1 Corinthians 3.16
“Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?”
The #2 area of integrity the church needs to recover is spiritual integrity. We need a revival of life in the Spirit. As the verse above reminds us, we are living temples for the Spirit of God. It is an amazing reality: The Lord dwells within us through his Spirit.
Therefore, we are called to walk in the power of the Holy Spirit, and to bear the fruit of the Spirit who indwells us. However, as certainly every follower of Jesus has experienced, the old sin nature continues to inhabit us, and we must fight the daily battle of saying no the impulses of the old nature and saying yes to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is foundational to life in Christ. This is true for individual believers, and it is true for the Christian community. Simply put, it is not possible for a Jesus follower to live an effective, fruitful life without trusting the presence and power of the indwelling Spirit. Any attempt to live by human effort alone will fail.
The apostle Paul said that authentic followers of Jesus “worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh” (Philippians 3:3).
The same applies to local churches. It is monumentally foolish to attempt to grow a church by means of marketing campaigns, ministry strategies, and musical performances that do not trust in the power of the Holy Spirit. A church that offers engaging and motivating “seeker-sensitive” services might enjoy great popularity, but if it does not worship in spirit and in truth, it is all in vain.
Jesus said it in John 4.23-24: “The hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
The Christian community will not be successful in its attempts to engage and impact American culture unless it operates in the wisdom and power of the Holy Spirit. Conservative political, social, and economic strategies—no matter how necessary and helpful—will prove to be insufficient, even impotent, in the face of the forces of darkness that have descended upon our nation.
Ephesians 6 tells us that in order to live the life to which God calls us, we must do battle with “principalities and powers in the heavenly places.” In order to prevail in this great spiritual conflict, we are called to “be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.” This short verse uses three different words for “strength” (dunamis, kratos and ischus) as a unique way of emphasizing just how important it is for us to trust in the power of the indwelling Spirit of Jesus.
Jesus made it crystal clear: “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15.5)
The Holy Spirit is at work in our lives from the very beginning. Through his Spirit, God prompts us to recognize our condition of sin, and to recognize the grace and forgiveness he offers us in Christ. When we respond by confessing our sin and receiving God’s mercy and grace, the Spirit then brings regeneration and new life.
“But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” (Titus 3.4-7)
The indwelling Spirit of God is the very source of our life in Christ. Tapping into and trusting the power of the Spirit is essential for fulfilling the Lord’s call to lead a life worthy of the gospel.