Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Loving God's Way and the Holy Spirit

When Jesus Christ gave His command to love (John 13:34-35; John 15:12, 17), He knew people would find loving God’s way very difficult and would need help. So, Jesus sent a Helper to live inside people and give them encouragement, ability and power to love God’s way. This Helper is called the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Trinity (John 14:26).

The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God and Jesus Christ living inside us - God's Presence (John 14:16-17). The Holy Spirit is a part of the Godhead. There is one God of the universe who exists eternally as a Trinity of Three Persons - God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ), and God the Holy Spirit. The Trinity is one of the most important ideas of the Christian faith. The Holy Spirit has been active among people from the beginning of time, as seen in Genesis 1:1-2 and throughout the Old Testament.

God the Father and Jesus Christ freely and willing give every person who accepts Jesus Christ as his or her Lord and Savior the Holy Spirit to help them walk in love (Acts 2:1-4). The Holy Spirit inside us gives us care, direction, and strength to live according to the teachings and commands of the Holy Bible (John 16:5-15). Most importantly, the Holy Spirit transforms us to live, act, and look more like Jesus Christ and to walk in love. The Holy Spirit within us helps us live as God wants us to (Galatians 5:14-26).

In addition, the Holy Spirit is a powerful Person on our side, working for and around us. The Holy Spirit lives with us and in us, and He teaches, helps and guides us into all truth, as stated in the Holy Scriptures (John 14:26; John 15:26). The Holy Spirit points to the teaching, illuminating, and reminding work of the Spirit. Moreover, the Holy Spirit ministers to both the head and the heart and gives us the power, strength, and ability genuinely to love and to overcome hatred and evil in our world.

The result of the Holy Spirit's work inside our lives is a great and lasting peace (John 14:27-29). Unlike worldly peace, which we see as the absence of conflict, God’s peace is a confident assurance that in any circumstance God‘s Holy Spirit is there to protect, guide, and bless us.

Our fleshly bodies do not have the ability, despite our sincere efforts, to live a life of love God’s way. Nevertheless, the Holy Spirit leads us into God’s holiness and righteousness and changes us from within. The Holy Spirit gives us the desire to please God and reveals the standards of love. Only the Spirit of God Himself living inside us can produce in us godly love, also called “fruits of the Spirit” or virtues.

The Holy Bible lists nine fruits of the Spirit that are bound together by love. A person who shows the fruit of the Spirit fulfills the Law. Love encompasses all the fruits of the Holy Spirit.

22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT).

If we want the fruits of the Holy Spirit to grow and work inside us, the Holy Bible teaches we must join our lives to the life and teaching of Jesus Christ. We join our lives to Jesus Christ by reading His words as taught in the New Testament and praying to God daily in the Name of Jesus Christ. By growing and knowing Jesus Christ, we will fulfill the Law — to love God and our neighbors.

There is more Good News! We can generously receive the Holy Spirit when we accept and turn to Jesus Christ as the Lord and Savior of our lives. When we sincerely trust and accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior by faith, we receive the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ baptizes us with His Holy Spirit. You do not have to wait for a certain feeling to guarantee the Holy Spirit’s presence in your life. Jesus Christ promised and guaranteed to send the Holy Spirit to all those who trust and accept Him as Lord and Savior. As we accept Jesus Christ by faith, we also receive the Holy Spirit by faith. Then, the Holy Spirit stands by daily to help, guide, and give us the power to live and love God’s way. By faith, we obtain the Holy Spirit's power each day.

If you have not received the Holy Spirit, then like the apostles from the New Testament, ask Jesus Christ from your heart in prayer for a “baptism in the Holy Spirit.” Praying for this baptism could be done privately by the following:

1. Humbly and honestly turning your life, heart, and will to God
2. Admit you need God’s help, strength, and love to live
3. Apologize, repent, and turn from all your sins to God and ask God to forgive you
4. Believe that Jesus Christ is God, that He died on the Cross for all your sins, and that He rose from the dead by God’s power
5. Surrender every area of your life to God to allow Him to work in and through you
6. Trust that Jesus Christ as God has forgiven your sins with His death on the Cross
7. Then ask Jesus Christ to baptize you in the Holy Spirit.

If you have prayed that prayer, the Holy Spirit is now living inside you and equipping you to live and love God’s way. This is the beginning of a relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ and is the start of a new life (Romans 8:14-17). God’s Spirit living inside you will teach, equip, direct, empower, and encourage you to live God’s way. Congratulations! As we continue to trust, follow, and obey Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit continually lives inside you daily.

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God bless you! You are loved by God (Romans 5:5).