2 Thessalonians 2:13 “But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth.” (NIV)
The sanctifying work of the Spirit highlights a critical difference for Christians in experiencing God’s work in their lives. The Holy Spirit is not only integrally involved in your salvation, but is also vital to the process of your sanctification (becoming like Christ). Galatians 3:3 admonishes, “Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?” Your human nature has a natural inclination to perform instead of trusting and drawing upon the Holy Spirit for direction, peace, and your needs. Spiritual activities are helpful for growing, knowing, and experiencing Christ, but can very easily replace Christ and the intimacy of the relationship He desires of you. For example: You no longer go to church to experience and worship Christ; you go out of duty, to see your friends, or to experience a great Sunday school. Each spiritual activity can take on a life by itself that can actually exclude Christ. God desires righteousness, but not righteousness outside of your relationship with Christ. Jesus lived and died not to create a new religion, but to live with you in the intimacy of your relationship with Him and worship of Him. It is out of your intimacy with Christ that righteousness flows from the active work of the Holy Spirit in you. Live intimately and consistently in God’s presence and allow the transformative work of the Holy Spirit to occur in your life.
John 14:16-17 “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you, and will be in you.” (NASB)