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Building up believers and the New Testament church

To Live Is Christ

Why Is the Spirit Given?

God has given the promise of the Holy Spirit to those that will believe--that they may have life, that they may be freed from sin and death, and that they may be partakers of a new law, the law of life in Christ Jesus.

The Spirit is the one that gives life. He is the one that quickens, and makes us alive to God in every way. He brings us back into union with God, to find purpose in why God created us. Man was created for God. God wants to come and indwell man. When we partake of the Spirit of God, God gives us the ability now to know Him and to experience Him in a personal way. John tells us that we know He abides in us, not by what the scriptures tell us but "by the Spirit which He hath given to us" (I John 3:24). We know we dwell in Him and He dwells in us because He has given us of His Spirit.

From the very beginning, God sent the Holy Spirit to lead us into all truth. Jesus, recorded in the 14th chapter of John, said, "Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you." He continues in the 23rd verse to say, "If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him."

These are not just words that have been written down for us, but these are words that are spoken to us. God's words must be life. They must be words that He speaks to us individually, if we're going to have a place to move in faith. Too long we have repeated the scriptures and thought that was faith. We have said, "I believe it." We say that God has not changed, that He is the same today as He was yesterday. But you see, God has sent the Holy Spirit so that we might know Him in a personal way, that we might know the reality of what the scriptures speak about. He has not just given us a written account; He has not just sent us a letter that we read over and over again, and memorize. We are to be in love with Him. We are to walk only in the strength that He gives. We are to abide in Him, walking in union with Him.

Our union with God is to be the same union that the Father had with the Son. Jesus said that when the Father was speaking, He was speaking, and when the Father was working, He was working. This is the union that God has purposed to bring us into, a oneness with Himself and a oneness with each other. But that can only happen if we give God the pre-eminent place as our life, and walk in the Spirit rather than trying to follow a set of commandments written down, or a concept, or even an interpretation given to us according to what we say is the purpose of God.

God by the Spirit has come to direct us and lead us. We can see an example of this in the old very clearly if we have eyes to see it. In the tabernacle in the wilderness, there was a fire by night and a cloud by day. The people of God did not move unless that cloud or that fire moved. Today, God has given His Spirit, and He says, "These are the sons of God, those that are led by the Spirit of God." (Romans 8:14) We're not to be directed by the account that is set forth for us in scripture, but we are to be directed by God Himself who lives and dwells in those that are His.

When Jesus was preparing His disciples for His return to the Father, in several places in John 14-17 we see Him encouraging them about the Comforter that was to come. Jesus said He would send the Spirit of truth to His followers. He said nothing about sending them scriptures, or sending them a written account by His Spirit. He said He would send the actual Person of the Spirit, to come and be with them, and to guide them into all truth.

John says in his first epistle, "You have an unction from the Holy One, and you know all things" (I John 2:20). Further down he says, "But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him" (v. 27). He is telling us that we are not just dependent on knowing the scriptures, but we have an anointing. We have what God has given us; we have God Himself to lead and guide us, to be with us and to empower us, to give us the ability that we do not have separate from Him.

Next: Eternal Life