I recall when my father passed away.  He had been bed-ridden for some time, and his body was weak. I remember looking at his hands, with their bruises and IV needles.  He had big, strong hands with beautiful long fingers that could wrap around a baseball.

So many memories went through my mind as we sat and waited for the end to come.  I remembered a day when, as a small child, I had asked him, “Dad, can you play catch with me?”  He picked up a stack of papers from his desk and said “No, son, I do not have time right now.” Then he thought for a moment, smiled and said, “Oh, yes I do!” He slammed the papers down on his desk—not out of anger, but out of warmth.  He took me outside to play ball. He had time for me, and I felt like the king of the world.

I remembered another day.  He had come to me and said, “Today I’m going to show you how to throw a curve ball.”  When I looked at his hands resting beside him on the bed I thought, “Those are the same hands that taught me how to throw a curve ball 30 years ago.”

My father’s body was, for me, a physical connection between past and present.  I remember the despondency I felt when his body expired.  I no longer had the same physical connection to the past that we’d shared together, and I had nothing to touch or to see that let me feel that my father had a future.

You can read more about lessons I learned from my father in my blog, “Why My Father Was a Great Man.”

The Holy Spirit is present in both our past and our future.

The Scriptures tell us that the Holy Spirit is the point of connection between our present and our future.  Just as we now have the Spirit, so also, though our bodies will expire, God through the Spirit who now indwells us will raise us from the dead:

However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. (Romans 8:9)

To put it another way, every Christian has the Holy Spirit.  Don’t think that you can be a Christian and not have the Spirit.  If Christ is in you (Romans 8:10), even though your body is dead because of sin, the indwelling Spirit is resurrection life because of the righteousness of God.  If the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, then He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also resurrect your mortal bodies through His Spirit who indwells you.

Just as my father’s physical body was the connection between the past and present, so now the indwelling Spirit is the point of connection between what we are now and what we will be one day in the future.

Read about the hope we have as Christians in my blog “There is Hope. Here’s Why.”

God has promised to raise us from the dead.  He has promised to raise us because we have heard and believed the gospel and He has given us His Spirit.  He is already at work doing the resurrection processes of transformation.

We have a glorious hope because of the resurrection of Christ, and the gift of the Spirit provides us with continuity between this life and the glorious age to come.  We have hope, and because of such a glorious hope, we ought here and now to serve Him with our whole hearts.

The preceding was adapted by Rachel Motte from a sermon Dr. Sloan delivered at Tallowood Baptist Church on June 17, 1990.

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