A Systematic Expository Study of the Word of God
The Scripture teaches that the entrance of the Spirit of God at salvation makes a believer experience supernatural wonders on a daily basis. The Spirit begins to control his language, disposition and other aspects of his life. The power of the Spirit becomes central in his life. The Holy Spirit thus becomes the gateway into the Kingdom and divine wonders. “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” The Holy Spirit is also the gateway into sanctification and holiness of life that makes us peculiar people of the Lord. Besides, the Holy Spirit is the gateway to a life of power – power to evangelize, endure trial and persecution – at all times. This power helps believers to accomplish the task of the great commission, do exploits and remain sensitive to the Lord. Empowered by the Holy Ghost, the believer continually overcomes the constant battle between the flesh and the Spirit. With the assistance of the Spirit, a believer is able to walk consistently in righteousness. From the point of conversion to when a believer goes to be with the Lord, it is the Spirit that sustains him. For a believer to keep moving from one level of glory to another and lead a life that is void of disgrace and shame as he journeys towards heaven, he needs the Spirit of God.
THE PRESENCE OF THE SPIRIT IN YOU
John 3:3-6; 14:17; Romans 8:1-4,7,8,9,14,13.
Mere religious profession does not make anyone a Christian. What makes one a Christian and qualifies him for the Kingdom is the presence of the Spirit in him. The Holy Spirit partners with the believer to lead and guide him. Although Nicodemus, a highly placed individual in the Jewish society, recognized and honoured Christ, he did not know the way into the kingdom of God. “Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?” He could not tell the difference between the natural birth and the spiritual birth. The spiritual birth by the Spirit brings total transformation of life and makes the believer possess the Spirit of truth; lying, deception, hypocrisy, diplomacy, will all be gone. He is enabled to live a consistent Christian life and walk in the Spirit. Walking in the Spirit means that the believer has no more interest in fleshly pleasures like alcohol, drug, tobacco, pornography, fornication, adultery, partying at night clubs, gambling, fraud, greed, etc. The believer who walks after the dictates of the flesh cannot please God. Thus, if a member of any religious gathering, a bishop, preacher or priest does not have the Spirit of Christ, “he is none of his.” Those who choose to live after the flesh will die spiritually. “For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.”
THE PURITY THROUGH SANCTIFICATION IN YOU
Psalm 24:3,4; Matthew 5:8; Acts 15:9; 1 Timothy 5:21,22; 2 Corinthians 7:1; Jude 20,21,24,25.
Obtaining salvation and enjoying good health, deliverance and prosperity without sanctification is not sufficient to take the believer to heaven. “Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD?... He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart…”. Professing believers who are sensual in their mode of worship, filled with immoral thoughts, steal money from the coffers of the church or government, defraud their employers or employees, kidnap others and demand for ransom, assassinate or murder their fellow human beings, give or take bribes, earn salary with forged certificates and wish their enemies evil, do not possess clean hands and a pure heart that qualifies one for God’s kingdom.
Christ teaches that, “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” Possessing clean hands is by obtaining forgiveness of sins and doing all necessary restitutions to have clear conscience before God and men. For a believer’s thought, desire, affection, ambition, pursuit to be patterned after Christ’s, he must be sanctified. When a believer’s heart is purified, he is always careful in his walk with God, avoiding anything that will make him a partaker of other men’s sins. He is always watchful to guard the sanctification experience jealously. Without sanctification, all our labour in God’s vineyard will be in vain. So, we constantly take inventory of our Christian life to know the state of our hearts and where we are heading to. Hard work and zeal in Christian service without regular intake of the Word and holiness will amount to a waste of time. Therefore, we must “follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14). Believers who willingly consecrate by laying down all on God’s altar and seek Him with a sincere heart will be sanctified and made ready for heaven. Sanctified, we must shun every form of hypocrisy and “keep [ourselves] pure” while labouring to bring others into the Kingdom.
THE POWER OF THE SPIRIT IN YOU
Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4,5; 19:2; Isaiah 40:31.
Christ’s command is to “…tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.” Believers must not allow church administration, religious activities and running errands for leadership to make them disobey Christ’s command to tarry for baptism with the Holy Ghost. Christ must take preeminence in everything we do. Misplacing priority on religious activities while neglecting His command to “tarry …until” the power of the Spirit comes makes believers live in defeat. Therefore, set aside time to pray for the power of the Holy Spirit. To be effective in Christian service and soul-winning, “ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me…”. The Spirit’s power in the believer is indispensable as He gives grace and courage to do restitutions and enjoy all divine provisions. We must strike a balance between Christian activities and our desire to get to heaven, and go beyond mere religion to reach out for true righteousness. The baptism with the Holy Ghost that empowers us to lead a victorious Christian life and fulfill the great commission is available for every believer who waits upon the Lord.
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