The Holy Spirit is IN a person who is born again. It is Christ IN us. But it takes going to the throne of grace to get the FULL measure of grace. We need to further enter into someone who isn't us....Jesus Christ Himself. It's like the 10 lepers who were healed but only one came back to Jesus. ALL were indeed healed. But there was a selfishness in the other 9 as in...I got what I came for. (Come and get YOUR miracle today).
The Christian walk is about pressing on to maturity. But even maturity is at different levels.
Imagine going for a long walk...say 30 miles. Some people could do that in a day. But then another person takes 2 days....because he is also carrying 80 pounds on his back. So who must be in the better shape?
That's the way it is with the narrow path. Some people seem to have a harder time of it...but their calling is higher. We can be as mature as can be...but maturity in the spiritual walk of purity (holiness) is something vastly different. The walk of the righteous person is one thing...but to walk as Jesus walked for any length of time is miraculous. Can a man walk on water as if he was walking on land?
So then I divide maturity in righteousness...becoming more loving, more forgiving...getting to know God better. That's good...very good. (And it is very necessary) And that's one thing....but then there's maturity IN the Spirit which is like getting used to living on another planet. What makes a person at home on earth does not automatically make a person able to survive in another world. Of course righteousness and holiness are related. Learning righteousness helps with a longevity in holiness...even though it doesn't lead to it.
But the scandal of Jesus Christ is that He didn't just perfect a walk in the power of the flesh for us to grow into or to imitate. He perfected humanity by a higher walk...a spiritual walk, and then brings us into it through translation into Zion in the Spirit. The scandal is that we can never improve ourselves into holiness. Holiness is a gift. Spiritual maturity is how long we can walk in the Spirit. Like how long we can walk on water for.
If I only spoke about what men can do...I would not be hated for speaking of the the cross of Christ in this way...the break with human kind which separates us from what we can do in our own capabilities...even mature capabilities. But I speak of the unspeakable gift...so I'm hated by many. The gift of God is the perfection of Christ's humanity given to us already perfected...as a gift. His perfect walk...as a gift. No improvements are required. It's the whole enchilada right away. That is what grace is. A gift of an eternal walk in an eternal life....not our life...but as partakers of HIS life. So the spiritual maturity is learning to walk IN someone else...not yourself.
Hard to believe? Absolutely. Not of this world. But there it is!
Having said all that...God loves us who walk after Him in the fear of Him and the hope of a future life with Him. We are saved not just by an active faith in the moment but also a living hope in the long race. God works with us...and guides us by His Spirit. We are His people who obey His commands and seek after Him.
And then there's the saints...
Jesus did not come to call the righteous to repentance. A person who is well does not need a doctor.
Now of course some will want to quote "there is none righteous...no not one"....but thinking that means that there is no such thing as "the righteous"...which is taking the verse too far....since there is obviously many references in the bible in both testaments to the righteous.
So there is a contrast happening here...
Notice the difference between...
1 Pet. 4:18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?
2 pet. 1:11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
The saints will rule over the saved righteous in the nations..from the New Jerusalem in the next age.
When I first was born-again and received knowledge that I was a son of God and that I was ALWAYS a son of God I used to believe just as the majority of those in Christendom that the kingdom of
God was an actual kingdom with a king, (with a realm or location, with subjects, a royal court, a castle or mansion, etc.), all the fixings of what we all commonly know in this earth as a kingdom.
But I was wrong. We were wrong. Christendom was wrong and still is.
Matthew 12:28 (KJV)
28 But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.
Luke 11:20 (KJV)
20 But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you.
Question: What is Jesus Christ doing?
Answer: Jesus Christ is casting out 'devils.'
Jesus Christ is, in effect, saying that He is the kingdom of God. A kingdom OF GOD that has come 'unto you.'
This 'kingdom' is not the same as the kingdom of heaven. This kingdom (of heaven) does have a king, a realm, a court, subject, etc.
Luke 17:20-21 (KJV)
20 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:
21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.
The apostle Paul adds to this truth when he says:
Romans 14:17 (KJV)
17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
The kingdom of God is Christ.
Christ is within 'you.'
Christ is righteousness, peace, and joy... all the deific attributes of Christ Himself. And flesh has inherited Christ as Promised by God to His people Israel, and spiritual Israel.
And this is our inheritance as named souls that were contemplated by God in Trinity in His Mind BEFORE He created heaven earth and man.
His Elect people were written in a 'book' of life of the lamb slain from [BEFORE] the foundation (creation) of the world (Rev. 13:8).
1 Corinthians 15:50 (KJV)
50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
The unsaved cannot inherit the kingdom of God who is Christ:
John 14:17 (KJV)
17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
The unsaved who are not named in the book of life of the lamb slain... a.k.a., the world, CANNOT RECEIVE Christ. No way, no how.
So, there are two groups of people on the planet, always has been: those in Covenant with God, and those not in Covenant with God.
Righteousness = The Father
Peace = the Son, the Prince of Peace
Joy = the Holy Spirit.
Not looking out for the poor and ignoring justice seems to be a huge indictment against Israel in the eyes of the Lord in Amos 5.
Sometimes I think of righteousness as just personal sin-avoidance. But it must be bigger than that. The two commandments Jesus referred to are love the Lord and love your neighbor.
Does this mean that half of what makes up righteousness is how you treat others?
I love this so much!! Can you imagine, we will spend eternity with this King?!! Words cannot describe Him, but we can sure try! Ahhhh, Dear Lord Jesus, You are so good to me!!!!! You uphold me when I feel I have no strength left... You pour Your love over me and into the deep places... Your goodness is indescribable.... Lord Jesus, my heart longs for You and You alone... You are beautiful