"Make me more like You, in Spirit and in truth... That is all I ask of You." - "More Like You" by Clay Crosse
May the joy of the Lord be with you!
In my last post on the helmet of salvation, I wrote on how when the Holy Spirit affirms to an individual that he or she is a child of God, the individual must know that he or she is saved and must think like he or she is saved. Pure thoughts. Amen.
Yet, how does the Holy Spirit affirm to us that we are saved? Is it through a dream? Do we hear a voice that says, "You are saved"? Or is it through people who keep on telling us how much of a blessing we are in Christ?
How do we know that the dream is not that which we hope for in our consciousness deceitfully manifesting through our subconsciousness (Ecclesiastes 5:3)? How do we know that the voice is not one that we have made up in our minds and have called, "God" (1 John 4:1)? How can any man know the heart of another when all of our hearts are so trifling and deceitful (Jeremiah 17:9)?
I believe that the Holy Spirit affirms to us our salvation in at least two different ways. The first way is the abiding of His presence. The second way is the producing of His fruit.
1. The Abiding of His Presence:
When a person walks with us, we can feel their presence. Even if they speak nothing, we can hear the impact of their moving bodies on the wind, creating sound waves, and hear their feet pounding the ground on which we walk.
Just the same, though we may not hear the audible voice of God, we can feel His presence within us and around us and see His movements within us and around us.
A. When we have the Holy Spirit, we feel like part of the family, the spiritual family of Christ. We feel that God is our Father. We feel the love that the Father has for us and the depth of the sacrifice that the Son, Jesus Christ, made for us.
For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”
And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!”
B. When we have the Holy Spirit within us, we can feel His life within us. We no longer feel empty or dead. Instead, we feel fulfilled and full of life.
But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
C. When we have the Holy Spirit within us, we feel when we did something that did not make God happy. We know, we just know deep down within us that we should not have thought those thoughts or said those words or did those acts.
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
D. When we have the Holy Spirit within us, we feel set-apart. We feel like we cannot just think anything or say anything or do anything or wear anything or go anywhere, etc. If ever we go astray, we feel the defiling of our temples. We feel dirty. Therefore, we repent and beg Christ to cleanse us with His blood.
1 Corinthians 3:16
Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
E. When we have the Holy Spirit within us, we feel when He is distant. We feel like we are missing something that is so dear and incomparable. That feeling though is not because He went for from us but because we went far from Him. When we feel that He is distant, we feel dry and thirsty for Him, to get back to Him.
1 Thessalonians 5:19
Do not quench the Spirit.
F. When we have the Holy Spirit within us, we can hear His teachings within our consciences, and He enlightens our minds to understand His Word.
I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.
1 John 2:27
But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.
G. When we have the Holy Spirit within us, He shows us our wrongs and makes us feel convicted that a sin is a sin and that we should sin no more.
“But now I go away to Him who sent Me, and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’6 But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. 7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. 8 And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 of sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; 11 of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.
H. When we have the Holy Spirit within us, we can see His guiding hand in our everyday lives.
Then he remembered the days of old,
Moses and his people, saying:
“Where is He who brought them up out of the sea
With the shepherd of His flock?
Where is He who put His Holy Spirit within them,
12 Who led them by the right hand of Moses,
With His glorious arm,
Dividing the water before them
To make for Himself an everlasting name,
I. When we have the Holy Spirit within us, we can feel His presence as we connect to the Lord through prayer, the Word and worship. This is called, "Being in the Spirit."
10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet,
J. When we have the Holy Spirit within us, we know what the truth is, and He helps us to discern all things.
“If you love Me, keep My commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever-- 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.
K. When we have the Holy Spirit within us, evil saddens us. Whether it is a sin that we committed or that another committed, it breaks our hearts. We simply cannot find it within ourselves to rejoice in sin
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
2. Producing of His Fruit:
Whatever it is that we allow to enter us, that is what we become.
When it comes to foods, if we eat healthily, our bodies will look healthy. If we do not, it will surely show. Yes, exercise is also good, but compared to the positive effects of good food, the positive effects of exercise are minimal. Godliness in the form of self-control, self-control in what we eat, is key to good health.
1 Timothy 4:8
For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.
When it comes to what we look at and listen to, it will all manifest back through our thoughts, words and actions. Basically, what we look at and listen to cling to us. They become part of who we are. And again, it is necessary to ask Jesus to cleanse us of all evil influences with His blood.
I will set nothing wicked before my eyes;
I hate the work of those who fall away;
It shall not cling to me.
When it comes to whom we closely interact with, these individuals a great impact on who we are.
1 Corinthians 15:33
Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.”
When it comes to the spiritual, when a person is taken over by a demon, the soul of the person becomes bounded, and it is the demon who thinks, speaks and acts through the person. The person becomes like the demon.
When a person is influenced by a demon this is for a moment. When a person is possessed by a demon, this is for a lifetime until they receive deliverance from Christ.
Again, and again, it is necessary to ask Jesus to cleanse us of all evil influences with His blood.
When they sailed to the country of the Gadarenes, which is opposite Galilee. 27 And when He stepped out on the land, there met Him a certain man from the city who had demons for a long time. And he wore no clothes, nor did he live in a house but in the tombs. 28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out, fell down before Him, and with a loud voice said, “What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You, do not torment me!” 29 For He had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For it had often seized him, and he was kept under guard, bound with chains and shackles; and he broke the bonds and was driven by the demon into the wilderness.
30 Jesus asked him, saying, “What is your name?”
And he said, “Legion,” because many demons had entered him. 31 And they begged Him that He would not command them to go out into the abyss.
32 Now a herd of many swine was feeding there on the mountain. So they begged Him that He would permit them to enter them. And He permitted them. 33 Then the demons went out of the man and entered the swine, and the herd ran violently down the steep place into the lake and drowned.
34 When those who fed them saw what had happened, they fled and told it in the city and in the country. 35 Then they went out to see what had happened, and came to Jesus, and found the man from whom the demons had departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid. 36 They also who had seen it told them by what means he who had been demon-possessed was healed. 37 Then the whole multitude of the surrounding region of the Gadarenes asked Him to depart from them, for they were seized with great fear. And He got into the boat and returned.
38 Now the man from whom the demons had departed begged Him that he might be with Him. But Jesus sent him away, saying, 39 “Return to your own house, and tell what great things God has done for you.” And he went his way and proclaimed throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done for him.
So, then, when the HOLY SPIRIT comes and dwells within us, the more we become like Him.
We become loving like Him. Peaceful like Him. Joyful like Him. Kind, good, gentle, patient, faithful and self-controlled like Him.
We let go of the works of the flesh, this world and the devil and take on the works of righteousness in Christ Jesus. Amen.
And we can know that we are producing the true good fruit of the Holy Spirit because we produce it both when we are alone and when we are with others and it lasts while pretentious fruits are conditional and quickly fade away.
I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
To end, notice how it all starts within. It starts with the abiding of the Holy Spirit within the soul, heart, mind, spirit and body of a Christian and then moves out to the outward expression of the fruit of the Holy Spirit.
If it does that start within, a person can only produce pretentious fruits.
1 Samuel 16:7
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
Much love and blessings,
Emery in Chris
Ephesians 6:10-13, 17
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand... 17 And take the helmet of salvation...
Ever heard of the Advanced Army Combat Helmet? It is a helmet that was designed and tested by the United States military, and it is the current go-to military helmet. It has one purpose: To protect without hindering vision nor hearing. In order to fulfill its purpose, the helmet contains two systems, the retention system and the pad suspension system.
Many times, the Bible will use that which we see in the everyday life within parables and figurative language to make a point in a way that we can easily understand.
The Word in Ephesians 6 brings forth the armor of a soldier within the context of spiritual warfare. The chapter explains that we do not fight against flesh and blood. That means that we do not fight against people.
Yes, yes, there are people who do seek to hurt us. Yet, what Jesus wants us to do is to see beyond those people so that we may see the evil spirits that are using them. For, it is these evil spirits that we must fight on the battlefield of prayer, armored up with the armor of God with the Sword of the Spirit, which in the Word of God, in our hands (Colossians 4:12; Ephesians 6:10-20).
Yes, there are evil spirits, also known as fallen angels or demons, that rage against each one of us. That does not excuse individuals though, for an evil spirit cannot use a person unless that person gives it access, knowingly or unknowingly.
An example of an evil spirit using a person to hurt another is when Saul sought to hurt David. 1 Samuel 18:10 says that an evil spirit entered Saul and caused Saul to take hold of a spear and hurl it towards David twice. Each time, David escaped. That evil spirit was able to enter Saul because the Spirit of the Lord had left Saul as explained in 1 Samuel 16:14.
Another example is when Judah left the communion table to go and betray Jesus. Actually, in this example, it specifically says that the devil himself entered Judah's heart. We see this in Luke 22:3-4. The devil used Judah’s lust for money to have access to him to cause him to betray Jesus (Matthew 26:14-16; 1 Timothy 6:10).
The thing to understand is that the closer we are to Jesus and the more we have the Holy Spirit abiding in us, the less the devil and his demons are able to influence our thoughts, words and actions. The further we are away from Jesus or the more we sadden the Holy Spirit, as explained in Ephesians 4:30, the more the devil and his demons are able to have an effect on us. Therefore, we must always keep watch so that we are tools of the Holy Spirit to bless people and not tools of the devil to attack people (Ephesians 4:30).
Going back to the armor of God, the Word uses the helmet of a soldier and associates it with salvation. Why? The first connection to look at is the helmet to the head. Then, the head to the brain. Then, the brain to the mind. Lastly, the mind to the thoughts.
When it comes to the thoughts, just as the Advanced Army Combat Helmet has two different systems, the helmet of salvation has two different systems.
The first system of the helmet of salvation is the knowing. We must know that we are saved. The Word in Romans 8:16 says that the Holy Spirit testifies to us that we are children of God, that we are saved. It is Jesus, the one who died to give us salvation, who lets us know that we are saved. It is He who can give that final judgment.
Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. 12 There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. Who are you to judgeanother?
It is not for church leaders nor church members nor family members nor friends nor society to say whether we are saved or not. It is not even for us to say whether we are saved or not. For, there are individuals such as the those of Matthew 7:21-23 who try to deceive even Jesus into believing that they ever had a true, very true, relationship with Him.
Again, it is Jesus. Jesus died to save us and only He has the authority speak of our salvations to each one of us by the Holy Spirit.
And when we do stumble, our Lord is faithful to make us stand. Amen.
Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand.
Yet, do not confound the different types of judgments. For, there are at least 8:
In terms of judgment in discernment, Jesus may enable others to see where we stand in Him by the fruits that we produce, for Christ Himself speaks so in Luke 6:43-46.
In terms of judgment in exhortation, Jesus may lead a brother or sister in Christ to exhort us, telling us to turn back to the Lord and His ways, by the Holy Spirit, in gentleness. His Word commands that all Christians should be ready to do so (Galatians 6:1).
In terms of judgment in sanction, Jesus may lead a church leader to sanction us. For, if we minister while being in a depraved spiritual state, we hinder the ministry in which we serve and enable the devil to harm us even more.
Ministry is about pouring out what the Holy Spirit pours inside of us. If one is not rightly connected to the Lord, what is it that they have to pour out? They may continue to function to a certain extent, hyping up the flesh of individuals, but they do not have any anointing and cannot truly bless the souls of individuals. We cannot be true witnesses, true ministers, without the deep abiding of the presence and power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8). That is what anointing is.
And when we seek to minister when we are not rightly connected to the Lord, evil spirits are able to overcome us and the devil makes a mockery out of us. Just as they did to the seven sons of Sceva in Acts 19:14-16. This is why we hear certain scandals happening in the church. Church leaders are not giving the sanctions needed. Individuals are not taking the sanctions needed. Actually, it is even better when we sanction our own selves (1 Corinthians 11:31-32). For, there are times when we simply must take time apart from ministry to recuperate. Even Jesus took time to Himself to connect to God. It would be foolish for anyone to believe themselves to be stronger than Christ.
So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.
We see the importance of sanctions in 1 Corinthians 5:9-12, in which Paul speaks of the necessity for Christians to judge those who are in the church. We also see the importance of sanctions in regard to communion in 1 Corinthians 11, in which the Word says that we must eat the bread and wine of Jesus Christ with reverence towards Him less we suffer maladies and curses.
In terms of judgment in punishment, Jesus will never leave our actions to be without consequence (Galatians 6:7).
Yet, again, when it comes to judgment in terms of condemnation, that is for Christ alone. For, He is the author and finisher of our faiths (Hebrews 12:2).
Therefore, we should never ever look at individuals and say that they are going to hell. They may be struggling or they may not be on the path of salvation at all. Yet, we do not know how they will end. Until they take their last breaths, they will always have the chance to repent and receive salvation in Christ Jesus. Just as the man who was crucified at the right of Jesus.
Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying,“If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.”
40 But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.” 42 Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.”
43 And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”
The day when we will truly, truly know who will be in heaven and who will be in hell is when we are in heaven.
In continuation, if the Holy Spirit has affirmed to us that we are saved, though we may struggle and fight against sin, we must hold on dearly to that affirmation. For, that affirmation protects us from the devil.
There is something about doubting the Lord as our Father that gives the devil power. So much so that he even attacked Jesus on the matter. In Matthew 4:6, the devil says to Jesus: “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.’" Jesus did not seek to prove to the devil that He was the Son of God, for He is affirmed in His sonship. Consequently, He had victory over the devil.
The second system of the helmet of salvation is the thinking. We must think like we are saved. Philippians 4:8 tells us that we must think on whatever is pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous and praiseworthy. That eliminates all prideful thoughts, all lustful thoughts, all slanderous thought, all mischievous thoughts, etc.
In the Biblical Studies post, “Be Transformed by the Renewing of Your Mind,” I spoke on how sin is conceived in our thoughts and how when our minds are renewed by the Holy Spirit they become conditioned against sin (Romans 12:2). The Word also says that everything that we do comes from the heart (Proverbs 4:23; Matthew 15:18). The connection between the mind and the heart in the context of sin is that the seed of sin rises up from our hearts and it becomes fertilized in our minds and then is birthed through our words and actions. All in all, sinful desires lead to sinful thoughts which lead to sinful words and acts, and that hinders our relationship with God and gives power to the devil (Isaiah 59:1-2; James 4:7).
The Lord speaks of His promise of a new heart in these verses: Ezekiel 11:19, Ezekiel 18:31; Ezekiel 26:36; Jeremiah 24:7 and 2 Corinthians 5:17.
This takes us to the breastplate of righteous…
Remember though, take on the helmet of salvation. If the Holy Spirit has affirmed to you that you are a child of God, know that you are saved and think like you are saved.
If not, He awaits to know you, therefore, receive Christ as your precious Lord and Savior. Amen.
Much love and blessings,
Emery in Christ
But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.
Jésus répondit: Il est écrit: L'homme ne vivra pas de pain seulement, mais de toute parole qui sort de la bouche de Dieu