Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Our duties towards the Spirit

Welcome back to my blog. Thank you for visiting today.

Teleios recently surveyed the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives in 475 young participants in visitors to the Instagram account, InstaPray. All the findings, as well as other exciting Teleios research, are on our website (www.teleiosresearch.com).

The Holy Spirit is a very important yet controversial topic. However, there is often a general lack of knowledge of what scripture teaches about the Spirit. We are covering these pertinent topics.

I generally breakdown the Bible’s handling of the Spirit for the New Testament church into three basic realms:

·       The Spirit’s work in salvation

·       The Spirit's role in our Christian walk

·       The Christian’s duties to the Spirit

This week let us cover the last point, our duties to the Spirit. What our survey participants thought is in the below table.
What the Bible says:

Our actions towards the Spirit are nicely divided into two subcategories, what to do and what not to do. According to scripture, the Spirit dwells in us permanently from the time we believe unto the day of our redemption (Ephesians1:13-14) and we have full use of the Spirit’s power available to us throughout our lives.

Ø  What not to do!

·       Grieve the Spirit (Ephesians4:30)

·       Suppress the Spirit (1Thessalonians 5:19)

These verses do not explain how not to grieve or suppress the Spirit, but we might assume it's related to sin that would make the Spirit sad, or suppress His actions in our lives, because we are seeking our own desires.

Ø  What to do! – These amazing verses are mostly related to our seeking God and being obedient. Again, scripture does not tell us the specifics, giving us great freedom to live our lives in faith.

·       Walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16,25) - The word ‘walk’ (peripateoo, περιπατεω) indicates our manner of life, especially in the moral realm.

·       Be mature in the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18) - The illustration in this great verse is not to be drunk. Alcohol literally can control brain cells by its chemical effect. In contrast, for mature Christians, their old actions are no longer possible as they have been changed by the Spirit.

·       Be zealous towards the Spirit (Romans 12:10)

·       Put to death the deeds of the flesh (Romans 8:13) - Last week we learned the Spirit helps us defeat sin but this verse also indicates that it is by our initiation towards obedience that we facilitate the Spirit’s gracious help.

Note: Do not commit the unforgivable sin by blaspheming the Spirit (Matthew12:31-32) – Importantly, this verse often is taken out of context. In this passage Christ is directing His wrath towards the Jewish Pharisees. At Christ’s baptism, at the initiation of his ministry, the Pharisees had rejected the witness given by the Holy Spirit when He came down from heaven on our Savior.

Therefore, to blaspheme the physical manifestation of Christ on earth is forgivable but to reject God's approval (signified by the Spirit) of his spiritual mission to bring salvation to man is unforgivable, otherwise by rejecting the salvation message.

Importantly, Christians are not in view in this passage as we to have the Spirit’s sealing until the day of our redemption, having accepted Christ as Savior (Ephesians1:13,14 and 4:30).

Thank you for joining me today. Please join me again next week as we continue to explore fascinating results from Teleios’ research.

WC Stewart

Response policy - The purpose of the comment section is to promote discussion that is encouraging, propels the further search of Scripture and raises interesting and thought provoking Biblically related questions. You may feel free to disagree with me in a constructive manner using appropriate language. I reserve the right to remove your comments if they are profane, pornographic, libelous or I do not consider them constructive or consistent with the policy stated above. By posting you no longer own your comments and you are granting me an unrestricted worldwide license to use your comments.

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