Be encouraged to recognise God’s Spirit in salvation
The apostle Paul explains in Ephesians 1:13 the life changing work of the Holy Spirit in salvation. “In him (Christ) you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him (Christ), were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit.” As always, God’s Spirit is active in people’s lives bringing them to saving faith in Jesus Christ, then sealing their salvation as complete and irreversible.
Salvation brings many changes, but no change would occur without God’s Spirit indwelling and proactively ministering Christ within the new believer. This infiltration is the beginning of the new Christian’s life. “You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him” (Romans 8:9). Every new believer needs to know that there is no secondary indwelling’s to be had. The new child of God gets to experience the entirety of the Holy Spirit from the moment of salvation. The first and most obvious evidence is the shift in attitude from being sin and self-centered, to being Christ centered.
One truth leads to another
As we have already learned; the Holy Spirit’s purpose is to promote Jesus Christ as Lord in all things. So, this same purpose should be evidenced through every Spirit filled Christian also. Of course, this can only happen at the exclusion of self. Selfishness is the greatest expression of a sin controlled life, just as selflessness gives evidence to a Spirit controlled life where Christ is Lord.
Paul explained to the Galatian believers how to further identify evidence of Holy Spirit activity in their lives. The positive proofs are visible; as “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23). Equally, the negative proof is also visible; for those who “walk by the Spirit …will not gratify the desires of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16).
It’s incredible, as Christians, to consider that “the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:17-18). Without God’s Spirit there is only enslavement to sin in its various forms and with differing expressions in our differing lives.
Holy Spirit freedom in Christ
With all that said; the Holy Spirit sets the believer free to grow in ever increasing Christ-likeness. Obviously, this does not happen within a day or two. This is a life-long activity which God the Spirit is committed to in every believer’s life. Upon attaining to a new level of Christ’s glory through sanctified living, the Spirit sets about moving the believer towards the next level of Christ-like character. Neither the Holy Spirit nor the believer are ever stagnant in this ongoing business of ever increasing glorification of Christ.
Understanding these truths shines a whole new light on the impact salvation has; because “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Today, be encouraged to recognise God’s Spirit in salvation by recognising His purposeful activity in your life.
Together for Christ: Lincoln Forlong www.bbf.net.nz