SPIRITUAL ANSWERS TO HARD QUESTIONS
(Answering Essential Questions About God
and the Power of Life in His Kingdom)
By Pat Roberson
"Spirit of Lust" by Fitz Houston
These crucial and interesting questions have been selected because of the frequency of their occurrence and the teaching value the answers provide. The are distilled from Answers to 200 of Life?s Most Probing Questions, c 1984 by Pat Robertson (Published by Thomas Nelson). Please visit this link often as questions will be added every few days.
What do I have to do to be saved? (John 3:3)
To be saved yo must turn away from sin, believe in the death and resurrection of Jesus, and receive Him as Lord and Savior of your life.
Here is the step-by-step process. First, you must consider your life and turn away from everything in it that is contrary to what God wants. This turning away form selfishness and toward God is called repentance (Matt.3:7-10; Acts 3:19).
Second, you must acknowledge that Jesus Christ died on the Cross to forgive you of sin. You take Him as your Savior to cleanse you from sin ? as the substitute who paid the price due for your sin (Rom.5:9,10; Titus 2:14).
Third, you must ask Him to be Lord of your life, acknowledge openly and verbally that Jesus is not only your Savior but your Lord. (1 John 2:23).
The Bible says that as many as received Him were given the power to become the sons of God (John 1:12). So when you open your heart and receive Him, He comes into your heart ? your inner person ? through His Holy Spirit, and begins to live His life in you. From that point it is your privilege and call to confess what God has done (Rom.10:9).
How do I receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit? (Acts 2:38-39)
You need to do a number of things in order to receive this blessing. First, you need to be born again. The person who is going to be filled with the Spirit must have the dwelling Spirit and must belong to Jesus (Rom.8:9).
The second thing you must have to do is ask. The Bible says, if we ask for the Holy Spirit, that prayer will be answered (Luke 11:8).
The third thing you have to do is surrender. The apostle Paul made this need clear in the Book of Romans when he said, ?Present your bodies a living sacrifice? (Rom.12:1).
Fourth, you must be willing to obey the Spirit. God does not give this power to someone and then say, ?You can take the part you like and leave the part you do not like.? If you want to be immersed in the Holy Spirit, you need to be prepared to obey the Spirit (Act 5:32).
Fifth, you need to believe. The apostle Paul said, ?Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith??(Gal.3:2) The answer, obviously, is faith. You have to believe that if you ask, you will receive.
Finally, you have to exercise what God has given you. Having asked, having received, having been willing to obey, and having believed, you need to respond in a biblical fashion.
The Bible says those baptized with the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost ?began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance? (Act 2:4)/ This means they spoke the words that the Spirit gave them. The Holy Spirit gave the words, but the apostles and disciples voluntarily responded. There was action based on faith, not merely passive acceptance of the blessing. That is the way it is with God. God is offering the baptism in the Holy Spirit to people who need only to reach out and take it and then enjoy the blessing.
How can I know God?s will? (Rom. 12:2)
The best way to know God?s will is to be familiar with the Bible. That is because virtually everything you need to know concerning the will of God is in the Bible. If you get to know God?s Word and understand it clearly, you can know the willl of God (Ps.119:6,7,9,105).
Another way you can know the will of God is through prayer, when you commune with God and learn what pleases Him. The Bible says,?Let the peace of God rule in your hearts? (Col.3:15). This means that the peace of God is like a regulator, so that when you violate the will of God, His peace leaves you and you have inner turmoil, immediately discovering you are going against God?s will. Knowing God?s Word and knowing the peace that comes about through a continuous relationship with Him are the best ways of knowing God?s will (John15:4).
It is also true, however, that God will show us His will through a number of other means. He will show us His will through godly counselors (Prov.19:20; 20:18; 24:6) We can also discern God?s speaking to us; or through visions or dreams (Is 1:1 ; Acts 2:17). He can reveal His will to us in many ways.
The key is to be sure that we are submitted to Him and are willing to do whatever He shows us. If we purpose to do His will, we will know His leading.
Finally, for people who seemingly are unable to discern God?s positive directions, I recommend ?negative? guidance. Say ?Father, I want Your will above all else. Please do not let me miss Your plan and purpose for my life.? Such surrender has the guarantee of His guidance (Prov.3:5-6).
How do I Pray for a miracle? (Matt. 17:20 )
When we are faced with a great need, either for ourselves or for other, we should begin by humbly seeking to know God?s will in the matter: ?Father, what do You want to do in this situation?? Jesus said, ?My Father has been working until now, and I have been working?(John 5:17). He listened to the voice of the Father, and He watched Him. Be careful not to start or end a prayer blindly, ?If it be Your will.? Rather, you should seek to know God?s will in the situation and then base your prayer upon it. Praying for a miracle is welcoming a gift of the Holy Spirit to manifest. When His will is to work one, He will witness that to your heart. Then you can ask Him to perform the miracle that you know He wants to bring about.
It is often important to exercise a key to the miraculous?spoken word. God has given us authority over disease, demons, sickness, storms and finances (Matt.10:1; Luke10:19) Often, we may keep asking God to act, when in fact, He calls us to employ His authority by our action with divinely empowered speech. Then we may declare that authority in Jesus? name: we may command needed funds to come to us, command a storm to be stilled, command a demon to come out, command any affliction to leave, command a sickness to depart.
Jesus said, ?Whoever says to this mountain, ?Be removed and be cast into the sea.? And does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says?(Mark 11:23). Believe in your heart that it has already happened! With the anointing of faith that God gives you, speak it forth. But remember, miracles come by faith in God?s present power, not by a ritual or formula of human works or will power.
CAN I LIVE A HOLY LIFE? (Matt. 5:8)
If it were not possible to live a holy life, God would not have commanded it. He said, ?You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy?(Lev.19:2) To be holy means to be separated to God. God?s nature itself defines holiness. Being set apart to God makes us holy.
We are not made holy by doing good things. We are made holy by faith in Christ, just as we are saved by faith. Little by little, as we grow and live with the Lord, we will become more like Him (2 cor.3:18).
As we look to the Lord Jesus, think about Jesus, study about Jesus, pray to Jesus, and seek to follow His example, we become like Him. We begin to think like Him and act like Him. We become like Him because we are set apart to Him. This is true holiness.
If you are a Christian, ten years form now your life should be considerably different from what it is now. Your motives and desires, as you draw closer to Him, should be continuously more holy.
Jesus said, ?Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God?(Matt.5:8). We can achieve a degree of purity in this life. It comes from God, as we grow closer to Him and are more like Him. Although perfection is not totally attainable in this life, it is something we should constantly strive toward and aim for, for Christian maturity and holy living constitute being a responsible son or daughter of God. Holiness is also practical. Mature holiness is seen people who have stopped being concerned about their own needs and pursuits and have entered into the global vision of their Father so that they may transform a hurting world. Holiness begets the maturity in which we go out as Christ?s agents in order to accomplish the aims of the Lord?s Prayer (Matt.6:10)
Wednesday, October 17, 2007