The true Christian is utterly and totally dependent on the power of the Holy Spirit that indwells us at the moment of Salvation.
Any attempt to manufacture righteousness apart from the Spirit is futile. In the Flesh, there “dwelleth no good thing” (Rom 7:18). As a grape is dependent on the branch which is dependent on the vine, the believer is dependent on the Holy Spirit.
My favorite passage of scripture is John 15:1-11. The theme is total dependency on God through Christ (the True Vine). “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:4-5).
“For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.” (2 Cor 1:9)
- God has given us the power to overcome the Flesh (our sinful nature). How?
By yielding to the (Holy) Spirit.
- How do we yield to the Spirit?
By abiding in Christ and pursuing God.
- What does that look like?
By studying God’s Word, (prayerfully) seeking His face and believing.
Of course, to the unsaved world this is foolishness because the world is blind and unable to discern that which is Spiritual. They do not have the knowledge of God nor the indwelling Spirit of God. Our job is not to worry about what the world thinks but to trust in Christ (who overcame the world).
“Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.” (2 Cor 1:21-22)
The Holy Spirit testifies to this truth. We are no longer slaves to sin and death. We are set free by the shed blood of Jesus Christ. In Him, we are truly free to ‘walk in the newness of life (Rom 6:4) and eternally secure in Him.
Who are you dependent on today and do you have assurance of Salvation?