Like probably a lot of new Christians, at the moment I received salvation I hadn’t yet read most of the New Testament. I had read the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John at least once each, parts of them even more than once, but I can’t say that I really understood everything I was reading, or that even when I did understand it was all necessarily sinking in.
Being still a very brand new Christian I keep discovering more amazing things every time I open the Bible and seek to get to know God better through His Word.
My big “Ah ha!” moment this week was in coming to a new understanding of the importance of the community service to which many local churches – including mine – are so deeply committed. I mean, I thought it was not “through works” that we are saved, so I was a little confused.
This week God led me to Matthew 25, and although it’s not the first time I’ve read it, I think I had one of those LIGHTBULB moments:
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”Matthew 25:37-40 (NIV) [emphasis mine]
I’m no theologian, and never will be. But this got me thinking about the Holy Spirit in unbelievers. It made me wonder whether the Spirit dwells within those who are not yet saved. My own experience of the Holy Spirit was that He did speak to me before I was saved, so I can only conclude that He was somewhere in the vicinity of my soul, at least some of the time.
And given that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are One, it makes sense that it doesn’t matter whether people are saved or not in their (worldly-time…) moment of (worldly) need — they are all God’s people and caring for His people is caring for Jesus. Likewise (Matt 25:41-45) by not caring for His people we are turning away from Him.
Or something like that. Like I said, I’m no theologian. I’m sure there are others who’ve said this in a better way, but what I’m trying to say is that I feel like I now have a new view of people in general … I used to see others all just as “people” and now suddenly I feel like I see others not just as “people” but as GOD’s people who contain a spark of God Himself.
Or something like that.
God, I pray that as I grow in my understanding of Your Kingdom and Your ways You will correct my errors of understanding and teach me the vocabulary words I can use to talk about You in the languages of the worldly realm.