BOOK III

                          THE MYSTERIES OF THE HOLY SPIRIT



                                 ROMANS 8:26-29

               "Likewise the Holy Spirit  also helps our  infirmities:
               For we know  not what we should  pray for as we  ought:
               But the  Holy Spirit Himself makes intercession  for us
               with groanings which cannot  be uttered.  And  God that
               searches  the hearts  knows  what is  the  mind of  the
               Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit makes intercession
               for the  saints according to the  will of God.   And we
               know that  all things  work together  for good  to them
               that love God, to them  who are the called according to
               His purpose.   For  whom He did  foreknow, He  also did
               predestinate to be conformed  to the image of His  Son,
               that He might be the firstborn among many brethren."


                                 INTRODUCTION

               Seated at my desk in 1979, I began to consider the direction
          of the Lord  in my ministry as a traveling Baptist evangelist.  I
          noticed   that  many  evangelists  were  beginning  to  focus  on
          particular  themes  in  their  week long  revivals.    The  home,
          personal  finances, soul  winning,  and prophecy  were  prominent
          topics of interest  as pastors requested special emphasis in such
          areas  of local church  ministry.   Evangelists focusing  on such
          topics were  generally invited  more often  to  guest speak  than
          those simply traveling  and preaching on the  standard doctrines.
          I considered what  I might do along these  lines and rationalized
          that, since the Holy Spirit was really the one who stirred people
          to revival, perhaps it  would be wise for us to  study His nature
          and personality.
               Pulling my  notebook from the  shelf, I began to  write down
          everything I knew about the Holy Spirit.  Pastors were requesting
          Sunday-through-Wednesday meetings rather than full weeks, so five
          messages  on the  Holy Spirit  was  my goal.     After  reviewing
          everything  I  had jotted  down  concerning my  knowledge  on the
          nature  and  personality  of  the  Holy Spirit,  I  abandoned  my
          attempt.  I  did not even have enough written to support a single
          message  with substance.  I realized He was a mystery, and before
          I  could teach, I would  have to know  him better.   I shelved my
          notebook  and left the  room; rarely considering  the Holy Spirit
          until three years later.
               After being filled with the  Holy Spirit in mid 1982, I went
          to my book shelf and extracted my notebook.  Turning to the notes
          I had written some  three years earlier, I sat down  and began to
          construct  outlines for sermons.   Soon four  messages emerged on
          His nature and personality and later a manuscript.  What made the
          difference? Knowing Him!
               Shortly after being filled with the Spirit and preparing the
          four  messages, I  sent out  information  to seventy-five  pastor
          friends.  I  knew other Baptist brethren wanted the  power of the
          Holy Spirit  as much as I; thus  I would be swamped with requests
          to come and  share my message.   I receive not a  single request.
          Not one!  Why?   The Holy Spirit was a mystery.  Perhaps it would
          be better for Him to remain so?
               As I began  to walk in the  Spirit following the  baptism, I
          discovered His ministry  was one largely of  intercessory prayer.
          He is likewise the administrator  of His own manifestation, often
          incorrectly referred  to by Charismatics  as "the  gifts" of  the
          Spirit.  Finally,  however, in 1983,  I began to  pray and  study
          God's Word on the subject of  prayer to discover exactly how  the
          Holy Spirit worked in  this area.   It  was not  until mid  1985,
          however, after receiving my prayer language - the gift of tongues
          - that  I began to learn from the  teaching of the Holy Spirit on
          how  to pray.   As I  prepared this  manuscript, I  realized that
          Romans 8:26-27 could not stand alone.  Verse (28) and (29) had to
          be included  if the other  were to  be interpreted properly.   To
          unveil  the "mysteries"  of  the Holy Spirit  in prayer,  we must
          begin by looking at how  "all things work together for  good" and
          how  this promise  intersects   with conforming  to the  image of
          Christ.


                                  CHAPTER 5

                                 THE PROMISE

               Perhaps the most misused text  in all of Scripture is Romans
          8:28:
               "And we know that all  things work together for good to
               them  that  love God,    to  them  who are  the  called
               according to His purpose."
          This  verse  is  generally  applied  when  one  is  void  of  any
          satisfactory  explanation of  difficult circumstances,  traumatic
          failure, unpaid  bills, broken marriages,  or even the loss  of a
          loved one; not  to mention broken hearts  and unanswered prayers.
          Both  the failure of  proper interpretation and  correct Biblical
          application of  this verse  has probably  brought more  spiritual
          frustration to the Christian life than any other.  Such doctrinal
          error  always  results in  increased  doubt in  God's  ability to
          provide for His own and intensifies disbelief in God's Holy Word.
          A correct interpretation, on the other hand, and wise application
          has life changing potential.
               As a child  growing up in Sunday  school, we often sang  the
          song:  "Every  promise in the book is  mine, every chapter, every
          verse, every line."   Although the song contains  basic truth, it
          is  certainly not wise  to claim every  promise in  God's Word as
          personally  applicable.   The  Bible is  filled with  promises of
          eternal  judgment,  condemnation,  destruction  of  nations  that
          forget God, and rebuke for those unwilling to submit  to the will
          and ways  of God the  Father.  There  is no doubt,  however, that
          Romans 8:28 is a promise.  It  is, however, only germane to those
          who are in prayerful fellowship  with God through the ministry of
          the Holy Spirit.   To apply the promise  in any other  way, would
          not  only violate  proper  Biblical interpretation,  but likewise
          would nullify it's effectiveness and power.  

          PROMISE DEFINED
          Covenants, pledges,  vows, agreements -  spoken or written  - and
          even  marriages are  all secured  by promises.   A  promise gives
          cause for hope, expectation, or assurance.  Legally, a promise is
          a binding  agreement.  Spiritually,  it has eternal  value worth,
          and  finality.   Relationships established  by promise,  likewise
          afford security.  Without promises, we would be forced to live by
          luck and chance.

          CONDITIONAL
               Romans 8:28  is a  conditional promise.    "And we  know..."
          This  is  not a  promise  to  all Christians  who  simply need  a
          convenient  verse   to  jam  all  unanswerable   situations  into
          indiscriminately.   The promise is  personal and exclusive.   The
          promise  found in  this verse  is  only applicable  to those  who
          conform to the description found contextually.
               Romans  8:1 immediately identifies those to whom Romans 8:28
          is written:  "There is therefore  now no condemnation to them who
          are in  Christ Jesus..."   This is where  most cease  quoting the
          passage.    It  is  not   written  to  the  general  populous  of
          Christendom nor can  it be  properly applied  to all  Christians.
          Romans 8:1 concludes by saying:  "...who walk not after the flesh
          but after the Spirit" - Holy Spirit.   This is the theme  [focus]
          of the entire chapter.   Paul contrasts the carnal Christian with
          the  spiritual  and   clearly  demonstrates  the  two   types  of
          Christians:   the one who follows  the dictates of the  flesh and
          the other who walks in agreement with the Holy Spirit.
               Romans  8:28  is  furthermore  conditional,  and  exclusive,
          because verse (26) and (27) inform  us that the way "we know  all
          things work together" is only through prayer and the will of  God
          the Father.   Thus, Romans  8:28 is not  a verse for  situational
          relief but rather a comfort to those engaged in doing the will of
          God through prayer and the ministry of the Holy Spirit.  The "we"
          in Romans 8:28 is not those  seeking relief but those seeking the
          perfect will of God by assistance of the Holy Ghost.

          CONVICTION
               Romans 8:28 states a  spiritual law:  "And we know  that all
          things  work together  for  good..."   As  should  be seen,  this
          promise is  limited in  scope.   It is  only applicable to  those
          walking  in the  Holy Spirit  through prayer.    The promise,  or
          effectiveness of  the spiritual law,  is only  made available  by
          conviction.   Such is  a strong  belief or  a code  by which  one
          lives.  In  short, Romans 8:28 is  a standard by which  one lives
          through God's governmental rule.  It is not an over coat which we
          shrug on when it looks cold nor can it be quickly swallowed as  a
          pill to kill the pain of circumstances.  Simply put, this promise
          must become a way of life.

          EXAMPLE
               After being  caught up to  the third Heaven, Paul  states in
          his letter to the Corinthians that he besought God three times to
          release him  from a  messenger of Satan  that was sent  to buffet
          him.   The  Heavenly Father  responded  by saying,  "My grace  is
          sufficient  for  you:    for  my  strength  is  made  perfect  in
          weakness."1    Paul's  confession  immediately  follows:    "Most
          gladly therefore will  I rather glory in my  infirmities that the
          power of Christ may  rest upon me.  Therefore I  take pleasure in
          infirmities, in  reproaches, in necessities, in  persecutions, in
          distresses  for Christ  sake:   for  when  I am  weak  then am  I
          strong."2   This was Paul's statement of conviction - by which he
          lived.  Most of us,  however, change our convictions whenever the
          circumstances  dictate, thus,  releasing us,  we  hope, from  any
          Scriptural responsibility.  In such cases  of change, Romans 8:28
          is not applicable.  The promise is a spiritual law of performance
          and can only  be experienced when lived  by as a conviction.   If
          lived by, Romans 8:28 performs spiritually which in turn releases
          authoritative  power  to  the  Believer.    Paul  parenthetically
          states,  "we," know all things work together.  The Greek Word for
          "know" means to (see).  This is a spiritual vision, or awareness,
          available only to those submitted to the will of God as they walk
          in the Spirit.  Such spiritual vision can only be accomplished by
          conviction  through  faith.    The  difference  between  a  moral
          practice and a Biblical conviction is eternal fruit.  How is such
          spiritual vision  manifested?   Only through one's  life.   If we
          live by Scriptural  law, all things can and do  work together for
          our good.   Such conviction means we remain  squarely centered on
          the authority of  God's Word even when it looks as though prayers
          are not being answered.  God has promised, to those who will live
          accordingly, to cause all things to work together for their good.

          CONDITIONING
               The promise  of Romans 8:28  is also one used  for spiritual
          conditioning. "Conditioning" can be defined as:  (The achievement
          of a desired goal by  the placement of limitations, including the
          exclusion of distractions).
               There  ar  at  least  two types  of  conditioning  which are
          radially identifiable:  indirect and  direct.  The direct form of
          conditioning takes on  the shape  of discipline  and practice  to
          achieve  the goal.   Ridged  physical training  is an  example of
          such.  Habits, trends,  and fads on  the other hand, usually  are
          made  reality  through  indirect  conditioning.    The  continual
          advertizing  of a  particular product  until  the hearer  finally
          makes a purchase is a simple example of indirect conditioning.

          ILLUSTRATION
               One  of  my secret  dreams  has  been  to swim  the  English
          channel.  It would be fatal to attempt such a goal without direct
          conditioning.  Such conditioning would encompass everything to do
          with such a goal.  I  would need to read and research  everything
          available on the aspects of the channel itself.  It would equally
          be  wise  to obtain  information  directly  from those  who  have
          accomplished  the swim already.  The  physical training would be,
          of course,  an absolute  necessity.  In  another words,  it would
          take  practice  and  discipline  to  achieve  my   goal  and  the
          employment of everything necessary to achieve such a goal.
               This is the  meaning of Romans 8:28.   God uses "all things"
          to condition  for His perfect will.  This is  not to say God uses
          sickness and disease,  tragedy and loss, poverty  and destruction
          to form His will in His own.  God is not the author  of such.  He
          will, on the  other hand, use what  the Devil meant for  evil and
          cause it to bring forth that which is good for our benefit if  we
          look to Him  as we walk in  His Holy Spirit.  Furthermore,  if we
          are found unwilling to submit to such conditioning, the promise -
          spiritual law - of Romans 8:28 "all things work together  for our
          good" will not, indeed cannot, apply.

          ALL THINGS
               God's promise is to incorporate "all things" - good and bad,
          strong and weak, success and failure, right and wrong - "together
          for good to them that love  God."  Through the promise of  Romans
          8:28, we  can "know"  or be spiritually  aware of  God's personal
          management and concern of our affairs through prayer.  It is that
          which  is  "known"  or "understood"  supernaturally  through  the
          intercessory ministry of the Holy Spirit   in prayer for us.  The
          problem  is, however,  we generally  seek  to "know"  through the
          justification of  circumstances.   We, instead  of living  by the
          promise of Romans 8:28, attempt to justify the workings of God by
          rationalization.  We  suggest that the wheelchair  has been given
          that we might  become a better Christian.  We  consider the death
          of a loved one to be the hand of God; thus to be better  equipped
          to help others.   Cancer,  when spiritualized, is that which  God
          has blessed  us with to bring us  to a closer walk with  Him.  No
          one truly believes  these twisted distortions of  spiritual truth
          but somehow  it seems to  ease our emotional pain  and suffering,
          thus, enabling  us, we  think, to live  with such  suffering more
          successfully.   If such  rationalization and  spiritualizing were
          indeed true,  then we should all be praying  for God to give more
          of these infirmities to us  that we might become better witnesses
          for Him.  Yet John the Apostle  wrote, "Beloved, I wish above all
          things that you  may prosper and be  in health."3  Most  of us as
          Christians are guilty of considering the circumstances as good or
          bad.  We conclude, that the more "good" things we can experience,
          the more in tune we must be with God's perfect will.
               To live  a life  as Paul described  - "My  strength is  made
          perfect in weakness"4 -  and - "I have learned that in whatsoever
          state I am, therewith to be content"5 -  would take wisdom beyond
          human reason  and understanding.   This is the essence  of Romans
          8:28.  If we are to "know" that all  things work together for our
          good, we  must do  so with supernatural  vision.   Such spiritual
          vision  takes  faith.    As we  pray  in  the  Spirit, we  become
          spiritually aware, through the  intercessions of the Holy Spirit,
          that  "all things"  indeed do work  together for our  good.  This
          creates faith, or  the supernatural ability to know  - see beyond
          circumstances - to the finished work - the will of God.   If such
          conviction  is not maintained,  we become spiritually  myopic and
          unable to discern the will of God in difficult, and especially in
          impossible,  circumstances.   Such  circumstances then  become  a
          controlling factor  and we  easily loose sight  of God's  greater
          picture for our  lives.  Through the employment  of "all things,"
          we practice being the children of God and thus we are conditioned
          to become more like His Son  through every situation good or bad.
          This also  implies what often  is considered to be  failure.  You
          may  have tried  and failed, again  and again; not  simply in the
          Christian  life   but  in  business,   marriage,  child  rearing,
          employment, pastoring, friendships,  self control.   Such failure
          for the Christian,  living by the promise  of Romans 8:28,  in no
          way implies one has failed.  Circumstances certainly fail, people
          assuredly,  but for the Christian walking in the Spirit; there is
          no  failure.    Why?   Because  we  "know" that  all  things work
          together for  our good.  Learn to pray in the Spirit and you will
          be able  to spiritually see  - know - beyond  circumstances God's
          will for your life.
               Although  I am going to address  the subject of how God uses
          all things together  for our good in  the next chapter, I  do not
          want to leave this area without giving several Scriptures which I
          think will  assist us in  comprehending the true meaning  of "all
          things."
          Matthew 21:21-22
               Verily I  say unto  you, if you  have faith,  and doubt
               not, you shall  not only do  this which is done  to the
               fig tree, but also if you shall say unto this mountain,
               Be removed, and be cast into the sea; it shall be done.
               22 And all things, whatsoever you  shall ask in prayer,
               believing, you shall receive.
          Matthew 19:26
               Jesus said, With God all things are possible.
          Mark 9:23
               Jesus   said,  All  things  are  possible  to  him  who
               believes.
          Romans 8:32
               He that  spared not His  own Son, but delivered  Him up
               for us all,  how shall God not with  Christ freely give
               us all things.
          II Peter 1:3-4
               According  as His divine  power has  given unto  us all
               things that  pertain unto  life and  Godliness, through
               the knowledge  of Him that  has called us to  glory and
               virtue: 4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and
               precious promisee; that  by these you may  be partakers
               of the divine nature.
          I John 5:14-15
               And this is  the confidence that we have  in Him, that,
               if we ask any thing according to His will, He hears us.
               15 And if we know that  He hear us, whatsoever we  ask,
               we know that  we have the petitions that  we desired of
               Him.
          John 14:14
               Jesus  said, If you shall  ask any thing  in my name, I
               will do it.
               We often make  the mistake of claiming these  verses to help
          free ourselves of a  jam by which we are being  squeezed and When
          they do not perform as anticipated, we jump to Romans 8:28 to try
          and justify the reason for God's failure to perform His promises.
          Do not make that  mistake.  Begin with Romans 8:28  and then live
          by these other promises.
               What if one has put their whole body, soul, and spirit  into
          their efforts of  prayer and  still nothing happens?   If we  are
          truly  walking in the  Spirit according to  Romans 8,  and if the
          Holy Spirit is our intercessor who always agrees with the will of
          God for our lives,  then we will see - "know" - that God is going
          to use "all things" to work together for our good.  If you do not
          see it -  "know" it - then  you are not walking, praying,  in the
          Spirit, and your faith is not in  evidence.  "The just shall live
          by faith."  If the prayer or petition is yet unanswered, continue
          to walk by  faith in the Spirit;  making use of  His intercessory
          partnership  as you  pray in  the Spirit.   The  Holy Spirit will
          quicken faith  to your  soul, by means  of your  regenerated born
          again spirit, as you walk in the promises of God's Holy Word.  In
          this way, all things can then be worked together by God into your
          life to bring about God's perfect will.


          Footnotes For Chapter 5

          1 II Cor. 12:9
          2 II Cor. 12:9-10
          3 III John 1:2
          4 II Cor. 12:9-10
          5 Phil. 4:11

                            End Of Chapter 5

                            PRAYING IN THE SPIRIT


                                      BY

                                 PHIL SCOVELL




                             Copyright 1989/2004

                               By Phil Scovell

                             All Rights Reserved



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