete control will appreciate Scripture’s character, allow its power to sanctify their lives, and examine everything by its standards. They will fulfill three more vital responsibilities all believers have to Jesus Christ - to honor His Spirit, obey His Word, and exercise spiritual discernment.

“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy--meditate on these things.” Philippians 4:8

Conclusion: Ocean View we cannot afford to get caught in an undercurrent or be pulled out into the ocean.

“That we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head - Christ.” Ephesians 4:14-15

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