Lesson 3: Power for Living a Dynamic Christian Life
This is part 3 to a 4 part series – Lessons for Christian Living
We face choices every day. As we make these choices, how do we see life from God’s perspective and live in a way that pleases Him?
The Holy Spirit is the power source for the Christian life.
Just as our relationship with God depends totally on what God has done through Jesus Christ, so the power to live the Christian life also comes totally from God. To live the Christian life as God intends, we must continually draw upon God’s power, through the Holy Spirit. But who or what is the Holy Spirit, and what does He do?
- He is God
“No one can know what anyone else is really thinking except that person alone, and no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s own Spirit. And God has actually given us his Spirit (not the world’s spirit) so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us.” (1 Corinthians 2:11,12)
- He came to dwell in you
“But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you (and remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them are not Christians at all.” (Romans 8:9)
- He came to convict the world of sin and justice
“And when he comes, he will convince the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment.” (John 16:8)
- He came to teach you the truth
“When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth.” (John 16:13)
- He came to glorify Christ
[Jesus speaking] “He will bring me glory by revealing to you whatever he receives from me.” (John 16:14)
- He confirms your relationship with God
“For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. So you should not be like cowering, fearful slaves. You should behave instead like God’s very own children, adopted into his family–calling him ‘Father, dear Father.’ For his Holy Spirit speaks to us deep in our heart and tells us that we are God’s children.” (Romans 8:14-16)
- He is the source of Christ-like qualities in your life
“But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-23a)
[Jesus speaking] “Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful apart from me. Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:4-5)
[Jesus speaking] “But when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, you will receive power and will tell people about me everywhere–in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
Not all Christians experience the Holy Spirit’s power
Although the Holy Spirit lives within all Christians, not all Christians are directed and empowered by him. The Bible tells us there are three kinds of people–natural, spiritual and carnal-representing different responses to God (see 1 Corinthians 2:12 – 3:3).
- The natural person
The natural person has not trusted Christ and the Holy Spirit does not dwell in him or her. Christ is not part of the person’s life. The natural person directs his or her own life.
- The spiritual person
The spiritual person has accepted Jesus as Lord and Saviour, and trusts in the Holy Spirit to live the Christian life. Christ is not only in this person’s life, but also directs it.
- The carnal person
The carnal person has also accepted Jesus as Saviour, but trusts in his or her own efforts to live the Christian life. This person remains in control of his or her life and acts like the natural person. Christ is in the carnal person’s life, but does not direct it.
Which of these best represents your life?
You can be filled with the Holy Spirit. In Ephesians 5:18, God commanded us: “Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead let the Holy Spirit fill and control you.”
As we allow the Holy Spirit to fill and control us, He will produce godly character in us and enable us to tell others about Christ.
But how do we let the Holy Spirit fill and control us?
- First, confess all known sin.
“If I had not confessed the sin in my heart, my Lord would not have listened.” (Psalm 66:18)
- Second, yield every area of your life to Christ.
“Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give into its lustful desires. Do not let any part of your body become a tool of wickedness, to be used for sinning. Instead, give yourselves completely to God since you have been given new life. And use your whole body as a tool to do what is right for the glory of God.” (Romans 6:12,13)
- Third, trust the Holy Spirit to fill you.
This is possible only by faith-trusting God to shape your life as you yield control to Him. All you have to do is ask. God has promised to answer your requests which are in accordance with what He wants for you. “And we can be confident that he will listen to us whenever we ask him for anything in line with his will. And if we know he is listening when we make our requests, we can be sure that he will give us what we ask for.” (1 John 5:14,15)
Since it is God’s will to fill you with his Spirit, you can trust Him to do so when you ask. Here is a suggested prayer:
“Dear Father, I know I have been directing my own life and, as a result, I have sinned against you. I thank you for forgiving my sins through Christ’s death on the cross. I now invite Christ to take His place on the throne of my life. Fill me with your Holy Spirit. As an expression of faith, I now thank you for taking control of my life and for filling me with the Holy Spirit.”
Does this prayer express the desire of your heart? If so, pray it right now and be filled with the Holy Spirit.
You can be continually empowered by the Holy Spirit
If you find you have retaken control of your life through sin, try “spiritual breathing.” You need to exhale the impure by confessing your sin, and inhale the pure by yielding control to Jesus and asking God, in faith, to fill you with His Spirit.
“But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong” (1 John 1:9). Also read Hebrews 10:1-25.
Remember, confession involves:
- Agreeing with God that you have sinned
- Thanking him for having already forgiven you
- Trusting him to change your wrong attitudes and actions
- Surrender control of your life to Christ
- Trust him to direct and empower you
Suggestions for further growth
Continue to spend 15 minutes alone each day with God in Bible reading and prayer.
The Holy Spirit is the power source for living out the Christian life. You need to continually confess your sins and trust God to control your life, asking Him to fill you with the Holy Spirit.