Last month we thought a bit about spiritual living in relationship to “hungering and thirsting for righteousness.”
We noted from I Corinthians that it should not be surprising that the world is filled with sinful living since “the unspiritual (or natural) person does not receive the gifts of the Spirit of God, for they (they gifts) are folly to them and they are not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.” (I Corinthians 2:14)
But at forgiveness, the new birth that is from above (John 3),
the converted person, the one who is redeemed and renewed, receives the Spirit of God who comes to dwell within the cleansed (by the blood of the Lamb) and thus purified person! (Acts 2:38 & 5:32) This means that the “new life” individual, who is called Christian, no longers lives alone. AND the presence of God’s Spirit living in us brings supernatural power, God’s power to our daily, now spiritual, living.
Doesn’t that give us much to think about
and to feed our souls — our very being — when we learn such truths as Paul is saying in II Timothy 1:6 & 7, “Hence I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you ….. For God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of power and love and self-control.
Thus we are not simply “praise the Lord” people, but we also have new power, a new ability to live with God’s love and be loving, as well as the strength to be self-controlled — that is to think, act, and react according to the guidance of The Lord within us — NOT just by our gut, “that’s the way I am”, feeling or nature.
Implications of “the Holy Spirit within” are too numerous for this one article. However, a few can set us meditating:
1. From I Corinthians; “I am of Paul, I am of Apollos, I am of Cephas (Peter)” falls far short of what “I am of Christ” means. When depending on other people, even if they are apostles or faithful messengers, that is not the same, nor as adequate, as depending on Christ, God the Father, and the Holy spirit.
2. From Romans 8 (please read it again); it is evident that spiritual living depends on our setting our minds on the things of the Spirit. (verses 3-11 and all of the chapter.)
3. From I Thessalonians 5:12-24; Verse 19 instructs even us today, “Do not quench the Spirit (the One within us?), do not despise prophesying (the proclaiming of God’s Word?).
NO, the life giving blood for the Christian is “Christ in us (Col. 1:27 and other passages), the Holy Spirit in us (passages already mentioned plus I Cor. 6:19, 3:16, II Cor. 6:16-18, I John 3:24 and others), and God in us (Eph. 2:22, “church [redeemed] are dwelling place of God”).
So what an amazing arrangement it is!
The God of the universe, The One who made us who we are, The Almighty has come to live right inside us! “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loves me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)
As we asked last month: What change is God calling for in our daily walk?
From this article; What alteration in perspective, in faith, will come about within us? And how will life change, whether we are in the twilight years, in the early formation of our relationship with God, or somewhere in between?
Is it not true that there cannot be real abundant living (John 10) unless there is basic “spiritual” life growing and sustaining us day by day?