How Should We Now Live? The Holy Spirit Empowers Christians After Jesus Christ ascended into Heaven, the disciples met daily for about ten days. They were meeting in the room where He celebrated His last Passover with them. On the tenth day, the Jewish feast of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit (God the Spirit) came to live in them and empower them for service. "And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language" (Acts 2:1-6). They spoke in actual human languages. Today, some movements claim to have the gift of tongues. Notice that the Apostles were understood by others as speaking actual human languages telling what Christ did for them. This is a key difference between these modern "tongues" and the genuine gift of tongues in Acts 2. The Holy Spirit indwells each person when he or she calls on God for salvation through Jesus Christ. As we saw last lesson: "And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness" (Romans 8:10). "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me" (Galatians 2:20). We who are born-again have His power to live victoriously. So, what does He expect us to do? First of all, we are to give public testimony that He saved our soul and join a local church. The First Step of Obedience: Baptism God wants us to declare our conversion from sin by being baptized in a local church. What is baptism? Baptism is being immersed (dunked) in water. Remember when John baptized Jesus? "And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water…" (Matthew 3:16). Bible baptism is the public testimony of a person who has repented of their sins, turning to Jesus for salvation. Baptism is a conscious act of obedience, not a ritual to be performed on infants or on behalf of others. Baptism does not save from sin. Jesus taught that believing God's Word comes before baptism. "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:" (Matthew 28:19). Consider the example God has given us in Acts chapter 8. Here a man named Philip, one of the first deacons, explains the gospel to an Ethiopian who then believes: "And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they were come up out of the water..." (Acts 8:36-39). Notice again that believing must come before baptism. Also, that Bible baptism is immersion in water. Why immersion? Because standing in the water, being laid back under the water, then standing back up pictures Jesus death, burial, and resurrection. "Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life" (Romans 6:4). What if you have already been baptized before you actually called on Christ as your Saviour? Or, what if you were sprinkled as an infant? Neither of these have any meaning if you were not born-again when they happened (obviously infants cannot choose Christ). Simply be baptized properly in a church that believes the Bible truths you learned here. The Second Step: Church Faithfulness When a person claims Christ Jesus' payment for their sin, they need to be baptized. By being baptized you are joining that church, in addition to declaring your salvation. "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls" (Acts 2:41). "Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved" (Acts 2:47). Acts 2:47 refers to the church in Jerusalem, and we see from Acts 2:41 that they were added by baptism, after they believed. So, how do you decide what church to be baptized in and join? The church you join should faithfully preach, teach, and believe all of God's Word. They will believe and teach just as you have learned in this study series. Also, they will be faithfully telling others about sin, Hell, and salvation by faith in Jesus Christ. Many Independent Baptist churches fit this description. When you visit a church, consider their attitude toward God's Word. If they are trying to explain away, or refuse to believe, parts of God's Word (such as God creating the world, Christ rising bodily from the dead) avoid them. "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them" (Romans 16:17). Also, if they believe and teach the truth, but do not discourage their members from sin (even encourage it), or if they do not reach out with the gospel to lost souls, avoid them too. "Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away" (II Timothy 3:5). Make it a priority to find a good church! Why attend church? Should you attend every service? Consider this truth: "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching" (Hebrews 10:25). Christians need church because they need to hear the messages from God's Word in order to grow, they need the encouraging fellowship of other Christians, and most importantly-God commanded it! You will find your church attendance to be some of the most blessed times in your life! Your Daily Life You will begin to want to please God, cease from sin, and obey Him. You will find that the rest of the world, even your own sinful flesh will fight against you. How do they fight against you? By encouraging you to sin and discouraging your efforts to do right. The Apostle Paul wrote about this struggle: "This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would" (Galatians 5:16-17). Aren't you glad that God's Word shows us human struggles and gives us solutions? So, how do fight sin and do right? We must walk in the Spirit. In other words, we must not yield to sin, but we must yield to God. Here is a list of some sins we've been saved from, and with which we must have nothing to do: "Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God" (Galatians 5:19-21). Instead, we must allow God's Spirit to work this fruit in us: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit" (Galatians 5:22-25). So, how do we walk in the Spirit? What does that mean? It means to keep our Spirit in tune with the things of God. We do that through two necessary behaviours-Bible Study and Prayer. Bible Study and Prayer When a believer studies the Bible and prays he gains the strength to do right, learns what is right, and refreshes his desire to do right. After all, that's why God preserved His Word for us! "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:" (II Timothy 3:16). God tells us to study His Word and learn to please Him. "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (II Timothy 2:15). So, when should a Christian seek refreshment in God's Word? Our Saviour gives us an example by His behaviour: "And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he [Jesus] went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed" (Mark 1:35). You will find as you study His word that many of His saints (a term that simply means saved people) sought His guidance and blessing early in the day. In addition to studying His Word, we ask Him for what we need. This asking, sharing, praising, and communing with God is called prayer. We can pray aloud or in our thoughts, God knows all. We can pray on our knees or behind the steering wheel. We must learn to walk with God throughout the day. "Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually" (1 Chronicles 16:11). "Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak" (Matthew 26:41). "Pray without ceasing" (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Telling Others We must tell others about Jesus. Christ commanded those who follow Him to do so: "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen" (Matthew 28:19-20). Now, go tell others what Christ has done! Don't keep this wonderful news of salvation from sin to yourself! How do you tell others? Look for opportunities to speak about Spiritual subjects such as sin, salvation, and God. When the right opportunities present themselves, take them. Give gospel literature to people. The gospel message as was summarized in lesson 14 is available in many forms and styles, such as pamphlets, to share with people. Many people have questions. They are confused by evolution, whether the Bible can be trusted, or whether truth can be known. They may need a lesson series like this one. You may be able to cause them to think by answering their questions. God can use you the more you live like Him and less in sin: "And beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it" (Acts 4:14). God has healed the Christian from sin's curse. Certainly as you begin to live differently others will notice. Ask God to help you, the Apostle Paul asked fellow Christians to pray for him: "Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you:" (2 Thessalonians 3:1). May God bless you and use you to win others to Christ! Thank You! So then, why are we here? To fellowship with God and bring glory to Him by doing His will. In Genesis, Adam lost fellowship with God. Through Christ, God's fellowship with His chief creation can be restored. This happens when we get saved and live according to His Word. If you have not trusted Christ's work for salvation, will you re-read lesson 14 right now and do so? If you have, please dedicate yourself to obey God and live for Him! Thank you for taking your valuable time to complete this course. Please write or call us if you would like further materials to help you grow in the Christian life. May God win your heart, train you , use you, and bless you!

Lesson #15 Review

1.How do we get the power to live the Christian life?

2.Why should a believer be baptized?

3.What should you look for in a church?

4.What daily struggle does a Christian face?

5.What is the only way a Christian can daily win this struggle?

6.How does a Christian learn what God expects?

7.Tell someone today what Jesus has done for them!