“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. You know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you…. Because I live, you also will live. In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you….
If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” (John 14:15-17, 19-20, 23)
Christians are called to be not just conquerors, but “more than conquerors”. (Romans 8:37). Spiritual forces of evil should not prevail against us because our Lord disarmed them and has all authority over them. (Matthew 16:18-19, 28:18-20; Colossians 2:15) All things are possible for us who believe because He who is in us is greater than he who is in the world. (Mark 9:23; 1 John 4:4) God is able to do abundantly far more than we can ask or imagine through His power at work within us. (Ephesians 3:20-21)
All of this is the Word of God. But for all or almost all of us, it is not the reality of our day-to-day lives as Christians. My friends, something is wrong. And it is not the Word of God that is wrong. It is our lack of knowledge and faith in the Word.
God declared, in Old Testament times, that His people were being exiled and destroyed for lack of knowledge. (Isaiah 5:13; Hosea 4:6) From the time of the Book of Hebrews to today, most of us under the New Covenant remain “unskilled” and ineffective because we are “dull of hearing” and immature. (Hebrews 5:11-14)
God’s divine power has already granted to us all the things we need for glorious and godly living. (2 Peter 1:3-4) “All the things” means many “things”. However, there is only room in this column for me to list the one “thing” I believe is most important and most ignored. God Almighty lives in His children! (1 Corinthians 3:16)
All Bible-believing Christians know sin separates us from God. (Genesis 3; Isaiah 59:2; Romans 5:12-14) Because God is the only source of everlasting life, the “wages” of separation include death. (Romans 6:23) To be saved from death and restored to everlasting life, we must end separation by being reconciled back to God. (2 Corinthians 5:18-19).
Reconciliation required that the sin barrier be removed by the blood of Jesus, and it was. (1 John 2:2) It also requires that we choose to return to relationship with God by submitting ourselves in faith to Jesus as Savior and Lord. (Romans 10:8-13)
Here, in God’s radical concept of reconciliation, is where it really gets exciting.
When we come to our senses like the prodigal son and return to God through Jesus, the heavenly Father runs to embrace and kiss us by sending His Holy Spirit to live in us. (Luke 11:13, 15:11-24; Mark 1:8; Acts 2:38) By receiving the Holy Spirit, we are “born again”, “born of the Spirit”, and “born of God”, becoming God’s children. (John 1:12-13, 3:3-8)
Being a child of God is obviously awesome! But we must understand it is also the total opposite of being children or offspring of any earthly creature, including mankind.
For every earthly creature, the offspring begins life connected to the “parent” and then matures over time to become an adult who is separated from and independent of the parent.
But for children of God, our new birth starts by ending separation, and maturity comes not by increasing independence but through ever-increasing intimacy and trusting obedience.
I urge everyone to read John 14-17 and then read it again, and again. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one. Through the Holy Spirit, we are being brought into that oneness, both in identity and purpose.
Our mind, body and soul are works in progress, but our spirit and the Holy Spirit have already become one. (1 Corinthians 6:17; 1 Thessalonians 5:23) This “umbilical cord” will never be cut. And the more we know, trust and obey God’s Word, the more the Father and the Son will also make their home in us and manifest through us. (John 14:21, 23)
The Holy Spirit is not just “the Spirit of our adoption”. (Romans 8:15) He is the “Spirit of the Lord”, the “Spirit of Christ”, the “Spirit of our Father”, and the “Spirit of glory”. (Genesis 1:2; Philippians 1:19; Matthew 10:20; 1 Peter 4:14) Through Him – God the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity – God Almighty lives in His children.
As we come to truly know this, the scriptures at the beginning of this column will finally make sense and become reality in our lives.
God bless you, and God bless our community.