Changed By Holiness
He works His Will in your personality. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, meekness, temperance, faithfulness.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? Doing alright today? I trust so, bless your heart. This is of course your good friend, Bob Cook. And you and I are back together again, looking at the Word of God, and this time we’re in Ephesians Chapter 4, and we’ve been getting into verse 6, “One God and father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” Above all, that word “epi”, E-P-I, means on-the-job, in charge, on top of. He’s always on the job. He never goes off the job. He never pulls down the curtain that says, “Closed for the night, call up in the morning.”
God is always there. “Telephone to Glory, oh, what joy, divine! You may talk with Heaven almost anytime. Built by God the Father for His loved and own, we may talk with Jesus on that royal telephone.” That’s a song my father used to sing after supper. I’d be washing the dishes as a high school boy, and my job, of course, was to get the supper ready from… Have it on the table by the time he got home from work, and then he’d eat. He never talked much at the meal. If I would try to chatter away about something that may have happened during the day, I can remember him looking up at me sternly and saying, “Boy, supper is for eating.” [chuckle] That meant “Be still.” But after the meal was over, he would leave the table and go over into the old rocker that was his prized possession and pick up a songbook and start to sing. That was the procedure most evenings. And like as not, he’d get around to that song, “Telephone to glory, oh, what joy, divine.” Aren’t you glad God is on the job? Yes, I am, too. Then it’s “through all”, little Greek preposition dia, D-I-A, meaning through. He is in control, He has planned it all, He’s working out his plans, and “He will complete the work, being confident this very thing that he which has begun good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.”
He is through it, also that you and I can go through. “When thou passeth through the waters, they shall not overflow thee,” Isaiah 43 verse 2 says. “Ye though I walk through the valley,” we read there in Psalm 23, “I will fear no evil.” And God brings you through, because he is the God who goes through. He doesn’t leave you on the edge of the desert, he goes through. Then we came to this phrase “in you all”, that’s where we are now.
Our Lord Jesus spoke of the blessed Holy Spirit. He said, “He dwelleth with you and shall be in you.” The secret of the Christian life is that God takes up his residence in a human being through faith in the Lord Jesus. The Holy Spirit of God comes to dwell in the believer’s life the moment of salvation, the moment of conversion. “If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His,” Paul says, “Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which you have of God and you’re not your own for you’re bought with a price, wherefore, glorify God in your body and in your spirit, both of which belong to God.” That’s 1 Corinthian 6:19, as you know.
Now, He is in you all. The start of that in-ness is conversion. The Holy Spirit of God comes to dwell in your life when you open your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ. And so you start with a continuing miracle, the secret that we preach among the gentiles. Paul says in Colossians 1 is “Christ in you, the hope of glory,” a blessed open secret, you might say, “to whom God would make known the riches of the glory of this mystery among the gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
When the New Testament talks about a mystery, it’s not something you can’t know, but it’s something that you could not know before but which God has now opened up. And so this is an opened up situation where God says, “I wanna live in you.” And of course, you go over to 2nd Corinthians, God says that he wants to dwell in you and walk in your shoes. I think that is such a beautiful passage. Don’t you? Have you looked at that recently? He said, “I will receive you and will be a father unto you and ye shall be my sons and daughters,” He says “I will dwell in them,” this is 2nd Corinthians 6:16, “I will dwell in them and walk in them, and I will be their God and they shall be my people.” This has to do with the teaching concerning a separated life. He says, “Come out from among them and be separate.” And so when you do that, God says, “I’ll walk in your shoes.” That’s a beautiful, beautiful figure of speech there and so true. There are some people that when you meet them, you’re aware of the presence of God. When they walk into a room, you’re aware of the presence of God, and that is the norm of New Testament Christianity.
He dwells in you. And of course then anything that is worthy of eternity, he does it. Colossians 1:29 speaks of the working according to His working, “Which worketh in me mightily, whereunto I also labour,” Paul said, striving according to his working, “Which worketh in me mightily.” Anything that God does, anything that’s worthy of eternity, I should say, God has to do it. “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves,” Paul says in Corinthians, “not that we’re sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves, but our sufficiencies of God who hath made us able ministers of the New Testament.” God makes you able.
Now, perhaps I’m speaking right this minute to somebody who has just heaved a sigh and says “I can’t, I can’t do it, I can’t stand it, I can’t carry the burden, I can’t stand the pressure, I can’t live in the stress.” [chuckle] That’s a favorite word in our day, isn’t it? People talk about a stressful time. “Stressed out” is an expression that has come into use in the last decade or so. And so you’re saying “I can’t, I can’t stand this constant hassle with employer or employees or relatives or neighbors” or whatever, it may be, “I can’t.” Well, join the group. I suppose every human being that has ever lived, has faced certain situations, certain relationships, certain challenges that are absolutely impossible to cope with. What do you do about it? Well, you can fight it vainly, or you can run away from it equally vainly.
You don’t run away from your troubles because you bring yourself with you [chuckle] wherever you go. Or you can blame other people, lots will do that. Blame other people, but that doesn’t fix anything. It just sort of lifts the blame from one point to another. Or you can retire into your shell and be cynical and bitter for the rest of your life, and that doesn’t do anything for you either. But you come now to the realization that the Holy Spirit of God works in you, and anything worthy of eternity, God does it. It is God which worketh in you. Philippians 2:13 says “It is God, which worketh in you, both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” He gives you the want to, and then He implements His will through you. What a blessed combination that is. He gives you the want to, He gives you the desire that is in line with His perfect plan, and then He implements that desire through you, through the indwelling Holy Spirit of God. Hallelujah for that. That’s great.
Equally important is this concept, any change in your character or personality, He has to make it. “The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance, against such there is no law.” Now that passage from Galatians, that’s Galatians 5:22 that I just quoted for you. You know, don’t you, that that’s preceded by a list of the works, what Paul calls the “works of the flesh”. Now, see, the contrasts, the contrast is what you and I are capable of producing by trying. The works of the flesh, first of all, is moral breakdown: Adultery, fornication, uncleanliness, lasciviousness. Then there’s religious breakdown; idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variants, emulation. Then there’s social breakdowns: Wrath, strife, seditions and heresies, that’s religion again. And then there are personal breakdowns: Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings. You break down at every level, at the moral level, the societal level, the ethical level, and your own inner personal life.
Anything you try on your own is gonna break down. You try to be nice, you’ll get tired of being nice and revert to your old nasty self. You try to forgive and you find it impossible because you’ve been hurt too deeply. You try to be holy, but you find it impossible because you get tired of upholding such a high standard and finally just give up and sag into your old ways. Works of the flesh only lead to breakdown in the strategic areas of life. Paul said to Timothy, “Be thou an example of the believer in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.”
Word means what you say; conversation is an old English word meaning lifestyle, how you live, charity is our concept of Calvary love, it’s the word “agape”, Calvary love, the John 3:16 kind of love, and faith is a direct wire to God, and spirit is the atmosphere around you, your personality, and purity is the quality of living holy. Every one of these things is impossible, apart from the working of God in your life, but you can be an example of what a believer really is, as the Holy Spirit of God works and He shall be in you, one God and father of all, who is above all, and through all and in you all, said Paul, any change in your character or personality. By the way, do you believe that a person can change after the years have gone by?
We know that children can be trained and their habits, can be modified. We know that young people as well can be influenced in a way that they will change, but after a person passes what should we say, 40, or 50, or 60, or 70, is there much chance of change then? Generally not. People don’t change much on their own. A person who was careless with the truth at 20 is still going to have to… You have to read the fine print at the 70. A person who had a bad temper at 20 may still be subject to the futile rages of the old, but the temper is still there. It doesn’t get very far in getting angry anymore, but it’s still there.
And a person who was the office wolf at 20 still has that look in his or her eye at 70 or 80. Strange, people don’t change on their own much. But the fact is, and I’m glad this is so, that God works in you. He works His will in your personality. The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, meekness, temperance, faithfulness. See? God will make a difference in your life if you want him to. That’s the point upon which we’re gonna conclude this little broadcast today. Do you want to be any different? If you do, the indwelling Holy Spirit of God will make the difference. Now we come back to this the next time we get together, and we’ll just sort of wrap it up and then go on in this passage.
Dear Heavenly Father, how we love Thee and make some good changes in our lives today, I ask in Jesus’s name, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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