The Virus Of His Glory
God wants you to be gloriously alive spiritually -- He wants you to share Him with others.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? Yes, that little greeting establishes the fact, that this is your friend, Bob Cook, and we’re back together again with the Word of God. Oh, I am so glad for the privilege of sharing with you, as we look at God’s blessed, inerrant, infallible, eternal Word, the Bible.
First Timothy chapter six is the passage and we’re looking at. Verse 13. Paul said, “I give thee charge in the sight of God, Who quickeneth all things.” We stopped there the last time we got together. We were talking about being spiritually alive, do you recall? “He quickeneth all things and before Christ Jesus, Who before Pontius Pilate, witnessed a good confession.”
Now, Paul is raising two issues. The first is the matter of quickening or life giving. The second issue is that of witnessing. Our Lord Jesus said, “Ye shall receive power after that. The Holy Ghost has come upon you, and ye shall be witnesses unto Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and out of the outermost part of the Earth.” Witnessing is a by-product of the fullness of the Holy Spirit of God.
Now, we’re not gonna get into a big argument here over our denominational differences on the doctrine of the Holy Spirit. There is a good deal of truth that all of us know, and believe, and seek to live. One is, the Spirit of God is a wonderful Person. Never refer to the Holy Spirit as ‘it.’ If you had a beautiful little baby in a baby carriage, and someone looked down, and said, “Isn’t it pretty?” You’d be insulted. A Person. A Person. The Holy Spirit of God is the third Person of the Godhead and has all the attributes of Deity. You can find them all listed in God’s blessed Word.
Second, the Holy Spirit of God comes to dwell in the believer’s heart, the moment you’re born from above. “Know ye not, that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, which you have of God? And ye are not your own, for you’re bought with a price. If any man have not the Spirit of God, he is none of His,” Paul says. The Spirit of God dwells within you.
Third, the Bible commands us- this is not an option, beloved, this is a command. The Bible commands us to be filled with the Spirit.
Dr OJ Smith, who’s now with the Lord, dear man of God, a great missionary statesman, said in my hearing many years ago, “Think of your heart as being a house with many rooms, and you write down all the contents of all of those rooms on separate pieces of paper: your money, your relatives, your job, your habits, your character, your hopes, your fears, your weaknesses, your besetting sins. Everything about you, that you can think of, you write it down on separate pieces of paper, and then you take each of those pieces of paper one by one, and hand them over to your blessed Lord, and say, “Blessed Lord Jesus, by faith, just as I received Thee as Savior, now I’m trusting that it fill me with the Spirit of God in this room, in my heart house.” And he said, “When you have done all of that, you’ve gone through the whole list, and you’ve opened by faith, every door in your heart house, you can look up, and say, ‘Thank you, Lord, for filling me with the Holy Spirit.’ You can go on and trust God.”
Now, that’s his way of describing it. Other people have other ways and other manifestations, to be sure, and I say, “Let’s not get into an argument about our differences. Let’s recognize that the Bible says, ‘You are to be controlled by the Holy Spirit of God, and when you do, there will be certain results.’ ” One will be, that you are able to witness with power. The other will be, that you have a character that is Christ-like. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance. Against such, there is no law. These are things you cannot fake. You can’t fake love, you can’t fake real joy, you can’t fake real peace, and so on. These are things you cannot counterfeit and dredge them up from your own stream of consciousness. It takes the Holy Spirit of God to give you a Christian character. The result of the Holy Spirit filling your life, the fruit of the Spirit, is a Christian character.
The second thing is, it’s a Christian witness. It is impossible to witness for Jesus Christ effectively, without the enablement of the Holy Spirit of God. Anything else and anything less is simple proselytizing. You’re trying to get a convert and people sense that immediately. I was speaking with someone onboard ship many years ago, now. This would be back in the 1940s, I guess, or ’50s, somewhere in there. But I remember it so clearly: A man and I were standing at the rail of this ship, as we were going along the coast of California, and I was talking with him about the things of God. Evidently, I came across as an eager proselyter, because he said, “I don’t wanna be one of your blessed converts.” I cleaned that up a little bit. He swore at me. He said, “I don’t wanna be one of your converts. I want somebody to care about me.” Oh, that’s the cry of people in the world all around. They want somebody who cares enough to share Christ’s love with them, and this, my friend, takes the ministry of the Holy Spirit of God.
And so he said, “I charge thee in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things.” The matter of being spiritually alive is something God must do for us and He will, as we seek Him. And then he said, “Before Christ Jesus, Who before Pontius Pilate, witnessed a good confession.” “He’s the faithful and true witness,” He’s called in Revelation 1:5. And He said, our Lord Jesus said to Pontius Pilate, as recorded in John 18, He said, “For this cause, I came into the world, that I should be a witness to the truth.” He witnessed a good witness.
Now, what is important about all of this, so far as you and I are concerned? Number one, witnessing is not an option. It’s something that God wants you to do. “You shall be witnesses unto me,” said Jesus. “Whosoever, therefore, shall be ashamed of Me and of My Word, in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him also, shall the Son of Man be ashamed, when He come within the Glory of His Father and the holy angels,” said our Savior in Mark 10, I think, 38.
And the positive side of it, is in Matthew, “Whosoever, therefore, shall confess Me before men, him will I also confess, before my Father, Which is in Heaven.” Jesus wants you to be proud of Him and to witness for Him, no question about that. It’s not an option. It’s something God wants you to do.
The problem is, however, that if you try in your own strength, you’re up against two things:  human nature, which is sinful and which opposes all of this message of the grace of God, and  the opposition of Satan, who will make it doubly hard for you to make any kind of progress whatsoever, along the line of the Gospel. He fights the Gospel wherever he can.
How then do you win this battle, this matter of witnessing effectively? You don’t do it by forcing people to listen, you don’t jam the truth down their throats, and you don’t do it by your own efforts, because that would make you just an eager proselyter. What do you do? You let the Spirit of God just spill over the blessing, and the love, and the truth of God out of your life. Real witnessing is a by-product.
I have a friend called Mr Hill. He says, in one of his books, that when he was first brought to Christ, as a new Christian, he was scared to death to go out, and call on people, and try to share Christ with them. He said he would always hope that nobody was home when he rang the doorbell. As I read that, I remembered back in the old days of radio, Elmer Blurt, you remember him? The low pressure salesman? He said, “I’m afraid there’s nobody home here, I hope, I hope, I hope.” You remember that? [chuckle] Well, some of you are too young to remember, but some can. And that’s how this man was. He was just afraid. He hoped that nobody would be there, and when somebody answered the door, it was a bad time for him. He didn’t enjoy calling on people and he didn’t enjoy speaking of the Lord. It was hard for him. And then he opened his life completely to the blessed Spirit of God, and gave up fighting it, and began now, to trust God’s Holy Spirit to speak through him.
The approach changed entirely and he writes in one of his books, that there was an occasion when he went to call on a man, who was notorious for his opposition for anything religious. He was very anti-Christ and anti-Gospel. And in a business relationship, now, he had to call on this man. And when he came in there, the man looked at him, and he said, “You’re different. What happened to you?” And God opened the door there for a blessed witness for Christ. The man was deeply touched and God got the glory.
Now, you see a witness is a by-product of the working of the Holy Spirit of God in your life. And this, of course, is quite logical. There’s nothing mystical about it or unusual, because, “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh,” the Bible says. And so what you have on your heart, is what you talk about.
Bill Carl, and Jack Daniel, and I had traveled with a fine young musician called Kurt Kaiser. Kurt is now married to the pretty little nurse that he was courting in those days. The years have gone by and his hair is gray, but his charm is still there and his musical ability is still there. But anyhow, in those days, we were on a series of one night stands: we’d get up early in the morning, and drive 200-300 miles, and get to the next place, and have a meeting, and pray with souls, and talk with the committee, and get to bed about midnight, and then go on to the next place.
Well, wherever we stopped, there was an envelope waiting for Kurt and he would eagerly devour it’s contents. It was a love letter, of course, from his pretty little nurse, the gal whom he later married. And oh, my,.. And we would say, “What’d she say, Kurt? What’d she say?” And sometimes, he would tell us, and often, he would be talking about her. It was easy for him to talk about this young lady, because he was so deeply in love with her.
Well, now, that’s perfectly normal and natural, isn’t it? Of course, it is. You talk about what’s on your mind. Give a boy a new Honda and he’ll tell you all about it. Whatever is on your heart and on your mind, that’s what you talk about. So the logic of witnessing is not all that complicated, beloved. It is just, let God operate on your heart, until Jesus, and the grace of God, and salvation, and eternity are on the very top of your heart and mind. Whatever you’ve got on your mind, is what you’ll talk about. Whatever is uppermost in your heart, is what you’ll talk about. You follow that?
Now, we had two issues and I want us to remember, that these are the things that really count. Oh, we’re different in our talents, we’re different in our makeup, we’re different in our personalities, and we’re, oftentimes, different in our view of truth. Lots of differences, that’s what makes up different denominations. But the basic truth is this, that God wants you to be gloriously alive spiritually, and He wants you to share Him with others, as a by-product of His control of your life.
Remember, the Lord Jesus did His witnessing under very difficult situations. He was bruised, He was bleeding, He was bound, He was on His way to die, and He witnessed a good witness before Pontius Pilate. Don’t say it’s too hard. Don’t ever say it’s too hard to witness for Christ. Jesus did it, and so indeed may you, because Paul said so here, “Before Christ Jesus, Who before Pontius Pilate, witnessed a good confession.” Two areas for concern:  Spiritual life.  Effective witness. Both of them a by-product of the Holy Spirit of God working in your life.
Father God, today, keep us spiritually alive and sharing Jesus. I ask in His 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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