Acts 5:29-32 “We must obey God rather than human beings!  The God of our ancestors<sup class="crossreference" value="(AN)”> raised Jesus from the dead<sup class="crossreference" value="(AO)”>—whom you killed by hanging him on a cross.  God exalted him to his own right hand<sup class="crossreference" value="(AQ)”> as Prince and Savior<sup class="crossreference" value="(AR)”> that he might bring Israel to repentance and forgive their sins.   We are witnesses of these things,<sup class="crossreference" value="(AT)”> and so is the Holy Spirit,<sup class="crossreference" value="(AU)”> whom God has given to those who obey him.”

     There is a debate as to what particular gift constitutes evidence of the Holy Spirit in a person.  Some insist that their doctrine is correct and salvation stands upon it.  Peter and the apostles, in trouble yet again lay out what is important; obedience, the simple Gospel, witness, Jesus our Savior, repentance and forgiveness.  Even in trouble before the high court Peter is preaching the Gospel!  And then Peter says an amazing thing –  God gives the Holy Spirit to those who obey Jesus.

     We now have a one hundred percent accurate test of the presence of the Holy Spirit in a person.  If your walk is in obedience to Jesus then you have the Holy Spirit.  If your life is a witness to the Gospel and your tongue is a witness to the Gospel then you walk in step with the Holy Spirit.  Jesus, Himself said; “If you love me, keep my commands.  And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.”  (John 14:15-17)

     In this fallen world, we are restored by faith in Jesus when we believe and repent.   Our orientation in life is changed; “A truly repentant person will immediately begin striving to obey God. The changes that the individual makes in his life are the “fruits” that demonstrate that his repentance is genuine. This does not mean that the repentant sinner obeys God perfectly. Even those who have received the Holy Spirit do not obey God perfectly. It means that the individual has turned his life around and is oriented toward obeying God.”  (Forerunner Commentary

     Spiritual progress is the path of holiness  while spiritual perfection is the devil’s pride.  As Christians we stand on the promise of Scripture; ” . . . he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6)  Our sanctification has nothing to do with our work, rather it is completely the work of the Holy Spirit in us.  What is it we must do? Paul tells us; “Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel.” (Philippians 1:27)     

     Scripture puts all in perspective; “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith but do not have love, I am nothing.  If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.”  (1 Corinthians 13:1 -3)

     Jesus said; “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34,35)  Let us follow Him!

     Praise the Lord

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