“And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.” Romans 8:3-4.
Knowing that man’s fall into sin caused us to be separated from a holy and perfect God who could not be around sin, something big had to take place. People needed to be able to access Him and have His Spirit for guidance so they could continue on the right path, and the rules were failing to make that happen.
Prior to Jesus death, God’s Spirit lived in the Holy of Holies in the Temple in Jerusalem. That portion of the temple was separated by a veil or heavy curtain, and only the High Priest could enter with blood as a sacrifice for sin. When Jesus died, that veil or curtain was torn down and no longer was it arranged where only the High Priest could enter the Holy of Holies where God’s Spirit lived.
The difference between that time and after Jesus was unimaginable to the believer. Before the High Priest would enter the Holy of Holies annually, but Jesus sacrifice was a one time event. Also, Jesus sacrifice involved the shedding of His own human blood, rather than animal blood as a sacrifice for sin. “Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. Then Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself.” Hebrews 9:25-26.
The magnitude of this sacrifice allowed us access to God despite our sin, and God’s Spirit no longer needed a building in which it could live to be among His people. Where God’s spirit lived after Jesus’ death is the key to realizing the power you have to maintain your course in following God. Before He died, Jesus told us all where God’s Spirit would live. “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to 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 14:16-17.
Now, God’s Spirit lives within the believer. “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple.” 1 Corinthians 3:16-17. The moment you committed to Christ, you were marked with a seal, and that seal was the Holy Spirit. “Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession-to the praise of his glory.” Ephesians 1:13-14.
From the beginning of time, God’s law written for us to follow is holy, but it is our own nature that goes against doing what we are told and always looking to break the rules. “Indeed I would not have known what sin was except through the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “Do not covet.” But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of covetous desire. For apart from law, sin is dead. Once I was alive apart from law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death.” Romans 7:7-10.
Knowing that people were failing to follow the rules, or law, God knew that we would need a guide, and the Spirit was sent to us to accomplish that task. Now it is the Spirit living within you who will help you remain on course with God, but you have to understand how He works in order to listen to His guidance. This is a gift given to you from God at the moment of your salvation, and as with any gift, to realize its true value,
You have to use it in the manner in which it was intended.
**Part V of the “Now What? Series” will discuss the two ways many people misuse their gift of the Holy Spirit and frustrate their ability to hear His guidance.