What if Christians were merely saved from sin?
Suppose we were rescued, then left alone to traverse the difficulties of life?
Divorce, loss, financial ruin, emotional trauma, grief, persecution, sinful temptations…suppose God rescued us only to leave us alone until we somehow crossed the line of Eternity?
Would He be a loving God?
One who came in the flesh, but left us utterly alone?
Does love abandon?
At Gracefully Truthful, we care quite a bit about original languages. Some believe the Bible you hold in your hands, or read on your phone, has been “translated” so many times and is so far removed from the original manuscript, it’s impossible to know if anything we read in the Bible is factual. At first glance, this premise seems to build a convincing argument that the Bible is unreliable and nothing more than a fictitious collection of stories passed from generation to generation, modified by each storyteller.
This renders the Bible, God’s very Word to humanity, nothing more than a crutch.
Thankfully, none of that is true.
Ergo, original languages are our jam.
And if you aren’t living in the United States, allow me to translate the colloquial phrase “jam” as meaning, “thick, good stuff we love to take pleasure in; it’s our ‘happy place’.”
See, language, it’s more important than we might think.
When modern-day Bible translators are writing the Bible in a new language, they study from the original language copies that have been preserved for centuries. Yes, those Bible translators are reading copies that were in circulation while many of the original disciples were still alive. Still Alive!! This means they could have easily refuted what was being circulated if it wasn’t in keeping with the original. And we don’t have just one copy, or two, or even ten. For Shakespeare’s writings, we have roughly 235 surviving copies, and no one questions his authorship. For the New Testament books, there are over 5,000!
When GT authors share a word from the “original language”, take notice. This carries significant weight because the Bible is the living active Word of God preserved by the Spirit of God, spoken out by the Spirit of God.
This God wants to be known by us. Deeply.
The how He goes about being known…. Pause with me for a holy hush… Is by His Spirit.
Like looking at a pencil drawing, and then blinking as it floods with vibrant colors, brilliant 4D movement, and suddenly, personal, comforting, deeply knowing interaction with you. THIS is the Holy Spirit’s work, making the drawing of God on a page, come to life inside you, calling you to Himself, singing over you, moving you forward into the seemingly impossible, holding you up in the midst of tragedy, anchoring you in the eye of the storm, pointing you always towards understanding exactly who this God of the Bible really is.
The Spirit who hovered over the waters at creation’s dawn. (Genesis 1:2)
The Spirit who came upon David and drew him into dancing in the streets. (2 Samuel 6:14)
The Spirit who empowered Nehemiah to courageously lead in the face of intimidation. (Nehemiah 4:7-14)
The Spirit who made a donkey talk (Numbers 22:28),
gave Samson the power to tear a lion apart (Judges 14:6),
fueled Joshua to march around an impenetrable city, and watch it fall. (Joshua 5:13-6:7)
The Spirit who overshadowed Mary and brought forth Jesus. (Luke 1:35)
The Spirit who raised Christ back to life from the dead. (Romans 8:11)
The Spirit who fell upon the disciples, allowing them to preach in multiple languages they didn’t even know. (Acts 2:4)
The Spirit who permanently lives inside every man, woman, or child who calls out in saving faith to the Lord Jesus Christ to rescue them from sin and its deadly consequences. (1 Corinthians 3:16)
Holy things. Holy work.
All initiated, led, and accomplished by the Holy Spirit.
He is not separate from God, trying to translate God for you.
When God came to earth to redeem mankind back to Himself,
He did not send a representative.
He did not ask the archangel, Michael, a great leader like Moses, or a great prophet like Elijah; He Came HIMSELF as Jesus, God the Son.
And this is exactly true of the Holy Spirit. He is not outside of God.
He IS God.
These are the Hebrew letters forming the sound, “ruach”, which translators most commonly render as “breath”, “spirit”, or “wind”.
When we think of the Holy Spirit, we should think of the very breath of God.
His Spirit, His own Spirit is His wind, His breathing; the Spirit is the “everything of God”.
But, unlike our breath, which vanishes the moment we exhale, the Spirit of God is fully God, always present as God.
All the wisdom.
All the power.
All the understanding.
All of His always-never-leaving presence.
Co-equal. Co-eternal. Everlasting to Everlasting.
The Spirit of God, is the everlasting breath of God’s fullness, intended to show us who God is through personal engagement.
Moses removes his sandals. (Exodus 3:5)
Isaiah weeps. (Isaiah 6:5)
Peter falls down. (Luke 5:8)
Every person who calls on the Name of the Most High God trembles. (Isaiah 66:2)
This Holy Spirit of the Living God has taken up residency within believers (Romans 8:10-11),
sealing them forever (Ephesians 1:13),
promising to hold them all the way into eternity (John 10:28),
guaranteeing to never leave (John 14:17),
to always bring His comfort (John 14:16),
to always teach (John 14:26),
to always remind (John 14:26),
to always reveal more about God (John 14:21).
This is the work of the indwelling Holy Spirit, given to all who truly trust the risen Savior, Christ the Lord. It is His holy work in us, making us holy like Him, that we may live and move in Him! (Acts 17:28)
When you read His Words in Scripture,
when you raise your hands in response to Him,
when you pray fervently as He bids,
when you stand hushed at His holiness,
you are moving in cadence to the Holy One.
No, we are not left alone.
We are forever knit together with the very fabric of the Living God woven into our souls. Here, in this sweet union with God Almighty, we dance together with Him.
Let’s enter His rhythm and live in step with the Spirit!
If... Day 4
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