PAUL TOTHILL

The Necessity of Living By the Spirit

April 15, 2018

These notes were preached in part at Gateway Church on 15/4/18. To listen, subscribe to the Gateway Church podcast or watch on YouTube (Sunday messages are made available on Tuesdays). 

The New Testament is very clear about the necessity to live our new life in Christ by freely yielding to the Holy Spirit and walking by the Spirit, and as Jesus taught, learning to become friends with the Holy Spirit. If ever there was a “non-negotiable” in our Christian faith this, for me, would be it. The gift of the person of the Holy Spirit is God’s promise to us.

 

To bring the person of the Holy Spirit into context of the believer’s life in Christ, I need to make a few initial observations about the foundation that the finished work of Jesus at the Cross of His passion fulfilled and what it released those in Christ as a new creation into.

 

I will look at what Jesus did and taught on “sending” the Holy Spirit and then I will take you to parts of Paul’s letter to the Galatians as our encouragement. But first I want to locate this within our own journey as a people growing in spiritual maturity and God’s purposes.

 

PUTTING THINGS IN CONTEXT

 

Last week Adam Thompson ministered in the prophetic, and interpreted some dreams that people have been having. Dreams and dream interpretation are very important. God can reveal things to us in dreams. The interpretation of dreams comes through the application of Scripture as a framework of understanding the layers and metaphors of dreams. This is a part of engaging in the revelatory realms of the Kingdom. It is one method of how the Holy Spirit speaks to us.

 

The effect of last week is that we had two Marks standing before us. Both had dreams. They related respectively to both Mark Birch and Mark Facchini.

 

Mark Birch as a metaphor represents the aspect of worship. Mark Facchini also as a metaphor represents the prophetic. These are the two “marks” that this community is being drawn into so as to embrace and mature in the expression of the life in Christ and engage in the life of the Holy Spirit.

 

Prophetically we are being “marked” or identified by these two expressions of the Holy Spirit as necessary to our development for what God has called us to in the context of the city. Remember when God builds a church He is building a people. God builds big people through His work of the Holy Spirit and the finished work of Jesus. He does not just gather a crowd. Worship and prophecy are fundamental to that development.

 

WORSHIP IS FOUNDATIONAL TO OUR PRIESTLY CALLING AND THE REVELATORY REALMS

 

Worship as I have been saying is simply foundational to a believer’s life. The first response we have towards God is worship. Worship, like prayer and thanksgiving, are the primary responsibilities and expressions of a new Testament priesthood based on the fallen tabernacle of David.

 

We are a new priesthood of all believers. That means that God always intended for Him to have a people who were priestly and kingly, a royal priesthood, before Him and into the world. The priestly always precedes the kingly. This design was from the very beginning in the Garden of Eden and was part of the commission that God gave to humanity in right relationship with Him, drawing from the “Tree of eternal life” as God’s wisdom and living from His rest (fullness).

 

If we understand that we have been restored back into God’s rest through the power of the finished work of Jesus and the forgiveness of sins according to Scripture as I have been teaching so that Christ as eternal life is central to our consciousness our thoughts then we see that the old administration of the Aaronic priesthood is finished. This is what the writer of Hebrews clearly points to.

 

King David was given permission to reveal a future priesthood of all believers when God permitted him under the Covenant of Moses and the Aaronic priesthood to build a new tabernacle, one in which both the Outer Court and the Holy Place where removed. He erected a tent on Mount Zion that covered the Ark of the Covenant, representing the glory presence of God. The worshippers worshipped 24/7 and all could freely come into the Presence of God. This changed the complete atmosphere and spiritual government of the city.

 

AN APOSTOLIC COUNCIL OF THE EARLY CHURCH

 

In Acts 15 at a meeting of the early apostles, including Apostle Paul and elders held in the Jerusalem church, they came to the Spirit-led revelation that God was restoring David’s fallen tabernacle. This tabernacle was central to the apostolic and prophetic foundations of the church. It was needed to facilitate a new kind of priesthood, that Jesus himself anticipated, of which King David was a shadow and type and which his tabernacle modelled. There was no longer to be a sacrifice of the flesh, no more animals to be sacrificed, because now there has been a superior sacrifice to end all sacrifices: Jesus Christ himself as the Passover lamb and the lamb of God that was slain.

 

This reality is always before the throne of God in the Kingdom and heavenly realms. It is a continuing spiritual reality and truth. Jesus is both the Lion of the Tribe of Judah (and Judah means praise and a Lion speaks of governmental authority), and the lamb that was slain (his blood-spilt final sacrifice for all). The suffering servant and the risen King. Therefore, the witness of the Cross as the lamb of God who was slain is not only a flow of forgiveness to the world and those who will believe but also the perpetual release of the seven-fold Spirit of God as the “river” from the throne of God towards a new royal priesthood. The flow was not to be limited to them, but as Jesus again taught and foreshadowed, that “river of the Holy Spirit” would flow from believers’ inner being as “streams of living water”. To put it another way, when Jesus is enthroned in us as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah and the lamb of God and our risen King in the Holy Spirit, there is a flow of the Spirit that not just proceeds towards us but is designed to flow from us like the Ezekiel 47 river. Its depth increases the further is proceeds from the throne.

 

To bring this into even narrower focus, Jesus could say to the woman at the well, foretelling of a new kind of worship that believers would engage in, moving from one kind of water to living water, one kind of administration to a new administration, that there would be a time, and for us that time in now, that they would worship God, the Father, in spirit and in truth. Friends we have been in a now time to worship in spirit and truth since Jesus announced it!

 

David’s own story, and the establishing of his tabernacle provide great insight. Worship and the revelatory realms are uniquely connected and indeed the prophetic nature of the Psalms of David reflect the genuine connection between praise, worship and prophecy. We have access through the inner work of the Holy Spirit to the revelatory realms. As Jesus said, “my sheep hear my voice!” He leads us in and out of his pasture. This means by the Holy Spirit dwelling in us.

 

Knowing that in Christ, God is making all things new, we must understand that a new covenant brings with it a new people, not just a born-again believer in themselves, but a new people, one new man in Christ as Paul declares.

 

Next this new person, as a people, comprising of various houses or tribes as part of God’s family in heaven, living in Christ is endowed by the person of the Holy Spirit.

That endowment comes in the form of regeneration, (being born again as a new creation), the inner work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts working with us to renew our mind and teaching us all things about the previously unknown realm of the Kingdom.

 

WHAT JESUS EXPERIENCED AND LIVED, HE TAUGHT

 

This is what Jesus said about this new reality. The words of Jesus are powerful for a few reasons not least of which is that Jesus was speaking the words of the heavenly Father as God’s promises towards us.

 

The next reason is that Jesus actually lived the very life and understood the very reality of living by the Holy Spirit, and finally because Jesus was stating a genuine reality that would empower every single believer into the life He was living and the kinds of displays of Kingdom power He was performing to destroy the works of the kingdom of darkness and the Prince of the Air.

 

In His humanity, emptied of His divinity as Paul reveals, filled with and empowered by the Holy Spirit, Jesus was the forerunner and prototype of every mature Spirit-filled Spirit-empowered believer. He showed us our potential of being a mature son in the family of God and then made a way for God to renew us and restore us into that potential to fulfil God’s purposes on earth by His death and through His resurrection. Jesus knew the power of freely yielding to the Holy Spirit who revealed to Him what the Father was saying and doing and unity with Him.

 

JOHN 14:15

 

Loving me empowers you to obey My commands. And I will ask the Father and He will give you another Saviour (or one like me) the Holy Spirit of truth, who will be to you a friend just like Me- and He will never leave you. The world won’t receive Him because they can’t see Him or know Him. But you will know him intimately, because He will make His home in you and will live inside you.

 

Verse 23

 

Jesus replied, “Loving me empowers you to obey My word. And My Father will love you so deeply that We will come to you and make you our dwelling place. But those who do not love Me will not obey my words. The Father did not send Me to speak My own revelation, but the words of my Father. I am telling you this while I am still with you. But when the Father sends the Spirit of Holiness, the one like Me who sets you free, He will teach you all things in My Name. He will inspire you to remember every word that I’ve told you."

 

JOHN 16:4

 

I didn’t tell you this in the beginning because I was still with you. But now that I am about to leave you and go back to join the one who sent Me, you need to be told...But here’s the truth: It’s to your advantage that I go away, for if I don’t go away the Divine encourager will not be released to you. But after I depart I will send him to you. And when he comes He will expose sin and prove the world is wrong about God’s righteousness and His judgments. “Sin” because they refuse to believe in who I am. “God’s righteousness” because I am going back to join the Father and you will see me no longer. And “judgement” because the ruler of this dark world has already received his sentence.”

 

There is much more I would like to say to you, but its more than you can grasp at this moment. But when the truth-giving Spirit comes, He will unveil the reality of every truth within you. He won’t speak His own message, but only what He hears from the Father, and He will reveal and speak to you what is to come. He will glorify Me on earth, for He will receive from Me what is Mine and reveal it to you. Everything that belongs to the Father (In the Kingdom and the Kingdom) belongs to Me’ that’s why I say that the Divine Encourager will receive what is Mine and reveal it to you. Soon you won’t see Me any longer, but then, after a little while, you will see Me in a new way.

 

Then Jesus narrates prophetically what is going to happen to Him in His suffering. But He lets them know it is all good. Something new is being birthed through His suffering. And the grace promise of the Holy Spirit dwelling in us and upon us is our advantage in this world and to do and live the kind of Spirit lead life that Jesus lived.

 

Jesus had to suffer for the forgiveness of sins. Those were the sins that kept us in exile, separated from God’s love and out of God’s rest. Now through His death Jesus finishes the old order and dismantles the old sin nature- the habitual bondage of living with self-at-the centre whilst estranged from the love of God- to bring all who believe in Him into freedom to live empowered in His life- the Christ life by the Holy Spirit.

 

So literally that old order administrated under the Law of Moses is finished. The fallen Adam generation of believers is finished and replaced by those who are “born again in Christ” and live in Christ empowered by the Holy Spirit by faith as a “new creation”.

 

The administration of the Old Priesthood as a shadow is finished. The Old order has been completed and now the new has come. As Paul makes clear you cannot mix the old with the new. The old has gone and the new has come. The covenant of Christ and the administration of the Holy Spirit is a superior covenant to the Covenant of Moses, which was after all a “parenthesis” in Israel’s story leading us to Jesus.

 

This is precisely what Jesus was demonstrating in John’s Gospel as the first miracle, meaning in ranking and of importance, at the Wedding in Cana when Jesus turned water, representing the Old Order, under the Covenant of Moses, into wine, new wine, representing the grace gift of the person of the Holy Spirit as the new administration of the Kingdom on earth.

 

Jesus had to go away, and notice, the Father would send another member of the God head, often considered the silent member of the Godhead, the person of the Holy Spirit. Just as Jesus was on earth filled with the Holy Spirit and living as one with the Father, so now Jesus would ascend to heaven, touch the mercy seat with his blood and the Father would send the Holy Spirit who Jesus said is just like Him and with whom we were to develop a deep friendship, in just the same way the disciples had developed a deep personal physical and heart connected relationship with Jesus.

 

The Day of Pentecost is the evidence of this heavenly and promised reality. The new body of Christ, the one new man on earth was birthed in the Holy Spirit when tongues of fire landed on the 120 in the upper room.

 

The Holy Spirit would replace Jesus on earth, but in doing so would cause both the Father and the Son to dwell inside of every believer who would believe and was a new creation. Hence the Holy Spirit comes into the regeneration as the inner working of the Godhead, so that we are now a new creation in Christ.

 

The Holy Spirit is one person of the God head although He has many names and differing functions and powers. We should not be confused by this. The Spirit of truth is the same as the counsellor, or paraclete, the Spirit of Holiness, the Spirit of Christ and so on. He is at work in regeneration as much as releasing spiritual gifts of all kinds to bring forward the Kingdom. He is a spirit person, just as God the Father is spirit and a person without limitation except those that are self-imposed by God covenant promises. Whilst the Holy Spirit is unlimited, we can in fact limit Him and His work because of how we exercise our free will.

 

I want to say something very important. We are not becoming a new creation. We are a new creation. We are maturing in the development and expression of that present spiritual reality. Therefore, we have been invited into relationship with the Triune God, which is a relationship as I have taught expressing unconditional love and unsurpassable value to each member of the Triune God. That is what we are brought into as children of God and as the family of God. That is our present spiritual reality.

 

Therefore, you are not becoming a son of God, you are a son of God. When a child is born to a couple, the child is their child, a child of that relationship and is a son or daughter. They are not becoming a son or daughter. Therefore, as a son or daughter they are raised in maturity as a son or daughter of that household. That is where the Holy Spirit relationally works to remind us of that truth, and to work in us and with us to bring us to maturity in Christ.

 

We are sons and daughters of God, a royal priestly household. We are therefore being raised to maturity in that household, not the spiritual household we were enslaved in as a servant and orphan. We now have that new reality in the Holy Spirit. This sonship or “adoption” as Paul describes, includes the right of inheritance of what belongs to the Father and given to Jesus. That of course is the Kingdom of Heaven.

 

I might also add, that you are not becoming a royal priesthood, you are a royal priesthood. You are all priests of God and you are called  to rule and reign as kings under the authority of Jesus in this world, not over people of course, but all the powers of darkness that influence the hearts and minds of people in the world including yourself.

 

Let me round out this discussion before we progress to the resurrection of Christ and Paul’s letter to the Galatians to secure our foundations.

 

It is the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, leading us and inspiring us that draws us to praise and worship. He is the inspiration and empowerment that leads us to worship God in the spirit and in truth. When we worship God in spirit and truth by worshipping Jesus yielded and surrendered to the Holy Spirit, we are transformed and empowered. Spiritually things shift in us and around us. This opens us to an inflow of God’s love and access to the revelatory realms of the Kingdom and greater dimensions of God’s wisdom.

 

It is the Holy Spirit who reveals things to us. It is the person of the Holy Spirit living within us that is guiding us in all truth. It is the Holy Spirit that is revealing Jesus and the Father to us. It is the Holy Spirit that is reminding us of our right standing with God and who we are before Him. It is the Holy Spirit who gives us the mind of Christ. It is the Holy Spirit who opens our mind to the things of God and shows us what is in the future. It is the person of the Holy Spirit who empowers us to rule and reign in Christ in life overcoming all the attacks and opposition that our old thinking and spiritual powers will attempt to use against us. It is the person of the Holy Spirit who sets us free from bondage and living disempowered in wrong thinking, and it is the Holy Spirit who brings forward the anointing of God (or a present grace) for us to be witnesses to the inner reality we now carry that points to the finished work of the Cross and to Jesus.

 

 

RESURRECTION REALITY

 

The Gospel of John also tells us that when Jesus ascended from death in resurrection but before His being taken into heaven and His glorification, He appeared in a form that the disciples and others did not recognise just as He said He would.

 

Of course, we know the story that when the stone was rolled away from the tomb in which Jesus was placed He was not there. That Sunday morning something new had begun in the resurrection of Jesus. The old was finished just as Jesus declared. But now in His resurrection something completely new of which He was the prototype had begun. Now everything was being made new. And it would start with a people who would believe in His death and His resurrection to receive the forgiveness of sins as the Scriptures revealed.  

 

Of course, despite being told what would happen, the disciples could not believe it. So, they went for a look. They contemplated the Scripture and its fulfilment, but were puzzled. Jesus appeared to Mary, not his mother, but according to Luke’s Gospel Mary Magdalene.

 

JOHN 20:13

 

“Dear woman, why are you crying?” they (two angels) asked. Mary answered, “They have taken away my Lord and I don’t know where they’ve laid Him”.

 

Mary was not thinking in terms of a resurrection but of relocation.

 

Then she turned around to leave, and there was Jesus standing in front of her, but she didn’t realise that it was Him. He said to her, “Dear woman, why are you crying? Who are you looking for?” Mary answered, thinking it was the gardener, “Sir, if You have taken His body somewhere else, tell me, and I will go and..”

 

“Mary” Jesus interrupted her. Turning to face Him, she said “Rabboni! (Aramaic for “My Teacher”). Jesus cautioned her, “Mary, don’t hold on to Me now, for I haven’t yet ascended to God, My Father. And He’s not only My Father and God, but now He’s your Father and your God! Now go to My brothers and tell them what I’ve told you, that “I am ascending to My Father- and your Father, to My God- and your God!”

 

This is so powerful. This witness is fundamental to our hope and the spiritual reality we now live in by faith.

 

Next Jesus visited the disciples, His eleven apostles. “Peace be with you!” And He told them, “Just as the Father has sent Me, I ‘m sending you”. Then taking a deep breath, he blew on them and said, “receive the Holy Spirit. I send you to preach the forgiveness of sins- and people’s sins will be forgiven. But if you don’t proclaim the forgiveness of sins, they will remain guilty.”

 

Luke’s Gospel emphasises things a little differently than John’s. Luke was more interested in recalling that all the things Jesus said would happen actually happened to fulfil the Scriptures- the prophets, the Law of Moses and the Psalms. He describes the same event as “He supernaturally unlocked their understanding to receive the revelation of Scriptures. In other translations “he blew on them to open their mind.”

 

Before His ascension into Heaven, Jesus spoke only about the Kingdom of Heaven for forty days and told them to wait in Jerusalem to receive power from on high. Jesus also told them their work was to commence in Jerusalem and then to proceed outwards into the known world. This was important in the renewing narrative of Israel.

 

Whilst the eleven apostles were looking for a physical Kingdom to come, Jesus made it clear the restoration would come through the forgiveness of sins and the power of the Holy Spirit bringing forward the Kingdom of Heaven in them and through them. This pattern is a reversal of what we are used to. The Kingdom is released by the Holy Spirit in us and it carries righteousness peace and joy as its evidence and power. And that inner work is to be carried as a witness with signs and wonders following.

 

THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES

 

ACTS 1:2

 

Just before he ascended into heaven, he left instructions for the apostles he had chosen by the Holy Spirit. After the sufferings of his cross, Jesus appeared alive many times to these same apostles over a forty-day period. Jesus proved to them with many convincing signs that he had been resurrected. During these encounters, he taught them the truths of the Kingdom of God and shared meals with them.

 

Jesus instructed them, “Don’t leave Jerusalem, but wait here until you receive the gift I told you about, the gift the Father has promised. For John has baptised you in water, but in a few days from now you will be baptised in the Holy Spirit …

 

Verse 7

 

He answered, “The Father is the one who sets the fixed dates and the times for their fulfilment. You are not permitted to know the timing of all that he has prepared by his own authority. But I promise you this- the Holy Spirit will come upon you and you will be filled with power. And you will be my messengers (witnesses) to Jerusalem, throughout Judea, the distant provinces- even to the remotest places on earth.”

 

Let me sum up some of the Scriptures and teaching of Jesus.

 

  • First, the person of the Holy Spirit is the third member of the Triune God. He is God and He is not less than God the Father or God the Son- Jesus. He is equally God and is revered in the Godhead because of the work He does. He is just like Jesus.

  • Secondly, Jesus had to go away so that He could ask the Father to send the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit in effect replaces Jesus on earth. However now every believer who carries the Holy Spirit carries the reality of both the Father and the Son dwelling in them.

  • Third. The Holy Spirit is given by God’s grace and received by faith as the fulfilment of God’s promise.

  • Fourth. The Holy Spirit takes that which belongs to Jesus, the Kingdom realm, and makes it known to us by revelation and understanding. The Holy Spirit moves us into the revelatory realms and the spirit of prophecy.

  • Fifthly, the Holy Spirit has many different names that accord with the diverse range of functions that He performs and works He does.

  • Sixthly, by extension of the previous point, the work of the Holy Spirit is varied and many. He works in our inner being in regeneration when we are born again. We now have a new spiritual nature and our spirit man is joined as one with Jesus and the Father in heaven realms by the continuous work of the Holy Spirit.

The same Holy Spirit is also the Holy Spirit that we receive as the anointing that rests upon us, to be witnesses of the reality we carry within us and to boldly announce the forgiveness of sins to the world.

 

So, the Holy Spirit as anointing and an empowering presence is both within us and upon us. Whilst the full measure of the Spirit is within us, we do carry different measures of the anointing or graces of the Holy Spirit as the Spirit determines. Ultimately we have the same access to the unlimited flow of the Holy Spirit that Jesus had.

 

The work of the Holy Spirit within us is for us to live empowered in our own lives. The Holy Spirit that anoints us for service of revealing the Kingdom and announcing the forgiveness of sins, including the gifts of the Spirit is for others. The anointing within is for us. The anointing upon us is for others. They are both given by God’s grace and received by faith. There is however no doubt in my mind that the anointing and the internal empowering presence are to be stewarded and cultivated but never contained. We are to develop disciplines and practices that develop this “advantage” Jesus said God had promised to us and we have now received.

 

Remember we have free will and everything in the Kingdom in the Spirit is developed and realised by our relationship with the Godhead, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. All three because they are one in their unity and interactions. We should build disciplines and a mindset in our freedom that does not go back into bondage of this world or forsake the depth of the relationship we have been brought into through the Cross of suffering.

 

There is little doubt that we must walk in the Holy Spirit. This is God’s grace towards us to enter His rest and live from His rest as one with Christ through the Holy Spirit.

 

We simply cannot live victoriously and empowered without understanding and forming a deep relationship, that Jesus describes as “friendship”, with the Holy Spirit.

 

We have been empowered to worship God and praise God. We have been empowered and anointed to carry our vocation as a priesthood of all believers before God.

In addition, we have been empowered by the Holy Spirit with respect to the gifts of the Spirit of which prophesying is to be eagerly desired. That desire is a deep and passionate desire not a fleeting desire. The desire to prophesy is both our will and the Holy Spirit working together.

 

The key that we are learning from the example of Jesus and how He moved in both revealing the Father through love and moving in power, carrying Kingdom authority and releasing it, was from His intimacy with the Father.

 

The relational connection to God through the Holy Spirit is fundamental. In saying that we are going to need to learn how to develop a relationship with the Holy Spirit. We are to value Him and love Him no differently to our love, reverence and esteem for Jesus and God the Father. Unfortunately, the third member of the God head is also the forgotten member of the Godhead in most churches. The forgotten member is actually the most important member in the context of living this new life we have entered into.

 

We start this new life in the Spirit as we learn how to give expression to who we are as born again believers through the forgiveness of sins. But we must be very clear this new life is matured and revealed through us in all we live by freely yielding to the Holy Spirit.

 

PAUL’S TEACHING TO THE GALATIANS

 

A not uncommon problem in the church even in charismatic churches is what Paul needed to address in the church at Galatia. The people started in the Spirit by faith and then mixed their own ideas about their own righteousness and fell into error of trying to earn the Holy Spirit.

 

We can never earn what has been given by God’s grace through our faith.  It was the faith of Jesus that secured the promise. That is God’s grace towards us. This is very important.

 

Now, we can most certainly grieve and quench the fire of the Holy Spirit. We can limit the flow of our Kingdom inheritance through the Holy Spirit. That is why the Holy Spirit is working in us quietly and powerfully to constantly remind us of the truth about the forgiveness of sins, who we are now before God and what God has called us to live in, bringing us to a Christ consciousness through praise and worship and prayer.

 

Let me remind you again of what Paul wrote to encourage them to live by the Spirit by faith.

 

GALATIANS 3:3

 

Your new life began with the Holy Spirit giving you new birth. Why then would you foolishly turn from living in the Spirit to becoming slaves to our flesh? Do you really think you can bring yourself to maturity in Christ without the Holy Spirit?…

 

Let me ask you again: What does the lavish supply of the Holy Spirit in your life and the miracles of God’s tremendous power have to do with you keeping religious laws? The Holy Spirit is poured out upon us through the revelation of power of faith, not by keeping the law!

 

GALATIANS 3:26

 

You all have become true children of God by the faith of Jesus Christ. (Like Abraham’s vision, you are not the performer of the covenant but the grace beneficiary of Christ’s faith in God.)  It was faith that immersed you into Jesus, the Anointed One, and now you are covered and clothed with His Anointing. And we no longer see each other in our former state- Jew or non-Jew, rich or poor, male or female- because we’re all one through our union with Jesus Christ with no distinction between us. And since you’ve been united to Jesus Christ the Messiah, you are now Abraham’s “child” and inherit all the promises of the kingdom realm!

 

GALATIANS 4:7

 

Now we’re no longer living like slaves under the law, but we enjoy being God’s very own sons and daughters! And because we’re His, we can access everything our Father has- for we are one with Jesus Christ!

 

GALATIANS 5:5

 

But the Holy Spirit convinces us that we have received by faith the glorious righteousness of Christ. When we’re placed into the Anointed One and joined to Him, circumcision and religious obligations can benefit for nothing. All that matters now is living in the faith that is activated and brought to perfection by love.

 

Verse 13

 

Beloved ones, God has called us to live a life of freedom in the Holy Spirit. But don’t view this wonderful freedom as an opportunity to set up base of operations in the natural realm. Freedom means that we become so completely free of self-indulgence that we become servants of one another, expressing love in all we do. For love completes the laws of God.

 

Verse 16

 

As you yield freely and fully to the dynamic life and power of the Holy Spirit, you will abandon the cravings of the self-life. For your self-life craves the things that offend the Holy Spirit and hinder Him from living free within you! And the Holy Spirit’s intense cravings hinder your self- life from dominating you! The Holy Spirit is the only One who defeats the cravings of your natural life. So then, the two incompatible and conflicting forces within you are your self-life of the flesh and the new creation life of the Spirit. But when you are brought into the full freedom of the Spirit of Grace, you will no longer be living under the domination of the law but soaring above it.

 

Then Paul clearly sets out the kind of behaviour that reveals where we are living from, either the old self life or the new Christ life in the Spirit.  As Paul puts it, those who use, “their freedom” for those things will not inherit the kingdom-realm of God!

 

In short Paul is implying that the flow of the Kingdom realm towards us corresponds to the flow of the Spirit within us and us yielding freely and fully to His power so as to overcome the old thinking and living that the self-life produced.

 

The genuine product or the fruit of the Holy Spirit flowing and working within us is divine love in its various expressions.

 

GALATIANS 5:22-23

 

This love is revealed through: Joy that overflows; Peace that subdues; Patience that endures; Kindness on display; a life full of virtue; faith that prevails, gentleness of heart and strength of spirit (self -control).

 

Never set the law above these qualities for they are meant to be limitless. Keep in mind that we belong to Jesus, the Anointed One, have already experienced crucifixion. For everything connected with our self-life was put to death on the cross and crucified with Christ.

We have now chosen to live in the surrendered freedom of yielding to the Holy Spirit!

 

To conclude we must see the complete necessity of learning how to enter the freedom of yielding to the Holy Spirit and relationally working with Him. This is established in many ways. Jesus gives us the key.

 

He said that the Holy Spirit will become like He is, a friend to us. Friendship in this sense is not equality of personhood. We are never equal to God, but we are to image God through His love for us and our love for Him. Friendship is contrasted to a servant who does not know the Master’s business. We are not just servants who don’t know about the Father’s business. This is why the Holy Spirit through the cultivating of intimacy with God develops revelation in our hearts in the same way that Jesus breathed on His apostles and opened up their minds.

 

The most fundamental discipline you can develop from your freedom in the Holy Spirit is to image God in our worship of Him. If your focus is Him, you will mirror Him. This is why genuine worship in spirit and truth creates a Christ-consciousness. For the unchanging spiritual law is “you become like that which you worship”. And “what you behold you become”. Or as Proverbs puts it, “as a man thinks in his heart, so is he.”

 

As I said in the beginning the priestly establishes the kingly. We are in a new epoch where God wants the church as James teaches to live from the wisdom from above, not the wisdom that is from below.

 

That wisdom is revealed to us in the Holy Spirit as we position our heart towards God. This re-posturing if you are free enough to permit it, is the unlimited given of our self to God. Nothing held back. Nothing in reserve, no just-in-case things don’t happen. Love is about vulnerability and giving ourselves to the one we love.

 

Loving Jesus empowers us to obey His words of life.

 

Want to get the latest from Paul Tothill delivered to your inbox? Submit your details here, and Paul will send you a weekly digest of thoughts, news and content.

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Please reload

Sign up now to receive Paul's 

weekly newsletter.

Subscribe
To get Paul Tothill's insights delivered to your inbox weekly, subscribe here.
Featured Posts

Deeper Waters (Part 4)

September 11, 2019

1/9
Please reload

Recent Posts

September 11, 2019

September 1, 2019

August 26, 2019

August 18, 2019

Please reload

Archive