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Wednesday, April 01 2015

Contributor: Alex Alajiki

INTRODUCTION
In last week’s study, we considered the wonderful experience of being conscious that God is indwelling us by His Spirit. The scripture in 1 Cor. 3:16 “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” is both a question and a revelation about our relationship with God. It is His indwelling presence that gives us access to His voice. He wants to constantly communicate with us because we are His children.

This week we are looking at how to keep our hearts tender for the Holy Spirit to be able to lead us.


1) Self-Condemnation; 1 John 3:20
“For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.”

Whenever we do something wrong and we sense condemnation in our hearts, we generally think the Holy Spirit was the one condemning us for our wrongs. That is not the truth according to scripture.

“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” Rom.8:1

“Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.” Rom.:33, 34

The Holy Spirit will not condemn us. Why? Because God won't. It is God that justifies.
Jesus said that the only sin the Holy Spirit will convict the world of is the sin of rejecting Jesus (John 16:7-9). He Himself came not to condemn the world but that the world through Him might be saved. John 3:17 “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved”

“For if our heart condemn us”. It is our own conscience—the voice of our own spirit—that knows when we have done wrong. I have found that even when I do wrong, though my spirit condemns me, the Holy Spirit is there to comfort me, to help me, to show me the way back.

Difference between condemnation and conviction
1) Condemnation causes us to turn away from God in fear, dread, and shame. Conviction causes us to come to God and freshly place our faith in the perfect life and death of Christ.
2) Condemnation leads us to believe that we’ll never change and that we aren't worthy of God's love. Conviction gives us hope that, even though we sinned, God is still at work in us.
3) Condemnation paralyzes faith for change, keeping us in bondage. Conviction bears the fruit of faith for change, freeing us to fully grow in the love of God.
4) Condemnation causes us to wallow in despair and self-pity. Conviction leads to God-centered hope.
5) Condemnation sees God as an angry judge who is waiting in the shadows to strike at any moment. Conviction sees God as a loving Father who disciplines his children through His love for us.
6) Condemnation is inward, self-focused, and always dwelling on the fact that we have sinned. Conviction is outward, God-focused, and always dwelling on the fact that we have sinned against God.

2) Holy Spirit; The Comforter: John 14:16
“And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever”

You will never read in the Bible where the Holy Spirit is referred to as a “condemner”.
Jesus called Him the Comforter. The seven-fold meaning of that word from the Greek is brought out in The Amplified Bible: “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (Counsellor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener and Standby) that He may remain with you forever.”
The Holy Spirit is all of those! He will stand by us. When no one else will. He will help us. He is a Helper!
3) How To Keep Our Heart Tender; Eph.4:32,  1 Pet.3:8

“And be you kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake has forgiven you.” Eph.4:32

“Finally, be ye all likeminded, compassionate, loving as brethren, tender-hearted, humble minded.” 1 Pet.3:8(ASV)

The moment we are born again, our spirits become alive unto righteousness; our hearts become tender and “triggers” the moment we do anything wrong. If we were used to anger or cursing before, the new man on the inside - our spirit takes up the responsibility of always checking us whenever we start tending towards the old life.

The Life and Nature of God doesn't accommodate our carnal nature. Now our flesh, the outward man, may want to go on doing some things that we did before, and talking in ways we talked before, but we have to crucify the flesh. A good way to crucify the flesh—the outward man—is to bring our mistakes right out in the open by repentance towards God and man.

If we repent and restitute or apologise whenever we are wrong, we will keep our heart constantly tender before God for the Holy Spirit to communicate and lead us effectively. Unless we keep a tender conscience, spiritual things will be indistinct to us. That's because our conscience is the voice of our spirit and it is our conscience—the voice of our spirit—that will relate to our minds what the Spirit of God is saying to us down in our hearts.

4) A Seared Conscience or Hardened Heart; 1 Tim.4:1,2
“Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron,”

When we constantly fail to follow the voice of our conscience and won’t repent and restitute when we are checked, our hearts can become hardened or seared. If our hearts are hardened or seared, we are on our way to destruction. The voice of the Holy Spirit will no longer be recognisable to us.

“For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, And their eyes they have closed, Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should[a] heal them.” Matt.13:15

"Render the hearts of this people insensitive, Their ears dull, And their eyes dim, Otherwise they might see with their eyes, Hear with their ears, Understand with their hearts, And return and be healed." Isa.6:10


CONCLUSION
We must learn to keep a tender conscience. The minute we miss it and our conscience condemns us, we should act immediately and correct the error right there and then. We should not wait until we go to church. Immediately say, "Lord, forgive me. I missed it." If we have to, if someone else saw or heard us, tell that person right away, "I did wrong. Please forgive me. I shouldn't have said that."
We will have to keep our spirits (hearts) tender if we are going to be led by the Holy Spirit.

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 04:09 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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