The Spirit of God
Chaplain Bertram Bobb
The 2013 Choctaw Nation Labor Day Festival marks another great weekend of family activities and the fellowship of families and friends. May our Choctaw Nation continue to grow.
We are reminded that a nation can rise no higher, can be no stronger, and be no better than the individuals which compose that nation. And today I share with you a challenge from the Book of Galatians 5:22-26. I believe it is impossible to understand the Bible, or Christian living without understanding something of the person and the work of the Holy Spirit.
The Bible teaches that God is in three persons. God is One, but He is manifested in three Persons – God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
The Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit is coequal with the God the Father and coequal with God the Son. The Bible also teaches that the Holy Spirit is a Person. He is never to be referred to as “it.” He is not just an agent. He is not just an influence. He is a Mighty Person, the Holy Spirit of God.
The Bible tells us that He is Omnipotent – that means that He has all power; that He is Omniprescent – that means that He is everywhere at the same time; that He is Omniscient – that means that He has all knowledge. He knows everything that you do – He watches you.
He hears the lies that you tell. He knows the thoughts and intents of your heart. He knows what is in your mind, the things you think, the intents of your soul. He knows all about it. He knows everything. The Bible teaches that He writes down in a book everything that you do and someday it shall be brought out as evidence at the Great Judgment of God.
The Bible tells us something of the work of the Holy Spirit. What does He do? We are told in the Gospel of John 16:8 that He convicts men of sin: “And when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.” It is the Holy Spirit who convicts you of your sin. He makes you feel uncomfortable, He pricks your conscience.
He makes you acknowledge and admit to yourself that you are a sinner, and then He gives you the strength and the power to turn from your sins. You cannot come to Jesus Christ unless the Holy Spirit convicts you, and you must repent of your sins.
Then the Bible teaches that when the Holy Spirit has convicted you of sin, when you are willing to give yourself to Christ, and when you come to Christ, He gives new life. That is the work of the Holy Spirit. The moment that you receive Jesus Christ as your Savior, the Holy Spirit of God comes in and regenerates.
The Bible also teaches that you are dead in trespasses and sins. Now this doesn’t mean your body is dead. It’s your soul that is dead. Your soul that lives in your body is going to live forever – that part of you is dead toward God. It is called “spiritual death.” The moment you come to Jesus Christ, the Spirit of God brings the life of God into you and you begin to live. The soul that rejects the Lord Jesus Christ will spend eternity in a place prepared for the devil and his angels.
The Spirit of God has given to you the very life of God – and God is an eternal God – that means you will live as long as God lives and that is for eternity.
The Bible also teaches that the Spirit of God produces the fruit of the Spirit: “but the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance.” (Galatians 5:22-23)
Now these nine things are to characterize the life of every born again child of God. We are to be filled with love, we are to have joy, we are to have peace, we are to have longsuffering or patience, we are to be gentle and kind, we are to be filled with goodness, we are to have faith, there is to be meekness, and we are to have temperance. But what do we find? We find in the average so-called Christian today the very opposite.
Everyone before he comes to Jesus Christ is dominated by one nature, the “old man,” which is called the flesh. The flesh, the world, and the devil control your life. You are controlled by your ego. You are controlled by yourself. The moment you receive Jesus Christ as your Savior, that self is put down and Christ is put on the throne in your life and the Spirit of God dominates your life.
One thing we remember – self is still there, sometimes hidden, sometimes quiet – waiting his opportunity and his chance to take control again.
As a Christian, you have the power, you have the will to yield either to the flesh and live a fleshly carnal life, or you have the power to yield to the Spirit, to live a Spirit-filled life. Which are you living? Are you living a life on the human plane, a fleshly carnal life in which there is little Bible reading, little prayer? You may go to a church, but there is no daily walk with Christ. There is no joy that you know a Christian should have. Your life is an up and down experience. God never meant it to be that way. God meant the Christian life to be on the highest possible plane at all times, bearing the fruit of the Spirit.
When you come to Jesus Christ by faith – He gives you the Holy Spirit who produces the fruit of the Spirit. After the Holy Spirit is in you, you must yield to Him so He controls your life. It is then that sin shall not rule over you.
The Bible says “… greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.” I John 4:4) If this is what you have been looking for, you must by an act of faith receive Jesus Christ. You must give Him your whole life. You can do this today!
We do pray for precious souls around the world as we are reminded in Matthew 7:13, “… broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there by which go in thereat.”
Pray for the leaders of the United States and our Indian Nation. Pray for our Choctaw Chief, Assistant Chief, members of the Tribal Council and the spiritual leaders among us. May the Lord bless you!