Mature Class Study, teacher Edith Tolbert.
There’s a two-fold nature of sin: 1. The sins we have committed, 2. The carnal nature.
Acts 19:1-2 And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, He said…Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.
It’s very important to have a positive attitude in the New Year. We won’t show a positive attitude like Christ if we’re negative, depressed, and have all kinds of issues. When we come to God, we have to leave pity, anger, selfishness, pride, and resentment under the blood. We must willingly forgive everyone who ever wronged us or God won’t forgive us.
Flight 2022 Instructions: Good morning and welcome to Flight 2022. We’re prepared to take off into the New Year. Please make sure your Positive Attitude and Gratitude are secured and locked in the upright position. All self-destruct devices: pity, anger, selfishness, pride, and resentment should be turned off at this time and be under the blood. All negativity, hurt, and discouragement should be put away. Should you lose your Positive Attitude under pressure during this flight, reach up and pull down a prayer. (The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.) Prayer will automatically be activated by your Faith. Once your Faith is activated, you can assist other passengers who are of little faith. There will be NO BAGGAGE allowed on this flight. (Baggage is all the hurts, injuries, self pity, and destructive things.) God, our Captain, has cleared us for take-off. Our destination – GREATNESS!
Years ago a woman came to be saved. Edith asked if she was willing to forsake all sin and forgive everyone who had wronged her. She said she’d never forgive her mother for what she did to her when she was 5 years old. The woman left church and was never seen again. God gives us grace to forgive. If we have a hard time forgiving and ask God to help us forgive, he will help us – regardless of what was done. Jesus didn’t hold any grudges but said “Father, forgive them…” He had committed himself to God to use however God chose. Paul didn’t hold grudges and said, “I don’t count my life dear to myself” (Acts 20:24). We’ll hold on to grudges, resentment, anger, and selfishness if we count our lives dear. The grace of God teaches us we need to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this world. Godly means living holy. Soberly means having self control and temperance. All our actions and attitudes need to be controlled by the Holy Spirit. Are we living like Jesus is coming today? On this flight we need to live in every situation like we’re looking for Jesus to come today.
Titus 2:11-14 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and …appearing of…Christ; Who gave himself…that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people…
Holiness isn’t an option we can take or leave. There are two works of grace. The first work is asking God to forgive us of the sins we have personally committed. The second work is committing ourselves totally and without any reservations to God. We have an earnest desire for God to fill us with the Holy Spirit.
Hebrews 12:14-15 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;
The disciples were saved but didn’t have the Holy Spirit inside them. When we get saved, we have the Holy Spirit with us but not in us. We don’t have the Holy Spirit inside because he won’t reside in a carnal or selfish nature. We have to get rid of the carnal nature so our heart is purified – like God created Adam and Eve at first with pure hearts and no sin in them.
John 14:15-18 If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father…shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
God’s will is for us to be holy. We give ourselves to God without any reservations – a complete, unconditional surrender of self to God. D.S. Warner made a contract which said, “he entered in by the direction of the Holy Spirit and signed this 13th day of December in the year of our Lord eighteen hundred and seventy-five.” In the contract, he said, “I do most joyfully yield myself entirely to be thine. Therefore this soul which thou hast made in thine own image is placed wholly in thy hands to do with it as seemeth good. This mind shall think only for thy glory and the promotion of thy cause. This will is thy will, O God! The spirit within this body is now thine to do with it as thou wilt, in life and death. This body is thy temple forevermore. These hands shall work only for thee. These eyes shall see thy adorable works and thy holy law. This tongue and these lips to speak only holiness unto the Lord. These ears to hear thy voice alone. These feet to walk only in thy ways. And all my being is now and forever thine. In signing my name to this solemn covenant I am aware that I bind myself to live, act, speak, think, move, sit, stand up, lie down, eat, drink, hear, see, feel. Whatsoever I do all the days and nights of my life, to do all continually and exclusively to the glory of God.” We have to do the same thing.
I Thessalonians 4:3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:
I Thessalonians 4:7 For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.
Many people come to pray at the altar to be sanctified, but they don’t get sanctified. Years ago a sister came to be sanctified but she said she didn’t get it after they prayed. Edith asked if she had been obedient to what God showed her since she was saved. She said yes. She was asked if she had any sin in her life and she said no. The pastor told her to go home to fast, pray, and ask God to show her why she wasn’t getting sanctified. God showed her that he told her to cut off a relationship a few weeks before but she hadn’t done it. God also showed her that her couch was stolen and she needed to make restitution to the store for it. If we’re not obedient in the first work of grace (justification), we won’t get sanctified. After she did those things, she came back to the altar and God sanctified her. It’s important to be clear.
When Edith was 5 years old, she and her sister were supposed to do dishes. She wanted to wash but her sister was already washing. Edith chased her through the house with a pan. Her dad stopped her and disciplined her after he found out what she was doing. He said she could wash dishes and dry, plus do it for the rest of the week. She didn’t know it was sin to treat people wrong. She was alive without the law. When she was 8 years old, she wanted to be first in the lunch line at school. She pushed the girl out of the way so she could be first and the girl fell in a mud puddle. That night at a church revival she heard a strong message on repentance and what sin is. God convicted her heart for the first time so she saw herself as a bad sinner. Her grandmother asked if she wanted to go to the altar when she saw her fidgeting. Edith repented what she saw was wrong, then she went to school and asked the girl to forgive her. The girl forgave her and they played together for the rest of recess. Children do bad, ugly, or mean things but they’re not accountable until God shows them what sin is. It happens at different ages for each one. God is faithful to show everyone their need to be saved.
Romans 7:9 or I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.
The disciples were saved when they argued among themselves about who was the greatest. Jesus had said their names were written in heaven. It was the carnal nature on the inside that was rising up in them.
Luke 9:46-48 Then there arose a reasoning among them, which of them should be greatest. And Jesus, perceiving the thought of their heart, took a child…said unto them, Whosoever shall receive this child in my name receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me receiveth him that sent me: for he that is least among you all, the same shall be great.
When the town didn’t receive the disciples, they said let’s call fire down from heaven to consume them. Jesus didn’t cast them out but rebuked them and they took it. We need to be willing to take the God’s rebuke and do what he says.
Luke 9:51-56 And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem, And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him. And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem. And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.
When we get saved, we’re like babies and don’t know much. God doesn’t want us to stay babies but to grow. In the 1950’s when Edith was in nursing school, she took care of babies that didn’t have any growth hormone. They were babies but they were 19, 26, and 34 years old. Now there’s medication that is given to babies until they’re about 20 years old. Babies usually start talking by 2 years old. The babes Paul was talking to weren’t even talking yet, but they should have been growing. We need to long-suffer with ones in the kingdom when they act like babies. Pray that they go on to be sanctified and get rid of the carnal nature. God didn’t cast them out, but he’s made a way to get rid of the carnal nature.
I Corinthians 3:1-3 (Amplified Classic) However, brethren, I could not talk to you as to spiritual [men], but as to nonspiritual [men of the flesh, in whom the carnal nature predominates], as to mere infants [in the new life] in Christ unable to talk yet!] I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not yet strong enough [to be ready for it]; but even yet you are not strong enough [to be ready for it], For you are still [unspiritual, having the nature] of the flesh [under the control of ordinary impulses]. For as long as [there are] envying and jealousy and wrangling and factions among you, are you not unspiritual and of the flesh, behaving yourselves after a human standard and like mere (unchanged) men?
When we’re first saved, we aren’t presenting ourselves holy to God because our heart and life are filled with sin. When we’re saved and have kept ourselves pure, God wants us to come back and ask to be sanctified. We give him everything and put it on the altar for God to use however he wants to use it. Every thought in our mind need to be controlled – “casting down imaginations…and bringing into captivity” (II Corinthians 10:5) of Christ. It’s our job to do this. We give him every desire, word, choice, action, and deed in humble surrender to the command of God. He gives us grace to live holy and separated to God. When God fills us with the Holy Spirit, our life is changed so we don’t act like we used to.
Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Peter and some others went back to tell the Gentiles who were saved to tell them about being sanctified to receive the Holy Ghost. God purified their hearts by faith. When we’re sanctified, God purifies our heart and purge or takes out the carnal nature. The Holy Spirit helps us so we don’t act out of the carnal nature. There’s no more war on the inside!
Acts 15:8-9 And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.
Elijah had called fire down from heaven and then prayed 7 times for rain. When he saw a cloud the size of a man’s hand, he had faith that God was sending rain. He told Ahab to hurry, then girded up his loins so he could run before Ahab’s chariot to get to Jezreel. Elijah had to get his long robe out of the way so he could run fast and not be hindered in the rain. We have to gird up the loins of our mind because the devil wants to put contrary thoughts or suspicions about others in our mind.
I Peter 1:13-16 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace…to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts…as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
God has called us all to be holy. There are no exceptions. He wants us to live a holy life by the power of the Holy Ghost. We can do it by the grace of God he gives when we’re sanctified with the Holy Spirit in us.
I Thessalonians 5:23-24 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.