“Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil.”
Here is Jesus Christ, having just been publicly declared to the SON, loved by the FATHER and well pleasing to Him, is directed by the SPIRIT of GOD. If the sinless, spotless Lamb of God was filled and directed by the Holy Spirit, how much more do we?
The essence of our rebellion against God is to live life in our own strength. If our “hearts are deceitful above all things and desperately wicked,” (Jeremiah 17:9) and if too often we set our minds on what our sinful nature desires, how shall we pursue holiness (Hebrews 12:14)?
Years ago, while serving in pastoral ministry in North-eastern Ontario, I tackled a series of studies on the person and work of the Holy Spirit. Rather than “back into a position” in reaction to some other group’s extreme, I tried to acknowledge my presuppositions and aimed to study just the text of Scripture and follow the truth wherever it led. I recall a conversation with another church leader in the community, who had some how heard of my preaching series. Sadly, in his circle, Christ-followers were “afraid” to speak of the Holy Spirit of God. Really? Conversations were guarded and any questions about the filling of the Spirit of God, the gifts available to believers and other aspects of the Spirit of God’s person and work were suppressed.
It’s high time all believers in a triune God acknowledged that God exists in three distinct persons, Father, Son & Holy Spirit. Rather than react to “denominational extremes,” let’s pick up our bibles and ask God to teach us. The longer I follow Christ, the more I recognize my great need to be led by the Spirit of God, to be filled with the Spirit of Christ so that the “fruit” of the Spirit might be clearly manifest in my character. Let’s pick up our Bibles and allow the Spirit of God to use the Word of God to make us more like the Son of God!