Thursday, May 13, 2010

Auto-Christianity? - May 13, 2010

John 14:26 (New International Reader's Version)
26 But the Father will send the Friend in my name to help you. The Friend is the Holy Spirit. He will teach you all things. He will remind you of everything I have said to you.

1 Corinthians 12:3 (New International Version)
3Therefore I tell you that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus be cursed," and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit.

Ephesians 1:13-14 (New International Version)
13And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession—to the praise of his glory.

Philippians 1:4-6 (New Living Translation)
4 Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy, 5 for you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now. 6 And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.

What happens to us when we become followers of Jesus Christ, when we accept his sacrifice on the cross, his death to pay for our sins, and believe that he rose again, will return again? How do we find the ability to change our lives for the better and clean up our act? For that matter, how are we able to become Christians anyway?

The wonderful truth is that God from the beginning provided the way for His creation to be reconciled, eternally reunited with Him. He worked His plan by engaging mankind through the three persons of the Trinity. As the Father, He called out Abraham and the nation of Israel, to be His people through which He would demonstrate the need for God, and the Law to define how we should engage Him.

Because we could never fully keep the Law, God the Son, Jesus Christ came into the world to fulfill and take on the punishment for disobedience of the Law, and to show us God in the flesh in which we could identify. Finally, God comes to us as the Holy Spirit, who comes to live within us and bring us the knowledge of God's plan, when we accept God's provision for reconciliation. It's almost as if our lives start operating in auto-pilot, with God directing each and every aspect of life to ultimately fulfill His plans in and for us.

As a Christian believer, the great thing is that if we accept the knowledge, instruction and direction of the Holy Spirit that resides within us, God assists us in doing what we need to do to live the right way. The passages above illustrate the how we were given the Holy Spirit and how He works. These things were confirmed in my life when I first accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior.

The very things that I once desired and thought that I could never give up, became the very thing that I no longer wanted any part of in my life. The Bible which I found difficult to read and understand in the past, suddenly came "alive" and gave me wisdom with which I could overcome my daily problems. I no longer avoided being around church and other Christians, but I developed a hunger to share with fellow believers and others around me. My entire world-view changed to one that followed after things that were good and pleasing to the God that saved me.

What happens next? Well, we are promised that the Holy Spirit, the deposit and seal that marks us a follower of Jesus, will help us complete the journey and the plan that God has marked out for us. Have you heard the saying, "let go and let God"? That is our lives on auto-pilot. As long as we surrender our lives into the hands of the Spirit, He will make sure that we will do the right things. Not that we become perfect and never again do anything wrong, but now when we do wrong, the Spirit will convict us of our wrongdoing and guide us back into God's plan.

That is what is so amazing about being a Christian: our eternal Salvation and the ability to live life too!

Philippians 2:12-13 (New International Version)
12Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.

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