Oct 4, 2009

Suicide and the Bible: The Holy Spirit

" But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes he will guide you into all thruth." John 16:13

The garden of Gethsemane cast its darkened shadows upon the ground. The air was soft and silent causing its own shadows of the things yet to come.

Jesus took dreaded steps towards his followers and instructed them to pray. The time had come and he left the company of man to turn to his Father in fear and supplication. Scripture mentions that he must have been so grievous to the point of sweating his own blood.

Upon his return back to the group, Jesus found them asleep.

He was only gone for an hour.

The disciples had nothing to talk about, nothing pressing on their hearts that they had to remain awake for.
Was their inability to see the distress of their Lord as they walked up to the garden mere oversight or neglect? The hand picked men found it quite easy and comfortable to allow the breezes of the night lull them into a comfortable slumber.

Jesus abruptly woke them, tapping on the underside of sandals and shuffling his body about to wake each and every group member. One was even found silently resting underneath an olive tree.

"Simon, are you asleep?" His voice expressed his distain. "Could you not keep watch for ONE hour?" His finger pointed infront of Simon looking at him squarely in the eye. "Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation." Everyone looked upon Jesus with groggy eyes, uneffected by his discourse. " The spirit is willing, but the body is weak." The men stood up but remained shortsighted as they neglected to see Jesus standing about in blood stained clothing.
Mark14:37-38 NIV

This scene holds many significances but the one that openly speaks out is how short of the glory of God the disciples, and we really are!

Jesus left the dicsiples on their own is a forshadowing of his departure from the world. During this hour we are shown how little they truly understood, how unwilling or unable they really were at following Jesus' direction.

Jesus turned around on his heel and left the disciples once more. When he left them they were quiet, but awake. When he returned again, they were asleep. The third and final time Jesus came back he awoke the ignorant and irreverent individuals. "Are you STILL sleeping and resting?" He asked as he looked on at them in wide eyed elevation.
His time had come and there was no more opportunity for him to explain or teach. Now they would know what it would be like to be defenseless, without Him, and they would have to fall back on their knowlege of what they had heard, witnessed and believed. The time in the garden was to show them how easy it was to give into human temptations. "Enough! The hour has come. Look the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!"
Mark 14:41-42 NIV

Three times the apostles are caught off guard and resting. Three times Jesus had to warn them but without asking questions as to what he meant, they didn't even blindly follow. The apostles gave into their body's need for sleep, and out of boredom or stagnancy, they became weak and succumbed to the deepening call of their human desires.

This illustration clearly shows, that no matter how many times one is brought back to a place of repentance, by focusing ones eyes on Christ- without help directly from him, there is absolutely no hope a believer can stay on course, and obey even the simplest of guidelines. To stay awake( Keep eyes focused), to keep watch( Watch out for temptations) and pray! (Supplication to God for His help)

Jesus' absence in the garden was to show the apostles that even though he was gone for three hours(representation of three days)he would return as he did when he kept waking the apostles up! But they missed that lesson altogether. They did not get to excersise their faith without having Jesus near, and they never experienced what it was like to be alone, watching and praying, staying alert while they awaited their master's return. These men missed the mark altogether. And this shows us how we still are not worthy even after all our knowledge and faith! We will forever always need help! Their slumber was another type of forshadowing showing us how sin seperates us from God, and the only one that can repair that seperation is the grace of Jesus Christ!

When Jesus was handed over, Peter grabbed the guard's sword, and cut off his( the guard's) ear. Had the apostles been standing by watching and praying while Jesus prayed on his own, they would have been prepared for the moment at hand and would not have resorted to such a inherent-physical (sinful in nature)response.

"The spirit is willing but the body is weak." Matthew 26:41 NIV

No one, not one is able to follow Jesus' teachings because of this inherent sinful nature. God's word directs believers into instruction and many times we fall into temptation and choose rest (or other distractions)over discipline. Many believe that the instruction and teaching is too hard to follow, and quite honestly it is- when one chooses to go it alone.

Jesus told his disciples that he would be back, but before that could happen, they had to be left on their own for a short time- could this be a time of testing of faith? Perhaps, but regardless the apostles were not abandoned! And neither are we- you!
Was Jesus trying to warn them through action before He was to go before the cross? I truly think so, and because of their example we are shown that we are NEVER left alone to our own devices IF we choose Jesus Christ as the focal point in our faith!

"In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me."
John 16:16 NIV

"Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you. Recieve the Holy Spirit." John 20:21-22 NIV

"But the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all the things and will remind you of everything I have said to you." John 26 NIV

God's grace continues today and for every believer who looks upon the Cross of Christ with faith!
We are given the same comforter that was given to the disciples at penticost and we recieve Him the minute we confess with our mouths in faith that Jesus Christ is Lord!

"If you love me and obey what I command. And I will ask the Father and he will give you another Counsellor to be with you forever- the Spirit of truth." John 14:16-17 NIV

Suicide makes a very succesful attempt to isolate and seperate. Isolate an individual from their rightful inheritance, and seperate them from all aspects that would bring them back to their rightful place including ignoring and pushing down or blocking the workings of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is also called our restrainer. He helps us and teaches us right from wrong and guides us away from destructive behavior (including self -destructive) When a believer turns away from all sight of God, the Holy Spirit cannot follow if one is willing to listen to the teachings of the world and its ways because God will never go against someone's free will.

While in the garden waiting, the disciples chose to fall asleep. Jesus never forced his instruction on them with anger or fear by drastic concequence. His grace was served to them three times, and would have been more, had there been time to linger. The Holy Spirit acts the same, patiently waiting until we come to the understanding, willingness and acceptance of taking our place in God's kingdom. Never is one forced, coherced, demeaned or schemed into doing the will of God. To do so is against his very nature.

Suicide will convince the believer that God's patience is infact ignorance which causes the inner workings of the Holy Spirit to become stiffled, only weakening what little resolve remains.

"... God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth." 2 Thessalonians 2:13 NIV

There is so much more to say about the Holy Spirit, and all this can be found in God's word. He is a friend, a teacher, a councilor and a person in the God head we call the trinity. He is spirit that resides within us. He dwells as deep as the depths of our marrow. He is the giver of life as we know that he was present and responsible for the act of ressurecting Jesus. He never acts on his own accord but always does the will of the Father and is responsible for giving believers their spiritual giftings.

Having this living person in spirit reside within a believer ever more speaks out against the validity of suicide in thought or in deed. To do so would put out the spirit's fire and put an end to the Holy Spirit's work God has entrusted him to do.
"Do not put out the spirit's fire, do not treat prophecies with contmept." 1 Thessalonians 5:21

The Holy Spirit is a witness to Jesus' work on the Cross and a witness to our living God, denying the Holy Spirit the right you gave him when you became a believer denies you of your rightful place in God's family. He loves you just as the Father loves you. He comes to you not with judgement but with grace that Jesus freely gave.

"But you will recieve power when the Holy Spirit comes on you;" Acts 1:8 NIV

"But when he, the spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth.He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you wat is yet to come. He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you." John 16:13-15 NIV

More references on the Holy Spirit:

Genesis 1:1-2
Genesis 1:26-27
Isaiah 40:31

Ezekiel 37:1-14

Samuel 23:1-13

Joel 2:28-32

Matthew 28:18-20

Mark 1:8

Luke 1:26-38
Luke 3:16
Luke 3:22
Luke 24:49

John 2-2:7
John 3:8
John 3:6-8
John 4:23-24
John 14:15-31
John 14:17
John 16:5-16

Acts 1:4-111
Acts 1:8
Acts 1:81
Acts 1:1-91
Acts 2:1-12

Acts 2:1-41
Acts 15:1-31

Romans 8:2
Romans 8:9

Galatians 5:16-26

Corinthians 3:16
Corinthians 4:18
Corinthians 12:1-11

Ephesians 1:11-14
Ephesians 3:14-19
Ephesians 4:11-16
Ephesians 5:15-21

Peter 1:3-9