The Spirit Within

“Do not quench the Spirit.” (1 Thessalonians 5:19)

When the repenting sinner confesses his sin and turns from the world that is passing to destruction and follows the Savior, Jesus Christ, to the eternal world of His Kingdom, accepting His shed blood as the propitiation for his sin, receives the forgiveness of that sin, and follows Jesus in the faith that He is the true Son of God, he will receive the Holy Spirit of truth to empower him to live the Christian life for the glory of God. “Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38)

The Christian has received a powerful gift from the Heavenly Father that empowers him to live the Christian life successfully that is a guarantee of our overcoming the world in our daily spiritual struggle. God is our Father and the Christian is not an orphan left to battle the obstacles of this world, his own natural desires for the world, and to put off the evil spiritual forces in the heavenly realm. Jesus in the Gospel of John promised us a helper, a comforter that will abide with us as we abide with Him. “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” (John 14:16-18)

As the Christian grows in the Word of God placing its truth into his heart, meditating upon the Scriptures, in the hour of our need the Spirit of Truth will bring to our minds that which we need to thrust off the wiles of the Devil. The Sprit will bring to our minds all that we have learned that we will be enabled to stand upon the truth and not fall from the rock of our salvation. “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” (John 14:26)

The Holy Spirit is our counselor that will strengthen our convictions and guide us in our daily walk with the Lord. We will have the desire to do those things which are pleasing to our Lord and will keep us upon the narrow path set before us. Through this discipline the light of His truth will shine from within us and others will clearly see that we are truly the Children of God and citizens of His Kingdom. The Spirit of Truth will not only convict us of our sin but those who encounter our new way of life. They will see something that they want in their lives, goodness and purity. “And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment” (John 16:8)

In a world that cries for peace yet is unable to find it they will see that the follower of Jesus has an internal peace that passes all understanding. Peace is not the absence of war, noise and confusion, peace is the calmness of security in the spirit that comes when the spirit is right with the Spirit of God. “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” (John 14:27)

We see in the Book of Isaiah that when he come into the presence of the righteous God he realized the vastness of his humility and sinfulness. “Then I said, “Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I live among a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.” (Isaiah 6:5) We approach this Holy Righteous God through our High Priest Jesus, as we mere men cannot be in the His presence nor could stand in the fire of His judgment. We would not know how to approach such and all powerful deity. I, and I believe all, as Isaiah would be completely overwhelmed in the presence of God. What could we possibly say? The Spirit knows our weakness and speaks for us for He knows the truth of our hearts. “In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groaning’s too deep for words” (Romans 8:26)

We read in the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians that we are not to quench the Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the third person of the God-Head and is God who dwells within His Children. Yet we, men, have the ability to poor water on the fire of His judgments. Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3) Jesus humbled Himself to become as we are and we must at all times remember our place and be humble towards our God. We are the creation and He is the Creator. To quench His work within us is the height of arrogance and the Lord detests self-pride. “Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before stumbling.” (Proverbs 16:18) God will humble the prideful. The Spirit of Truth is our guide through this world a path that we know not. It is by the Spirit of Truth that we know what is right and what is wrong, and that we know what truth is and what is a lie. He sees beyond our vision and will guide us through that which is unknown to us. “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.” (John 16:13)

As a Christian we have repented, we have turned away from the ways of this world and live in the promised blessing of the world to come. Yet if the Christian continues to live with a lust for the things of this world then by his disobedience he has quenched the Spirit within. “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.” (Romans 6:12-13) That is saying “No” to God, we are saying that we know better, and we are setting ourselves upon a misdirected path which is a self-directed path and not a path of service to God. The Prophet Jeremiah spoke of this that man does not know the way for it is not within his own wisdom to walk through life. “I know, O LORD, that a man’s way is not in himself, Nor is it in a man who walks to direct his steps.” (Jeremiah 10:23)

Jesus is our example. He came to show us the way, He came to show us the truth, and He came to lead us to life through Him. (John 14:6) Jesus was sent by the Father to accomplish the will of the Father here on earth. The Father sent Him and He came in obedience to the Father. “But emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.” (Philippians 2:7) He came to be as we and live in the will of the Father as a man. “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.” (John 6:38) This is our example given us by God the Father that we should know how to live a life of victory. It is through Jesus that we have the power to overcome the world. “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)

The Christian is now sent as Jesus was to be a light in the darkness of this world. Jesus came to show us the way, He prayed to the Father to give us the helper, the Holy Spirit, to empower us to accomplish the race set before us. By following His lead as revealed to us by His Spirit we shall press on towards the mark of our High Calling. “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:14)

Let us not poor water on the fire of God’s Spirit within as this is the power of God through His Son Jesus Christ that we may not walk in the darkness but be His light shining in the darkness driving it out till the day He returns. “Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” (John 8:12) This is the purpose of God that our relationship to Him be restored that we can live in the liberty of His grace free from the chains of sin. “But if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7)

His Spirit abiding with ours is the gift we have received by His love for us and our safe for we are sealed by His anointing. “As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him.” (1 John 2:27)

Thomas N Kirkpatrick

First Baptist Church of Durant, July 28, 2015

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