Now, turn with me to Ephesians where we learn how the Holy Spirit unites us in Jesus Christ, as one body, one family, one sanctuary for His dwelling place.
Let’s explore this marvelous letter together to learn what God tells us here about the Holy Spirit –
1:13-14, 17-20 He seals us, is given as a pledge of our inheritance, and what an inheritance it is!
Are you sealed with the Holy Spirit?
2:17-22 We were dead and far from Him, but God brought us together with His people to become a dwelling place for God in the Spirit.
Does the Holy Spirit dwell in you? (Is your body a temple of the Holy Spirit?)
3:4-6, 14-21 The Spirit revealed God’s mystery of Christ to us, that we, Gentiles would be fellow heirs, fellow partakers of the promise in Christ. Paul prayed that power be granted through God’s Spirit. We need to ask for this power as well and open our hearts to receive God’s fullness.
Are you empowered by the Holy Spirit working within you?
4:1-7, 11-13, 14-16, 23-24, 29-30 We must preserve the unity of the Spirit! Our diverse gifts have a singular purpose, to bring us together and equip us to works of service to attain to the fullness of Christ. We must turn from things of darkness and be filled with the things of light. Our speech betrays what is in our hearts, we must not grieve the Holy Spirit of God!
Are you striving to keep the unity of the Spirit?
Are you avoiding the things that grieve the Holy Spirit?
5:1-3, 15-21 We are to imitate God as His beloved children and reject every evil of sin. We must be filled with the Spirit speaking and singing, making melody in our hearts to God, and thanking God, and being subject to one another in Christ.
Are you regularly being filled with the Holy Spirit?
6:10-18 Our strength is the strength of the Lord, we face powerful, invisible forces of evil, but God gives us full armor and power by His Holy Spirit and the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God. We see here that the word of God and prayer are central to empowerment by the Holy Spirit of God. Praying at all times in the Spirit! Worship in Spirit and in truth, said Jesus. We will see what this means more next week, Lord willing.
Are you using the sword of the Spirit?
Are you constantly praying in the Spirit?
In the Old Testament we see many cases of the Spirit of God coming upon and empowering some of God’s people. Joseph, Moses, some of the Judges, Kings of Israel and Judah and the prophets come to mind. Two cases of note are that of king Saul and David. When Saul was anointed, the Spirit of God came upon him. But because of his disobedience, God’s Spirit departed and an evil spirit took His place. David also received the Spirit when he was anointed, David is called a prophet in Acts, David wrote a lot of scripture by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and David, a man after God’s own heart, wrote in Psalm 139: “Where can I go from your Spirit, where can I flee from your presence?” the answer was, “nowhere!” David had keen awareness of God’s Holy Spirit upon, within, and surrounding him. Did he not? Yet, we read that David took Bathsheba, committed adultery, and had her husband killed! In doing so, David grieved and almost lost this privileged gift. In Psalm 51 David cried out in repentance and fear this prayer: “Cast me not away from Thy presence, O Lord! and TAKE NOT THY HOLY SPIRIT FROM ME!” (emphasis mine).
What we discover in Ephesians reminds us of this. Chapters 1-3 tell us how we are sealed, indwelled and empowered with the Holy Spirit of God. Chapters 4-6 instruct us in how to live with the Holy Spirit of God within us.
As a Christian, your very body has a roommate! 1 Cor. 6:19-20 couldn’t be clearer. Don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body!
Are you sealed, indwelled and empowered by the Holy Spirit of God? Are you living with Him as His word instructs you? Here’s what God’s Holy Spirit wants: He wants you to be like Jesus Christ. His work in you is to lead you, sanctify you and protect you for that purpose, but YOU MUST COOPERATE. He won’t drag you. If you resist Him, grieve Him, insult Him and disobey Him you can lose Him. If you blaspheme Him, you will commit an eternal sin. (Matt. 12:31-32).
The gift of the Holy Spirit is an enormous privilege and blessing. But He does not come without requirements from us. Jesus sacrifice and shed blood cleanses us so that the Holy Spirit can dwell in us as His temple. We are priests of God as a Holy priesthood and we are not to take this lightly.]]>