2 Corinthians Day 68 - Still His Voice
12:19 Again, do you think that we excuse ourselves to you? We speak before God in Christ. But we do all things, beloved, for your edification. 20 For I fear lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I wish, and that I shall be found by you such as you do not wish; lest there be contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, backbitings, whisperings, conceits, tumults; 21 lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and I shall mourn for many who have sinned before and have not repented of the uncleanness, fornication, and lewdness which they have practiced.
I still hear the voice of Jesus here, don't you?
"I want to come to you. I am going to come to but I'm afraid of what I will find. Everything I have done and am doing is for your good, to build you up and restore you. However when I come will I find you healing? Will you even want Me? Are things different among you or are you still fighting and competing amongst each other as always? Are you still slaves to your lusts? Have you continued to resist Me? Will we be friends when I come or will you be My enemy? Are you waiting for Me or hoping I delay forever?"
If we resist the humans in our lives who are fighting for us and desire nothing but our good are we not fighting against God Himself?
"Father if nothing else help me to become willing to be made willing..."
2 Corinthians Day 69 - Weak or Strong?
13:1 This will be the third time I am coming to you. “By the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established.” 2 I have told you before, and foretell as if I were present the second time, and now being absent I write to those who have sinned before, and to all the rest, that if I come again I will not spare— 3 since you seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, who is not weak toward you, but mighty in you. 4 For though He was crucified in weakness, yet He lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, but we shall live with Him by the power of God toward you.
5 Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified. 6 But I trust that you will know that we are not disqualified.
I don't believe Paul uses stronger language in any other letter to any other church. Clearly things are not going well and he is trying by every means to shake them out of their present condition. Clearly he loves them or he wouldn't be investing so much time and effort on them and all of it for free.
It appears the church in Corinth, at least some of them are saying Paul is a weak person. This is the second time this has come up. Addressing this Paul makes an interesting point about Jesus. When Jesus was heading to the cross He was like a lamb lead to the slaughter and He opened not His mouth. He could have. He could have humiliated all his captors by recounting in embarrassing detail all their sins. He could have allowed His divinity to flash through as he did when He cleansed the temple and they all would have fled away. He could have called angels to His defense and obliterated them. He had countless options by which He could have both freed Himself and shown His power. He did nothing. He was "weak". His enemies mocked Him - "He saved others but Himself He cannot save!" yet even in the mocking they admitted His power. Jesus set His power aside.
Ecclesiastes 3, which was made into a popular hit song in the 1960's states that there is a time for everything. Implied in that list but not stated is that there is a time to be weak and a time to be strong. Another song, popular in the country music world states "Daddies hands, soft and warm when I was crying, daddies hands, hard as steel when I'd done wrong..."
There is a time for everything and when we want to slander a person we highlight the moments in a person's life that suit our purposes and downplay the rest. However it's much easier to do that in their absence. Paul is returning to Corinth but not in weakness. Jesus is returning to this earth in power and great glory to set up the kingdom long promised. Some will look up with excitement on that day. Others will shrink back in fear and shame. One Jesus, two opposite reactions. Why? Because of the choices they made in His absence, in His "silence", in His apparent weakness.
I hope we will all be among those looking up in anticipation :)
2 Corinthians Day 70 - Don't You See?
13:5 Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified. 6 But I trust that you will know that we are not disqualified.
This is a wildly misunderstood passage of Scripture, partly because of the translation but mostly because of our thought process. It sounds like Paul is telling them to evaluate themselves to verify if they are believers or not but this is definitely NOT the case. Quite the opposite actually. He is asking them to look and see who and what they are because it seems they gave forgotten.
Go back to verse 3. Paul states emphatically that Jesus is working mightily in them. In fact all through the letters of first and second Corinthians he calls them saints and affirms over and over in various ways that they are in Christ and He is in them. It would be foolish and contradictory at this point to completely shift gears and tell them to examine themselves to see if they are in Christ/in the faith.
So what then is he saying?
"Examine yourselves if you are in the faith." That's the first part. The English translation unfortunately takes the word "if" and turns it into "as to whether". Now the meaning is lost. If here is not a word implying doubt. It's being used this way: "Swim if you are in the water". And they are "in the water". He has affirmed this repeatedly. These are believers. There is no doubt about this. They are struggling in various ways but they are without question "in the faith". That's precisely why Paul wants them to examine themselves and test themselves.
Then he asks the question that is key to the whole passage: "Don't you know yourselves, that Christ IS IN YOU?" The only way He isn't in you is if you are disqualified and I trust that you will know that we are not disqualified."
Do you see it? Paul is trying to help them see reality. He is not asking them to make sure they are in the faith and/or make sure Jesus is in them. He is asking them to look and realize that they are in the faith and Jesus is in them!
Think of it this way. Your friend has food in his teeth. You tell him. He doesn't believe you. So you tell him to examine himself to see that it is true. You pass him a mirror. You are not trying to get him to see if he has food in his teeth. You are asking him to see that he has food in his teeth.
Think about it. Why are these false teachers able to gain a foothold in Corinth? It is only possible to deceive believers who don't believe that believing is enough. If I as a Christian do not fully believe that Jesus is in me and that He is fully in charge of my restoration, and that all the time I am being transformed from sinful to sinless I am covered by His grace I am a prime target for deception. I am wide open for a Jesus + something else "gospel".
Paul wants them to see themselves as they truly are. They are broken yet restored. They are not yet like Jesus yet He is on it, He is in them, they are qualified not by performance but by His grace. That the truth he want them to see. Examine yourselves. Test yourselves. Jesus is in you. You are not disqualified.
"Father help us. Give us eyes to see the good news of Your grace. Give us full assurance that Christ in us is our Hope of glory. Help us to stop looking away from His all sufficiency and trying to add to Him in some way of our own doing. In simple terms Father save us from ourselves..."
2 Corinthians Day 71 - If We Could Just Get This...
13:7 Now I pray to God that you do no evil, not that we should appear approved, but that you should do what is honorable, though we may seem disqualified.
Allow me to rewrite that verse in my own words:
"Now I pray to God that you (those with Christ living in them) would behave well, not for the sake of appearing holy or gaining approval, but simply because doing good is honourable, although we may seem hopelessly dishonourable."
Can you see what Paul is trying to say?! Yesterday he asked them to examine themselves and discover the reality all over again that Jesus is in them and He is enough. Adding circumcision or feast days or anything else will not make them more qualified. In fact it will do the opposite. Like the offering of Cain it will make them seek their qualifications from their accomplishments rather than from His.
Now he adds that he prays for them to behave well, to act like Him, to be decent people, yet not for the sake of being approved or accepted. That's a done deal. Jesus is enough. They are already secure/saved/rescued because of Him. He just wants them to do right because it is right, not for brownie points or credit, or anything of the sort. He acknowledges that any good they will do will still leave them seeming hopelessly dishonourable but that doesn't matter. Our weakness is swallowed up in His strength. Our lack is irrelevant in the stream of His endless supply.
The truth is the more we get to know Him and understand Him and discover what good and right actually are the more disqualified and hopeless we will seem in comparison. That's why the whole notion of gaining His favour by our behaviour is so preposterous. And yet it's good to do good things.
We should pray for each other that each day finds us more like Jesus without ever falling into the trap that our accomplishments or improvements have anything to do with our destiny. Him in us. That's our hope of glory and it became a reality the moment we invited Him into our mess. :)
2 Corinthians Day 72 - Becoming Complete
13:8 For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth. 9 For we are glad when we are weak and you are strong. And this also we pray, that you may be made complete. 10 Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the authority which the Lord has given me for edification and not for destruction.
It's tough to be a leader, be it a parent, a teacher, a coach, a boss, a pastor or any position where you are responsible for helping people grow and succeed. Growth means change, it means learning, it means correction. Helping someone develop their character means calling them on their issues, being honest even when it hurts, especially when it hurts.
Last night I read an article a friend sent me about a couple who both were drinking heavily and it was getting worse and finally they both realized they had to stop or they were going to self-destruct. However in order to quit they had to deal with the pain and junk in their lives that was causing them to drink. The alcohol was just a form of self-medication.
Why do I bring this up? Neither of these individuals were Christians. They weren't facing their issues and kicking alcohol to the curb in order to please God or be good enough for heaven. They were doing it so they could get to a healthier place and lead happier lives for themselves and those around them.
When Paul keeps pushing the Corinthians to face their issues and to talks about becoming complete it is not for the sake of achieving salvation or buying God's favour. They already have both. The reason God wants us to strive for completeness and live a healthy wholesome life is for our own happiness and to help us become a blessing to others. As we have talked about before, our doctor doesn't tell us to exercise for his benefit. It isn't his/her heart that will enjoy the results. We don't become more his/her patient by listening to him/her.
The demonic insecurity we feel in knowing we are incomplete needs to end. Truth must speak to the lies. Where sin abounds as it did in Corinth and does in me, grace abounds all the more. The pursuit of becoming complete must go on. We must be humble in the face of correction, submit to leadership, and embrace growth but never to buy His favour. Never to achieve salvation. Never to feel secure. We are His. We are saints. We are washed. We can be no more ready for heaven than the moment we choose Him.
It's called good news for a reason.
2 Corinthians Day 73
13:10 Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the authority which the Lord has given me for edification and not for destruction.
I'm not sure which is worse, being corrected or having to correct others. God says that those He loves He rebukes and corrects and that's the kind of correction we're talking about here. It's easy to correct people you don't like. The dark side of our nature enjoys "putting them in their place". However to confront and correct someone you love is an entirely different scenario. Paul in this instance reveals that he is "hiding" behind ink and paper because he believes it will be easier for them to take. In other places/letters he said he wrote because he feared that in person he wouldn't say what needed to be said.
Again it's tough. What to say. When to say it. How to say it. How will they take it? How will I react if it becomes confrontational? Will I lose my voice in their lives?
Jesus corrected. He confronted. He had to deal with tough situations. Matthew 23 is the most volatile. He finally near the very end of His life had to stand before the leadership of the Jewish nation and expose them. He compared them to vipers. He called them hypocrites, blind guides, fools, and murderers. When He was finished exposing their dark side He wept. He wept for them, for their ancestors, for those who would follow after them. He went for every heart that stubbornly refused to be drawn by His love but instead became foot soldiers in the army of Satan.
However not all His correction moments turned out so negatively. Nicodemus didn't harden when corrected in John 3. He melted. Peter was corrected several times and in the end was a mighty force for good. Even Paul had to correct Peter but each time Peter was correct he set aside his pride and aligned himself with the right.
My favourite author tells of times when God called her to speak correction into the lives of others and how she delayed for months to say a word. She hated that role. It was tough. Love does not enjoy these moments yet love demands they take place.
Here are some checks and balances to consider before ever correcting anyone:
1, Is it "no big deal"? If setting some straight is easy you shouldn't be doing it. The fact it isn't gut wrenching says you don't really care that much about them.
2, Are you a person they know 110% cares about them and desires nothing but their good? Correction is tough for all of us to take and pride does everything it can to distort our thinking when correction comes. If there is any doubt about the nature of your concern for them they will not be able to take the rebuke in the spirit in which it was intended. You better strengthen the relationship before you address the wrong.
3, Have you prayed for wisdom and guidance? Do you know when the time is right? The Bible talks a lot about timing. Make sure they are in the most humble/receptive frame of mind possible.
4, Are you prepared to weather the rejection that may come with grace and humility? Jesus did everything perfectly and still lost friends. Some He lost temporarily and others permanently.
5, Do not count the cost. Do not decide whether or not you should speak based on how you think the outcome will be. Imagine if Martin Luther hadn't addressed the wrongs in his church out of fear that it wouldn't do any good... While we must be as sensitive as possible we can't shrink back if we're convinced it won't do any good. Isaiah tells us when we do this, their wrong is on our hands as much as it is on theirs.
Finally notice what Paul says. He had God given authority and that authority was given for one purpose only - to build up. We are not in the destroying business. We are in the healing business. Every look, every word, every decision, every move must be calculated to restore.
I thank God for those God has sent into my life to correct me and reorient me in a better, healthier, and kingdom enhancing direction. I know for some of them it was really tough but they did it and I benefitted. I know how tough it was because I have had to do it for others. Remember love corrects. Love rebukes. Love even calls us names when it has to.
"Father help all of us to be strong enough to correct in love and humble enough to receive correction."
2 Corinthians Day 74 – My Favourite Good Bye
13:11 Finally, brethren, farewell. Become complete. Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.
12 Greet one another with a holy kiss.
13 All the saints greet you.
14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.
Of all the ways Paul ended his various letters this is my favourite. Let me show you why:
1, Brethren: Paul understands he has a specific role to play as a leader but never does that cause him to see himself as above anyone else. We are all brothers/sisters. God is no respecter of persons which is a fancy way of saying he has no favourites. We may all have different parts to play but we are one/equal/same.
2, Become complete: All through Scripture (although often lost in translation because of the limitations of how the English language is structured) there is a consistent theme of becoming. Jesus said "Follow Me and I will cause you to become fishers of men." This word become coupled with the verb tense is the Greek is a word clearly showing progress toward maturity. We are not complete and there is no one thing we can do or say or learn to attain instant completeness. It is a process. And like any process it takes time and experience. Peter's denial of Jesus was actually a critical step of growth for him even though it was in the moment a painful failure. We gave a greenhouse and one thing we learned quickly was that plants sheltered in a greenhouse for too long with no exposure to wind and colder temperatures are not prepared for life in the real world. They need some tougher exposure to gain strength and resilience. Don't beat yourself up if you haven't "arrived" and don't expect perfection from others either. We are all becoming complete.
3, Good Comfort: It can be discouraging to say the least sometimes when we face the reality of how incomplete we are or how incomplete others are. Let's face it. Sometimes it's enough to make us want to throw in the towel completely. Lessons we thought we learned become undone in a moment. Temptations we thought we ancient history flare up like a bad canker sore. Feelings of anger and revenge well up against people we thought we had forgiven. Paul says be of good comfort. Really? Was Peter supposed to be of good comfort when that rooster crowed? He could have been if he understood two things. First that he was still growing and becoming. Second that the grace of God is sufficient to cover any and all of our unfinished parts. We are not loved, accepted, or saved based on our level of completion. We are saved by His grace. End of story. The growth is just a bonus.
4, Be of one mind: Like Red Green said "Keep your stick on the ice, we are all in this together." The Bible says there is no temptation except what is common to all men. The Bible says if your brother stumbles to restore him. One day you may fall flat on your face. Another day it might be me. We all need to know the truth about ourselves that we are incomplete and the truth about God, that His grace is sufficient. These two truths always kept in proper position will make us of one mind. How can I not forgive when I too am as guilty of being incomplete? How can I despair of my lack when I see Jesus as all sufficient?
5, Live in peace: Those two realities will keep us living in perfect peace before God and in peace with each other. We have no advantage or disadvantage. We are not higher or lower. We have no reason to boast or be swallowed up in self-pity or loathing. We have no cause to hate or any such distortion. In Christ we are saints, holy, beloved, and growing into those realities as He leads us through life. I can rest in that. It creates a peace that transcends whatever the issues of the moment are.
6, The God of love and peace will be with you: The letter began positively. It dealt with some tough stuff on the way but ends just as positively. Growth necessitates correction but it never changes the underlying reality. God will never leave us or forsake us. He made peace with us already because His love for us is greater than any thing we have done against Him. He has been, is, and will be faithful to complete the good work He started.
7, Greet each other with a holy kiss: There is some tension in Corinth but Paul intends for the healing balm of the good news to break down the walls of insecurity, hurt, offenses, unforgiveness etc... We are broken and hurting people hurt people but we are all in the same boat. We are losers at times but loved. We are failing but forgiven. We are grace filled and grace covered even as we grow into our true identity as children of the King.
2 Corinthians Day 75 - Grace, Love, Connection
13:14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.
Grace. If Paul has one word that sums up all of his teaching it is grace. He begins each letter with the greeting "Grace and peace to you." It was Paul who wrote in Ephesians "For you have been saved by grace through faith, not by works, lest any man should boast..." It was Good who said to Paul "My grace is sufficient..."
Grace is that thing that makes it possible for us to return to the Home we lost when Adam and Eve chose to listen to the lies and experience evil. Grace was made available to us by the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the whole world. He did not come into the world to condemn us but to rescue us. Without Him we were destined to die, never to live again. He who knew no sin became sin for us that we in Him might become righteous, perfect, holy. Grace. It can be looked at from myriad angles and should be. It gets more beautiful with each and every look. If I imagine walking into a prison, heading to death row, and permanently exchanging places with a condemned criminal there I am starting to faintly comprehend grace. As the hymn writer expressed it "Heaven came down and glory filled my soul, when at the cross the Saviour made me whole. My sins were washed away. My night was turned to day. Heaven came down and glory filled my soul." The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The love of God. I have children. I have had a child sick in the hospital. I have been sick and in the hospital myself. Without question watching my helpless little girl suffer was far worse than any of the seven surgeries I have had. I would have done anything to switch places. Those who think Jesus loves us and has to pay off His angry Father in order for us to be allowed to return home missed the Story. It's true that through the eyes of the Old Testament you might come to that conclusion but those people didn't know Him. They had a picture of Him that was pagan and dark. Jesus came primarily to reveal the heart of His Father. "Philip if you have seen Me you have seen God" - Jesus.
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son..." God watched us ignore His birth abd murder hundreds of babies in a desperate attempt to kill Him. God stood by while Jesus was misunderstood by His own parents and taunted by His brothers and sisters. God silently stood by while attempt after attempt was made by the Pharisees and others to kill Him. He said and did nothing while Jesus' own disciples argued with Him, laughed at Him, and second guessed Him constantly. He stood by while Judas made the deal. He turned a deaf ear when three times Jesus asked for a way out from the garden in Gethsemane. He stood by while the soldiers took Him. He listened in silence while Peter denied Him. He refrained every angel in the universe while the coward Pilate had Him beaten so badly that He couldn't even carry His own cross. God could have sent an invisible angel to lighten the load. No help came. Finally the hardened Roman soldiers had to intervene to get Him some help.
Finally in the end He turned from His own Son completely. That for Jesus was the greatest punishment of all. For the first time in His eternal existence Jesus was cut off by our sins from His own Father. In agony He cried "My Father, My Father, why have You forsaken Me!??!"
The answer is us. He did it, they did it for love. The only just way to be able to rid the universe of sin while saving sinners was to demonstrate His character before the universe. No watching angel on either side of the water could deny such self-sacrifice. Here was love pushed to an extreme no one had ever seen before and both of them were fully committed to it, to us. That's why even after His Father turned away Jesus cried one last time "Father into Your hands I commit My Spirit."
I would have done anything to switch places with my daughter but couldn't. God could have rescued His Son but didn't. Love prevented that selfish act. Love restrained Him. We were His children. We are His children and They would not save themselves at our expense. Never fall for the deception that Jesus loves us more than God. God's love for us is boundless. He could not have given more to show how genuine and infinite His love is.
The fellowship/communion of the Holy Spirit. We'll dig into that tomorrow. Just let me say or rather point out that the idea of God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit is not a creation of the Roman Catholic Church or an invention of religion. They have in most cases distorted this truth but that only makes it more true because Satan doesn't waste time inventing lies unless there is a truth to distort or bury.
Father, Son, Spirit, and if ever there was a time to understand and know the Spirit of God it is now.
2 Corinthians Day 76 - The Companionship of the Holy Spirit
13:14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.
I woke up this morning thinking. That doesn't always happen. My thoughts were on the realization there is really only one false teaching or heresy or whatever you want to call it and all other lies etc... lead to this one false idea. This one error is that Jesus is not enough. The flip side is that I don't need Jesus at all but again same lie. Either I don't need Him at all or I need Him plus more because He isn't enough.
Now as we look at this last verse in 2 Corinthians, and focus in on the last part, the fellowship, or communion, or companionship of the Holy Spirit something becomes obvious: Jesus is central. Think about it. The last book of the Bible is the Revelation of Jesus Christ. John 5:39 says that the entire Old Testament testifies about Him. He is the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the whole world. He met Adam and Eve in the garden and covered them with skins and promised One would come. He walked and talked with Abraham. He lead the children of Israel through the desert in the cloud and fire. He met Joshua as the Commander of the Lord's army. He came and told Manoah's wife she would have Samson. Over and over He has been with humanity from the start.
It all begs the question why we need the Holy Spirit and why so many today are fighting over what He does or if He even exists. Paul says we need the companionship of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said when He left He would send us a Comforter, a Teacher, a Guide. He said this Teacher would lead us into all truth, and tell us things to come. He said the Spirit would convict us of sin, righteousness, and judgment.
So why is He under so much attack? I even have friends who say He doesn't exist and that teaching that He does exist is the last great false teaching. Really? How could Someone Jesus announced and endorsed be non existent or a false teaching?
Again Paul said He, the Holy Spirit is our companion. Think about that. Jesus said we were better off if He left because the Spirit, the Comforter, the Helper was coming. Then He said something really strange. He said "He is with you and He will be in you."
So the Spirit of God wasn't new. He wasn't coming for the first time. He was just coming in a new way. Look through the Old Testament and you will find the Spirit from the start and all throughout the various books. Search the phrase "the Spirit of the Lord" and you will find lots to read about. You will also discover He was back then an external presence. The Bible says "The Spirit of the Lord came upon Samson..." Never will you find the Spirit in anyone in the Old Testament. He was with them but not in them.
When Jesus conquered both sin and death there opened a new reality in the Great Controversy between Good and Satan. Until the cross Satan had access to heaven and dominion over us. Now he has no access to heaven and no dominion over us. (Revelation 12) He lived in us but now he can only harass us. Before the cross God's Spirit could influence us but not live in us. Now He can.
The Spirit of God is ever with us and longs to be in us. He is with us by the prerogative of God but never in us unless by our invitation.
Deep stuff but critical to understand. We'll continue tomorrow...
2 Corinthians Day 77 - The Companionship of the Holy Spirit Part 2
13:14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.
In the Old Testament the people barely knew God had little to no concept of Jesus, or the Holy Spirit. That's why when Jesus came most of the Jews rejected Him. The idea of God having a Son who would come in human form did not match their expectations or understanding of God. They saw Him as only one being and so holy that they wouldn't even say or write His name. How could a Good like that ever be a man and walk among them? They should have know better. Their own Pentateuch (first five books of the Old Testament) says God spoke to Abraham face to face. Moses went up into the mountain where God was and returned. He entered the sanctuary where His presence was and survived. God was clearly approachable. In fact He came to Adam and Eve at the very beginning. However over time they developed this picture of a distant holy God who was unapproachable and so when Jesus came as one of us they rejected Him as a fraud. They chose to ignore the evidence just as the Sadducees denied life after death despite the resurrection accounts in their own sacred writings.
When Jesus was about it leave this earth He spent a significant amount of time in John 14 through 16 telling His followers that He was sending Someone else in His absence. This Someone He gave many names as we discussed yesterday. Now here we are denying and rejecting the Holy Spirit just as the Jews rejected Jesus. Some Christians say He is just a force. Some say He is God's Spirit and not a third Person. In doing so they reject not only the plainest statements of Scripture but also deny the One who longs to walk with us now as Jesus walked with His disciples. The Holy Spirit is the One who is better than Jesus in the sense He can walk with each of us wherever we are. He is not limited by time or space. Can I explain that scientifically? Of course not. But neither can I explain Jesus walking on water, or raising the dead, or countless other things.
The point is that Jesus promised He would come. He was always here just as Jesus was always here but when Jesus was born in Bethlehem as one of us it marked a significant new event and era. So too when Jesus conquered sin and death it marked a new era for the Holy Spirit. As we saw yesterday He could now live within us, which was not possible before. When the curtain in the Temple was torn from top to bottom it symbolized the end of the separation between God and humanity. That's why the New Testament declares that we can come boldly to the mercy seat in the Holy of Holies. It declares the priesthood of every believer. No more do we have to stand at a distance. No more does God have to dwell among His people. Instead He can dwell in them. That's why Paul asked in 1 Corinthians 6 "Don't you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit..."?
In another place he wrote that "Christ in us is the hope of glory."
Think about it. When Jesus was baptized God the Father spoke from heaven while the Spirit anointed Him "like a dove". When we are baptized it is with water and the Spirit only the Spirit is like fire for us. Fire because we need to be purified. Jesus had no sin so the Spirit was like a dove. No fire required. So right there all three are present. When we are baptized Jesus said plainly that we are to be baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Now here in Corinthians Paul prays that the Corinthians would enjoy the grace of Jesus, the love of God, and the companionship of the Holy Spirit.
Why is Jesus talking about three and Paul talking about three of there are only two?
And do you know what happens when people start believing there is only God the Father and Jesus? Eventually they start believing Jesus is less than God...
Remember what I said yesterday? The only false teaching on which all other false ideas hang is that Jesus is not enough. Jesus said "If you have seen me Philip, you have seen God." If Jesus is less than God He lied...
Jesus also said the only sin, think about this, the only sin that can't be forgiven is to sin against the Holy Spirit. Why? Because He is the One sent to lead you into all truth. He is the One who gave you the desire to pursue God to begin with. He is our Companion. He is the one whispering "This is the way, walk in it." Your first inclination to seek God was prompted by Him. He is our Guide, Comforter, Helper, the One who will lead us into all truth. He convicts us of sin and righteousness and gives us the ability to distinguish between the two. Take Him away and what do we have left? Who will lead us back to Jesus and give us a heart to love God? That's why Jesus said if we reject Him (the Holy Spirit) there is no forgiveness because He is the one who prompts us to seek forgiveness. God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness but only if we confess and confession is initiated by the work for the Spirit in us.
Now can you see why Satan is working so hard to discredit and turn us from the Holy Spirit? If Jesus needed to be Spirit filled to accomplish His mission here and spent so much time announcing the arrival of the Spirit after His departure, who are we to think or teach we don't need Him now?
For those who you who may be having the Writings of Ellen White twisted and hen pecked and served to you in such a way as to discredit the Holy Spirit or make Him and/or Jesus less than they are consider this statement:
We need to realize that the Holy Spirit, who is as much a person as God is a person, is walking through these grounds.—Manuscript 66, 1899 (From a talk to the students at the Avondale School.). Ev 616.5
If you have more questions about the person of the Holy Spirit feel free to message me.