The Spirit-filled life

[Eph. 5:18]---' Be filled with the Spirit."

The Spirit-filled life is a life of conquest over temptation. The three Gospels which record the temptations of Jesus emphasize its connection with His baptism. Matthew says, 'Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.' Mark says, 'And staightway the Spirit driveth him forth into the wilderness. And he was in the wilderness forty days tempted of Satan ; and he was with the wild beasts.' Luke says, And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan, and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness during forty days, being tempted of the devil.'

The exposure to temptation is the deliberate act of the Spirit. God does not keep His saints in clover. The Spirit thrust forth Christ to His testing. Satan tempts to seduce, God tests that He may prove. In the temptation of Job God seems to retire from the scene of conflict, but the Spirit was with Jesus through all the forty days. He led Him in and led Him through. The presence of the Spirit is manifest in the discernment of the evil in the devil's appeals, in the answers that met the assault, and in the power of resistance. The proposals looked innocent, devout, and resonable enough, but the Spirit laid bare the bait and supplied the answers. The Spirit that exposed Him secured His complete and abundant triumph.

The word temptation means test, and in its original application it refers to whatever draws out, and brings to the surface, the contents of the inner self. It reveals the ruling bent of one's disposition and life. Primariy it did not refer to any solicitation to wickedness. That application of the word belongs to a later period in its history, and is the one now commonly accepted. God tries us ; Satan temps us ; and our wills and hearts are the spheres in which both seek to work. It never is God's purpose by the trials which He sends us to bring out and confirm the evil that is in us, rather is it to lessen and destroy it by calling out the good and giving it the command of life.

It may therfore become a means of the most abiding good, inasmuch as it reveals a man to himself, and discloses where his weakness lies. When a man sees himself he is almost certain to see God ; when he faces the dangers of his character, he will quickly turn to the help of God. It is only by the resistance to evil that goodness is matured and strengthened.

To many, religion is an investment seeking a return with interests in this life or the next. Christianity is not for self-indulgence, not for self-mortification, not for self-interests, but for service. Everything in the work of the Spirit is preparatory and subservient to the ministry of the Kingdom of Christ.

The Spirit-filled life is a life full of joy. He floods the soul with light and gladness and praise. The Spirit-filled sing and give thanks to God. Their joy springs up from within their souls, a perpetual fountain shimmering with light. They carry with them a refreshing and infectious gladness, and a abiding consciousness of peace.

What is the Spirit's secret of perpetual gladness? The Spirit makes men glad with the consciousness of God. The soul sees God. When they stoned Stephen, 'he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God.' He rejoiced in the exalted Christ, and the ultimate triumph of His cause. Men shout at the sight of their King. The Spirit-filled live in a vision of the opened heavens, and that is why they rejoice amid the tulmults of earth.

In Christ, timothy.