The Church in St. Louis

But to Him who is able to do superabundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power which operates in us. - Eph 3:20

The Spirit - God's relationship with men

 

Message 2


God is Spirit


God wants a relationship with us.  That's pretty incredible, that God would want to have a normal relationship with normal people like us. But what does this relationship look like? What kind of relationship is it that God want to have with us?  Do we throw the football in the backyard with God, or do we call God up and ask him for a date or anything like that?  It doesn't work this way.  The reason for this is that God is Spirit.  The Bible is clear about this.  John 4:24 says "God is Spirit."  So this is very clear.


Man Has a Spirit


But how can you have a relationship with a God who is Spirit?  How does it work?  The answer is that man is built to have a relationship with God.  In Genesis 1:27 we see that God created man in His own image.  In Romans 9:23, Paul says that we are vessels to contain God.  A vessel is a container. A vessel contains things, and man is built to contain God!  This is how we are built.  1 Thess 5:23 says "And the God of peace sanctify you wholly.  And may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete at the coming of our lord Jesus Christ."  This verse reveals that we are made of three parts.  We have a spirit, soul and body.  We're not just flesh and blood creatures.  We have a body, but we also have a soul and a spirit.  Our human spirit is the part of of us that allows us to have a relationship with God.  1 Cor 6:17 says "He who is joined to the Lord is one Spirit."  We are joined to the Lord in spirit.  This is the basis of our relationship with God.   When you get saved, you are joined to the Lord in spirit.  How incredible is this?  You can have a relationship with God in spirit!


God and Man


The way man is built is that we're like a cup, and God is like the water.  To fulfill your purpose in life is just to have this water.  This is our whole purpose as people - we're just built to be containers of God.  John 14:16-18 says "I will ask the Father and give you another comforter that He may be with you forever.  Even the spirit of reality, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Him or know Him.  But you know Him, because He abides with you and shall be in you.  God says that He's giving us Himself as the Spirit, and will be with us forever.  He's not going to leave!  In the Old Testament, God did put Himself into people but it was only a select few, and soon after God was done doing what He wanted with those people, He would leave.  He left those people, but now God offers us something different.  He wants us to be with Him forever in our spirit and to be joined to Him.  This is incredible!  And this is the purpose of our lives.   A lot of Christians are sometimes confused about what their purpose in life is.  I have known so many who are thinking "should I feed the poor? Should I go to another country and preach the gospel?"  Those are secondary to man's first purpose in life, which is just to contain God. 

I really appreciate this, because during my senior year in college, I was in a Bible Study, and we were studying all these things in the Bible about the Spirit.  We put them all together, but it just didn't make sense to me.   But now I think it's clear.  God is spirit and we are built to contain Him.  This is our main function as human beings.


Why Jesus?


So what's the whole point of Jesus?  Why don't we just call ourselves "spiritual God people" and not Christians? The reason for this is that Jesus is the unique way to have a spiritual relationship with God.  Without Jesus you can't have a spiritual relationship with God.  In the New Testament and in the Old Testament, Jesus is called Immanuel, which means "God with us".  He is God with us today.  He didn't just come down to be a man, live and die, and go back to leave us.  He is still with us today.  The most famous verse in the Bible is John 3:16.  "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes into Him would not perish but would have eternal life."  God gave us His Son!  He didn't just give Him to the people in 0 Ad to 33 AD.  He gave Him to everyone, for everyone to have and possess.  Colossians 1:27 says "to whom God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory."  Christ is in us.  Through His living on earth, death and resurrection, He was able to impart Himself into us as the Spirit.  Christ is the only way to have a spiritual relationship with God, because Christ is the Spirit.  You can't approach God apart from Christ because He is the Spirit.  He's the One who has come to us and has been joined to us.


Christ is the center of our Christian life, because without Him we cannot have God.  Why is this important?  For a long time I loved the Lord.  But I didn't know that He was the Spirit, and that He was in me.  We all go through hard times in our life, uncertain times.  I myself have.  What's more loving and comforting?  A God who is in heaven doing a miracle here and there and helping us out, or a God who is truly with us, who is joined to us, who has given us His son, even the Spirit of His Son, to be with us forever?  To me, this is much more incredible than a God sitting in heaven saving us at the end of our lives.  He's with us our whole lives and He's not finished with us!


Result


Second Corinthians 5:17 says "If anyone is in Christ, He is a new creation. The old things have passed away, and behold, they have become new."  The result of our having a spiritual relationship with Christ is that we are new creations in Christ.  A lot of people have used the term "born again", and this is what that means.  If you have Christ, you are born again.  You're a new creation because your whole makeup is entirely different. You're not the same person - God has been added to your being!


So what does it mean to be a Christian?  Does it mean that you go to a certain place on Sundays?  Does it mean that you have a certain political agenda?  Does it mean that you're following a certain set of rules and regulations to be a good person?  I'm here to tell you that this is not the case.  Being a Christian is just being joined to God in one spirit!

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