Holy Spirit You are Welcome Here

Let’s look briefly at the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives. He is part of the Trinity but scripture tends to focus more on Jesus and the Father. While many books have been written about the Holy Spirit I don’t know how often we think about His role and activity in our lives. For example, there are articles and prayers asking the Holy Spirit to take control of our lives. Yet when we look at the scriptural role He takes on, we are told that part of the fruit of His work in our lives is self-control.

22  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23  gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 (NKJV)

The primary role of the Holy Spirit in the lives of believers appears to be that of helping.

15  “If you love Me, keep My commandments. 16  And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever – 17  the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. 18  I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.” John 14:15-18 (NKJV)

So we see here three things.

  • The Holy Spirit is described as a helper, like Jesus
  • He is the Spirit of truth
  • He is in believers

It has been accurately said that He is the Helper, not the doer. He enables us and when we seek to know Him we encounter truth, support and meet Jesus in Him. Consider the import of, “He dwells with you and will be in you.”

Holy Spirit You are Welcome Here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_LpmqwWhR8

Works Befitting Repentance

While we cannot earn salvation, clearly Paul, and the rest of the letter writers of the NT, expected a change in behaviour as evidence of conversion. Below are two translations of Acts 26:20. The Amplified highlights the expectation of a lifestyle change.

20  but declared first to those in Damascus and in Jerusalem, and throughout all the region of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance. Acts 26:20 (NKJV)

20  But made known openly first of all to those at Damascus, then at Jerusalem and throughout the whole land of Judea, and also among the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works and live lives consistent with and worthy of their repentance. Acts 26:20 (AMP)

I write this because we rarely hear repentance spoken of in the church anymore. I cannot remember a single sermon in recent years that has highlighted it. Granted I may have forgotten some, but my experience now is that evangelicals not only rarely talk about it, many will even argue about the need for it, that is, that we just need to trust in grace. My wife and I were recently talking with a couple and the fellow shared about a co-worker who claimed to be born again but was living in a common-law relationship (In modern vernacular, an ‘adult interdependent relationship’). He said he knew it was sin but it was ‘covered by grace.’

I think we need a return to understanding that turning to Jesus means living lives consistent with the gospel. After all, when Paul confronted the Corinthians over their claims to be following Jesus, when their lifestyle choices suggested otherwise, he said the following. 

5  Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? – unless indeed you are disqualified. 2 Corinthians 13:5 (NKJV)

How are we doing?

Entering into His Presence

The symbol below is a representation of the Trinity.

Here I am looking at how the Trinity functions and how we are invited in to experience this relationship. I was first exposed to this idea many years ago through the writings of Gene Edwards. He put forth the idea that the Godhead, Father, Son and Spirit had eternally beheld one another with affection and love. I don’t know that we normally think of the Godhead as gazing upon one another but here is a scripture passage.

24  Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. 25  O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. 26  And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.” John 17:24-26 (NKJV)

The reason Edwards raised this was to encourage us to accept the invitation into this same fellowship, as Jesus prayed above, that we would behold His glory. Jesus desires that we would be drawn into this eternal beholding of the Godhead.

John the apostle understood this reality and also invited us to participate.

1  That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life – 2  the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us – 3  that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. 1 John 1:1-3 (NKJV)

Furthermore as His children we are always in His presence.

7  Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? 8  If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. Psalm 139:7-8 (NKJV)

And He thinks about us.

17  How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! 18  If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; When I awake, I am still with You. Psalm 139:17-18 (NKJV)

And desires that we behold His glory.

18  But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. 2 Corinthians 3:18 (NKJV)

Through seeing Jesus.

6  For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:6 (NKJV)

How about accepting the invitation and sitting with the Godhead and participating in this eternal beholding? 

Honouring His Presence Part 4 – Accepting His Invitation

Think about Jesus resurrection and the stone being rolled away from the tomb. At Easter we often see images such as the one below. Jesus standing in front of the open tomb with light shining around Him.

These images can be quite moving and it seems that generally the idea is that the stone was rolled away and Jesus burst forth from the tomb. To determine the accuracy let’s look at the scriptures. In the four gospels the most thorough account is in Matthew.

1  Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. 2  And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it. 3  His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. 4  And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men. 5  But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 6  He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. Matthew 28:1-6 (NKJV)

When the stone was removed Jesus was already gone. Jesus did not need the stone removed to get out, He had the stone removed so that we could see in and encounter truth! This is similar to the idea inherent in Proverbs that God hides things not from us but for us.

2  It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, But the glory of kings is to search out a matter. Proverbs 25:2 (NKJV)

So, as we seek to see Jesus move in our lives, as we bring Him dreams to resurrect, shackles to break off, let’s begin by accepting His invitation to encounter truth. Let’s honour and embrace the truth of His presence, honour that He is alive and wants to move in our lives. Let’s hear what the angel said, “Come, see…”

Honouring His Presence Part 3 – Honour through Discernment

Paul made an interesting statement about relationships among believers.

16  Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. 2 Corinthians 5:16 (NKJV)

I suspect most of us are more familiar with the verse that follows.

17  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV)

Paul’s point seems to be that because we are new creations we need to relate to and ‘regard’ our fellow believers based on who they are as a new creation. This includes the need to discern the gifts and callings they carry and receive accordingly.

When we look at fellow believers with a new creation mindset we can first look for Jesus in them, then honour what He is manifesting in and through them, the primary goal being Himself. I am sure most of us have had the experience of meeting someone and ‘knowing’ they were a fellow Christian. Not because they carried a large bible, wore a cross or had a neon sign on their head. No, our spirit encountered Jesus in them and we had the opportunity to receive from them, encourage their growth and honour the fact that as fellow believers they were carrying His presence.

The type of honouring I described above requires walking closely to His heart in our evaluations of others.

In contrast to what I just shared above, I know there have been times when I judged others wrongly. Okay, a number of times. When we first meet fellow believers if we set aside our initial judgements we have the potential for deep fellowship through following the leading of the Holy Spirit.  

So, let’s look to Him and seek His heart in the knowing of others.

As an encouragement, one way to walk in honour toward others is by cultivating a heart that honours Him first. See the song below.  

Goodness of God https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n0FBb6hnwTo&fbclid=IwAR2OmrlQU-oeuio958wj93t03L6TIE56A6RAIGe_BPT0IAIyYf6_KodAgxA