(Small Group 23th September 2010)
This week message’s emphasis is to restore the title, so that 3 things are very important (3 main points).
Title: Purpose is to restore a pure and complete blessed spirit, and this equates to a born again spirit (i.e. it can ONLY be found from a born again spirit = Only the Born-Again Spirit Can Know Spiritual Matters)
1. (Therefore, seek the born again spirit and clearly define it) The aim is to define and explain what is the born again spirit like, and to grasp the idea of what is born again spirit
1) Born again is an illumination (光照).
Must come from God –> Born again!
2) You can refer to the Basic Message 1, main point got 5 points. These Basic Message 5 points are quite similar to the 5 points in main point 1 subpoint 2 of 5 subsubpoints in sunday’s outline. The 5 points in the outline are actually the cross message. The Basic Message 5 points and the outline 5 points forms what the spirit of a pure and complete spirit is like.
(1) Totally depraved, born again means to restore being able to see and hear God => we have to restore the spirit of understanding that we need Him always, because only in Him, as we are created by Him in this way <Gen 1:27,28> as the principle of life and living, we can then enjoy all bliss. SImply, point (1) is to always go into the belief that must see and hear God = must see “蒙”. This is something like, we cannot treat our Christian living as a religion, but Christian living is "蒙“ one.
(2) Realized and understood that the only problem in life and living is being separated from God, sin and Satan <Gen 3 problem> => we have to totally restore the spirit of understanding why there is a complete need to die and resurrect in Christ, so that we always announce, heart believe mouth confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, proclamation of faith by saying "Amen" even though it seems we can’t. Simply, point (2) is to see ONLY ONLY ONLY Christ
(3) Because my spirit is unable to accept God’s word and Spirit’s conviction, my life is full of problems of body, heart, spirit, living, interpersonal relationships, finances, death, offspring => we have to restore the spirit of understanding that we are children of God (chosen, called, loved, blessed), therefore, understanding that I am totally freed from the law of sin and death, I am only in the law of life and Holy Spirit. i.e. we must not remain in accusations, because if we do so, we will have all sorts of problems, but we must totally accept God’s word and Holy Spirit’s conviction. Simply, point 3 is to restore understanding not to continue to be accused but fully accept what God says
(4) In this absolute problem (curse), God showed the only solution, which is Jesus Christ <Ge 3:15,21> <Jn 14:6> <Ac 4:12> => We have to restore the spirit of God-driven in the process of totally accepting God’s word and Holy Spirit’s conviction. This God-driven is the solution of how Jesus Christ came to earth for us, or how the gospel can come to us. We have to restore the understanding that God even "above-all" prepared salvation for us before we come to earth, to let us hear the gospel, so that we can believe and accept with no condemnations and accusations, so that God’s Spirit enters our spirit, continuing to accomplish His wonderful great works. In simple words, point (4) is to restore a spirit that knows the process or method to let God’s Spirit enters. This is a bit more difficult to grasp, but need to explain experience.
(5) Through believing and receiving Jesus Christ, we discover that we are God’s children, the Bible is the covenant that Father God gave us as well as all blessings <Jn 14:16-26> => since God entered my spirit, continuing to do great works, we have to restore the realization that we are actually God’s children of ambassadors, people of the covenant, remnants, who are called to realize God’s love and righteousness (whom few people in the world understands), so that in our spirit, there is a hunger to continue to receive and learn this eternal and pure life. Must restore a spirit of courage here, and no timidity, so that when we saw that we already died and God loved us so much to the extent of giving a purpose of life out of our own expectations, to repent and to resolute. In simple words, point (5) is to restore a spirit that responds to the devil and to God.
3) Why we must be born again? Why is the born again spirit so important?
Must get the people to understand why this spirit of born again is so important, to conclude the 5 points above. It is really important because without having born again spirit, so that a person let God’s word go into his or her spirit to understand, actually, he or she does not really understand God’s word at all. Only the blessed born again spirit can understand the actual meaning of God’s word in His Spiritual Matters
*** Food for thought:
(a) Are there any expectations from God to a child of God? Is it Holy Spirit correct to spread the message of just grace and loving kindness?
-> Because the bible speaks about evangelism and holiness, this kind of spirit in a message will cause serving, ministry and all lifestyle contents to become man-driven, i.e. people need to give “serving” to God. But God also expects from a child of God, because He loves His child! The child can feel he needs to respond to God because he is accused, but it is not wrong to feel indebted to God’s love, as it is just a natural reaction because there is a relationship between God the Father and himself. But the spirit of the Emmanuel message is to point out that, since this proves that there is a wonderful relationship, why should we feel indebted at all? But we can stand up, accept all of God’s blessings, hold our bodies straight and tilt our heads up towards heaven to ask that He gospelizes myself, family, church and the world.
(b) What is loving God?
-> Loving God is not JUST doing much ministry for God, so that people beside will see that you give a lot to God. Loving God is also not JUST saying “The Lord gives, therefore, I won’t ask Him for things, but I will just let Him provide for me every time”, thus having no “hope, faith, love” in prayers, as if prayers are not alive.
What then is loving God? The spirit of loving God is found in a person who continues to seek out how God has already loved him, because “the bible tells me so”, i.e. loving God is actually putting “being loved by God” as an absolute truth, so that even though it does not look like it, he continues to seek out all the evidences and facts that God loves him through all the conditions and background, and keeps on seeking God to show him how all these conditions and background are satisfactory to him. The person beside who sees these will really be moved to tears that this person really loves the Lord with His Holy Spirit.
=> We must really know what is the spirit of born again. This spirit can become so urgeful and contrite in the hunger to know God that sometimes, it looks as if it is man-driven, but is actually God-driven to see a person seeking God out fully with whatever he has. This is the spirit of the South Koreans churches that struck me when I visited Korea a few months back in March/April – they loved the Lord, so that they keep on saying that they are not enough, and there is a spirit of continuing to pray, and continuing to desire to do the deeds of God.
2. Because we are born again, we become alive to be affected by devil, so we need to respond to the devil
Therefore, preserving this purity and completeness is of absolute importance. It is very easy to lose the born again spirit. Plus, because there are real enemies on earth, we will respond either to the devil, or respond to God.
There are 4 things that cause us to lose the complete and pure born again spirit:
1) Accusations => go near to God and resist the devil, must receive assurance
2) If accusations continue –> numbness = I cannot one lah, I am not so blessed to RSYRJG lah => must be awakened by dangerous signal, must see 人的指头 appearing in the spirit, must see signal of "nothing happen even when we don’t fully accept God" as a dangerous signal.
3) If continue in numbness –> spirit of doubt will come in, so that doubt in all things will happen, and we will have less courage to take things as non-coincidental "must have God’s plan" in it = all things can’t go well and cannot see <Ro 8:28> all things work for good => must be alert to love God that God is full of abundant answers in my own conditions, without loving God, i.e. confirming that definitely He is with me, we definitely won’t see all things work for good and all things have answers. Cast demons, to use each piece of evidence to cast doubts back on what the devil is doing, and point confirmation reality back to Emmanuel God.
4) If continue in doubt -> stronghold or habit of cannot submit forms = cannot listen, cannot do good deeds of God, cannot kick some habits of sin => must be self-controlled and alert over time, over continued prayers and confirm God’s word for a period of time, then can be healed. Need 3 years of healing process (at the end, it has to produce a “believe soley and really on God’s word”, therefore, in the process, don’t just wait, explain using all sorts of angles and repetition, and confirmations, to prove, to let him remain in a fellowship atmosphere full of Emmanuel, so as to make him “believe”. Don’t say, “Aiyah, can only rely on prayers for him now”, but realize that you are there in this process to help him. You can help open his eyes each moment by clearing his accused heart to believe, e.g. go closer to church, etc, and make him have feelings towards God again and again.
With fighting confirmed, the born again spirit will continue to grow. Point to the fact that the spirit of born again person will respond to God and continue to ask for more.
3. Since born again, we become alive to respond to God
1) Format a "set of faith", an armour
What you formatted is your faith level. What you know about God’s word is your heart conscience. Continue to demolish and rebuild to increase faith level. Devil can only attack the realms where your faith level has not reached. Therefore, the need to increase your faith (continue to demolish and rebuild). Explain more to them here. I think they will be very interested in this.
2) Confirm what we formatted
Must experience God’s word in the spirit. We apply God’s word in daily living and don’t stop there. But in daily living experiences, we go back to our spirit to understand what God is doing ultimately to let me understand more of the gospel. What we have formatted and confirmed through the Spirit, we can never forget eternally, and there is effect forever! The devil cannot work here.
3) Discern and cast out demons by what we confirmed
Gradually, since we have a set of "living" faith that has been confirmed and impressed in our hearts, we will be more and more able to discern what is His voice in all things. E.g. during times of sins, be willing to die, have contrite spirit, see God still loves, then grab hold of thanks. E.g. when people scold you, see that the Holy Spirit is teaching you not to be affected first, see the bigger picture, cast out the bad spirit in them, understand their pitiful spirit, restore love for them. Etc… When we are careless and the devil comes with hints, because of what have impressed our hearts through format and confirmation, we will become swifter in realizing, and cast out demons immediately.
4) By casting out, God’s word will come in, impress and stick to our spirit forever, so that in all things even interpersonal, all receives the satisfaction of submission
All things prosper through the spirit that prospers. Remember you asked me if prosperity happens more and more to believers? Yes, holding on that God is alive, being totally satisfied in this explanation, we can see all things positive and give thanks. God also abides with this law of "all things prosper for those who love Him" to bless him, because He knows he can be trusted with the many things of earth, as he already knows Ecclesiastes – just play everything in the gospel.