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The Journal

Seek to Discover God's Will

Dear Friends,

In broad terms Romans Chapters 1-11 has explained the work of Christ on the Cross for our sins and our new status as His children. Now in chapter 12 Paul explains that the logical outcome of this gift of forgiveness of sins and friendship with God is for us to present ourselves to God and to serve Him and His people. God’s recognises that when we come to faith in Jesus we bring all types of baggage with us. Some of it is good and some of it needs to be discarded. In effect we are exercising quality control over our lives so that our values and actions and motives increasingly conform to God’s revealed. God wants to use us and our lives and abilities in His service.  

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Filled with the Holy Spirit

Dear Friends,

Being filled with the Holy Spirit and the meaning of that is a controversial topic in the church. However like any controversy we need to come back afresh to the Word of God and see what we can learn together. Today we are looking at Ephesians 5:15-20 and in particular v18 says “Instead be filled with the Holy Spirit.” This is a command from God because He knows that to live the Christian life we need God’s strength and it is the Holy Spirit who helps us to follow Jesus. Too often we fail in our Christian walk because we try to follow Jesus in our strength. The provision of the Holy Spirit is a great gift to us. We know from our lesson last week in Romans 8:9-11 that all Christians have the Holy Spirit. 

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We are Saints

Dear Friends,

The work of the Holy Spirit in our lives is critical for following Christ. In Romans 8 Paul reminds us of all that Christ has done for us in being a sin offering 8:3 so that we can enjoy the benefits of not being trapped by sin.  Our core identity changes when we become a Christian because we are no longer identified as a sinner. Rather Jesus and the NT see us as a saint, who is someone who has been adopted as God’s child.   Of course sin is still present and we still sin and we must battle sin and repent but we are saints – those who are God’s children, set apart for Jesus. That is why in Romans 1:7 as Paul introduces his letter he addresses the letter to:- all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be the saints.” This is their core identity. Then in Romans 8:1 Paul reaffirms this identity by saying that there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.   

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The Holy Spirit

Dear Friends,

Particularly in John 14-16 Jesus speaks extensively about the work of the Holy Spirit. fact as you read through the Bible the work of the Holy Spirit is an important aspect of God’s work. Our Alpha Course topics 8-10 highlights the point that the Spirit of God is at work in the beginning of the Bible in Genesis as God creates the world and the Spirit of God is also mentioned right at the end of the Bible in Revelation 22 as the church waits and longs for the return of Jesus. Often in the life of the church we have neglected the person and work of the Holy Spirit. Further Christians can sometimes operate as if the Holy Spirit is a force such as in Star Wars but Jesus in John 14:16 indicates that Holy Spirit is a person by referring to Him as He. Jesus is preparing His disciples for His departure from this world and He says that He will ask the Father who will give the disciples the Spirit.  

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