At the moment we take Christ Jesus on in baptism, His Spirit indwells us. He strengthens us with His Spirit in our inner self so Christ may dwell in our hearts through faith. All this is done so we’ll be rooted and grounded in love so we can know the width, length, depth and height of Jesus’ love for us. The only way I’m able to know the width, length, depth and height of Jesus’ love for me is to have a special, personal, effective relationship with God. At one time I was taught that the Holy Spirit works only through the Word. But, then I read John 3 when Jesus has a discussion with Nicodemus. Jesus tells him in v. 7f, “Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘you must be born again. THE WIND BLOWS WHERE IT WISHES, AND YOU HEAR ITS SOUND, BUT YOU DO NOT KNOW WHERE IT COMES FROM OR WHERE IT GOES. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” Just because the Spirit and the Word have different functions within the salvation process doesn’t mean one is more important than the other! Read John 14: 16-17. The Spirit that Jesus sent can be seen and known by Christians but not non-Christians. If that’s true, how can what Jesus “has sent” be referring to the Bible? I know quite a few lost people who own and even some who diligently study the Bible. Jesus said that only Christians possess and experience the indwelling of the Spirit. When Jesus spoke of Living Water, He was referencing the Holy Spirit. This promise is to anyone who is thirsty, not just those on whom hands might be laid by an Apostle. The promise is to whoever believes on the Christ. Once received, the Holy Spirit will “flow from within” the believer. Could Jesus have been speaking about the Word? Was the Word not received until Jesus was glorified? Do Christians receive the Word when they are saved? Isn’t it rather they “hear” the Word and receive it before they believe, and believe before they are saved? Jesus said that this Living Water would come to those who have already believed. (Gal. 4: 6) He sent His Spirit of His Son into our hearts because we ARE his sons/daughters. Do you thirst for the Word? You should! We all need more knowledge of God’s Word and we are NEVER filled. But, once we have the Spirit, we never need receive Him again. The Spirit gives life—eternal life! Moreover, this life-giving occurs not just at baptism, but throughout the life of the Christian. Embrace the presence of God’s Spirit. Allow him to convict you of sin. Be sensitive to the things of God. Live your life in such a way as to glorify the One who loves you!
Have a blessed day, and remember the One who gave it to you! Kevin
Kevin Lough is the minister at the Whitehall Church of Christ in Fairmont WV.