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Fear of God (1)

Once when asked to speak before a large crowd of people, as I looked out across the audience, I was at first unable to utter a sound. After what seemed like a long, awkward few moments, which was actually just a moment in time, I blurted out, “I’d rather face an angry teenage grizzly than you all!” Then I had more experience with grizzly bears than with public speaking, so I meant it. Some things don’t change. Fear has many…

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The Way of Salvation

As we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners much gain by fortune-telling. She followed Paul and us, crying out, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation.” And she kept doing this for many days. Paul, having become greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of…

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Saul’s Conversion

There is no danger that we will ever learn too much; and there is so much to know about doing God’s will. So let’s start with some fundamentals. The Bible is the oldest book or collection of any kind found anywhere. 2) It is the single source for everything mankind knows about God, Satan, Christ, angels, demons, heaven or hell, and a good many other topics. 3) It starts “In the beginning” and ends with a vision of “New Jerusalem”…

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Jesus’ Decisive Explanation of the Holy Spirit’s Work (4)

When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15 All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it…

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Jesus’ Decisive Explanation of the Holy Spirit’s Work (3)

The Work of the Spirit: Guide (16:12-13) There was another work of the Holy Spirit for the apostles which would be for the benefit of the apostles and why Jesus would go to the Father. Jesus still has many things to teach his apostles. But he is not personally going to do this because they cannot handle his teachings yet. Rather, Jesus is going to send the Spirit of truth. The Spirit will be the one who will guide these apostles…

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Jesus’ Decisive Explanation of the Holy Spirit’s Work (2)

Second, the Spirit will convict the world in regard to righteousness. God has to teach us that our righteousness is totally insufficient. It is hard for people to recognize that our righteousness amounts to nothing before God because we do not possess righteousness within ourselves. We do not have good works and right living apart from conforming to the will of God. This is why the apostle Paul could powerfully declare that there is no one who is righteous, not…

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Jesus’ Decisive Explanation of the Holy Spirit’s Work

What exactly is the Holy Spirit going to accomplish in the lives of his disciples? Jesus answers this question in John 16:5-15. Jesus has promised the eleven in John 14 that he is going to send the Advocate to them so that they are not left alone even though he must leave. But Jesus’ leaving is for their benefit. The Advocate will come which will benefit these disciples and the whole world. Jesus comes back to the discussion concerning the…

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The Holy Spirit In Acts

John the Baptist preached “the kingdom is at hand!” (Matt. 3:2). John told the Jewish leaders that the Messiah was coming. With the Messiah would be two events: (1) the baptism of the Holy Spirit, God’s phrase that represented the arrival of the kingdom of God, restoration of God’s covenant with Israel, and blessings to the people; (2) the baptism of fire, God’s phrase that represented judgment. As we will notice later in Acts 2, Peter preached the same message…

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We will serve the Lord

“Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve the LORD. And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose you this day who you will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land…

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The Holy Spirit In Matthew (2)

Since the baptism of fire is a description of judgment and wrath (see Malachi 4), what then is the baptism of the Holy Spirit? Before we answer this question, we need to again notice that these are two events John is speaking about. Can we say that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is a bad thing, like the baptism of fire? Not at all. As we noticed in the last lesson, the pouring out of the Spirit was a…

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