Luke 11:13 (NASB) “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”
I was talking with a Christian friend during a Bible study the other night. He told us all that he was presented with an opportunity to sin and he didn’t do it. He was pretty proud of himself.
I asked him why he didn’t sin. He said, “I don’t need that stuff.”
“Do you mean you chose not to do it because you knew it was wrong?” I asked.
“Yeah,” he said. “It wasn’t right to do what my friend suggested.”
“It’s good that you know right from wrong,” I replied. “Everyone should know that.”
I leaned in. “Did you ever think of the Lord, while you were making your decision about whether to sin?”
“No,” he said nervously.
“Well, then, you did a right thing for the wrong reason,” I said. “Anyone can do the right thing. There are many non-Christians who are good persons, doing right things, but they’re not heaven-bound.”
I continued, “Here’s what makes a Christian heaven bound: He has God’s love in his heart. He doesn’t sin because he loves God with God’s love. It’s been poured out in his heart by the Holy Spirit. He hates sin the same way God hates sin. He loves Jesus Christ; therefore, he obeys Him.”
“If he’s Spirit-filled, I said, “his sin nature (inborn rebellion against God) has been replaced with Christ’s nature and his heart is filled to overflowing with God’s love. Sin no longer has dominion over him.”
My Christian friend volunteered to pray at the end of the Bible study. He said, “Thank You, Lord, for a very enlightening study tonight . . .” While he prepared to don his coat and go out into the cold night, I saw that he was still processing what I’d said. I pray it works in his heart.
If a professing Christian doesn’t have God’s love in his heart, he won’t hate sin like God does. The result? When his “right/wrong indicator” is working, he’ll do pretty well. But if that goes on the fritz, overwhelmed by his own sin nature, he’ll fall into sin. God sighs and shakes His head sadly. Another one has hurt the heart of God.
Our Lord isn’t One who will say, “Be perfect as I am perfect,” and then say, “Gotcha! You can’t do it!” When Jesus Christ was glorified, the Holy Spirit was given. Each of us must cry out for the Holy Spirit individually, after we already know God as our heavenly Father. “How much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” Receive the Holy Spirit into your heart, and love Him with His love. Be filled with the Spirit, and you’ll do right for the right reason.