#551 (7/3/22) THE SPIRIT CHANGES OUR HEART
This week, as we continue our 6-week study on the person of the Holy Spirit, we will be looking at the Holy Spirit’s role in our becoming Christians.
After the ‘Fall’ of mankind, we see them hiding from God (Gen. 3:8). Rebellion and ‘hiding from God’ has become the natural disposition of the human race. This is why it is naïve to speak of salvation as a choice we can make for ourselves. Sin has so corrupted the heart that only the power of the Spirit can change our ‘heart of stone’ toward God. This truth is expressed in Ephesians 2,
‘As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved.’ (Ephesians 2:1-5)
ONLY GOD CAN CHANGE OUR INCLINATION TO REBELION
Jesus says of everyone who becomes a Christian,
“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day.” (John 6:44)
Jesus says of us by nature that “No one can come”! Salvation is by the grace of God toward sinners.
Please read Hebrews 8:7-13, paying particular attention to what the Spirit will do within us. Here are two highlights:
V.9. ‘They (the Jews) did not remain faithful to my covenant’. They had the law of God but their unfaithful behaviour revealed to all mankind that we need more than rules if we are going to change the heart.
V.10. ‘I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people’. By the Spirit God will work in our hearts with the result that we love Him.
Whilst writing to the Corinthian church, Paul writes fo the work of the Spirit's within all Christians,
‘Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.’ (1 Corinthians 12:3)