“Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.” (John 16:7)
Today we examine the operation of the Spirit in the process of redeeming fallen humanity. He brought about the birth, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus. This activity of the Spirit is redeeming. In the mid-eighties I became computer-dependent in my writing. I was satisfied with the way my old computer worked-after all, it used to be state-of-the-art. But increasingly I experienced difficulties. Gradually I found my computer could “talk” with fewer and fewer other computers. It couldn’t read what other people sent me, but the Internet was designed for speedy new models, not for my Noah’s ark. I upgraded, but it wasn’t enough. I needed a new model altogether. Dressing up the old one wasn’t good enough.
Our experience with the Spirit resembles my situation with the computer. We humans were originally created God-compatible. We could communicate with Him. At least our first ancestor, Adam, could. But a breakdown occurred. I tried self-improvement, reprogramming my mind to think more like God so I could understand what He was saying in His Word – but it didn’t work. I needed to be an altogether new model, a new creation (1 Corinthians 2:14).
That’s exactly what the Holy Spirit provides-a new creation. My body and brain is the same, but when He recreated me He put a new spirit within me. The inner workings of the new me are different from the old me. The new me is made God-compatible. We call this change regeneration. It represents so radical a transformation; the Bible calls it “a new birth” (1 Peter 1:3). Most of us, however, underestimate the potential in the new model. We don’t tap into the resources the Holy Spirit has provided by making us new (2 Corinthians 5 :17).
If you’ve been born again, the Spirit has already made you into something altogether new. Not only does the Spirit re-make us into new models, He begins a new personal relationship with us. His names hint at the personal aspect of our relationship. He is called Comforter and Counselor.
Descriptions of His activity, such as convicting of sin and teaching us all things also point to the Spirit’s personal ministry in our lives. Can you think of any other names or activities of the Spirit that focus on your personal relationship with Him?
Perhaps you considered names or activities such as the indwelling Spirit, Guide, Helper, walking with the Spirit, or being filled with the Spirit. Actually, the list is very long. The Holy Spirit is God’s provision for Christian living. You might associate indwelling with the moment of salvation when the Spirit enters the new believer’s life. His ultimate goal is not merely to make us like Jesus in attitude and behavior. The Spirit is making us like Jesus so we can have a love relationship with the Father – a relationship like the one Jesus has. The new relation is the beginning of an eternity of growing intimacy in our companionship with God. We can relate to God in several ways.
People often speak of how wonderful joining the apostolic band and walking the roads of Galilee with Jesus would have been. But Jesus said another relationship is better: having the Holy Spirit living inside (John 16 :7). Your relationship of immediate companionship with God in heaven will be something like Adam and Eve knew in the garden of Eden.
These are the activities of the Spirit in history and in bringing you into a love relationship with God. These activities take us from the moment of creation to our return to fellowship. The Spirit immediately begins to transform us into likeness to Jesus. “But I tell you the truth: it is for your good that l am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if l go, l will send him to you.” (John 16 :7)
It is about beginning the sanctification process, being made holy. The activity of the Spirit is transforming What can a believer expect from life in the Spirit? The only way to hint at the depth and height and breadth of the meaning is to say, “full”. What does the word full bring to your mind? Total – all-absorbing – comprehensive -dominant – unlimited – unrestrained – extending to all parts – suffused – satisfying – complete – bountiful – abundant!
Now imagine any of those words describing your relationship with God! That kind of glorious relationship can be yours, not as a one-time event, but as a daily experience. Full! Why not close today’s reading by thanking Him for all He has done, is doing, and will do?