People like to feel unique. Just go to any shopping mall and you’ll see just how unique people like to be. Pink hair, tattoos, clothes that can leave you shaking your head in wonder. You don’t need a multi-colored Mohawk to show your uniqueness. All you need to do is live your life to please God instead of pleasing the world. Those of us who try to please God are unique, and even “peculiar.” “Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works” (Titus 2:14).
Jesus redeemed us from our sin and sees us as “a peculiar people.” Christians belong to God, which makes us different from those of the world who belong to Satan. If you belong to Jesus, you should be eager to do good works to honor Him. Let’s take a look at our Guide in spiritual matters, and indeed in every facet of life. Our Guide is the Holy Spirit.
The best place to start is in the beginning. The Holy Spirit is part of the Trinity. Like God the Father and God the Son, He has always existed. “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). Satan wants us to believe that we evolved from pond scum, but that’s just one of his many lies. We first see the Holy Spirit at work at the creation of all that is. “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters” (Genesis 1:2).
Throughout the Old Testament, we see the Holy Spirit at work. We read of Him coming upon various people, but never indwelling. Nobody loved God more than King David, and his desire was to please Him. When David chose to sin with Bathsheba, he could have lost his place with God. David was heartbroken over his sin and turned to God instead of allowing his pride to lead him to Hell. “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me” (Psalm 51:10-11).
Read the entire Psalm and you’ll feel David’s anguish over his sin and the fear that he had lost his anointing. As you read through Scripture, remember that the Old Testament is a history book and there are many lessons to be learned by reading and pondering the truths found there. Those men and women looked forward to the coming of the Messiah, and God worked with them in a very different way than He works today. The Cross changed everything.
We live in a very unique time. Christians have a blessing that nobody had before the Cross nor will have after the Rapture. We are indwelt by the Holy Spirit. When we make a true and honest profession of faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit is sealed within us and our salvation is secure. God knows if you really meant the words, or if you were just pleasing your parents, or maybe you were in a bad situation and promised God that if He got you out of it you would follow Him. If you didn’t mean the words, you aren’t sealed with the Holy Spirit. God knows your heart.
On the other hand, if your profession was sincere, then you’re indwelt and sealed with the Holy Spirit. “Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts” (2 Corinthians 1:21-22).
When the Holy Spirit is sealed within you, it’s an unbreakable seal. Does that mean your troubles all go away or you never sin? No. Trouble and temptations will come your way, and you’ll have to make the choice of choosing to follow God’s will or follow Satan’s ways of worldly actions. The Holy Spirit will guide your choices, but you need to listen to Him. Study Scripture and pray. This is God’s way of telling us how we’re to make choices, and the Holy Spirit will illuminate Scripture. We still have the right to refuse to listen, and our poor choices hurt God. “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption” (Ephesians 4:30).
If you’ve truly committed your life to God, why would you want to grieve Him? If you can easily make sinful choices, then you may not have truly accepted the salvation that only comes through Jesus. We’ll never stop sinning while we live on this side of Heaven, but our sin should grieve us just as it grieves the Holy Spirit.
Is there any evidence of your commitment to Christ? If you truly love Him, your life will show it. The Holy Spirit will lead you to honor God in your words and actions. Your life will bear fruit that honors God. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts” (Galatians 5:22-24).
Examine yourself. Do you see these characteristics being manifest in your own life? Have you crucified your lusts of the flesh? Jesus Christ is our example in all things, and His life was the epitome of each of these traits. You might think He had an advantage because He was God. The truth is, when Jesus entered His creation, He emptied Himself of His divine nature and relied upon the Holy Spirit. The miracles He did were done through the power of the Holy Spirit.
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus; who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:5-8).
Jesus wasn’t ashamed to become a servant in the form of a human in order to save us from our sin. Using His example, we need to humble ourselves before God and be more like Jesus.
In addition to the fruits, which are traits every Christian should demonstrate, we also are given gifts from the Holy Spirit. Those gifts vary from one Christian to another. Some Christians can speak in tongues, some can heal, and some can teach. There are many gifts, and God may give you one or more. Whatever He blesses you with, be sure you use your gift for His glory. How do you discover what your gifts are? First of all, don’t waste time trying to figure it out. Get busy serving the Lord, and you’ll soon discover what your strengths are. You may find that He will give you a gift in an area that you never thought of. Look for ways to serve Jesus, and you’ll discover how God wants to use you. Offer yourself to God and be willing to serve Him.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service” (Romans 12:1).
You may never be fully aware of a specific gift you have, but if you’re serving Jesus with no thought of your own glory, you’ll find that you’ve been using your gift without knowing it.
The Holy Spirit will lead you and guide you, but you must understand that He will never tell you to do anything sinful. Too many people who profess to be Christians still follow the world in thoughts and actions. “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:2).
If you keep your thoughts on worldly matters, you won’t hear the pure word of God. You run the risk of twisting Scripture to fit your world view rather than fitting your life to God’s ways. Prayerfully study Scripture to find out how God desires you to behave. Scripture is very clear about sin, and I know too many people who take Scripture out of context or twist the meaning so they can justify their favorite sin. It takes humility for a person to admit they’re wrong. Humbly go before the Lord and ask forgiveness; turn away from sin even if it means losing friends. It can be done through the strength and power of the Holy Spirit.
Remember, the Holy Spirit lives inside you; and when you choose to ignore Him and sin, you take God with you into the sin. No matter how hard you try to justify your actions, sin is sin and God doesn’t excuse your sin because you’ve got a “good reason” for your actions. He may not excuse you but He will forgive you.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us” (1 John 1:9-10).
The Holy Spirit will lead you along a path of righteousness. Listen to Him.
It was God the Father who sent the Comforter…the Holy Spirit…in Jesus’ name. “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you” (John 14:26).
Christians are blessed to have this precious gift sealed within us. Jesus said “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one” (John 10:27-30).
Those who follow Christ have this assurance of security. It won’t always be that way. There’s coming a day when Christians will be Raptured, and the Holy Spirit won’t indwell people any more. He will still be very active, and people will come to know Christ during the Tribulation period, but the sealing of the Holy Spirit won’t happen anymore.
Don’t wait to truly repent and ask Jesus for His gift of salvation. Don’t think that you have time and can live sinfully now and repent later. You cannot know when a fatal accident will happen or the Rapture will take Christians home. If you’re not sealed with the Holy Spirit, you won’t like your eternal destination. If you’re not sure if you’ve truly given your life to Christ, do it now. The choice is yours. Don’t rely on “infant baptism” or any baptism. Only your sincere acceptance of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ will give you eternal life. Once you’ve accepted His gift, start allowing the Holy Spirit to lead you away from sin.
The blood of Jesus Christ saves you, and the Holy Spirit seals you. Trust Jesus now and follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit throughout your life. You’ll be eternally glad you did.
God bless you all,
Ron and Nathele Graham’s previous commentaries archived at https://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html
All original scripture is “theopneustos” – God breathed.
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