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Life with the Holy Spirit

Jesus said, “If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever—the Spirit of truth” (John 14:15–17). The apostles echoed this same message as they addressed the Sadducees.

Peter and the other apostles replied, ‘We must obey God rather than men! The God of our fathers raised Jesus from the dead–whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel. We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him (Acts 5:29–32).

God’s Holy Spirit is available only “to those who obey” (Acts 5:32). The presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives depends on our obedience to God. We must listen to the Holy Spirit and obey God. If we want “the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16), the Holy Spirit must be involved so we can learn the “deep things of God” (1 Corinthians 2:10). Without God’s Holy Spirit working in us, we will not be able to understand spiritual truth or live godly lives. The Holy Spirit allows believers to “have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16). That’s why it’s important for believers to obey God, and that’s why believers are to listen to His Holy Spirit.

 

Temptation

James 1 deals with temptation and the struggles of the flesh.

When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is tempting me.’ For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death (James 1:13–15).

God hates sin and disobedience; He will never lead us into sin through temptation because He wants us to be holy. Our evil desires and selfish natures hand us over to sin. We have seen the sin process James spoke of here in the fall of man in the garden. Compare James’s writing with the stages of the fall in Genesis 3.

We will face temptation just as Adam and Jesus did. Paul was very stern with the Corinthian church when he wrote,

So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it (1 Corinthians 10:12–13).

Thank God that He has given us a way out. God is here for us. Listen to what the writer of Hebrews 4:14–16 encourages us to do.

Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

We may approach God with confidence and prayer when facing temptations in life. Jesus Christ victoriously conquered temptation by God’s Holy Spirit working in Him. You have that same power available to you through God’s Holy Spirit; it will help you make godly choices in your “time of need” (Hebrews 4:16) if you pray to God for help in resisting temptation. You will be free from the bondage of sin when the Spirit of God is at work in you. “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Corinthians 3:17).

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Category: Spirit, Summer 2016

About the Author: Dean Schendel is a math teacher and former coach at Rice Consolidated High School in Altair, Texas. He has the privilege of being a part of the ministries of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and AWANA. He is the author of Oneness: A Call to Honor God in the Marriage Relationship (Westbow, 2015). Facebook Twitter: @DeanSchendel. DeanSchendel.com

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