“How foolish can you be? After starting your Christian lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort?” (Galatians 3:2)
One day, as I was reading this verse, it suddenly dawned upon me that this is exactly what many of us try to do. We believe that salvation is a new-birth experience produced by the Holy Spirit, but that sanctification (the process of making us holy)is something that we must do on our own. But can we? Can we make ourselves more holy? Consider what the Apostle Paul said about himself –
“For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.” (Romans 7:18-18-19)
Some have tried to argue that Paul was referring to who he was beforehe became a Christian, yet all of his verbs are in the present tense, indicating that this was still a battle for him.
If we could live the Christian life on our own, why did the Lord need to send us the Holy Spirit? What’s the purpose for Spirit’s coming to dwell within the believer? The Bible teaches us that God has sent us His Spirit in order to enable us to live for Him. Consider what the Bible says about God’s New Covenant.
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.” (Ezekiel 36:26-27)
In His New Covenant, God has promised to give us a new heart and a new spirit. This is what the Bible means when it says that if any man be in Christ, he or she is a new creation. (see 2 Corinthians 5:17) But that’s not what God promises us in this new covenant. God also promises to place His Spirit within us in order to empower us to live for Him. A simple illustration of this might be to say that we’re the flashlight and the Holy Spirit is the batteries!
It is only through our walk with the Holy Spirit that we will be able to experience all that God has in store for us as His children.
God bless you my brethren.