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Paul J. Bucknell
Purpose: We should expect changes in our lives due to Christ's indwelling in us. The Spirit of God reveals to us what these changes will be. This article provides basic instruction on how to work with the Spirit of God in this sanctifying work. This is part 3 of 3.
We want to call this ongoing work 'discipleship.' We want to better understand how God works in our Christian lives so that we can work with the Spirit of God rather than against Him!
Our Christian path must go from living for self to living for God and others.
For every sin you find in your own life, no matter how small, you need to repent, confess and ask God to forgive and restore you. In the future God might take you yet deeper, but at this point you are giving Him an open invitation to work deeply in your lives. Your sincere and humble prayer about the sins that you do know of grants God easier access to the others sins that you are yet unconscious of.
Dear Heavenly Father, I never knew how much you were displeased about _______________. Please forgive me. I confess I have done these things all too often. May the blood of Christ forgive me of all my sin and may Your Holy Spirit come and restore me to live empowered by your love and truth. Break any hidden bondage. Set me free to love and serve others. I reject this sin and completely place myself in your full service. May you help me recover fully what I have lost. In Jesus Christ I pray, Amen.
We can gain a clear perspective of essentials when we compare the three times the Lord gave the Great Commission after His resurrection.
"And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." (Matthew 28:18-20).
"And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned. (Mark 16:15)
"And that repentance for forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem." (Luke 24:47).
Baptism clearly marks of the beginning of a Christian's life. We see this emphasis above. Both repentance and faith are needed to be baptized, but it is also this same spirit of repentance and belief that will empower us to live godly lives.
Repentance is the humble heart before God in which we agree with Him (confession) that what He does not like is wrong and thus turn from such ways.
Belief is the trust in God's ways. It is when we take His instruction and live by it. By living according to His Word, we are affirming our loyalty to Him but also showing our confidence in His ways.
Scriptures typically quoted from the New American Standard Bible unless noted:
(C) Copyright The Lockman Foundation 1988