Aromas are powerful things. We ought to have an enticing smell and not a bad aroma. But, we humans are frail. We are swayed by whatever is modeled before us and by our own emotions of how we want to act.
Yet, God chooses us to be an aroma of life to others. He doesn’t ask us to do what He doesn’t enable us to do. God builds into our lives that which fills our hearts with Him. This makes us competent to represent Him to others.
God fills our hearts with Himself and makes us competent
You and I can have confidence because of our faith in Jesus Christ. From the moment of our salvation, God Himself comes to live inside of us in the form of the Holy Spirit.
Who the Holy Spirit is
The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity. Our God is one God but three persons. The Spirit is not an impersonal “it” or simply an influence but a personal being just as the Father and the Son are persons. He convicts the unbeliever of sin and makes believers into new creations the moment we believe. He is the first gift we receive from God when we trust in Jesus for salvation.
What He does for us
[For a more complete explanation, listen to the podcast for Radical Acts Bible Study, Lesson 2.]
Spirit Baptism is the Spirit’s work of indwelling the believer. Every believer receives the complete Holy Spirit the moment we trust in Christ. He enters our spirits and seals us with Himself so our salvation is secure. He is God’s empowering presence in us. He enables us to understand the Bible and takes our prayer needs to God the Father, even when we can’t.
Spirit Baptism is the Spirit’s work of uniting us with Christ, fusing us together with who He is and what He has done. We take on the identity of Jesus so that when God looks on us, He sees Jesus instead. All the spiritual blessings we have in Christ—being chosen, adopted, forgiven, sealed—are wrapped up and delivered to us at Spirit Baptism. It’s God’s gift initiated by God to those who put their faith in Christ. It is not initiated by us.
Spirit Baptism is the Spirit’s work of making all believers permanent members of the Body of Christ. 1 Corinthians 12:13
Spirit Baptism is a permanent condition, occurring once and for all at salvation. Galatians 3:26-27; Ephesians 4:4-5
Spirit Baptism is a change of state in which we are made into new creations.
Spirit Baptism begins the transformation process that changes you into the likeness of Christ from the inside out so that your character looks more like Jesus and your lifestyle brings God’s glory to everyone who is watching. 2 Corinthians 3:17-18
Transformation into the likeness of Christ brings God’s glory to others
There are two aspects of being transformed to the likeness of Christ. God’s part and our part.
God’s part involves mystery about how He does it. The Scriptures teach that He works according to His will and purpose for your life.
Our part involves choices. 1) One choice is renewing your mind (Romans 12:2) through studying God’s Words in the Bible to see how to approach life His way. The Holy Spirit uses the Word to transform you. 2) Another choice on your part is having a desire for God’s work in you to give you the character of Christ. When you long for His work in your life, you will want to submit to what He is doing and ask for Him to change you. 3) A third choice is to commit to doing life God’s way. That’s part of the transformation process. Jesus modeled for us how to approach life God’s way and live in dependence upon Him in the process. Living in dependence means you choose to trust Him in prayer.
God will complete His part—both during your lifetime as you yield to His work in your life and after your life on earth ends as you begin your life in heaven. Others seeing the transformation in you now brings God’s glory to them. And, His glory can be evident even if you have problems in your own lives because it’s not about you. It’s about Christ in you.
Jesus Christ gave His life for you so He can give His life to you so He can live His life through you. (Major Ian Thomas, Saving Life of Christ)
Does it all depend on me while I’m depending on God?
True or False? “It all depends on me, and I depend on God.” FALSE
Control is an illusion. You can only control what you choose to do in response to any situation. You have no control over circumstances, what happens in the world, the choices others make, and even your own schedule. Jesus Christ is the Lord of planet Earth. All “its” are under His domain, not yours. Now, don’t you feel better?
Reasons why God wants us to depend on Him more than on ourselves
He uses us to spread the knowledge of Him. (2:14)
He sends us to speak for Him. (2:17)
He writes a letter of recommendation for Himself in our lives. (3:3)
He gives us confidence to trust Him. (3:4)
He gives us competence to represent Him. (3:5)
He takes away the veil over our hearts when we believe. (3:16)
He transforms us by His Spirit. (3:18)
So we won’t lose heart. (4:1)
He makes His light shine in the darkness through us. (4:6)
Let Jesus satisfy your heart with confidence that you can depend on Him. Then, live each day as a God-dependent woman!
Buy The God-Dependent Woman Bible Study at Amazon.