14 – Strength to live for Jesus Christ

After a person places faith in Jesus Christ, the immediate challenge for them is how to live an obedient and victorious Christian life. It soon becomes obvious to them that they cannot live the Christian life in their own strength. Some ask the question: ‘If I can’t live an obedient life in my own strength, is it even possible’?
The answer is YES!  God has provided a way to live an obedient life which is pleasing to Him. This is done by living in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Who is the Holy Spirit?
The Holy Spirit is not an unintelligent force or mystical influence. He is knowable and has all the invisible qualities of personhood. He is the third equal member of the Godhead (Father, Son and Holy Spirit). The apostle Paul says that the Holy Spirit is ‘the Lord’ (2 Corinthians 3:17). Like God the Father and God the Son, the Holy Spirit is:

Eternal: No beginning and no end   (Hebrews 9:14)

Omnipresent: Present everywhere  (Psalm 139:7-8)

Omniscient:    All knowing                (I Corinthians 2:10)

Omnipotent:  All powerful                (Job 33:4; Luke 1:35)

What is our relationship with the Holy Spirit?
The Holy Spirit renews us through rebirth.
Titus 3:5 …He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit lives in the body of every believer.
1 Corinthians 6:19 …your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?

The Holy Spirit is the Seal (security) of the believer.
Ephesians 1:13 …having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit. (John 14:16).

The Holy Spirit intercedes for believers.
Romans 8:26 …we do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.

The Holy Spirit gives spiritual gifts to believers.
1 Corinthians 12:4, 11 There are different kinds of gifts …all these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and He gives them to each one, just as he determines.

The Holy Spirit teaches believers Jesus’ Word.
John 14:26 …the Holy Spirit …will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

What role does the Holy Spirit play in our lives?
The Holy Spirit wants to fill or control every believer.
Ephesians 5:18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery, instead be filled with the Spirit.

How can we be filled by the Holy Spirit?
Being filled is to be controlled by the Holy Spirit in our inner attitudes and beliefs as well as our outer behaviour and speech.  We are to align our lives with the Bible, which the Holy Spirit wrote through godly men (2 Peter 1:20-21).

Colossians 3:16 instructs us to let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

Our obedience gives the God the Holy Spirit freedom to work through us. Being filled is a surrendered moment-by-moment state of mind and heart. Paul encouraged Timothy to live a godly life by being …an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity (1 Timothy 4:12). This is what a Spirit filled life looks like.

Evidence of a Spirit filled Christian is seen as they express the ‘fruit of the Spirit.’ The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). A Spirit filled Christian is easy to identify. Their life will be characterised by the virtues listed above. 

When a believer has God’s Word richly dwelling in them, they are controlled by God’s Spirit. The Holy Spirit then produces His attitude and behavioural in them.

Sadly, the reverse is also true. When a Christian is not dwelling in God’s Word, not expressing the fruit of the Holy Spirit, and not thankful, they are not under the control of the Holy Spirit.

How do I become a Spirit filled Christian?
1)   Confess sin to God and turn your back on sin in your living (1 John 1:9; 2 Timothy 2:20-21).
2)   Daily give your thinking to God (Romans 12:1-2).
3)   Hunger after a life of righteousness (Matthew 5:6).
4)   Obediently saturate yourself in the Word of God (Colossians 3:16).

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