Beth Moore - The Power of the Transformed Life
Romans chapter 8. My verses are 9 and 10, and they say this, "You, however, are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to him. Now if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit gives life because of righteousness". I'll go back to that one point again. "If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to him".
I want you to know my one goal for this message, just one, just one, and that is that it would be used of God, overtaken by God in such a way that every single one of us would far more greatly value that which is in us. My whole aim is that somehow our appreciation of this treasure that he has put within us would so skyrocket, that we would respond in such a way to yield to what the Holy Spirit wants to do, because I'm gonna tell you something. If you found out that you were carrying a child, there is a very strong sense of valuing what is in you.
I can tell you, having carried two children, that at all waking moments and probably even in my sleeping moments, even way before there was any kind of outward appearance to testify to the fact that I was carrying a child, I was constantly mindful of it. Constantly. I don't care what I was talking about. I don't care what TV show I was watching. I don't care what activity I was doing. I was aware at all times that there was this life inside of me. I mean, wouldn't even take that. If you simply swallowed your Aggie ring in your milkshake, you would realize you had swallowed something of value that was in you.
And let me tell you until somehow it was not in you, you would be thinking about, no matter who was talking to you, "I have an Aggie ring somewhere, somewhere in my intestines, somewhere". Because once we're mindful of the fact that we're carrying something that is of value, we're thinking about it, it's on our mind, we're responding to it, and yet we give so little thought, just naturally speaking, to the fact that if we are in Christ, the Spirit of Christ is in us.
Now, if we were looking at the Scriptures in such a way that it were an Instagram story and it was embedded in our stories, at this point we would see all manner of emoji, all sorts of fireworks. There would be all manner of thing going on in that story when we got to this point in the Scriptures, because something huge takes place here doctrinally, something you need to know, something I need to know and be aware of every single day of our lives. Because the entire premise of this part of Romans chapter 8 is this, a very, very simple kind of equation: the Spirit of God equals the Spirit of Christ. We find out through the inspiration of God, through the pen of the apostle Paul, that that Spirit of God all along has been the Spirit of Christ.
What I'm mostly gonna do with you over this half hour is that I'm gonna read Scripture to you, and what I'd love for you to do, if you would, please, because you will be able to recall every bit of this lesson later on if all you do is take down the references of every Scripture I'm either gonna read to you or I'm gonna turn you to. If you will take them down and you will look at them later, you will be able to recount every single bit of this. And what I want you to write down that I'm not gonna have you turn to right now is 1 Peter 1, verses 10 and 11. 1 Peter 1, verses 10 and 11. And listen to where it's going to come in, 'cause what is my point? Okay, the Spirit of God is what? Tell me, the Spirit of what? Okay, let me say it again. The Spirit of? Is also the Spirit of? All right.
So, I made the point that it always has been. It didn't just suddenly change with the New Testament era. It always had been, and this is one way I'm gonna tell you that this is provable in the Scriptures. 1 Peter 1:10 and 11, "Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating".
So, the prophets of the Old Testament, as they were prophesying about the grace that would be given, that we know of as the cross of Christ, the power of his resurrection, and the coming of his Holy Spirit, he said, "The Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things that angels long to look into".
So, all along, every single time you see the Spirit acted from the very beginning of Scripture, that is the Spirit of Christ. It is the Spirit of Christ. Galatians 4:6 says it as well. It says, "And because you are sons," because we are the children of God, "God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, 'Abba! Father!'"
I do want you to turn with me to John chapter 14, because I want you to see that he is going to tell them of this miraculous promise that is coming to them that they cannot even fathom. But you and I get to, and if we would value it how different would our lives be if we really understood, wait a second, because I have trusted Christ, in the moment that I did his very Spirit took up residency in me, and that the Holy Scriptures say at that point I was completely sealed. You were completely sealed until the day of our redemption, and that is when we are in his presence.
Nothing can get in because the Holy Spirit lives in us. We cannot be possessed by any other spirit but the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit also is not going to leave nor forsake us. So, these are huge principles in the Word of God, and I want you to see in John chapter 14. I wanna read verses 15 through 20. So, it says, "If you love me, you will keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever. He is the Spirit of truth".
Now, he's talking about himself. He's already said to them, "I am the truth. I am the way. I am life to you". And so he's referring to the Spirit. He said, "He is the Spirit of truth. The world is unable to receive him because it does not see him or know him. But you do know him, because he remains with you and will be in you". Hold up with that. "I will not leave you as orphans; I'm coming to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me. Because I live, you will live too. And on that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you". I want you to also see 25 and 26 that say this. "I have spoken these things to you while I remain with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you".
Now, just in those few verses look at what he's told us about him. So, what he said to them is, "The Spirit of truth has been with you, but he is about to be in you". I don't know if you like to mark up your Bible, but if you do, those are words you want to circle. He remains with you, and he will be in you. He said to them in John 16, verse 7, listen, "It is for your good that I'm going, because if I do not go away, I cannot send the Holy Spirit to you. But if I go, I will send him to you". This is the difference between what you see of the disciples, who had their really brilliant moments and then fumble all over the place, where at one point Peter is confessing, "You are the Messiah, the Son of God," and the next moment he's rebuking Jesus, rebuking him, is denying him three times.
What is the difference between when Jesus had been beside them and when his Spirit was inside of them? All the difference in the world, and it's the same kind of difference as we have. But I wanna suggest to you we are walking as those who may be next to him somehow but do not have his very Spirit abiding within us. He dwells with you, but he will be in you. Now look with me at Acts 1:8, and this is another chapter I do want you to go with me to. You're right there toward the end of John. Go to Acts 1. Verse 7 in Acts 1. "It is not for you to know times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth".
The New Testament Scripture could not make a bigger deal of the Holy Spirit, couldn't make a bigger deal of him, nor could Christ himself under the inspiration also, nor could the apostle Paul. I mean, I'm telling you that Christ is saying over and over again to them, "Listen, I'm investing all of this in you, and I'm gonna pour out the promise of my Father on you". The apostle Paul comes in behind it under the inspiration, the self-same Spirit of Christ himself, and he says, "You'll be gifted by the Spirit, live by the Spirit, walk by the Spirit, be led by the Spirit, keep in step with the Spirit, produce the fruit of the Spirit, be filled with the Spirit".
I wanna show you something. You're in Acts 1. Go to Acts 2 with me and go to verses 32 and 33. "God raised this Jesus; and we are all witnesses of this. Therefore, since he has been exalted to the right hand of God and has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit, he has poured out what you both see and hear". I came to do the will of my Father. My food is to do the will of my Father. And you know, when you're filled with his Spirit, when his Spirit is empowering you, you will know that satisfaction, because there are things that will happen when you realize you've been used of God. And you'll know that no meal could have done that for you. That something about it you just say, "I can't believe that just happened". I mean, God caused that encounter and something just happened there that I know could not have been of me, and it's just a work of the Spirit. And you'll know that, kinda like, man, that's food to me, that's drink to me.
I'm gonna tell you something. Do we honestly imagine that if in Luke 15 the prodigal's father was gazing at the horizon, gazing into the distance for the first glimpse of his sinful, wayward son to come home, that the Father of the Prince of heaven and earth and the sinless Savior of the world was not gazing, awaiting the grandest entrance of all eternity? I just cannot imagine that it was not ceremonial.
Ephesians 1. It's so hard for me, I need to start at 19, but I can't do it, so I'm gonna start at 15. "This is why, since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, I never stop giving thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, would give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened so that you may know what is the hope of his calling, what is the wealth of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the mighty working of his strength".
And it says, then, "That he exercised this, this he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places", listen to this, "far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all".
Now, Ephesians, in several occasions, remember in Ephesians chapter 3 when he said, "That you may know the breadth and length and height and depth and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge"? There is so much that has a spatial orientation in the book of Ephesians. You're meant to feel the building of it. You're meant to sense that there is this boundless space and somehow Christ is filling all of it. That it's infinite, that it has no boundaries, and yet the knowledge and love of Christ fill all of it. He fills all of what is endless. How do we wrap our minds around such a thing? And it's giving us that sense. Ephesians 4 says it too. It says that when he ascended on high, and it's calling back an Old Testament psalm. "When he ascended on high he led a host of captives and gave gifts to men". It says when he ascended.
When he descended, what does it mean? That he also ascended far above all the heavens. So, he who had come to Earth then ascended, and it's giving us the feeling that when they saw him take off from the Mount of Olives... I want you to picture this, 'cause we hear this kinda stuff. We've been raised on this kinda stuff, and then we think about it again and just try to wrap your mind around the weirdness of it. You're standing with Christ. He's told you, "Wait right here for the promise of my Father". He blesses them, and then he just, like, lifts off the mountain. We just act like that's normal. We just read about the Ascension and go, "You know, Christ was ascended". No, like, they were like. I mean, here's his feet just, like, dangling in the sky. I mean, up, up he goes. They're just, like, standing straight up.
We know that because the angel says in Acts chapter 1, "Why do you men stand there and stare into the sky? The one who is gone, just as you've seen him go, you will see him come again". And it even tells us, Zechariah 14 even says he will come to the very Mount of Olives where he left. That's how specific it is. They just watch him, and a cloud enfolds him. It just takes him up, so we've got this whole idea. I mean, just like didn't all of a sudden just, like, appear in heaven. He is ascending because he... as he is ascending, I mean, it is just all filled up with his glory, because he has finished what he came to do. And I mean he's just like, he's going far above all rule and authority and power and dominion and above every name that is named. Not only in this age, but the one to come.
"He put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all". And we're meant to be awed. We're meant to be awed. Remember, Acts 2 when it says, and 33, "Therefore, since he has been exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit, and he has poured out what you both see and hear". So, I just wonder, I'm just getting you thinking, 'cause I don't know. I think when we get there... It doesn't mean we just imagine anything and teach it. That's not what I'm saying. All that we know for sure is what is in the Scriptures in black and white, but when we get there, when we see him face to face, it will not be that we had too much imagination. We will never have had nearly enough. It's gonna be the wildest thing that we have ever heard, how this all worked together, but it says he receives from his Father the promised Holy Spirit, so I just have to wonder.
So, if indeed there was a grand homecoming, a grand reception for him, and he's seated. I mean, he's seated at the right hand of God. He's finished the work, and he receives from his Father the promise, third member of the Trinity. It's the Holy Spirit, which we know is the Spirit of God, who's also the Spirit of who? Christ. And he pours him out. I think that is ceremonial. He is waiting to the exact right day, the exact right moment, his timing. He's not only God of time. He is the God of timing.
And then it says in Acts chapter 2, verse 1, "When the day of Pentecost had arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly a sound like that of a violent rushing wind came from heaven, and it filled the whole house where they were staying. And they saw tongues like flames of fire that separated and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them. There were Jews staying in Jerusalem, devout people from every nation under heaven. And when the sound occurred, a crowd came together and was confused because each one heard them speaking in his own language. And they were astonished, saying, 'Look, aren't all these who are speaking Galileans? 'How is it that each of us can hear them in our own language?'"
Peter gets up and explains it to 'em in one of the mightiest sermons you will ever find in all of Scripture. Spend time poring over the sermons of Scripture. The history we will learn, but it comes to a very climactic point in verse 41 of Acts chapter 2, where it says that "those who accepted his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand people were added to them". Three thousand people were added to them.
I want you to think of it like this, just in very, very simple and crude, modern imagery. Acts chapter 2 was the birthday of the church. It was born on that day when the promised Holy Spirit was received by the Son, who had done the will of the Father, was at the right hand of God, and when the perfect moment came he poured out the Holy Spirit. And it was described as tongues of fire, tongues like flames of fire that separated and rested on each one. Think of it this way: Jesus lit the candles on the birthday cake of the church. Those candles were people, church, the cornerstone Jesus Christ built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets. We could have all sorts of debates on speaking in unknown languages.
I wanna talk to you for a moment about a known language. We can argue all day long about the other, but I am gonna tell you there is no accident that he said, "My power will be in you, and you will be my witnesses," because part of the Holy Spirit's job is to testify of Jesus Christ. You have it in you to witness. You have it in you to tell the story of Jesus Christ. No matter what your gifting may be, whether your spiritual gifting is speaking or some kind of communication or not, each one of us is meant to be able to tell the story of Jesus Christ, how we came to know him, what he's done for us, what the Scripture says about him. That we testify with our lives, and we testify with our loves, but we're also able to testify with our tongues.
Oh, I still believe in tongues of fire. Oh, I still believe in tongues of fire. I still believe in the power of spoken words. Does anybody believe in the power of spoken words? And not the kind of fire that burns and scorches, but the kind of fire that lights up a place. In Ephesians 3:20, oh my goodness. We have all, many of us, quoted this verse so many times, and we should, it's so beautiful. But I want you to listen carefully to what it's saying. "Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all we ask or think, according to the power at work within us," within us, "to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen".
Listen carefully to me. Listen carefully. You and I want miracles, signs, and wonders so badly. I do too. I do too. That's not to put any condemnation on anybody. That doesn't make you weak, immature, superficial. Oh, I ask him constantly, "Renew your wonders in our day". But when he is talking about a power that is far more abundantly than all you could even think to ask, it is in the context of a power that is within people.
I want you to understand, because it would be a game changer for us if we understood that the biggest wonder that God wants to perform in this New Testament age, in the age of the church is us. Us. It is the transformation of people. Yes, he could do all the healing. Yes, he could do all the circumstantial changes. He could do every single bit of that, and we might be changed for ten minutes or maybe ten years, but what he wants to testify through is the power of a transformed life.