The Holy Spirit In the Believer

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God’s gift to believers

Jesus spoke these words the night before his betrayal at the Last Supper. Jesus anticipated returning to His Father in Heaven, but He would not leave His followers helpless and alone. Like Jesus, the Holy Spirit would be with them—giving them comfort, guidance, and strength. But instead of being with them physically as Jesus was, the Holy Spirit would reside in them (See also 1 Corinthians 3:16). I think this is one of God’s greatest (and mysterious) miracles: giving us new life through the baptism of His Holy Spirit—spiritual birth (John 3:3-8).

When we understand that Christ died in our place for our sins, rose from the grave, and we place our complete trust in Him for salvation—the Holy Spirit comes and indwells the believer.

Security in Salvation

Believers can be secure in their salvation. We are sealed by Christ through the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13-14). Jesus, who is stronger than the grips of death, is our Sealer. His seal is the Holy Spirit, “given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.”

Believers are chosen [in Christ] before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4-6). Why? Paul says: to create a family of people who are passionate for God’s honor and glory (Ephesians 1:10-12). This is made possible through the Holy Spirit.

God’s children now have direct access to Him because Jesus has made us acceptable in His sight (unlike the Old Testament era when people could only approach God through priests, operating under the old sacrificial system, Hebrews 10:19-23).

Benefits of the Believer’s Security in Christ (Romans 8)

The Holy Spirit plays an active role in the believer’s life by:

  • Removing chaos and confusion with life and peace
  • Protecting against Satan
  • Assuring no condemnation
  • Uniting us with Christ, (no separation from God)
  • Preserving and protecting what the Father brings into being

Have you been sealed with the Holy Spirit by placing your complete trust in Christ?

Is it possible to grieve the Holy Spirit? How?

How can believers cooperate with the Holy Spirit and glorify God?

 

Winter/Spring Update

Although it’s not official, spring has been knocking on our door the past few weeks. Bunnies, robins, tulip greens—along with a few weeds—have arrived in the Inland Northwest.

Living on the Palouse with its rolling hills and maze of changing colors is breathtaking, especially in spring! I love that the deadness of winter gives way to new life and growth.

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New life. I’m thankful for the new life God offers us through His Son, Jesus, as revealed in His Word.

Growth. Yes—as my kids remind me—growing pains hurt! But I’m grateful God pursues and stretches us as He shapes us more into His likeness. I’m thankful He doesn’t leave us in our wretched sinful condition, unless we choose. But, rather pursues us with His great love and patience, orchestrating all our seasons.

Speaking of seasons, all three of my kids have wrapped up their basketball seasons.

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Cameron (14) and Jon (12) are stepping into baseball, while Annie (9) looks forward to volleyball.

Our local girls’ varsity had a fantastic season with their seventh consecutive WA 1B State Championship and record setting 71 consecutive wins.

Coming from one of the smallest schools, from the smallest class, and still being so successful is a sweet reminder: God’s not limited by our “smallness”. (Related post: Training or Trying.)

Thank you for your visits and for hanging in there with me through the lengthy study of Romans. God has taught, challenged, and encouraged me through this study. Wherever you are in Bible Study and/or Christian walk, I wish God’s blessings for you.

My next Bible study will journey back to our beginnings: Genesis. I hope you’ll join me. Your thoughts and insights are always welcome.

Although I can’t meet most of you personally over coffee, know that you are loved and appreciated!

And if you live in the eastern U.S., hang in there, spring’s coming!

Today’s Word

May I share a word with you?

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The Apostle John continued:

Through Him all things were made . . . . In Him was life, and that life was the light of men.”  – vs. 3-4

John’s use of the Word in Hebrew Scripture is linked with Genesis 1. God created by speaking the universe into orderly existence. Hebrew thought also associated Word as the source of God’s message through His prophets (Hosea 1:2) and God’s law—His standard of holiness (Psalm 119:11).

The philosopher Heraclitus (c. 535-475 B.C.) used the Greek thought of Word/logos as the divine logic, “an ordering principle for the universe.

John used the Word to describe Jesus as God–a guy he knew and loved, but at the same time was Creator of the universe who perfectly revealed God the Father’s character and holiness.

The educated Greek reader would have understood John’s summary as Christ being the truth; not only the guiding principle of the universe, but also of every person’s soul. Thus, by the person of Christ—the Logos—one may attain harmony with God and His creation.

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 When Christ became human He became:

  1. the perfect teacher who showed us how we should think (Philippians 2:5-11)
  2. the perfect example who showed us not only how to live, but also enables us to do so (1 Peter 2:21)
  3. the perfect sacrifice that satisfied God’s requirements for the removal of our sin (Colossians 1:15-23)

Jesus is not only our Creator and Sustainer, but He also holds our universe together (Colossians 1:15-17). If we try to live apart from Him, the purpose for which God made us will be void.

To all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His Name, He gave the right to become children of God–children not born of natural descent. . . but born of God.”  – John. 1:12-13, NIV

Anyone who welcomes Jesus Christ as Lord of their life is reborn spiritually, receiving new life from God. Just as being born physically makes you alive and places you in your parents’ family, being born of God makes you spiritually alive and places you as His child (John 3:1-6).

By trusting and receiving Christ, the Holy Spirit will dwell in you (Romans 8:9-10; 2 Corinthians 1:21-22; 13:5). God won’t force Himself on anyone, but He will breathe new life into the surrendered soul. He will also rearrange attitudes, desires, and motives.

If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”  – 2 Corinthians 5:17

Have you asked Christ to make you a new person? It’s not too late. This new life is available to all who place their confidence in Jesus Christ, ask for His forgiveness, and confess Him as Lord (Romans 10:8-10).