We who are in Christ have life.
To grow in our lives as followers of Jesus, we need the word and the spirit of God.
As Samuel said in 2 Samuel 23:2, “The Spirit of the Lord spoke by me, And His word was on my tongue.”
When we grow in our knowledge and understanding of the Word of GOD — which is both Jesus: the person who was originally The Word (John 1:1) and what is written in the Bible — then we have ammunition against temptation and the flesh.
When we live by the spirit of GOD — both the Holy Spirit prompting us and the spirit who resides within us who has authority over our mind and body if we yield — we grow in the likeness of the Son.
We “worship the Father in spirit and in truth” (John 4:23). Since it is written in John 17:17 that “Thy word is truth”, therefore it is by both the word and the spirit together that we best grow as believers.
If we follow the Word only, we can become legalistic, prideful of our knowledge, or religious. If we follow the Spirit only, we risk error and temptation. It is by applying both the Word and the Spirit in our lives that we build a solid foundation upon which we mature and grow.
And so we pray
While we pray “Thy will be done, LORD” as Jesus told us when he gave us the Lord’s Prayer, let us also pray that we become convicted by the Spirit for anything which we are doing that does not please the Father, and that our hunger for His Word increases. When we increase our knowledge of the Word, our knowledge helps us to recognise when we are out of GOD’s will; likewise, when we grow in our relationship with the Spirit, we can receive GOD’s leading and prompting better. Word and Spirit working in us together, we become more surrendered and more free.
There is no condemnation in Christ Jesus
Jesus came “that we might have life, and that we might have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10).
Also, in John 8:36 is written, “Therefore if the son has made you free, you shall be free indeed.”
And so we who are followers of Jesus, are free.
However, abundant life is not absolute freedom since while “all things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify.” (1 Corinthians 23)
The maturing believer does not want to stumble (1 Peter 1:10) nor to cause others to stumble (1Peter 2:8).
Yes, we have freedom. We are also called to love GOD first and foremost, and to love another. And so, when we consider our behaviour, let us recognise we have a choice to show love for the Father and for one another, rather than licence for our own excessive or fleshly behaviour.
Let us pray for the conviction within ourselves and for the Spirit to convict and guide our brothers and sisters likewise.
Father teach us to pray Your Will. Help us to follow Your Word and Your Spirit as we pray, live and move and have our being. And Father, let us not condemn ourselves or others, but rather lead us as we pray that we all might grow in the knowledge of Your Word and relationship with Your Holy Spirit, that we all might be a part of Your matchless bride, Your offspring, Your beloved, holy as You are holy, perfect as You are perfect. Jesus said, “Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48) Let that be our goal and that be our prize.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.