When the Day of Pentecost had fully come the disciples realized why Jesus ascended up into heaven. He left them in order that He might be with each one of them in a more intimate relationship.
The Holy Spirit came to fulfill the ministry of Jesus Christ. “I am come that they might have life and have it more abundantly,” Jesus said (John 10:10b). He indwells so that He can reproduce the character and likeness of Jesus Christ within the born again believer. He continues to do and teach all that Jesus began to do and teach when He was here on the earth (John 14:26; 15:26; 16:13-17).
He requires that we respond to His leading and make ourselves available to Him to live His life in and through us (1 Cor. 3:16-17). In this way we do His will proving that we love him!
What does the Spirit find in the temple of our body? Too often the temple looks like a desecrated shrine, unkempt, unclean, and perhaps even defiled.
We grieve Him, and quench His fiery presence by our attitudes and behaviors. The Holy Spirit is always ready to use us, and longs to make us His instruments of grace and mercy to a lost world. How tragic when we deny Him His rightful place in our hearts?
We have each learned again and again that our God is the God of a second chance. How grateful we are that He “will restore the years the locust has eaten” (Joel 2:25). “This is the everlasting mercy,” says Fitch. “He gave us another chance of doing what we have failed to do” (p. 125).
We abide in Him as we die daily to self-love and reckon to be dead unto sin and alive to God.
Jesus told His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily, and follow Me” (Luke 9:23).
Many find this a difficult saying. The rich young landlord who came to Jesus was stopped by this.
Matthew 19:16-22New King James Version (NKJV)
Jesus Counsels the Rich Young Ruler
16 Now behold, one came and said to Him, “Good[a] Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?”
17 So He said to him, “Why do you call Me good?[b] No one is good but One, that is,God.[c] But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.”
18 He said to Him, “Which ones?”
Jesus said, “‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ 19 ‘Honor your father and your mother,’[d]and, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ ”[e]
20 The young man said to Him, “All these things I have kept from my youth.[f]What do I still lack?”
21 Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”
22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
We usually treat ourselves as if we are the only ones of significant value, the most important person in the world. Instead of Jesus being our most valued person, we make ourselves the priority. Jesus said we must die to self-love and make Him our first love.
The apostle Paul applied this great truth to the believer when he wrote, “Even so consider [be constantly counting upon the fact, reckon] yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Romans 6:11).
Later Apostle Paul write to Timothy.
2 Timothy 4New International Version (NIV)
4 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge:2 Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 3 For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.
6 For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
9 Do your best to come to me quickly, 10 for Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone….
As we daily die to sin and self and reckon upon Jesus we cooperate with Him. This is the vital ministry of the Holy Spirit in our daily lives. This is an important aspect of our spiritual growth.
God is with us and in us by the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit. Our responsibility is to make ourselves available to Him. He will take us and cleanse us and use us to fulfill His eternal purpose in and through us. And what is that purpose? It is to help build the foundation for the New World soon coming with the return of Jesus to our sick and dying world.
The Holy Spirit has come to fulfill the ministry of Jesus Christ. He does that in those individuals who have believed on Christ and who make themselves available to the Spirit without reserve. Allow the Spirit of holiness the freedom to apply the blood of Jesus to keep on cleansing us daily, moment by moment from all sin. Permit Him to apply it to your conscience daily and serve the Lord with the fullness of His Spirit. We walk in the light with Him and abide in His presence, as we allow the blood of Jesus to cleanse us from all sin.
As a result the Holy Spirit strengthens our conscience and deepens our faith in Christ. In doing so we give Him the freedom to use us to His glory.
When we are cleansed and restored daily we keep short agendas with God and the Spirit keeps our hearts tender to the slightest whisper of His will. The Holy Spirit gives us a sensitivity to the disquiet when we are tempted to sin or not walk by faith. He makes us hate sin as God hates sin, and realize that sin breaks our fellowship with God. As Charles Wesley wrote, “Ah give me, Lord, the tender heart that trembles at the approach of sin.” And may He constantly remind us that the only way to restoration of that abiding fellowship is the cleansing blood of Jesus.
Keep your mind focused upon Him and He will live in you and you will find new wisdom and life in Him.
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