Celebrate the Holy Spirit’s work of belief

Within every human is the belief mechanism. Everyone uses this God given ability to either believe in Him or to disbelieve. There is no neutral ground and no void where nothing spiritual happens. Humans are spiritual beings who either accept or reject divine truth.

Reject rejection of Jesus Christ

The apostle Paul had a particularly clear understanding of this inner mechanism with relation to God and His truth. Paul wrote celebrating what God had done in the lives of the Thessalonian Christians; because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth” (2 Thessalonians 2:13).

Notice that it was God who orchestrated all that was required for unbelieving people to transition to be believers. The Lord patiently continues this work in people’s lives today. In spite of human resistance, and despite the many times people ignore Him, God persists calling people to Himself. God’s mercy works through intervening grace which perseveres to bring about trusting faith in His Son the Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul explained this to be “the sanctifying work of the Spirit.” In other words, without realizing how, the non-believer is influenced by the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God begins the process of redirecting and setting apart their beliefs toward Jesus Christ. This initial softening of attitudes and refocusing of belief is not salvation in itself, but the Holy Spirit’s preparation work which will equip the person for that moment when they put genuine faith in Christ.

The Invisible Worker

God’s Spirit is invisibly yet powerfully at work to bring the sinner to repentance and belief in Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord. Thankfully, this life transformation is not left to chance or personal feelings. Rather, God the Holy Spirit implants and grows “belief in the truth.” But what’s this truth that Paul is referring to? Jesus prayed in John 17:17; “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth”. At the most basic level, God’s written Word is His authoritative and absolute truth on all spiritual and moral matters. There, and there alone, we find the gospel truth of Jesus Christ.

Jesus own testimony was that “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Until you know Jesus for who He says He is, and until Jesus owns you, you do not live in the truth of God.

The Bible clearly states “that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3). Paul later expanded in Ephesians 1:13; “In him (Jesus) you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him (Jesus), were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit.” So, the Holy Spirit is proactive at every point of belief. God’s Spirit then seals the newly born-again child of God so that rebirth cannot be reversed, undone or tampered with.

The Goal

The Holy Spirit’s goal is to move people to “belief in the truth, ” starting with the “gospel” (2Th 2:14). Your faith relationship with God begins when you turn to His Son Jesus Christ and believe that He died your death, for your sin, on the cross of Calvary (Luke 5:32; Romans 3:21-25).

I encourage you to celebrate the Holy Spirit’s work of belief in both your life and the lives of others. He is not whimsically or vaguely nudging without conviction for no purpose. No, God’s Spirit works deliberately to generate intelligent agreement with, and surrender to God’s truth, through God’s Son, which we read about in God’s Word, the Bible.

Together for Christ:  Lincoln Forlong      www.baybiblefellowship.co.nz

 Celebrate the Holy Spirit's work of belief   Celebrate the Holy Spirit's work of belief

Faith longs to be with the Lord

God the Holy Spirit energises faith within Christians which longs to be with the Lord, and expresses itself in two ways. First, faith desires to see the Lord’s character present in your daily living. Faith is authenticated and affirmed within you when evidence of Jesus character is experienced in your beliefs, attitudes, behaviour, and responses. Second, faith grows your desire to be with Jesus in person, in His native environment – Heaven.

Faith longs to be with the Lord

Christ centred faith begins by acknowledging that your acceptability to God has nothing to do with you, but is entirely based on what Jesus Christ did on your behalf on the cross of Calvary.  Faith says; “through him (Jesus) we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God” (Romans 5:2). Therefore, the certainty of your relationship with God is Christ, and in Christ you stand spiritually secure for eternity. This is because Jesus alone has given you access into an undeserved and loving relationship with God the Father (Eph 3:11-12).

Hope for glory

Notice also, that in Christ, believers “rejoice in hope of the glory of God” (Romans 5:2b). Hope expresses itself through your spiritual desire; your longing for the Lord Jesus Christ to be glorified in your present daily living. However, hope does not stop there; it grows anticipation to not only be in heaven with the Saviour, but for your Saviour to return to take you to be with Him. Only when you are with the Lord will total and absolute glorification be accomplished.

Shortly before His crucifixion, Jesus was comforting His confused disciples with the certainty of not only heaven but His return to take them to heaven. Jesus, the creator of heaven and earth, told them; “I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also” (John 14:2-3). The certainty of Christ returning to rapture His Church lifts the believer’s focus from the dark uncertainties of this world and life’s failures.

With that said, we all understand that believers go through difficult times. Sooner or later the pains of living in a sin governed world impacts the child of God. Consequently, dependant belief in Christ will “groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling” (2 Corinthians 5:2). Faith transitions spiritual pain; it matures pain into both an expression (groan) and a desire (longing) to be liberated from this earthly struggle to the glorious heavenly presence of Christ.

Join the dots

Make no mistake; this spiritual maturing does not happen accidentally or without reason. This is the result of Spirit filled living by lives filled with the Word of God (Gal 5:22-25; Eph 3:18; Col 3:15-16). The Holy Spirit’s fruit in your life will be undeniable and humanly unexplainable. Human weaknesses, fleshly failings, disappointments, and everyday inconsistencies will fade and diminish when your growing focus is on the Lord Jesus Christ (2Co 3:18).

I encourage “you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession” (Hebrews 3:1). “Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14). Strive to make the connection in you thinking; your heavenly calling” in Christ is to impact your relationships with peace resulting from holiness. These qualities give testimony to, and affirmation of the certainty of seeing the Lord as you grow faith that longs to be with the Lord.

Together for Christ:  Lincoln Forlong      www.baybiblefellowship.co.nz

 Faith longs to be with the Lord   Faith longs to be with the Lord