When it was close to the time for Jesus to die on the cross he said in John 16:7 — It’s good for you that I’m going away. If I don’t go away, the paraclete won’t come to you. But if I go I will send him to you. Paraclete = One who comes along side: Helper, advocate, comforter, intercessor, aide, guide, teacher.
The Christian life is a one step process. And that is relationship with the Holy Spirit.
Jesus said, John 14:26 — The paraclete, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and remind you of all I have said. Intimacy with the Holy Spirit is essential to getting to know Jesus better: The Spirit will remind you of all I have said.
And to know intimacy with the Father: We cry Abba Father by the Spirit (Rom 8:15).
Religion is trying to have relationship with Jesus and the Father without the Spirit. Then you are not empowered to have that relationship.
Romans 8:16 says, The [Holy] Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.
The Holy Spirit knocks on your heart and says Jesus paid the price for your sins, all you have to do is receive the payment.
Then Holy Spirit comes into you and makes you a new creation and the Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are a new creation (child of God). Soo-mar-tur-eho: bear witness; martureho means to be a witness or testify. soo means intimate union with, more intimate than para, meaning near.
The Holy Spirit testifies or bears witness of this intimate union we have together. And we can live our life from this union.
Life in the flesh is leaning on our own understanding and taking matters into our own hands, while life in the Spirit is leaning on the spirit and living in union with the Spirit.
Get in touch with the sense of this intimate union and learn to live from that place.
We can have the kind of intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit like people in the book of Acts.
Acts 8:27-29 — There was a man from Ethiopia…who had come to Jerusalem to worship and was returning home; seated in his chariot, he was reading the prophet Isaiah. Then the Spirit said to Philip, ‘Go over to the chariot.’
How did Philip know to go over to the chariot and speak to the man? The Spirit spoke to him.
Philip had a soo martureho relationship (intimate union) with the Spirit so he could receive specific guidance from the Spirit. This is available to us.
Another example of relationship with the Spirit is found in Acts 10 when the apostle Peter had a vision where God told him to eat food that was not kosher, it was unclean food according to religious laws. (17) While Peter was greatly puzzled about what to make of the vision that he had seen, suddenly some men sent by a man named Cornelius [a Gentile] appeared. They were asking for Simon’s house and were standing by the gate. (18) They called out to ask whether Simon, who was called Peter, was staying there. (19) While Peter was still thinking about the vision, the Spirit said to him, ‘Look, three men are searching for you. (20) Now get up, go down, and go with them without hesitation for I have sent them.’ Peter took some fellow Jewish believers and went with these men to Cornelius’ house.
Why did Peter go to Cornelius’ house?
He had a soo martureho relationship: a relationship of intimate union with the Holy Spirit.
(27) Many Gentile friends and relatives of Cornelius were at the house. Peter spoke to them and said, ‘I know that Jews are not supposed to associate with Gentiles because they are considered unholy, but God has shown me not to call anyone unholy.’ Then Peter shared the gospel with them and while he did the Gentiles received the Holy Spirit. The Jewish believers who had come with Peter were amazed because the Holy Spirit had been poured out upon the Gentiles.
What made it possible for the gospel to be shared and Holy Spirit to be poured out on the Gentiles? Peter’s intimate union with the Holy Spirit.
Acts 13:1 — Now there were at Antioch, in the church that was there, prophets and teachers: Barnabas, and Simeon who was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. (2) While they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’ (3) Then, when they had fasted and prayed and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. (4) So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia and from there they sailed to Cyprus.
How did the church in Antioch know to send out Barnabas and Saul on a mission? The Holy Spirit said….
They had such a union with the Spirit they could hear Holy Spirit say…. This is corporate union with Holy Spirit.
In Acts 15 there was a dispute among Jewish and Gentile Christians about some Jewish laws that could have caused a major division. It says in Acts 15:28 — For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these essentials….
A dispute was settled because of intimacy with Holy Spirit.
In the next example, in Acts 16:6 — the apostle Paul and Silas went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia.
The general rule is Go into all the world and preach the gospel. — Matthew 28:19.
Why didn’t Paul and Silas go and share the word in Asia at this particular time? Because of their intimate union with the Spirit they heard the Spirit say no.
Go unless the spirit says no!
In Acts 20:22 The apostle Paul said, that he was bound (knit: deh-oh) to the Spirit to go to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit bears witness to me in every city that imprisonment and persecutions are waiting for me.
How was Paul prepared for difficult times that were ahead? He was prepared by his intimate relationship with the Spirit.
Paul was knit together with the Spirit. When you are in love with someone, you will go wherever they go. That’s how Paul was with the Spirit. John 14:16 says the Holy Spirit will be with you always. You will never be alone.
The Spirit is in love with us and longs to be knit together with us.
Romans 5:5 — The love of God is poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit.
When we are in love with someone we love to do what they want you to do. We hear that voice above all the others.
We can follow the desires of the Spirit, rather than the flesh, if we will walk in intimacy with the Spirit.
Paul put it this way: Galations 5:16 — I say, walk with the Spirit, and you will not fulfill the desire of the flesh. Walk (per-ee-pah-the-oh): be occupied with as with a companion or partner.
As we stay pre-occupied with the Spirit — in intimate union with the Spirit — as with a partner that we are in love with — we will not fulfill the desires of the flesh; we will not lean on our own understanding and take matters into our own hands, because we are leaning on the Spirit and being empowered by the Spirit.
The flesh = leaning on our own understanding, and emotions, and taking matters into our own hands, rather than choosing and doing in union with the Holy Spirit.
Philippians 2:13 — God is at work in us [through the Holy Spirit] enabling us to choose and do….
Walking in the Spirit is choosing and doing in union with Holy Spirit.
Get in touch with the sense of that intimate union and learn to live from that place and the Holy Spirit will be our helper, advocate, comforter, intercessor, aid, guide, and teacher.