15 “If you love Me, keep My commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.
I remember getting hung up on the thought that if I loved Jesus I would keep His commandments. I would try and try to keep them all and would consistently fail. Coming back to this teaching would bring me to the logical conclusion that I just did not love Jesus enough for if I did I would do better at keeping His commandments. It was a very discouraging time in my life.
Then I learned the principle of context and brought verses 16-18 into the process. Jesus did not leave us with a list of do’s and don’ts. No, He left us with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is our Helper, one who is called alongside to help in every way. He is the Spirit of truth who dwells with us and in us. We are not orphaned by Christ’s absence to try to keep His commands until He returns. He gave us His Holy Spirit.
Why does the Holy Spirit make a difference? On my own I cannot ever keep the commands of Jesus even though I love Him who first loved me. But when the Holy Spirit came into my life and I, surrendering to Him, let Him take over, He then empowered me to live obediently to the Savior. No longer was it me living through me but Christ Himself living through me. No longer was it me trying to keep the commands but the Lord Himself in me living His commands through me. The fruit of the Spirit was obedience to those good commands of Jesus.
Paul understood this when he wrote in Ephesians 4 to be filled with the Spirit, resulting in speaking to one another in Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, living in submission, love and spiritual victory. Ephesians 5 and 6, apart from the indwelling Holy Spirit, are impossible to live. But with the Holy Spirit within we have wonderful new way to live toward each other and toward the spiritual battle.
Are you living obediently to Christ? If not, you probably do not possess the Holy Spirit from Christ. Instead of trying to obey, submit to the Lord and enjoy the fullness of the Holy Spirit who alone lives Christ’s commands through you.
Are you praying for our community? As I preached on Sunday, everyone without Christ is headed directly for hell. Hell is the choice of everyone who rejects God’s salvation. We were out witnessing on Friday night praying for God to open hearts to His call of grace. Many in our community have received a gospel witness. Pray for the Lord Himself to place His call upon their hearts thus drawing them to Himself for salvation.
Have a great day in the Lord,