“But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” (Titus 3:4-7)
Can we take a moment today to just read that passage of Scripture over and over again. Notice how the passage begins. Slow it down and read each word. Take it in. Let it resonate. Allow the truth of it to sink deep.
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:4-7)
Again notice how this passage begins, “But God…” What is God rich in? What is He great with? When did He greatly love us? How did He save us? Why did He save us? Notice the “so that…” Read the passage again. Slow it down. Take it in. Let it settle down in the depths of your soul.
When we were dead in our transgressions. When we were rebellious and ignorant of the One who Created us. When we were wrapped in the chains of the desires of our flesh and bound by the control of our ever changing emotions and circumstances. When we were only out for our own selfish gain and guarded our pride with the devil’s own watchdog… God was still kind. God was still rich in mercy. God still richly loved us. God still sent His Spirit to call us and draw us out to Himself.
He draws. He calls. He saves. Then the Spirit that draws, calls, and saves comes to live with in us. He resides. He regenerates. He renews. He moves us to now be His servant to be used by Him to draw and call others to the Father through faith in Jesus Christ.
The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” (Revelation 22:17)
If the Spirit of the Lord is not just upon us, but is in us, and it is the very same Spirit who was upon Jesus then by the mercy and grace of God through faith in His Son we should be drawing and calling just as Jesus did. We should draw with kindness. We should love with greatness. We should be rich in mercy.
“The Spirit of the Lord will rest on Him,
The spirit of wisdom and understanding,
The spirit of counsel and strength,
The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
And He will delight in the fear of the Lord,
And He will not judge by what His eyes see,
Nor make a decision by what His ears hear;” (Isaiah 11:2-3)
We should not make decisions by what our ears hear or by what our eyes see. We should delight in the fear of the Lord. Our delight in the fear of the Lord should cause us to want to grow in the knowledge of the Lord so that we might be able to most honor Him. We should have the strength to seek the counsel of the Lord and to desire understanding and wisdom as we draw and call others to Jesus so that they too might be saved by grace through faith not as a result of their deeds. We must not assume anyone’s good deeds have them saved or anyone’s evil deeds have them too lost to be saved. Our eyes and ears can deceive us, but the Spirit of God within us sees the heart of all.
The Spirit of God is upon us and within us when we confess Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. He is there to be our Helper, our Comforter, our Teacher, our Reminder for all that Jesus taught and for all that the Word of God has revealed to us. We need Him because without Him we could not do what we have been saved to do. The Spirit of the Lord is upon us for more than our own security. The Spirit of the Lord is upon us to enable and equip us to pick up the baton of the apostles that was handed off to them by Jesus Christ Himself.
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
Because the Lord has anointed me
To bring good news to the afflicted;
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to captives
And freedom to prisoners;
To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord
And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn,
To grant those who mourn in Zion,
Giving them a garland instead of ashes,
The oil of gladness instead of mourning,
The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting.
So they will be called oaks of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.” (Isaiah 61:1-3)
The Spirit of the Lord is upon us because in Him we are now the anointed ones who are supposed to be bringing good news to the afflicted. We are now the ones who are being sent to bind up the brokenhearted. We are now the ones who are to be proclaiming liberty to the captives and freedom to the prisoners. We are now in this moment living in the favorable year of the Lord.
If the Spirit of God is indeed within us, we are heirs to the hope of eternal life, and from within us the Spirit calls others to come to Jesus that they too might have life. If the Spirit of God is upon us and now within us, then we should look like and sound like Him when we speak His words. If the Spirit of God is within us we should WANT to look and sound like Jesus, for the Spirit is there to transform and conform us into the image of Christ, into the image of God that we were always intended to be.
Oh Spirit of God be upon me… be within me… glorify the name of Jesus through me. I am not my own. I am Yours.