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Developing Spiritual Understanding ~Part 3

Matthew 12:31 "Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven. Matthew 12:32 "Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come. Luke 12:10 "And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him. Wow! This is very serious. Maybe we would be wise to learn about this Holy Spirit. Let us see if we can find Him in the Old Testament.

How about the second verse of the Bible? Genesis 1:2 The earth was without form, and void; and darkness [was] on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Genesis 41:38 So the king said to them, "No one could possibly handle this better than Joseph, since the Spirit of God is in him." 1 Samuel 10:10 When they came there to the hill, there was a group of prophets to meet him; then the Spirit of God came upon him, and he prophesied among them. 1 Samuel 19:20 Then Saul sent messengers to take David.

And when they saw the group of prophets prophesying, and Samuel standing [as] leader over them, the Spirit of God came upon the messengers of Saul, and they also prophesied. 1 Samuel 19:23 So he went there to Naioth in Ramah. Then the Spirit of God was upon him also, and he went on and prophesied until he came to Naioth in Ramah. Job 33:4 The Spirit of God has made me, And the breath of the Almighty gives me life. Psalms 143:10 Teach me to do Your will, For You are my God; Let Your good Spirit lead me on level ground. Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, Because Jehovah has anointed me To bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to captives And freedom to prisoners; Daniel 5:14 "Now I have heard about you that a spirit of the gods is in you, and that illumination, insight and extraordinary wisdom have been found in you. Could this be the same Holy Spirit that is referred to so much in the New Testament? Let’s look at the conception of Jesus and the virgin Mary. Luke 1:35 And the angel answered and said to her, "[The] Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. Matthew 1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. Matthew 1:20 But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of Jehovah appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.

So, Jesus was the son of god, conceived by the impact of the Holy Spirit on Mary. Yet, He had not yet received the Holy Spirit himself. When did Jesus receive the Holy Spirit? All four gospels record the event as happening when Jesus was baptized by His cousin, John. Matthew 3:16 When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. Mark 1:10 And immediately, coming up from the water, He saw the heavens parting and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove. Luke 3:22 And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, "You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased." John 1:32 And John bore witness, saying, "I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him. Now that Jesus had received the Holy Spirit, what was the impact on Him? Matthew 4:1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. Luke 4:1 Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, Hebrews 4:15 Jesus understands every weakness of ours, because he was tempted in every way that we are. But he did not sin! Does that mean that when we accept Jesus, we are immediately empowered to resist temptation and not sin? I wish! Even after, we still fall short.

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; I think that all includes us ~ even after we accept Jesus ~ too. Fortunately for us, He knew that we would need some time to get cleaned up so we could more effectively serve. Matthew 9:13 "But go and learn what [this] means: 'I desire mercy and not sacrifice.' For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance." Mark 2:17 When Jesus heard [it,] He said to them, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call [the] righteous, but sinners, to repentance." Isn’t that good news? When the Apostle John was writing to the churches, who were made up of Christians, he said : 1 John 2:1 My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Do we receive the Holy Spirit when we accept Jesus or are baptized in His name? Wow, this is a much disputed question that has been a cause for division.

I feel that we receive “Salvation,” certainly “Saving Grace,” perhaps a measure of the Holy Spirit when we publicly embrace Jesus ~ but not the “Gift” of the Spirit. Aren’t the “Fruits of the Spirit,” manifest in our lives, proof that we have received the Holy Spirit? Those who have put to death the “Works of the flesh?” Galatians 5:19-21 (NKJV) Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told [you] in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Is this the way we are to know who is really one of God’s? Is this a clue as to whom we should listen to? Matthew 7:16 "You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Matthew 7:20 "Thereforeby their fruits, you will know them. The fruit of the Spirit is manifest by many fine believers who have worked diligently to discipline themselves, even though they might not ever have received the “Gift” of the Holy Spirit. These fine lovers of Christ are to be commended. So what is the difference? Perhaps by examining a number of scriptures we might see: John 20:22 And when He had said this, He breathed on [them,] and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit.


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