Summary: I can live life on a higher level by the same power by which Jesus was raixsed from the dead - the power of the Holy Spirit.
In the first message in this series, we considered how, through our Lord’s crucifixion and resurrection, we can appropriate the forgiveness made available by His sacrifice and be reconciled to God and be made a new person. I am now identified with Christ, and in Him, I am in a position to live as a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Last time, we looked at how, because of our identification with Christ in His crucifixion and resurrection, we can see ourselves differently, from a new perspective. In Christ, I am victorious and I have the provision necessary to live victoriously over sin, Satan, and this world.
“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who
has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ.” - Ephesians 1:3 (NLT)
Today we learn that because of our Lord’s crucifixion and resurrection we have the power to live a victorious life and bring Glory to God. We find Jesus speaking in verse 39 about how, by His crucifixion and resurrection (His glorification - see John 17:1-5), He would provide His followers with a new power by which to live. That power was the power of the Holy Spirit, which John says those who believed on Jesus would later receive. In fact, Paul tells us that everyone who has believed on Christ as their personal Savior has received the Holy Spirit.
“And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his ownby giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago.”- Ephesians 1:13 (NLT)
In fact, one of the evidences of the Holy Spirit’s presence in your life is the assurance He gives concerning your relationship with God.
“The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.” - Romans 8:16 (NIV)
The first question I must ask myself is, “Do I have the Holy Spirit?”
The Holy Spirit is present if I have given my life to Jesus.
“If anyone does not possess the [Holy] Spirit of Christ, he is none of His [he does not belong to Christ, is not truly a child of God].”- Romans 8:9 (Amplified)
The second question I must ask myself is, “Does the Holy Spirit have me?” That is what Jesus is emphasizing here in this passage.
The events of this chapter took place during the Feast of Tabernacles (Leviticus 23:33-44). This was the third of three Jewish Festivals that took place in the Fall of the year. There was the Feast of Trumpets, Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement), and the Feast of Tabernacles. The Feast of Tabernacles fell on the 15th day of the 7th month, that is, on October 15th. As we consider the significance of this festival, I want us to learn what Jesus wants us to know about the Holy Spirit’s work in the life of the believer.
1. The power of the Spirit-filled life.
The Feast of Tabernacles had a historical significance. On the first day of the feast, each participant had to collect twigs of myrtle, willow, and palm in the area of Jerusalem for construction of their booth (Nehemiah 8:13-18). These “huts” or “booths” were constructed from bulrushes as joyful reminders of the temporary housing erected by their forefathers during the Exodus wanderings (Leviticus 23:40-41; Deuteronomy 16:14). The “booth” in Scripture is a symbol of protection, preservation, and shelter from heat and storm (Psalm 27:5; 31:20; Isaiah 4:6).
Now the significance of this for us is that we need to understand that just like the desert was not the final homeland of the Jewish people, this present world is not our home. Rather, we are citizens of heaven.
“Dear brothers and sisters, pattern your lives after mine, and learn from those who follow our example. For I have told you often before, and I say it again with tears in my eyes, that there are many whose conduct shows they are really enemies of the cross of Christ. They are headed for destruction. Their god is their appetite, they brag about shameful things, and they think only about this life here on earth. But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control.” - Philippians 3:17-21 (NLT)
Part of the reason God has given His Spirit to us is so we might be able to live as citizens of his kingdom, rather than as citizens of this world. It is only by the power of God’s Spirit that we can say “no” to the allurements of this world, be protected from the overtures of the Evil One, and live lives set apart to God.