Spiritual Checking

You'll feel that gentle checking in your own spirit if you're asking for something that you ought not to.

Scripture: 2 Peter 2:15-17, Romans 8:16-25


Alright thank you very much. And hello again radio friends, how in the world are you? This is your good friend, Bob Cook. And I’m so glad to be back with you. I look forward to these times when you and I can invest a few moments together over the inherent, infallible, eternal Word of God, the Bible. We start with the Word of God, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. And we don’t reason up to the fact of inspiration. We take it as our first basic presupposition that God is and that He has spoken and that the Word of God, the Bible, is our rule of faith and practice. And on that we build a very fine undergraduate college education.

Ah yes, that’s where it’s coming from. I’ll tell you something, if we don’t train young people with respect for and knowledge of the Word of God, we very soon will be living in a heathen culture. Pretty close to that right now, aren’t we? That’s why you people who are interested in Christian education at the pre-school and grade school and high school and collegiate level, need to work hard at it and trust God to prosper your efforts so that thousands of young people will be trained in the knowledge of the Word of God.

Well, we’ve been looking at 2 Peter Chapter 2, an awesome chapter because it constitutes a tremendous indictment of fallen human nature when it gets into religious clothes. He talks about false prophets and heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them. Pernicious ways, covetousness and then go down a little farther it says, “They walk after the flesh and the lust of uncleanness.” They despise government, they’re presumptuous, self-willed, not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries having eyes full of adultery, cannot cease from sin, beguiling unstable souls, covetous practices, cursed children; they followed the way of Balaam who loved the wages of unrighteousness.

Wells without water, clouds carried with the tempest, great swelling words of vanity and they allure people who would have escaped otherwise from sin. They allure them into their own sinful ways, oh what an indictment. Of fallen — it’s just old sinful fallen human nature with religious clothes on, isn’t that true? These are people in the church group in Peter’s day. And I guess we have to admit sadly that it’s still the same.

Well, instead of dwelling on all those negatives we did that for a while and pointed out what Peter was actually saying. And I’ll come back I think to Verse 17 or so or Verse 15 of 2 Peter 2. But I wanted — as I explained to you in a previous broadcast or two, to give you a contrast to all of these, this is the all sinful flesh dressed up in religious clothes. This is what it’s like, he gave us all of those awesomely rough descriptions of how sin works when it gets into religion. But then I went over to Romans 8 you recall, to give you a contrast. The contrast is found in living not under the law of sin and death but the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus. A new commitment, a new law of life, a new focus, new set of priorities, new dynamics, new leadership led by the spirit; a new cry not of fear but of family Abba Father. New assurance a witness to the spirit in our hearts, I guess that’s about as far as we got the last time.

Now we come to the question of new hope and you get that through Verses 16 or 17 through Verse 25. We’re saved by hope — hope that is seen is not hope for what a man see it what he had hoped for. But if we hope for hope we see not, than we do with patience wait for it. We know he said, that “the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now, and not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.” We’re waiting; we’ve got a new hope.

Now what are we waiting for, what’s the whole deal here? Verse 17 says, the sufferings of this present time — that’s people sufferings now. That’s what you go through because you’re a Christian in addition to what you go through because you’re a human being. Remember the grown up that said to the little boy at a street corner? Hang on to my hand don’t you want to grow up and have troubles? You know, don’t run out there.

So there are troubles that all of us have because we’re just part of the human race and then there are troubles that come because we belong to the Lord Jesus Christ. The sufferings of this present time. No he said they are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Now that paves the glory which shall be revealed in us is parallel to the phrase the adoption and that is the redemption of our body, Verse 23.

Paul talks about it over in Corinthians doesn’t he, he says, “This mortal must put on immortality and this corruptible must put on incorruption. So when this mortal shall have put on immortality and this corruptible shall have put on incorruption then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. Oh death where is thy sting, Oh grave where is thy victory? Thanks be to God which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

The truth is that there is a great day coming and the resurrection will occur and you and I will have brand new body adapted to glory; adapted to living in the very presence of our blessed Lord for all the rest of the eternities of the eternities. And so He says the sufferings of this present time not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us, not to us but in us. God is going to make you exhibit A of all the universe to see what His saving grace can do.

To the end that by the church might be known in the ages to come said Paul, the manifold wisdom of God, remember that phrase? I think its Ephesians. God wants to show you off, He wants to show you off that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness towards us through Christ Jesus. Oh boy, the glory that shall be revealed in us so he says you’re living in a fallen world. The creature — he talks about the creature, that’s the creation around about us; all of the living beings and the world itself.

The creature was made subject to vanity not willingly but by reason of him who subjected the same in hope because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. There will be a new heaven and a new earth and God is going to remove all of the lingering effects of sin that have come into the world in which we now live. We know he says in Verse 22 that the whole creation grows and travails in pain together until now. And we ourselves the same we grow within ourselves waiting for the adoption that is the redemption of our bodies.

Hope, there’s a new hope; it’s based upon the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ died for you and for me, He rose again He’s our living savior. Peter in his first letter says, begotten again unto a living hope by the resurrection — by that is, the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. The fact that he’s alive is evidence that God is going to keep his promise and fulfill his word to you and to me and one of these days we’ll have a sin-proof death, proof body.

My own father was blind for a number of years before he died, he was just in his 84th year, had he lived a little longer he would have been 84 and he’d been blind for some years but he would oftentimes turn those sightless eyes toward me and say, you know my boy, one of these days I’m going to have a brand new pair of eyes. He’d smile as he said it, and I’m going to walk down those golden streets with your mother and we’ll sing together the song we sang 10 days before she left us. “I shall know Him by the print of the nails in His hand.” “Hallelujah my boy, I’m going to have a brand new pair of eyes”; now that was my father.

As he had hoped, he knew and you and I as well can know that it’s not a blank, dreary tomorrow, not just live while you’re living and die and be done with it – as the old Maine farmer said. No, no he says we’ve got a new hope. Begotten again into a living hope and so we hope for what we see not and with patience we wait for it. Oh how different that is from the dreary portrait of sinful human nature that Peter has painted for us in that second chapter that we’ve been considering.

Now not only a new hope but new power and prayer; he said, “Likewise the Spirit also helped with our infirmities. For we know not what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself make an intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered and He that searcheth the hearts (that’s God the Father) knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit because he, the Spirit, makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God to them who are the called according to his purpose.” New power and prayer.

Now you don’t always feel like praying, do you wake up in the morning shouting Hallelujah and immediately get down on your knees and pray with power? Well you may sometimes but I doubt that you always feel that way and sometimes when you have the best of intentions and you do want to seek the Lord, prayer doesn’t come easily and you really don’t know what to say. What do you do about it then?

Number one, go to the Word of God, begin to soak your soul in the Word of God and you’ll find that it opens your heart to be able to pray. I’ve done this many times, I know that it works. Take a beloved Psalm and read it out loud to God, the Psalms are Hebrew prayers I have many of them and so at that point you’ll be praying in language that the Holy Spirit himself inspired centuries ago.

Second, if you feel you don’t know what to pray for and how to pray just level with God about it. I find myself saying often times Oh God I’m praying poorly, I’m like a little child I don’t know what to ask for. I only know that I have this problem and I want to trust you to solve it and you wait before God and then you find that the Spirit of God is guiding you because He dwells within the believer, He’s guiding you to pray according to the will of God. Incidentally people write to me now again and say, how can I be sure that I’m praying according to God’s will instead of my own selfish desires? Could it be possible they say that sometimes I’m praying about something that I just want, just I and not the Spirit of God?

I’ll tell you something friend, you don’t have to guess very far, you don’t have to wonder because the Spirit of God dwells within you if you’re a believer. If you know the Lord Jesus as your Lord and savior the Holy Spirit dwells within you and I can guarantee you that as you pray, He’s going to check you, you’ll feel that gentle checking in your own spirit if you’re asking for something that you ought not to. Oh yes, you’ll feel that the very definite checking in your own spirit as you try to pray for something that’s not really in the will of God. Obey those gentle nudges if you will. Obey those gentle hints that you’re not in the will of God and wait on God until the Holy Spirit gives you freedom to pray along the line of his perfect will. We’ll talk about this the next time we get together.

Dear Father today, oh may we pray in the Spirit, I ask in Jesus 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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