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Things We Don't Often Think About - Part 2 - By Gene Lawley -
Left hanging at the end of Part 1, was the significance of that statement from the apostle Paul, that blockbuster of revelation in 1 Corinthians 6:17:
"But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him."
That holy place of God's presence, now, is right there!
When Adam and Eve sinned in disobedience, the Holy Spirit of God departed from them and death came upon them, lest, as the Lord said, "they should eat of the tree of life" and live forever in that depraved condition. Paul later writes to Titus and describes the born-again transition in this manner:
"...not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit" (Titus 3:5).
Those two words, "regeneration" and "renewal" indicate conditions that once were and now have been regained or restored by the process of the new birth which Jesus described to Nicodemus in John 3. Only now we who believe are "confident that He who has begun a good work in us will continue it until Jesus comes" (Philippians 1:6).
A Resulting Thing We Seldom Think of Much
That is the reality of the indwelling Christ connected with our spirits. It sounds sort of scary and quite mysterious to us physically-minded humans. But it is the truth, as testified continually by the New Testament pronouncements, like these:
'...And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age" (Matthew 28:20).
"I will never leave you nor forsake you" (Hebrews 13:5).
This means that we no longer have to reach out and touch the hem of His garment in order to be sure we have contact with Him. He is right there in that new Holy of Holies that seems so unreal, yet is so proclaimed by the Scriptures.
He is the One who makes our prayers presentable to God, the Father:
"For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groaning's which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God" (Romans 8:26-27).
He is the One who unfolds the Word of God to us as we are able to understand and relate to it in obedience:
"However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come" (John 16:13).
He is the seal of God's redemption of our souls, the earnest agreement guarantee of His commitment to that end and the down payment of the purchase of our salvation:
"In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory" (Ephesians 1:13-14).
Even in King David's day the writer of Psalm 46:1 declared this:
"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." [An alternate rendering of that last phrase is, "abundantly available for help in tight places!"]
Then, in that final action of our mortal existence, He is the power of our transformation and transition:
"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" (Romans 8:11).
And we have to agree it could hardly be better than that, as we face the obstacles of our daily living. We cannot leave this topic without looking at the attributes of God as revealed in Psalm 139:
"Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me.
"If I say, 'Surely the darkness shall fall on me,' even the night shall be light about me. Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, but the night shines as the day; the darkness and the light are both alike to You" (Psalm 139:7-12).
If someone is running from the Lord, those words are not encouraging, but they surely are for submissive believers, along with the context that tells of God's infinite knowledge of our every thoughts and movements. He goes before us and watches behind us. The Scriptures indicate that the Lord Jesus handles each one of us with great tenderness, even those of the weakest faith:
"A bruised reed He will not break, and smoking flax He will not quench, till He sends forth justice to victory" (Matthew 12:20).
So, lest we forget, God may be down at the chapel or the church house, but in the unique personal sense of His presence, He will be there when believers go there. Jesus told the woman at the well in John 4 that no longer would she go to her mountain, nor even to Jerusalem to worship God, for "God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth" (John 4:24).
One More Thing Not Often Thought About
Where is all of this headed? What is in the mind of God for the future? Mankind has gotten accustomed to seeing one day follow another; long range planning is a common factor in personal and business life, and for sure those who have their designs on ruling the world with one governmental entity are looking far ahead. Peter wrote that people, no doubt believers, even, would be saying,
"Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation" (2 Peter 3:4).
Now that the Spirit of Jesus Christ has come into the lives of believers, it seems to mark the first step toward a oneness with God that Jesus prayed about as recorded in John 17:20-21:
"I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me."
That chapter 17 of John is saturated with the issue of oneness with God. Is it to be like Adam and Eve, walking with God in the Garden before their fall? Perhaps like Enoch, who walked with God and was not, for God took him (Genesis 5:24)? For sure, in the eternity ahead, there is so much more than mortals can comprehend, even with the indwelling Spirit of God. Paul does give a bit of insight into how that oneness will eventually come together:
"But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ's at His coming.
"Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. For 'He has put all things under His feet.'
But when He says 'all things are put under Him,' it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted. Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all" (1 Corinthians 15:20-28).
Of course, though, we often just stop with a quote of 1 Corinthians 2:9, leaving off the next verse and walk off with a wondering look in our eyes. It shows, even then, that we do not often think through these things. Here are the two verses of 1 Corinthians 2:9-10:
"'Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him,' but God has revealed them to us through His Spirit, for the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God."
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