So many great lessons to be learnt yesterday! I have thoroughly enjoyed sitting at the feet of these wise men and women and learning more about the meat of God’s Word.
I have some great quotes and thoughts for you from yesterday, but before that, you might be thinking, “Why the Spirit and His Sword?” Well, while the Holy Spirit is so often the topic of debate, the role of the Holy Spirit gets neglected from being tackled on a positive note. We tend to learn so much about what the Holy Spirit doesn’t do, that we forget what it actually does. This topic was chosen to give the attention and respect to this topic it deserves, and help those who are confused to see things more clearly.
The title was chosen because the Word of God is the medium through which the Spirit speaks, convincing us and telling us the way that we should go. Everything the Spirit is said to do, the Word is also said to do. This is why the Word of God is so incredible – living and active, and definitely worthy of our diligent study. The Bible is not a dead letter!
“For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:20-21).
“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing a under of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).
“and take… the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:7).
Day 2 is over, and here are some of the highlights from the speakers yesterday:
The Holy Spirit: Who He Is ~ Billy Bland
Who is the Holy Spirit? Though people tend to complicate this matter, the truth and reality is all too easy to understand – though admittedly it may be hard to comprehend. Simply put, He is God (Acts 5:3-4), and has all the attributes of God. He is a person (John 16:13), not merely a force. The Holy Spirit is one of the three persons in the Godhead (Matthew 3:16-17; 28:18-20), a distinct person, different from the other persons of Deity and yet one in purpose. Too often people demean the power and person of the Holy Spirit, but the Holy Spirit deserves all our respect as a part of the Divine Godhood.
“The Godhood is a compound unity, not one person. A husband and wife are one, yet still distinct persons. It is the same with the Godhead – they are not one person, but one in purpose and unity.”
“The same God that has created us has communicated to us. Though we do not physically hear and see God, and we do not know Him through the physical senses, we can go to the revelation of God and learn of Him.”
“When we say that God has said something, we had better know that God has actually said it. We don’t like to be misrepresented, and neither does God.”
The Indwelling of the Holy Spirit ~ Patrick Swayne
This man is my favourite speaker. No, I’m not biased at all, though he may just be my husband and the handsomest handsome that ever did handsome. I took down a lot of his quotes… but they are worth it, so bear with me. 😉
“The Biblical doctrine of the Holy Spirit was designed to produce comfort, confidence and courage. This whole teaching was designed to give us hope, joy, and peace (Romans 15:13), to teach us that God is for us, and not against us. It motivates and encourages us to continue in the Word (Romans 5:5) …but instead of comfort, courage and confidence, the Holy Spirit has produced conflict.”
This is so true. So often we can miss the beauty as we bicker and turn things into an ugly argument rather than take the comfort from them that they were designed to give. The Holy Spirit was sent to be a Comforter, or encourager (John 14:16, 26). This comforting aspect of the Holy Spirit was not only for the apostles either. In fact, the church was comforted by the Holy Spirit (Acts 9:31).
Some other thoughts on this simple, yet profound and thought-provoking subject:
“The church is not made up of intellectuals – it was not meant to be the domain of doctors and theologians. This is, therefore, a simple subject that all can understand. Sometimes we just need to back up and see the big picture of things. Sometimes we miss the picture and see only the pixel.”
“The Indwelling illustration (and I believe it is an illustration) was designed to teach more than either a Figurative or Literal Indwelling. When we see only this we miss the picture for the pixels. The Indwelling is a figure of the intimate relationship we now have with Christ. Though He is everywhere, He does not have a relationship with everyone.”
“Do we live every day as though God is relationally present in our lives? Many don’t think about their relationship, and make decisions that show this, because they don’t really believe that he is there.”
The Temple of the Holy Spirit ~ Annie Teo
“We as individual Christians are like these bricks. Each of us is a part of the temple of God, cemented together and difficult to break apart.”
“In a world where there is a mania for conformity, we must aim for transformation rather than conformation.”
This was a great lesson, and gave me many thoughts to ponder. I appreciated how Annie made the link between how the temple was built and cared for and how we should care for our temples, keeping them pure. She highlighted the particular instance where Jesus purged the temple of the money changers, making the point that if it was so important to Jesus that the temple be kept pure for its spiritual use, then keeping our temples pure should be of utmost importance to us also. What a vivid picture. I want to further explore this type/antitype situation to find more parallels!
So Great a Salvation… in Its Plan ~ Billy Bland
It was no less than Jesus coming, dying and suffering as He did to make the salvation from my sins possible. This impresses upon me the great seriousness of this matter. It was so very important to God that it must be important to me.”
“Faith will overcome our fears.”
This was an encouraging lesson full of the recognition of grace and the great debt that we owe to the One Who was willing to offer such a sacrifice in order for us to be able to access His grace and mercy. His plan of Salvation is so clear, simple, and perfect that when considered it can produce nothing but adoration and praise.
My conclusion was the same as the speaker’s:
“I stand amazed at the grace of God, that while I was unworthy of this, God sent his son to pay the price before I ever sinned.”
The Danger of Lust ~ Abner Sabute
“You can change. It is in your hands to resolve this problem. It is never too late to start pursuing the crown of life.”
We are very proud of all our students at Four Seas and are always excited to see their progress. Abner, one of the 1st year students, spoke on the topic of lust, and did a great job. If you know me very well at all, you will know that this is a subject that I am interested in seeing the church care more and speak more about!
He gave three practical points on how we can prevent and defeat lust in our lives: (1) Be careful how you use the Internet – Use filters, because though it may be a sacrifice, it will help you to shape your soul; (2) Make a covenant with your eyes – like Job did (Job 31:1); (3) Flee youthful lusts (2 Timothy 2:22) – avoid those things that will potentially create or encourage lust. Abner ended with this quote which I think is appropriate for the subject, as well as every area of our lives:
“It is our duty to not be not conformed to this world” (Romans 12:2)
For those of you who don’t know, my husband and I work in Singapore with the Four Seas College of Bible and Missions. Every year there is a Lectureship, where speakers from Singapore, Malaysia, and all over the world – including some who are graduates of the school – come to speak and be edified.
If you have questions about the Holy Spirit, salvation, or the work we do – please do not hesitate to contact me!
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