The Dove Bible Study


Bringing Glory To God Is Your Goal

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THE NATURE OF GODíS PRESENCE

 

GOD DESIRES INTIMACY

 

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od is Spirit and a personable being meaning He did not isolate us from Himself.  The Holy Spirit is constantly reaching down to humanity.  As His creation we may not think so depending on past experience.  However it is mankindís enemy Satan that deceived our ancestors originally in mankindís fall from grace and still leads men astray.  Through the act of Godís will, He chose us to believe in Him by whatever ways and means He decided to approach our hearts. (Rom. 10:5,10).  God reestablishes communication with us through creation and His Word through Ďpreachersí or gospel workers.  Sometimes in a supernatural way God gets our attention.  When this happens we often refer to this as a miraculous chain of events.  God does have a plan for us.

          God always dealt with humanity through personal relationships.  The patriarchs are the best example.  When He established the covenants with men He discipled them and formed a community of believers, not unlike a local church of the first century.  Jesus always ministered to people as individuals too.  The Holy Spirit is currently provoking us unto godliness on a personal level or you would not be reading this work.  The Holy Spirit provokes us before we are drawn to Christ to pursue ĎThe Wayí which leads us unto regeneration, the rebirth - thus Holiness.

Our God reaches out requiring a level of personal accountability to Him and personal responsibility at our conscious level.  God gave us a conscience to discern right and wrong.  We know in ourselves to do right, and by not doing right in our relationships, we sin against one another and God.  If we truly knew God, sinning would be like asking for a divorce.

          As image bearers, God created us in His likeness.  We have body, soul, and spirit.  Therefore God is not willing to allow us to blame others for our personal relationship or lack of one with Him.  God can establish a relationship with a young child or a feeble old person.  The New Covenant bases our relationship on the redemptive work of Christ.  Once God establishes our relationship 'in Christ', we know the Holy Spirit will be faithful to complete the work of sanctification.  We are to openly cooperate in this intimate relationship while working with the Holy Spirit to do God's will. 

          Intimacy with the Holy Spirit will happen when true communion occurs between Him and the individual.  There may be a physical experience, differing sensations, when there is perfect harmony.  The framework that opens the door to reach such intimacy is dependent on several relevant factors.  The foundation for communication must be understood from person to person.  In this case spirit to spirit for true intimacy to occur.  True communion is always confirmed through Godís Word.  This communion with God is part of the New Covenant.  The fruit of the Holy Spirit produces the peace that surpasses all understanding and harmony with God.  Through Godís effort in Christ we are able to exchange ideas, concepts, feelings, and beliefs.  We actually understand the will of God for our life Ďin Christí.  In light of the truth a person comes to grips with the realization of being a spiritual creation in a body.  The spirit of man is the life force and will return to God one day soon.

          We may learn through the church, or, preferably one of our parents, how to communicate with God.  When a person learns to relate to the members as part of one body the church personally connects with each other.  Then, understanding that they are united in Christ, they will be able to relationally communicate with one another.  Soon we learn to recognize the character of Godís Spirit.  When individuals recognize the truth, they can accept each other's personal mannerisms.  There are infinitesimal differences in the way people think and communicate.  However, there is unity in Christ and as the common ground to defeat the enemies of God.  Acceptance is important to almost every individual helps establishing true intimacy when we desire a relationship.  We are all part of a new creation with God as our Father.  So there is plenty of common ground to build upon.

          Through His plan of redemption God invites individuals to be Ďborn againí of His Spirit to be given a renewed heart and spirit.  Acceptance of us as an individual by God is a key factor to understanding the language of grace.  God gives us a sense of worth to Himself. 

When the revelation of the Holy Spirit exposes the true nature of our inner man we tend to run.  For intimation to be a spiritual experience, a person must come to a knowledge of his spirit (true nature).  They must be re-parented to their true Father, God.  For intimacy to occur, two or more individuals must comprehend the meaning of each other's motive and intent of their hearts so that their spirits may communicate as one.  This is one reason Jesus came into this world so that we may be one with the Father, Son, Holy Spirit and each other.

 

GRACE, THE LIGHT OF GOD IN MY HEART
 

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race is a gift, as is salvation. They are received through the workings of God.  He often expresses His love for mankind through individuals using the Word of God as their light to a narrow road.  As one of Godís children, He calls us to be a light unto the world.  When the light draws anyone to God, it is because weíve shared Jesusí life.  We are to be channels of His revealed love through our testimony of the sanctifying blood of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ.

Jesus is the light of the world and we reflect His light through our lifestyles just as the moon reflects the light of the Son.  Would it do much good if I ran around and told people I was a light?  Probably not!  If they havenít seen the light in my dependence upon God, I donít really have anything to offer.  If the light isnít in my heart and giving me life I donít have anything to offer.  People see right through people who arenít living the life that God intends - an abundant life.  Before God comes into our life we are dying a slow death.

When we die to ourselves and let Jesus live through us then we have something to offer.  We can take a risk and become vulnerable letting our life become transparent.  The darkness of our past fades into the seas of forgiveness and the life of Jesus begins to shine through us.  When our co-crucified life reflects the life of Jesus being lived through us the peace of God will flood our soul and His light will shine like a beacon on a hill.  The greater the likeness of Godís obedient Son we reflect the more evidence the prism of Godís manifold grace there will be and His light in us will draw all men unto Himself.

God gave us spiritual life.  He gives us the eternal life of Jesus.  The direct result of the Holy Spirit working in us through His Word is His witness to Jesus life being lived through us.  Jesus is the light in us that will draw His own unto Himself.  Every wannabe believer can embrace the love of God reveled in us as the witness to our Lord Jesus Christís atonement for our sins and He drew us unto the Throne of Grace.

The religions of the world are the result of mankindís search for God.  Jesus Christ is Godís answer.  He is love revealed through the Word of God and manifested through the gifts and workings of the Holy Spirit to the church.  Every believer is a member of the body of Christ and expresses their belief, trust or faith in God through a daily walk.  We may grow daily in their understanding of His Word and relationship with Him.  When we surrender to Jesus, His life lives through us.  This is an acceptable gift of thanksgiving to God.  In doing so our family and friends will come to know Godís love and be drawn to His light through us.  This is hard and fast Christianity: Christ is my life.  Nothing else satisfies.

          Yes, we have an obligation, not of compulsion, but of love, to share Jesus life.  Who would deny another who doesnít know Jesus as their Lord, Savior and Life?  Godís love compels us to share Jesus with others.  God called and chose us to worship Him in Spirit and truth through our praise and thanksgiving.  It is Godís only requirement for the gift of eternal life.  All we are to do is testify to the truth and thank and praise Him for all He does.

Praise and thanksgiving are the gifts we can offer Him from our heart, which actually originates from Him in the first place.  When we accept the responsibility to praise and worship God, He leads those who will entreat the message of salvation to us.  As we learn to trust God, we have an opportunity to share the riches of His grace and mercy with others.  God prepares their hearts so we do not have to force feed people as some do.  God is the one who opens the doors of the heart.  We now have the opportunity before us to walk with God Ďin Christí and enter into a rest from doing in order to be acceptable in Godís presence.

          Can we fail?  No!  Have we failed?  No, we havenít!  God hid our lives 'in Christ' and He accepts the responsibility for our growth and disciplines us too.  He is our Father and Jesus is the Author and Finisher of our faith.  Jesus did and He does His part and He expects us to do our share.  We are responsible for our willingness to accept change, transformation.  Growth can be painful but mostly to our pride.  God does not want us to try to earn the gift.

This may be the Ďlostí commandment, or perhaps the most under-taught message of the walk.  ďGrace is my work.  Stop working to gain my approval.  It is finished!Ē - God

          In other words, when we quit trying to do it, grow on our own, we will succeed.  Yes!  Jesus will live and shine through us.

God desires to be all things to each one of us.  ĎChrist is my lifeí is accomplished by the power and authority of the Holy Spirit working and living through us.  We begin by learning to surrender every facet of our life to Jesus.  Then He is able guide us every step of ĎThe Wayí.  When we surrender and give Him our hearts, the Holy Spiritís voice will become clear.  Godís personal direction for our lives always aligned with the Scriptures, the Bible.  So donít become dismayed, He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it.  Amen. 

 

EMBRACING GODíS WILL

 

Someone once told me, ĎLet go and let God!í.  No!  I do not agree with this idea.  This may convey the message that we do not have personal responsibility.  Maybe thatís why we have so many Ďcommittedí Christians that do not do anything for the Kingdom of God.   The point correctly describes the surrendered life only when the church is to participate in spiritual war.  The battle is the Lordís!  We ask in prayer.  Angels do the work.

We are the body of Christ.  We have different gifts and we minister in different ways to serve in an other-centered community.  As individuals Jesus calls us to express His love to the world and wrestle against spiritual enemies.  God will reveal the fullness of His love when we surrender our self-reliant nature.  We continually learn to allow Christ to live through us.  This will only happen by faith and if we will lay down our self-life will Jesus live through us.

          Will you follow Jesus to the point of laying down your life and suffering loss?  Will you dare to ask the question, ďWhat would Jesus do?Ē  Before taking any action or deciding to walk away?  Will you be obedient to God? 

          God is love.  God reveals His very nature in us through the person of Jesus Christ so love is not a Ďwhatí.  Love is seen in Godís action to redeem us.  Love is intangible and revealed through the person of Jesus Christ.

We cannot love God and keep love in a jar, as we do an object.  God reveals His love by keeping His promises through our relationship with Jesus.  Love is an expressed action on an other person's behalf.  God chose to reveal His love through Jesus Christís death, burial, resurrection, and ascension.  Jesus is alive!  Our relationship is with the living God.

          Perfect love casts out all fear.  Fear is one weapon of the enemy of our souls.  The enemy of love is anxiety, and the power of the enemy is accusation.  Love cannot perfect us until we overcome our fear of death through understanding the power of Jesusí resurrection and ascension.  We have the gift of eternal life in Christ which should dispel any fear in our hearts of death or hell. 

Praise God!  When Jesus overcame death and hell, He took away the keys of death and hell for me from Satan.  Jesus came and destroyed the works of the devil.  Jesus said, ďIt is finished!Ē.  So, why are we fearful?  Our knowledge and understanding of Godís love are not yet perfect meaning mature.  Overcoming fear comes from knowledge, wisdom and understanding.  Discipleship is a good place to start living a victorious life in Christ! 

To overcome our fears we need to grow into the knowledge of the fullness of  Jesusí victory.  This is the way He will begin to perfect His love in us.  We may never be completely mature but we are being conformed into His image.  This can be one of our highest desires.  And, no one can block this desire but ourselves.  Although, the devil will try to.

          Our love is reflected through a dimly lit glass, frosted if you will by the memories of our past.  Will our love ever be pure?   Yes, when Jesus, whose love is perfect, returns and we know Him even as He knows us.  When Jesus returns, He will reign victoriously because He has already dethroned the enemy of our souls and we will reign in His Victory too. God has given us His Son and has provided for all of our needs in Jesus Christ.  When we let Jesus reign in our personal life, we will live in His Victory on this earth.

 

GOD GIVES US AN INTIMATE VICTORY

 

          God gives every believer a renewed heart and spirit.  God restores the possibility of true communion with Himself through Jesus Christ.  We are part of a new creation in Christ.  The unregenerate nature was captive, sold out to the power of sin until the rebirth when God gives every believer a renewed heart and spirit.  We are 'born again' or regenerated spiritually when God sovereignly places us 'in Christ'. 

We were all descendants of Adam with the same basic ancestry and heritage.  Ever since Adam, the generations were born with the same cursed nature. The unregenerate heart of humanity is corrupt and has a rebellious nature.  We had the same iniquitous traits as our ancestors.  We are all born as slaves to sin with the tendency to commit the same sins. 

          In every way we were captive to the power of sin passed onto us through past generations!  We were sinners because it was natural to sin from birth.  However, God provided redemption for all generations through faith in the promise of the coming Redeemer that we know as our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.  Our salvation occurs individually when God places us 'in Christ'.  We are a new creation in Christ that desires to serve God.  Through Godís grace alone, we received our salvation.  The Lord Jesus Christ became the atonement for all the sins of humanity -- past, present, and future.  He became the curse for us, nailing the crimes against us to the cross, and canceling the Ďsiní debt.

          Jesus Christ is the living expression of the fullness of the godhead in bodily form.  Jesus represents God, and expresses His true nature to the world.  He was blameless, yet suffered in body, soul and Spirit to redeem us.  Jesus became Ďsiní for us and condemned Ďsiní in sinful humanity.  Jesus became obedient to the cross, laying down His life, as a ransom for many; His life given for mankindís salvation.  With God the Father bearing witness to and accepting His only Sonís perfect sacrifice, He raised Jesus from the dead, through the power of the Holy Spirit.  The same Spirit we receive with the gift of eternal life. 

          Just as sin and death entered through one man, Adam, even so Jesus Christ restores spiritual life.  Through His obedience to the Cross we receive a righteous standing which God imputes to every believer.  As we take up our Cross and learn to be obedient to the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ, He sets us free to enjoy the benefits of His sufferings.  Jesus is the firstborn of many brothers and sisters who accept His substitutionary death for their sins.  We are the fruit of His sacrifice.  We are the purchased possession made with His blood. 

          God, the Father, bore witness to this truth when He sent the promise of the Holy Spirit to draw us unto Himself.  God sent the Comforter and gives us the gift of the Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth and to lead us home.  God knew we could not do it on our own.  The Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are Godís children, adopted into the household of God.  We are brothers and sisters of our Lord, and heirs of salvation.  Jesus promised that He will not leave us comfortless.  He will be with us until the end of the age, and will never leave us nor forsake us.

          Intimacy with God is not something we attain.  The gift of living in the presence of God comes in receiving the truth of being 'in Christ' and Jesus living through us!  Outside of Christ, the secular world measures' our successes by the goals we attain and the toys we obtain.  Reaching for success consumes the lives of most people.  Someone who devotes their life to a cause, a way of life, or relationship will eventually fail and burnout.  The same is true for the members of every local church. Those who fail measure their Christian success by performance.  The men or women who find peace are those who find contentment in their relationship through serving God alone.  As members of the family of God, we are His children, and benefactors of Godís providential care.  God provides for all of our needs in Christ Jesus because of the finished work of the Cross.

          As children of the King, we are in a direct relationship with God in Christ.  By Godís handiwork alone we have all been placed into Christ (1 Cor. 1:30).  In Christ, God gives us a full measure of safety, security, acceptance, assurance, and total commitment in this life.  By this relationship we are received as a child of God to receive the peace of God which surpasses all (human comprehension) understanding...(Phil 4:7), joy inexpressible...(1 Peter 1:8), and, ... the love of God...poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit (Rom. 5:5). 

The intimate relationship that Adam and Eve enjoyed with God before the fall is available to every man, woman and child on the face of the earth through Jesus Christís atonement.  If you do not possess this peace, ďIs it not time to invite Godís Spirit to possess your life?Ē Surrender to Godís love and He will reveal Christ Jesus as your Lord and Savior.

          God does not measure worth in human terms.  He loves us because He created us; we are of infinite worth because He loves us.  We see the grace of God toward humanity in the manifestation of Godís presence in the universe, the world, and in every believer's life.

          The truth is written clearly in the Scriptures, Ďthe just shall live by faithí.  Faith is simply trusting in God to accomplish what He has established in His Word.  Our faith comes from reading the Word of God, and receiving the revelation of the truth through the work of the Holy Spirit in our life.  He does the work while we receive the benefits. 

          Jesus came to fulfill the Law by revealing grace and truth.  Jesus Christ came in the flesh to reveal the love of God toward us while we were yet sinners.  Jesus came to redeem sinners.  He came to save you and me by manifesting His presence in our life.  In his life and ministry Jesus Christ perfectly reveals the grace of God.  Jesus, God incarnate, manifests the very nature and character of God.  Scripture reveals, Ďabove all, God is loveí.  We see Godís love for us perfectly in the life and death of Jesus. 

          Grace is the manifestation of Godís love in the lives of people.  The Holy Spiritís presence in the world is the manifestation of Godís love towards us. The Holy Spiritís work is a manifestation of Godís grace.  It is by the grace of God alone that the Holy Spirit draws people unto Jesus.  And grace is the gift of God that sets us free to praise Him and thank Him for the gift of eternal life. 

          The gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ, not of works lest any person should boast.  We do not earn gifts.  We simply receive them.  We cannot reach God by keeping commands and the doing of rituals.  If you attempt to please God or have given-up because of someone elseís rules, learn from Jesus and be set free.  Jesus is saying to those who are weary and exhausted by the constant burden of trying to earn their way to Heaven through performance, 'Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.' Take my yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy, and My load is light.í -- Matt 11:28-30