Lesson 6: STARTING TO WALK
THREE CLASSES OF MEN
Once there was a wealthy family in which there were two sons. The father loved his sons and wanted the very best for them. So he hired a special teacher to train and teach and take care of his children. The father had particular jobs for which he wanted his sons trained.
Next door lived a neighbor boy who often played with the sons, but the teacher never tried to instruct him because he had not been hired to do that. The neighbor boy did not want to learn anyway. and considered the things being taught as a lot of foolishness. The less time the sons spent playing with the neighbor boy the more they seemed to learn.
In this family there was a difference in the attitude of the two sons. The one son, named CARNAL, never did like the teacher. He wanted to do things his own way and was not interested in the lessons which the teacher had been asked to teach. He was always fighting and getting into trouble. He envied the other boys. He was always joining "gangs" and seemed to enjoy the neighbor boy's company more than his own family.
About all the teacher could do was to try to keep him out of trouble. The only time he seemed to listen was when he was in a "jam" of some kind and he needed help. Carnal never thought of anyone but himSELF. So, as soon as he was out of trouble off he would go to find something to amuse himself.
The other son's name was SPIRITUAL. He loved his father very much and wanted to please him. He realized that his father had an important position for him and remembered all the wonderful things that had been done for him in the past. He believed that his father had his best interest at heart, so he decided he would do whatever the new teacher wanted him to do. He wanted to co-operate in every way to learn the lessons and skills that his father wanted him to know. He knew that in this way he would be able to help his father sooner and assume the responsibilities and position awaiting him.
SPIRITUAL was not a perfect child. He sometimes had to be reproved and corrected, but he had the right attitude and wanted to do what was right.
GOD SEES THREE CLASSES OF MEN: Read I Corinthians 2:9-3:4.
THE NATURAL MAN will compare with the neighbor boy. He is the unsaved man spoken of in I Corinthians 2:14. Spiritual things are foolishness to him. The Holy Spirit does not try to teach him about the wonderful things that God has prepared for them that love Him (vs. 9).
THE SECOND AND THIRD CLASSES OF MEN ARE COMPOSED OF CHRISTIANS
THE CARNAL MAN will compare with the rebellious, head-strong son. He is spoken of in I Cor. 3:1-4. "Carnal" means FLESHLY. It refers to someone who is trying to live the Christian life in his own strength.
Verse 1 calls him a "babe" in Christ; he has not grown as he should. Verse 2 says he cannot be taught much. Verse 3 says he is yet carnal and walks as men (in his own strength). Verse 4 speaks of envy, strife, and divisions among them (a troublemaker).
THE SPIRITUAL MAN will compare with the obedient son who wants to do his father's will. He is spoken of in I Cor. 2:15; 3:1. He sees and understands the things that are freely given to him of God. He is yielded to the Holy Spirit's guidance, and the fruit of the Spirit will be seen in his life (Gal. 5:22,23).
THE WALK OF THE CHRISTIAN
The Christian's life may be illustrated by a father who sends his son for a walk. Now consider an obedient child who wants to obey his father.
No human father would send out his little son by himself, and neither has our heavenly Father. Jesus said just before He returned to Heaven: "I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever" (John 14:16).
The words "another Comforter" in the original language are full of meaning. "Another could be translated" another just like me, or the same sort, with the same characteristics (as Jesus)." Comforter, from the Greek word paracIete, means "one called alongside to help." So literally Jesus said: "God will send you another who will be just like Me and He will be alongside of you to help you forever." Then He goes on in the next verse to promise that the Holy Spirit would not only be with you but IN you. The Holy Spirit plays an important part in the life of a SPIRITUAL CHRISTIAN. But just because He dwells in all Christians does not mean that all are filled by the Spirit (Romans 8:9).
"Be filled with the Spirit" (Eph. 5:18). The tense of the verb in Greek would allow this translation to read, "Be constantly filled (controlled) by the Spirit." Many Christians never take advantage of this opportunity or OBEY this command. They try to walk in their own strength and wisdom. The happy life is the SPIRIT FILLED LIFE.
HOW MAY I BE FILLED?
"In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst let him come unto Me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the Scripture has said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake He of the Spirit)" (John 7:37, 39).
1. Thirst for:
The Holy Spirit to lead and teach you (John 16:13,14)
The power of the Holy Spirit in your life (II Tim. 1:7)
The Holy Spirit to make you Christlike (II Cor. 3:18)
The Holy Spirit to reproduce His fruit in your life (Gal. 5:22,23)
2. "Come....and Drink"
This the act by which the believer claims this promise for his own. He recognizes that he is not able to live his own life in a way that will be pleasing to God. In
II Cor. 8:5, some people "gave their own selves to the Lord." In
II Cor. 8:5
Rom. 6:13 we are told, "Yield yourselves unto God." In Romans 12:1 we are told, "Present your bodies." Presenting yourself to God is a definite final act (aorist tense in Greek). It need never be repeated. Presenting yourself to God is just agreeing that "ye are not your own" (I Cor. 6:19,20), and giving Him possession to what is rightfully His. This INITIAL ACT should be followed by a CONTINUOUS ATTITUDE. Anything else is rebellion and will call for DISCIPLINE.
PRESENT YOUR WHOLE SELF
This does not mean just giving Him the part of your life which is hard to manage and keeping the part you want. That would be like the man who took the hands of a clock to the jeweler because they were not keeping good time.
3. "Believeth on Me"
Whoever THIRSTS is to COME AND DRINK AND TRUST in Him as the One who fills with His Spirit. Just as you believed in Jesus as your Saviour, now you are to believe that He will do what He says and fill or control you with His Spirit. A Christian's blessings are all obtain by faith (James 1:6). Have you yielded yourself to Christ? He wants your entire body, soul, and spirit to use to reveal Himself to others.
WILL YOU DO IT NOW? _________________ DATE ________________ .
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF
WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO ME IF I DO NOT YIELD MYSELF TO GOD?
You will remain an unhappy spiritual "babe," a carnal Christian (as described in I Cor. 3:1-4), able only to understand the "milk of the Word." You will be like the seed that fell among thorns in the Parable of the Sower (Mark 4:19). "And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the Word, and it becomes unfruitful." Your choice, do I want to be a carnal or a spiritual Christian?
WILL GOD FORCE ME TO YIELD MY LIFE TO HIS CONTROL AND BE FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT?
No, this is voluntary. You personally accepted Jesus as your Saviour and received eternal life. Now you must personally decide if you want to be filled with the Holy Spirit and enjoy the abundant life Christ promised.
DO I HAVE TO BE FILLED ONLY ONCE, AND IS THAT ALL THAT IS NECESSARY?
Being filled (controlled) by the Spirit is a moment by moment ministry of the Holy -Spirit, but it must have a BEGINNING. That is why you are told to "present your bodies to God. You remain filled by being obedient to the Spirit's commands. Broken fellowship ship is restored by confessing that disobedience to God (I John 1:9).
WHY MUST I DEPEND UPON THE HOLY SPIRIT?
It is through His ministry that you grow spiritually. God has a will and a plan for every life. But it is only through the guidance and teaching of the Holy Spirit that you can find, follow, and fulfill this plan.
Think how unhappy a human father would be if he knew his new-born child would never grow up; would never be able to walk but would always be carried; would never be able to feed himself but would always have to be fed by someone else; would never be able to work with and help his father; would never be able to understand his father's words or talk to him.
This is exactly what happens to an unyielded Christian. He never learns to walk with God, to feed upon and understand God's Word, to be a co-laborer with God, or to pray to god. The sad thing is that it is his own choice because of unyieldedness.
HOW DO I KNOW THAT GOD WILL NOT ASK ME TO DO SOME HARD THING, LIKE BECOMING A MISSIONARY TO SOME FAR COUNTRY?
If He does, it will be the best thing you could possibly do. God will l never ask you to do anything for Him without giving you power and wisdom to do the task.
HOW MAY I KNOW IF I AM FILLED BY THE SPIRIT? WILL THERE BE AN EMOTIONAL EXPERIENCE?
Very likely, especially the first time you surrender your life to His control. Feelings vary, but everyone is affected by emotions at important occasions in their lives, such as engagements, weddings, graduations, or when saved. But everyone is not affected the same way. So do not look for or try to copy someone else's experience. The real sign that you are filled with the Spirit is when the fruit of the Spirit is seen in your life -- love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and self-control (Gal. 5:22,23).
MUST I KNOW THE EXACT TIME THAT I YIELDED MYSELF TO GOD?
No, many people probably do not know the exact time. But the important thing is to be certain you have done so. Then you will be able to meet the doubts that Satan will bring up to confuse you.
MUST YIELDING MY LIFE TO GOD TAKE PLACE AT A LATER DATE, AFTER I HAVE BEEN SAVED?
Many people undoubtedly yield themselves to God at the time they are saved. The important thing is not the time but that you HAVE taken this step, so you may be filled with the Holy Spirit. Be sure; don't deceive yourself and miss the full, happy ABUNDANT LIFE Jesus promised.
THE SPIRIT-FILLED WALK
First, consider an obedient son. As he and his teacher start out for a walk, probably the boy will not stay too close to the teacher even though he intends to do so. He may become interested in something exciting and become impatient and run ahead. The wise teacher does not try to teach everything at once but patiently takes one thing at a time. He knows just what to teach and when to teach it. Each child is different; so each is treated differently to meet his particular need and to train him to be fitted for his field or position in life.
Everyone is not a carpenter, nor a farmer, nor a doctor. The training is different for each one of these occupations. Some jobs require much more training and preparation than others.
Suppose the father wants the teacher to train his son to fill a certain job in the family business. He gives the teacher some books and brochures telling all about the assets, the organization, the policies, the plan of operation and the goals. As soon as the teacher reveals a rule or a program to the son, he must accept and abide by it or the teaching progress has stopped. Often the relationship between the pupil and teacher will become very unhappy. The son may even feel the father is unreasonable in his demands or old-fashioned in his ways.
As you walk along with the Holy Spirit, balanced upon the two legs of PRAYER and the WORD, He will lead you down a path named "The will of God." He will begin to point out things in the Word to you. There may be things you do not want to do, so you "hang back;" or things you want to skip so you can run ahead. The pattern will probably be a little different for you than anyone else. Satan will not have forgotten you and will try to tempt you away from a close walk of fellowship.
OBEDIENCE IS THE KEY TO FELLOWSHIP
As the Holy Spirit reveals through the Word what God would have you do, you must accept it. If you are not obedient to it, you have stopped your progress and spiritual growth and fellowship is broken. Jesus said; "If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love" (John 15:10); and "If ye know these things, happy are ye if you do them" (John 13:17). So OBEDIENCE is the key to FELLOWSHIP and it OPENS THE DOOR TO HAPPINESS.
The call to obedience is really a call to the heart or will. This is the thought of (Eph. 6:6). "Doing the will of God from the heart." This is the language of Christ when He said: "Not my will but thine be done." The ABILITY and STRENGTH to follow and do the things God would have you do must come from God. Do not get side-tracked into legalism and think you must obey and perform these things either to add to your salvation or to make it better. "Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh" (Gal. 3:3) (Your own ability)?
WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU SAY "NO" TO THE HOLY SPIRIT AND DISOBEY HIM?
You break one of the two conditions for remaining filled with the Spirit.
(I Thess. 5:1) says, "quench not the Spirit" (Quench means to hinder, or to make ineffective. See how it is used in Eph. 6:16 and (Heb. 11:34). You quench (make ineffective) His ministry when you say NO to Him and disobey His leading. Your fellowship is broken; you have placed an obstacle between yourself and God.
"GRIEVE NOT THE HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD."
Satan is constantly trying to tempt the Christian to sin. When you say YES to Satan and sin you GRIEVE the Holy Spirit. In these two ways your fellowship can be broken so that you are no longer controlled by the Spirit. When you say:
1. NO to the Holy Spirit and disobey Him (I Thess. 5:19).
2. YES to Satan's temptation and sin (Eph. 4:30).
Fellowship is restored by use of I John 1:9. Remember fellowship is the state of family relations. You are a member of the household of God. When you sin you are a disobedient son. You became a son when you were saved (John 1:12,13; Gal. 4:5.
GOD'S PROVISIONS FOR A SPIRIT-FILLED LIFE
"This I say then, walk in the Spirit (His guidance and power), and ye shall not fulfill the lust (desire) of the flesh" (Gal. 5:16).
The Spirit-filled life is not a stationary life. It is not a jelly-fish type of effortless existence. It is not a "let-go-and-let-God" affair but a "take-hold-with-God" business. In order to grow, the Christian must exercise his free will, make choices, decide between right and wrong, say NO to temptation and constantly try to improve his spiritual life and become more Christlike. But your calling is beyond your ability. It is like an engineer trying to push his train. His intentions are good, but he His not strong enough. However, as soon as he climbs into the cab and pulls the throttle, the train starts moving down the track.
II Peter 1:5-7 says, "And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith VIRTUE; and to your virtue KNOWLEDGE; and to knowledge TEMPERANCE; and to temperance, PATIENCE; and to patience GODLINESS; and to godliness BROTHERLY KINDNESS; and to brotherly kindness CHARITY." There is a similar passage in Philippians 4:8. To do these things in your own strength is like trying to push the train. But the instant you say YES to the Spirit's leading and move in that direction, He is there with His wonderful energizing power. It is just like pulling the throttle on the train.
WHATEVER GOD ASKS YOU TO DO HE WILL GIVE YOU THE POWER TO DO IT.
The Spirit-filled life is a life of constant GROWTH. lf you are not growing, you are sick spiritually. It is the only way to overcome the evil desires of the flesh (old nature) (Galatians 5:16).
Ephesians 5:18 commands you to be filled (controlled) by the Holy Spirit. If you really want to do this, if you thirst for the power of the Spirit in your life , and come to Christ, and believe and trust that He will fill and control your life by His Holy Spirit, then you are able to walk in the Spirit-filled life through the power of the Holy Spirit as promised in Galatians 5:16. As long as your life remains yielded to Him, you can continue this walk . There are two detours that might take you from it -- if you say NO to the Holy Spirit as He seeks to guide you, or if you say YES to some temptation of Satan as he seeks to lure you away.
Assignment: Extra Blessings:
Romans 6:13 John 7:37-39
Eph. 5:18 (I Thess. 5:19)
(John 15:10) (Ephesians 4:30)
(I Corinthians 2:12)
1. John 16:13,14 teaches that the Holy Spirit will not speak of Christ but will glorify Himself. True False
2. The Holy Spirit is called:
John 14:16(a) Spirit of God, Spirit of Christ
John 14:17(b) eternal Spirit
Heb. 10:29(c) the Comforter
(Rom. 1:4)(d) Spirit of truth
Rom. 8:2(e) Spirit of grace
Eph. 1:17(f) Spirit of holiness
Heb. 9:14(g) Spirit of wisdom and revelation
Rom 8:9(h) Spirit of power, love, and sound mind
II Tim. 1:7(I) Spirit of life
3. ALL Christians have been:
John 3:5,6(a) indwelled by the Holy Spirit
Eph. 1:13(b) baptized into the Body of Christ by the Holy Spirit.
I Cor. 12:13(c) born of the Spirit
I Cor. 6:19(d) sealed by the Spirit
Eph. 5:18(e) commanded to be filled by the Holy Spirit
4. There are three classes of men mentioned in I Cor. 2:14-3:4:
Natural man (a) the unyielded Christian living in the power of his own flesh
Carnal man (b) unsaved man
Spiritual man (c) the Christian living in the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit
5. List the three steps in the order Jesus gives in John 7:37-39, whereby you may be filled with the Spirit:
1. (a) come and drink
2. (b) thirst
3. (c) believe that God will fill you
6. If you permit Him, the Holy Spirit it will:
Rom. 8:26, 27(a) strengthen you
Rom. 5:5(b) lead you
I Cor. 2:12(c) help you to pray
(I Cor. 2:13)(d) teach you
(e) shed the love of God in your heart
Rom. 8:14(f) show you the things God has given you
Eph. 3:16(g) assure you that we are children of God
7. When the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit, they became very timid (Acts 4:31). True False
8. What is the key to fellowship (John 15:10)?
9. To remain filled with the Holy Spirit, you must not
or ___________________ Him (Eph. 4:30); I Thess. 5:19.
10. If you sin and fellowship is broken, how can you get back into fellowship
(I John 1:9) ?
confess your sin to God
11. Jesus was not empowered by the Holy Spirit
12. If it was necessary for Him, will it be necessary for you (Rom. 7:18; Eph. 5:18) ?
13. Romans 12:1 says for you to:
do the best you can
keep the Ten Commandments
present yourself to God.
14. Do you think He wants to make you happy or miserable?
Do you think He is wiser than you are (Ps. 18:30)?
Do you think He will take advantage of you and MAKE you do things you do not want to do (I John 5:3)?
15. You have made Christ your Saviour, but have you made Him the Lord of your Iife?
If not, will you do so now?
(MAKE A NOTE OF THE DATE IN THE FLYLEAF OF YOUR BIBLE SO YOU WON'T FORGET. GOD WILL REMEMBER.)
16. How many chapters have you read in your Bible the past week?
Hiding verses in your heart will pay big dividends. It is very important. Do not try to memorize too fast. Take two or three verses a week and review your old verses.
17. Have you memorized:
Eph. 5:18Yes No
Rom. 6:13Yes No
John 15:10Yes No
18. If you want extra blessings learn:
John 13:17Yes No
John 7:37, 39Yes No
I Cor. 2:12Yes No
Eph. 4:30Yes No
I Thess. 5:19Yes No