9/6/1998 6:00 PM
John 15:4, 5
"Without me ye can do nothing Hes talking about everything ... Without God we can do nothing. This verse speaks primarily of spiritual fruit. You can't bear spiritual fruit without God. Without God you will not find any victory. You can make every effort to be a spiritual person, but without God in your life you will not be. All things that you try to do without God will fail.
The work of God is not accomplished by your strength but by God's spirit. Trying to do the Lord's work by your own strength will avail nothing. By God's spirit the work of God is accomplished.
"For as the body without the spirit is dead..." Referring to the physical body... but "we are the body of Christ and members in particular" and even the body of Christ without the spirit of God is dead. We have to have God's spirit to keep alive as a body or as an individual. How does a congregation once so full of spiritual life become a dead religious body?
By grieving the Holy Spirit of God. The word "grieve" means... to distress, to make sad, to cause sorrow/heaviness. It's possible to grieve the Spirit of God till he leaves!! Gods spirit is not bold, brazened, hard and calloused toward us... but it is a tender spirit that is affected by your spurning. I don't want to grieve the spirit of God. How do people grieve the Spirit away?
4) Pursuit of Pleasures
I Peter 5:5, 6
These grieve God's spirit... he resisteth the proud. How can God resist someone and yet bless them at the same time? What is pride? It is any exalting not done by God... all pride is grievous to God - even spiritual pride. Let's consider forms of religious self-exaltation... "We are the church"... if God's spirit is not there... you are not the church... "We have the truth..." Spiritual pride is when the emphasis is on the "we"... because without God "we" can do nothing... and "we" do not have these things...
I Peter 3:10-12
The face of the Lord is against them that do evil/wickedness/sin - it is grievous to the spirit of God - he cannot be against you and blessing you at the same time. What kind of sin is in the church? There are often "subtle sins" that grieve the spirit away. These are... coolness, carelessness, disobedience to the spirit's wooing, disobedience to the conviction of the spirit. What it is like when salvation leaves a church...
Isaiah 59:1, 2
Isaiah is prophesying to people that used to know God... such a sad picture is presented here! How did they reach this place? ... by making excuse for iniquity and sin.
Worldliness and God's spirit cannot abide together. Embracing the things of the world brings enmity with God. Can you have God as your enemy and have him bless you at the same time? No, this is impossible. Religious folks who embrace the world are spiritual adulterers and adulteresses. It is just as gross a sin as the sin of adultery. Will the spirit of God stay with those who embrace the world? No... it is grievous to him. What IS worldliness?
I John 2:15-17
The world is the desires of the flesh, the eye, and that which stokes your pride. Worldliness is anything that caters to the flesh, the eye, and the pride of man; anything not of God.
Pursuit of Pleasures
Mark 4:19; Luke 8:14
Speaks of choking the word but these things also grieve the Spirit. Pursuit of the pleasures of this life choke the word and grieve the spirit. This speaks of a life wrapped up in the pursuit of other things than that of God.
II Timothy 2:4
No man that warreth entangleth himself in the cares of this life. The argument shouldn't be "Which pleasure is/is not acceptable?" but "Why do you care about pleasures anyhow?" If we were out fighting the foxholes... bullets flying all around us... and the soldier next to us calmly put down his rifle and asked... "Wonder why Sarge over there wouldn't let me go swimming?" we would think he was crazy!! We'd tell him "WHY DO YOU CARE WHAT PLEASURES YOU CAN PURSUE? LOOK... WE'RE IN A BATTLE HERE... THE BULLETS ARE FLYING ALL AROUND US AND WE'RE TRYING TO SAVE SOME LIVES HERE... PICK UP YOUR RIFLE..!! ARE YOU CRAZY!!?"...
I Timothy 5:5, 6
You can tell how spiritual a people is by the battles they're fighting. If you are living in pleasures you're dead while you live...
II Timothy 3:1-4; I Corinthians 10:7
Speaking of religious ceremonies.... When they got through with worship... they rose up to play... It calls this idolatry here... Do you "Hurry up and get God out of the way so you can get on to what you really want to do"? If so... this is grievous to the Holy Spirit and if you continue it long enough... you will have "gotten him out of the way..." You will grieve him so until he leaves...
What is left behind after the Spirit has been grieved away... It is a lifeless service... just a form... a shell...
II Timothy 3:4, 5
If God's spirit has left, what are you going do? All that's left is for you to turn away from that which is dead too... The presence of God is the power of the church.
John 15:4, 5
"Without Him I can do nothing..." How does a congregation become fruitless? By one becoming proud, another becoming worldly, these ones pursuing pleasures, by these ignoring the conviction of the spirit... - all of them grieving God's spirit... and by continuing to do so .. the spirit of God is eventually so grieved that he will go away... How sad a state is this... Let's "grieve not the spirit" in our lives...