UNLEASHING THE POWER OF THE SPIRIT WITHIN: Salvation

 “Therefore the LORD heard this, and was wroth: so a fire was kindled against Jacob, and anger also came up against Israel; Because they believed not in God, and trusted not in his salvation:”  (Psalm 78:21-22)

Many times, God has already provided the things that we think we need and they are waiting to be found, but we are unaware of them due to a lack of knowledge and understanding.

“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…” (Hosea 4:6)

Such was the case of the Israelites in the wilderness.

“Therefore the LORD heard this, and was wroth: so a fire was kindled against Jacob, and anger also came up against Israel; Because they believed not in God, and trusted not in his salvation:” (Psalm 78:21-22)

The Lord had just delivered the children of Israel out of Egypt with mighty signs and wonders. He had divided the Red Sea so they could go through on dry ground and had caused the waters to return and drown the Egyptian army that was following them.

The Lord provided water from the rock for them to drink and manna from heaven for them to eat, but then they complained and questioned whether God was able to give them meat. The Bible says they “…trusted not in his salvation.”

They had no confidence in the love of God and the position of salvation that the Lord had placed them in.

Many Christians today are like the Israelites of old. They need to realize that salvation is not a one-time occurrence. It is not a prayer you once prayed or a commitment you once made.

Salvation is a removal from one place or position and an establishment in another. It is a state or condition.

“Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:” (Col. 1:13)

The Apostle Paul had met the resurrected Jesus on the road to Damascus. He had seen the Lord in His glory and brightness. He received by divine revelation the truths that the other disciples had spent years learning as they walked with Christ.

Many Bible scholars believe that Paul was speaking of himself when he describes a man in Second Corinthians Chapter 12 who was “caught up to the third heaven” and heard “unspeakable words” which are “not lawful for a man to utter.”

Yet after all of this, and after a lifetime of service witnessing the miracles and power of God, he realized that he had only scratched the surface of the knowledge of Christ and His salvation.

That is why as an old man and towards the end of his life, he writes:

“That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;” (Philip. 3:10)

It is our prayer that through this teaching, and the Scriptures contained herein, we might begin to understand just a little more of what this great salvation has already provided for us; that like a gift overlooked, we might find it, open it, and rejoice in it.

How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;” (Heb. 2:3)

“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1Cor. 2:14)

The Bible tells us that God knows every possible thing that there is to know about us. He knows our innermost thoughts, dreams, and desires. There is not a thought that can be hid from God.

“Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.” (Psalm 139:2-3)

“For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether. Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.” (Psalm 139:4-6)

The Apostle Paul says in the New Testament that:

“For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.” (Acts 17:28)

According to the Apostle Paul, we are enveloped by the Spirit of God. To the same extent that God knows us; the Bible teaches there will come a day when we shall know Him in the same way.

“For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” (1Cor. 13:12)

Until that time comes, we now “know in part.”

The word “know” in the Greek literally means “to be sure, to understand completely”.

The word “part” in the Greek means “a share, a portion”.

So here the Bible is telling us that although God totally and utterly knows us completely, at this present time He has chosen only to reveal to us a portion about Himself.

However, God wants us to know and understand completely that portion about Himself which He has chosen to reveal.

In our present earthly mind and body, we are unable to contain the complete understanding of the enormity of God. As long as we are in this body and until the time of our resurrection, our finite minds cannot fathom the immensity and totality of who God is.

“Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance?” (Isaiah 40:12)

The Bible tells us in Isaiah that all of the oceans and seas would fit in the palm of God’s hand. What we perceive to be the expanse of endless stars and galaxies in the universe is the distance between God’s thumb and little finger.

He knows how much the mountains weigh and how many particles of dust there are.

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.” (Psalm 19:1)

As the chorus declares,

“Our God is an awesome God.

He reigns from Heaven above

With wisdom, power, and love

Our God is an awesome God.”

Moses desired to see the immensity of God:

“And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory.” (Exodus 33:18)

Here the Hebrew word for “glory” literally means weight. Moses wanted to see how large or immense God is.

God would not allow Moses to see Him in all His glory, but placed Moses on a rock and covered him over with His hand. God removed His hand after He had passed, and Moses was only able to see a portion of God from behind as He passed by.

That rock was a symbol of Christ and God’s hand was a symbol of the Holy Ghost that covers and protects us.

God revealing a glimpse of His glory to Moses was a type and shadow of God revealing a portion of His glory to us through the Holy Spirit.

“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” (1Cor. 2:9)

But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” (1Cor. 2:10)

Although we are only able to behold a portion of God’s glory while we are in this earthly body of flesh, He has provided for us to be sure, to know absolutely, and to understand completely that portion which He has chosen to reveal.

This is done by having (or accessing) the mind of Christ through the Holy Spirit.

“For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.” (1Cor. 2:11)

“For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.” (1Cor. 2:16)

What does it mean to “…have the mind of Christ”?

The word “have” in the Greek means to access, and the word “mind” in the Greek means the intellect or the understanding.

In other words, to say that we “have the mind of Christ” means that we are able to access the intellect or understanding that Christ has.

We have this access through the Holy Spirit.

“For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.” (1Cor. 2:11)

Jesus Christ said that He is the fullness of the Godhead bodily. (Col. 2:9)

The Bible says that He is the image of the invisible God. (Col. 1:15)

Jesus said, “I and my Father are one.” (John 10:30) and Jesus said, “…he that hath seen me hath seen the Father.” (John 14:9)

“For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.” (John 3:34)

Even though Christ is the fullness of the Godhead, even though He and the Father are one, even though He is the image of the invisible God and has the full measure of the Spirit, there are still even some things that the Father has not revealed to Him.

“But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.” (Mark 13:32)

In the same way that there are still some things that the Father has not revealed to the Son, there are some things that the Son will not yet reveal unto us.

But those things that He will reveal, those things of which the Bible says “…Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man…” He will make us to know and understand completely “…by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.”

This is done by us having (accessing) the mind of Christ.

But what exactly is the mind of Christ?

First of all, the mind of Christ is an attitude.

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:” (Phillip. 2:5)

The word for “mind” in this verse of Scripture is the Greek word meaning “to be mentally disposed” or “attitude”.

“Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” (Phillip. 2:6-8)

Before we can ever access the intellect or knowing of Christ, we must first have the attitude of Christ.

The Bible says,

“Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.” (1Cor. 8:1)

The Bible teaches that having knowledge has the potential to make one proud, and that “…God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” (James 4:6)

Before God will reveal the “deep things” unto us, we must make a decision to do whatever is necessary to be humble before God and man.

“But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” (James 4:6)

“Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.” (1Peter 5:5)

“Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” (James 4:10)

Being humble is not something that God will do for us. God will not make us humble, but He will help us to be humble when we “humble ourselves” and set our hearts to walk in humility.

It is not something that will happen automatically. Humility will only happen when we crucify the flesh daily and strive to walk in it, especially when the devil begins to tell us how “smart” we are as God begins to reveal His “deeper things” unto us.

Once we have set our heart to walk in humility and having knowledge does not “puff” us up or make us proud, then God will entrust to us the “deeper things”.

We will give God, and not ourselves, all the glory for the revelation of the knowledge of His Word.

(TO BE CONTINUED)

Next- UNLEASHING THE POWER OF THE SPIRIT WITHIN: The Mind of Christ

All twelve books in the "How to Walk Christian Series" by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

All twelve books in the “How to Walk Christian Series” by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

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