The Holy Spirit

[1Cor. 6:11]---'Ye were the spirit of God.'

There are three supreme unveilings of God recorded in the Scriptures. He manifested Himself in creation; and then His commandment was, Let there be Light. He manifested Himself again in the incarnation and mission and redemption of Christ; and then the command was, Let there be Love. He manifested Himself a third time in the wind and fire of Pentecost; and now His decree ran, Let there be Life. The Holy Spirit had His essential share in each of the unveilings, and it was He who charged Himself with the fulfilment of each of the imperatives. He brooded over the face of the waters in the far-off birth of things, bringing order from confusion and light from darkness. He prepared a human body for the Lord Christ, and upheld Him till His work was finished. He bestowed Himself on believing souls in a fullness unknown before, when the Day of Pentecost was come.

Let there be Light; Let there be Love; Let there be Life---when God the Spirit gives effect to the three words, not only on the wide scale of the physical universe, and not only in the vast field of the Christian Church, but in the little world of our individual being, we understand what Sanctification is for ourselves.

The Spirit is Teacher---He illuminates. He is the Spirit of Truth, who leads into all truth, and bears witness of Christ, and brings to remembrance what Christ has said and to recognition what He desires to say. 'Let there be Light,' is the command He rings in our ears, and He gives what He commands; for, with His Advent and His inhabitation, the day breaks and it is a glad and confident morning.

Let us consider what a new and radiant Bible we have when the Spirit opens and unfolds it. We would not deny that He may have His messages for our souls apart from the written Word, a secret of the Lord which He whispers immediately to them who fear and love Him. If so, the inner light is harmonized with the light which flows from the Holy book.

The Spirit uses the Word to show us what is lacking still in our character as children of God; and we are not satisfied till the want is met and the deficiency is filled up. The Lord's words are not simply words. No, they are the Kings ambassadors and our guides. They are prophets and angels of the Most High. They breath on us with warm life. They lay on us their restraining or constraining hands. The Holy Spirit is in them and in us who read them. And thus He sanctifies.

The Spirit is Comforter.---He surrounds us with the atmosphere of affection and strengthening. He speaks to our hearts, and His word is, 'Let there be Love.' To utter it He had to journey from the marvel of the creation to the profounder marvel of the incarnation; and Christ was born in Bethlehem, to die on Calvary, and to rise again the third day. We know love in its essence, at its white heat, only when we know Christ. So it was on the big canvas, and so it is on the small. The Holy Ghost sets each one of us, believing men and women, in the air and climate of love---how? By making the Lord Jesus Christ our All in all. By showing us that there is not a conceivable need of ours which He does not anticipate, which He does not face, and which He does not dispel.

We are accustomed to talk of the inward witness of the Spirit, the assurance He breeds in Christians that they are beyond doubt the children and the heirs of God. It is a witness short of which none of us should stop, but the Spirit produces it, not by turning our gaze in anxious introspection to our moods and states and feelings, but by fastening our gaze in simple contentment on our sufficient Lord. When we obey the injunction; when we dwell, not in the love that we have to the Lord Jesus Christ, which always is weaker and less than it ought to be, but in the love that He has to us, which is changeless and endless, our Sanctification must advance. Atmosphere has an astonishing effect on character. 'Let there be Love,' the Spirit says.

The Spirit is Quickener.---God's third majestic imperative was, 'Let there be Life'; and the result was Pentecost. The special and crowning era of the Holy Spirit began. And the note of the new era was Life, life which can prevail over every obstacle and win every triumph. That is His third word for the solitary disciple, as it was for the community of disciples. The life which we have from the Spirit of God is so wonderful that no language does justice to it. It is quiet, and it is strong. So still and quiet it is that nobody hears its inner movement. So strong it is, and contagious, and abundant, that everybody sooner or later is cognizant of its presence, and ether is attracted to it or is repelled from it. The Holy Spirit is silent in His working; but He so possesses those who yield to Him that they are lifted to other levels, and invested with other resources. The Christian before his Pentecost is to the Christian after his Pentecost as the child to the man. However you look at him---whether in his abhorrence of sin, or in his understanding of truth, or in his resemblance to Christ, or in his influence over men---his life has been multiplied a hundredfold.

It is deep also, and it is clear. It has its hidden seclusions and retirements. It is maintained by communion, and meditation, and the shutting of the door, and the seeing of the Father's face. Those are its depths, and it cannot prosper without them. But it manifests its quality in the commonest details. It leads some of us into the market, and gives us calmness and holiness in the clamor of voices and the clash of interests. It sets many within the home, with its multitudinous cares and little annoyances; and there the peace of God garrisons the mind, and makes speech considerate and kindly.

And it is being perfected. If our one desire is to respond to the Spirit of God, He will fill our nature to its utmost capacity with His truth and grace and power and we shall advance to new altitudes. He is always expanding the capacity, so that in Him we go from strength to strength.

In Christ, timothy.


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