“By The Holy Spirit” ( 1 Corinthians 12: 3, HCSB ) by Carley Evans


“No one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord.’ except by the Holy Spirit.”

“This is the message of faith we proclaim: If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord.’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you are saved. One believes with the heart, resulting in righteousness, and one confesses with the mouth, resulting in salvation.” (Romans 10: 8 – 10)

God the Holy Spirit draws us to Christ; and Christ reconciles us to God the Father. So, our salvation is the work of the Lord — through a gift of faith. “For [we] are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from [ourselves;] it is God’s gift — not from works, so that no one can boast. For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2: 8 – 10)

Being created in Christ Jesus, we are God’s children. And “this is how we know that we remain in Him and He in us: He gives assurance to us from His Spirit… Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God — God remains in him and he in God. And we come to know and to believe the love that God has for us, God is love.” (1 John 4: 13, 15 – 16)

God is love; He loves us like a father loves, cares for, protects his children. “There is no fear in love; instead perfect love drives out fear.” (1 John 4: 18)

“For God So Loves The World” (Luke 1: 68 – 70, ESV) by Carley Evans


John the Baptist’s father, Zechariah is “filled with the Holy Spirit” as he prophesies that God “has visited and redeemed His people. and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of His servant David.”

Zechariah calls us to praise our God. We are to lift our faces to heaven, and remember how much God loves us, how much He sacrificed for us, how much He intercedes for us, how much He covets us.

God “saves [us] from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us; [He] shows the mercy promised to our fathers and [He] remembers His holy covenant, the oath that He swore to our father, Abraham, to grant us that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him all our days.” (Luke 1: 71 – 75)

Zechariah calls us to “serve [God] without fear.” How? We serve God without fear because He loves us. “In this is love, not that we have loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (1 John 4: 10) “By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as He is so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because He first loved us.” (1 John 4: 17 – 19)

The author of 1 John calls us to live out this love of God in our lives “in this world.” He writes that “as He is so also are we in this world.” We are to love our brothers and sisters in Christ and call the whole world to Him. We are to ring out the glad tidings, the good news of Jesus Christ, born in Bethlehem, born of a woman from the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit.

Rejoice. Rejoice. I say it again: Rejoice. For God is come.