God's word in today's world

God does all the work


I get a lot of questions about the Holy Spirit. As the Holy Spirit moves quietly and does not overpower our lives, some people are sometimes uncertain whether they do indeed have the Spirit and what else they have to do to receive the Holy Spirit.

In this part, Paul is talking to the Galatians because they are listening to other people who do not believe in Jesus’ crucifixion and victory over the power of sin. While admonishing them about this, Paul explains many truths about the Holy Spirit.

Firstly, we must believe that the power of the Holy Spirit becomes part of us because we believe, and not because we have to do certain things: 2Let me put this question to you: How did your new life begin? Was it by working your heads off to please God? Or was it by responding to God’s Message to you? Listen to what Paul is saying: You can do good deeds until the birds fly backwards, you can stand on your head until the world turns blue, but nothing, nothing will help the Holy Spirit to come and live inside you. Faith is the key to the Holy Spirit. That’s all. We must believe and confess that Jesus died on the cross and that that is enough to ensure our salvation.

Sounds too easy, I know. But we have to realise that God is also involved. According to verse 5 God equips us with His Spirit. That is how good God is to us. He does mostly everything from His side. God is prepared to save humankind from eternal death by having Jesus die on the cross. But the plan doesn’t stop there. God realises we’ll never make it on our own, so He pours his Spirit, yes, his own Spirit, over the earth, so that people can have something to help them live the right way.

God must have loved us so much to do all of this for us. By grace alone.

And the little bit that I have to do so that I can receive this salvation? I must believe. That’s all. I must believe in God’s love for me. I must believe that Jesus has died for all my sin. I must believe in the Holy Spirit who lives in me. That’s all.

We must keep on believing every day, like Ann:

“Hallo Ben. The government has not paid our overtime since January – everybody is feeling a bit low. My colleagues wanted to buy Lotto tickets. I decided that God would provide the money when it was needed most, and, you know, yesterday I hit rock bottom. No electricity, little dog food, car running on petrol fumes, but my heart filled with faith that God would provide. And what happened? Our first money was paid in this morning! What a big present! I actually jumped up and down and praised and worshipped Him. As they say: Lekker, man, lekker! I once again realised what an awesome God we serve!”

“With a heart filled with faith” said Ann. With a heart filled with faith.

Galatians 3:1-14

Reflection

Do you believe?

Do you believe that God lives in you through His Spirit?

Do you allow the Spirit to do his work?

Prayer

O, Father! You are so good. You do everything. You died on the cross. You gave your Spirit. Lord, I believe. My heart is filled with faith. You are good. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Amen

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