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What the Bible says about Gift of Holy Spirit
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Isaiah 55:1-3

Notice Isaiah 55's symbolic terminology: thirst, waters, eat, wine, milk, bread, satisfy, listen diligently, incline your ear and come to Me, and hear and live. Within the context, all of these things imply eating spiritually.

Jesus states in John 6:51, "I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world." Jesus is the living Word of God. He adds in John 6:63, "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life."

Thus, the symbolic connection is made between Isaiah 55:1-3 and "eating" of Christ. Sacrificing our lives to do this, through God's grace, leads to our making an everlasting one, to which the phrase "the sure mercies of David" alludes. The original recipients of this prophecy had already made the Old Covenant with God, but as Hebrews 8 proves, the Old Covenant was not an everlasting covenant. Thus, the covenant promised in Isaiah 55 was a future one. He is alluding to the New Covenant made with us, bringing the church directly into this context.

Understand that, even though we have made the New Covenant with God, it is not a completely "done deal" until we are in His Kingdom. This is a stern warning: Completing the agreement depends on whether we, by faith, allow Him to be sovereign over our lives.

God has greatly increased our opportunity to enter His Kingdom over what He gave to those under the Old Covenant through the gifts that He provides when we make the New Covenant with Him. These include the forgiveness of sins to justify us, access to Him in prayer, forgiveness of sin after justification, and the great gifts of His Holy Spirit—that is, His continuous grace and enabling to overcome. All are given to help us come to know Him better and be prepared.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Fully Accepting God's Sovereignty (Part Two)

John 14:15-17

Note well the condition for receiving this gift: We must keep His commandments.

Jesus gives a specific reason for gifting us with the Holy Spirit: that God may be in and with us forever. His wording is important in this regard. The Holy Spirit is power to be directly in contact with the God Family, but in this case, His phrasing emphasizes that the Holy Spirit is a Person. Though God is Spirit, we must fully grasp that, in this spiritual family relationship, we are dealing with real, living Persons of awesome power, generosity, mercy, and kindness who are willing to deliver us fully into their Family. Verse 23 reveals that the Holy Spirit is the Father and the Son, not a third person in a so-called Trinity.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Fully Accepting God's Sovereignty (Part Four)

Romans 8:14

God gives His Spirit to those that He calls and leads to repentance, and they become His children. They become partakers of the divine nature (II Peter 1:4). They are led into truth for the purposes of spiritual obedience—good works and preparation for His Kingdom. Soon, they begin showing His characteristics.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Christian and the World (Part Two)

1 Peter 1:2

Peter's words are intended, not merely to instruct, but also to encourage. We listen to God's Word because God Almighty Himself personally chose us to do so. That needs to sink into our brains and become part of how we operate our lives. We are the chosen of God, elect according to His foreknowledge. That is, before we ever knew of the true God, He was watching us. He was monitoring us and waiting for the opportunity that, at just the right time, He would reveal Himself to us in just the right circumstance, just the right environment to give us the best opportunity to respond to the truth.

We can expand this process out to include the whole church. The church exists because God willed it so. The church does not exist because of human goodness, hopes, aspirations, vision, or dreams. It exists because of the eternal purpose of God, which is both a tremendous honor and responsibility.

God, working through His Spirit (notice, "in sanctification of the Spirit"), sets us apart, consecrates us, or makes us fit for His calling. God is a creator. That fact is what Peter explains here. His calling is the first step to prepare us to inherit His Kingdom. We should not limit the calling just to the initial time that He entered our lives, and we began to understand. His calling ultimately includes the whole process.

Peter states the goal He has in mind as "obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ." It is the Spirit of God that makes the calling of God effective. It is a singular act, but at some time in our lives, He "messed with" our brain—He turned the light on—and we began to respond. He did this as a singular act at a specific time, but His calling is also a process that begins with that initial act and ends with resurrection into His Family. The sanctification of the Spirit of God ties all of it together.

The initial act by God opens our mind, which is the beginning of sanctification. It is like being given a second start, which Paul calls "regeneration" (Titus 3:5). Then comes the sanctification that arises with growth, overcoming, and becoming more like God. Finally, there is glorification, which is the ultimate in sanctification. The whole process is encompassed by the calling of God, and the Spirit of God ties all of these steps together.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Truth (Part 3)


 




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