Tag Archives: Holy Spirit

The Hidden Man of the Heart

I Peter 3:4 rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.

Have you ever considered who you are inside? Speaking from a biblical perspective, the inside of us is extremely important. Jesus’ accusation for the religious bunch in His day was that they were like whitewashed sepulchers, full of dead men’s bones. They looked good outside, but they were dead inside.

Such is the case of the unsaved. A man could dress in a $1000 suit and a $200 tie after a spa treatment on his skin, and doused in a manly smelling cologne, yet be deader than a doornail on the inside!

But a man or woman who has received Jesus as Lord and Savior has been made new on the inside. [II Corinthians 5:17] They’ve been made righteous (right; as they should be). [II Corinthians 5:21] They are children of God, heirs of God and joint-heirs with Jesus. [Romans 8:16, 17] That’s far different than being dead inside!

As born again children of God we’re now supposed to conduct our lives by who we are inside. God now lives there in the Person of the Holy Spirit. Consider this verse:

Proverbs 20:27 [AMP] The spirit of man [that factor in human personality which proceeds immediately from God] is the lamp of the Lord, searching all his innermost parts.

The illumination of God shines from the inside out, not vice versa. This really serves two purpose. First, it is there to lead us in the right direction for our lives. We know from reading Psalms that the Bible – the Word of God – is both a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. Then secondly God’s light inside is a beacon to those around us. We grew up singing “This little light of mine; I’m gonna let it shine.” When Jesus lived here on earth, He was he light. Now we are to be light and salt. [Ephesians 5:8]

The main principle of living from the inside is acknowledging who we are inside to ourselves. A person could be born again with all the intrinsic changes that brings, and yet live totally dependent on the “outside man.” The Bible refers to this man as “the flesh.” In our Thursday night discussion group we’ve been focusing on tapping into who we are inside. Living “outwardly” is tiring, painful and lacking in power. We want to make positive, long-lasting changes, but we try and often fail. The reason we fail is that we’re depending on the outer man who is weak and worn out. Strength comes from within!

So what should we do? There isn’t space here to go into detail, but suffice to say this: study the New Testament for scriptures that tell you who you are in Christ – who you are inside since being born again. Then think about them, meditate on them, and see yourself experiencing them. This is who you really are!

Life in the Spirit

August 2017

 

Life in the Spirit

John 16:7 [Amplified Bible] – However, I am telling you nothing but the truth when I say it is profitable (good, expedient, advantageous) for you that I go away. Because if I do not go away, the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Advocate, Intercessor, Strengthener, Standby) will not come to you [into close fellowship with you]; but if I go away, I will send Him to you [to be in close fellowship with you].

My wife and I have focused our attention this summer on the Holy Spirit. Unless we’re reminded, we Christians tend to forget about this wonderful Helper Who has come to reside in us. Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would be in us like a bubbling artisan spring, and coming out of us like rivers of living water!

The Amplified Bible uses seven different titles to identify the Holy Spirit: Comforter, Counselor, Helper, Advocate, Intercessor, Strengthener, and Standby. Let’s take a quick look at each of these so we’ll not miss any of the benefits of Jesus’ gift to us.

Comforter. This is one who gives comfort. (Duh!) According to the dictionary, “comfort” means to give strength and hope to; to ease the grief or trouble of. There’s no reason to be weak or hopeless when the Holy Spirit lives in us. With His help we can do what Jesus told us [John 14:27] by taking the peace He gives and refusing to let our hearts be troubled or afraid.

Counselor. This is defined as a person whose job it is to give advice. There are a couple of things to consider here. First of all, even the best advisor does us no good unless we listen! Reading the Bible and praying in the Spirit are ways of listening. Then also there’s the principle of application. The best, most precise and wisest counsel in the world does no good unless it’s applied to one’s life.

Helper. The dictionary goes deep on this one. “Helper” is defined as “one who helps.” Okay. I think the key here is that the Holy Spirit is always there for to help, but not to do it for us. The Apostle Paul tells us the Spirit helps us in our weaknesses. [Romans 8:26] The concordance says that these weaknesses can be “inability to produce results.” The Holy Spirit doesn’t do this FOR US, but helps us, assists us, in the process as we apply His advice in our lives.

Advocate. What is great about “advocate” is that we have two! Jesus is our Advocate in heaven. [I John 2:1] And the Holy Spirit represents us here. The dictionary gives these definitions: one who pleads the cause of another, specifically before a tribunal or judicial court; one who defends, maintains, supports or promotes. We might use the word “lawyer.” We are represented by the Father, Son and Holy Spirit partners. [Talk about heavy hitters!] And the great part is they represent us NON GRATIS! No charge. Jesus has already paid the fee! Unlike some worldly advocates, this team can be reached any time – day or night – 24/7 – toll free! Amen!

Intercessor. This again is a team effort. We’re told that Jesus ever lives to intercede for us. [Hebrews 7:25] This is an interesting word in the original Greek. According to Strong’s it means: to go to or meet a person, especially for the purpose of conversation, consultation, or supplication. One thought that jumps out at me here is that this means I always have Someone to talk to – Someone whose infinitely wise, and who cares about me deeply! Wow, talk about good news!

Strengthener. This is quite self-explanatory, isn’t it? He gives us strength! We can do as the Bible instructs and say we’re strong, even when feeling weak, because the Strengthener resides in us.

Standby. The dictionary cites this as “one to be relied on especially in emergencies.” The Holy Spirit – in any emergency – is more reliable than any first aid kit. After all He is God! That makes Him omnipotent (all powerful), omniscient (all knowing), and omnipresent (always there)!

So, my advice is, get to know your Helper! Cultivate your relationship with Him. Learn to recognize His leading. Apply His advice in your life. Pray in the Spirit regularly. This is not a duty – it’s a privilege!

Romans 8:11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

Life in the Spirit

Life in the Spirit

John 16:7 [Amplified Bible] – However, I am telling you nothing but the truth when I say it is profitable (good, expedient, advantageous) for you that I go away. Because if I do not go away, the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Advocate, Intercessor, Strengthener, Standby) will not come to you [into close fellowship with you]; but if I go away, I will send Him to you [to be in close fellowship with you].

My wife and I have focused our attention this summer on the Holy Spirit. Unless we’re reminded, we Christians tend to forget about this wonderful Helper Who has come to reside in us. Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would be in us like a bubbling artisan spring, and coming out of us like rivers of living water!

The Amplified Bible uses seven different titles to identify the Holy Spirit: Comforter, Counselor, Helper, Advocate, Intercessor, Strengthener, and Standby. Let’s take a quick look at each of these so we’ll not miss any of the benefits of Jesus’ gift to us.

Comforter. This is one who gives comfort. (Duh!) According to the dictionary, “comfort” means to give strength and hope to; to ease the grief or trouble of. There’s no reason to be weak or hopeless when the Holy Spirit lives in us. With His help we can do what Jesus told us [John 14:27] by taking the peace He gives and refusing to let our hearts be troubled or afraid.

Counselor. This is defined as a person whose job it is to give advice. There are a couple of things to consider here. First of all, even the best advisor does us no good unless we listen! Reading the Bible and praying in the Spirit are ways of listening. Then also there’s the principle of application. The best, most precise and wisest counsel in the world does no good unless it’s applied to one’s life.

Helper. The dictionary goes deep on this one. “Helper” is defined as “one who helps.” Okay. I think the key here is that the Holy Spirit is always there for to help, but not to do it for us. The Apostle Paul tells us the Spirit helps us in our weaknesses. [Romans 8:26] The concordance says that these weaknesses can be “inability to produce results.” The Holy Spirit doesn’t do this FOR US, but helps us, assists us, in the process as we apply His advice in our lives.

Advocate. What is great about “advocate” is that we have two! Jesus is our Advocate in heaven. [I John 2:1] And the Holy Spirit represents us here. The dictionary gives these definitions: one who pleads the cause of another, specifically before a tribunal or judicial court; one who defends, maintains, supports or promotes. We might use the word “lawyer.” We are represented by the Father, Son and Holy Spirit partners. [Talk about heavy hitters!] And the great part is they represent us NON GRATIS! No charge. Jesus has already paid the fee! Unlike some worldly advocates, this team can be reached any time – day or night – 24/7 – toll free! Amen!

Intercessor. This again is a team effort. We’re told that Jesus ever lives to intercede for us. [Hebrews 7:25] This is an interesting word in the original Greek. According to Strong’s it means: to go to or meet a person, especially for the purpose of conversation, consultation, or supplication. One thought that jumps out at me here is that this means I always have Someone to talk to – Someone whose infinitely wise, and who cares about me deeply! Wow, talk about good news!

Strengthener. This is quite self-explanatory, isn’t it? He gives us strength! We can do as the Bible instructs and say we’re strong, even when feeling weak, because the Strengthener resides in us.

Standby. The dictionary cites this as “one to be relied on especially in emergencies.” The Holy Spirit – in any emergency – is more reliable than any first aid kit. After all He is God! That makes Him omnipotent (all powerful), omniscient (all knowing), and omnipresent (always there)!

So, my advice is, get to know your Helper! Cultivate your relationship with Him. Learn to recognize His leading. Apply His advice in your life. Pray in the Spirit regularly. This is not a duty – it’s a privilege!

Romans 8:11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

Death, Burial and Resurrection Overview

Without going into an extensive Bible study, allow me to give an overview of the events of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection.

  • After supper together (the Last Supper) Jesus and the disciples went to a garden they had used often, for prayer. Judas, simultaneously, went off the finalize plans to betray Jesus to the Jewish leaders.
  • After praying off by Himself in the agony of the moment, Jesus committed Himself to God’s will and woke the sleeping disciples.
  • Judas showed up with a small mob of people carrying weapons and gave the fatal sign to Jesus’ enemies – a kiss.
  • Jesus was carried off for a mock trial. He had to actually help the Jewish leaders to convict Him. He was sentenced to die for blasphemy.
  • The Jews didn’t have the authority to carry out His death, so they were forced to take Jesus to Pilot the governor, needing to persuade him to condemn Jesus. Pilot wanted to free Jesus, recognizing His innocence, but feared the crowd who were crying, “Crucify him!”, and send Jesus off to receive a Roman scourging.
  • Jesus was tied to a post, His back exposed, and beaten 39 times with a whip – but not just any whip! This one had pieces of bone and such that tore at the flesh, ripping away chunks of skin, probably even exposing bones and organs. Isaiah’s prophecy tells us that after this beating it was hard to tell that Jesus was a man – a human.
  • Jesus was forced to carry His cross toward the place of crucifixion. He did so till it was more than He could bear. The soldiers then picked a man out of the crowd to carry His cross to Golgotha.
  • On a hill overlooking Jerusalem Jesus was crucified. It was nicknamed “the place of the skull”. Crucifixion was the Roman means of the death penalty. He would have been laid out on the cross, then huge nails would have been driven through His wrists and into the rough-hewn wood. A nail would have been driven into His crossed ankles. After He was secured in this manner, the cross would have been raised up vertically and dropped into a hole dug for that purpose. The condemned would hang like this until, after hours of agony, they died.
  • The Bible says that the sun grew dark as Jesus was raised up on that cross. And it remained dark for three hours, from noon till 3 PM.
  • Jesus made seven important statements from the cross, but probably the most important as far we’re concerned was, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” At this juncture Jesus had all the sin of mankind placed on Him. “He was wounded for our transgressions. He was bruised for our iniquities.” Jesus paid our debt for us at the price of His life.
  • Because the Passover holiday was at hand the Jewish leaders pressed to get Jesus dead and buried quickly. The soldiers were about to brake His legs, making death come quicker, but Jesus commended His spirit to God His Father and cried out with a loud voice, “It is finished!” as He “gave up the ghost” (died).
  • A local rich man asked for the privilege of burying Jesus in his own tomb. With the help of Nicodemus he took the body off the cross, performed some hasty burial preparations, and placed it in his tomb. In order to keep the body of Jesus from being stolen, a huge stone was rolled over the mouth of the tomb and soldiers were placed on guard.
  • So, here is Jesus’ body in the tomb, but where is Jesus? Jesus’ spirit and soul left His body as He cried out in a loud voice and gave up the ghost. Scripture indicates to me that Jesus would have been carried off to hell and torment because of the sin of all mankind placed on Him. He had to trust the Father to rescue Him from there by sending the Holy Spirit to raise Him from death.
  • Jesus also took a quick trip to heaven to present His blood sacrifice in the Holy of Holies in heaven. Adam’s sin had even affected heaven, but Jesus’ sacrifice made all right again.
  • Then, early on a Sunday morning, Jesus returned into His body, still scarred by whip marks and nail prints, and began presenting Himself to those who had believed in Him.

There’s much, much more to say about the resurrection, but time and space press me to move on. So I’ll close with the lyrics to an old Easter hymn:

Up from the grave He arose,

With a mighty triumph o’er His foes.

He arose the Victor from the dark domain,

And He lives forever with His saints to reign.

He arose! He arose! Hallelujah Christ arose!