By the Spirit '23 - Part 3

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Our Goal: Living By the Spirit in ‘23

Zechariah 4:6 NKJV
6 So he answered and said to me: “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ Says the Lord of hosts.

Week 1: Changing Our Perspective of Christ

Week 2: Seeing the Glory of God

Tonight: The Well Women’s Bible Study will be talking about How the Spirit Leads Us to Pray
Wednesday Bible Studies are focusing on the Spirit of God being active in our daily lives.

Being Led By the Spirit

The example of Christ:
Luke 4:1 NKJV
1 Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,
Going back to a scripture we read last week:
Romans 8:12–14 NKJV
12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
Galatians 5:17–18 NKJV
17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

1) We must stop compartmentalizing the Spirit.

'Spiritual' according to Oxford Dictionaries:
“Relating to or affecting the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things.”
In this definition, spiritual is seen as the opposite of material or physical. It is a segment of life that sometimes needs more attention. If everything out there is just stuff, just something you can touch, then maybe it's just quite empty.
Everything is Spiritual
Paul’s sermon at Mars Hill:
Acts 17:27 NKJV
27 so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us;
Colossians 3:17 NKJV
17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
Romans 14:7–8 NKJV
7 For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. 8 For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.
1 Corinthians 6:19–20 NKJV
19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

God hates it when we confine Him to a box.

The Spirit mentions this separatist doctrine three times in Revelation chapter 2:
Revelation 2:6 NKJV
6 But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
Revelation 2:14–15 NKJV
14 But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality. 15 Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.
Word Meanings
The word, Nicolaitans, means to be victorious over the people, that is, to conquer the people or laity.  It is a combination of two Greeks words: nikos, to conquer and laos, the people or laity.
Strong's # 3534 nikos (nee'-kos); from 3529; a conquest (concretely), i.e. (by implication) triumph: KJV — victory. (DIC)
Strong's # 2992 laos (lah-os'); apparently a primary word; a people (in general; thus differing from 1218, which denotes one's own populace): KJV — people. (DIC)
It is instructive that "the doctrine of Balaam" is mentioned with "the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes." Balaam is a Hebrew word having a meaning similar to the Greek word, Nicolaitanes.  Balaam means to "destroy the people."  It is a combination of two Hebrew words: bala, to destroy and am, a people.
Strong's # 1104 bala` (baw-lah'); a primitive root; to make away with (specifically by swallowing); generally, to destroy: KJV — cover, destroy, devour, eat up, be at end, spend up, swallow down (up). (DIC)
Strong's # 5971 `am (am); from 6004; a people (as a congregated unit); specifically, a tribe (as those of Israel); hence (collectively) troops or attendants; figuratively, a flock: KJV — folk, men, nation, people. (DIC)
The similarity of the Greek word, Nicolaitan, to the Hebrew word, Balaam, is noted in A.R. Fausset, The Critical and Expository Bible Cyclopaedia.
Michaelis explains Nicolas (conqueror of the people) is the Gr. for the Heb. Balaam (destroyer of the people, bela'am)
The doctrine of the Nicolaitans and Balaam is a doctrine of compartmentalization.
Is is two-fold:

First, it compartmentalizes people.

What began with the deeds of the Nicolaitanes during the period of the Ephesian Church soon developed into a doctrine during the period of the Pergamos church.  Afterwards, Thyatira arose and gave full expression to the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, an evil that the Lord Jesus Christ hates.  It is men dividing and seeking lordship over the assembly of God.
Some take care of “Spiritual” things, some take care of “earthly” things according to this false teaching.

We are all His ministers.

Ephesians 4:11–13 ESV
11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,
2 Corinthians 5:18–20 NKJV
18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. 20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.
Ephesians 2:19–22 NKJV
19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.
Second, this false doctrine compartmentalized life.
In the very long treatise on heresies, a treatise of 252 pages of small type, Irenaeus wrote very little on the Nicolaitanes.  His meager discussion of the Nicolaitanes is as follows,
The Nicolaitanes are the followers of that Nicolas who was one of the seven first ordained to the diaconate by the apostles.  They lead lives of unrestrained indulgence.  The character of these men is very plainly pointed out in the Apocalypse of John, [when they are represented] as teaching that it is a matter of indifference to practise adultery, and to eat things sacrificed to idols.  Wherefore the Word has also spoken of them thus: "But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate."
William Kelly wrote the following,
The essence of Nicolaitanism seems to have been the abuse of grace to the disregard of Christian or even moral practice. ... When persons maintain that unholiness may be tolerated because no man is free from sin, it is Antinomianism; and I believe it to be the very principle of the Nicolaitans. 8
Hamilton Smith held the same view as William Kelly,
This, again, opened the door to Nicolaitanism, which apparently was the Antinomian doctrine that held the practical life of godliness to be of little account, seeing the believer is justified by faith.  This was turning the grace of God into lasciviousness. 9
Recount story of Balaam:
He couldn’t curse Israel, so he taught them to gratify the flesh. If it feels good, do it. And thus, they cursed themselves.
Because Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, they separated body and spirit, believing that we could never be free from sin in our body so it was OK to live by any and every desire of the flesh.
Matthew 5:17 NKJV
17 “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.
The Spirit of Christ in us raises the standard rather than abolishing it.
Matthew 5:27–28 NKJV
27 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
The Spirit of God want to be in every part of your life!
Ephesians 4:10–11 NKJV
10 He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.) 11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,
Ephesians 4:12 NKJV
12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,
Ephesians 4:13 NKJV
13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;

2) You are led where you are fed.

John 4:32 NKJV
32 But He said to them, “I have food to eat of which you do not know.”
John 4:32 AMP
32 But He assured them, I have food (nourishment) to eat of which you know nothing and have no idea.
Romans 8:12–14 NKJV
12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

In other words, what you are feeding is what will be leading.

Titus 2:11–14 NKJV
11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.
Ephesians 2:10 NKJV
10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
Matthew 6:28 NKJV
28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin;
Matthew 6:29–33 NKJV
29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
Romans 12:1–2 NKJV
1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Jude 20 NKJV
20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit,
Jude 21 NKJV
21 keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
Acts 2:46–47 NKJV
46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.
We feed the Spirit through:
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