Not Every Believer Is A Follower

I am really into learning and confessing the Word of God. The way to apply God's powerful Word to your life is to learn it and confess it. Why would one want to apply the Word of God to their life? Because the Word works. I really wish more believers would embrace this. This is one of the keys to becoming a follower of Jesus Christ. 

The truth is, not every believer is a follower of Christ. A follower of Jesus is what the Bible calls a disciple. A disciple is a person who learns and applies the Word to their life in prayer and in daily confession. They say what Jesus said. They pray the way Jesus prayed. As a result, they do what Jesus did! "So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, 'If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free." (John 8: 31 - 32) Certainly it is God's truth that sets us free. But you won't know God's truth (and be free) until you continue in the Word of God as Jesus said. Only followers of Jesus (disciples) are truly free to be continuously and powerfully used of God.

Take the 12 disciples. Jesus poured His life and His teaching into these guys for 3 and a half years. Not only that, they sat willingly at His feet, feeding on His Word for the entire duration of His ministry. He demonstrated the Word to and for them. He even authorized them to go out and apply what they learned, before He returned to the right hand of the Father. You are a disciple only if you continue in His Word. Then you will know the very truth that frees you to do the "greater works" He said you would do. (See John 14: 12)

God didn't send Jesus to the earth just to save you so you would go to heaven. If that were the case He would have arranged it so that whenever one accepts Jesus, they would just drop dead and go to heaven. Listen to this very carefully. The Gospel is not based just on the point at which we die, but also on the point at which we come to life as new creatures in Christ Jesus! From the point we begin to live in Christ it must be emphasized that we begin, and continue in His Word. Then we learn the truth (by experiment), and the truth sets us free.

If you are a disciple (follower) of Jesus, you are surely saved, and your eternal destination has been settled and secured. But you are also qualified and authorized to be a world-changer. Jesus returned to the Father. He sent forth the Holy Spirit to enable His disciples to carry on the same ministry He started when He was here.

God sent Jesus to save you so that you would make a difference on this earth...before you leave (just as He did.) Heaven is a very significant and wonderful part of the deal. Yes, I know that eternity is way longer than our time on this planet. However, the life you live on this planet will extremely affect the eternity you will spend in heaven. And not only that, but the life you live for Jesus (here) will extremely affect the lives of others who also reside on the planet!

Are you ready to be a world-changer? Be a disciple of Jesus. Be a follower of Jesus. Become a student and a devourer of His Word. Through His Word, get to know the truth. Let Him make you free to change the world you live in! Don't just be a believer...be a follower of Jesus.

The Work of the Holy Spirit

I've been doing much study on the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. As a matter of fact, I've been researching a bunch about the Holy Spirit in general. As you may know, He is the 3rd person of the Trinity (as we say). The Trinity is made up of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. But just because He is mentioned 3rd much of the time does not mean He is any less significant than the first two!

Jesus couldn't come to the earth without the work of the Holy Spirit. In Matthew 1:18 the Scripture says, "before they (Joseph and Mary) came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit." God told Joseph, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit." (Verse 20) The babe inside of Mary, who was still a virgin, was the work of the Holy Spirit. Jesus was literally born of the Spirit, with absolutely no sin nature.

In order to save humanity, Jesus had to become human. And the only way for Jesus to be the spotless sacrifice for our sins was to be born of the Spirit, not sinful flesh. Jesus was a human being, born of the Spirit.

And for Jesus to become human, He also had to empty Himself, take on the form of a bond servant, and be made (in Mary's womb) in the likeness of humanity (anthrōpos). As a man, He humbled Himself by being obedient to the point of dying on the cross for ALL of humanity.

The Holy Spirit was responsible for bringing Jesus to the earth, born of the Spirit. He was also responsible for empowering Jesus to begin and complete His supernatural ministry on the earth. Without the enduement of power from on high (He received after being baptized by John in the Jordan River), He could not have carried out His ministry. "Now when all the people were baptized, Jesus was also baptized, and while He was praying, heaven was opened,  and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in bodily form like a dove, and a voice came out of heaven, "You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased." (Luke 3: 21 - 22) From that point Jesus was led by the Spirit, impelled by the Spirit, and returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit. Nowhere in Scripture does it say that Jesus performed one sign, wonder, or miracle until after He had been empowered by the Holy Spirit from on high.

There is no greater example than our Lord, Jesus Christ! He was born of the Spirit. Now we must be born again (by the same Spirit). He was filled with the Holy Spirit for the purpose of ministry. We who are now born again of the Spirit must also be filled with, or baptized in the Spirit for the purpose of ministry! Jesus Himself said, "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father." Jesus meant He would go to the Father and send forth the Promise of the Father; the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Instead of being in one place and one time, Jesus now works in and through myriads, through the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit.

I encourage you to seek out the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Let Jesus empower you with the same Spirit and power that He received. Are you ready to change your world? Ask, and you will receive!