August 25, 2021

Dear Friends,

There are four commands in scripture relating to the Holy Spirit. Two are positive. Two are negative. Two things we are commanded to do, and two things we are never to do.

One of the positive commands is for us to be filled with the Spirit. In Ephesians 5, the Bible says we are not to be drunk with (controlled by or under the influence of) wine, but instead, we are to be filled with (or controlled by or under the influence of) the Holy Spirit.

That’s what being filled with the Holy Spirit is. It’s having the Holy Spirit directing or controlling or influencing your attitudes, your words and your actions. When the Holy Spirit is in control of our actions and our attitudes, our lives bring glory to God and reflect His desires and His purposes.

Being filled with the Spirit is not a one and done event. It’s something that happens over and over and over and over again in our lives as believers. It’s a choice we make every day, throughout our day. We decide that we want God’s Spirit to take God’s word and use it to control or govern our lives.

The second positive command is found in Galatians 5:16, where we are told to walk by the Spirit. It’s a different way of expressing what it means to have the Holy Spirit in control of your life.

How do you know if you’re walking by the Spirit? Gal. 5:16 says that when we walk by the Spirit, we will not gratify the desires of the flesh. The passage goes on to outline what the desires of the flesh look like, and then contrasts those carnal desires with the fruit of the Spirit. If you are walking in the Spirit, the fruit of the Spirit will be on display in your life.

Here’s a good diagnostic question. Are godly virtues like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control increasingly present in your life? Would others say that about you? Are you aware of it?

Walking by the Spirit and having the fruit of the Spirit increasingly present in your life happens as we spend more time with Jesus – in His word, in prayer, in worship, in fellowship with other believers, and in service to others. As we abide in the vine (John 15) and discipline ourselves for the purpose of godliness (1 Timothy 4:7), fruit will grow.
As for the negative commands regarding to the Holy Spirit, the first is that we must not grieve the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30). That command is tucked away inside a passage that instructs us let no “corrupting talk” come out of our mouths. We are to speak to others in ways that are good for building up, that fit the occasion, and that give grace to those who hear. So how we speak to others can grieve the Spirit of God.

But it doesn’t stop there. The passage goes on to say that the Spirit is grieved when we harbor bitterness, wrath, anger and malice. The Sprit is grieved when we stir up strife or slander others. Instead, we’re told, we are to “be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:29-32).

Do you speak graciously and kindly to others? Are you hanging on to any anger and bitterness against anyone? Are you unwilling to forgive someone who has offended you? If so, you are grieving the Holy Spirit.

The final negative command is “do not quench the Spirit.” That’s found in 1 Thess 5:19.

How do you quench the Spirit? Again, the context tells us. The passage goes on to say that we are not to “despise prophecy.” Quenching the Spirit involves ignoring or rejecting or despising God’s word. God’s word is like a scalpel in the hand of the Great Physician. God’s Spirit takes God’s word and applies it to our lives. When we reject or ignore or minimize God’s word in our lives, we are pouring cold water on the fire of the Spirit.

Would you say you are a student of God’s word? Do you read it, meditate on it and memorize it? Do you let the word of Christ dwell in your richly? Do you speak to others in Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs and make melody in your heart to the Lord?

All four of these commands have a singular objective – to stir us to find our delight, our hope, our joy, our purpose and our very life in Jesus. As J. I. Packer puts it, “The Spirit’s message to us is never, ‘Look at me; listen to me; come to me; get to know me,’ but always, ‘Look at him, and see his glory; listen to him, and hear his word; go to him, and have life; get to know him, and taste his gift of joy and peace.’”

Kevin DeYoung agrees. He says “to know nothing of the Holy Spirit is a serious mistake. But… the Holy Spirit is not waiting in the wings to be noticed and lauded. His work is not to shine brightly before us, but to shine a light on the glory of Christ. To behold the glory of God the Father in the face of Jesus Christ the Son is not to sideline the Holy Spirit; it is to celebrate his gracious work among us.”

What needs to happen in your life today to move you to be filled with and to walk in step with the Holy Spirit? What can you do to make sure you are not grieving or quenching Him with your life?
This Sunday is a big day at church as we look ahead at some of what we believe God has in store for us as a church this fall and into 2022.

Sunday morning, our worship service will focus on why God calls us together to be part of a spiritual family in the first place. And we’ll spend time looking at some of our family plans for the year ahead of us.

And then, Sunday afternoon… ready… wait for it… Sunday afternoon, parents and children (0-18 years old) will gather back at church at 4:00 for games and activities, safely served, individually packaged helpings of ice cream, and time to fill everyone in on some of the big things we have in store for children and students this year. Childcare will be available. Matt, Jen and I will all be on hand to share more about our vision and our goals for our kids.

One of the things we have planned for parents this fall is an eight week Art of Parenting class, starting Sunday morning September 12.

Since your kids are already wide awake early on Sunday mornings, you can bring them to church early (8:30 am). While we keep them entertained and occupied, you and other parents can be part of the class led by Randall and Cyndi Van Den Berghe.

Registering for the Art of Parenting class is easy. Each person – both a husband and wife – need to register separately. This link will take you right to the online registration page where you can reserve your manuals ($5 each) and let us know how many kids you’ll be bringing with you (so we can plan for child care).
Our very first FIRST TUESDAY men’s gathering is just around the corner.

Tuesday night, September 7 at 7:00 pm, we’ll meet to hear from Dr. Stephen Nichols about how what the Bible tells us about our jobs.

And here’s a look at what we have planned for all of our FIRST TUESDAYs over the next nine months.If you’ve been checking Redeemer out and think you might want to know more about what it means to become a member at our church, our next New Members Class happens on Saturday morning, September 11 at 9:00 am at churchCheck out the information below to learn more \about the Redeemer Women’s Bible Study that starts Monday night September 13 (in person at church) and again Tuesday afternoon, September 14 (on Zoom) if enough are interested.. The fall study will explore Paul’s first and second letters to the church at Thessalonica.

Our children matter. That’s why we want to ask you to choose a couple of dates between now and the end of the year to sign up for child care on Sunday morning.

Here’s a link to sign up easily. Signing up usually works better on a computer instead of a mobile device, especially if you’re signing in for the first time. If you get stuck trying to sign up, text Jen specific dates and she will take care of everything for you (859-771-6580).

They didn’t have a church building. They didn’t have any seminary trained pastors. They didn’t have a spotless clean nursery or a website or a logo. But the first Christians had everything they needed to be a church. We’ll explore the essentials that made them collectively the body of Christ in Jerusalem, just weeks after the resurrection of Jesus.

See you in church.

Soli Deo Gloria!
Pastor Bob

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