Summary: We live ’in the heavenlies’ because of God’s giving us the Holy Spirit.
March 26, 2005
You think you are in Cornwall, Ontario/Montreal, Quebec right now. You think that you are living and moving and having your being here in this area of eastern Canada. You might go along day-after-day thinking this way.
However, the apostle Paul, in Ephesians 1, declares an almost unbelievable idea that applies to you. He says that you are now functioning in the heavenly realm.
Let’s read together, in Ephesians 2: 1- 3- God made you alive. You weren’t. We must remember that, apart from life with God, we are not fully alive- we only think we’re alive- people only think they’re alive. However, we were made to need God in our lives and are incomplete until He is there- actually, until Jesus is there.
v.4, 5- incredible love of our God.
v.6- we sit with Jesus in the heavenly places, for a purpose- v.7- and we’re going to be ‘on display’ going into the coming ages, and will be an object lesson of what God is able to do. We’ll be presentation pieces- in fact, we are that, already, and are witness to the incredible work that God can do.
The question, though, is ‘how?’ How is this possible, and what do we access in the heavenly realm? How do we operate in and from the heavenly realm now, rather than simply from the earthly?
Jesus, prior to his crucifixion, and in instructing his disciples, as he faced the darkest night of his life, tells us how this works.
John 14.15- Jesus’ commandments- the overarching principle of love applied toward God and humanity.
v.16- idea of another helper to be with them/us forever. Jesus was the original helper, but he was about to leave and he was assuring them that they were not going to be alone. He is assuring us that we won’t be alone in our walking with God and our going forward, in life, with God.
v.17- this Helper will be the spirit of truth. In this regard, Pilate asked a fascinating question- “What is truth?” Pilate missed something, as you and I can be guilty of missing something. Jesus answered this question just a few verses earlier- v.6- he declared “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” Pilate had truth standing right before him and didn’t recognize Him. Truth is a person- truth is Jesus Christ. Truth is NOT an idea or a set of ideas; truth is not a doctrine or a collection of ‘correct doctrines’. This is essential truth. Truth, as the way and life, refer to a person and demand a relationship.
A lot of people- a lot of Christians- a lot of us, likely- believe that truth has to do with the book- the Bible. In a broad way, it does, because scripture does not contradict the person of Jesus. However, Jesus addressed that thought directly in John 5.39- people thought that truth was all about knowledge and accumulating facts, and the like. However, he pointed out that this was not the case- scripture points to Jesus- a person with whom we must have a relationship..
Some- even of us, perhaps- believe that Christians are people of the Book, referring to the Bible. This is NOT true. The only faith where it is really true to say that adherents are ‘people of the book’ are the Moslems. We are NOT people of the book. Christians are people of the Person! We are people of a relationship, and our relationship is with the person, Truth, known as Jesus Christ. Many, in many churches, have made a huge mistake, over the centuries, including recently. Many have missed this when they leave a church over doctrine; people who do that are looking at the wrong thing.
There’s a vital lesson of this Holy Week- which encompasses the period of time between Palm Sunday- last Sunday- and Easter Sunday- tomorrow. On Palm Sunday, people shouted ‘hosanna’ to Jesus and they acclaimed him, but by the end of the week, some of these same people were shouting, ‘crucify’. Why? They were looking at the wrong thing. They focused on the wrong thing, so they were disappointed in Jesus. BUT we’re to be led to Him, and this happens through the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit, the Helper, is called ‘the Spirit of truth”. The Holy Spirit has to be, and always will be, consistent with Jesus, who is ‘the truth’..
v.26- the Helper will teach you all things and bring to remembrance all things that Jesus had said, and will lead to understanding the meaning of the things that Jesus was saying and that he did while on the earth.
Later, Jesus declared:
John 15.26- the Spirit of Truth (the Helper) would testify of Jesus. The role of the Spirit- the third member of the trinity, is to point to Jesus, the ultimate representative of the Father.