57. How does the Holy Spirit give us power to attain righteousness?

The Bible has a number of major themes throughout its pages. One of those themes is the call to live holy and righteous lives. In Leviticus 11 verse 44; 19 verse 1; and 20 verses 7, 26 God spoke through Moses to the people calling them ‘to be holy as He is holy.’ This call was necessary because all mankind received a sinful nature after Adam and Eve sinned. Refer to Genesis 3 verses 1-24. The curse of sin was passed down from generation to generation. ‘Eve became the mother of all who live’ (Genesis 3:20).

In the Old Testament the people of God sought to make themselves holy by following rituals and performing sacrifices but the curse of sin was still in their hearts and their hearts were not cleansed. Therefore, many times they did things that did not please God. Their separation from the intimacy of relationship God had desired in the Garden of Eden was the result of this curse of sin. When Jesus came, He announced the solution to the problem of sin. A Jewish religious leader called Nicodemus came to Jesus in the night to ask Jesus a very important question. This is recorded in John chapter 3 and verses 1-17. Jesus told Nicodemus that he needed to be ‘born again by the Holy Spirit’ to have his heart changed so he could overcome sin and fulfil the call of God to mankind ‘to be holy even as He is holy.’ Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit. Jesus lived a holy life without sin. He showed that it is the Holy Spirit’s presence and power in a human life that makes one holy, not sacrifices and rituals. Christ actually came to earth to be the final sacrifice for all sin by dying on the cross to set us free from the curse of sin.

Let’s read Hebrews 9 verses 11-17: ‘So Christ has now become the High Priest over all good things that have come. He has entered the greater more perfect Tabernacle in heaven which is not made with human hands and is not part of this created world. With his own blood – not even the blood of bulls, goats and calves – he entered the Most Holy Place once and for all time and secured our redemption forever. Under the old system the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a young cow could cleanse people’s bodies from ceremonial impurity. Just think how much more the blood of Christ will purify our sinful deeds so we can worship the living God. For by the power of the eternal Spirit, Christ offered himself to God as a perfect sacrifice for our sins. That is why he is the one who mediates a new covenant between God and people, so all who are called can receive the eternal inheritance God has promised them. For Christ died to set them free from the penalty of sins they have committed under that first covenant. Now when someone leaves a will or testament it is necessary to prove that the person who made it is dead. The will goes into effect only after the person’s death. While the person who made it is still alive, the will cannot be put into effect’. Then in verses 27 and 28 it states: ‘And just as each persons is destined to die once and after that comes the judgement, so also Christ died once for all time as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people. He will come again, not to deal with our sins, but to bring salvation to all who are eagerly waiting for him.’

Jesus has made it possible for us to be cleansed of our sins and to be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit so we can live a righteous life not by our own deeds but by His mighty power working in us. We cannot boast in anything we have done. We boast in Christ who lives in us by the power of the Holy Spirit. The only things worth doing on earth are those done in the power of the Holy Spirit. They alone are of eternal value.