Three Things We are Given

Three Things We are Given
Pastor Stephen "Red" Shumate
July 30th, 2017
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3 Things We are Given

When we become a Christian, we are immediately given 3 things that are meant give us direction and guide us as Jesus works to transform us from living self-centered lives to living Christ-Centered lives.  And these three things are: The Holy Spirit, Scripture, Community.

Now, I realize that you probably already know about these things, but more often than not, as a pastor, I see is people trying to do life without using these things and when that fails THEN they end up using these things as a last resort. But these three things should be the very first thing we use.

1. The Holy Spirit
1 Cor 2:12-14
Now we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who comes from God, so that we may understand what has been freely given to us by God. 13 We also speak these things, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual things to spiritual people. 14 But the person without the Spirit does not receive what comes from God’s Spirit, because it is foolishness to him; he is not able to understand it since it is evaluated spiritually. 

The Holy Spirit is a teacher and interpreter.  So, as we grow in our faith, the Holy Spirit is going to teach us what we need to know and He is going to explain spiritual things to us. Without the Holy Spirit, we might as well be reading the Bible in a different language or looking at the world through dirty glasses.  But as Christians, the Holy Spirit shows us a different understanding of the world and explains things of the Bible to us.  And when we find ourselves in that situation where we don’t understand, then we need to seek answers and explanations from the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is a teacher and an interpreter, but He also does so much more… He guides us, He convicts us, He stirs in us, He works through us.  And today we are not going to explore all of these ways but ultimately what we need to know is that we are given the Holy Spirit to help us and guide us, as we go through our transformation from living a self-centered life to a Christ centered life.

BTW – remember, (as a Christian) the Spirit lives within you.  The Spirit is always with you…  You can’t get rid of Him… He is there. So, he is a resource that is with us 24/7.

2. Scripture
2 Timothy 3:16-17 
All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

Wow… did you know it could do all of this…

Scripture is profitable for teaching!!!  And if the Holy Spirit is our teacher, then scripture is our text book.  Those two go hand in hand.  And you cannot expect to get everything you need to know, from just 1 without the other.  Trust me I’ve tried.  In high school, I tried to never open a book and learn just by listening to teachers… and in college… there might have been a class or two I didn’t attend, but would try to learn everything I could just by reading the book…  In both cases, I was mediocre at best.  But this is not how we need to live our Christian lives.

There is a lot packed into these verses about scripture but at the end of the day, what these verses boils down to is scripture is what equips us for every good work.  Scripture also gives us the model for how to live.  Scripture gives us a way to defend ourselves against Satan.  Scripture is powerful…after all…it is God’s word.

So, if you feel lost and you feel you aren’t hearing what God wants for you… Read scripture…not just 1 day, not just 2 days, not just until you get direction… but always.  Study it, know it, learn it, live it.  It is a gift from God that shouldn’t collect dust.

3. We are given each other
James 5:16 -  
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is very powerful in its effect.

Proverbs 27:17 – 
Iron sharpens iron, and one person sharpens another.

Galatians 6:2 - 
Carry one another’s burdens; in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

These three scriptures clearly show us that community is important in helping us through the ups and downs of life.  It gives us 3 ways that our church family can be the help we need.

First of all, we can talk to one another about the temptations in our lives, so that they can pray for us and lift us up. Second, we are to listen and learn from one another…let our church friends challenge us in order to sharpen us and make us better. And third we are to give our burdens to the church.

But keep in mind this gift also come with responsibility.

First, we are to pray for one another so they may be healed.  Second, we are to challenge one another in order to sharpen them.  And third we are to carry other’s burdens.

There are times when we need to rely on this gift, and there are times when we are to be a part of the gift.

We are given these three gifts so we must… 
Treasure Them (as gifts from God), Understand them (know how they work in our lives), use them (put into practice).

My questions for you are… 
Where are you strong?  
Where are you weak?  
Which of these are you using?  
Which are you not?  
Have you been trying to do life without these gifts?

We Must Listen, we must Read, we must utilize…

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