November 28, 1998
John 3:5 Jesus answered, Most assuredly, I
say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot
enter the kingdom of God.
6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
You may ask what is the relationship between the above verse and the title of this page. Plenty in many ways. To begin with, let us understand why Jesus died in the first place. Certainly it was to pay for the sin of the world. When He shed His blood upon Calvary it was to initiate a new covenant. An integral part of that covenant was to give us the Holy Spirit as an indwelling presence within us. Prior to this the Spirit of God could and did descend upon a man but the indwelling presence could not be given because of the sin within the person. Through repentance (water baptism being the outward sign) we were born again through the giving of His Holy Spirit. No longer do we have to fellowship with God as an outward presence but He speaks to our hearts and we enter into the holy of holies in the heavenly places. Remember that the kingdom of God is now within you. There is no sin to separate us from the love of God, for He resides within us. There is literally no distance between us and our Father.
Now, as many as received Him did He give the power, the authority, the right, to become the sons of God. Where does this power come from? The Spirit of God that resides within you. By who's authority? By the Spirit of Jesus that resides within you. By what right? The right of the Spirit of the Father in His sons and daughters. This is one of the reasons that He died, so that we could receive Him, His Spirit.
The scriptures say that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Did you know that there is also more available to the believer than the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. For the indwelling of the Holy Spirit was first given to the disciples the same day that Jesus rose from the dead. Read John 20.19-23. He breathed on them and said " receive the Holy Spirit ". What then of Pentecost 50 days later? That is the Holy Spirit coming upon the believers to empower them with gifts so that they can do the work of the ministry. The healings, raising from the dead, casting out spirits, prophecy, etc that Jesus did in His ministry, we are to do the same and greater works than these because Jesus went to the Father and He sent the Holy Spirit. (John 14)
What great and marvelous truths these are. The Holy Spirit in us and upon us. The bible says that " God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind ". What does this mean? That through the Spirit of power we can overcome the desires of the sinful flesh. That through the Spirit of love we can have our hearts changed to be more like Jesus. That through the Spirit of a sound mind we can throw off the shackles of a twisted, weak, sickly mind and have the mind of Christ.
My goodness this sounds to good to be true. No, it is true, but there is a catch. What!? If we are to live in the Spirit and receive all those good things then we must also walk in the Spirit. If you will not walk out your faith being led by the Holy Spirit, how then can you receive the blessings. You will never be at the appointed places to receive nor will you be at the appointed places to give to someone in need.
Here is a great warning! Do not quench the Spirit! Yet we evade, compromise, deny!
How so? There are many that do not believe that the working of the Holy Spirit as in the early years of the church are for today. Yet the covenant established by Jesus has not been done away with. It is still the very same covenant. Nothing has changed. The word still needs to go out and signs and wonders will follow. Not through enticing words but the power of God. So many evade or compromise the word of God. Bottom line... they deny! Where is the power?
The Lord our God wants us to forgive those that harm us. He wants us to give of our time, work, money. He wants us to pray for others, sing out His praises so others can hear, to worship Him, the only true God. He wants us to come together to fellowship with one another. These are God's desire for us to do and He will lead us to do it through His Spirit. These things we do because we love. "But?", you say! And thus you start to compromise in what He says to do. Some things you simply evade doing or taking responsibility for. If you will not do these things as the Spirit leads, and He does lead you to do them, then you are denying Him. Where is the fruit?
Are you doing something you shouldn't? Do you gossip, lie, argue, complain? Steal? Cheat? The list goes on. Do you know that all these things are of the flesh? The flesh fights against the Spirit. The carnal mind, the one of the flesh, loves to do all these things and gives reasons why it is right to do them. God's Holy Spirit tells you not to do them yet you evade or compromise, give excuses. When you do what the flesh wants according to the carnal mind you are... you guessed it... denying the Spirit. Where is the sound mind?
He has given you the Spirit of power, of love, of a sound mind. Repent! Believe Him! Believe His word! Believe He loves you! No good thing will He withhold from you! But it starts with obeying what His Spirit is giving to you. Stop denying Him!
Spend time with Him in the word and in prayer. Know what He wants to do and give, then ask. In Luke we read "how much more then will He give the Holy Spirit to those who ask".
Do not resist Him but yield to His Spirit.
Follow His leading, for He knows what we need to do in relationships, when to use spiritual gifts, how to accomplish the ministry to the saints.
Closing note... Jesus while here on the earth lived a life that was pleasing to the Father. He was an ordinary man in favour with His family and friends. Then He went down to the Jordan to be baptised by John. The Spirit of God descended upon Him and His whole life changed. Where ever the Spirit led He went. Whatever miracle occurred it was through the Spirit. The only thing that Jesus supplied of His own was love. Because of this love for The Father and us, He obeyed the leading of the Holy Spirit. From the Jordan to the cross it was the Spirit's power and leading. Jesus denied the Spirit nothing. If we say we are His then follow Jesus' example. Deny the Spirit nothing.
Dear Father in heaven. Teach us to deny the Spirit nothing so that we may have the power, the heart, the mind, of your precious Son, Jesus our Lord.
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