Thursday, October 8, 2020

Knowing and Doing What Is Right

“But now I [Jesus] go away to Him who sent Me….. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper [the Holy Spirit] will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged…… when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.” —John 16:8-11, 13-14

Jesus referred to the Holy Spirit as our helper. He brings conviction to the world – the world knows what is right and wrong before God, but chooses to embrace what is contrary to the will of God. Just as we did before we placed our faith in Jesus and received the Spirit of Truth as God’s seal of redemption, eternal life and adoption as sons and daughters of the Creator God. 

Do you want to know your lineage, who your ancestors are? My dad, long before, researched the Elgin ancestry. He spent hours writing letters, making phone calls. He tracked our ancestors all the way back to the 1600’s when Elgins first arrived on this continent. The thing is that all he really knew, and all we really know, are names of people.  You don’t know their character. You don’t know them. The people that promote the genealogy even suggest that you might find you are related to some historically significant person as if somehow that significance transcends time and is imputed to you.  Looking for significance as if it might justify us, validate us, even elevate us.  But as Christians, our natural lineage is not so important as our spiritual lineage – at least it should not be.  I have written about our culture’s infatuation with our ancestry before. Finding pride in our DNA. Our mortal bodies are but of dust. Part of this planet. But there is an eternal quality – our spiritual heritage that we should be more interested in. Our significance is found in Jesus who is our justification and righteousness. Because of your faith in Him, you are a child of the king – the Creator God.  When you were lost you had nothing to turn to but your natural ancestry, all of whom are but dust. But now Christian, that is not so.

Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ Nicodemus said to Him, ‘How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?’ Jesus answered, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, You must be born again.’” – John 3:3-7

The truth that we are born again is something that too easily loses its luster if we are not careful. The draw to the natural is strong and it is pervasive.  God sent a Helper, so that we might be encouraged through the prompting of the Spirit to be on our guard against the temptation to embrace what the world says is right but what God says is not.  We are cautioned to not quench the influence of the Spirit. Like ignoring the will of your parents and doing what you want to do in spite of their caution. 

Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all. See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit.” –  1 Thessalonians 5:14-19

Paul was writing to Christians then and now. Telling them and us what their and our habits should be and warning them and us to not ignore the influence of the Spirit in their and our lives.  Even those words that Paul penned to the church in Thessalonica were a result of the influence of the Spirit of God in Paul’s life.

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God [God-breathed – pnuema -  a reference to the Spirit], and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” – 2 Timothy 3:16-17

Walking after and living by the Spirit of God is a discipline – a choice – choose well my friends.

By Faith Alone By His Grace Alone And For His Glory Alone

No comments: