Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Spirit's empowerment of the Christian

Hebrews 9:14 "how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?"

Yesterday we looked at Exodus 28-31, noting how it pictures for us the Holy Spirit's work in applying Christ's finished work at the beginning of salvation.  Today we want to continue, noting how the Holy Spirit continues His work of applying Christ's work in the believer's post-conversion life - i.e sanctification.

The Holy Spirit's work in bringing power to the prayer life - pictured in Exodus 30
In Exodus 30:6 we read - "You shall put this altar in front of the veil that is near the ark of the testimony, in front of the mercy seat that is over the ark of the testimony, where I will meet with you."  The Golden Altar of incense in the tabernacle was the place of prayer.  It was where the priest would offer incense before the veil that concealed the way into the most holy place.  The Holy Spirit in Holy Scripture is the One responsible for enabling Christians to pray.  Romans 8:26-27 states - " 26In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; 27and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God."

The work of the Spirit in prayer
Now we know that the Golden Altar of incense is the picture of the prayer life.  Revelation 8:4  states - "Another angel came and stood at the altar, holding a golden censer; and much incense was given to him, so that he might add it to the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar which was before the throne."  The Holy Spirit is the believer's intercessor here on earth.  He, in unity with the Father and the Son, takes our requests to the throne of God.  The Son then is our intercessor in Heaven, before the Father. (1 John 2:1-2)  The same Holy Spirit who takes our requests brings us the answer back in accordance to the will of God. (1 John 5:14-15)

The Holy Spirit's work in giving power for Christian living - pictured in Exodus 30
In Exodus 30 we see instructions for the making of anointing oil and incense.  Anointing oil was used to designate people who were called of God and blessed by God to certain tasks.  Kings and priests were the main ones anointed in the Old Testament.  To be anointed meant your were enabled and appointed by God to do His bidding.  By the time we arrive at the New Testament, we discover that all believers are anointed by the Spirit to understand and do His will.  1 John 2:27 states - "But you have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you, so you don't need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know, and what he teaches is true--it is not a lie. So just as he has taught you, remain in fellowship with Christ."

Because of the Holy Spirit's work in providing power for prayer and Christian living, the Christian is able to live the Christian life.  Truly it is God living it through us, and us living it through Him.