Life in and by the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is called, the “Spirit of life” (Rom 8:2). The Spirit of the living God (2 Cor 3:3) is the Spirit of Christ, who dwells within the elect, redeemed, regenerate, adopted children of God (Rom 8:9, 11, 15, 23).
Jesus Christ said, “I am the…life; no man comes to the Father but through Me (Jn 14:6).” The Father and the Son of God give life to whom they wish (Jn 5:21). It is the Spirit they send, to give God’s people the life of God (Jn 14:26; 15:26). The Spirit of life, in the soul of these chosen believers will never leave them nor forsake them (Heb 13:5).
With the receipt of the Spirit of Christ, by the will of God (Jn 1:12–13), the child of God has the requirement of the Law of righteousness, fulfilled in him (Rom 8:4). Christians are justified by a gift of God’s grace (Rom 3:24; Tit 3:7). They are not right before God because they will to be, nor because they do good works (Jn 1:12–13; Rom 3:20). The declaration of righteousness is an imputed reality, requiring no acceptance or rejection, by the one mercifully graced with such an improved legal status. The adopted child does not negotiate legal contracts and covenants. Simply put, the adoption makes one an heir and beneficiary.
The Spirit of life is the catalyst for this new life (Rom 6:4), given as a gift of God the Father, made legal by the death of Jesus Christ. It is the Spirit who causes the elect to be born again (1 Pet 1:3). This new birth (spiritual) commences the new life (in Christ).
Legally positioned, in Christ the King, means one is entitled to all the blessings of being in the family and kingdom of God (Rom 14:17; Eph 1:3). This is a royal family of believer priests, who serve God, offering up spiritual sacrifices of praise and worship to God (Heb 13:15; 1 Pet 2:9). This worship is performed in the Spirit (Jn 4:24), who guides the adopted child of God into all truth (Jn 16:13).
In body and soul, mind and heart, the child is being sanctified into conformity to the image of Jesus Christ, who is the icon of God (Rom 8:29; Col 1:15). This conformity is doctrinal, with the goal being godliness (1 Tim 6:3). The Spirit of Christ is manifesting spiritual gifts (Rom 12; 1 Cor 12; Eph 4) and producing spiritual fruit (Gal 5:22–23), by causing the Christian to walk in God’s statutes (Ezek 36:27). With his new status, obedience to the commandments of God is not burdensome.
Walking by the power and wisdom of the Holy Spirit is evidence of conversion (Gal 5:25). The life now lived is one of trust (Gal 2:20). God has begun this good work of renewing the mind and heart affection of God’s people (Rom 12:2; Phil 1:6). Their desire is Christ, as a bride wishes to be desirable to her husband (Eph 5:22–33).
The dead soul made alive because of Christ’s righteousness (Rom 8:10; Eph 2:5; Col 2:13), will now war with its sinful flesh (Rom 7). The natural man indulges the flesh (1 Cor 2:14), but the spiritual man is focused on the things of the Spirit, who testifies to and teaches Christ (Rom 8:5–6; 1 Cor 2:15–16). The mind set on the Spirit of Christ, is the mind of Christ being formed in the Christian. As one learns Christ, from the Bible, he becomes more and more like Him, by grace.
With the heart and mind of Christ, the believer’s hope is no longer in this world. The kingdom of this world is a sham and a disappointment. The god of this world (2 Cor 4:4) is a marketing genius, with an inferior product of no substance. Only Jesus Christ, and life from and in Him, truly satisfies. The Christian can be content with what he has because what he has, is the life of God living in him (Col 1:27).
Far from being a life of ease in this world, the Christian is hated by the world, as Christ was hated (Jn 15:18–25). The Christian’s life, illumined by the Light of truth (Ps 43:3; Jn 3:21; Eph 5:9), exposes evil (Eph 5:11). Men love darkness (Jn 3:19), but they hate the light (Jn 3:20).
God has His purposes, granting both faith and suffering, for His ambassadors for Christ in the world (2 Cor 5:20; Phil 1:29). These sufferings serve both Christ and His church (Col 1:24). In suffering well, the martyr loses his life in this world and keeps it to eternal life (Lk 9:24; Jn 12:25). The Apostle Paul wrote, “…if indeed we suffer with Him, in order that we may also be glorified with Him (Rom 8:17c).”
The end of sanctification, by the Spirit (1 Thess 5:24; 2 Thess 2:13), is for the saint to be glorified (Rom 8:30), when the Lord comes to be glorified in His resurrected people, from the dead, on the last day (Jn 5:25–29; 2 Thess 1:10). In light of this future, our Christian desire is to live sensibly, righteously, and godly in this present age (Titus 2:12), even through persecutions (2 Tim 3:12).
Friend, examine yourself. Is this your life? If these words, written for your consideration, do not resonate with your life experience, then you must repent (Acts 17:30). Your trust for eternity resides in a condemned world (Jn 3:18), itself waiting for destruction (2 Pet 3:10–12). The void you try to fill in your life, with the things of the world and pleasures of this life, can only be filled by God in Christ. Look to the Savior, who is Christ the Lord (Lk 2:11). Learn of Him, who has come to save His people from their sins (Mt 1:21).
Christian, being filled with the Spirit of Christ, grow to spiritual maturity, knowing this is His will and work in and for you (Phil 2:13). While praying without ceasing, give thanks in everything (1 Thess 5:17–18), for God’s mercy and grace that has afforded you, life indeed.
Spokane Valley, Washington
October 27, 2022