29th September 2020

“God In Us” 

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you…”
Acts 1:8 (MIV)

By His death and resurrection, Jesus’ work of redemption was fully accomplished and He returned to Heaven whence He came. At that point the crucial “God with us” (Emmanuel) phase of God’s great plan was complete. The next phase—the wonderful “God IN us” phase—was about to begin, as Jesus had promised in John 14:17. And just as Christ’s human birth was marked by a “firework display” of spectacular events, so was the inauguration of this next phase of God’s plan as recorded in Acts 2:1-4. Now redeemed from sin and death, in that sense the work of Christ for us in the flesh is complete, but the work of the Christ through the Holy Spirit in us continues, our hope of glory (Colossians 1:27), and it is a great work, with much to be done.

We know there is nothing we can do to earn or deserve salvation. Christ, through His sacrifice, has fully paid the penalty of our sins, but that doesn’t mean we have no part to play in the plan of God. If that were so, then God may as well have converted us immediately into spirit beings as soon as we repented and were baptized.

It surprises some people to learn that Jesus spoke to the masses in parables so that they would NOT understand. He only explained them afterwards to the few He was training and preparing for the work that must be done after His ascension. He told those disciples that there was a huge harvest of people ready to respond, and that there was the potential for exponential growth in the numbers.

John the Baptist had primed a few to respond to Jesus, and more were added as the Father drew disciples to follow Him. But it would require a lot more labourers to be involved in the harvest for exponential growth in numbers to be achieved. And those labourers themselves would need to be nurtured, supported, and fed spiritually, which would require an infrastructure: Church congregations in fact. The work would require dedication, sacrifice and service. It would require a deep sense of humility and meekness in the labourers, and a genuine compassion and love for people, as Jesus had demonstrated during His earthly ministry. At no point is it ever ‘our work.’ It is God’s work which He accomplishes through us, only as we are led by the Holy Spirit dwelling within us. Every time we allow ego, self-will, pride, vanity, self-interest, personal theories and cop-outs to take hold in us, God’s work is harmed. But as we yield to the Holy Spirit, acknowledging our innate inabilities and seeking God’s power and love to do His work, the fruits of our labours can be rich indeed. Jesus came to do the works of His Father, not His own works. Our responsibility is also to do the work of God as he leads and guides us by the Holy Spirit.

Prayer
Dear Heavenly Father, we know that in love you have poured out your Holy Spirit into those you have called into your service. Please help us to yield to the Holy Spirit and extend your love to others that your great work on earth can be accomplished. In Jesus Christ’s name.
Amen

Study by Richard Whiting

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About the Author:
Richard Whiting is an Elder of Grace communion International now retired and living in Dumfries in South-West Scotland

Local Congregation:
You are welcome to attend one of our local Church congregations located throughout the UK and Ireland. For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.gracecom.church under the ‘churches’ tab, or ring  +44(0)1858 437099.

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