I am so excited about this post! I was going to continue my train of thought from my last post Who Are These Christians Anyway?. Which was my attempt to explain to non/pre-Christians that the only difference between us and them is the saving grace of Jesus. Though that statement falls short of explaining the awesome power that comes through faith. It is because of this lack that I want to write about how this one step of faith can make such a big difference in someone’s life.
The Holy Spirit nudged me to use Mary’s experience as an illustration. Let’s look at her story:
“Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus… The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God.”
Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her.Luke 1:30-31,35,38 (NLT)
Now comes the fun part. Let’s say you and I are Mary in this story. What are some key points?
God is the initiator. The angel delivers the message from God and when she consents the Holy Spirit fulfills the promise. The next verse tells how the Holy Spirit comes upon us.
“John baptized with water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”Acts 1:5,8 (NLT)
We are the receiver. Like Mary, it is through faith we receive, and conceive within us the Holy Spirit.
Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God?1 Corinthians 6:19 (NLT)
What is birthed in us is of the Spirit. When we receive the Holy Spirit there is new life in us that didn’t exist before.
Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.”
“What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?”
Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life.John 3:3-6 (NLT)
Jesus, before he went to the cross told us he would send us the Holy Spirit. It is his gift to us bought with an unfathomable price. Mary responded with an open heart. Will you?
Going back to the difference between those who believe and those who don’t—every Christian has come to see their life will never gain their salvation. It is only Jesus. He is the way, the truth, and the life. (John 14:6.) Again I ask, will you open your heart like Mary? Will you accept Jesus’ gift of salvation and receive a new life conceived and birthed by the Holy Spirit?
Grace & Peace,