What Are All Those Jesus Followers Pumped Up About?

We are pumped up because, despite our unruly and rebellious worldliness, God refuses not to love us. Moreover, He made a way for Him to overlook and forgive that old human behavior by giving up the life of His only Son, so that we could be redeemed in His eyes:

“For God so [greatly] loved and dearly prized the world, that He [even] gave His [One and] only begotten Son, so that whoever believes and trusts in Him [as Savior] shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge and condemn the world [that is, to initiate the final judgment of the world], but that that world might be saved through Him.” Jn. 3:16, 17. AMP

In fact, we don’t have to put a lot of vacillating thought into this, because this is the ONLY way that we receive the eternal salvation from the Father:

“I am the [only] way [to God] and the [real] Truth and the [real] life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” Jn. 14:6 AMP

However, what we just looked at, is the culmination of God’s great grace through His Son. We have a lot more to be pumped up about!

The world became bitterly divided soon after humankind inhabited it. There is an all too real spiritual battle between good and evil that has been waged throughout that time; and it will not end until time’s termination. It also manifests in its human representatives as well.  I’m sure you’ll agree with me that we’ve never seen the level of divisiveness as pervasive as it is today. God prophesied about this through the apostle Paul over 2000 years ago:

…in the last days dangerous times [of great stress and trouble] will come [difficult days that will be hard to bear]. For people will be lovers of self [narcissistic, self-focused], lovers of money [impelled by greed], boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy and profane, [and they will be] unloving [devoid of natural human affection, calloused and inhumane], irreconcilable, malicious gossips, devoid of self-control [intemperate, immoral], brutal haters of good, traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of [sensual] pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of [outward] godliness (religion), although they have denied its  power [for their conduct nullifies their claim of faith]. 2 Tim. 3:1 – 5. AMP

God never lies…

Doesn’t sound like anything to be pumped up about. However, our loving God never leaves us clueless with regards to navigating these scurrilous times:   

He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? Mic. 6:8 ESV

Jesus replied, “’You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” Mt. 22:37 NLT

If we act accordingly to these two scriptures, we can be at peace, even if the world is not – filled with the joy of God and His Son, pumped up at the certainty or our heavenly destination.

And yet, we are human. We fall short of perfect obedience. However, when we confess our transgression and repent to the best of our ability, then we will meet this kind of God:

“Yahweh! The LORD! The God of compassion and mercy! I am slow to anger and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness.” Ex. 34:6 NLT

He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve. For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. He has removed our sins as far as the east is from the west. The LORD is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him. For he knows how weak we are… Ps. 103:10 – 14. NLT

Compassionate! Merciful! Ready to forgive! That’s how He is for those who have accepted His Son as their Savior, i.e. His children. When God looks at His children’s sin, He cannot register it in them anymore, because He sees Christ in them, whose blood has washed them clean.

We are also pumped up because God is faithful:

God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through? Nm. 23:19 NLT

 I will be the same until your old age, and I will bear you up when you turn gray. I have made you, and I will carry you; I will bear and rescue you. Is. 46:4 CSB

If we know that God has us covered on all sides throughout our entire life, it takes away the anxiety of living it. It removes all doubt, knowing God is always willing to deliver us from all our travails and obstacles that stand in the way of living out the life He has planned for us.

However, some of those trials consist of ways that God uses to strengthen us for our heavenly journey:

“It is necessary to go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God.” Acts 14:22 CSB

It’s also exhilarating to know that we can have a personal conversation, through prayer, with the God of the universe:

“And I will do whatever you ask in My name [as My representative}, this I will do, so that the Father may be glorified and celebrated in the Son.” Jn. 14:13 AMP

…if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him. 1 Jn. 5:14, 15. NKJV

“…whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. Mk. 11:24 ESV

“And it shall come about that whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved…” Joel 2:32 AMP

In that conversation, when we approach in faith, ask in alignment with God’s values, have faith in the outcome, and seal it is Jesus’ name, our petition will be granted. And in the most vital prayerful petition, God’s grace ushers us into heaven.

Still wondering why we’re so pumped up?

Goodnight and God bless. 

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Death is but for a Moment

For the living know that they will die… Eccl. 9:5 NKJV

Everyone will die (except those who are still living and in right-standing with God when Christ returns).

Regardless of whether you had a life filled with happiness, achievement and or glory, or if it was one full of difficulties and seemed pointless – especially because you have no faith in a hereafter, (And if there is no resurrection, “Let’s feast and drink, for tomorrow we die!” 1 Cor. 15:32 NLT), it will end; and that interim between birth and death is of a very short duration:

“…our days on earth are [like] a shadow [just a breath or a vapor].” Job 8:9 AMP

Given what appears a grim picture, humankind has been trying to find ways to live life longer for millennia, with no measurable success. Yet we long for that increase. Why? Because God put that yearning in us:

He has also planted eternity [a sense of divine purpose] in the human heart [a mysterious longing which nothing under the sun can satisfy, except God]… Eccl. 3:11 AMP

God is not sadistic. He loves all His creations. Jehovah would not impart such a yearning within us for eternity, (and He is the embodiment of eternal), if He / it was not something that we could attain.

Death was not part of the original plan. Adam and Eve were immortal – if they stayed in obedience to God’s word:

And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree of the garden, but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for on the day you eat of it, you will certainly die.” Gn. 2:16, 17. CSB

But they did, didn’t they? The believed the devil when he called God a liar. But God doesn’t lie, so He must mete out His punishment and it spread from Adam to all generations:

Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, in this way death spread to all people, because all sinned. Rm. 5:12 CSB

Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam… 1 Cor. 15:22 NLT

So now there is death; and almost no one looks forward to it:

The Lord puts to death and makes alive; He brings down to Sheol (the grave) and raises up [from the grave]. 1 Sam. 2:6 AMP

My heart shudders within me; terrors of death sweep over me. Ps. 55:4 CSB

God did not create us for death. He wants to love on us for eternity. So, God offers a way out of death, because only He has the power to take it away:

Our God is a God of salvation, and to God, the Lord, belong deliverances from death. Ps. 68:20 ESV

Jehovah God reassures us:

For surely there is a hereafter, and your hope will not be cut off. Pr. 23:18 NKJV

…the day of one’s death is better than the day of one’s birth. Eccl. 7:1 NASB

Why? Because He loves us:

Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His godly ones. Ps. 116:15 NASB

Therein is the caveat. All people are precious to God; but He can only save those who meet His criteria for salvation, i.e. the ‘godly’ ones:

The wicked one is thrown down by his own sin, but the righteous one has a refuge in his death. Pr. 14:32 CSB

‘As I live – this is the declaration of the Lord GOD – I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked person should turn from his way and live. Repent, repent of your evil ways! Why will you die…?’ Ezek. 33:11 CSB

So, it is our obedience to God’s word / ways, that delivers us from death:

“Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death.” Jn. 8:51 NKJV

Yet, we all fall short of keeping God’s word perfectly. That’s why we have Jesus:

“For God so [greatly] loved and dearly prized the world, that He [even] gave His [One and] only begotten Son, so that whoever believes and trusts in Him [as Savior] shall not perish, but have eternal life.” Jn. 3:16 AMP

…having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. Rm. 5:9 NASB

…so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him. Heb. 9:28 NASB

No Jesus, no life. Only the curse of death. With, Jesus, its a momentary death, never to be seen again:

He will swallow up death for all time… Is. 25:8 NASB

When a follower of Jesus dies, the transition is immediate:

…and the dust returns to the earth as it once was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it. Eccl. 12:7 CSB

“He redeemed my soul from going down to the Pit, and I will continue to see the light.’ Job 33:28 CSB

And he was saying, “Jesus [please] remember me when You come into your kingdom!” Jesus said to him, “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” Luke 23:42,43. AMP

For to me, to live is Christ [He is my source of joy, my reason to live] and to die is gain [for I will be with Him in eternity]. Phil. 1:21 AMP

Death is a blip. Our spirits and souls are in the presence of Jesus instantly following our last breath. The body dies. In the ‘first resurrection,’ our new immortal bodies are formed to house our spirit and soul forever. Thus, it is extremely important that we latch onto Jesus before that last breath is expelled. Being as how you don’t know when that will be, there is great urgency in you securing that connection.

Finally, let’s add the second half of scripture to the very first scripture cited in this post:

…but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten. Eccl. 9:5 NKJV

There is a certain church denomination that uses this scripture to claim that all peoples die and are in a mindless stasis if you will, until the day of judgment. However, we see that there is no downtime for the saints; they go straight to Jesus for the Millennial rule with Him. (Rv. 20:4-7.)

The scripture is correct, however. The dead know nothing, that is, the old dead bodies of the saints, and the dead bodies of the unbelievers (who remain clueless in their souls) until the ‘second resurrection,’ where they will suffer their eternal damnation with the devil. (Mt. 25:41)

So, if you’re walking with Jesus, forget about death. It is but for a moment. Leave any fear about it behind and go enjoy your life!   

Goodnight and God bless.

I Can’t Get No Satisfaction

A famous refrain from the Rolling Stones’ song Satisfaction. Dissatisfaction plagues the minds of every human being at times. Someone else is always richer, more cool, more beautiful, more popular, has more stuff, etc. Nothing of this world ever satisfies us in perpetuity. We just know that life would be better if it was different somehow; yet we have a hard time putting our finger on just what that difference is. 

That is how the god of this world would have us be. If we are dissatisfied with life, we are playing into his hands – searching for something (sin) to calm our inner struggle. But for the committed Christian, this should not be the case:

“You shall not covet [that is, selfishly desire and attempt to acquire] your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” Ex. 20:17 AMP

If we are obeying this 10th of the Ten Commandments, we won’t be running around with a sick soul and a rattled brain. God, (through the apostle Paul), tells us what we must seek:

Not that I speak from [any personal] need, for I have learned to be content [and self-sufficient through Christ, satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or uneasy, regardless of my circumstances]. Phil. 4:11 AMP

…godliness is a source of great gain when accompanied by contentment [that contentment which comes from a sense of inner confidence based on the sufficiency of God]. 1 Tim. 6:6 AMP

Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” Heb. 13:5 NLT

Paul came to a spiritual state whereby he drew upon his Savior, to bring him a spiritual satisfaction so that his life transcended all physical desires. He walked a godly walk, rooted in his having faith in a faithful, loving God. And that is the key for all of us as well, i.e. to embrace our incomparable divine gifts. 

We do that by whole heartedly pursuing and pleasing our God by emulating His Son, through the power of the Holy Spirit – clinging to the heart instead of the flesh:

…if you are living according to the [impulses of the] flesh, you are going to die. But if [you are living] by the [power of the Holy] Spirit you are habitually putting to death the sinful deeds of the body, you will [really] live forever. Rm. 8:13 AMP

In this pursuit, we continually refresh our soul by focusing on the magnitude of what God has done to bring us to Him for all of eternity, (for those who want it). He wants to care for our every godly need. He loves us unconditionally. Receiving that love requires obedience to God’s word to the best of our ability and leaning on the blood of Jesus when we fall short. 

God’s grace abounds for us in so many ways:

Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. Eph. 1:4 NLT

“Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given to Me [as your gift to Me], may be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which you have given Me, because You loved Me before the foundation of the world.” Jn. 17:24 AMP

God created us for salvation in Christ: and here we also see Jesus praying for our eternal journey with Him. Jehovah wishes for all to come to Him in Christ, and take on the mantle of being His child:

He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will… Eph. 1:5 NASB 

What awesome things God has done for us. Yet, that doesn’t mean that life is easy. Misery loves company; which is why the world is always trying to get you in its clutches. But we have the deck stacked on our side. We have Jesus!

“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” Jn. 16:33 NASB

In order for all of this to work however, demands an attitudinal adjustment. If God has our lives handled, we can take our focus off of ourselves and do God’s (other-focused) work, which brings us joy in our commission of it: 

“‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” Mt. 22:37 – 39. NKJV

When we hit a glitch in life, we want to look at the roots of it, see what God’s lesson is, and ask for His help in dealing with it:

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result. so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. Jas. 1:2 – 4. NASB

Remember that whatever comes against us, Christ will get us through it – all made possible at the cross. He, like His Father, is a promise-keeper, bringing hope that does not disappoint. 

God is in control, molding us to be more like Jesus every day, right up until we graduate. Amen.

With regards to our provisions, they all come from God, thus they are good and perfect:

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. Jas. 1:17 CSB

And if perfect, we want to be in a state of continual gratitude to Him. 

How long will God keep loving and caring for you? 

“I will be the same until your old age, and I will bear you up when you turn gray. I have made you, and I will carry you; I will bear and rescue you. Is. 46:4 CSB

Forever…

Whatever we find ourselves doing, thinking about, or praying for, we know how to tailor them for our own good and for that of our brothers and sisters in Christ, as well as all of the potential ones. We do that by letting God be our total guide. I say ‘letting,’ because God does not violate our free will; which is why we want our will to align with HIs. That’s what happens when we put Him first:

“My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.” Jn. 15:8 NASB

God has always got you covered:

“…for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.” Mt. 6:8 NASB

All He wants is your gratitude for His immeasurable grace towards you – a gift freely given that you did not earn. You are in HIs grace when you walk His walk; and you won’t be sweating the earthly stuff, because you know you’re in His hands.

Be happy too for your brother or sister’s providence. Celebrate with them. Envy has no place in the soul of a Christian. The only status that counts is that which you have with God.

God has created you for your unique slot in His universal plan. He has equipped you for it in every way, and is going to love you always, as He brings you out to your eternal paradise. If you’re living your life with these thoughts, you will have satisfaction…

Goodnight and God Bless. 

Are You in God’s Plan?

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen.” Jer. 29:11, 12. NLT

“Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father [you favored of God, appointed to eternal salvation], inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” Mt. 25:34 AMP

…He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will… Eph. 1:4, 5. NKJV

So, technically, yes. We were all in God’s plan. And God laid down the entirety of that plan in the sacred texts of the Bible. Yet throughout history, people have tried to corrupt that plan. It began with the Jewish Rabbis, who affixed a plethora of extra ‘conditions’ that the parishioners had to meet in order to gain holiness. 

These conditions we constructed to be impossible to meet, to necessitate the Rabbi’s existence to ‘help’ others to have a hope for pleasing God. But that is not of God. Why? 

“So be careful to obey all the commands I give you. You must not add anything to them or subtract anything from them.” Dt. 12:32 NLT

The Rabbis were clearly in violation of scripture. So, who were the Rabbis following?

It has always been the policy of Satan, since the world began, to break the power of moral government over mind; to introduce confusion, rebellion, and damnation, into the universe of God. Charles G. Finney

The devil sows chaos, often through misguided people, to separate them from God. The Jews were so misinformed about scripture, that they didn’t even recognize the Messiah in Christ. Yet His gospel and the early church blazed the way for the purity in the word of God – for at time… 

However, man-manipulated scripture reared its ugly head again with the advent of different church denominations, founded by those who planted more seeds of satanic confusion. Parishioners reflected this confusion as they became tainted with corrupted teachings. They became separated from God’s ‘true north’:

And Jesus replied to him, “’YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for others].’ The whole Law and the [writings of the] Prophets depend on these two commandments.” Mt. 22:37 – 40. AMP.

If you are sticking to God’s plan: loving Him, yourself and all others, you will be acting that out. When you stick to the plan, you are in God’s plan – except when you’re not, i.e. slipped into sin. However, God immediately brings you back in the plan when you confess and repent, when you have faith in God’s deliverance though Christ.

That’s how it works. Then you won’t be rubbing some beads, paying money to buy forgiveness of sins (doesn’t work), worship angels and ‘exalted’ saints, or elect some man to be your propitiator with Christ.

When you have Jesus, you’ll know that it is your dependency upon Him and Him alone that delivers you from your transgressions and keeps you humble in the majesty of His presence, as you remember that you have no righteousness without Him. Only Christ gives you access to God.

This too, is contrary to those people in the church that are legalists. You cannot ‘earn’ your way to salvation.

Another way that we are prevented from being in God’s plan, is by parsing His word; i.e. ‘cherry-picking’ only certain scriptures to obey. This is basically doing the same as the Rabbis of old, that is, removing parts of God’s word by ignoring their sacred instruction.

For example, there are those who deny the final ‘sifting, at the end of time:

“…and He will put the sheep on His right [the place of honor], and the goats on His left [the place of rejection]. Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come you blessed of My Father [you favored of God, appointed to eternal salvation], inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”…”Then He will say to those on His left, ‘Leave Me, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels (demons)…” Mt. 25:33, 34 & 41. AMP

Crystal clear yet ignored by many to justify having a ‘license’ to sin. To disobey is to sin; to commit unrepentant sin is to invite death.

To reiterate, the gospel was given to save; yet when we mangle God’s word, we negate that salvation for ourselves, because we place our faith in that which is corrupt.

Another way to be rejected from God’ plan is to be a hearer of the word, a seeker of piety in the presence of others, instead of engaging in acts of righteousness, which is a natural outcome of one who lives out his or her salvation.

We cannot take the grace of God for granted. There is but one church, the church of Christ. There is but one word of God, and it’s only found in the Bible. There exists but one gospel: that Jesus is the only way to salvation; and once we’ve embraced Him, we can live those out those righteous guidelines to live a life of happiness for ourselves and to promote the same to everyone we meet.

Embrace the word of God in its purity and live a purified life. Walk away from those who steadfastly refuse to stop mixing worldly elements and the word of man with scripture.

As you live in the light, you are in God’s plan…

Goodnight and God bless.  

Why Would Anyone Choose Death?

“Put all your rebellion behind you, and find yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die…I don’t want you to die,” says the Sovereign LORD. “Turn back and live!” Eze. 18:31, 32. NLT

Let’s first consider that everyone will die. For the souls of the followers of Christ, that death is but for a moment. For the unbeliever / sinner, death is eternal and excruciatingly conscious  – unless they get a new heart. 

Yet, the majority of those exposed to the gospel choose death. Why? The answer is simple. They put more value upon their worldly obsessions (sins). We can’t do anything for those who won’t come to Christ; but, let’s make the case for those that may…

Obviously, the above scripture is not talking about upgrading your blood-pumping organ. You only get one of those. God is referring to going after a new ‘spiritual’ heart. 

The Spiritual heart is the fountain of spiritual life, it is that deep-seated, but voluntary preference of the mind… Charles G. Finney

The scripture says that it is possible for you to get one; but it does not come from changing anything corporeal about yourself. It comes from learning the gospel, accepting Jesus as your Savior, and then living in obedience to God’s word. 

So, it is made manifest in the character and behavior of the believer, as he or she strives for godliness in the present, as well as maintaining a focus on things eternal – all the while, bringing God glory. It is something, that, to the best of our ability, we are responsible for doing, through a continuing series of free-will decisions. 

With the help of Christ, through the Holy Spirit, we are doing our best to evolve from self-centeredness to selflessness, living for a joyful life that is the fruit of our submitting to God’s will. 

This is not to say that our journey is not without labor. Through Adam’s sin, (when he turned his back on God and rebelled – defiling his spiritual heart), our hearts were corrupted:

“For from the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, sexual immoralities, thefts, false testimonies, slander.” Mt. 15:19 CSB

Thus predisposing our need for conversion, and the continual nurturing of it. All the while, we must remain aware of the duplicitous nature of the devil, who is always telling us that it’s okay to abandon our path, or at least indulge in ‘little deviances.’ The pursuit of these indiscretions returns our heart to its original corrupt condition. 

We will slip, but we are so blessed with a loving and forgiving God. When we approach Christ in earnest confession and repentance, our spiritual heart will be restored. Moreover, we are divinely strengthened, in order to persevere after the renewal:

The instructions of the LORD are perfect, reviving the soul. Ps. 19:7 NLT

Yes, by staying in God’s word – be it in personal study, listening to the Holy Spirit, or listening in church, as well in leaning on the Holy Spirit, our troubles will be minimized: 

…each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Jas. 1:14 ESV

“Get up and pray, so that you will not give into temptation.” Lk. 22:46 NLT

The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. 1 Cor. 10:13 NASB

If you remain in trouble, then you’ve chosen a different master. However, a far better case can be made for doing the right thing, because your life will not be crippled with the ravages of sin. In addition, the scripture clearly tells us that we have the God-given strength to exercise our will to do so. 

Therein lies the divine formula: The salvation and strength of God + the obedient strengthened will of the believer, with right action = spiritual deliverance through a new heart. 

Willful, rebellious sinners cling to that corrupted Adam-inherited heart, nurturing it through their own set of free-will choices – which will, (without intervention), lead to their eternal demise. 

That should motivate believers to try to lavish the gospel, in word and deed, to as many potential children of God as possible, for the sake of helping them grab hold of their new hearts.

And that new heart, is buried inside of them, waiting to be set free:

It was of HIs own will that He gave us birth [as His children] by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits of His creatures [a prime example of what He created to be set apart to Himself – sanctified, made holy for His divine purposes]. Jas.1:18 AMP

God will never make a sinner turn from his or her sins. They must be in a place to understand what a right relationship with Him can bring, as well as the horror of refusing it. He wants to love all of us, but we first have to open our arms to receive it. Then, reconciliation can begin, as the work of the Holy Spirit commences. 

A rebel cannot feign ignorance. He or she knows when they are sinning; that knowledge is innate

“My Spirit which is upon you [writing the law of God on the heart], and My words which I have put in your mouth shall not depart from your mouth…,” says the LORD, “from now and forever.” Is. 59:21 AMP

The Holy Spirit convicts them, children of God or not. He wants to draw them home. As we saw in the opening scripture, God doesn’t want anyone to perish.

Why would anyone choose death? Perhaps, even though they know they sin, they don’t know that it leads to death. Maybe they’ve been discouraged by the devil, as he tries to divert their eyes from the light. Finally, they may just prefer the flesh. Regardless, they are choosing death. 

That is not what we do. Thank God for His grace. I think we should tell them that it’s time for a new heart: 

“I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Choose life…” Dt. 30:19

Goodnight and God bless. 

Keeping Godly Company – part 2

Last time, we looked at transcending individual church denominations, (without judgment), to come together as a cohesive peaceful and loving force for Christ and His kingdom. This time lets investigate how we can increase the quantity of our godly company. 

First, we must do away with our opinion of the quality of the people that we meet: 

And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on the face of all the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each of us… Acts 17:25 – 27. NKJV

Everyone is created by God; and He wants every one of them to embrace His salvation. Jehovah does not turn anyone away. Neither should we. Otherwise, we are practicing judgment. Judgment can be applied towards actions, but never towards the people who act. We don’t know how life may have stepped on them. Remember, it’s not about what we think about others, it’s about what God thinks. 

This is just as relevant in our treatment of brothers and sisters in Christ who may have fallen out of faith, or, are practicing their faith in the framework of ‘situational ethics;’ i.e. considering some sins as being acceptable. 

We must lovingly approach them to see where their attachment to the world remains, how they think a particular sin behavior benefits them, to search for any hidden roots of pride or envy, or to discover how they might perceive that God has let them down. 

Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. Gal. 6:1 NLT

We need to show them the grace of God in our behavior towards them. Believe me, they already feel convicted. We must try to follow the example as our Lord: extending mercy and compassion, using the word of God to bring healing love and restoration, and pray with them that they might be in right relationship with God again – to the God who always forgives. Then they can continue on in their life on the highest and best path, with the indwelling guidance of the Holy Spirit.

The second way we can increase the quantity of our godly company is to answer our ‘Great Commission,’ to win new souls to Christ. Everything we’ve looked at so far, should be incorporated with our approach to a secular potential child of God as well; except this time, we must begin with a clean slate. 

We must ask them about themselves first. What is their occupation? What do they do for fun? Ask about their family. How do they think life is treating them? Get to know them and procure a feeling of how the world has shaped this individual. 

Keep in mind that they may not even know that they practice sin:

Who perceives his unintentional sins? Cleanse me from my hidden faults. Ps. 19:12 CSB

Then ask the big questions (e.g. How did life start? What happens when you die?). For a very detailed treatise on the gospel and the giving of it, see my previous posts Christ’s Foot Soldiers, posted from 6/5/19 – 7/14/19.

The irony is, that if you are lovingly speaking the gospel, the sinner will feel convicted; but that’s what is required so that they can see the need for salvation. 

Some may even take offense, because they don’t want to give up their lifestyle. God will gather who He gathers. We must be purposeful in our zeal, because an eternal separation is coming. 

If they are unwilling, they will live out eternity in the presence of their master – the accuser. At that point, you’ve done your best. It’s between them and God. You must separate yourself from a willful sinner:

“As you go into the house, give it your greeting [that is, ‘Peace be to this house’]. If [the family living in] the house is worthy [welcoming you and your message], give it your blessing of] peace [that is, a blessing of well-being and prosperity, the favor of God]. But if it is not worthy, take back your blessing of peace. Whoever does not welcome you, nor listen to your message, as you leave that house or city, shake the dust [of it] off your feet [in contempt, breaking all ties].” Mt 10:12 – 14. AMP

“Depart now from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing that belongs to them, or you will be swept away in all their sin.” Nm. 16:26 NASB

‘Sinners cannot walk with Saints.’ Charles G. Finney

“Don’t waste what is holy on people who are unholy. Don’t throw your pearls to pigs. They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you.” Mt. 7:6 NLT

Ah, but for those willing to embrace Jehovah and the gift of His Son, hallelujah. God has opened their hearts through you, so that they can understand what must be done to live the life that opens the door, so that the Holy Spirit can take residence:

For by these He has bestowed on us His precious and magnificent promises [of inexpressible value], so that by them you may escape from the immoral freedom that is in the world because of disreputable desire, and become sharers of the divine nature. For this very reason, applying your diligence [to the divine promises, make every effort] in [exercising] your faith to develop moral excellence, and in moral excellence, knowledge (insight, understanding), and in your knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, and in your steadfastness, godliness. 2 Pt. 1:4 – 6. AMP

Yes, if you cry out for insight, and lift up your voice for understanding; if you seek skillful and godly wisdom as you would silver and search for her as you would hidden treasures; then you will understand the [reverent] fear of the LORD [that is, worshiping Him and regarding Him as truly awesome] and discover the knowledge of God. 

For the LORD gives [skillful and godly] wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding. He stores away sound wisdom for the righteous [those who are in right standing with Him]; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity [those of honorable character and moral courage], He guards the paths of justice; and preserves the way of HIs saints (believers). 

Then you will understand righteousness and justice [in every circumstance] and integrity and every good path. Pr. 2:3 – 9. AMP

Pretty soon, you’ll have godly company on every side…

Goodnight and God bless. 

Keeping Godly Company

Can two people walk together without agreeing on the direction? Amos 3:3 NLT

We keep harmonious company with followers of Christ, who, is our primary focus; and together, we bring as many people of the world to His kingdom. That’s the way it was in the very first church of Christ:

All these with one mind and one purpose were continually devoting themselves to prayer, [waiting together]… Acts 1:14 AMP

Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved. Acts 2:46, 47. NASB

And the congregation of those who believed were of one heart and soul… Acts 4:32 NASB

So it should be with all the children of God. Yet, as long as we have egos that we are attached to, there will be differences and judgments. Indeed, out of them were born all of the church denominations – something I feel is injurious to the church yet is probably not going to go away until the church of Christ is united in heaven.

We are all brothers and sisters in Christ, regardless of whether we sprinkle or dunk, pray on our knees in church or standing with our hands outstretched, with reserved preachers or those who are pulpit-pounding, fire-and-brimstone clergymen, or be it hymnal based or a bit of rock and roll. It doesn’t matter. What matters is God’s grand vision of loving Him, others and ourselves, and winning souls for Jesus, bringing God glory – all of which will plant us all smack dab in His heavenly eternity.

Not one of us is the same in our perceptions and understandings and how we act on them. This is why there should always be striving for loving dialogue between Christian believers of all flavors. 

We can’t do that if we judge one another regarding our approach to God’s word, our sacred rites to honor the Father and the Son, or over the way others might worship, (as long as they do not run counter to scripture). In fact, God clearly prohibits it:

Accept anyone who is weak in faith, but don’t argue about disputed matters. One who eats must not look down on one who does not eat, and one who does not eat must not judge one who does, because God has accepted him. Who are you to judge another’s household servant? Before his own Lord he stands of falls. And he will stand, because the Lord is able to make him stand. Rm. 14:1 – 4. CSB

Therefore, let us no longer judge one another. Instead decide never to put a stumbling block or pitfall in the way of your brother or sister. Rm. 14:13 CSB

So then, let us pursue what promotes peace and what builds up one another. Rm. 14:19 CSB

Now may the God who gives endurance and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another, according to Christ Jesus, so that you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ with one mind and one voice. Rm. 15:5, 6. CSB

We can come together as Christians, regardless of our denominations, if we can cling to the real Truths together, as brothers and sisters, in times of adversity or joy, helping each other, by touching God together. 

We are all united in the presence of God. We can get past the elementary ‘like attracts like,’ which pervades the denominations, and remember who we are in Christ, respecting each other’s way of reaching out to God and bringing hope to the hopeless masses.

The apostle Paul was a great example of a chameleon-like transformer in order to effectively preach the gospel. He never would have let denominations get in his way:

For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. To the Jews I became a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law, I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. To those outside that law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. 1 Cor. 9:19 – 21. ESV

We have a great big wonderful job to do, and we need all the help that we can get…

Goodnight and God bless.

Can We Follow Jesus?

“I am the Light of the World; he who follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the Light of life.” Jn. 8:12 NASB

“If anyone wishes to follow Me [as My disciple], he must deny himself [set aside selfish interests], and take up his cross daily [expressing a willingness to endure whatever may come] and follow Me [believing in Me, conforming to My example in living and, if need be, suffering or perhaps dying because of faith in Me].” Lk. 9:23 AMP

If we follow Jesus then, we must be walking in the light, i.e. not in the ways of this world; and that’s a tall order:

…present your bodies [dedicating all of yourselves, set apart] as a living sacrifice, holy and well-pleasing to God, which is your rational (logical, intelligent) act of worship. And do not be conformed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you]. Rm. 12:1, 2. AMP

The keyword in the above scripture, is ‘holy.’ If we are to follow Jesus, we must do our best to walk as He walked. Christ walked ‘sinless,’ and He was the only person to have ever done so. 

In the Hebrew, ‘holy’ means to be ‘set apart,’ dedicated to sacred purposes,’ morally pure,’ and ‘sinless.’ Other than Jesus, (and His Father), do you know anyone else who is like that? Neither do I. Yet, what does God ask of us?

For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. 1 Thess. 4:7 ESV

…He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love… E[h. 1:4 NKJV

What’s the problem? Our sin nature. We focus on overcoming it, but we can’t do it on our own strength. 

Sometimes, we look at some of our sins as being just little trangressions that don’t count. And yet, God Himself cannot brook the presence of any sin; and He demands that in order to come into HIs presence, we must be sinless. Is that possible? Can we conform to the image of God and His Son? 

…both Jews and Greeks (Gentiles) are all under sin; as it is written, “There is none righteous, not even one..” Rm. 3:9, 10. NASB

Yet, what is the defining demand that is laid upon us?

Pursue peace with everyone, and holiness – without it no one will see the Lord. Heb. 12:14 CSB

Okay. God never asks anything of us, that is not possible to achieve. To be holy is to be steeped in continual righteousness. How does that work out for us from our own efforts?

But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags… Is. 64:6 NKJV

So, we cannot do it on our own. We need Jesus:

He made Christ who knew no sin to [judicially] be sin on our behalf, so that in Him we would become the righteousness of God [that is, we would be made acceptable to Him and placed in a right relationship which Him by His gracious lovingkindness]. 2 Cor. 5;21 AMP

It is the only way that we can come to the Father:

“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” Jn. 14:6 NKJV

Again, we can’t do it by ourselves. Why? because salvation isn’t achieved by works, but by the grace of God through Christ. (Eph. 2:8, 9.; Gal. 2:16; Titus 3:5) 

Why do we need Jesus? Because our sin persists. Praise God for His intervention:

…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed… Rm. 3:23 – 25. NKJV

However, we are not without responsibility:

For if we deliberately go on sinning after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire about to consume the adversaries. Heb. 10:26, 27. CSB

We must do our best not to willfully sin, we must adopt new attitudes – those which promote living a life that pleases God. Part of that includes having faith in Him and His Son:

And he believed in the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness. Gn. 15:6 NKJV

When we do sin, (and that will be more often that we like), we must approach our Savior immediately with confession and sincere repentance. That way, we can remain in a justified, sanctified state, where God can use us for His higher purposes:

So if anyone purifies himself from anything dishonorable, he will be a special instrument, set apart, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work. 2 Tim. 2:21 CSB

This way, we can remain in adherence to the will of God. 

In addition, we must be on the alert for the devil’s attacks. The more we seek God and His will, the greater Satan will come against us – trying to get us to believe that we aren’t good Christians, and that we are not really saved. 

The way to get around that is to examine everything that you do, and ask yourself, “Does what I am doing conform to God’s will?”

It is common to be discouraged because we tend to cling to our ‘favorite’ sins. Just because we have accepted Christ, does not mean that Satan is giving up on us. He wants as many of God’s children as he can get, to join him in the lake of fire.

We must find our strength to resist him by focusing on what God has done:

For He has rescued us and drawn us to Himself from the dominion of darkness and has transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son… Col. 1:13 AMP

Yet our sinful nature still resides within us – creating an ongoing war between the spirit and the flesh: 

“If you do well [believing Me and doing what is acceptable and pleasing to Me], will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well [but ignore My instruction], sin crouches at your door; its desire is for you [to overpower you], but you must master it.” Gn. 4:7 AMP

In our pre-saved life, we developed a propensity, a predisposition to sin. We chose and still choose to sin. It’s not something that we can’t help; it is a willful act. We can also willfully choose not to, because God has given us an ‘out.’ We just have to be aware and look for it:

No temptation [regardless of its source] has overtaken or enticed you that is not common to human experience [nor is any temptation unusual or beyond human resistance]; but God is faithful [to His word – He is compassionate and trustworthy], and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability [to resist], but along with the temptation He [has in the past and is now and] will [always] provide the way out as well, so that you will be able to endure it [without yielding, and will overcome temptation with joy]. 1 Cor. 10:13 AMP

Realize that in spite of our salvation, our sin nature is not going away:

“…the inclination of the human heart is evil from youth onward.” Gn. 8:21 CSB 

But we can call upon the Holy Spirit, who now lives in us, to expose those rebellious urges so that we can do our best, (with Jesus), to overcome our insatiable flesh. The other thing we can do is to avoid the encounters where we are vulnerable. 

Satan is the great deceiver. He wants you to be ‘cocky,’ filled with a phantom confidence that you can coexist with your favorite sin, that you have it ‘handled.’ Never.

For whatever reason, this struggle against temptation is a battle God has seen fit that we all wage. Yet, as we’ve seen, it is a series of skirmishes that have the potential for victory. We can call upon the entire Godhead to deliver us before the damage is done. 

“Because he set his love on Me, therefore I will save him; I will set him [securely] on high, because he knows My name [he confidently trusts and relies on Me, knowing I will never abandon him, no never].” Ps. 91:14 AMP

Because He Himself [in HIs humanity] has suffered in being tempted, He is able to help and provide immediate assistance to those who are being tempted and exposed to suffering. Heb. 2:18 AMP

But I say, walk habitually in the [Holy] Spirit [seek Him and be responsive to His guidance], and then you will certainly not carry out the desire of the sinful nature [which responds impulsively without regard for God and His precepts]. Gal. 5:16 AMP

We are in battle with the world. To prevail, we need to arm ourselves with a continual immersion in the word of God and exercise prayer to be able to resist the prince of the power of the air and his realm. 

Before you engage in any questionable activity, ask yourself 4 questions (from The Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges):

1. Is it helpful – physically, spiritually and mentally?

2. Does it bring me under its power?

3. Does it hurt others?

4. Does it glorify God?

You would surely be able to qualify if something is potentially sinful by engaging in this inquiry. 

Sin is not going to give up; and you will fall from time to time. Yet, we can work on putting on behaviors that are contrary to the nature of our favorite sins. Learn to say ‘no.’ Stay away from environments, habits and people who entice you. Cleanse your thoughts. 

You are what you think:

For as he thinks within himself, so is he. Pr. 23:7 NASB

…if anything is excellent and if anything is admirable, focus your thoughts on these things: all that is true, all that is holy, all that is just, all that is pure, all that is lovely, and all that is worthy of praise. Phil. 4:8 CSB

And then, act those thoughts out. Go on the offensive. Make no exceptions. You can walk a holy walk of obedience to your God. Let others know that you are a Christian. It puts you on the spot for God, and that’s a good thing.

You were chosen for this. Yes, you can follow Jesus…

…God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth… 2 Thess. 2:13 NKJV

Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God. 2 Cor. 7:1 ESV

Goodnight and God bless

Are You Baptized in the Spirit?

Jesus answered, “Truly I tell you, unless someone is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” Jn. 3:5 CSB

Jesus told Nicodemus that a water baptism was required. It is a symbolic enactment of being born again. The immersion signifies burying your old sinful self, and the ascension from the water implies your new birth as a cleansed holy child of God by the cleansing blood of Christ. It does not sanctify you, but it is a public declaration of your discipleship to Jesus that God requires for you to enter His kingdom – baptized in the name of Jesus for remission of sins.

But what’s Jesus talking about when He refers to being ‘born of the Spirit?’ It is synonymous with being ‘baptized with the Holy Spirit’ or ‘filled with the Holy Spirit.’ We are first introduced to this concept by John the Baptist as he was baptizing, prior to the inauguration of Christ’s ministry:

“As for me, I baptize you with water because of [your] repentance [that is, because you are willing to change your inner self – your old way of thinking, regret your sin and live a changed life], but He (the Messiah) who is coming after me is mightier [more powerful, more noble] than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to remove [even as His slave]; He will baptize you [who truly repent] with the Holy Spirit and [you who remain unrepentant] with fire (judgment).” Mt. 3:11 AMP

Obviously, it includes the endowment of the Holy Spirit. The believer generally seeks this out after the water baptism, commonly facilitated by the prayers of a church elder. Some churches expect the receiver to begin talking in tongues. We’ll come back to that. Others are content to accept the prayers and claim their Holy Spirit baptism. However, the Bible suggests repeatedly that this Spirit baptism does involve a ‘certain ‘experience.’ It is also said to be the time when whatever gifts of the Spirit are conveyed upon the believer as an enhancement for their part in advancing the kingdom.

It is a volitional request to the Holy Spirit to dwell within in us and have free and total reign over our spirit. Jesus attested to the Holy Spirit baptism as an event of great change:

“I am sending the Promise of My Father [the Holy Spirit] upon you; but you are to remain in the city [of Jerusalem] until you are clothed (fully equipped) with power from on high.” Lk. 24:49 AMP

Indeed, the first time the Holy Spirit manifested upon the first church, all the recipients did speak in tongues – declaring the gospel in multiple languages in an environment filled with travelers from other nations. Thus, the church was advancing the kingdom.  

But, don’t get hung up on speaking in tongues. Everyone receives different gifts from the Holy Spirit:

Now there are [distinctive] varieties of spiritual gifts [special abilities given by the grace and extraordinary power of the Holy Spirit operating in believers}. And there are [distinctive] varieties of ministries and service, but it is the same Lord [who is served]. And there are [distinctive] ways of working [to accomplish things], but it is the same God who produces all things in all believers [inspiring, energizing, and empowering them]. But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit [the spiritual illumination and enabling of the Holy Spirit] for the common good. 1 Cor. 12:4 – 7. AMP

It is the Holy Spirit who determines what gift(s) that you get. Be content with that:

But the one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills. 1 Cor. 12:11 NASB

The most important thing to remember is that the Holy Spirit, who even know what God thinks (1 Cor 2:10, 11.), gives you the gift that best serves you in serving God:

“…you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” Acts 1:8 NASB

The Bible tells us that the apostle Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit on multiple occasions when he was advancing the kingdom. Some biblical scholars suggest then that we should pray for that filling before every use of our ‘gifts’ to do God’s work – not because He’s not there, it’s to petition His power:

Don’t neglect the spiritual gift within you, [that special endowment] which was intentionally bestowed upon you [by the Holy Spirit] through prophetic utterance when the elders laid their hands on you…Practice and work hard on these things; be absorbed in them… ! Tim. 4:14, 15. AMP

So now we’re ready. What must happen to receive this Holy Spirit baptism? Let’s go back to Peter again:

[This process is a paraphrase of a 1910 book entitled The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit, by R. A. Torrey, that inspired this post and the two others before it. If you’re interested in an in-depth exposition, it is a FREE read online at The Project Gutenberg; (Gutenberg.org)].

“Repent and be baptized, each of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:38 CSB

The framework within your repentance* and confession must rest then, is your faith in who Christ is, and the salvation He provided on the cross, which also positions you to receive the Holy Spirit. *And the repentance must be your best attempt to avoid allsins, for the Holy Spiritbaptism to take place. So, ask God to reveal any sin that you may be clinging to, so that you may walk in your best obedience, coming from your greatest effort to surrender to His will.

Next, you must have a sincere yearning for a Holy Spirit baptism, coming from your realization that you need it:

“If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” But this He spoke of the Spirit, who those who believed in Him were to receive… Jn. 7:37 – 39. NASB

Yes, we do receive the Holy Spirit when we believe in Jesus, but the Holy Spirit baptism, as we have looked at, is an additional aspect, whereby the Spirit fills you with your spiritual gifts to forward the kingdom. For this to happen, you petition God in prayer:

When they had prayed, the place where they were assembled was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God boldly. Acts 4:31 CSB

Lastly, (but concurrently through the whole process), we must apply our faith in the receiving of our prayerful appeal:

This is the [remarkable degree of] confidence which we [as believers are entitled to] have before Him: that if we ask anything according to His will, [that is, consistent with His plan and purpose] He hears us. And if we know [for a fact, as indeed we do] that He hears and listens to us in whatever we ask, we [also] know [with settled and absolute knowledge] that we have [granted to us] the requests which we have asked from Him. 1 Jn. 5:14 – 15. AMP

You’ve met all the requirements. As with your faith in your salvation, even though you may not feel any different, so it may be with your Holy Spirit baptism. For myself, that was the case; and yet, within months afterwards, I began to discern that I was gaining a gift of ‘teaching’ the word of God, (Eph. 4:11-13), writing and coming back to re-read it, knowing that I couldn’t have written that by  myself. Your gift will manifest when it is time. No one has the exact same experience. You were promised your Spirit baptism, you will receive it…

Goodnight and God bless. 

Why Do We Need the Holy Spirit?

Last time, we looked at who the Holy Spirit is. Now, we’ll examine why we need Him by virtue of what He does for all those who accept Christ as their Savior.

1. As we alluded to last time, He is involved along with Jehovah God and Jesus in the creation process of everything. (Jn. 6:63)

In the beginning God (Elohim) created [by forming from nothing] the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void or a waste and emptiness, and darkness was upon the face of the deep [primeval ocean that covered the unformed earth]. The Spirit of God was moving (hovering, brooding) over the face of the waters. Gn. 1:1, 2. AMP

By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and by the breath of His mouth all their host. Ps. 33:6 NASB

And, it’s an ongoing process:

You send forth Your Spirit, they are created; and you renew the face of the ground. Ps. 104:30 NASB

2. He brings to our realization the state of our sin and the need for salvation through Christ:

“And He when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; and concerning righteousness because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me; and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world (Satan) has been judged.” Jn. 16:8 – 11. NASB

Left to their own reasoning, most people cannot or will not recognize their own sin. We need the help of the Holy Spirit for better discernment concerning the condition of our souls, and to empower us to help the unsaved understand their plight.

3. The Holy Spirit opens our eyes to Christ. See the apostle Peter making the declaration that He is a witness of Jesus and His doings and teachings, to the apostles and all other believers:

“And we are His witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.” Acts 5:32 NKJV

“I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear [to hear] them now. But when He, the Spirit of Truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth [full and complete truth]. For He will not speak on His own initiative, but will speak whatever He hears [from the Father – the message regarding the Son], and He will disclose to you what is to come [in the future]. He will glorify and honor Me, because He (the Holy Spirit) will take from what is Mine and will disclose it to you.” Jn. 16:12 – 14. AMP

In fact, we cannot even begin to see Jesus for who He is nor testify about Him, without the Holy Spirit:

…no one can say, “Jesus is [my] Lord,” except by [the power and influence of] the Holy Spirit.” 1 Cor. 12:3 AMP

4. Along with the blood of Jesus, the Spirit is integral to the process of our redemption, and was promised to us by Christ:

He saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we have done, but because of His own compassion and mercy, by the cleansing of the new birth (spiritual transformation, regeneration) and renewing by the Holy Spirit… Titus 3:5 AMP

“If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. The one who believes in me, as the Scripture has said, will have streams of living water flow from deep within him.” He said this about the Spirit. Those who believed in Jesus were going to receive the Spirit, for the Spirit had not yet been given because Jesus had not yet been glorified. Jn. 7:37 – 39. CSB

And because you belong to him (Jesus), the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. Rm. 8:2 NLT

…God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through the sanctifying work of the Spirit… 2 Thess. 2:13 AMP

And, it is the Holy Spirit that empowers us to evangelize with regards to that outcome, as our service to the Lord:

Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the [Holy] Spirit who is from God, so that we may know and understand the [wonderful] things freely given to us by God. We also speak of these things, not in words taught or supplied by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining and interpreting spiritual thoughts with spiritual words [for those being guided by the Holy Spirit]. 1 Cor. 2:12 – 14. AMP

Furthermore, we also testify our redemption by living out our transformative behaviors – empowered by the Spirit:

…the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, gentleness, self-control. Gal. 5:22-23. AMP

…walk by the Spirit and you will certainly not carry out the desire of the flesh. Gal. 5:16 CSB

5. The presence of the Holy Spirit within us forms the space where He can channel Christ through us as well:

May He (Jehovah) grant you out of the riches of His glory, to be strengthened and spiritually energized with power through His Spirit in your inner self, [indwelling your innermost being and personality], so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through your faith. Eph. 3:16, 17. AMP

And that, makes us redeemed children of God as we saw in section 4 above:

For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading again to fear [of God’s judgment], but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons [the Spirit producing sonship] by which we [joyfully] cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself testifies and confirms together with our spirit [assuring us] the we [believers] are children of God. Rm. 8:15, 16. AMP

6. The Holy Spirit guides you to your eternal destiny:

…if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. Rm. 8:11 NASB

So, we have seen that the Holy Spirit is part of the Godhead that comes to live within us when we accept Christ as our Savior. He is a major part of every aspect of our spirituality, as well as being vital to our very lives – at inception, now, and eternally.

Thank our Lord Jesus Christ for petitioning the Holy Spirit for us, and thank our Creator, Jehovah God, for granting that petition. Thank all three for preparing us for eternity, as we briefly discussed in #4 above, regarding the Holy Spirit baptism. That discussion was very concise due to me trying to keep the length of this post manageable. It requires an in-depth review in and of itself. Next time…

Goodnight and God bless.