Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
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When God gives us His Spirit, He is giving us His feelings about life and His judgments about how life ought to be lived. In the Bible, God described that experience by saying that He puts His law into our minds and writes them in our hearts. Long before the Son of God was revealed, God prophesied that He would do this:
33. But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel. After those days, says the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts, and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
34. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, “Know the Lord,” for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord.
After the Son came and died for us to have God’s Spirit, the author of Hebrews said that God had done what He promised through Jeremiah (Heb. 8:10—11).
The very reason God sent His Son was to make it possible for us to have His Spirit so that we might know and be like God. God’s ways and His thoughts are so different from ours that none of us can know God and be like Him without His Spirit.
8. My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the Lord.
9. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
The day we receive the Spirit is our first day in God’s school, for that is when we truly begin to know how God feels and what He thinks. Jesus wanted us to have the Spirit so much that he was willing to suffer and die for us to receive it. He was excited just to think of the day of Pentecost, when his disciples would receive the Spirit and would begin to know God as he knew Him. He told them these things:
26. “The holy Spirit which the Father will send in my name will teach you all things and will bring to your remembrance everything that I’ve told you.”
12. I still have many things to tell you, but you can’t bear them now.
13. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he’ll guide you into all truth. . . . and he’ll reveal to you things that are coming.
It takes time to learn, of course, and we must be diligent in our pursuit of the knowledge of God, but we need not worry; God is very patient. He knows that we must un-learn many things that we thought we knew about God and that there is much truth to absorb. But with the Spirit, we can un-learn anything wrong, and we can learn anything right about Him.
Even with God’s Spirit, though, we must make the effort. We must also stay humble, like Jesus, and prefer God’s will over our own. Paul said that those who would truly be children of God must be “led by the Spirit”. In other words, we must believe the right thoughts which the Spirit puts into our minds and follow the right feelings which the Spirit writes on our hearts. We will not ever know our heavenly Father if we cling to our old thoughts and ways.
God gave us some tools that can help us recognize the Spirit’s thoughts and feelings. One of the greatest of those tools is the law that God gave to Israel through Moses. When God said, “I will put my laws in their mind and write them on their heart,” it was the law He gave to Moses that He was talking about. God gave that law. Moses did not make it up. And because God gave that law, it reflects God’s thoughts and feelings. We study the law of Moses because it helps us to recognize the Spirit’s voice when it speaks to our hearts. The law is a record of what God said about various situations in life, and if we will believe that record, and prefer what God thinks over our own thoughts, we will grow spiritually and become more like Him.
Here are some things to consider before we read the law of Moses.
(1) The law is God’s way of thinking. The Spirit which God gave you thinks this way.
(2) The law contains the kind of judgments that Jesus will bring to the earth when he comes again. It is a prophecy of the kind of government Jesus will establish on the earth during his thousand-year reign.
(3) If a person disagrees with the law’s holy judgments, it is because he still needs to be “transformed by the renewing of his mind, so that he might discern what is the good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.”
Pay close attention to your feelings and thoughts when you read the commandments and judgments contained in the law of Moses. Do you agree with them? If not, ask Jesus to help you. He will!