4.29.2014

Reading the bible as if I never read it before

If you've been a christian for a while, you might be currently experiencing or have experienced the same thing I did.

A couple of years ago when I was reading Romans 8, verse 11 jumped out at me.

"If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you."

After realizing the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit who dwells in me, I've been relying on him in my prayers and in daily tasks. No matter how mundane it may seem.

I also decided to read the bible as if I never read it before. Strictly relying the Holy Spirit to reveal things to me and give me understanding.

I began in the New Testament, and it was life changing. Right from the beginning in Matthew. The Spirit helped me see things in passages that I've never seen before. I kept thinking, "How did I not see this before?" I relied on my basic knowledge, what I thought the passage was about and relied too much on what I learned in the past from sermons or Sunday school.

Here are some lessons that I've learned through this realization.

-If you are a believer, a follower and a disciple of Jesus, the Holy Spirit dwells in us. It's the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead. That is a powerful Sprit so rely on it, even when you're reading the bible. The Spirit will reveal to you truths.

-Read and study the bible yourself. The Holy Sprit will teach you.

-A bible study teacher, pastors, or any preacher I listen(ed) to is not the Holy Spirit.

-Avoid the temptation to have lofty views of pastors or teachers who teach well. Their teachings can be helpful but I can't just take their word for it. The same Spirit dwells in each of us and is able to communicate to us and teach us directly. Not just through teachers and pastors. So don't blindly trust them. Avoid them elevating them, putting them on a pedestal and idolizing them.

-Because of Jesus' sacrifice, we're a royal priesthood(1 Peter 2:9), we all have direct access to God, and the Holy Spirit dwells in us(Romans 8:11). These truths gets me excited and motivated see what the powerful Holy Spirit will reveal and show me from the Bible.

-I need to study God's words, wrestle with God's words, read, pray, ponder and meditate on His words and allow the Spirit to reveal wonderful truths.

4.28.2014

The Holy Spirit dwells in us

This is amazing truth.

Romans 8 is one of the most popular chapters in the bible. I even heard someone refer to it as "the great 8".

A couple of years ago I was reading Romans 8 and verse 11 jumped out at me like never before.

Romans 8:11

If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.

Think about this. The Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead must have had unbelievable power, right? A resurrection has never happened before in history, but it happened to Jesus.

But the crazy thing is that same Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in us. That's unbelievable.

This means not only we will be also raised and live with Him for eternity but it also means the powerful Spirit dwells in us right now so we can rely on his amazing power to live for God.

We are powerless on our own. But God in Spirit dwells in us. Direct access to God and he actually gives each of us power through his Spirit. That is crazy and unheard of in the Old Testament. But God made this all possible through Jesus's blood. (See Ephesians 2:13-18)

It's the Spirit who gives us understanding of Jesus' love for us, who gives us affection for Jesus more than anything else in this world, who helps us to love others, even the unloveable, who helps us to care about things God cares about, who helps us in that moment of temptation, who helps us to overcome sin, who helps us to be generous to the poor and needy, who leads us to share the love of Jesus to those who do not know him here and in countries where there's hardly any christians, who humbles us, who helps us forsake entitlement and helps us not to complain when we receive bad customer service from a store, who leads us to pray, who let's us know what to pray for and give us words to pray, etc.

If the Spirit can raise Jesus from the dead, what can it not do. It is powerful to do anything.

So remember, if you believe in Jesus and claim to be a follower and disciple of Jesus, the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you. I want to encourage you spend time thinking about this and let this truth sink in. Then my hope and prayer is that you will come to genuinely acknowledge and trust God and rely on the power of the Holy Spirit each moment.