Wednesday, June 29, 2011

In the Spirit

The love of God has been poured out within our hearts.

It truly is a marvel that through the preaching and obedience of the gospel message of Jesus God has raised up sons who love Him and whom He loves.

Being in the Spirit who indwells us

The apostle Paul wrote in Romans 8 the believer in Jesus is in the Spirit. The believer is assured of this fact IF the Spirit of God dwells in the believer. One indication of this dwelling of the Spirit in the believer is that the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given us.

It is the Spirit who raises up sons to indwell us

But when was that moment the Spirit was given to the believer? Paul gives a significant, powerful clue when he refers to Jesus in 1:4.

Who was declared with power to be the Son of God by the resurrection from the dead,
according to the Spirit of holiness,

What Jesus had previously declared verbally (Matt 22:70) was now declared by the power of the resurrection according to the Spirit of holiness that He is the Son of God.

Similarly, the sonship of every believer is declared at his rebirth. When he is born anew from the watery grave the Spirit declares the believer is a child of God. What is the testimony of the scripture the Spirit of holiness dwells in the heart of the believer? It is that once the believer has been forgiven, cleansed and raised up by the Spirit that the Holy One comes to dwell in that temple of God not made with human hands cleansed and made holy for his dwelling. (Acts 2:38, Romans 6:1ff [ff means following verses] Titus 3:1ff)

But if the Spirit of him who raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised up Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. 8:11

Anyone who does not have the Spirit who is given freely does not belong to God. (8:9)
Those who are led by the Spirit who indwells them are children of God. (8:14)
We have received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”

The scripture testifies of the repentant believer's forgiveness and cleansing of all sin. The same clarity and lack of ambiguity is evident as to when the the Spirit of holiness came to indwell the believer. It is this child of God in whom the Holy Spirit poured the love of God within his heart so that the believer might walk and be led in the Spirit.

Let this be your confidence and your boldness in the Spirit.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Lord's Supper

 understand the familiar view of the bread and wine becoming hosts for the literal presence of Jesus. This is a taken from Jesus' equally literal words, this is my body . . . this is my blood. Furthermore, I agree it is not a symbol.

The Eucharist, or Lord's Supper, may be the sole act of worship which distinguishes and sets apart the worship of believers in Jesus from all others beliefs and practices in the world. Jesus never gave a relic, a piece of land or even his own name with instructions his followers were to take any man's life who would take or speak against relic, land or name. The disciples in the New Testament never fought or passed down to the church crucifix pieces, garment relics or staked neither Jesus' birthplace, crucifixion, resurrection nor ascension place as holy sites or symbols to be defended at all cost of life.

On the contrary, his disciples are to be known by their ready love to lay down their life in love for a friend. Even that love, He made clear to his disciples, we are to extend towards our enemies. Yes, there are more than a few disciples who say they do not live by the sword who are ever ready in fear to take a life with a sword. Their fear is not in taking a life or laying down another man's life, but in laying down their own life for the cause of Jesus.

The Lord's Supper is that one and only act which Jesus instructed his disciples we are to observe. There are some with uncertainty as to the frequency and day of the week this was observed in the first century.

Nonetheless, the commandment from Jesus is present in the New Testament. This act of worship does not center on a dead, lifeless relic, a piece of land or a name or phrase to be numbingly repeated until one attains the light-headedness from insufficient oxygen. The Lord's Supper is that act in which believers gather together privately or publicly to 1) remember Jesus, and 2) proclaim his coming. This act of worship, Jesus said, we are to observe until he returns. It is the continuous, ongoing living demonstration in the lives of the believers of our faith and trust in Jesus as Lord and Savior for the world to behold as a testimony and for the world to draw near and inquire as to what this means. It differs from the act of obedience in baptism in that it occurs once in the life of the repentant believer when he commits his life to Jesus as Lord and Savior.

What it means is Jesus, the bread which correlates to the body, is a present, evident and clear manifestation for all eyes to see and behold in the body, the assembly of the saints, the church.

Yet, an uninformed person may well see that same gathering of believers. It means nothing to him because he does not understand it is the blood in which is life. He can no more see the blood which gives life to the believer anymore than he can see the blood which pumps life throughout his own inner body. As meaningful as coming together in the breaking of the bread may be it would be as a lifeless corpse without life were we to forget and were not reminded of the blood that was shed for our sins. This blood is the words, the expression of our life in the body, the rivers of living water which flows from the innermost being from he who believes in Jesus. (John 7:37)

IF the mere act of coming together were to be mistakenly done as a symbol by believers it is the blood, the words of life which flows from and between members in that gathering which affirms that truly Jesus is among us and the Holy Spirit is He who makes evident through those words He brings forth from us. One can no more hold back those rivers of living water than shut off water-flow in a power dam without serious consequences for one and all alike.