December 2017


Introduction

The bible tells us that a Christian is given many titles. Each of these titles holds a different significance to the Christian. Each of these titles highlights the different virtues a Christian ought to have. Let us examine these virtues and see if we live up to the standards of these titles.

In our previous post of this series, We learnt that the most common title of a Christian is a believer

But the most basic title is a disciple.  This title was  mentioned by Jesus

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father and of
the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to
observe all things that I have commanded you;
and lo, I am with you always, even to the end
of the age.”-Jesus (Matt 28:19-20)

Jesus did not say, “Make everyone a believer” but instead he tells us to make disciples for him. He wanted them to be his disciple. A disciple is one who learns and follows a master. In the old days, the disciple is a student of a master. He is supposed to live with his teacher and learn a skill from him.

Being a disciple is more than just believing in Jesus. He needs to be baptized, to come under the name of Jesus and learn the word of God. He need to serve God, and that is what it meant to be a disciple.

Today, many of us are baptised, we are in the Lord, but have we become his disciple? How do we know if one is truly a disciple of Jesus?

Fortunately, Jesus did define for us what it meant to be his disciple. If we are his true disciple, we need to learn from these and practice them in our lives

PT 1: A True disciple abides in the word of Jesus

“If you abide in My word,
you are My disciples indeed.”- Jesus (Jn 8:31)

When Jesus spoke these words, he is not addressing unbelievers. He is talking to the Jews who believed in him. In those days, and even today, there are Jews who believe, but are unable to follow his words. That is why Jesus tells us that only those who abide in his words are his disciples.

For one day Jesus will ask us “Why did you call me Lord and not follow my word? Are you really my disciples?”

There was a group of chickens who wanted to soar in the skies like eagles. So they approach an eagle and begged him to teach them how to fly. In the midst of learning, they suffered a lot, they fell and got bruised. But finally they are able to fly in the skies.

So the eagle is proud of his students, before he left, he told them “Now you can fly with your wings freely, you do not need to walk anymore”. After that, he parted ways with them and flew away. As he flew away, he was feeling proud and joyful. Since he had taught the chickens well and he wanted to see how well they are flying. But as he turns back and look, he did not see any chickens flying. Initially, he was surprised, he thought they have flown farther than the eagle, but as he look hard on the ground, he saw them walking on the ground. The eagle was disappointed, he shook his head. “Why bother to learn to fly if all they wanted is to walk?” the Eagle was wondering.

If a disciple of Jesus, cannot abide in his words, Jesus will ask why did he called Jesus Lord and refuse to do as Jesus commanded. If we truly believe in Jesus, we must abide in the words of the Lord. If we fail to do so, we will be cast out.

“ There will be weeping and gnashing
of teeth, when you see Abraham and
Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets
in the kingdom of God, and yourselves
thrust out.  They will come from the east
and the west, from the north and the
south, and sit down in the kingdom of God.
And indeed there are last who will be
first, and there are first who will be last.”- Jesus (Lk 13:28-30)

The descendent of Abraham will be seated in the kingdom of God. But the bible tells us that some will be thrust out. That is because even though they have the faith of Abraham, they did not obey God. For if we do not abide in his words, we will fall behind, we will be thrust out. For there are people who are first who will turn out last.

No one likes to lose out in life, that is why we will change if we notice we are falling behind our peers. For they used to be walking behind us and now they are ahead of us. That is a good attitude to have. Why don’t we apply that to our faith? In the same where there are others who used to fall behind and now they are in front of us.

Jesus is not telling us to judge others, but rather we should consider if we are walking in front or not But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul. That is why Jesus reminds us

“Strive to enter through the narrow gate,
for many, I say to you, will seek to enter
and will not be able.”- Jesus (Lk 13:24)

Will we be able to enter into the door? Or will we be thrust out?  We need to be a good disciple to enter through the door.

PT 2: A true disciple is one with love

“A new commandment I give to you,
that you love one another; as I have
loved you, that you also love one another.
 By this all will know that you are My
disciples, if you have love for one
another.”- Jesus (Jn 13:34-35)

People will know that you are a disciple if you love one another. We know that loving one another is found in the bible, even in the old testament. Why then is this a new commandment?

For love in the New Testament had a new standard. We need to love one another with the love of the Lord. The disciple of Jesus will not love with the love of man, but love with the love of the Lord. Why is this so? For the love of man is selfish and incomplete. A man will love those who love them. They will love only when others bring benefits to him. Such love is troublesome, it had the risk of turning bitter and having disappointment.

The love of Christ is perfect, selfless. If one love with a love of God, there will be less problems, it will reduce unhappiness. It can bring more joy and more hope. In the past we love with the love of man, but now as disciples of Christ, we love each other with the love of Jesus.

Let us look at what that love means

“You have heard that it was said,
‘You shall love your neighbor
  and hate your enemy.’
But I say to you, love your enemies,
bless those who curse you, do good to
those who hate you, and pray for those
who spitefully use you and persecute you,[
 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven;
for He makes His sun rise on the evil
and on the good, and sends rain on the
just and on the unjust.”"- Jesus (Matt 5:43-45)

It is easy for us to love our neighbor and hate our enemies. Everyone one Christian and non Christian alike can love those who love us, and hate those who hate us. But now we need to love our enemies, pray for our persecutors.

The latter is hard, for how can we love someone who hates us? We always wanted revenge, we wanted their life to be miserable as well. But the fact is, we will never be sure if we inflict any damage or hurt to the other part. But one thing is for sure, those who hold on to that hatred, will be unhappy. Whenever we think about that person we hate, we will lose our appetite and our sleep. By choosing to hate them, we wanted to make their life miserable, but the truth is, we are the ones who are suffering.

To forgive is to release yourself.

“Judge not, and you shall not be judged.
Condemn not, and you shall not be
condemned. Forgive, and you will
be forgiven.”- Jesus (Lk 6:37)

To forgive here  ( ἀπολύω  G630) also carries with it a meaning of release. To forgive someone is to release yourself from the pain and suffering.

How To Forgive?

We often think that by granting forgiveness, we are allowing the aggressor to win, and that feeling makes us indignant. But if we allow hatred to bind us we will be even more unhappy. If we take the advice from the bible and forgive, on the surface it appears as if we have taken a position that is disadvantaged.

But the fact is that we have released ourselves from the anger, and found true freedom and peace. The  Chinese character for anger is very interesting.

This character is formed by 2 separate Chinese words. 奴(Which means “Slave”)  and 心 (which mean “heart”). A person who is bound by anger enslaves his own heart. This was understood by the ancients and they constructed the word in such a manner.

This is easy to understand as theory, but the question is, “"How do we forgive our enemies? How do we love them?”

Loving your enemies is not about hugging them like lovers or long lost friends. I understand that it is difficult to do, kudos if one can do it sincerely and well. But all the Bible requires us to do is to pray for them. We need to forgive them in our prayer. If we can release ourselves of that hurt, we will not remember the hurt he had cause us. Then we will be able to greet him with a natural smile. There is a difference between a natural smile and a compelled smile.

But isn’t love a matter of choice? Can we be compelled to love? Why did Jesus command us to love like this?

There is a big reason why this love comes as a commandment. For it is easy and natural for us to love someone who love us. But in life we will encounter people who are just plain unlovable, someone who is petty, selfish, proud and bad tempered. By instinct, we will stay away from such characters. For they are hard to love

There is no need for God to command us to love the ones who love us. Since we can do this willingly, with joy and without any complain. But love as a command is targeted at those who are unlovable, whom we deem are unworthy of respect. It is targeted at these people who we will avoid by instinct.

That is why Christians are given the command to love those we can’t love, our enemies. We want them to experience the love of God, hopefully one day they will change. We want our own love to grow and not be selfish. If we are true disciples of Christ, we need to love them with the love of the Lord.

PT 3: A true disciple bear fruits

“By this My Father is glorified, that you
bear much fruit; so you will be My
disciples.”- Jesus (Jn 15: 8 )

Jesus said that his disciples will bear fruit. In verse 5 he was describing himself as a vine and the disciples being the branches. The value of the branch lies in its ability to bear fruit. If the branch does not bear fruit, it will be a waste of the nutrients from the tree. That is why that branch will be cut off, so that the other branches will bear more fruit.

“Every branch in Me that does not bear
fruit He takes away; and every branch
that bears fruit He prunes, that it may
bear more fruit”- Jesus (Jn 15:2)

There are 2 types of cutting off, one is to cut away the branches that bear no fruit, the other is to prune the branch so that it will bear more fruit. A branch may be able to bear fruit, but its yield may be less. In order to make the branch bear more fruit, its useless stump will have o be removed.  That is because these stump make use of the nutrients from the tree and bears no fruit. By cutting these off, the nutrients could be used to make more fruit.

How To bear more fruits?

In order to bear more fruit, we need to accept the pruning from God. It is meant to remove our weakness and imperfections within us.

Take for example

Every Christian had the heart to bear fruits for the Lord, many are willing to offer to God. But because they had many other desires which requires money, they often find it hard to offer. But if these desires are cut off, they will have more resources to offer to God willingly.

Every Christian wanted to be able to serve God and spend more time in the ministry. But sometimes we do not have the time. The fact is, God had given everyone 24 hours, and every Christian need to work and take care of their family. But some are able to find time for God while others don’t. This is more a question about how we use our time, if we have used them on things that are important.

If we want to handle our lives well to cut waste and to find time to serve God, we need to be able to free up our time and resources. Sometimes our desires hinder us from getting what we need to serve God.

How to be pruned by Jesus?

But how does God prune us so that we can bear more fruit?

“For the word of God is living and powerful,
and sharper than any two-edged sword,
piercing even to the division of soul and
spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is
a discerner of the thoughts and intents
of the heart.”- Author of Hebrews (Heb 4:12)

The word of God is living and powerful, it can pierce through our hearts, discerning our intentions and thoughts. It will point out what is not good within us, what is unnecessary and where to prune. It is not meant to hurt us, for that is the pruning of God to help us identified the aspect of us that need improvement. God’s word is like a sword that pierce our hearts, but it is not meant to hurt us, it is meant to prune us, help us improve ourselves.

Today, if we feel hurt when listening to a sermon. Let us not be unhappy and offended by it. For that is a good thing and we have discovered where our weakness is.

There are 2 common responses we see in people, some will continue in their wrong, and pile more sin and mistakes on top of it. Others will acknowledge their mistakes and repent. If the word of God is right and we are offended by it. Do the fault lies in the word of God or in us?
How should we go from here?

That is the exact moment when the word of God prunes us.

If we allow the word of God to prune our character, if we listen to it and repent, we will be renewed. Perhaps we may repeat our mistake in our moment of weakness, but if we turn to God he will help us overcome it.

That is why, if we feel that the word of God had hurt us, we should submit to it, give thanks and allow it to pierce into our heart. It will bring about change and it will cleanse us

You must be joined to Jesus the true vine to bear fruit

Besides allowing God to prune us, we must be joined to the Lord to bear fruit.

“I am the vine, you are the branches.
He who abides in Me, and I in him,
bears much fruit; for without Me you
can do nothing.”- Jesus (Jn 15:5)

We need to ask ourselves if we are abiding in the Lord or not. Abiding in the Lord is not about our church attendance . It doesn’t mean that those who are not physically in the church building do not abide in the Lord.  For many are able to come and sit in the church hall, but their hearts are far away from the Lord.

Is our hearts in the church? Have we examined ourselves?  Sometimes our hearts can run around while we are siting in the hall. But Jesus wanted our heart to be in service as we are gathering  in church.

We need to worship in Spirit and in truth, our hearts must be joined to the Lord. This is important, especially when we sing a hymn, pray or listen to a sermon.  For Jesus continues to tell us

“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you,
you will ask what you desire, and it shall be
done for you.”- Jesus (Jn 15:7)

Whenever we gather in churches, read the bible, pray or listen to a sermon, we are abiding in his words, we are attaching our hearts to the Lord. Some may think that coming to church is a habit, for they come in and leave on time. It is a good habit, but good habit does not help one grow in faith. If our worship of God is a habit, it is a good habit to have, but we cannot allow our faith to become a habit. For faith is a communion with God and his words. It is through prayers, hymns and listening to his word,s we have communion with God.

Do we only focus on how well we sing? Do we sing with our hearts and mean what we sing? We may be singing about being a disciple, but are we truly his disciple?  IF through the hymn we examine ourselves, discover that we are far from the standards of God. If we repent and ask God for forgiveness and mercy, than a simple hymn is all that it needs to bring us closer to God, to have our hearts aligned with God.

But its sad, ‘since we often sing with our lips and our hearts are not there, we may come to church but we lead our own life outside of church. One who is truly joined to the Lord will sing with his heart and his faith. Those who practice this will have a different life of faith, they will improve over time.

We do not sing a hymn or speak for the sake of receiving applause from man.

The same principle applies to prayer, the truth is there is no rules in the bible that demanded people to pray for a specific length of time, but we know that if left by ourselves, our prayer will only last for seconds. What is important is not about the length of prayer, but whether we prayed with our hearts. If we pray with our hearts, we will feel the Lord before us. There are times when we pray and it felt as though God had left, but that is usually because we have many other things that had replaced the position of God in that prayer.

These are all lessons we need to know, if we can do this well, we can bear more fruit.

PT 4: A True disciple loves God above everything

“If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his
father and mother, wife and children, brothers
and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot
be My disciple. ”- Jesus (Lk 14:26)

In order to be disciples, we must love God above our family. This is one of the hardest verse in the bible and the one that draws the most irk from readers. But the bible is not saying that Christian are not to be filial nor love their parents.

But today if our parents or family obstructs us from believing in Jesus, and they stop us from serving God. We need to overcome their objection. There is no need for us to openly disobey them, or to say hurtful words to hurt them. But  we need to make our stand clear. If our family object to our faith as Christians, that is not right. While we can submit to them on many occasions, but we should not give in for this is wrong. There is no need for us to fight them but we ought to make our stand clear.

Let us learn to persist in our stand and be loyal to God. Let us not betray the Lord

Finally, let us consider

And whoever does not bear his
cross and come after Me cannot
be My disciple”-Jesus (Lk 14:27)

We need to bear our own cross as disciples. Every Christian has their own problem and their own troubles. Some are easy to solve while others add on to sorrows. Perhaps we may have prayed about it often and it appears that God remained silent.

So sometimes we murmur against God and ask why he did not help his disciples.  But Jesus had already told us that his disciples need to carry their cross.

Indeed, there are times we need to bear the cross, and it is a trial for us. Trials are like exams, while we will gladly help a friend with their assignment interfering with their exams will bring harm to them. In our life of faith, there are crosses we near to bear.

It is true that sometimes we can choose to throw the cross away and stop believing in Jesus. We can do whatever we want, and be as low and dirty as some may play. We can choose to ignore conscience and not care about anything. We can defend ourselves and get back on our aggressors. As long as we are cruel enough, we can resolve many problems. That is the way of the world

Sometimes being a disciple is hard, by choosing to hold on to our faith, we bring trouble upon ourselves. We cannot do what the people of the world do. But we must be willing to carry that cross. For Jesus bear the cross for us in the first place.

The gospel is the message of the cross, its followers tread on the way of the cross. We need to be willing to bear the cross and walk down that path. For we know that no matter how heavy the cross is it is worth it. It is worth more than our lives.

For the end of that path is the glorious heaven, that is the way that Jesus had walked.  If Jesus had to walk on that path to be glorified. How can his disciples be spared of it? Jesus had already carried the cross on our behalf so that we can receive this glory. Let us carry our cross and follow the Lord

May God grant us this faith, may we truly be his disciples.

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So far, we have studied the following

    

1. The Holy Spirit Is Here To Lead Us Into All Truth  (Part 1, Part 2)
     a. Aspect 1: To lead individuals to develop a relationship with the Truth 
     b. Aspect 2: To lead the church into all Truth 
2. The Holy Spirit is here to lead the church into all truth (Part 3)

We have taken a detailed look on how the Holy Spirit is able to lead us into truth. Now it is time for us to examine the second point of the Pneumatology of Christ

Pt 2: Holy Spirit  will not go against Word of God

Let us examine the words of Christ again

“However, when He, the Spirit of truth,
  has come, He will guide you into all truth;
  for He will not speak on His own authority,
  but whatever He hears He will speak;
  and He will tell you things to come.”- Jesus (Jn 16:13)

Jesus tells us that the Holy Spirit will not speak on his own authority. He will only tell us what he heard  from God. Jesus continues tells us
 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what
   is Mine and declare it to you” – Jesus (Jn 16:14)

The Holy Spirit will not tell you that which does not belong to Christ. He will never go beyond the words of God or speak against it. This is an important concept that we must understand, for it will affect how we discern the truth.

The modern Christendom is full of people who claims to be moved by the Spirit. But if any of them spoke against the word of God. Then he is speaking on his own authority and is not led by the Holy Spirit

Misconception 3.  Must we listen everything revealed by the Spirit?

Today are many religion including Christianity believes in the inspiration and revelation of a Spirit. But ironically, many of these inspired word from the Spirit goes against the truth from the Bible. These inspiration were not the words of Jesus.

That is why it is so important for Christians to learn to discern. There are some who feels, that since the Holy Spirit is here to lead us into all truth. Therefore, whatever the Spirit said must be right and should be accepted.

But is this the right concept to hold? Jesus tell us that the Holy Spirit will never speak on his own. He will only tell you what he had heard, he will only take what belongs to Jesus and declare them to us. That is the right understanding we ought to have.

What are “Things To Come” in John 16:13?

But when we read John 16:13, we understood that the Holy Spirit will tell Christians about the things to come. But what is it referring to? Those things to come concern the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus. Those are things that had yet to happen at the point of John 16:13.

Why must Jesus die? How will he resurrected? Why must he ascend to heaven?  What does all these have to do with our faith as a Christian? Those are questions that the apostles are still unable to understand at the point of time.

When the Spirit came, he lead them into all truth, they have wrote their understanding in Greek for the sake of the wider audience  and today these writings form the New Testament that we read. These words they wrote are based on the words of Jesus, not revelations from Spirits. The Holy Spirit allowed them to recall the words of Jesus, when they entered into all truth, they are able to understand its spirit and its meaning.

As Christians we ought to understand that the Holy Spirit will never go against the truth. Why is it so? Let us examine the reasons behind it.

Reason #1 : The Holy Spirit Is The Truth, Just like Jesus

One of the simplest and the most important reason is the fact that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth.  We know that Jesus is the truth. How can the Spirit of Truth go against the Truth of Jesus?

But where in the bible tells us that the Holy Spirit is Truth? 

“This is He who came by water and blood—
  Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by
  water and blood. And it is the Spirit who
  bears witness, because the Spirit is truth
  For there are three that bear witness in
  heaven: the Father, the Word, and the
  Holy Spirit; and these three are one.”- John (1 Jn 5:6-7) 

John explains why the testimony of the Holy Spirit is authoritative. That is because the Holy Spirit is truth. The same John wrote in the gospel that Jesus is the truth. Can there be two truth? no, for the Truth is only one. By calling the Holy Spirit truth, he implying that the Holy Spirit is one with Jesus.

Just as Jesus is one with the father, and the Holy Spirit is the spirit of Jesus, that makes him the truth.  So how do we know that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Jesus? 

“Now when they had gone through Phrygia
  and the region of Galatia, they were forbidden
  by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia. 7
 
After they had come to Mysia, they tried to go
  into Bithynia, but the Spirit[ did not permit them.” –Luke (Acts 16:6-7)

Luke was narrating about the missionary journey of Paul. Here the Holy Spirit stopped them in Asia and they went to Bithynia, now the Spirit did not permit them. Some  translation included the text “Spirit Of Jesus”

The Apostles uses the term Holy Spirit and Jesus interchangeably as if they are the same.  Interestingly, these are concepts that most in Christendom cannot accept. There are some who even thinks that the Holy Spirit is merely the power of God. Others believed in the Trinity where God is 3 distinct and separate being yet are one. People with such belief will not regard the Holy Spirit to be the same as  Jesus. 

But the Apostles through the guidance of the Holy Spirit came to this understanding. The Holy Spirit is one with Jesus, just like Jesus is one with the father. John called the Holy Spirit the truth, and Luke called the Holy Spirit the spirit of Jesus. 

The Disciples Only Understood This After Receiving The Holy Spirit

This understanding is not something they have at the beginning when they followed Christ. They understood it only on Pentecost. Perhaps some will wonder how I came to this conclusion?

“A  little while, and you will not see Me; 
   and again a little while, and you will
   see Me, because I go to the Father.”- Jesus (Jn 16;16)

This words are spoken very soon after Jesus talked about the Holy Spirit. The disciples was very puzzled about what Jesus was saying at that point of time.  They did not know what Jesus meant. Where is Jesus going? will he return tomorrow? Will they ever get to see him again?

They were wondering among themselves

“What is this that He says to us, ‘A little
  while, and you will not see Me; and again
  a little while, and you will see Me’; and,
  ‘because I go to the Father’?”  – Disciples (Jn 16:17)

Jesus was saying that he will go to the Father. This seem to suggest that the disciples did not see him for he will die. But yet Jesus said “A Little while later you will see me.”

Jesus went on to tell the disciples

“Therefore you now have sorrow;
  but I will see you again and your
  heart will rejoice, and your joy
  no one will take from you.

  And in that day you will ask Me    
  nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you,
  whatever you ask the Father in My
  name He will give you.” – Jesus (Jn 16:22-23)

Jesus was in fact talking about what will happen after his resurrection.  He will come and he will see them, and their hearts will rejoice.   The joy they will receive is not a normal joy,it is a joy that will never be taken away from them.

He also said that when he comes again, they will not need to ask anymore. For they will understand all things. When that happen, they can ask from the father and he will grant you.  This is something the disciples cannot understand initially, they understood only later.

For after Jesus had died, resurrected and appeared to them again. They are able to experience the joy of seeing Jesus again. This joy happen even when they are living in fear.When Jesus appeared them in Jn 20:19. When Jesus come and said “Peace be with you” when he show them his hand and his sides. That is when they rejoice. That is the point of time where they understood what he meant. For a little while they will see him.

Indeed when they see Jesus after his death, they were full of Joy. But how long did that joy last? We know that Jesus later ascended to heaven. Did their joy depart because Jesus had ascended to heaven?

Keeping Difficult Sayings Of Jesus In Our Heart

But Jesus promised them that he will see them forever,they will dwell together.

“I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. 
  A little while longer and the world will see Me
  no more, but you will see Me. Because I live,
  you will live also.  At that day you will know
  that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and
  I in you.”- Jesus (Jn 14:18-20)

“And I will pray the Father, and He will give
   you another Helper, that He may abide with
  you forever—”- Jesus (Jn 14:16)

Jesus  promised that he will not leave his disciples, and he will come to them. A little while longer the world will see Jesus no more. But his disciples will see him. They will not just see him but they will know that Jesus is in the father, and they are in him and he is in them.

These are things they cannot understand at that point of time. When Jesus spoke these words, he was standing before them, they have seen him eating and drinking just like a human. How can Jesus be in them and how can they be in Jesus?  This is  something that they cannot understand how it works.

There was another occasion where Jesus said that one need to eat his flesh and drink his blood to have life. (Jn 6). These are things they are unable to understand, how can a man say this? This is a hard saying, but it is an important saying, for it concern salvation and life.

The 2 points above are different form stories about miracles of  casting demons and healing of the sick. Stories about miracles are easy to understand, but they are unable to cleanse a person of sin. It cannot bring about salvation. Even today we have many who received miracles from Jesus and were unable to find faith. That is why many departed from Jesus  just because

This is different from stories of casting out demons and healing the sick. Those are stories that are easy to understand. But they are unable to cleanse one from sin. It cannot bring salvation.  Today there are many who received miracles and are unable to believe. Many departed from Jesus after they heard the hard teaching.

Only those who really believe that the words of Christ are life. Only those who believe that his words are truth that can cleanse us from sin, to lead us to God and save us. Then the words of Jesus will be important to us.

The Holy Spirit is here to help us understand these truth spoken by Jesus. These words have life and are able to save us. We need to remember them. Even if we do not understand them, we need to keep them close to our hearts. When we hear someone explaining it, the Holy Spirit will guide us to understand it. That is the point of time when we enter into the truth and have a relationship with God.

Building Your Faith Upon The Word Of God

When our lives developed a relationship with Christ, That relationship is not built upon a mere rational understanding of God. It is a faith built upon the words of God.

Before the arrival of the Holy Spirit, the disciples were unable to understand many things. But the day will come when they could understand it. When Jesus ascended to heaven, they prayed for another 10 days until the day of Pentecost. When the Holy Spirit finally came they understood and experienced joy. That is a joy that no one can take away from them.

The facts speaks for themselves. the apostles are thrown into prison and whipped. They did not complain against God. They did not expect the Holy Spirit to come and protect them so that they will not feel any hurt or pain. They are willing to be flogged and they did not complain. Instead they were filled with joy and the joy cannot be taken away.

For the Holy Spirit had proven that the things they know, and their belief is true. For Jesus is indeed God and saviour. He did not leave them as often. He dwells with them through the Holy Spirit, bringing them peace, joy in their heart. 

The Holy spirit is not just a witness to our faith, he is able to lead us to peace and joy. The peace and joy that comes from the Holy Spirit cannot be understood by others. It is amazing, especially to those who were looking at the disciples.  Their actions amazed the officers, scribes and the Pharisees.

What is most important is that the Holy Spirit allowed the disciples to understand the words of Jesus.

“And in that day you will ask
  Me nothing. Most assuredly,
  I say to you, whatever you ask
  the Father in My name He will
  give you”- Jesus (Jn 16:23)

For the Holy Spirit will lead them from then on. Today the Holy Sprit is still the as the Holy Spirit of the Apostolic Church. The promise of Jesus is not restricted to the disciples, it is given to us as well. For God will not leave us as orphans. The Holy Spirit is a precious promise.. It is a promise from Jesus never to leave us as orphans.  It is through the moving of the Holy Spirit we know that our faith is true.

The Importance Of Submitting To The Holy Spirit

Today it is important for us to submit to the moving of the Holy Spirit. I am not referring to just about marriage or work or  matters concerning our lives on earth. We need to submit to the Holy Spirit to allow him to guide you to that truth that save our souls. Only then can we really fulfil that commission given to us by Jesus, to preach to our friends and relatives.

Then our direction in life will become intertwined with the salvation plan of God. Then our lives will truly be of value. All work on earth must come to an end, but only the work of God had eternal value. This work is not reserved for ministers but it is entrusted to all disciples of Christ.

The Holy Spirit is not a mere guarantee it is not given just for the sake of assurance of our heavenly inheritance. Man often mistaken that that is the sole purpose of the Hoy Spirit, but it is not his only work. The Holy Spirit spoken off by Christ is more than that. Jesus had mentioned it in the gospel.

If we take heed and learn about the Pneumatology of Christ, than when he arrives he will guide you into all truth. But the question is whether we would be willing to listen and submit to the truth. The Holy Spirit will help us achieve a life of righteousness and be a new man. He will also want to propagate the gospel through us. We will examine this a while later

Now let us look at some common misconception that will arise with this aspect

Misconception 4 : Holy Spirit Will Reveal The Date Of 2nd Coming

There are some in Christendom that believes that the Holy Spirit will reveal the date of the second coming of Christ. But now we understand that the Holy Spirit will never go against the teaching of Christ. He will only speak according to the word of God and never go against it.

Let us examine a practical example that demonstrate this. So that we can understand the work of the Holy Spirit fully. There are some Christians who quote the words of Paul

“But God has revealed them to
  us through His Spirit. For the
  Spirit searches all things, yes,
  the deep things of God. 
  For what man knows the things
  of a man except the spirit of the
  man which is in him? Even so no
  one knows the things of God except
  the Spirit of God.”’ – Paul (1 Cor 2:10-11 )

Then they conclude saying that since the Holy Spirit searches all things including the deep things of God. Therefore they say that the Holy Spirit will reveal certain spiritual mysteries to man. So today, if someone who claims “I know when will Christ will come again” Should you believed in his words?

Definitely not, for Jesus once said

“But of that day and hour no one knows,
  not even the angels of heaven, but My
  Father only.”- Jesus (Matt 24:36 )

These are the words of Jesus. no one knows the day and the time, not even the angels of heaven. Only the father knows it. It is from this verse we know that what he said was wrong. But what if he claims “This is revealed by the Holy Spirit who searches the deep things of God.”Now he claims that it is God who had revealed this to him. should we believe in him?

If we remember the pneumatology  of Christ. If we allow the Holy Spirit to lead us to the truth. Then we will understand that the Holy Spirit will never speak against the word of Christ. The Holy spirit is the spirit of Truth, he is the truth and he is Jesus.

Misconception 5 : Will God Change His mind And Reveal It through The Spirit?

There are also some in Christendom who thinks, perhaps in the past God would not want to reveal it but now he changed his mind. But when you question him further why he thought so he simply says. “The Holy Spirit said it, so now I am telling you”. This appears to be logical. But that is base on the teaching of man.

What did Jesus tell us about the Holy Spirit? Is truth relative? Can truth change suddenly?

Paul gave us an important principle when it comes to discerning the truth

“But as God is faithful, our word to you
  was not Yes and No. For the Son of God,
  Jesus Christ, who was preached among
  you by us—by me, Silvanus, and Timothy—
  was not Yes and No, but in Him was Yes.” – Paul (2 Cor 1:18-19)

There is only one Truth and the Truth is unchanging. That should be the basis of faith. A truth that changes over time, that is relative only to the era is an incomplete truth. If a truth needs to be supplemented, how can this truth be complete, how can it be used as a foundation and the basis of faith?

Knowledge that belongs to man can change over time. That is because our understanding may not be perfect. That is why there are new discoveries, and why we need to add supplements to our knowledge. That result to a more complete and a more correct understanding.

But that cannot apply to the truth of God, we cannot say that the truth of God was imperfect. If it is true that the Holy Spirit need to make supplements to itself, so that the truth will be perfect. What shall we do if the Holy Spirit comes back next year with a new truth?

A truth that changes over time is not the truth. They are not truth but the precepts of man. But the Truth from God is absolute, Paul tell us that all in God is yes. God will never say “Yes and no” especially when it concerning salvation.

The Truth of salvation is given once and for all to the saints. That is why Paul remind us that the things he teach is not “Yes and no”. It is given one and for all to the saints. The Truth is not revealed over time, it is given as one complete package. It is complete, and all the components are presents. there is no need for supplements to be sent to it.

that is why Christians ought to contend for the truth that is given to us.

Conclusion : Discerning The Word Of God

Jesus once said

“Heaven and earth will pass away,
  but my words will not pass away” – Jesus (Matt 24:35)

Jesus will never change his truth, nor will he need to supplement to it. There will be not be corrections. This is something we need to understand. The Holy Spirit is here to help us understand the truth and to built our faith upon Jesus

We need to use the word of God as the yardstick to help us discern what we hear. This is important especially in the last days where there are many false prophets and false price. They will talk of marvellous things, things too good to be true. They will even back up their claim by saying that this is a revelation of the Holy Sprit. They will even appear with the power and authority of God. They will perform many miracles, they can cast out the demons and heal diseases. they will appear to have come from God.

If we use miracles to testify and judge the truth. We will be at risk of being deceived. We need to compare their words to see if it is truly from God. We need to check if what they speak is in accordance to the truth. We need to judge if he had went beyond the truth

May God help us to understand and discern the teaching of the Holy spirit. May it preserve our faith and help us in discerning the truth.