You cannot live a life like Jesus without living as Jesus lived—by the power of the Holy Spirit.
The Gospels demonstrate over and over that Jesus, the incarnate Son of God, chose to set aside his divine attributes and live by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. Consider just the following small sample.
Living the Christian life is not about following a series of laborious religious rituals to make you a better person—it’s about joyfully pursuing Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus was conceived in the womb of Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:34–35). Jesus was empowered by the Holy Spirit for his public ministry (Acts 10:38). Jesus was led by and fought temptation by the Holy Spirit (Luke 4:1–2). Jesus taught in the power of the Spirit (Luke 4:14). And Jesus was empowered by the Spirit to heal (Luke 5:17).
To think that we, as Christians, can live the life that Jesus has called us to without the Holy Spirit is foolish. As he did for Jesus, the Holy Spirit provides the strength and stamina to live our lives for God from beginning to end.
The following are four characteristics of living a Spirit-empowered life.
1. The Holy Spirit Regenerates You
Jesus was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit. In a similar way we are born into the kingdom of God by the Holy Spirit (John 3:1–15). To be born again is biblically summarized as the doctrine of regeneration. This means that God’s work for you at the cross by Jesus is applied to you by the Holy Spirit. This is the beginning of your life as a Christian.
2. The Holy Spirit Empowers You to Live Like Jesus
When you are born again you are filled with the Holy Spirit like Jesus was (1 Cor. 12:13; Eph. 1:13–14; 5:18). This means that you can live like Jesus, doing what he did, with just two exceptions.
First, we must live a life of repentance from personal sin. Jesus is sinless and never had to do this. Second, we will not be able to live perfectly like Jesus because of our ongoing sinful desires.
3. The Holy Spirit Empowers You to Endure Suffering
Living a Spirit-empowered life includes enduring hardship, pain, weakness, and loss as Jesus did. If we suffer while Spirit-empowered, we will, like Jesus, grow in perfection through these hardships.
4. The Holy Spirit Empowers You to Deny Yourself and Follow Jesus
Being Spirit-empowered like Jesus leads us to deny ourselves, pick up our cross, and follow Jesus wherever the Spirit leads. This may include suffering and dying like Jesus.
The Spirit Is a Good and Necessary Gift
Living the Christian life is not about following a series of laborious religious rituals to make you a better person. Living the Christian life is about joyfully pursuing Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit. This is why you need the Holy Spirit in your life.
God the Father gives good and perfect gifts, and Jesus said that he would give you the best gift of all: the Holy Spirit. All he said for you to do is to ask him to do so (Luke 11:13).
Ask God the Father that you would be filled with the Holy Spirit (Eph. 5:18). The Holy Spirit’s presence and empowerment in your life will enable you to live that the life to which Jesus has called you (Matt. 28:20).