For while we were yet weak, in due season Christ died for the ungodly. Rom. 5,6
THE ACT OF HIS SPIRIT
”37 Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. 38 "He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, 'From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.'" 39 But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.”
By that very fact that Jesus came into
the world, a completely new age broke forth. It came with Him,
and it came by Him.
The barrier - the animosity - between God and human beings because of the sin, should be torn down - a fountain to purification from sin and impurity, should be opened. (Zech. 13:1). And like this i.a. speaks The Lord about it in the old covenants age: "Behold, I will do something new, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? (Is. 43:19a).
Note! - because it says everything about
this new age - who that is the acting one here.
But this is not anything mystical, anything vague, but God has attached it to something absolutely certain and concrete. A person!
About that e.g. preaches Paul to the Athenians on Mars hill so: "Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead." (Acts. 17:30-31).
This person has in the Old Testament, by the prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah, also got precisely the name Branch (Norw. transl. “Sprout”). (Is. 4:2 and Jer. 23:5).
By Him shall everything happen and in Him
shall everything be given unto us for free. Like God in the
beginning created everything by Him, He also creates (gives rebirth to)
everything by Him, so that it is called: “But if anyone does not have
the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him." (Rom. 8:9). And Jesus
Himself says: ”No one comes to the Father but through Me." (John 14:6).
The Scripture testifies about this, and
says: “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature." (2 Cor.
Then we see - and hopefully hear -
Jesus stands here and cries out to the Jews, in the midst of their
religious rituals, efforts and sacrifices: “If
anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink! (v.37).
Oh, so much struggle there is among us -
as if it had not happened something new!
But isn‘t it written something about that we shall do good doings, even with eagerness? The whole Script, and also Jesus‘ own preaching contains certainly admonishments too!
Man knows almost no limits when it comes
to dodge to get round this, that God is so good that He has given us
everything for free. It becomes, so to speak, so unreasonable this, for
our mind and sense. We think He must be like us and give according to
what we deserve.
God is not unfair so He should give us something we haven't deserved. It would be against His righteousness and holiness to do so, but in His love He found a way for us: He deserved it in our place! Jesus counts in my place! That is His Word to me now.
Your salvation stands and falls with what Jesus did, if it is enough before the throne of God. And then you can certainly ask: How certain can he be, who has taken his refuge to Jesus, when it comes to his salvation?
What about the doings then? - The admonishment? - Yes, what about them? What have they with this to do? Speak about your doings, they are not considered at all - if they had - you would thereby be lost!
Not even the results of Gods‘ grace - the fruit of the Spirit - which Jesus speaks about here - comes in consideration what concerns your salvation.
This will indeed, on the last day, show (God sees it) if you had the belief in the vicarious Jesus - but it is only the vicarious Jesus Himself who is your salvation.
Here is, and has always been, a great confusion about just this, and it seems in the light of the Scripture’s testimony that it will become notably great in the last days. See e.g. Jesus‘ statement about the coming of the Son of Man: “However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith (“the faith” Norw. transl.) on the earth?" (Luke 18:8).
But Note! what it is called, and it will help you see: "The results of Gods‘ grace.” It has accordingly that clear assumption that the grace already is on hand and reigns. (Rom. 5:21). And further: "The fruit of the Spirit." The Spirit that you get you who believes in Him. (v.39).
The message of salvation itself - the message you are saved by - is certainly the actual assumption for this! You must already be saved if there shall be any results of Gods‘ grace - the grace cannot work anything where it does not reign. - And you must already be saved and have received the Spirit if there shall be any fruit of the Spirit. "This He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive." (v.39).
Do we need to get it explained that thoroughly?" Yes, really! When it comes to this we must be fed like babies, because - as it shows - this is difficult to discern, keep apart, and hold firm in practice. And it is precisely here the actual spiritual fight is going on, also today - as always.
Without this light, there is no God’s congregation, but only people's congregations. That serious, and that vital, is this issue.
It is accordingly neither these “the Spirit’s flowing rivers of living water” you shall get taken up with - it is a great many, who have gone astray by that - but to come to Jesus to drink!
Jesus gives us light about such things - not so that we, as it so often happens, shall get taken up with these things, but so that we shall find rest, in the certainty that whoever comes to Him has these things, and shall thereby be let off to worry about it.
Holy Bible, New American