What does it mean to live a Spirit-filled life? Simply put, it means to yield to the presence of God’s Spirit living in you. How do you do that? It begins with Jesus. You see, He has made it possible for you to become inhabited by the Spirit of God! Stop for a minute and think about that. If you’re a true follower of Jesus, you’re never alone. God is always in you.
How is that possible?
God’s grace has made it possible to know and experience the power of His Spirit in our lives. God knew you and I would never be able to live a life pleasing to Him. That would require perfection on our part and none of us are perfect. So, Christ became us! That is, God’s Son Jesus became human and demonstrated the life we were meant to live. After revealing to us the kind of life God desires for us, Christ did something truly amazing. He went to the cross to bear our judgment and condemnation. Like a sponge, He absorbed all our sin, guilt and shame and became God’s personal sacrifice for all of our sins. Jesus literally died our death and God imputed or placed into us His perfection. We speak of that as grace because none of us earned or deserved what God did for us.
Paul summed it up this way in his inspired letters to the believers living in Ephesus and Rome:
God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:8-10 (NLT)
When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God. Romans 5:6-11 (NLT)
Are you rejoicing? Stop reading for a few minutes and sincerely thank the Lord for all He has done for you. Take some time just to rest in His grace. In fact, imagine the chair you’re sitting in or whatever you’re resting your body on represents the grace of God. Just as you giving your weight to it, give the weight of your life to the Spirit. Go ahead—hand your life over to Him.
How did that feel? He invites you to do it anytime and as often as you need to in order to be reminded He’s there!
Let’s dig a litter deeper into this goldmine of truth! God loved you and me so much that He went to great lengths to save us from the consequences of our sin nature and to provide a way for us to live in victory over sin! The Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Holy Trinity, exists in you and me to bring our victory in Christ to life each and every day.
The Spirit alone gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life. John 6:63 (NLT)
And Paul wrote:
And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. Romans 5:5 (NLT)
Writing to the believers in Corinth, Paul described this whole process in these words recorded in the English Standard Version:
And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption … 1 Corinthians 1:30 (ESV)
What in the world does He mean by sanctification? The New Living Translation makes it easier to understand:
God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin. 1 Corinthians 1:30 (NLT)
Did you notice the phrase I underlined? “He made us pure and holy.” That’s what sanctification means. In fact, on Biblestudytools.com they get it right when they define it this way:
To sanctify someone or something is to set that person or thing apart for the use intended by its designer.
The Holy Spirit of God has become resident in your life and mine to help us live the way our Creator/Designer intended us to live. This involves two very important concepts. First, you and I have been set apart:
Positionally in Christ! That means we’ve been given a position in God’s family that we cannot earn and don’t deserve.
For by that one offering he forever made perfect those who are being made holy. Hebrews 10:14 (NLT)
In other words, based on Christ’s sacrifice for us, God now considers us perfected. He has given us the status of His Son. Paul wrote:
This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT)
But Hebrews 10:14 also describes our progress in Christ or what theologians like to call progressive sanctification. This refers to the process that the writer to the Hebrews described as, “who are being made holy.”
In other words, you have all you need in the Holy Spirit and the Word of God to live a life under the influence and control of the Holy Spirit. The question now is, does the Holy Spirit have all of you? That’s a growth process, isn’t it? To grow we have to yield daily and that’s where I’ll end this week. In the next blog, we’ll learn exactly what it means to yield to the presence of the Holy Spirit.
In the meantime, here are some questions to think about or even discuss with someone if they’re reading along with you.
Questions for reflection:
Do you think of yourself as being Spirit-filled? Why or why not?
In what ways are all Christians new creations?
How do you see God’s creative workmanship in your life?
What “good work” (Ephesians 2:10) do you think God may have in mind for you?