11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. 13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
It is one thing to hear the gospel of Christ. Few people in the civilized world have not heard of Jesus, Christianity, the Bible. I myself was introduced to church at a young age and went a few times in 40 years, owned a bible, told others I was a Christian if I was asked by one of “them”, even prayed in the very darkest moments of my life.
But in reality, I did not understand them, associate with them, act like them, believe like them. God was a concept, a far away hypothesis that I just couldn’t wrap my head around. But it was easier to just go along with others around me who believed than claim my difficulty in believing.
For me this morning, the striking emphasis in this passage is that it is truly called out as a promise, a promise of the Holy Spirit to remain with us until the day of our salvation, but only for those who believe in the life, death and resurrection of Christ.
Jesus is our advocate with God, and the Holy Spirit is our advocate with Christ. When the veil was torn, it was done. No longer did man have to go through a high priest to reach God. The New Covenant is a promise of salvation based on the works of Christ for all who believe.
And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God
15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. 16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
In hindsight I have no doubts at all that it was that morning by a stream in the woods from a completely broken and surrendered state that I crossed over the line into deep and authentic belief in Christ. When I cried out for His salvation in my life, everything changed.
From that exact moment in time nearly 3 years ago I have not even had a desire for a drink, or a toke, or a pill.
And although He is graciously allowing me to wrestle for purity of thoughts and actions, truly the Holy Spirit within has filled me with a deep hunger to know the word of God, to learn from the life of Christ, to rely on the death and resurrection of Christ for the forgiveness of my trespasses and the hope of the future.
At times I almost consider it a mistake that I prayed for months for a heart that breaks for what His heart breaks for because I believe He granted me that.
I do not feel shame any longer over my wretched self-preservational desires that manifest itself in the form of lust, money hording, pride, ego, control and other self-destructive behaviors which I believe show God through my actions in that moment that I don’t trust Him to provide long term. I do however ache over my sin, it truly grieves me for my God is worth so much more than what I give Him.
I do believe God through His word, and the power of the Holy Spirit is drawing me toward salvation and sanctification more each day, but it is a work that will never be done until His return, and it is one that constantly reminds me how merciful He is to love me where I am, and to continually offer me the free will to choose better next time.
He knows my heart even better than I, and yet His promise of the Holy Spirit is not conditional on my perfect adherence to the law. He knows knows the flesh is weak, that is why He gives us the Holy Spirit, to be our advocate in conscience behaviors and the gateway to Christ in Spirit.
This promise is dependent solely upon one joyously and boldly proclaiming that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior. He died on the cross so that my old life could die with Him. And He rose again and gives us the Holy Spirit so that we may live in the light and life of Christ who is risen, and in that lead others to their own relationship with the true and living Christ.
Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”
Father God I need You. No other can reach the depths of my soul as You can. No other knows the depths of my soul as You do. I need Your living waters to flow over me, to lighten my heart, to lift my eyes to You and in that find rest. In my times of unrest I act so untrusting of You. I believe You have already won the battle and I’m only fighting ghosts of a broken past. Help me to remain forwarding looking to Your glory, help me to never loose sight of the magnificent journey of redemption You have graciously placed me on, help me to not play the victim but instead live in victory. Thank you for the suffering that comes from knowing how short I fall, but please also fill me with a stronger joy that never looses sight of how high You soar. Help me to not feel like I’m in chains when I know in my head that I am born again free. Help me to believe in Your power that already claims victory forevermore, and grant me the peace and purpose to live as your new disciple, not as Satan’s old pawn. All things are possible in You and today I claim the power of Your promises which reminds me I have an advocate within, and His presence is evident through the desires of my heart to be obedient to Your word and will so that I can have no question of how much I love you. Let my life this day not just be words, but filled with actions that manifest in love for all you place in my path. In Jesus name I pray…