Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Who Really Loves God?

Everyone who truly loves God also loves Jesus who was sent from heaven in the Father’s name (Jn. 5:43). Likewise, everyone who truly loves Jesus loves the holy ghost that was sent from heaven in Jesus’ name (Jn. 14:26). To reject Jesus is to reject the Father who sent him (Mt. 10:40), and to reject the Spirit is to reject the Son who sent it (Rom. 8:9).

Many in Israel who appeared to be godly were exposed as evil by their rejection of the Son of God , while many who appeared evil were revealed to be righteous by their love for him. To the envious religious rulers who despised him, Jesus said, “You are they who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For that which is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God” (Lk. 16:15). On the other hand, the Master encouraged those who loved him with these words: “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Lk. 12:32).

“The kingdom of God”, wrote Paul, “is righteousness, peace, and joy in the holy ghost” (Rom. 14:17). So, when Jesus said that his Father would “give the kingdom”, he was saying that He would give them the holy ghost. This promise was fulfilled when his disciples “were all with one accord in one place, and there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the holy ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2).

It is only to the extent that the Spirit of God leads us that we are rightly led. Only to the extent that the Spirit governs is the body of Christ governed well. Only to the extent that the Spirit gives wisdom is there sound judgment among us. And only to the extent that the Spirit anoints is there ever true ministry. To desire God is to desire the Spirit, and to love God is to love the Spirit. There are many who claim to love God, when in fact what they really love is a god of their own imagination. It is a person’s response to the Spirit that came on the day of Pentecost which brings to light what that person really wants and loves.

The Spirit guides us into all truth (Jn. 16:13). If anyone knows any truth, if anyone understands anything rightly concerning God, that knowledge came from the holy Spirit. Said Paul, “No one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God” (1Cor. 2:11). What little uprightness exists in the world today exists only by virtue of the influence of God’s Spirit. It is the Spirit that convicts men of sin and then convinces them of what is right (Eph. 4:30; Jn. 16:8). It is the Spirit alone that cleanses from sin (1Cor. 6:9-11), and it is only by the indwelling of the Spirit that one possesses the precious hope of being raised from the dead into eternal life (Rom. 8:11). One of the Spirit’s titles is “the Spirit of Grace” (Heb. 10:29), and we are being “saved by grace” only if we are filled with the Spirit, for it is by the Spirit, and by it alone, that the grace of God is ministered to the soul.

Christ Jesus and his Father dwell in the hearts of believers only by the Spirit (Jn. 14:23)! Jesus himself is inside of no one. He is in heaven with his Father, waiting for the day when the Father will send him back for us. We either have the holy Spirit within us, or we have nothing holy in us at all.