The Spirit: Removed when Sinned; Recovered when Saved!

There are two times that God breathed on man; one was in the garden when He created Adam (Genesis 2:7) and the other was when Jesus breathed on the disciples following His resurrection in John 20:22.

When God told Adam that he would die if he ate of this one tree, what died immediately was that which He breathed in to Adam’s nostrils, this living soul that made him different from every other living creature. This living soul was to never die. At creation, God breathed His Spirit into man; this is same spirit that God puts back into man when he is saved or “recreated” in Christ. This living soul was connected to God’s presence. When Adam sinned, he lost that “spirit” that allowed him to walk with God on a continual basis in a personal relationship with Him; man gains that Spirit back when he is saved, when he repents and by faith is reconciled to God to once again be able to walk with God in a personal relationship on a continual basis.

Job made this connection as he said, “The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.” (Job 33:4) Jesus says in John 6:63 “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.” In Romans 8:11 Paul writes, “But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” In 2 Corinthians 3:6, Paul says that the “Spirit gives life.” “God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.” (1 John 5:11-13) If the Spirit does not dwell in a person’s heart, he does not have life and is therefore dead, spiritually. That does not mean that he is dead physically.

Jesus breathed on the disciples and said to them “receive the Holy Spirit.” What does the Spirit do besides bring life? “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” (John 14:26-27)

What did the serpent do? The serpent deceived Eve and she did eat of the fruit of the tree that God told Adam not to eat from. John says, “These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you. But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.” (1 John 2:26-27) So when man lost the indwelling Holy Spirit in the fall, he lost his spiritual bearing. He lost that which God breathed into him making him a “living soul.” He did not lose his physical being or those qualities that God formed in him, which included a mind and desire and the ability to reason and think for himself and even make rational decisions. What he did lose was that part of him that God provided uniquely to him that would teach him and direct his mind to help him stand against those who would seek to deceive him.

Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection gave Him the ability to put that Spirit back into sinful man. This “Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know (by revelation) the things that have been freely given to us by God (His reconciliation). These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. For ‘who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?’ But we have the mind of Christ.” (1 Cor 2:10-16)

Note one other passage of scripture and its unique application to this discussion related to the validity of total depravity. In John 4, Jesus meets a woman at the well. He asks her for a drink of water. She responded in disbelief that a Jew would even make such a request of her to which Jesus replied, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” John 4:10 In looking at this passage of scripture, Jesus is addressing this woman’s spiritual need in a very unusual but effective way. As He makes note of her coming to this well on a daily basis, He is pointing to the futility of trying to satisfy the desires of life with the things of the world. This well could no more satisfy her inner thirst than her sinful lifestyle could. Jesus was equating her sinful nature with physical thirst. He tells her, if she would just ask, He would give her living water and she would never thirst again. Jesus is the answer to the thirst that all men have because of sin in their hearts and in their lives. Jesus makes this clear in His next statement, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” John 4:13-14.

Some might argue that Jesus is not talking about sin and conversion in this passage. One might be able to make that argument were it not for what He said next; “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:21-24 The disciples came up and the woman left and went into town and she began telling people that she had met the Messiah and that they needed to come and hear Him for themselves and the whole town came out and revival broke out over the next couple of days. This woman found that well of living water that only Jesus could provide and it was more than enough for her dry and thirsty soul.

Sin leaves its victim dry and thirsty. One of the great things about this illustration is that dehydration can kill. It has been said that as a general rule, a man can live without oxygen for about 3 minutes; without water for about 3 days and without food for about 3 weeks. Dehydration is a serious condition. Sin is a serious condition. Sin is a lot like gaining weight. If every time an individual ate a dozen donuts he had a glob of fat pop up immediately on one of his thighs, there would not be a donut shop or a buffet anywhere in the world. It does not happen that way. Sin like weight is deceptive and is so subtle that it is not noticeable immediately. That is why this illustration that Jesus uses with being thirsty is so pertinent. Sin kills but that does not mean the sinner is dead. He is no doubt thirsty and dehydrated and in need of this living water that Jesus offered to this Samaritan woman. Notice her comments. Her responses to Jesus’ comments were all religious based. Are you greater than Jacob? We worship here. There are a lot of religious folks who are thirsty! When Christ comes into a person’s heart, He cures that thirst. He cures the thirst that sin creates, permanently.

To close this section, Jesus even points to this on the cross as He cries out, “I Thirst.” He said that when He knew that all things had been accomplished! Man’s sin had been placed upon Him. He cried out, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” Sin had separated Him from His heavenly Father. God had not gone anywhere! Jesus felt the separation for the first and last time in all eternity! Because of sin, Jesus said, “I thirst.” He knew that He was the answer for that thirst and He wanted everyone to know that He was giving His life to satisfy the thirst that sin has caused. He bowed His head and cried, “It is finished” and Jesus paid that sin debt once and for all! John 18:28-30

Man is not so depraved he cannot respond to God’s revelation of Himself and His efforts to reconcile a lost man unto Himself. Man may be dehydrated but he is not dead. Sin has separated man from God by separating the spirit from the body. The separation of the spirit from the body leaves the body “dead” or without life. In conversion, that life through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is put back into man and just like the prodigal son who came home, the family ring and the regal robe are put on him and he is given shoes to wear because this son who once was lost has been found and has come home. Men are responsible for their decisions, before and after conversion and make no mistake about it, every man, woman, boy and girl are equally responsible for what they do with the revelation of the fact that Jesus has come to seek and to save them that are lost.

Grateful to be in His Grip

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