The Will of God for You

It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: (1 Thessalonians 4:3a)

When we come to Jesus by faith, we come to Him completely undeserving of His love and grace. We come to Him stained with sin down to our very core. Yet, He not only is willing to receive us just as we are, but He also compellingly draws us to Himself. However, His love won’t leave us in our former condition. He’s determined to change us into His very likeness. (See Romans 8:29)

In Paul’s day, the Judaizers confused the Galatian church into believing that faith in Christ alone was insufficient to be right with God; they also had to follow all the Jewish rituals in order to fulfill God’s law. This would mean that even though they were initially saved by faith alone in Christ, they would now have to complete their salvation by adding their own efforts to the work Christ had already done for them. 

Paul corrected this false teaching by showing the Galatians how God has equipped believers to avoid sinful living. So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. (Galatians 5:16) This command sounds so simple, but living it out demands our constant attention for the rest of our lives. 

As Christians, we have been recreated through the new birth given to us by the Holy Spirit when we first believed. Yet, while we remain in our earthly bodies, the old sinful nature has not been fully overcome. Although we have “died” to our old self and now genuinely desire to live to please the Lord we love, we still must fight against the yet unredeemed part of ourselves, which is influenced by our sinful nature. We cannot win this battle by ourselves alone—without God’s help. Fortunately, He has given every believer the Holy Spirit to indwell them and equip them well for this ongoing battle.

The Holy Spirit brings us into intimacy with God; He illuminates the Scriptures so we know what we are to do; He strengthens us in the inner man to empower us to do His will; He glorifies Jesus Christ to us, both as our authority and our example; He personally guides us in our conscience to do God’s will; He ministers to us through other Christians to bring us strength; and He intercedes for us so that all things work together for good.

We can be free to live morally pure and loving lives as we allow the indwelling Holy Spirit to lead us day by day. Ultimate victory for every true believer is assured, thanks to the work of God. 

By Jim Connell

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