Ephesians 4:30-32 – Pastor Kody Alvarez
My wife and I made a big decision last week: we bought a car. We’ve been sharing the same vehicle for three years now. It worked out but now that my baby’s getting older, we’ve found ourselves getting busier. We shopped for a while on Facebook Marketplace.
I love the process of buying and finally, we found something that might work. We went down to buy it. We started to strategize. The seller has their price but you want to negotiate without lowballing them either— you want to meet in the middle.
Then we make sure we have a good checklist. You look under the hood, does everything look ok? The tires? Is it in the right budget? All the important things to make sure we don’t buy a lemon. How many times do we buy something because it looks good without knowing what it is?
We do this with our spiritual lives too. We want the Holy Spirit to move in our lives, but we’re not sure what it is we’re looking for. If it looks good, we emulate it. If it sounds good, we repeat it. But we’re doing is settling for an image or shadow of the Holy Spirit.
What Does The Scripture Say About How The Holy Spirit Moves In Our Lives?
God has promised a deep, rich abiding life in the Spirit. Ephesians 4:30-32 tells us we are sealed for the day of redemption; to get rid of bitterness, rage, anger, brawling, and slanders— all forms of malice. We need to be kind to others, forgiving them as Christ did for us.
There’s so much weird teaching about the Spirit. Often, we’re not even talking about the same thing when we’re talking about the Spirit. The Holy Spirit is God. We are not talking about it something else. We are talking about Him. He is the third person of the Trinity.
Why do we need the Holy Spirit? We learn it in John 16:7 (“…the Helper [Spirit] will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.”). The Holy Spirit is identified here by Jesus as the Helper, and when the Helper comes, this is His work. He’s going to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment. He reveals Himself to us.
No one comes to the Son except through the work of the Spirit. The Bible repeatedly shows His work not only as convicting but also as illumination. He opens our eyes.
I think about my own salvation experience. I was about eight when I came to Jesus and I grew up in a Christian home. I heard about the love of Jesus in my own home. But one day sitting on the floor, my mom was in the kitchen and she had a cheesy 90’s Christian TV show on.
I watched it and suddenly the Spirit illuminated my eyes and I was saved. What about all those times I had heard the Gospel before that? It was the Holy Spirit in pursuit of me. He was convicting me of sin, righteousness, and judgment. It was on the living room floor that I was finally making the decision.
A New Creation
In 2 Corinthians 5:17, we learn that we are made as a new creation when we are born again. It’s through the Spirit that this happens. The work of regeneration is divinity dwelling in us. We are made new because God dwells in us.
The Spirit seals us into the day of redemption. If He’s giving you a new life in the Spirit that is the seal— that’s the promise you’ve heard in the phrase: “once saved, always saved”. It means you can’t lose your salvation because God dwells in you. You’ve been made new. You are something different. Our sin cannot undo what God has done. Even when we’re faithless, God is faithful, we’ve been sealed. You did not earn your salvation and you cannot maintain your salvation. Jesus earned your salvation on the cross. The Holy Spirit brought you to the blood.
The Holy Spirit is God’s promise that nothing can separate us from the love of God. Satan can’t. Your sin can’t. You don’t have to feel fear your faults. You don’t have to fear your failures. You don’t have to fear losing your faith. When we are judged in Christ, God is judging Christ. When the gavel falls, the verdict will be not guilty.
Now, if you’re not in Christ when the verdict falls, He will find you guilty and you will pay your debt for eternity, that’s infinity in a real place called hell.
Witnessing Through the Holy Spirit
We learn in John chapter 14 that the Helper will teach you to bring everything you need to know into remembrance. The Spirit leads you.
With the Spirit we can imagine the Christian life: we have joy, we are confident, we love one another, we can live in all the promises that God has to offer in His word; but when we live a life that’s grieving the Spirit, we’re not going to live in those promises.
The question for you: is the Spirit grieved in your life?
Our relationship with God is often presented as that of a husband and a wife. How do you grow in intimacy with your spouse? Spend time with them. Learn them. Most conflicts in our relationships would be removed if we focused more time on them.
It is the same with our spiritual walk. How much time are you spending in the Word and letting the Spirit work through you? If you feel it’s lacking, it’s time to set aside moments in your day to give to God.
Are you being faithful to the Spirit? Is sin getting in the way? Like marriage, infidelity ruins the connection. God is jealous for His bride. God loves you more than anyone else ever can. He is passionate about your soul.
If you are “quenched” in the Spirit, reflect on your life. How are you treating others? What is your thought life like? What sins are taking hold of your life?
Living in the Spirit
How do you hear from the Holy Spirit? The first thing you need to do is live in obedience to God. As you live in His Will for you, you begin to get sensitivity to the Spirit. You can identify the moments you are being spoken to. Go home and you repent of your sin. Walk in His way.
How do you know it’s actually from the Spirit? Ask yourself if Christ is being magnified. If you are convicted of sin, it’s likely Him. If it’s causing you to stretch in your relationship with God, it’s likely Him. If it’s in your wheelhouse, gives you the glory, and you feel comfortable, there’s a good chance it’s not (or you need to continue listening).
Live in the power of the Spirit. I want to see you walk in holiness. I want to experience this myself in all the joy and promises that this thing has to offer. But if we’re content leading a life that’s grieving the Spirit, we’re going to find these promises void in our life.