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THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN OUR SANCTIFICATION I

 © Carlos Padilla, August 2019

 

Today I will talk about a special Friend that we all know, or should know. But really what I want to talk is about a work that He develops in our lives, with such a dedication, love, responsibility and perspective that no other person is able to do, and also He does it with each one of us, all present, and with other millions of believers in the world at the same time, and not only now, but through the course of history, past and future until the day of the Lord comes and Jesus Christ returns.

Some must by now realized or guess who I am talking about. There are only three people of whom we can talk with these gifts: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Today we will talk about the work of the Holy Spirit in the sanctification of the believer. For this we will go to the letter of the apostle Paul to the Romans in chapter 8. The reason to go to this Text is simple: it provides us three crucial matters that helps us understand our personal relationship with the Holy Spirit, and the first one deals with walking according to the Spirit. The second deals with knowing if we have the Spirit. Only after we can answer these two matters we will be able to go into how is the work of the Holy Spirit in our sanctification, what we need to do as believers which will allow us to understand our present personal relationship with Him.

Beloved friends, I can assure you that after studying the work of the Holy Spirit in the sanctification of the believer, if you seek a deeper relationship with God, your life will turn over in favour of the grace of God, as it has done in mine. I did this study after a previous one that changed my life forever about love in the letters of the apostle John,  which emanate the source of God’s love for us, and of us to God and to the neighbour because the Holy Spirit abides in us.

Walking according to the Spirit – Romans 8:1-13

"There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who[a] do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be [b]carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the [c]carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. 10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies [d]through His Spirit who dwells in you. 12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live."

If we walk in the Spirit and think in the matters of the Spirit, we will live spiritually.

When my father left his birth city where he lived with my mother and the family, I was just born. From one province to the other, in 1968 was a substantial change of live, and roads were not the ones today, so the scarce 70 km seemed very long to go and return every weekend after work. To leave everything behind was motivated by a work offer from a North American building company who had purchased some houses in an urbanization and they were unfinished, but the quality of what was built to date was not what they expected. They needed an expert project manager and architect to supervise, make a report and control the construction. After they read his report they asked him if he could start the next day. That trip was the beginning of a change of life for all my family until today.

In his letter to the Romans, Paul has exposed the construction defects that we have in our self built lives, and how we need a supervisor who will makes us a report and tell us where we are failing, and who also guide us to a holy life, complete and of quality. Christian life cannot be lived without the Spirit of God and all our efforts are useless, if we don’t count with the grace of the Spirit. Something similar to trying to save ourselves by our own efforts and deeds. All that we do by our own efforts depends of our flesh, and as Paul says in (7:18) “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is preset with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find.” On the other hand we must note that Christian life also depends on the knowledge of Scripture and the correct Theology that like the plans of the architect will make the construction have an appealing design, a lasting solidness and the necessary and guaranteed qualities. Churches not always have good supervisors of the lives of Christians that some times are badly built or have carencies that need repairing. The Holy Spirit is who finishes the construction of the believer’s life, but solid foundations are needed and a plan from the celestial Architect. We cannot build nor design ourselves well, even less supervise us; our efforts are useless. Salvation is by grace, but sanctification as well. (8:1) informs us that we have the solid foundations of salvation: There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” With this report from the Supervisor we know that if we build our lives according to the plans of the Architect, the house will be perfect, but the good news is that the Architect has a wise Supervisor who is the Holy Spirit who will guide us through all the construction so that our life is glorified.

(8:1-4) starts with a relevant adverb “Therefore now” continues “there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus” which is the news of all that he has been explaining in previous chapters about the situation of the flesh and our inability to sanctify ourselves, which reflects Paul’s battle for holiness, his and the church’s, “Who will deliver me from this body of death?” (7:24) but now tells of God’s grace through the habitation of the Spirit we are sanctified. This section provides three truths: First: the eternal security of our salvation, because God says here that today and in the judgment, He has given us our justification and He will not take it away (8:1). Second: We are no longer slaves of sin in our inside, today and until Christ comes. The Spirit of life has made us free (8:2). Third: we are just today, and before the judgment through the work of the Son, not of the Law (8:3-4).

(8:5-8) takes us to see the difference between the “flesh” and the “spirit” (gr. pneuma) in terms like “Walk according to the flesh” v.4 it refers to following the desires of the human nature, or “Be of the flesh” v.5 is to allow it to dominate them, or “To live according to the flesh” v.8 to not be regenerated by the Spirit; with emphasis in how grave is to live like that if one has not been regenerated allowing it; this is the question. What we think about, and what are we interested in? Are the questions, which answers tell us where we are in the Spirit. Depending on our answer we will be able to understand the relationship between the habitation of the Spirit in us and His anointing in us, as Ryrie comments.

But in (8:9-13) Paul is letting them see that they are not living according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit, and he assures them that if amongst them, anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. Furthermore, it is a contrast that to differentiate one life from another, and “if” could be a conditioning “therefore” because Pauls assumes that they are in the Spirit who lives inside them, this is, God lives in us (Eph. 3:16, 17). It is about this conclusion that Paul, in v. 13 tells that the holy life must be lived by us.

The conclusions, applied to our lives with these teachings allow us to see how to walk in the Spirit, in this first section of the three: In Christ the body has died (this “died” is not physical but of spiritual nature referring to serving sin, to be its slave) for our spirit now lives through justice (imputed from Christ in us through faith –John 3:16) therefore, we know that we will resurrect because the same Spirit that resurrected Christ, inhabits us and will resurrect us (1 Co. 15:22). We are debtors to the Spirit, and it is this Spirit that does these great things in us now, and every day, lives our lives with us making us walk in Him (2 Co. 5:7) because we are united to Christ Jesus and because He has deliver us free from the law of sin and of death (8:2). Not being under any condemnation (Mt. 11:29; Ga. 2:19 & Ro. 5:21) we may walk in peace to next to Christ. Paul’s audience , the roman Christians, received this assurance from Paul, if they were walking in the Spirit and were thinking in the matters of the Spirit, the same that applies to us today. If this they did, and if this we do, when we come to the intimate prayer with the Spirit we no longer have those burdens and experience that the Spirit lives inside us (1 Co. 3:16) therefore Christ lives in us; only this way we can emanate the love of Christ in the church. Now we have the spiritual mind (1 Co. 2:16) says William MacDonald, that thinks about the matters of the Spirit, and sets aside the mind of the flesh that thinks in the matters of the flesh; we have the mind of Christ that teaches us all things.

It will continue with the second part: Do we have the Spirit?

 

 

  • For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Prophecy of Isaiah 9:6.


  • I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6. Words of Yahshua - Jesus Christ.
  • You want to know God, but you know the way is not through organized religion, nor by sects, nor by society. The world has failed. ...I pray for them;  I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours... John 17:9. Prayer of Yahshua - Jesus Christ.


  • If you really seek God, begin today the new life though the true hand of God. The Gospel is the message for all nations, no matter their race, their origins or culture. God is the saviour of those from humanity who open their hearts to Him.


  • ...Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.  1Corinthians 15:58.

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