And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. Romans 5:5
The Basic Bible Truth
We use many phrases to describe the concept of becoming a Christian. We talk about being saved, born again, inviting Jesus into our heart, being converted, becoming a new creation…these are just the first that come to my mind. Each describes a slightly different aspect of what it truly means to be a Christian. On our part, salvation is very, very simple. We must believe in and accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour. But on God’s side of the equation, it is huge. He has promised that each of us will have: A ticket into Heaven. A place in His family. A place to serve Him. A gift to use in that service to Him. The righteousness of Christ imputed upon our lives. Forgiveness. The list goes on and on. He also gives us His Holy Spirit, who seals us and is an earnest payment to guarantee that He will fulfill all of His promises. The Holy Spirit literally takes up residence in our bodies and is an integral part of our Christian walk, if we allow Him access to our hearts and our minds. When we walk with God closely, and allow His Spirit to work through us, we learn that all that we can accomplish on our own is of no consequence. We do everything through the power of the Holy Spirit, or we accomplish nothing at all.
Small Bottle of Vinegar Small Box of Baking Soda Clear Jar Clear Pitcher With Lid Candle and Lighter
This object is based on some basic chemistry. Vinegar and baking soda react quite visually. But their reaction also produces an invisible, heavier than air gas called carbon dioxide or CO2. Because it is heavier than air, it can be “poured” from one container to another if done carefully. I mix the vinegar and baking soda in a large clear glass jar so everyone can see the process take place. When the reaction has ceased, I pour the gas into a waiting clear glass pitcher, careful to not transfer any of the liquid or bubbles. Placing the lid on the pitcher, I can then carry it across the room to a candle and pour the CO2 over the candle and the flame will go out.
I am not going to even pretend that I have an understanding of the Trinity. I don’t. And I seriously question anyone who says they comprehend the idea. I am constantly amazed at the complexity of our incomprehensible God. I fall on my face in awe in response to what He has shown us in the pages of the Bible. The concept of the Trinity is elusive because we have no parallel with which to compare. God the Father is spirit and cannot be seen by our physical sense of sight. God the Son, who we know as Jesus, came to this earth and made Himself like us. We could touch and talk to and see God in human form. And then there is God the Holy Spirit, also a spirit. He is a person of the Trinity, just as the Father and Son are and is not just a force as in the Star Wars concept of “may the force be with you”. God has said through the Bible that the Three work in such perfect unison and agreement that we can call God One. Three unique, separate, distinct, beings and yet, they are one!
At the moment of salvation, God places His Holy Spirit in the life of every believer. He lives inside of us, comforting, teaching, guiding, and always pointing us towards the person of Jesus, showing us the perfect example of what our lives should look like. He is a spirit and therefore, invisible. But He is there. So the question then becomes, “How can I know that He is there if I can’t see Him?” I’m glad you asked. The answer…by His power. When we push ourselves out of the way and allow God to work through us, we can see the results around us as God accomplishes His perfect plan. Jesus is the perfect example of how a Christian should operate and live by the power of the Holy Spirit. Everything Jesus did, He accomplished through the Spirit. The many miracles were result of the Holy Spirit doing what He does best. Pointing to Jesus and proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jesus is the Messiah.
What we have witnessed here is not a miracle. The flame went out as if by magic. But there is an explanation. A chemical was produced by the vinegar and baking soda reaction. It is called carbon dioxide, and, because it is heavier than air, it sinks to the bottom of the glass. I then poured it into the pitcher and carried that invisible gas to the candle and simply poured CO2 over the flame. The oxygen was pushed aside by the heavier CO2, and the flame could no longer burn.
The Holy Spirit is a very, very real person in the Trinity, and His “invisible” workings in our lives are a mystery to those in the world. But we know the truth and if we are Christians, we have the Truth living in our hearts and empowering us each and every day, if we allow Him access to our lives.
But He speaks quietly. The Bible describes a still small voice inside each Christian. If we are to hear a whisper in a very noisy world, we may have to purposely get away from the distractions of life and get alone with God. I was invited to tag along with a pastor friend of mine to hear Dr. Charles Stanley address a pastor’s conference many years ago. I was curious what he might have to say to these guys—I considered myself as outsider, since I was not a pastor. But I listened as if I was. Dr. Stanley gave them a piece of advice concerning their ministry. To be able to get alone with God, just the two of you, is the greatest thing that you can do for your ministry. He went on to describe his office at his church. In one corner of the room was a coat closet. He had cleared out one side of it and on a regular basis, he would go into the closet, close the door, and commune with God one on one. It was the best place that he had to accomplish this simple practice.
Our greatest asset is the Holy Spirit living inside of us. Let’s not waste what God has given to us.