Friday, January 18, 2019

Holy Spirit Within

“Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, Who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own, you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19).

Now there is a difficult Scripture to absorb into you. Yet it says that God is in you by the Holy Spirit. As we become believers in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior a transformation takes place. Jesus tells us that He is giving us the Holy Spirit to counsel and guide as well as comfort, teach us in His truth and convict us of sin (John 14,16). But perhaps even more dramatically, God tells us that His Holy Spirit has come to live within us. This does not make us God, for we are God image bearers. Now that is already an incredible privilege and responsibility. Moreover, with the Holy Spirit living with and within us we have an impossible burden. Or do we?  It is the Hoy Spirit who allows or guides us to live as God’s children, sinless and pure. His holiness is imputed into us upon salvation. It is a gift of God as Ephesians 2:8 tells us.

“The Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.  I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.  Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live”  (John 14:17-19). Perhaps now this Scripture truth is coming home to you? It is frightening and exhilarating. It is difficult becausewe are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away” (Isaiah 64:6).  So why does God live with and within us, because He made us in His image and likeness and wants a personal relationship with each of us. Many of you as readers may have turned off already, however, this is not my opinion, it is what God Himself has said regarding life in the Spirit.

So does this truth change us? It has been changing me as the Holy Spirit, being made new, is transforming me. It is a process of sanctification or being made holy and righteous through the power of the Holy Spirit. In John 4 in the story of the Samaritan woman, Jesus tells us that we will be worshipping in spirit and truth anywhere for God is everywhere. God within us as our power source also tells us that we must keep our bodies clean and filled with the Holy Spirit, not dirty or evil things. As God’s temple we are to be holy as He is holy. Humans are not like that, but through the Holy Spirit we are given new desires and capabilities. We are to “honor our bodies” as if it is Christ’s. We are to live clean lives in a dark and dirty world with God’s help. How does that look?

Paul tells us a number of lists that tell us what the fruit of the Holy Spirit is, “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:23). Paul tells the Colossians, “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity” (Colossians 3:12-14). The opposite is a list of evil or fleshly things in Galatians 5:16-26, “So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.  For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.  But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”  Wow, that is serous stuff. Very sadly I believe that the world mirrors this list. Therefore, we will not find in the world our pattern to follow. It is in Christ Jesus, empowered by His Holy Spirit that we find the “most excellent way” (1Corinthians 12:31) that leads to faith, hope and love which leads to the good things of God.

Ephesians 4:29-32 tells us, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.  And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”  This is a tough list and can be overcome only by the Holy Spirit within us.

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