Another popular teaching amongst christians is the doctrine that you cannot be good or do good without being possessed by or having indwelling the holy spirit. Yes I did say, “having indwelling the holy spirit.” I used “indwelling” as an adverb. Sorry, I got lost there.
Anyway, this teaching further reinforces the view of the helplessness of man, how we are powerless to obey God without this other influence working in our bones that is not from our own will or strength but from God’s.
Question: “How can I live a holy life?
Answer: In order to address the question of how to live a holy life, we must first understand what holy means. To be holy means to be set apart or separate from sin and evil. God is holy—completely separate from everything that is evil (1 John 1:5). God calls us to be holy, just as He is (1 Peter 1:16, quoting Leviticus 19:2), but it’s vital to understand that apart from God this is impossible. We must have the Holy Spirit indwelling us and filling us with His holiness. We can only live a holy life through the power of the Spirit; thus, the first step to living a holy life is to accept Jesus as Savior (Ephesians 1:13). (from https://www.gotquestions.org/holy-life.html)
He empowers us to do what is right, live in faith and do good works (Ro 7:18, Eph 2:4-10). It is always God’s work in us that means that we are saved in Christ and living new lives for him. It is the Spirit that makes Christians aware of their sin and empowers them to turn away in repentance. (http://christianity.net.au/questions/why_do_we_need_the_holy_spirit)
As you can see, for christians, they are taught that it is highly important to this other spirit (it’s not the human spirit, so it’s an “other” spirit) living in you to “empower” or give you the ability to live obediently to God.
This has to be contrasted with the the books of Moses and the Jewish Bible on a whole which gives a distinctly different picture.
In Genesis 4:7, God tells Cain that there is forgiveness and acceptance if he does what is good; but if he doesn’t improve, sin crouches at the door. God adds something contradictory to the christian doctrine. He says that although sin desires Cain, Cain can master it.
That makes no sense with the xtian doctrine of man being a helpless slave to sin. A helpless slave is the utter opposite of the possibility God reveals to Cain. God says Cain can master it.
In Deuteronomy 30:11-14, Moses teaches that the commandment, the Torah, that he’s taught to Israel, which he received from God, was not beyond their ability, it wasn’t too hard or out of reach. This prophet, who had the most direct communication with Deity, said that the commandment was so close and accessible to Israel for them to do it.
For any who accept the five books of Moses as having high authority conferred upon them by God, it should be of great importance that God never taught or commanded that a man needs the other spirit, His holy spirit, just to obey him. Such an idea is absent from the law of God.
Deuteronomy 30 continues with expressing this ability of the human Israelites to obey God by focusing on choice. Between verses 15 and 20, Moses lays before them the choice to do good and obey God, and to do evil and disobey God. And he says to Israel, “Choose life! Choose good!”
It may not seem like a big thing. I get it. But tell me something, does God, the all-knowing, ever command a person to do what they cannot do? When he commands a man not to murder, that necessarily implies that man has the ability to refrain from taking the physical life of someone else. When he tells the earth to bring forth grass and animals, that means he has already given the ability for the earth to do as it’s told. That’s the power and wisdom of God.
So when Israel is offered a choice by God’s prophet, that necessarily implies that the people have the ability to fulfil either part of the choice.
The message of the Hebrew Bible, over and over again, is that man is not powerless. God has set before any man a choice, a demand. It has been shown to us what is good and what God requires from us: fairness, kindness and humility before God (Micah 6:8). A man can find favour in the eyes of God as Noah did.
It never said you need God’s spirit just to obey him. Guess what? We’re already made in God’s image. That means a whole lot.