Transforming From Impurity To Purity. THE HOLY SPIRIT’S WORK FROM CREATION TO PRESENT DAY Study #5 (Various Scriptures)-Revised from Original Study Original Post Date(7-28-2020)

Romans 8:10-11 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.

In this study we will focus on how we grow as the Holy Spirit guides us in the sanctification process. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 says do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

What we have learned so far about the Holy Spirit has helped us to understand so much of His role in Creation, in His work with the prophets and priests in the Old Testament, we have seen His work in the life and ministry of Jesus, His power in the resurrection of Jesus, His power in the work of redemption in every believer and the power given to every believer to be a witness. Now some may say that they just don’t feel this power or see the evidence of the Spirit in their life. They may not see how they could be used as a witness because their own life is such a mess. This is the part of knowing that we aren’t perfect yet and we are in the process of sanctification. This process is the ongoing, lifelong process of becoming holy. This is where the Holy Spirit works in you to rid the sin in your life and helps you to be more like Jesus. It’s as we see in this 1 Corinthians passage that says that we were once a person that followed our own passions and desires and now we are washed, justified and sanctified.

So in the overall picture of things when we started following Jesus we were justified, that is we now have the verdict of not guilty before God. Also in God’s perspective we are not only redeemed but we are seen as being sanctified or holy already. But as we all know we still have this lingering sinful, unredeemed body that has years and years of corruption within. Our minds have been taught by the world, our bodies have been once filled with our own desires and we live in a society that is bent towards sin. Even though God sees us as holy, we often can look and see the utter failure to be obedient. This is how Paul explained his battle with sin in Romans 7:15 For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 

This should be the cry of every believer. We all will sin but it should be our desire to grow. This desire to grow happens because of the Holy Spirit that lives within us. 2 Thessalonians 2:13 says But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth.. We see once again that the Spirit is the one that brings us through this sanctification process. So we might ask how does the Spirit do this?

What is the evidence of this in my life?

So we are going to look at some very important facts about how this sanctification process works but before getting to much into that let’s know that we need to follow the guidance that the Holy Spirit gives to us.

We must understand that our sanctification is Our responsibility. Yes I said it, we can’t just expect to get saved, go to church and everything is just going to be removed out of our life. It takes our effort to follow the Holy Spirit’s leading and to follow the commands given to us. Once again we turn to another word from one of Paul’s epistles in Philippians 2:12-13 that says Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

So we see it is God working in us but it is our command to work out our salvation. I just need to mention that this does not say to work for your salvation. The salvation we see that needs working out in each believer is the area of personal sanctification or holiness. How do we do this?

Is it by going to church?

Is it by saying a prayer wanting to be changed?

I’ll answer that those things can be important to sanctification but we must first follow the instructions given to us in the Scriptures. So for our first look at how the Holy Spirit works to sanctify us we need to know and follow His instructions in the Holy Spirit inspired Holy Bible(The Word of God).

1.Holy Bible(The Word of God).
John 17:17-19 says Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth. Jesus came to this world to be the sacrifice for our sins. He came to testify to the world and show us the Father but now has left and that makes us to be witnesses for Him. We can’t be witnesses to something we don’t know anything about and we aren’t to be witnesses to just a movement. We are called to be witnesses to the world we live in and that witness is that Jesus came to die for our sins and has brought salvation to all that believe. As you know though if you’ve ever talked with anyone about religion or anything, people will ask questions. The Bible says it like this in 1 Peter 3:15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.

This verse is clear that we are to be prepared because as we live for Christ we will be questioned of the hope we have. People will see that even through the toughest trials and temptations we can keep our faith in the only true and living God. So we see the importance of knowing the Word of God and having this knowledge but how do we know the Word?

We can’t just read the Bible and think we are going to have the wisdom we need. We need the Holy Spirit to help us in every way to know the true meaning of the Scriptures. When we allow the Holy Spirit to speak to us it’s not by some voice in our head, some supernatural mystical feeling or some vision but we look into the authority of the Scriptures, the Word of God. We have seen that Jesus prayed that we would be sanctified through the Word which is the truth. The fact is really all we need for instruction on how to live or direction in any area of life is found within the Bible. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

So the point I really want to bring to our attention is that the Holy Spirit is the one that inspired the Scriptures and it is with the Scriptures that He first wants us to go to for instruction and direction. This means that we read and study the Scriptures on an every day basis. We don’t wait for some special word to come down from heaven, or some inner inspiration or some vision that helps us along, no we look into the Scriptures and find the truth within and allow God to then work in us. This helps us in every area of life, we will see our sin, we will see the answers to how to witness to that family member or co-worker, we will see the instructions on how to live a life away from our own selfish desires and we will learn how to grow so that we will be useful for every good work as it says in 2 Timothy 3. So if we first get into the Scriptures we know which direction to go, we then will see that there is a change within us as He produces Fruit or good values within us.

2.Fruit of the Spirit
What we will learn from this concept is that the Spirit which produces fruit within us produces fruit as we walk in the Spirit. This indicates the same thing that we have seen in reading and studying the Scriptures. This walk is a step by step, day by day, daily battle to walk as the Spirit leads us. Once again we can’t expect to rid sin out of our life if we are still living in it. We must choose to walk differently. Galatians 5:16 says But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.

We are to walk along or in step with the Holy Spirit as He guides us. This is the work of the Spirit that Jesus told us about in John 14:26 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 that I have said to you.

He will teach us, He will help us as we take the steps away from the fleshly desires but we must first listen to Him through the Word of God. What we need to see is that He desires to see us grow in every area of our life. Paul desired this for the Colossian church and God desires that we would be the witnesses He’s called each of us to be. Listen to Paul as he encourages the people at Colossae in Colossians 1:9-12 And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 

He desires to see us grow but we must take responsibility to get into the Word and decide each day to walk by the Spirit’s guidance as we are directed in the Word of God.

Where do you stand as you examine where you are before the Holy God?

Have you been justified?

Then you should be in the sanctification process that could be looked at as the pruning that God does to His children from John 15:1-2 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. If He’s pruning you then you are His. If you’ve never felt this then maybe you are reading this because you need to be justified before God. This is only done by the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ. If you are seen as holy already before God then I urge to to walk in the manner of the Lord as He guides you by His Spirit. In the next study we will see how the Spirit produces gifts in each of us to be used for His glory alone.

Bible Passage For The Day 1-28-2023

Hebrews 9:11-14

 But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) 12 he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, 14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.

Podcast for….Redemption In Christ By Grace. EXPOSITION ON THE BOOK OF EPHESIANS study #4 (Ephesians 1:7-10)

Redemption In Christ By Grace. EXPOSITION ON THE BOOK OF EPHESIANS study #4 (Ephesians 1:7-10) Disciple's Direction

Bible Passage For The Day 1-27-2023

Galatians 3:11-14

Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.” 12 But the law is not of faith, rather “The one who does them shall live by them.” 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”— 14 so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.

Redemption In Christ By Grace. EXPOSITION ON THE BOOK OF EPHESIANS study #4 (Ephesians 1:7-10)

We love the idea that we have salvation and we know that it was not our own will but God’s will for us to be saved. This teaching really carries on throughout these verses even though we will not continue to press the issue of predestination but we can’t help but see God’s sovereignty in all of this. But the focus of this study will be more on the fact that God brought on this salvation by the sacrifice of His Son and our Lord Jesus Christ. Again just like in our last study we will see that this plan of redemption was a plan that has a purpose. That purpose is not just for our benefit but is for the very reason of completing God’s plan for redemption of His people. I hope this study along with what we have learned over the past 2 studies will help all of us in understanding what salvation really is and why God saved us in the first place. Let’s now look at our first point.

1.Redeemed by Christ’s blood.
Look with me at Ephesians 1:7-8 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight. What we see in these 2 verses are the basis of our salvation. Without this redemption through the blood of Christ there would be no forgiveness of sin and therefore no salvation. We have learned in the past study that we were adopted into the family of God and now we will see the means in which that transaction took place. God could not accept a sacrifice that was sinful, God can not be in the presence of sin and for that reason we do not have access on our own to enter Heaven. What we mean of God not being in the presence of sin is the idea to His moral character because as we know God is omnipresent therefore He is everywhere at all times which means He is around sin. Anyway this study is not to teach a theological viewpoint of God’s absence in the presence of sin. We need to understand that to some degree but that is not the primary focus of this study.

What we do need to see is that the Scripture says here that in him we have redemption through his blood. Now of course this in him statement takes us back to verse 5 where it says that he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ. So this of course is talking about Jesus. There is redemption in Jesus and only through Jesus. Paul says it just a little different in Colossians 1:13-14 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

This salvation we have is seen as an adoption and is seen as a transfer from the domain of darkness to the kingdom of the Son of God Jesus Christ. But notice that none of this is possible without the redemption that comes through the blood of Jesus. Now I want to make clear here that this blood of Jesus’ did not contain some supernatural element within it but His blood that was shed was the blood needed from someone that was sinless. It was the perfect and sinless nature of Jesus that made His sacrifice of His blood the fulfillment of the requirement for the redemption for our sins. Hebrews 9:11-12 says But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) 12 he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.

Then we continue to see in Hebrews 9:24-26 For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. 25 Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own, 26 for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.

It was not just the blood but it was the blood that was shed from the sacrifice that Jesus made by dying on the cross and resurrecting to give us eternal life. This redemption is not possible without the death of Jesus and it was in this way that Paul says here in Ephesians 1:7 that we have this redemption through the blood of Jesus for the forgiveness of our trespasses. Now this is the foundation of the Gospel message for salvation. If we have no forgiveness then we pay the penalty for our own sins. But it was in the redeeming act of Christ, which is His death and resurrection that has given us the redemption and adoption that we have. Jesus taught this very thing as He instituted the Lord’s Supper for the first time in Matthew 26:27-28 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, 28 for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

Of course the representation of the Lord’s Supper was that Jesus would shed His blood and die for the forgiveness of sin. I want to point out before we move on the word trespasses in Ephesians 1:7. This is the Greek word paraptóma (par-ap’-to-mah) which means a trespass, a slip or a falling away. This word carries with it the idea of deliberate sins and sins that are not deliberate. In other words there are things we do against God’s commands that we don’t even realize at times and Jesus’ sacrifice covers those sins along with the deliberate sins. This is a full redemption that has been given to us that are truly followers of the Lord Jesus. Notice also that Paul says that this redemption is not only accomplished through His blood but according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight.

To understand salvation we must understand that our salvation is only possible because of His grace. It was not an act of our own nor was it something we did by pleading mercy from God. Salvation has been given solely by His grace. This is one of the teachings that came from the Protestant Reformation, it is Grace alone. This shows that we did nothing to earn or make this salvation happen. No prayer, no giving of our money or time, not a baptism nor just attendance at church but only by the grace of God do we have redemption and the forgiveness of sins.

Paul says that God lavished this salvation and forgiveness on us in all wisdom and insight. I love the word he uses here for lavished in the Greek language. The word is eperisseusen that comes from the word perisseuó (per-is-syoo’-o) which means to abound, so the “e” at the beginning of this word intensifies the word which would give us the meaning of super abounding or going above and beyond. The idea is that this redemption is so great that we not only can’t earn it but we don’t really deserve it even though God does give this to us. This salvation is beyond anything we should receive and therefore is something that is extremely lavished on us in all wisdom and insight. This points us really to what we will see in our next point. This salvation that God has given, gives us the understanding of how all of this is worked out in the plan of God. This will be seen now in our second point.

2.The purpose of God’s plan for redemption.
Look with me at Ephesians 1:9-10 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. The wisdom and insight that God gives to us is understood by making known to us the mystery of his will Paul says here. The mystery is given to us in these verses really. There is not some hidden message that we need to be looking for but it really points us to what he says here at the end of verse 10. He says that this plan of redemption and salvation was set in motion to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

Notice the connection here that this brings all things in complete unity through this plan of redemption. It is not just to bring us to eternal life nor to give us a heavenly mansion and to walk the streets of gold but this plan is to bring unity to all things in heaven and earth. This mystery is that the Jews are not the only recipients of salvation but the Gentile people are a part of this redemption as well. Paul says in Colossians 1:24-28 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, 25 of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, 26 the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. 27 To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ.

This unity starts with the people groups of this world. God has united all people groups to be the church. This will end in all things being in unity after God initiates the end of time as we know it. Paul clearly says this very thing later on in Ephesians 3:1-6 For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles— assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for you, how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly. When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.

This mystery he speaks of is the unity of the church that gives to our Lord Jesus complete rule over all things. We will see this in more detail when we get there but to get the idea look at what Ephesians 1:19-23 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

What we need to realize is that we should be thankful that God has given us His grace and mercy so that we can be a part of His kingdom. Without His grace and mercy we would be doomed to Hell for eternity. The plan of God in our salvation is primarily to bring unity to all things for God’s glory and Jesus’ exaltation. Thank God today for this grace that He has given to you and trust that He is sovereign in every aspect of the plan of redemption even if you don’t fully understand it as none of us really do.

Bible Passage For The Day 1-26-2023

1 Peter 1:17-19

And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, 18 knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.

Podcast for….Jesus Is Full Of The Holy Spirit. EXPOSITION ON THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO LUKE study #32 (Luke 4:1-2)

Jesus Is Full Of The Holy Spirit. EXPOSITION ON THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO LUKE study #32 (Luke 4:1-2) Disciple's Direction

Bible Passage For The Day 1-25-2023

Colossians 1:19-23

For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. 21 And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22 he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, 23 if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.

Jesus Is Full Of The Holy Spirit. EXPOSITION ON THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO LUKE study #32 (Luke 4:1-2)

As I began to look at this next section of Scripture here in the 4th chapter of Luke, I began by noticing the obvious that Jesus is full of the Holy Spirit. Now I know that many people may say that of course He is because He is God but we need to remember that Jesus came to Earth as a human for a specific reason. That reason was to fulfill the righteous requirement of the Law in which no other human could do. Jesus needed to be human in order to fulfill this righteousness and He too would depend on the Holy Spirit within Him to lead Him throughout His life. I believe all of this will make more sense as we move along in this study. This study will be just a look at the first 2 verses that shows us that Jesus was indeed led by the Spirit in every area of His life. We will look at the other Gospels and many verses showing Jesus’ obedience to God even though He may be led to difficult places and as we will see in the next study that He is led to the wilderness to be tempted by Satan himself. Let’s now get into our first point for this study which is….

1.Jesus is led by the Spirit.
Look with me at Luke 4:1 And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness. The primary focus of this point and really this study is going to reveal the humanity of Jesus and the need for Him to be obedient to the leading of the Holy Spirit. We must remember that yes Jesus is God but He did not use every aspect of His deity as a human. Instead He humbled Himself in a way that gives us an example to live by. Now I know we can not be sinless and perfect like Him but that direction should be how we live our lives. I want us to look at what is said of this in Philippians 2:5-8 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Jesus at times did not exercise His power or authority as God while on Earth. There was times we see Jesus use His creative and healing power, we see Jesus raise the dead but other times He chose not to use the power that He had as the Son of God. This passage in Philippians shows that very thing and we need to understand that as we begin to look at Jesus’ ministry. Jesus makes this bold proclamation of His ability to use His power but then explains why He does not always use it in Matthew 26:53-56 Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But how then should the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so?” 55 At that hour Jesus said to the crowds, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to capture me? Day after day I sat in the temple teaching, and you did not seize me. 56 But all this has taken place that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples left him and fled.

This was at the arrest of Jesus when Peter cut off Malchus’ ear. Jesus did not use His authority to call down twelve legions of angels because Scripture must be fulfilled. When we approach the temptation of Jesus as we will study on in the next study, we must remember why Jesus was tempted. Was it possible for Jesus to sin? No I think not but there was another purpose in the plan of God for these temptations and that was to allow Jesus to be tempted as a human so that He could prove to be the perfect sacrifice needed to appease God’s wrath on sinners. Hebrews 4:15 says For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.

I say all of this to show that for certain Jesus was tempted and was led to this temptation by the will of God. That is why we see Luke 4:1 say And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness.

Matthew’s account says in Matthew 4:1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.

Mark 1:12-13 says The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. 13 And he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. And he was with the wild animals, and the angels were ministering to him.

So we see clearly that the Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness for the purpose of being tempted by Satan. It is no surprise that Jesus is led by the Spirit because Luke 4:1 says that He is full of the Spirit. Jesus says this as we will see in the next few studies in Luke 4:18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed. This Jesus read in a synagogue in Nazareth from the scroll of Isaiah, we know this is from Isaiah 61:1 speaking of God’s Messiah.

Peter proclaims this very thing in Acts 10:37-38 when at the house of Cornelius: you yourselves know what happened throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John proclaimed: 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.

Jesus lived a life of obedience under the power of the Holy Spirit. He did this perfectly and never wavered in His obedience. We are told in Galatians 5:25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. In other words if we allow the Holy Spirit to guide us as we see in the previous verses in Galatians 5, then we will live by the Spirit and we will walk with the Spirit. This is what Jesus did in everything He ever did and that shows us why Jesus went to the wilderness even though He would be tempted there. This helps us to see that in His humanity Jesus exercised obedience and overcame every situation that He faced. That leads us to our next point.

2.The power of Jesus’ fast.
Look with me at Luke 4:2 for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry. We know that Jesus was led into the wilderness to be tempted but there seems to be another purpose that is seen not just here but in Matthew’s Gospel as well. Here we see that in this 40 day period Jesus ate nothing. In Matthew 4:2 is says And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.

Verse 3 in Matthew indicates that this is when the temptations began. It was after Jesus had fasted and was hungry. This shows us again the humanity of Jesus but it also shows us the power that He had through this fast. Once again Jesus is God so He could never sin but this time of fasting gave Jesus the right direction in His life. Most people now don’t fast very much, in fact any fast that is promoted through most churches include fasting from other things like social media, video games or some other activity that may distract you. I would say that doing that is good and could have some benefit for you spiritually but that is not the definition of fasting from a Biblical standpoint. Fasting is always in association to the absence of food for a period of time. It does not have to be 40 days and 40 nights, it does not even have to be for a long period of time. The idea is to abstain from food in order to focus on what God wants for your life. It is to restrain yourself from a time of food to bring you to a time of prayer. Fasting is not to weaken you but it is meant to strengthen you spiritually. This fasting of Jesus strengthened Him for not only the temptations here in the wilderness but also what He would face during His time before His death and the strength He would need as He was led to the cross.

Fasting is seen all throughout Scripture so let’s look at a few examples of this in the Bible. We see in Nehemiah 1:4 As soon as I heard these words I sat down and wept and mourned for days, and I continued fasting and praying before the God of heaven.

Daniel 9:3 says Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him by prayer and pleas for mercy with fasting and sackcloth and ashes. 

Psalm 35:13 says But I, when they were sick—I wore sackcloth; I afflicted myself with fasting; I prayed with head bowed on my chest.

When David’s child that was conceived with Bathsheba was dying David fasted. The account of this is seen in 2 Samuel 12:15-17 Then Nathan went to his house. And the Lord afflicted the child that Uriah’s wife bore to David, and he became sick. 16 David therefore sought God on behalf of the child. And David fasted and went in and lay all night on the ground. 17 And the elders of his house stood beside him, to raise him from the ground, but he would not, nor did he eat food with them.

These are examples of fasting but fasting is not supposed to be just to mourn but it is always associated with a time a prayer. Fasting is meant to strengthen us and is seen in David’s situation to do this very thing. Look with me at 2 Samuel 12:20, this is going back to the story of David after his child died that was born from his sin with Bathsheba and it says there: Then David arose from the earth and washed and anointed himself and changed his clothes. And he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped. He then went to his own house. And when he asked, they set food before him, and he ate.

David’s time of need was over and he now was strengthened through that time of prayer and fasting. If we had what happened to David, we would be wondering why God did not save the child. But David was strengthened and continues to trust God even after the death of his son. This time of fasting for Jesus was needed to guide Him into the ministry that He was set out to do. We will see this time of temptation but be sure this was not the only time in Jesus’ life that He would be tempted and tested by Satan. Jesus’ humanity was real, He hungered, He got thirsty, He got tired, He got distressed over the situations that He faced not with sinful thoughts or a lack of trust but because He was human. All of this shows us the humanity of Jesus but we will also see that He had unbelievable strength to fast for this period of time and then remain focused on what He came to do instead of falling to the tempting that comes directly at His humanity from Satan. In our next study we will unfold the temptations that Jesus endured and look at each temptations importance that guides us to live with the same perspective that Jesus had in doing what God wants no matter what situation we find ourselves in.