We have looked at various keys for Victorious Christian Living as related to our personal relationship with Holy Spirit; regeneration, being empowered, being guided, being unified, and being prayed for… We know from the Scripture that “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness” (2 Pe 1:3). In other words, we can live as more than conquerors in this life – IF – we choose to connect with and abide in Jesus Christ, but also Holy Spirit. As we surrender to Holy Spirit moment by moment we begin to overcome challenges and the temptation to sin. This means that we can be genuine and growing in our faith, from glory to glory, enjoying our victorious Christian life and living to the fullness that God has intended. This morning we will look at two more aspects needed in relation to the Holy Spirit that will enable us to live in the success that God has planned for each of us.
The Holy Spirit Is Our Refiner
On the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2) the Spirit came upon the 120 disciples in the Upper Room. There were two significant signs that came with the Spirit being poured out, wind and fire. I often this of a nice breeze or sitting by a warm fire, and yet wind and fire can be very devastating as well, tornadoes and wild fire. However, both with and fire speak of God is different ways relating to character and abilities. Wind relates to the life in the sense of creation, spirit is referred to as wind or pneuma, and when combined with the Spirit of God wind denotes holiness. Fire is the other manifestation that touched the disciples on Pentecost. It was not a physical fire because they were not burned up. However, the fire was noticeable and seen coming upon their individual heads and we know that this fire represented the Holy Spirit. There are many references to fire in the Scripture; angels with fiery swords protected the entrance to the Garden of Eden (Gen 3:24), Moses at the burning bush (Ex 3:1-5), the pillar of fire by night, the fiery furnace (Dan 3), and fire and judgement is a biblical theme.
A key thought with regards to fire is that of holiness or refining – “These have come (referring to challenges and trials of life) so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed” (1 Pe 1:7). The certainty of Victorious Christian Living involves the refining work of the Holy Spirit. The question is - are you willing to allow God to purify you, even in hidden areas? House cleaning can be a dirty business…
As we surrender to the refiner’s fire, we must remember the character of God is not to shame or blame or embarrass his children. The refining of the Holy Spirit is always unto restoration. Our Mission Statement states, “We are becoming a grace-full, loving, accepting and forgiving community of believers from all nations that celebrate each other and who are committed to bringing souls into God’s kingdom.” Loving, accepting and forgiving is the attitude we must have while the Holy Spirit is refining us personally or another follower of Jesus.
It can be very intimidating when God comes to “clean his temple”; secret sins, ugly attitudes, unforgiveness etc… He moves the furniture around, so to speak, to purify us of gossip, resentments, pride, anger, shame, addictive behaviours so that we can be restored to Victorious Christian Living. I encourage you to open your heart to the Spirit’s fire.
The Holy Spirit Is Our Comforter
I have been through the refiner’s fire a few times in my life, it was intense and somewhat terrifying. However challenging the refining process can be, the comfort of the Holy Spirit is never far off. In the case of the disciples, as Jesus approached the cross things became more confusing and troubling for them. Prior to his death Jesus told them in John 14:16–18 – “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you” (Jn 14:16–18). Jesus knew that his crucifixion would cause them to lose all hope and confidence. The disciple’s faith was tested and they came up short of God’s glory.
Here are some thoughts from these verses:
· Another Counselor – Jesus was the first Counselor, Advocate or Helper... “My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One” (1 Jn 2:1–2).
· The Spirit of Truth describes the Comforter; Holy Spirit is our “teacher and reminder” (John 14:26) and Holy Spirit testifies of Jesus (John 16:7) which causes our faith to grow. As well, Holy Spirit is described as the “spirit of grace” (Hebr 10:29).
· Holy Spirit comfort lives in us… There is never a moment when we are separate from the potential experience of our comforter.
· We are the children of God, take comfort in this fact.
These are a few of the amazing blessings of the Comforter. When the Spirit brought regeneration to you, He brought the eternal life of God. Now we have been given the very Presence of God to comfort and counsel us in the various circumstances of life, in all the trials and testing’s. The Spirit supports us with supernatural strength and joy, and hope and faith, in the midst of life so that we can be full of victory.
There are times in our Christian walk when the fire of God touches our lives to make us holy; Conviction… Confession… Repentance… We know what it is like to experience spring cleaning, the same can be true when we surrender our lives to the Holy Spirit. He comes to make sure our faith in God and walk with God are congruent, in other words, righteous… These times can be challenging but we must never forget that the Holy Spirit as our comforter is far off. In fact, the very help and encouragement we need for Victorious Christian living lives inside of us. We need to again consider the importance of surrendering our lives to God so that we can fulfill his plans and purposes for our lives. We are created as winners in God’s image. Let’s live so… Let’s pray…