In The Spirit

Limiting the Spirit


Listen to Class:

Download the Notes:



In The Spirit 

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • November 8, In the year of our Lord, 2015

  1. Inspiration 
    1. To be inspired a person had to be in the Holy Spirit or
      1. at least the Holy Spirit was in a person, but
      2. being in the Holy Spirit does not automatically produce inspiration.
        1. The Holy Spirit does not guide the words of every Christian,
        2. preventing any error from leaving their mouths.
          1. Even individuals who were truly inspired
          2. were not inspired in every word they uttered during the day.
      3. Inspired persons had control of the Spirit,

        32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets (1Co 14.32).
    2. Matthew 22 references an inspired man,

      43 He said to them, “How then does David in the Spirit call Him ‘Lord,’ saying:

      44 ‘The LORD said to my Lord,
      “Sit at My right hand,
      Till I make Your enemies Your footstool”’?” {Psalm 110:1}
      (Matt 22.43–44).

      1. How could David know of his Lord’s Lord unless informed by the Spirit?

        2 The Spirit of the LORD spoke by me,
        And His word was on my tongue
        (2Sa 23.2).

    3. Consider also these passages,

      5 For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance, as you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake (1Th 1.5).

      63 “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life” (John 6.63).

      1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony {NU-Text reads mystery.} of God. 2 For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. 3 I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. 4 And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human {NU-Text omits human.} wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. 6 However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, 8 which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” {Isaiah 64:4} 10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. 13 These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy {NU-Text omits Holy.} Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual (1Co 2.1–13).

  2. By the Authority and Instruction of the Holy Spirit 
    1. Compare—in the Lord or in the name of the Lord.
      1. What do we mean by the expression “in the Lord”?

        17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him (Col 3.17).

        13 “And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask {NU-Text adds Me.} anything in My name, I will do it” (John 14.13–14).

        1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right (Eph 6.1).

      2. As the Lord directs, thus by His authority.
    2. Operating in the Spirit means to follow His direction, hence authority.

      16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh… 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit (Gal 5.16, 25).

      1. Note KJV — locative case:

        16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. {ye…: or, fulfil not} … 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit (Gal 5.16, 25).
      2. ASV — instrumental:

        16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh… 25 If we live by the Spirit, by the Spirit let us also walk (Gal 5.16, 25).

        1. To be in the Spirit is
          1. to walk and
          2. to live by the Spirit,
            1. living by His direction and
            2. minding the things of the Spirit.
      3. Praying in the Spirit:

        18 …praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— (Eph 6.18).

        20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit (Jude 20).

          1. Since Christians are always in the Spirit (Rom 8.9),
          2. Paul and Jude must mean in a specialized sense.
            1. Making sure the prayer harmonizes with the Spirit’s will.
            2. Could also be in a meditative sense like John (Rev 1.10).
        1. This might be a reminder to keep in mind the following teaching,

          26 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God (Rom 8.26–27).
      4. Philippians 3 speaks of our worship,

        3 For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, {NU-Text and M-Text read who worship in the Spirit of God.} rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh (Phi 3.3).

        1. KJV:

          3 For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh (Phi 3.3).
        2. ASV:

          3 for we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God, and glory in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh (Phi 3.3).
  3. In The Spiritual Realm 
    1. Christians are in Christ and have put on Christ (Gal 3.27).
      1. Not in His physical body,
        1. nor has the Christian’s body left this world and
        2. entered Christ.
      2. In the realm of the spirit, we are in His spiritual body.
    2. Christians in the same way are in the Spirit.

      9 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 (Rom 8.9).

      13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into {NU-Text omits into.} one Spirit (1Co 12.13).

      3 Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? (Gal 3.3).

      22 …in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit (Eph 2.22).

    3. Being in the spiritual realm could also be an experience
      1. in which the individual was transported to another place,
      2. either in the spirit world or another place on earth.
        1. Ezekiel 11.1
        2. Ezekiel 37.1
        3. Ezekiel 43.5
        4. Revelation 4.2
        5. Revelation17.3
        6. Revelation 21.10
      3. Either through the spiritual realm to another terrestrial place, or
        1. not known like Paul was uncertain,
        2. he did not know if he was in or out of the body.
          1. Ezekiel 8.3
          2. Ezekiel 11.24
          3. Second Corinthians 12.2
      4. Another place on earth.
        1. Acts 8.39
        2. First Kings 18.12
        3. Ezekiel 3.12, 14
  4. True Spiritual Qualities Are the Result of the Spirit 
    1. Rejoicing

      21 In that hour Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit and said, “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight” (Luke 10.21).

      1. Though this is said of Jesus,
        1. who had the Holy Spirit in a greater way than anyone,
        2. nevertheless we too ought to have joy in the Holy Spirit (Rom 14.17).
      2. Jesus witnessed the defeat of Satan (Luke 10:17–19) and
        1. Jesus knew the seventy had their names written in heaven (v. 20),
        2. causing Him to rejoice at their acceptance with God (v. 21).
      3. Through the Holy Spirit, Jesus knew of these things.
    2. A good conscience

      1 I tell the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit (Rom 9.1).

      1. Paul may have referred to inspiration as he wrote these things.
      2. It is also true that if we keep in mind we are in the Spirit,
        1. knowing our conscience is fully exposed to Him,
        2. we will seek to live with a good conscience.
    3. Righteousness, peace and joy

      17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Rom 14.17).

      1. Righteousness is in the Holy Spirit, because
        1. in the Spirit sins are forgiven (Acts 2.38), and
        2. now the Righteous One dwells in the person.
      2. Peace is in the Holy Spirit, for
        1. what is more peaceful than knowing your sins are forgiven, and
        2. the Holy Spirit is with you!
      3. Joy is in the Holy Spirit, because
        1. it is in the Holy Spirit that man finds his two greatest longings fulfilled:
          1. freedom from guilt and
          2. partaking of the divine nature,
        2. thus giving great joy.
    4. Notice Colossians 1,

      8 …who also declared to us your love in the Spirit (Col 1.8).

      1. Compare Galatians 5.22.
        1. True spiritual love is a work of the Spirit,
        2. not the flesh (Gal 5.16–26).
      2. Compare Romans 15.30.
  5. Meditation Upon the Things of the Spirit 
    1. This appears to be John’s experience on the isle of Patmos,

      10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet (Rev 1.10).

      1. As a Christian and having the Holy Spirit (Rom 8.9),
        1. John was always in the Spirit,
        2. so this reference would have to be a specialized sense.
      2. Even as a person is always in Christ, but
        1. not always thinking upon Christ,
        2. that is, at every second of the day.
      3. In the Spirit for John did not mean that he was in a trance or vision, for
        1. it was after he was in the Spirit that John received the vision of Christ,
        2. which surprised the apostle (1.17).
      4. John was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, because
        1. it was the Lord’s day,
        2. thus John was devoting himself to the Lord,
        3. thinking after the things of the Spirit (Rom 8.5).
  6. Human Spirit or the Holy Spirit? 
    1. In some passages “in the spirit” occurs and
      1. it is not easily determined whether
        1. it is the individual’s spirit contemplated or
        2. God’s Spirit.
      2. The difficulty arises over
        1. “Holy” missing from before “Spirit” and
        2. “the” appearing before “spirit”
          1. (instead of “is spirit,”
          2. which would undoubtedly refer to the individual’s spirit), and
        3. whether “s” should be capitalized,
          1. remembering that whether it is or is not capitalized
          2. was up to the discretion of the translators.
    2. John 11.33

      33 “Therefore, when Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her weeping, He groaned in the spirit and was troubled” (John 11.33).

      1. John explained that Jesus was moved deeply within Himself.
      2. The groaning of Jesus was not superficial nor for show, but genuine.
    3. Acts 19.21

      21 When these things were accomplished, Paul purposed in the Spirit, when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem, saying, “After I have been there, I must also see Rome” (Acts 19.21).

      1. NIV

        21 After all this had happened, Paul decided to go to Jerusalem, passing through Macedonia and Achaia. “After I have been there,” he said, “I must visit Rome also” (Acts 19.21).
      2. NASV

        21 Now after these things were finished, Paul purposed in the spirit to go to Jerusalem after he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, saying, “After I have been there, I must also see Rome” (Acts 19.21).

        1. Paul had made a personal resolve to be in Jerusalem

          16 For Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus, so that he would not have to spend time in Asia; for he was hurrying to be at Jerusalem, if possible, on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 20.16).
        2. It could also be that Paul decided in conjunction with the Holy Spirit.
    4. Acts 20.22

      22 “And see, now I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there” (Acts 20.22).

      1. This passage depends upon 19.21.
      2. Though Paul was bound in the spirit
        1. the Holy Spirit gave warnings about Paul’s decision (Acts 29.23; 21.11), and
        2. the Holy Spirit even warned Paul not to go to Jerusalem (Acts 21.4).
    5. Romans 2.29

      29 but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God (Rom 2.29).

      1. This passage emphasizes that the true Jew is a spiritual person.
      2. God looks upon the spirit of the man and not his flesh.
    6. First Corinthians 14.2

      2 For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries (1Co 14.2).

      1. Could easily be the Holy Spirit or the human spirit.
      2. Tongue-speaking was certainly performed by the power of the Holy Spirit.
      3. If anyone listening did not understand,
        1. then the person was simply speaking to himself,
        2. in is own spirit.
    7. First Timothy 3.16

      16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness:

      God {NU-Text reads Who.} was manifested in the flesh,
      Justified in the Spirit,
      Seen by angels,
      Preached among the Gentiles,
      Believed on in the world,
      Received up in glory.
      (1Ti 3.16).

      1. Since Paul discussed the person of Christ,
      2. it would be logical for spirit to refer to the human spirit of Jesus.
      3. Then again everything Jesus did was in the Holy Spirit.
    8. First Peter 4.6

      6 For this reason the gospel was preached also to those who are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit (1Pe 4.6).
    9. Second Corinthians 12.18

      18 I urged Titus, and sent our brother with him. Did Titus take advantage of you? Did we not walk in the same spirit? Did we not walk in the same steps? (2Co 12.18).