The Promise of the Father
June 7, 2005
Dear Friend of Mary Craig Ministries,
Salvation. Itís all about getting back to the Father. When Adam willingly
believed a lie, acted upon another word, turned to another source of life and blessing, and became a covenant-breaker,
he plunged humanity into an estate of sin and misery. Fellowship with the Father was lost, the relationship broken,
the communion (common union) severed. So God, the God of all grace, the Father of Mercies and Infinite Love, gave
the first promise of restoration in Genesis 3.15. His design? Return to Me, and I will return to you. I will be
your God, and you will be My people.
Salvation, immortality, eternal life would not come through partaking
of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, human wisdom or philosophy, but through sacrifice. That sacrifice,
the only acceptable sacrifice, would be God the Son, Jesus Christ. And as Jesus, the Incarnate Word, came from
heaven to earth to live a life of righteousness pleasing to the Father, to die to pay the penalty for sin and to
satisfy the debt note of sin, and to rise again from the dead, He promised to send the Comforter, the Holy Spirit.
Jesus gave us a parable about the importance of asking, seeking, and knocking.
At the end of that parable, He made His main point. "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts
unto your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?" (Luke
The Holy Spirit is the promise of the Father. (Acts 1.4; 2.33) The Holy
Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son. He is the seal of the covenant of grace, the guarantee, the Holy Spirit
of promise. (Ephesians 1.13) He is called in scripture, the Spirit of life, the Spirit of prophecy, the Spirit
of glory and of God, the Spirit of Christ, the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation, the Spirit of burning and judgment,
the Spirit of Grace and Supplications, the Spirit of Faith, the Spirit of Adoption, the Spirit of Truth, the Comforter
or Paraclete, the Spirit of Holiness, that Eternal Spirit, the Spirit of God.
You see, comfort and joy, life and blessing do not come through the world
or the things of the world, but through Christ. Many, however, think otherwise, and seek comfort and joy from sources
such as wine, narcotics, addictions, forbidden fruit, etc. Their god is their belly. They have eyes full of adultery.
They lust and do not have. Their flesh wars against the Spirit. They are friends of the world and so are enemies
of God. Life and blessing do not come through such sources, but through the infilling of the Holy Spirit, through
right standing with the Father. (Ephesians 5) "For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness,
and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost." (Romans 14.17) Jesus said, "Man does not live by bread alone but
by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God." (Luke 4.4) Jesus also said, "My meat is to do the
will of Him that sent Me, and to finish His work." (John 4.34) Jesus had the Father as His Source of satisfaction,
destiny, power, and purpose.
Today I see many grieving and quenching the Holy Spirit, spurning the
love of the Father and His great gift to His children. Many have drifted, doubted, and grown dull of hearing. They
have turned away, though they were once enlightened and tasted of the heavenly gift and were made partakers of
the Holy Spirit. They tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, but then fell to the side,
insulting the Spirit of Grace. Instead of pressing toward the mark of the high calling of Jesus Christ, these stand
still and so stagnate in their relationship with God, or worse, live like infidels.
If you or someone you know and love are in this position, beware. We are
not to receive the grace of God in vain (2 Corinthians 6.1, Galatians 5.4). Itís possible to have very uplifting,
reforming, and exhilarating experiences of the power and truth of the gospel, to come into close contact with the
supernatural forces operative in Godís kingdom of grace so as to give appearance of true salvation and yet never
truly be regenerated (1 John 2.19; Matthew 24.10, 12; 1 Timothy 1.19, 4.1: 2 Timothy 4.10; 2 Peter 2.20-22). It
is possible to have the emotions touched and the will affected without the heart being truly regenerated by the
We need a firm root, to be rooted and grounded in Christ (Ephesians 3).
If someone truly belongs, they believe. Jesus said to some that they didnít believe, because they didnít belong.
(John 5) We are to make our election sure, to work out our salvation with fear and trembling.
Are we to crucify the Son of God afresh?
Hebrews 6 warns that in such a case it would be impossible to renew such a one again unto repentance. The Holy
Spirit is Godís seal to the soul. The Spirit bears witness with our spirit. (Romans 8.14-16) Assurance of salvation
is alone to be found in true fellowship with the living Jesus in love and obedience. (1 John 1) God grants us grace,
including the grace of repentance, in order that we might obey through faith working by love. He is faithful. Be
You cannot lose the salvation that comes as you are born out of God. If
you could, it would be impossible to get it back again. While a true believer is crucifying and putting Jesus to
an open shame, however, that person could not be brought to repentance while treating Jesus in such a shameful
way. The warning of Hebrews 6 is clear, but the author intends to draw us forward into faith and perseverance.
We insult the Spirit of grace by not believing the gospel. And how do
we know when we are not believing the gospel? When our lives and daily choices make a mockery of the cross. Did
Jesus die for your sins and set you free from the power of sin? Then live like it. (Romans 12.1, 2; 1 John; James)
Recently I heard a man speak of his salvation experience as a young man.
He knew his sin and he knew the power of Christ to save. He could recite the gospel. But his choices put Jesus
to shame. At first I was made happy by his testimony of how Jesus had saved him. Later, I grieved as I saw the
testimony of his life.
We are all guilty of hypocrisy, and we all disappoint God and others at
times, but beyond that Paulís warning is clear.
Do you not know that the unrighteous shall not
Inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived:
Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor
Adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of
Themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor
Covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor
Extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
(1 Corinthians 6.9, 10)
God is not into lawlessness. God is holy, and He gives us the Holy Spirit
just as He promised to do. Salvation that is real brings and bears fruit, the fruit of righteousness, the fruit
of the Holy Spirit. Part of the evidence of that fruit is the desire to press on to perfection, to follow Jesus
who is bringing many sons to glory, and to obey Godís will. Those that bear thorns worthy to be rejected and burned
call the things of Christ worthless and use the gifts of God in lawlessness and unrighteousness, mocking the means
of grace. We are to discern what is truly good for us and what is truly out to destroy us. We are to be holy as
God is holy.
It takes the grace of God to acknowledge the Word, to align with the Word,
and to abide in the Word. We limit grace by much complaining and failure to return thanks (Psalm 78). We limit
grace by not partaking of the means of grace. What are some of
the means of grace? They include: baptism, communion, reading
the Word, prayer, fellowship with other believers, witnessing for Christ, ministering to God and others, worship,
humbling yourself before God, returning thanksgiving to God, and giving our tithes and offerings to God.
The Holy Spirit is given that it might be said of us: