A “pure heart” desirous of the will of God has always been required to please Him, from the first man Adam to the Jews and the Law, through the time of Christ, up until today! To help illustrate the need for a pure (penitent) heart desirous of the will of God as a prerequisite for receiving the Holy Ghost, the following account from the Bible occurs after the resurrection and ascension of Jesus.
The following account is after the Holy Ghost became available for anyone living in faith and desirous of heart to do the will of God. Even more specifically, this account gives us a biblical example of a sinner gaining the Word as the Spirit by being “baptized” in the name of Jesus through belief in Him as God, but not being fit for heaven because he lacked the pure (penitent) heart of belief as a humble child needed for the Holy Ghost to indwell him for salvation!
But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one: To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God. And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries. But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done. Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost. And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. Acts 8:9-22 (Emphasis added).
What else did Jesus say about the desirability of the Holy Ghost? Jesus said we would be better off if He would go, because the another comforter the Holy Ghost (spirit of the Father) would come to replace Him! Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. John 16:7. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; John 14:16. Remember, the Holy Ghost is an enabler, the another comforter to quicken the mortal body of a human and raise it from the dead after it gives out thereby giving eternal life in Him as explained below. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. Romans 8:11. As the enabler (comforter), the Holy Ghost quickens our mortal bodies enabling us to effectively obey (do) the Father’s will while living in this world.
With the Holy Ghost as the “quickening” to live obediently to the Father’s will–doing things His obedient child does (i.e., His servant, see Matthew 12:18), we too may do the works of Jesus. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. John 14:12. Also consider: Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me. John 10:25. But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him. John 10:38. This all happens out of love (i.e., the Spirit) from Him (God through Jesus) first, and for Him (the Word and Holy Ghost in us) next.
Jesus said: If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me. John 14:15-24 (Emphasis added).
That place of “abode” for the Father to dwell by His spirit–the Holy Ghost as the spirit that raised Jesus from the dead (Romans 8:11) as spoken of in John 14:23 (immediately above), is us! More specifically, that place of love in us is the heart of our own body. And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. Romans 5:5. The love of God from the Father is for those that receive the Holy Ghost because they keep the pure Word, including the Lord’s statement about Paul: But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: Acts 9:15. Accepting His responsibility, Paul said: If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord. 1 Corinthians 14:37. For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 4:2.
Because our bodies are the temple of, and for, the Holy Ghost, we are then capable of doing all things “through Christ”, i.e., living in Him as explained in detail below. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Philippians 4:13. Be careful, do not simplify the context of Philippians 4:13. It means living in Him, by the love of the Father, and no other way. And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them. John 17:26. The “love wherewith thou hast loved” Jesus is by and through the Holy Ghost!
Of course, that same Holy Ghost love raises us from the dead when our physical body gives out just as Jesus was raised! By receiving the Holy Ghost, we are “sanctified” (sealed) unto eternal life as being equipped with that spirit of resurrection. That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost. Romans 15:16. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Ephesians 1:13 (Emphasis added).
This is another reason why the Holy Ghost is said to “quicken our mortal bodies” in this lifetime–because we have the love of the Father. In this way, we are raised from the deadness of our “old man” in this life unto obedience to the Father as a beloved son of the Father. As such, our final reward is the glorification of our body in the end. Stated another way, and perhaps more gloriously startling, the sanctification we receive by the Holy Ghost love from the Father makes us the “adopted” children of the Father! Yes–ADOPTED by God the Father! In fact, in addition to being the source of the love of God in our hearts, the Word refers to the Holy Ghost as the “Spirit of Adoption.” For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: Romans 8:14-16.
This adoption consists of the attributes of our “new man” by the Spirit. This “new” life we have–the life “In Him”, means our "old man” has died. Our inner man is reborn into the “new man” and God’s will, otherwise our lifestyles would stay the same. As this new man is a son by the spirit of adoption (the Holy Ghost), we LIVE obediently to our Father’s will as a beloved son or daughter because we know we have the love of the Father in us. Consequently, we do not ignore the “doing” of our Father’s will or seek to rest comfortably in any avoidance of it– either in the knowing or the doing! (Thus, please be advised: And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but unto him that blasphemeth against the Holy Ghost it shall not be forgiven. Luke 12:10. But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation. Mark 3:29.)
Most importantly, we must come to grips with and enjoy the fact that the Father Himself considers us His children. We have all of the responsibilities as stated previously, but also the rights Jesus has as a member of the royal family of God. And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. Romans 8:17. Of course, only Jesus remains the Lord, by whose Spirit we live forever with Him! Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 2 Corinthians 3:17.
Hence, by the Holy Ghost we become “renewed” (Titus 3:5 above) unto His service, but not a better form of who we are/were in the flesh. We become a “second” type of creation because of who He is, by what He established, and because of His life now. The Spirit is the means by which we become His son. The life of Jesus before and after His death proved this to be true! We do not get an eternal life of a sort Jesus does not have. The eternal life we get is the same as His, however, we obtain it through Him, by what He did, and of course by the path He shows us. As the ambassadors of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20 and Ephesians 6:20), the Holy Ghost makes it possible for us to effectively DO what Jesus did on His behalf–obedient to our Father as a child of His, personally and individually. Jesus said: Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. John 14:12. (Note, we SHALL do His works!)
When we enter heaven we will be as He is now–glorified and the joint heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17 above) to the kingdom. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 1 John 3:2. Jesus now lives and reigns forever in heaven, and we do His work here pleasing our Father proving we are members of His royal family, here and now! Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. 1 John 4:17.
Is there any wonder why we are to receive the kingdom of God as a little child even though we consider ourselves adults in this world? We are newly born of the Spirit! Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. Mark 10:15. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein. Luke 18:17.
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