Before we go on in actually looking at the person of the Spirit, I want us to get one fundamental truth inside of us: if you have accepted Christ as your Lord, made Him boss of your heart and soul, confessed your sin to Him, accepted His forgiveness, and understand the He is the Son of God, born of a virgin, who was sinless, and who died on a cross and was resurrected from death...if you have confessed and believe all of this, you have the Spirit of Christ in you. (see Acts 2:38)
Some of you might be saying, "Yeah, yeah, I know. I cut my baby spiritual teeth on this." But, have you ever considered that maybe you are challenged that? Do you ever struggle with, "Man, are you really in there?"
Let's just be clear. He is.
In the Old Testament Ezekiel, God gave a prophetic promise to His people.
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. Ezekiel 36:26, 27Look through to find the word"you"? There are five, I believe, and they are all the subject upon which the promise is acted. Now, look back and read over how many times you read the words "I" and "my"? He is the subject who is doing all the work. He is the one making the promise. And He never breaks a promise.
To the New Testament. Check out what Jesus said about Him.
When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of Truth, who goes out from the father...
Again, this is from God.
Some more? M'kay. This is a verse we will return to, you can count on it!
And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession--to the praise of His glory. Ephesians 1:13,14Oo, and there's that reason again for His coming to us -- glory.
Listen, I've lived long enough to know that there is a great temptation to believe that my mistakes and behaviors might keep the Holy Spirit away. But, there is no away. I have been sealed by Him. I have been marked by Him, branded, if you will. Covered in the blood and fill with the Spirit.
What happens from this point on is the reason for this entire study. Too often, I believe, followers of Christ stop at the promise of the Spirit. We know He is in us, but what in the world do we do? What does it look like to live with the Spirit as Galatians says in 5:25?
I wanted to back up just for a minute and make sure we are on the same page. Go back to Acts 2:38 and back to the top of this post. If you have become a confessed follower of Christ, you have His Spirit in you. If you have not confessed those things and believe in Christ and made Him your Savior, you do not have His Spirit, and honestly, much of this, or all of this study will not make much sense.
The Bible tells us that we are taught by the Spirit in spiritual truths expressed in spiritual words and they are spiritually discerned (I Corinthians 2:13, 14).
I want to give you an opportunity right now to make His Spirit in you a reality. All you have to do is what has been done for thousands of years: Repent and believe in the name of Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. After that, get yourself baptized so as to make this marriage a done deal. Baptism is the first step to a long a gratifying obedient walk in Jesus. Something wonderful happens in that water and you don't want to miss it.
Now, if you are new to Christ and your relationship with Him, let me know! I want to be praying for you! If you've been around for awhile in Christ and believe you will benefit from this study, I want to know! The study of the Spirit can never be exhausted!
Next week, we're jumping in to so many things. I pray you come back and that you will lean on Jesus to teach you. I'm just a voice.You trust in Him to lead and guide you because He promised He would.
Here's a quote I leave you with from Andrew Murray. This is another thought launching pad for us. Ingest it and I'll see you next week!
It is only in relationship with Jesus, in faithful fellowship and obedience to Him, that a Spirit-filled life can be maintained.