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What You'll Discover in this Episode:


174: Pastor Jeff's Testimony


The Holy Spirit: Conviction and New Birth by the Spirit


What is the role of the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer? How does that work with each of us? In this episode, we are going to look at the Holy Spirit that gives life and sustains spiritual life in the ministry of the biblical counselor. Listen to this podcast to learn more and to hear Pastor Jeff's testimony about the Holy Spirit.


Tags

biblical counseling, calvary chapel, counseling, jeff christianson


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176: The Holy Spirit’s Guidance

176: The Holy Spirit’s Guidance
  • Thank you for sharing your story with us. In the words of Paul, by the grace of God I am what I am. Within a short time, I was brutally convicted by God’s Spirit because of my continuous fornication. I experienced an internal conflict, a pain I can only say is that of the wrath of God and the closest I might ever get to hell – and I was 100% convinced that if I didn’t stop, I would physically die. That’s when it was made ever so clear to me that I needed to tell someone and get help. God uses His Holy Spirit in so many ways, and I thank Him for not letting me get away with my sin. Even now, He uses His Spirit to convict me where I am wrong. There really is no recovering when His Holy Spirit infects you, because He truly does give you a new transformed soul. Something I may never be able to explain fully, but His Work is evident.

  • The Holy Spirit: Conviction and New Birth by the Spirit
    Receiving the Holy Spirit at our new birth and being adopted into the family of Christ is the power-changing experience we come to as we allow the work of the Holy Spirit to dwell within us. We are born again by washing of his blood through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I especially like how you explain your passion for classic muscle cars. In a sense, this passion God has had for us once we confess our sins because the Spirit convicts us and shows us our continued need for Jesus. God knows our every in and out of all the working parts, using the spirit in correcting, replacing, and fine-tuning us to keep in top running performance for the Lord’s work through us, giving Him all glory. We are an important part of the body of Christ. When we rely on the Spirit to convict, correct and fine-tune our relationship with the Father, we grow into a loving relationship that is in harmony with our purpose and calling. I have seen this change as I reflect on my journey with Christ. I have developed a hunger to study, learn and practice in all as He keeps refining, teaching me to walk in the word and stepping out in faith to hear as the Holy Spirit prompts, leading others to Christ and being an example and walking testimony.

    • I think that is one of the evidences of a changed heart by the Holy Spirit: Wanting to learn more about God through His Word. I definitely wanted to read my Bible more and more when I finally came under the power of the Holy Spirit, and through Calvery Chapel University, they taught me so many wonderful things about God’s Word that I will always treasure.

  • It’s awesome to hear your testimony and to see where the Lord has brought you from compared to the man I knew as my bible college teacher never would have guessed that was the life you lived.
    What a blessing the conviction of the Holy Spirit so faithful to shows us our sin and to grow us from that place and move on from glory to glory.

    Also I loved the thought of how Jesus was fully man and fully God. So to should we act like Him as His followers not pious and looking down our noses , or just being a fluttering out there spiritually nut. But naturally supernatural walking on this earth eating with people and being led by the spirit to encourage others around us. Just like Jesus did.

    • So true – I never would have guessed he was a rock lover, street racer since I know him to be such a faithful follower of God’s Word! I love how Christ uses His Holy Spirit to totally transform anyone’s life no matter how dark or brutal or even subtle or passive.

      I also like your comment on being naturally supernatural. I think of Paul and how, at one point reading through one of his letters, I realized “He is so heavenly minded and focused on Christ above rather than the earth around him!” God’s Spirit dwells within us, our body a temple for the living Spirit.

  • Thank you for sharing your testimony. It is a wonderful reminder to me that no one is out of reach from the Lord, and I should never count someone as a lost cause. I just spoke with two friends last night at dinner, who grew up in the Catholic Church and really want nothing to do with religion but believe in God. After speaking with them last night and hearing this podcast today I am filled with so much hope for these two women. I know I need to continue to share with them, love them and pray for them, that the Holy Spirit would soften their hearts and convict them.

    • Hi Angela I can totally relate to your post. I was raised catholic and took a 7 year break from church early in my life. I returned to faith because of people like you praying and loving me. Those people were used by Jesus to build a relationship with Him that I never had while attending a Catholic Church. Never give up hope in anyone stay in prayer and love. God bless you sister.

  • Pastor Jeff, I so enjoyed your testimony. Such a beautiful transformation. Happy birthday!

    I loved the ‘supernatural is natural’. Makes great sense. Like common grace and God’s grace. Jesus walked this earth naturally, with all things common to man, but was supernatural with the Lord and the Holy Spirit with all things supernatural in the spirit.

    Sorrow turning to joy. In our sin, we don’t even know how sorrowful we are until God reveals Himself and His joy in our life. In our sinful state we are walking despair and we don’t even know the depth of that, until Jesus. Joyful is HE that brings the good news to us.

    BTW, I use to own a 69′ Chevelle. It was a beauty.

  • It’s beautiful to listen to people’s testimonies & the uniqueness of how the Holy Spirit draws us to God through Christ unto salvation. So thank you Pastor Jeff for sharing your testimony with such honesty. This series regarding the ministry of the Holy Spirit is so good & vital in the ministry to counsel & disciple others. I appreciate how you explained the ministry of the Holy Spirit. He is the source of our salvation by convicting us of sin & our need for God. But, He doesn’t stop there He sustains us & convicts of righteousness. This is where we grow, bear fruit, serve, and walk out our calling. He gives us new life, sustains this new life by sanctification. And then He walks us right into Heaven where our glorification is realized. He does the stirring of our hearts. We can’t be born again & give ourself a new spirit without the Holy Spirit’s ministry. I’ve heard it said by Pastor Andy Woods that we’ve been saved (justified), are being saved (sanctified) & will be saved (glorified) all through the work of the Holy Spirit.

    I agree with you regarding the two extreme perspectives of the Holy Spirit. There is not a formula for transformation. I like to think of it as the Holy Spirit customizes the transformation process for each person. He knows how to draw us. Stir us. Convict us so we come to an acknowledgment of our sin & need for salvation. 2 Corinthians 7:10 ‘For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.’ The Holy Spirit causes our hearts to grieve & have a godly sorrow over our sin. Without that conviction upon our hearts we would remain in our unbelief. How precious is His work upon our hearts & His tender loving care towards us. Intimate relationship with God is what separates Christianity from religiosity.

    Lastly, I liked how you described the Holy Spirit’s ministry works ‘supernaturally natural’ in our lives. I believe we can all share of different times in life when we go through a trial & we know that we know the only way we walked through it & made it through was because of the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. I look forward to the next teaching.

  • Thanks for sharing your testimony Pastor Jeff You have taught us that the Word of God through the Holy Spirit bringing conviction in your heart brought you salvation and changed your life forever.No preaching no altar call just the power of the Holy Spirit. Like Saul on your Damascus road God sent light from heaven to open your eyes. The Lord knew that there would be students who needed to be prepared as Biblical Counselors and he chose you Pastor Jeff. Glad that you answered the call of God.

  • I appreciated listening to your testimony today of the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit in your life. It was an encouragement as I can easily relate to other believers wanting to label me. I like to think of myself as one who has been justified by the atoning sacrifice of Jesus, is being sanctified daily by the work of the Holy Spirit and has expectation of glorification one day by Lord God almighty.
    I spent too much of my life trying to fit in denominational boxes. I knew about God, loved Jesus and invited him as a young teen to save me. The work of the Holy Spirit to save me was something I understood, but I was missing an understanding of His daily salvation.
    My life was changed radically when I got on my knees decades ago and said God, I don’t want you to fit into my theology I want to know who you are.
    Jeremiah 29:13 “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

  • Thank you Jeff for sharing your testimony. Our testimonies are a very powerful tool that God will use greatly when we are vulnerable in sharing them. The work of the Holy Spirit in my life has transformed me into a man after Gods own heart. He continues to do work in me to renew my heart and mind to be the man God created me to be. I am very thankful for the gift of the Holy Spirit and also yearn to walk with the guidance of Him.

  • Thank you Pastor Jeff for sharing this short version of your story. I am blessed to hear the testament of older and more mature believers. It is always an encouragement for me, and gives a such hope; know what others have been through and how God and His Spirit redeemed them (you) to himself.

    I relate to the idea of being in the center between reformed and charismatic. I have seen and experienced several of the more “extreme” or “Charismatic” gifts of the spirit, but also recognize the gross misuse and over emphasizing of “gifts” that are not shown in the Word, and the people that claim them to be of the Spirit. We should be actively recognizing the Spirit, his work in and through our lives; but must make sure that they are works of the Spirit as we hold them to the light of scripture.

    • Timothy, it is so true that we need to make sure it is the Holy Spirit at work. We do not need to be afraid of what is of Him and what is not. We can earnestly seek Him in humility and trust Him to reveal what we need to know. I John 4:1 “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.”

  • Thank you for the reminder of how crucial the Holy Spirit is not only to salvation, but to sanctification. That we are dependent on him in our own lives and that we cannot affect change in the lives of others. We rely on him to do that as we minister to others. So wonderful.
    Thank you for going through John 16 8-11. So very important that we remember the ministry of the Holy Spirit to convict us [me] of these things and those who the Lord allows me to work with. What a terrific promise that the Holy Spirit will always be there to convict us of our sin and need for righteousness and He becomes the model in ministry as he continues to convict me and others of sin and need for further and constant sanctification as we learn to walk by the Spirit!
    I’m really looking forward to this series – this is such a vital subject.
    Thank you so such for sharing your testimony. It’s an encouragement to me to stop fearing the negative judgement of others and rather to share the wonderful redeeming work of Jesus Christ in our lives.

  • Thank you Pastor Jeff for sharing your vulnerable and transparent testimony. I definitely enjoyed the parallel between cars and how the Holy Spirit works on us! My favorite pastors have always seemed to be those that are known as “gutter snipes.” Why? Because they have tasted and experienced the love and the presence of Holy Spirit!

    • I Agree with the parallel between cars and the Holy Spirit. Knowing all the inside parts and how they all work together just as the Holy Spirit works within us keeps us in tune, entirely relying on the Spirit in the body of Christ’s church.

    • Yes Laura the illustration of the cars surely is a good parallel for the work of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit becomes our engine, our power source to keep our spiritual lives blazing and being effective. Being the car mechanic as well illustrates the transforming power of what the Holy Spirit does in a life after salvation.

    • I agree, there is much power and wisdom in a gutter snipes testimony. They are able to relate to the majority of people who are in or out of relationship with Christ

  • Thank you for sharing your testimony Pastor Jeff, and Happy Spiritual Birthday to you! I am often in awe of God’s amazing grace toward us. He not only gave us His only begotten Son that we may have eternal life through faith in Him, but he continues to shower us with the abundant blessings through His Holy Spirit. I am also one taken from the guttermost to the uttermost, and am so thankful for the Holy Spirit’s convincing and convicting!

    • Dear Ilene, I resonate with your “guttermost to the uttermost” comment. It was also one of my favorite phrases Pastor Jeff used. It’s humbling that the Lord loves to search the trash pile for his treasure!

    • Thank you for being vulnerable too! I love the fact that the Lord has seen all of my past and yet He finds me righteous in His son. What Joy! And what an opportunity to share the beautiful mercy and grace of God with others who feel unworthy.

    • I join with you as well Ilene to congratulate Pastor Jeff on his 30th spiritual birthday and praying for Gods continued mercy and goodness to rest on him. As you Ilene too have a testimony of being saved to the uttermost may you also be a witness and instrument that God will use.

  • Encouraging to hear your testimony! It encourages me for my son. I was saved in 2002 and celebrating 20 years in Christ. Thank God for taking us from the guttermost to the uttermost!

  • Pastor Jeff, first I want to say thank you for sharing your testimony and bringing into it, the salvation in which you received through our Lord Jesus Christ, but with that, there was deep conviction and I too was found in the gutter, I have gone to the depths of sin. But God, But HIS Grace, Love and Mercy saved me and you! And all of our brothers and sisters in Christ. I agree that the Spirit of God convicts and that’s what stores us to come to HIM, many times we are so hungry and thirsty, we sit to long dining on the the junk of the world, instead of feasting and being full of HIS Word and transforming by HIS Words and Love. Blessed to know that we as Believers have walked many walks but the one that will remain for eternity is our walk with God.

    • I agree Serena, how amazing that the Lord rescues us from ourselves and our sin. I am eternally grateful that He did that in my life. I have grieved and great deal over my past sins. But I am reminded of the verse in Luke 7:47 that those who are forgiven much – will love much. And arguably that’s what Biblical counselling allows us to do. Praise God.

  • Thanks Jeff for sharing your testimony. So often in our witness we forget that the Holy Spirit is the convicting force that brings a non-believer to his knees at the foot of the cross. In our counseling we need to pray that the Holy Spirit moves in the lives of those He puts in our path and we rely on His power in our lives as we go about His business. In my own ministry I will at times take on a burden that isn’t mine. Thanks for the reminder that the Holy Spirit brings about conviction and rebirth.

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