The everyday pressures and the stress of just living on this planet causes us much grief. The demanding bosses, the irate public, the disgruntled co-workers, the incessant bills, and the constant drain of having to deal with earthly things all day long is just too much to cope with. With all this confusion going on, the children of the King begin to feel like spiritual paupers instead of heirs to the throne.
Yes, the Father allows this to happen to His children because He wants us to finally get our fill of it and call upon His name for deliverance. He has made us “subject to vanity.” He created us, in other words, in our original earthly state to feel the futility of living on earth no matter how much material wealth we may have. “All is vanity and vexation of spirit.” Simply put, we’ve got to get sick of it.
So enough of this world’s insanity already! The answer? God, we need more of Your Spirit working inside of us. We need more of Your love abiding in us so that we can return love to those who slight us out here in this world system. We need more of You in us, more of your Spirit welling up in love, joy, and peace. We need You, God, to fill us like you filled your chosen people in the days of the early church.
Yes, that is our need, but how do we get more Spirit into us? What did You say in your word about this? It all boils down to believing in the Resurrection.
Paul lines this out in Ephesians. He is saying to them that through God’s mercy, which is based in His infinite love towards us, He has made us alive where once we were dead in sin. He has done this through the power of the resurrection of Christ. When the Father infused that dead sacrificial body of the Lamb and raised him from the dead, all sinners who believe this were raised up together with Him. “Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ…and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Yahshua Messiah” (2:4-6).
This miraculous turnaround from the darkness of sin and sinning to light and righteousness in a person’s heart can only be realized through belief. [I know what some are thinking: “We’ve been hearing about the resurrection and righteousness and sin and belief all our lives in church. You are not telling us anything that we don’t already know.”] If what we’ve heard all our life were enough, then why are we so weak spiritually? Why aren’t we walking in the joy and victory that God has promised those who follow Him? Why? “Because of your unbelief,” the Master said.
The transformation to power in our lives is by believing what God said about the resurrection and us—that if we believe that our old life died with the Lamb 2000 years ago, that if we believe that we were buried with Him, and if we believe that God raised Him up out of the grave after three days and three nights—if we can just believe this, we can also ourselves be “raised to walk in a newness of life” (Romans 6:4-6).
We are delivered from depression and death by believing what He said He did through the resurrection and how it regenerates our hearts and consciences. For His Spirit comes into us by believing the truth of His word to us about our being raised up with him to walk in a new life.
A new life is what He has promised us. However, if we are still thinking the same way we did before our experience with God, if we are still doing the same things we did before our “conversion,” if we still are the same earthly-minded person, then how is that a new life? How does it differ from the old?
Let’s cut to the chase. If we are still lusting after women, how is that a new life? If we are still desiring another person’s material things, how is that new? If we put our own self before others, how is that new? If we are breaking any of the commandments, then how is it a new life? We were breaking them before we came to God. So what has changed?
If we are still sinning, or breaking the Ten Commandments, then we have not died, been buried, and been raised from the dead-in-sin. We have not actually believed it yet. Our need is for the Spirit of Christ to live in us. But how do we abide in Him and He in us? “That Christ may dwell in our hearts by faith…” That the Spirit of God may live in our hearts—but how? By just believing it! It is God’s word! It is the truth! Believe it before you feel it. You have to believe it first! Then the evidence of the reality will come. The trouble is that unbelief is such a part of the human condition, the human heart, that we have trouble believing what we see. “I can’t believe my eyes,” is a common statement. God is asking us to believe before we see.
We attain this righteous state not by us trying to be righteous and keep the law. No. It is a gift from God. We cannot attain the righteous state by working for it. Faith attains it and then the works we do with the help of His Spirit within witness to the fact that He in us is righteous. “By grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast” (Eph. 2:8-9).
Actually, we in our newness of life, in our newly received righteous state with Him, are a product of His work—not our own work. “For we are His workmanship…” (v. 10). And God’s work through His own faith in us is good. He said, “Let there be light, and there was light, and He said it was good. We are His doing, His creation.
He definitely knows what He is doing. He through this new life derived by Him raising His chosen ones up with the Messiah—He has through this new life created a new creation—the second Adam, the second man. And He has created us in Christ unto good works (v. 10). I repeat: We have been created in Christ with the expressed purpose of producing good works.
Not some good works through us and some bad works. No. He has spiritually created us anew “unto good works.” We need to believe this. He has not created us unto bad works or corrupt works. No. He has made us in our new life to bear good fruit. The Master said, “ A good tree cannot bear evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bear good fruit. You will know them by their fruits.”
“We are his workmanship, created in Yahshua the Messiah unto good works” (v. 10). And the kicker is that God has already foreordained for us to walk in the spirit and thereby do these good deeds.
And this great treasure-life is opened to all that our God has called. For He took all the sin of the whole world upon Himself and became sin for all of us, and when He died, all of the sin of the whole world died with Him. That’s your sinful heart and my old sinful heart. And by His shed blood we all were brought close to Him. So close, in fact, that all who believe this and respond are “one new man” (Eph. 2:15). And all believers, whoever they are, through Him “have access by one Spirit unto the Father” (v. 18).
And we all are spiritually built upon the “foundation of the apostles and prophets, Yahshua the Messiah Himself being the chief cornerstone.” We are a building made by God Himself, built on this foundation. He is building us up; we are growing into “an holy temple in the Master, builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit” (v. 22). God will inhabit us His temple. He will live in us through His Spirit.
Later Paul reveals the mystery of how God is opening up His Spirit to come down on whomever can receive it—be they Gentile or Israelite. Paul prayed (Eph. 3:15-19) that God would grant to the Ephesians power and strength by His Spirit in their “inner man.” Power, strength, and might, Paul knew, were needed in the spiritual new creation within the heart of each new believer.
And this strength was to be given how? How do believers receive this strengthening? “By His Spirit in the inner man.” But how does this spiritual power come from His Spirit into our inner being? It comes by faith. “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith.” This spiritual anointing comes to us by us believing it. Because He said it, spoke it, and His prophets wrote down His inspired words about the power coming, we need only to believe that He is good to His word about Him giving us more of His Spirit.
We have to believe that the invisible Spirit is giving us strength, and now is the acceptable time for this to happen. We’ve got to believe it before we feel the strength. Believe it because He said to believe it, and the strength and power will come. “All things are possible to him that believeth,” the Master said. “Have the faith of God,” He also said. God believes it already about us; why shouldn’t we?
He said in Eph. 2:21 that we are the spiritual building of God, and we are in Him and He in us, and we are growing “unto an holy temple” of God. This strengthening that He does on us in our inner man is the growth of the Spirit with us. We grow in His love in us, and we grow spiritually out to others. This spiritual growth ends up with us being “filled with all the fulness of God” (3:19).
We are to finally through humility “grow up into Him in all things” (4:2). We are to be “renewed in the spirit” of our mind, “putting on the new man” wherein we walk in love and forgiveness one to another.
Paul is saying that by believing it so, we can walk in His Spirit. We can leave the pride and arrogance of the old life and walk as obedient children. His Spirit can live within us and can grow in us—if we believe. For it all happens by faith—by believing what He said about it. That is what makes it so. It is not believing in something that is not there.
This new life that God has declared is already a reality in His eyes. Our new life in Him is not an illusion, some figment of our imagination. No. Our new life in His Spirit is a reality already spoken into existence by our God. We need only believe that it is real. Through us believing it, we actualize it and witness it. It is like the priests with the Ark of the Covenant stepping out upon the Jordan River and the waters peeling back for them that they go over on dry ground. God said it; they believed it, and they achieved it. A miracle happened that day at the Jordan River.
And a miracle was done in our hearts when we believed that He had taken the old one out and had given us a new one. This is how miracles are done. Miracles will come through believing that they are already foreordained to come. The disciples asked why this impotent man was lame. Was it his sin or his parents sin that put him in this pitiful shape? The Master said, No, because of neither, but that the glory of God could be seen when he was healed by one of God’s believers.
This is not believing this life of strength and power into existence. No. This new life He has for us is already in existence. Our new life in Christ’s Spirit already exists. It is His with Him. When we believe His resurrection, that power is witnessed in us again and again. We then have the witness within our own selves. This is a miracle of transformation. Let the miracles continue. Let us all walk on, believing what He said He would do for His children and through His children. Kenneth Wayne Hancock