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April 4 – Led Not By Sin, But By the Holy Spirit

April 4, 2012

“Follow… holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord…” – Heb 12:14 

Holiness is important!  When the Holy Spirit enters into my life and begins His work—the result is an ever-increasing holiness; a moral and spiritual quality that can also be called godliness.  I begin to act, talk, and walk Jesus in my moral conduct and character.

But aren’t we all sinners?  Isn’t it unreasonable to expect Christians to live holy lives?  Surely, the Bible can’t mean it when it says, “without holiness no man will see God.”

One thing I must accept:  holiness is possible.  God would never ask me to do anything I cannot perform.  Fact: I don’t have to live a life dominated by sin.  I can live a new kind of life.  But I also must understand, this cannot be done by myself.  One of the most comforting things about my God is that He has not left me to deal with this life on my own.  The Holy Spirit will help me.  I have no excuse to not follow after the Spirit and to resist the flesh.  He resides in me.

William Temple, a British Bible scholar of the last century, explains this principle this way: “It is no good giving me a play like Hamlet or King Lear and telling me to write a play like that.  Shakespeare could do it; I can’t.  And it is no good showing me a life like that of Jesus and telling me to live a life like that.  Jesus could do it; I can’t.  But if the genius of Shakespeare could come and live in me, then I could write plays like that.  And if the Spirit of Jesus could come and live in me, then I could live a life like that.”

Remember Romans 8:9, “You are no longer ruled by your desires, but by God’s Spirit, who lives in you.” (CEV)

Listen to these important words: Galatians 5:16-25

“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.  For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.  But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.  Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.  And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.  If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”

If the Holy Spirit is in me, I am in the process of being made more and more like Jesus; if He is not in me, I am not.  I must say, it is not always easy.  I do not always succeed.  I am not everything I am going to be.  I certainly am not a finished product.  There is much to do on this heart of mine.  But through the transforming power of the Holy Spirit, I am not at all like I once was.  Yet, I will never be like Jesus, if I think I can do it on my own, or if I am satisfied with who I am right now.  I will walk on… after the Spirit.

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