"The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." [John 10:10 NKJV]
All that Jesus did and all that he is doing is so we will experience a more abundant life.
It is His will for us to enjoy life now, not only when we get to heaven. Life is to be lived with overwhelming happiness, joy, and peace, and especially so for those who have been saved by faith in Jesus Christ.
Proverbs 28:30 says, "A faithful man will abound with blessings."
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.
It is God's desire that we live in faith toward Jesus Christ, and that we have much joy and happiness, as we prosper and become wealthy in all areas of life; physical, mental, and spiritual.
The realities of life seem to bog us down making us unable to live in the true abundance which God has provided for us through his son, Jesus Christ.
So how do we find balance and maintain this "Abundant Life" that Jesus wants us to have?
Is it possible to live in a way we can actually overcome the realities of life and sustain any level of abundance before we die and go to heaven? Or, are we doomed to a fatalistic life that holds us captive, with very little chance of existing with true peace and joy?
Heaven is so desirable because life on earth keeps us from the peace and joys we so desire. Things that torment us on earth are not in heaven, and our existence in heaven will not be hindered by the things we endure in life.
So, How do we overcome?
Where is the joy?
Where is the peace?
Why must we continually endure hardship in life?
It seems as soon as you gain a little you have to backup much more!
There is an existence we can attain where we overcome daily the things that keep backing us up!
Jesus did not suffer on the cross to overcome sin and death, only to leave us with a hopeless life that we just have to learn to live with.
Christianity did not endure suffering through the ages for us to only get buy and accept our lot in life.
The Abundant Life Experience is:
Walking in the Spirit, doing Spirit things, in such a manner day-to-day life experiences are Spirit controlled, using the Fruit of the Spirit, the Gifts of the Spirit, and the Armor of God.
This is the way to walk in a victorious life,
Filled with joy,
Filled with happiness,
Filled with peace,
Filled with health,
Overcoming the evil and heartaches that try to destroy us.
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
[Hebrews 12:1-2 NKJV]
We can have a Christian life-style that is daily overcoming
All conscious thoughts that pull us down
All enemies of God
Anything that speaks against the will and knowledge of God.
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. . [2Corinthians 10:3-5 NKJV]
We do not have to put up with it any longer!
[Galatians 5:16, 24-25 NKJV]
16. I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. ...
24. And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
25. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
If you are truly walking in the Spirit you will not experience the things that have drained you of the Abundant Life?
The more we walk in the Spirit the more ABANDANCE we will experience.
Because in the Spirit:
There is no oppression
There is no sin
There is nothing that can attack you
There is no sickness
There is no pain
There is no condemnation
There is only the things of the spirit which are: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
The more you walk in the Spirit the more you will have these things.
Becoming Spiritually Filled
Having the Abundant Life is a life-style, not a religion.
Religion is man's concepts of who he thinks God is being injected into their society.
What I have been talking about is a life-style of faith controlling who you are and what you do. Faith is God being injected into your life, changing who you are and the life-style that you live. Then you are able to control who you are and what you are doing.
This seems to be a difficult thing for Christians to do and many believe they can never reach a place in life where they are in control of what happens each day.
One off the greatest reasons Christians feel this way is because they have never been baptized in the Spirit. They have never been Filled with the Holy Spirit of God. Churches through the centuries have backed off of this necessary doctrine in order to appease the many new converts that have come into the Church. Being afraid of offending converts with the truth about Spiritual Baptism, they conveniently teach it was done away after the Apostles died.
It is a true statement to say, "After the Apostles died Christian were no longer baptized in the Spirit", because most of the saved world quit teaching anything about it. The Apostle Paul had this to say about people not teaching true doctrines.
I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. [Galatians 1:6-7 NKJV]
Paul spent much of his time fighting against those who tried to preach things that were not of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
He went on to say in Galatians 1:9,
As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.
By the end of the first century many of the churches had quit teaching this important doctrine altogether. Throughout the ages, God would move on someone to teach Spirit Baptism or being spiritually filled, which would cause a spiritual renewal in that person's generation. But without continuous teaching the doctrine would fall away again until God would raise up another person in this same manner. This has left us with generations of Christians that do not understand they need to be baptized in the Spirit in order to understand the things of the Spirit.
And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able. . [1Corinthians 3:1-2 NKJV]
As a saved person (one who has placed faith in Jesus as their personal savior) you have Jesus in you and his nature is the Fruit of the Spirit which is described in Galatians 5:22-23.
In order to walk in the Spirit as Paul wrote about in Galatians 5:1,24,25, you have to have received the Spirit.
But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. [Romans 8:9 NKJV]
Paul spoke strong words to the Romans in Chapter 8, showing them how a person that is of the Spirit understands things of the Spirit because they have the Spirit of God in them. He goes on to say anyone that does not have the Spirit in them is not His. Paul was able to say this because all those who received Jesus through Paul's teaching were saved, received water baptism, and were laid hands on to receive the Holy Spirit. In Acts 19 Paul returned to the church in Ephesus many years later only to find they had lost the knowledge of being baptized in the Holy Spirit. Paul asked them in verse 2 if they had received the Spirit when they were saved? He asked this because it was Paul's practice to lay hands on everyone who received Jesus and was given water baptized also. In this way all his converts were filled with the Spirit. If churches were to teach being filled with the spirit with the confection like Paul had, there would be no saved person today that was not filled with the Holy Spirit of God.
Paul addressed being carnal and not being filled with the spirit in Romans Chapter 8. Paul wanted people to know the truth that it is God's will to be filled with the spirit.
Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is excess; but be filled with the Spirit. . [Ephesians 5:17-18]
How to Receive the Holy Spirit
You are not filled with the Spirit of God because you are saved by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Many today will teach you have the spirit because you are saved because the Bible says in Ephesians 2:22 we are a dwelling place for His Spirit; and in 1Corinthians 3:16 and 19, we are the temple of the Holy Spirit. Paul was speaking to his converts in Corinth and Ephesus when he wrote this information. I will remind you that Paul did not have any converts that were not filled with the Spirit so, for him to speak to them as being the temple of the Holy Spirit would be correct.
Here are three ways people received the Holy Spirit according to the Scriptures.
They were filled when the Holy Spirit fell on them, (Acts 2:1-4; 10:44).
Hands were laid upon them and they were prayed for by those who were already filled with the Spirit (Acts 8:15-17; 9:17; 19:6).
Jesus said those who ask the Heavenly Father can receive the Spirit (Luke 11:13).
If you are a Christian and you have never received the Holy Spirit it would be good for you to find someone that has been baptized in the Spirit, have them lay hands on you. They will speak a prayer over you and then the Holy Spirit will fill you with His Spirit. It is just like when you prayed for salvation, but now you pray for the Holy Spirit to fill you. He will not reject you any more than He did when you asked to be saved.
If you are a pastor that has not endorsed the doctrine of Baptism in the Holy Spirit, you need to study the scriptures I have shared in this study so you too can teach this truth to your people. This is God's will (Eph. 5:17-18) and you should be willing to teach it to everyone that is saved. When someone in your ministry is saved, place hands on them right then and pray for the filling of the Holy Spirit. Don't wait and don't ask them for permission. It is a serious thing to preach the gospel and leave out baptism of the Holy Spirit.
Once a person has received the Holy Spirit, then the things of the Spirit start making sense.
For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. [Romans 8:5-7 NKJV]
Now you are capable of actually doing things in the Spirit.
Spirit things like:
Being led of the Spirit, Romans 8:14; Gal. 5:16,25; 1Jn 4:15
Fellowship in the Spirit, Philippines 2:1
Growing in the Spirit, Colossians 1:9
Speaking or Praying in the Spirit/Tongues, Eph. 6:18, 1Cor 14:14-15; Jude 20
Being in the Spirit, 1Cor 5:4; 2Cor 12:1-4; Col 2:5; Rev 1:10.
Bless in the Spirit, 1Cor 14:15.
Be filled in the Spirit, Acts 8:17 13:52
Renewed in the Spirit, Eph 4:23.Revealed by the Spirit, 1Cor 2:10-13
Revelation in the Spirit, Rev 1:10 4:2.
Sing in the Spirit, 1Cor 14:15.
Slain in the Spirit, 1Cor 14:25 Jn 18:6 1Kgs 8:11
Travel in the Spirit, Rev 17:3 21:10
Life Experiences where we use the power of the Spirit
We can now use the power that is in the name of Jesus.
When we get sick. We speak against the sickness. Any sickness or illness.
When you are under attack. Speak against that attack in the name of Jesus.
When you need wisdom to help someone, guide someone, or accomplish something. Profess and call forth that wisdom in the name of Jesus.
When you need knowledge for understanding in something. People, revelation, school, training, work. Command knowledge to come forth in the name of Jesus.
When you need ability to perform or complete something. Call it forth in the name of Jesus.
We are all things for Jesus who is our strength (Philippians 4:13).
God's will for mankind is to:
Preach the Gospel – Receive Jesus & be saved – Receive the Spirit and be empowered – Live and abide in Spirit as one body in Christ – Edify one another -- Become the fullness of God.
1. We receive the Spirit by faith (Gal 3:2,14)
Through Baptism of Spirit (Gal 3:27; 1Cor 12:13)
To know what God has given us (1Cor 2:12).
And Profit the Body (1Cor 12:7).
2. We are baptized in the Spirit to be part of the
Body of Christ (1Cor 12:13) and
For Spiritual Power (Acts 1:5-8; Eph 3:16,20).
3. We walk in the Spirit to
Overcome the lust/desires of the flesh (Gal 5:16)
And to do good Works (Eph 2:10).
4. We live in the Spirit to be holy (Gals 5:25; Eph 4:24),
Receive spiritual teaching (Jn 16:13),
Grow in the Spirit (Col 1:9
Edify (lift up, care for) the Body of Christ
(1Cor 12:25; 14:12 Eph 4:16)
Overcome the flesh (Gal 5:16-17,24; Eph 4:22-24),
Satan (1Jn 5:18), the world (Jn16:33), and
Our inabilities (Eph :17-19; Philp. 4:13).
Have fellowship with the Spirit (Philip 2:1)
Use Our Spiritual Tools
Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22)
To overcome ourselves and be Holy.
(To See God in You)
Gifts of the Spirit (1Corinthians 12)
To help ourselves and others overcome
things of this life that would keep us from
being the fullness of God.
(To Be God in You)
Armor of God (Ephesians 5:10)
Stand against the Devil & all demonic powers.
Have the fullness of God Eph 3:19; 1:23
To take on His nature 2Pet 1:4
(To maintain God in You)