If you then, though you are evil—I’m sure my Calvinist friends are never going to let me live this down, but I have to admit that humans are evil. Whether we are born evil or become evil, the fact remains that depravity is a stain on the human condition. Paul calls it my “flesh.” It appears that being human is to have cravings, temptations, desires to engage in unrighteousness. From a very young age I am drawn to evil. Nobody had to teach me to disobey, that came naturally. I wish I could say that I’m a good man, but that is only true in the relative sense. In the absolute sense, that is, compared to God, I am an evil man. It is true that in Christ I am both justified and sanctified and that I am no longer evil before God, but in my flesh I am being sanctified and Holy Spirit is in the process of driving the evil from me. It is important that I use these terms to refer to myself: in my flesh I am evil and Holy Spirit is changing that.

…know how to give good gifts to your children—Even evil people can identify good and evil and behave in good ways. It is good and loving to care for children. I can see good and I can want good and sometimes I can even behave good. Just because I can do something good doesn’t mean I am not evil in my flesh. Doing good things does not make me good. Being good makes me good, and only Holy Spirit can make me good.

…how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!—Jesus’ main point here is that a truly good Father God will give his good gifts far more abundantly than we evil fathers could possible give our children. The secondary point for me is that his good gift is Holy Spirit. What I need is Holy Spirit. What God is pouring into me abundantly is Holy Spirit. All the problems I have with my flesh are solved by Holy Spirit. God greatly desires for Holy Spirit to be present, active, and leading my life. This is how I become sanctified in this world. He is willing to give me his gift in far exceeding amounts than I can imagine. My only requirement is to request Holy Spirit, to listen for his voice, and to follow his lead. The more I yield the stronger he becomes and the greater God’s gift in my life. He is willing; the only question is, am I?

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