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A Wisdom Retreat - March 11

Signed, Sealed, and Committed

Romans 8:9
However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.

Contrary to popular opinion, the power of the Holy Spirit is not a special privilege for spiritual people. Actually, according to Romans 8:9, if you do not have the Holy Spirit dwelling inside you, then you do not have a claim to Christianity. So anyone who tells you, "You haven't been baptized by the Holy Spirit" is really saying that you are not saved. All Christians are Spirit-indwelled. The Holy Spirit is not some treat for the spiritually elite, but a gift to all believers, great and small.

I used to tell my kids, "Listen, if you behave for your mother today, and do your chores, and treat each other with some semblance of civility, then I'll take you to Goodberry's for ice cream after dinner."

Now parenting experts warn against bribing your kids, but I wasn't bribing them. I was simply instructing them: "If you behave, we go to Goodberry's; if you misbehave, you go to bed." Parenting experts need to learn about the power of the promise of ice cream!

Fortunately, God does not do the same thing with us in regard to the Holy Spirit. He doesn't say, "Now if you pray long and hard, if you tarry and weep, and behave in a good manner, then I will give you a taste of the Holy Spirit." No! The baptism of the Holy Spirit is a once-for-all-time experience for every believer.

God takes the new believer and by means of the Holy Spirit, immerses him into the body of Christ.

Paul wrote to Titus in Titus 3:5-6, that "He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior." In other words, you and I are no more deserving of the Holy Spirit than we are of Jesus Christ. We do not receive Christ by our own merit or works, and neither do we receive the Holy Spirit by anything we do. Both are given as gifts.

Thus, we do not pray for the Holy Spirit to descend upon us, or fall upon us, or come from heaven with power. He has been ours all along! Ephesians 1:13 says that we are "sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise," and His seal will remain fixed . . . forever.

What an incredible gift we have been given through the Spirit! Think about it. The God of the universe is actually living inside you, committed to helping you, and guiding you until the day of your redemption.

God signed our new-birth certificate; He sealed it; He committed to us for life!

From a loving Heavenly Father . . . what more could you ask?

Prayer Point: Thank the Lord for sending His Spirit into your life, confirming that you are His child. Pray for strength to walk according to His way, rather than the way of your flesh, which leads you to sin.

Extra Refreshment: Read 2 Corinthians 1.

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