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By the Spirit–Part Three

“For those He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son…”
Romans 8:29

Before God spoke anything into existence He knew us. He loved us, and purposed within His own heart to bring us to Himself by uniting us with His Son, Jesus Christ. The Father’s purpose for us being united with Christ was not salvation…it was sonship. Salvation is an obvious need and the first step in being made like Christ. But so many miss the fullness of what God has for us when we don’t realize that the life of Jesus is God’s will for us, and not just the salvation that Jesus made available. I will say that again: The life of Jesus is the Father’s will for you.

Everything Jesus is, you are called to be. And everything Jesus did, you are called to do. I’m speaking in regards to identity and lifestyle. I understand that you are not the Eternally Existent Son through whom everything was created. Neither are you a perfect sacrifice to take away the sins of the world. But…Being a son (daughter) with whom the Father is well pleased, filled with power of the Spirit so that you may know the heart of God and reveal His glory and love to others–this is exactly who you are in Christ. And the life that Jesus lived on earth, bringing the Kingdom of God (the heart of the Father) to others in love and power, is exactly the life that you are to now live. Living this life by adherence to standards, rituals, and programs is a duty that will never produce life in others. But living this life in love with the Father, by the Spirit, is a devotion that will transform you and reveal the greatness of God to others. Fruit from this kind of life will be abundant and lasting.

Here’s the thing though: Being transformed into the image of Christ is not a concept to be understood. It is a life to be lived out in action–a life lived out with the Father. And this is exactly why the Holy Spirit was given to you…to know God and make Him known. You will learn who you are in Christ as you walk out the life of ChristLiving by the Spirit is living out the life of Jesus.

Jesus said that the Holy Spirit will teach us all things and bring to remembrance everything He has taught (John 14:26). The Spirit will bear witness about Christ and lead us to bear witness about Him also (John 15:26-27). And the Spirit will glorify the Son, and take what is His and declare it to us–which is everything that the Father is (John 16:13-14). Jesus said all these things in the midst of declaring His unity with the Father, as well as the love we share with Him through obedience to His word. So I would say that before it is anything else, living by the Spirit is actively living out the word of God while actively living out the Great Commission.

So what does it mean to live by the Spirit…to be led by the Spirit…to know the will of God? Here it is: The life of Jesus is the will of God, and the things Jesus commissioned us to is the leading of the Spirit.


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