Friday, 21 October 2016

The Holy Spirit & Salvation. ~ Ganeida

When Jesus was preparing to return to the Father, He made a promise to his disciples that He would not
 abandon them as orphans~ He would come to them. [John 14:18] That promise has been kept in the person of the Holy Spirit & it is of the Holy Spirit I wish to speak to you today.

The Holy Spirit is the identifying mark of the Christian.  Ephesians 4:30 says And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, by whom you are sealed unto the day of redemption.  It is a very comforting verse to many Christians.  We think it is about us.  It is not.  It is about Jesus. Here is why:

In 1 Corinthians 6:9 Paul tells us we are not our own ~ we have been bought with a price.  Sphragizō, is to seal, or to brand.  It is a mark of ownership. A seal was how you might mark those goods that belonged to you on a trading ship or authenticate a letter; a brand was how you marked your slaves.  The NLT puts it like this: And do not bring sorrow to God's Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.

So when Paul says we have been sealed it is his way of telling us it is Jesus way of marking His possessions ~ a bit like putting a name tag on a jacket. People read the tag & go, Oh, that belongs to so & so… Romans 8:9 makes it very clear: And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all… Jesus looks for the Holy Spirit in you because that is His mark of ownership.  No Holy Spirit, not His.

Jesus said: My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. [John 10:27]

Only those who have Christ’s Holy Spirit living in them belong to Him.  Only those who have the Holy Spirit are truly capable of hearing Christ’s voice & obeying His instructions.  It does not matter how often you go to church [though that is a good thing] or how many good things you do in this life, if you do not have God’s Spirit within you, you do not belong to Him & you are not saved.

If you have God’s Spirit you will do those things that He requires of you ~ & make no mistake; He requires plenty of us! But the doing is not a guarantee of salvation.
Without the Holy Spirit’s guidance & power it is actually impossible to be a Christian. Romans 8:5 tells us The mind of the flesh is death, but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace,… It is the Holy Spirit who brings the New Life, the New Creation, the ability to understand spiritual truths, the ability & power to actually do those good works that God Himself has prepared for us to do.

Actually, it is impossible to even be saved without the Holy Spirit because one of His jobs is to convict the world of its sin: John 16:7/8 But I tell you the truth, it is for your benefit that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God's righteousness, and of the coming judgment.

 A person who is convinced they are not in error will not change unless convicted otherwise. The very first step for salvation is the convicting work of the Holy Spirit who convinces us that there is such a thing as sin & we live it! Only then can God move to bring us into a state of repentance & reconciliation.

 Have you ever heard someone say, Well, I’ve read the bible & it’s just been written by a bunch of old men… They don’t understand it.  They can’t.  The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.[ 1 Cor 2:14].  

With no Holy Spirit within them to make things clear & bring revelation real understanding eludes them because one of the names of the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth.  In this capacity He helps us discern what is true from what is false in Spiritual matters.  He helps us understand how spiritual things work.  He helps us discern heresy from sound doctrine. He helps us know if our government is righteous or leading the people into sin. John 14:26 says: But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and remind you of everything that I have told you.

You see there are 2 worlds.  There is this world that you can see all about you but there is the other, unseen world that seeks to overthrow the authority of God.  We are involved in a war & in any war it is necessary to know who is on which side, who your enemies are & to be on the lookout for spies who may have infiltrated your camp.  The Holy Spirit is how the Spiritual, the angel & demon forces, tell which side you are on.  They actually have a much better idea of our spiritual standing than we do!

1Cor 2:14
Nevertheless, God's firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: "The Lord knows those who are His," and, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord must turn away from iniquity."

I John 3:9 says it this way: No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. The Greek word used for sin here is hamartanō, meaning to miss the mark or be in error.  So those who are born of the Spirit do not continue in error.

The Spirit of God & the Word of God will always agree & this agreement is one way we can discern truth from error.  The word will never say one thing & God’s Spirit another. Jesus understood that a house divided against itself cannot stand [Mark 3:25] because there is a biblical principle that every matter must be established by two or three witnesses [2Corinthians 3:1] & [Deuteronomy 19:15].  So the Word & Spirit will be 2 witnesses in agreement.  This prevents *flaky Christianity*. You need never listen to someone who is running around saying… God said…if that something is not supported by scripture.

Salvation is easy. Romans 10:9~10 says  if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with your heart you believe and are justified, and with your mouth you confess and are saved.…

Salvation is through the shed blood Jesus Christ as atonement for our sin but sanctification is through the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Again the worth for believe is pisteuō ~ Faith in what one cannot see, a conviction that what is promised by scripture has been accomplished in your life.

The test of salvation is the manifestation of the work of the Holy Spirit in your life.  The Holy Spirit brings repentance.  He will convict you of sin.  You will have an aversion to the sinful things that once attracted you & you enjoyed because now the Holy Spirit of God lives in you & wants to lead you in holiness & righteousness that is pleasing unto God.  He does not condemn you.  That is the work of satan wanting to drag up your past & hold you in bondage to it. No!  The Holy Spirit sets you free from your past & wants to set you free to walk according to God’s law of love.

Then the Holy Spirit will manifest Himself to you in 2 ways. 1 Corinthians 12:4 ~6 says He gives gifts: There are different kinds of gifts. But they are all given to believers by the same Spirit. There are different ways to serve. But they all come from the same Lord. There are different ways the Spirit works. But the same God is working in all these ways and in all people.

Then He will also produce fruit in your life: Galatians5:22/23~
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no Law.

However there is a warning;  Isaiah 57:16 says: For I will not fight against you forever; I will not always be angry. If I were, all people would pass away~all the souls I have made. There is a limit to the opportunity God provides.

1 John 2:17 tells us: The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever. 

A day will come when there will be an end.  There will be no further opportunity given for coming into God’s kingdom. Some will die.  Some will be here when Christ returns.  Either way,  No further opportunity will be offered to know God the Father, His son, Jesus Christ, or to be sealed with the Holy Spirit. Jesus gives the strongest possible warning in Matthew 12:32:

Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the one to come.
The Holy Spirit’s primary job is to point to Jesus Christ & his work of salvation.  To slander Him is to attribute His work, His miracles, His person to the demonic.  It is to completely reject the atoning work of Christ that the Holy Spirit strives to draw men’s attention to. Broadly it is to consistently love evil in preference to good & to choose wickedness over righteousness. This is to put oneself beyond any possibility of salvation & it grieves the Holy Spirit.  It grieves him because God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. This is a well known & beloved verse ~ so well known & so loved we rarely move beyond it but Jesus said something more.
God loved us enough to sacrifice His son in the most terrible of ways just so we could fellowship with Him forever. Verse17 goes on to say: God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.
18 There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son.
There’s the crunch.  Rejection of Christ brings one under judgement & condemnation ~ the very thing Christ died to prevent & the Holy Spirit works to highlight.
 19And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. 20 All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. 21 But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.”
To love our sin more than God’s holiness is to reject all that the Holy Spirit offers us. Is fear of exposure keeping you from God? He already knows it all.  Is the Holy Spirit calling your name today?  Is He inviting you to get to know Him as the very Spirit of God eager to make you His sanctuary & show you how to be washed in the blood of Jesus & sealed unto the day of Redemption?

Hebrews 3:15
Remember what it says: "Today when you hear his voice, don't harden your hearts as Israel did when they rebelled."  Rather heed His call & enter into the Love of God where there is no more condemnation but the promise of full restoration for your spirit, body & mind.

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