Much has been happening in the Christian communities and churches these days that is not projecting God in the right manner. This has become the core problem for gospel progression. Too many works apart from the Spirit; added to this are the proclamations without the Spirit, a combination resulting in the core problem. While many assume having the Spirit, some simply do not see the need for Him. Christians that examine their walk for God’s glory are getting fewer and fewer by the day. There is too much indulgence in the works of the flesh than of faith and the former are radically defended as faith. While what such people do without proper convictions about God, the Spirit, faith and the like are without weight, they can vigorously affect those who are actually of faith. So, we ought to be watchful not being influenced by them. If the opposite happens, we are in trouble. If their words and actions are impressive to us, we get to a point of distancing ourselves from God. These people could be our friends, relatives or influential people, yet our focus should be on God and what He wants, because it is He who gives us the exemplary glory and honor.
We ought to love all and respect all, but this is not meant to weaken us into crossing lanes wherein we hurt God. What we accept and reject should always be based on His Word and the Spirit, and for this we need a good teacher of the Word. People claiming to be believers and yet devoid of the Spirit will drag us into muddy waters, if we are not aware. Then, we become culprits as well, though greater punishment will befall them. Listen, the moment we begin drifting by attaching ourselves to their impressive showings we are inviting trouble upon ourselves. The Bible calls such drifting rebellion. Rebellion masks us from its consequences, since it makes us feel self-sufficient. “But they rebelled and grieved the Holy Spirit; Therefore He turned Himself to become their enemy, He fought against them” (Isa. 63:10). How painful is it going to be!
Rebellion may not seem for what it is at the outset, because it works as a slow poison. There is no realization in it. When we are deep into it, consequences have befallen us. We force God to act in a way that is contrary to His desire for us. The reason is He was grieved by our actions. While earlier He was fighting on our behalf, He now fights against us. Nothing we venture to do in life attains to a sweet success, but rather a disappointment or a mediocre gain leading to dissatisfaction. To return to God is possible, because God makes it possible. But it is not as easy as we think. The time it takes to return to Him cannot be set by us; neither is the time it takes to be set in Him as before. You would need a good preacher of the Word to constantly remind you of such things. People without proper convictions are outside this sphere of understanding. They follow men that speak without proper authority.
Paul too tells the Ephesian Christians not to grieve the Holy Spirit. The idea behind it is the same as we observed in the above – Evidently, God will not lose His children and it is amply understood in Him becoming their enemy. For He says, “Also I will restore the captivity of My people Israel, and they will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them; they will also plant vineyards and drink their wine, and make gardens and eat their fruit” (Amos 9:14) – But when He becomes their enemy, He will restore them by separating them from the people without proper convictions. This He does by punishing the latter and disciplining the former. If this is not the case, His desire to restore His children from captivity is redundant.
Now, coming to the point of obeying, believers can only stand in faith under a man of God, one who has the authority to speak the whole truth from the Word. And Jesus, who Himself is God, appeared to men as the Son of God in the form of man, set Himself as a precursor to this. “And they were amazed at His teaching, for His message was with authority” (Lk. 4:32). In doing so He also set the tone for others. He could have done anything else instead, but He particularly chose to speak with authority to make it a precedent to His servants for those who are chosen to hear. Jesus received this authority from the Father through the Spirit as we notice it at His baptism. Only an authority of such kind will bring men into faith and keep them in it. Every authoritative message must be of the Spirit, because it is He who leads into all the truth. Or else, the authority of the flesh leads which is why we are witnessing Christianity overall failing to project God in the right manner. The authority that Jesus set as a precedent for preaching the gospel is what separates believers from the seemingly believing as well as sin. Hence, the apostles had to imitate Jesus in the way they proclaimed the gospel. Lack of such demonstration develops churches without proper convictions and with the works of the flesh than of faith. This tries to be a major influence on those who are of faith to deviate into them.
Authoritative messages are proven messages. It is first seen with Jesus. “And the chief priests and the scribes were standing there, accusing Him vehemently” (Lk. 23:10). The fleshly cannot accept authoritative messages nor can they speak it. Alternately, they find something else more amusing. There is so much research and information present in the theological sphere right from the small to the great that everyone has created their own system of faith. Each claims their system as true and pulls in numbers. Amidst these are a people called to be built for God with proper convictions. It can sometimes be excruciating to find an authoritative message, because not only is there the sin of the world to fight against, but also the hypocrisy of the so-called believers and teachers. However, authoritative messages are always in the open. You either need to know how to look for them or be captivated by them. They come with the mark of the Spirit and a sign of having been proven. These messages are what can keep you out of confusion, delusion and dissension. They hardly seem attractive as in with the glow of men. And they come with a basic conviction that the Bible is both self and all sufficient. No understanding outside of such conviction can stand against it.
Authoritative messages are not born easy. They are not of human will, exercise or intellect either. They are built on the substance from God and the opposition they overcome over a period of time. This is where the Spirit is fully involved. It becomes evident to the hearers and the called that they are not from this world. The rest are all man made and twisted and they are shone to be so by the active presence of the authoritative messages. Authoritative messages not only bring one into salvation, but keep him in it saving him from time to time. People grasping these messages perfect the idea of Christianity and project God in the right manner. Here is an example. “He said to them, ‘did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?’ And they said to him, ‘no, we have not even heard whether there is a Holy Spirit’” (Ac. 19:2) – an authoritative message to fulfill the gospel without displacing the earlier one.