by David Brenneman
Many, if not most would point to people in their childhood as far as this distinction goes.
For several weeks our Church has had a theme going called G.O.A.T. Greatest of all time. Jesus was indeed and is indeed the greatest of all time. As the Pastor said often throughout, He called His shot and did it. He predicted His death, burial and His resurrection and pulled it off.
He also was the Greatest Teacher of all time. While the so-called leaders were leading with self-gain in mind, He taught as one with authority. People knew, even if they couldn't explain it, that there was truth to His words. There was something about Him that drew them to Him and not the Jewish Leaders, which those same said leaders hated.
When Jesus departed, He promised another of the same kind as Himself. That's what the Spirit of God is. The original term is Paraclete. Another of the same kind is the definition of that word.
Jesus said that He would teach us all things, bringing to remembrance all that He taught.
He would guide us into righteousness.
He would give us words to speak when Spiritual forces attempt to fight us.
He would be instrumental in our sanctification, our becoming more like Christ.
He would seal us for all eternity when we come to Christ for salvation.
It's by His hand that we are written in the Lamb's book of Life.
Indeed when you really look at the facts, Jesus and the Spirit truly are as One, just as Jesus spoke of Him and His Father being One.
We indeed must have salvation in Christ Jesus and not only that, we need to live lives that reflect that. Every day, all day, not when we get a few minutes to squeeze in some time for Jesus.
We aren't to live lives that are ours and only visit with Jesus on weekends. This comes from both Jesus and the Spirit.
What do you think of when you consider the Spirit? Is He the greatest teacher of all time to you? Do you respect and uphold Him with what is due Him? Do you listen when He holds a class to teach you?
We read of how many people followed Jesus around, clinging to His every word.
Do you cling to the Word of God at all to guide you in this world? Or do you try to get your meat and potatoes from the news channels or newspapers, only now and then looking at your Bible?
When we all stand before Jesus, and I cannot remotely fathom how He will accomplish this, we all will give a reason for the hope that is in us. Those who are saved will have the testimony of the Spirit of God validating our Spiritual Citizenship Papers stating we are citizens of Heaven.
If we do not have salvation in Christ Jesus we will not see Heaven. Hell is the only other destination. Not by the choice of God, but by the choice of every individual who rejected Jesus as Lord and Savior.
What you may miss is that the Spirit will testify to that as well. Stating for the record that He never knew them. That no testimony exists of a life in Christ Jesus. Not written in the Lamb's book of life.
We have at our fingertips the greatest opportunity of any generation of human history as far as the accessibility of the Word of God goes. A Bible is within reach through phone, tablet, computer in seconds. The whole thing. The ability to get a physical copy is potentially 24 to 48 hours away when ordering. The Bible is still the most popular book ever written.
The Spirit is in charge of maintaining it throughout the generations.
With such a powerful statement of its importance, have you even read it once?
We grow with respect to our salvation with being in it. It's part of our classroom time with our Greatest Teacher of All Time.
My greatest regret in my life is it took me decades to get to where I had read my Bible all the way through. I had come to Christ in the mid 1970's. It wasn't until after the year 2000 that I had read it all the way through. I had read oh so many other books but not the most important one.
My greatest thrill was the gift of listening through the Bible. God had enabled me to be able to while at work. I have never experienced anything like that. I was mentally standing in the scenes as they unfolded as I listened.
As part of our giving an account of our lives before Jesus our time in the word of God will come up. He will of course already know the answer before we know the question. Did you read my love letter to you?
Our growth in Christ Jesus has extremely little to do with anything the world teaches us about physical living. It has everything to do with what we consume from the word of God. Our physical world is directly related to the Spiritual world. The Spirit testifies to this in making sure we understand that our battle is not against flesh and blood. It's against the powers of Satan in this world.
Satan's primary attacks are against our identity in Christ and in our resources in Christ. Get people to not think of themselves for who and what they are before a Holy God and make sure they avoid the truth of God as written in the Bible. His aim is to keep bringing chaos to the classroom of life.
The Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words when life hits us hard. He knows our hearts.
The Spirit teaches us who we REALLY are and not what even we think we are. We aren't defined by our circumstances. We aren't defined by our impulses. We aren't defined by our status or our emotions.
We are defined by who we are in Christ Jesus and it is the Spirit of God who solemnly testifies to the truth of God about those who are saved.
If your desire to live Godly in Christ Jesus is waning, pick up your Bible. Get back in class. The Greatest Teacher of All Time isn't going to reprimand you for your time away. He will pick up where you left off. He may go back over previous lessons. But He won't condemn you. Therefore there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, that's in the book of Romans.
Stop also with the self-incrimination. Stop putting yourself down. Stop with the focusing on your failures. Jesus loves you the same now as He did when you first came to Him to be saved. Can't love you any less, can't love you any more. Read of the Prodigal Son. He didn't care what caused us to be away...just come home.
The Spirit of God loves you just as much as Jesus and the Father does.
Start your day out right by dropping the chains of the baggage of your life and come back to Jesus. Get into His Word. Ask the Greatest Teacher to open your mind to what it says. Ask Him to help you understand. Do you REALLY want to admit you never made reading it a priority in your life to the Author of the book?
The Spirit is so much more than what most see Him as. But your not going to know or understand until you get into the inspired Word of God.
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