August 10, 2012

Helpless without the Holy Spirit

Children do not know how to budget, drive a car or get and keep a job. Such knowledge and skill may come later, but at three or four years old, money, transportation and employment are not even in a child’s frame of reference. Children need time and experience before they know the realities of adult life.
In the spiritual realm, those who do not have the Spirit of God are unable to know certain realities either. This is not about experience or education but the need of an addition to their lives. As Scripture says, the truths of God are hidden to the human mind. Time and experience will not reveal them; only the Spirit of God can do that. 

Paul wrote to the church at Corinth about this reality. He first shared that he could not even tell them the truths God had revealed to him unless God helped him do it.
And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory.
Then he went on even farther, saying that no one even understands this revelation of hidden wisdom without the Spirit of God being involved.
None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”— these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.
Paul continues. He says that those who know Jesus have been given the Spirit of God. This is how a Christian “knows” the truths of God. This is not about intelligence or study or anything we can do apart from His work in our lives.
Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Corinthians 2:3–14)
As he says, we are like children, helpless and ignorant of spiritual truth apart from the Spirit who reveals it. Besides revealing truth, He also interprets it for us, and makes it part of our understanding. This affects how we live and talk because as truth becomes obvious, it is also believed. This is why faith is vital to being a Christian.

One of those revealed truths involves the grand plan of God for the salvation of the world. When He makes this clear and plain to a receptive and believing heart, then that person has the ability to see what he formerly rejected and even tell others what he once did not understand or believe.
And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. (1 John 4:14)
John wrote this to Christians. We can see, understand, and give verbal witness to the reality of God the Father sending God the Son to save the world from sin. This is a reality revealed by the Holy Spirit. Without this revelation, we would remain like children who have no idea what it means to be an adult, or like the blind who cannot describe color. Without the Spirit, we cannot see Jesus, never mind testify that He is the Savior, the One who has delivered us from sin.

Lord, there are days when my helplessness to explain who You are and what You have done becomes an overwhelming sorrow. I know that I cannot convince anyone to believe in You. I cannot even convince them of who You are or why You came. Yet knowing You are able to do these things brings renewed hope. As I pray today for my unsaved family members and for unbelieving friends, may Your Spirit go to work in their life, hearts and minds, showing them who Jesus is and granting them faith to believe.

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