The Holy Spirit & Loving Jesus

       What if I told you that to receive the Holy Spirit in your life you would need to do more than believe in Jesus, although that is the start. I am sure, if you know your Bible, you would quote some text that would differ with that opening statement. At least I hope you would. They do exist.
   
      Hear me out for a moment. So many people claim to believe in Jesus yet do not live as Jesus teaches. You know someone like that? I am speaking of the individual who claims to believe in Jesus yet all the while are doing drugs, the individual who believes in Jesus yet is cheating on his or her spouse, the guy who is involved with porn, the person who believes in Jesus and yet is a drunkard or the person who believes in Christ and is involved in homosexuality. Beloved, the Holy Spirit will not abide in a temple that is not clean, even if that person claims Christ. Talk is cheap. And if I were to put receiving the Holy Spirit in a checklist, which I do not believe is right to do but for this point I will, I would say these three criteria need to be met: Belief in Christ, love for Christ and obedience to Christ. All three are required. 

   The main point to this blog is this: No one who does not obey and love Jesus can receive the Holy Spirit. In John 14:15 Jesus began to teach on the promise of the Holy Spirit and he began His teaching with this statement, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments." We first need to see the significance of this verse. First, this verse is a conditional statement. How do we know? It begins with the word "if", which is Jesus saying I'll do this if you do that. We will get to this in a moment. Secondly, this is a kind of love that says "I desire to live for and through Christ". It is a longing, a craving and a preference to live your entire life through Jesus. Thirdly, it is a love that longs to do for the one loved. In other words we obey Jesus because we love Jesus. It is not an obedience that stems from duty or obligation. This obedience is not religious. So Jesus is saying to His disciples that if they desire to live through Jesus they must be obedient to His teaching.

   This is how the Bible defines a love for Christ. In John 14:21 it states, "Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me..." In John 14:23 Jesus said, "If anyone loves me, he will keep my word..." Again in 1 John 5:3, John's first letter he writes, "For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments..." In John's second letter 2 John 1:6 John writes, "And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments..." The Bible clearly defines a love for Jesus through obedience to Jesus. Yet not only does it say that we love Christ if we obey Christ but the Bible defines knowing Christ through obedience to Him also in 1 John 2:3 "And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments." Therefore we know we love and know Jesus if we obey him, likewise, we know if do not love Jesus and do not know Jesus through disobedience.

   Now lets us look at Jesus' next statement in John 14:16. He states "And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever." The word "And" at the beginning of a sentence always implies continuation. Therefore we see the condition of John 14:15 laid out in John 14:16: The Father gives the Holy Spirit to them who love and obey Jesus. But to those who believe in Jesus and do not obey Jesus do not receive the Spirit from the Father. Their disobedience shows they do not love Jesus nor do they know Jesus. Their claim to believe in Jesus are mere words. 

     I love the picture that Jesus gives us. Jesus teaches that for those who love and obey Him, He will go to his Father and request on our behalf to receive the Holy Spirit. Jesus sees those who are serious in their relationship with Him. He knows those who love Him and Jesus earnestly requests on our behalf to receive the Spirit! And the Spirit of God received by those who love Jesus and obey Jesus is with them forever. 

   Ask yourself do you love Jesus? Do you obey Jesus? Is your belief in Jesus just words? Truth is that God know's whether we are real about believing in Jesus or not? The Father knows those who are real verses those who are fake. The Father knows those who long for intimacy with Christ and those who only wish to use Jesus to escape condemnation. And the Father will only give the Spirit to them who really love and obey Jesus. No one can receive the Spirit without loving and obeying Jesus.  

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