The Eternal Spirit of Life, Romans 8:2 & Hebrews 9:14

It should be known beyond doubt, that human life is sacred, holy and priceless. This is why Jesus said to let “little children come to me and do not forbid them for such is the kingdom of God”, Luke 18:16. The uniqueness of human life and our invaluable spiritual nature, is part of the many reasons why Christians defend pro-life ministries and denounce abortion. The life-giving Spirit of Christ is holy and powerful to enable the church to stand against and speak out against the lies of pro-choice movements, ideologies, policies and laws promoting abortion. In the mind of Christians, we are able to cast down and bring into captivity every thought that is against the knowledge of God, 2nd Corinthians 10:5. This is not because we are better educated in the Scriptures, rather it is because what we do know in the Scriptures is empowered by the holiness of Christ’s Spirit, who lives within our hearts. Holiness is what makes God’s power omnipotent! Psalm 68:35, Luke 1:35, Acts 1:8, 10:38, Romans 15:13, 1st Thessalonians 1:5 & Revelation 20:6. 

The power of God displayed throughout our universe is undeniably astounding. We can see the divine power and eternal life of the Spirit in three ways: 

The Creation, Genesis 1:2 & Psalm 104:30, Romans 1:19-20.

The Resurrection of Christ, Romans 1:4

The Strength of Spirituality in Humanity, Romans 1:9 & 15:19 & 1st Corinthians 2:4.

When Jesus healed people, he sometimes pointed out that more power was being displayed in forgiving a person, than physically healing a person. The Holy Spirit in Christ was at work most powerfully in being able to cleanse a single soul, rather than when he was healing a hundred paralytics or broken limbs. Read Matthew 9:1-8 and ask yourself this question: What is the critics accusation against? Christ’s power to forgive, or to heal? It was the fact that Jesus claimed to be God that led his critics to try to kill him and eventually publicly cry “crucify him”, John 5:18. The Eternal life giving Spirit is truly demonstrating the power to give life when He cleanses and forgives a soul, because God restores life forever, but restoring a physical illness is only temporary. You see God sanctifies our spirit with His Spirit when we are being forgiven, Romans 15:16.

If you ever feel weak in your discipleship or in trying to spread God’s word, never forget the most effective and greatest servant of the Lord in His eyes was John the Immersionist and yet he never performed a single miracle. Matthew 11:11 & John 10:41

The Gift of the Holy Spirit, Romans 8:8-10

The work of the Spirit through disciples is active in the very real sense that he helps us grow the fruit of the Spirit from within our heart, and intercedes for us in our prayers. There are actually several activities of the Spirit within Christians, that we may not be totally aware of, but we should truly appreciate.

  1. God has distributed a measure of faith to each one. Now as we have many parts in one body, and all the parts do not have the same function, in the same way we who are many are one body in Christ and individually members of one another. Romans 12:3-5.
  2.  Applying by faith the blood of Christ upon our souls, Hebrews 10:22
  3.  Interceding by faith in our prayers to God the Father, Romans 8:26-28.
  4. Growing by faith the fruitful character of Christ in our souls, Galatians 5:22-23. 
  5. Comforting us by faith with His loving presence in our souls, Acts 2:38-39, Rom. 5:5, 15:30.

Christians are instructed to walk in the Spirit, live by the Spirit and pray in the Spirit. Walking in the Spirit may best be described as following Jesus in our daily life as we try to do what is right, Romans 8:4. Living by the Spirit may best be described as trusting Jesus to help us grow to be more like him in our attitude during daily life, Galatians 5:25. But what does it mean to pray in the Spirit? There are two passages which may help us understand what God intends in this instruction: Ephesians 6:18 & Jude v20. Paul tells all Christians that God gave Christians His interceding Spirit to help us pray for one another as Paul did for them. That is a privileged gift and honor to enjoy. Jude tells us that when we do this, our faith is being strengthened! That is a gift of power from within the inner person as God increases or “builds up” our faith to standfast and grow in the grace & knowledge of Christ. Do we pray in the Spirit? If we pray like Christ and His apostles, for the will of God to be fulfilled in each other’s lives, then YES! To pray in any other way, is to pray amiss as James warns us from doing and causing ourselves frustration and strife, James 4:2-3. Every Christian has God’s Spirit helping us pray and bear fruit. However there are some gifts which The Gift of God’s Spirit gives some of us but not others, remember Romans 12:5-8 shows grace from Christ in different functions, such as faithful prophecy, practical service, instructional teaching, encouraging exhortation, generous contributions, enthusiastic leadership and cheerful acts of mercy. No one single Christian is graced to enjoy all of these gifts, but all of us can do one or two, maybe even a few! How do you use the gift, which the Spirit of Grace has given you?

Activity of the Holy Spirit, Acts 1:1-5

The promised Holy Spirit’s baptism was fulfilled & experienced by the Apostles, not all of the disciples, but only to the Apostles, this can be emphasized by comparing this passage 1:1-5 with 1:26 – 2:4. It is important to clarify and establish which group was promised the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and which group was promised the gift of the Holy Spirit’s indwelling presence. If we read the first few chapters of Acts in one setting, it is easy to see the distinction between disciples and Apostles. Acts 2:37-39 are the words the Apostle Peter addressed to any and all disciples, promising the indwelling Holy Spirit as a gift, if they repent and obey Christ in his baptism, not the baptism of Moses, not the baptism of John nor the baptism of the Spirit but Christ’s baptism. Paul knew how distinct the baptism of Christ was, and how the gift of His Spirit was promised within it, Acts 19. But he also knew how distinct the baptism of the Spirit was for the Apostle’s unique role of authority and power to establish the church while confirming the gospel with miracles & signs, Mark 16:20. It was only the Apostles that could choose any disciple and/or believer to lay hands on them, and they too would be able to confirm the word and help establish the church with miracles the Spirit would work through them, but that disciple could not lay hands on anyone to pass this work of the Spirit on to another disciple. That was only the Apostles prerogative and power.

The work of the Spirit is three-fold. Firstly in his activity creating the earth, Gen. 1:1-2 and renewing it, Psalm 104:30, Secondly in his mediation in establishing godly leaders for Israel’s success in Moses, Joshua, the Judges, the Prophets and Kings such as David, Deuteronomy 34:9-12. Thirdly in the giving of Himself to the Church via Christ’s Apostles and His baptism, Acts 2:38-39 & Acts 10:42-48.The measure of the Spirit in Jesus was immeasurable because Christ was God, He had the Holy Spirit without measure, See John 3:34. Therefore the work of the Spirit was perfect in Jesus. However the work of the Spirit in the Apostles was very powerful, (miraculous) but not perfect, they each were mere humans. Even Peter had to be rebuked by Paul for his intentional hypocrisy, Galatians 2:8-14. To understand why Christ’s Spirit works differently in the Apostles than He does in disciples we should consider the actions of Philip the disciple in introducing Simon the sorcerer to the Apostles Peter & John. Look closely at the wording of the story of Simon the sorcerer becoming a Christian, Acts 8:9-25. Watch his reaction and faith while reacting to the Apostles Peter & John. The work of the Spirit is different because the Apostles have a greater measure of the Spirit, than the measure of the Spirit in Philip. Simon did not offer Philip money for the ability to lay hands on others. It was the Apostles that had the larger measure of the Spirit and could lay hands on anyone they wanted to share powerful works in miracles. But disciples having experienced the Apostles’ hands being laid upon them could not pass the measure of work/activity on to others. That measure of work was only for the Apostles. They could work miracles by the Spirit with the measure they had, but only the Apostles could pass it on. Because of this very obvious fact amongst the Apostles, when Peter saw Cornelius, experiencing the Holy Spirit falling upon the Gentiles, he was astonished! See Acts 10:44-47. Peter knew no one could deny them the right to be baptized by water in Christ because the Spirit of Christ was ‘falling’ upon Cornelius’ household. This did not give Cornelius the ability to lay hands on anyone to give them a measure of the Spirit for working miracles. But truly they as Gentiles were holy as Jewish Christians were holy. This explains why Christ’s Spirit is working in two different ways between Apostles and Christians, ANY Christian! To ensure the Apostles were established as the only leaders with authority that Christians could not obtain, but yet show all of them united as One, having the exact same Holy Spirit of Christ.

The Spirit of Glory & Truth, Isaiah 11:1-4

The ancient prophet Isaiah says so much about the coming Messiah, this passage relates to us the promise of power in the Christ to come. His power would emanate from God’s Spirit of wisdom & counsel. When Jesus proclaimed that he was the Way, the Truth and the Life, as recorded in John 14:6, he was making his disciples certain of his unique path set towards life and the resurrection itself, previously stated in John 11:25. This must have been glorious to see & experience. What looked like a mere man, stating such grand claims and having the power to not just make them with miracles, but to prove them true in the face of death itself. It is because of his resurrection, that His Spirit proved not only his Sonship with God the Father, (Romans 1:4) but also that His Spirit is alive today. His glory, truth & wisdom still work. Never forget the biblical definition of glory may be hard to explain but it always relates to “something or someone having a view or opinion that gives benefits or has a good effect on other people”. Glory is essentially a weight that leans on and affects whatever it bears upon to benefit. The truth of any subject in God’s word has a lasting good & practical benefit on our daily lives. He is the Spirit of Truth as stated in John 14:17 &15:26. John actually proclaims that The Spirit is truth itself, 1st John 5:6. It has a habit of setting us free from sin!

The Apostle Peter calls God’s Spirit the Spirit of Glory in 1st Peter 4:14-16, because a primary purpose in his dwelling is to influence us with the fruit of His Spirit. They are each virtues which when lived out daily by us, will cause friction in the world. This friction is sometimes so hot, it is actual persecution. Peter knows Christians undergoing persecution need to be reminded of the Spirit of Glory’s presence. He will influence us with these Christlike virtues to standfast faithfully when facing persecution or temptation. This Spirit of Glory in our hearts comforts us in this knowledge. Do you believe this?

The Spirit loves us, the word can not, because God is love and His Spirit is truth, Romans 15:30. Because of this, there is true spiritual glory in a genuine growing Christian’s heart, read 2nd Corinthians 4:6 & Ephesians 3:13 as passages which share in the same subject. We are being encouraged here by God’s word, as residing with God’s glory spiritually. But we are being loved by the Spirit Himself! This never changes, as long as we walk in the light as Jesus is the light and have fellowship with each other, his blood cleanses, and His Spirit of Glory makes us stand up for his name. The Comforter’s counsel with the wisdom of God is glorious. Spiritual wisdom is a gift that Paul prays that each Christian in Ephesus would receive as they grow. See Ephesians 1:17. Do we ask God to open the eyes of our heart and let us see how wise, glorious and powerful He is, as he grows spiritual fruit in our life?

The Spirit of Grace!

God says through the Hebrew writer, “How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of Grace?” (10:29). If you are able to bless the Spirit of Grace and feel gratitude for His presence, you put yourself on a path of deliverance, however, if you insult Him, and live that way, you put yourself on a path of destruction. Make the right choice and pray about this. God is love, but we all know how jealous love can be! Zechariah reveals that God wanted to pour His Spirit of Grace out on the inhabitants of Jerusalem. The purpose of the “pouring” was so that they would look at Christ and be able to see His grace & identity clearly.  Zechariah 12:8 – 13:1 is the prophecy revealing God’s work of forgiveness through Christ whom they pierced.  Even though God knew and planned on their rejection of Christ in order to perform such a sacrifice, His Spirit of Grace was poured out for the few who would drink from Him, (Jn 7:37-39) Nicodemus, Joseph of Arimathea and the Centurion at the cross were some of them. On the day of Pentecost, there were thousands that drank of Him, 1st Cor. 12:13 

Whenever the earth drinks in the rain, there is growth. It is God’s design and desire in us to grow the fruit of the Spirit of Grace, Gal. 5:22-23. Therefore we are made to drink of the Spirit of Grace, to grow the fruit of the Spirit. There are 12 Greek words in the New Testament which describe His fruit. 

  1. Love, Gal. 5:22
  2. Joy, Gal. 5:22
  3. Peace, Gal. 5:22
  4. Patience, Gal. 5:22
  5. Goodness, Gal. 5:22, Eph. 5:9.
  6. Faithfulness, Gal. 5:22
  7. Kindness, Gal. 5:22
  8. Gentleness, Gal. 5:23
  9. Self-control, Gal. 5:23
  10. Holiness, Romans 6:22
  11. Righteousness, Ephesians 5:9, Hebrews 12:11, James 3:18
  12. Truthfulness, Ephesians 5:9

Do you see Humility in this list? The reason it’s not there, is because God demands our own self-willed heart to submit and humbly allow Him to pour into our hearts His love and His Spirit of Grace, Romans 5:5. If we don’t want to submit and open our heart, we will never drink in the water of life and have the Spirit of Grace live within our soul to save us. Matthew 13:1-23 reminds us of God’s view of people as a vineyard to plant the word of God into their hearts. Let God’s love water your heart full of the Spirit of Grace, making our heart a good place to grow His fruit. The Character of Christ in your daily life is dependent on this!