Keys to the Kingdom
One of my all-time favorite movies is Rocky, starring Sylvester Stallone, which hit the theaters in 1976. The story is about a small-time club fighter who gets a rare shot at the world heavyweight championship and wins it. Rocky displays courage, hard work, and determination to go the distance for his self-respect. This movie has so many good life lessons that I will periodically watch it just for down-to-earth inspiration.
As Christians, we have three big heavyweights on our side. “Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for His own? No one — for God Himself has given us right standing with Himself. Who then will condemn us? No one — for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and He is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us” (Romans 8:33,34 NLT). And Holy Spirit does not condemn us because He is in agreement with the Father and Son. Jesus said, “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby), that He may remain with you forever“ (John 14:16 AMP).
What a relief for believers who grasp the truth that God does not condemn us because He has justified us. Jesus does not condemn us because He is seated at the right hand of His Father pleading for us in intercession. And Holy Spirit does not condemn us because He lives up to His name as a comforter and helper.
With God, Jesus, and Holy Spirit on your side, the only way you can lose is if you throw in the towel. You can stay on top of your spiritual training by practicing Psalm 18:23: “I am ever [on guard] to keep myself free from my sin and guilt.” Don’t let your guard down because that allows the devil to take a punch at you. Stay vigilant and focus on living your life according to the Word of God. Practice the privilege of prayer. Diligently listen for the gentle voice of Holy Spirit and then obey right away.
Christians believe in God the Father, confess Jesus as Savior and Lord, and then receive Holy Spirit. God reveals Himself through His Son, but He communicates to us through Holy Spirit. In the New Testament, Peter said: “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. This promise is to you, and your children…all who have been called by the Lord our God” (Acts 2:38,39 NLT).
A gift is something given willingly to someone without payment. God gave His only Son Jesus as a free gift to the world. Some receive Him and some reject Him. Holy Spirit was requested of God by Jesus as a promised gift to believers. Some receive Him with joy and some reject Him. Our earthly life is one big training session for that final round that’s sure to come. Every time the bell rings, make sure you fight to keep the faith.
The Key: Ding ding…the devil can‘t use you for a punching bag when the three Heavyweights are in your corner!