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No True Religion but by the Spirit of God.

In The Holy Spiirt, The Spiirt of the World on May 20, 2012 at 8:00 am

Keep close to this idea of religion as an inward spiritual life in the soul; seek for no good, no comfort, but in the awakening of all that is holy and heavenly in your heart; and then, so much as you have of this inward religion, so much have you of real salvation. For salvation is only a victory over nature; so far as you resist and renounce your vain, selfish, and earthly nature, so far as you overcome all your own natural tempers of the old man, so far God enters into you, lives in you and operates; He is in you as the light, the life, and the Spirit of your soul; and you are in Him that new creature that worships Him in spirit and truth. For divine worship or service is and can only be performed by being likeminded with Christ; nothing worships God, but the Spirit of His beloved Son, in whom He is well pleased. Look now at anything as religion or divine service, but a strict, unerring conformity to the life and Spirit of Christ, and then, though every day was full of burnt-offerings, yet you would only be like those religionists, who drew near to God with their lips, but their heart was far from Him. For the heart is always far from God, unless the Spirit of Christ be alive in it. But no one has the living Spirit of Christ, but he who in all his conversation walketh as He walked.

All Scripture brings us to the conclusion, that religion is but a dead work, unless it be the work of the Spirit of God; and that prayers, singing, preaching, hearing, are only so many ways of being fervent in the spirit, and of giving up ourselves more and more to the inward working, enlightening, quickening, sanctifying Spirit of God within us; and all for this end, that the curse of the fall may be taken from us, that death may be swallowed up in victory, and a real, true Christlike nature formed in us, by the very same Spirit.

The moment you cease to be moved, quickened, and inspired, by God, you are infallibly inspired by the spirit of Satan, or the world, or by both of them. And the reason is, because the soul of man is a spirit, and a life, that in its whole being is nothing else but a birth of God and nature; and therefore every moment of its life must live in conjunction, or union, either with the Spirit of God governing nature, or with the spirit of nature fallen from God, and working in itself. As creatures, we are therefore under an absolute necessity of being under the motion, guidance, and inspiration, of some spirit that is more than our own. All that is put in power is only the choice of our leader; but led and moved we must be, and by that spirit, to which we give up ourselves, whether it be the Spirit of God or the spirit of fallen nature. To seek therefore to be always under the inspiration and guidance of God’s Holy Spirit, and to act by an immediate inspiration from it, is not proud enthusiasm, but as sober and humble a thought, as suitable to our state, as to think of renouncing the devil and the world. For they never can be renounced by us, but so far as the Spirit of God is living, moving, breathing, in us.

And that for this plain reason, because nothing is contrary to the spirit of Satan or the world, nothing works, or can work contrary to it, but the Spirit of heaven. Hence our Lord said, “He that is not with Me is against Me, and he that gathereth not with Me, scattereth;” plainly declaring, that not to be with Him, and led by His Spirit, is to be led by the spirit of the world, and of Satan. Ask now what hell is? It is nature destitute of the light and Spirit of God, and full only of its own darkness; nothing else can make it to be hell. Ask what heaven is? It is nature quickened, enlightened, blessed, and glorified, by the light and Spirit of God dwelling in it. Here you may see with the utmost clearness, that to look for salvation in anything else, but the light of God within us, the Spirit of God working in us, the birth of Christ really brought forth within us, is to be as carnally minded as the Jews were when their hearts were wholly set upon a temporal Saviour. And all for this plain reason, because the soul is a spirit breathed forth from God Himself, which therefore cannot be blessed but by having the life of God in it; and nothing can bring the life of God into it, but only the light and Spirit of God. Upon this ground I stand in the utmost certainty, looking wholly to the light and Spirit of God, for an inward redemption from all the inward evil that is in my fallen nature.

Be Led by the Spirit. (The Holy Spirit)

In The Holy Spiirt on May 18, 2012 at 8:00 am

When the Holy Ghost is the teacher, he leads to Christ, he exalts Christ, he reveals Christ, he takes of the things of Christ and makes them known, he glorifies Jesus in the word, and by it in our understandings; so that we know him, believe on him, and have communion with him. Then we live on him as our all in all; and live to him in all; receiving out of his fullness every blessing of grace, and many sweet foretastes of eternal glory.

Jesus is the glory of his people. The knowledge of him is life everlasting. And to enter spiritually into what the Holy Ghost hath revealed concerning him in the written word, and to receive into our minds, and give full credit in our hearts to the record of God concerning his Son, is the fruit and effect of the supernatural teaching of the eternal Spirit; he is the Anointing which teacheth all things and leads into all truth.

Remember the matter of importance is not what you are, but what Christ is. He is the Saviour, self-existent, all-sufficient, suited exactly to your case. There is not a wound sin has given that he can’t heal, not a stain  his blood cannot cleanse, not a sin he can not pardon, not a want he can’t supply, not a corruption he can’t subdue, not a sorrow he can’t turn it into joy, not an enemy he can’t conquer, not a blessing he can’t bestow: oh he is a precious, precious, precious Jesus.  Look at him as set forth before you in the word, and trust on him according to the reason you have for so doing it; believe on him by it, hold communion with him in it, and learn to improve it to his glory and your soul’s good.


The Virgin Birth of Jesus Christ: The Work of the Holy Spirit part

In Jesus, The Holy Spiirt on April 19, 2012 at 8:00 am

The origin of this great scheme of salvation is ascribed to God the Father. He loved the world,—sent His Son,—prepared the way for His coming,—enabled Him to finish His work on earth,—engaged that some should believe on Him, —age after age, and that, at length, He should be exalted to ” sit with the Father on His throne,” as King of kings, and Lord of lords.

The accomplishment of our salvation, by His personal humiliation, obedience, death, is the office of the Lord Jesus Christ. That work He has already finished; therefore, the Scriptures assure us that ” God hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things on earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Phil.2: 9-11.  It is the office of the Holy Spirit both to prepare Christ for this work, and also to bring the souls of sinners into living union with Him, so as to be saved in and by Christ for ever. It is in connection with these offices of Father, Son, and Spirit, it is repeated, that the Mystery of the Trinity is revealed. We consider, then, the Holy Spirit in relation to Christ.

It was the work of the Holy Spirit to form the sinless human nature of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the Scripture doctrine of immaculate conception. Since Adam fell, only one being ever trod this earth,—holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners,—not the Virgin Mary,—but her Divine Offspring. It was needful for our redemption that the Saviour should become man; but, not man tainted with original sin,—not corrupted with evil desires as we are,—not dead to God, and truth, and eternity like ourselves, from early life yielding to temptation and sin. No, — He must have a human birth, but not to inherit human depravity. He must belong to our nature so as to share its sorrows, while He has no participation in its indwelling evils,—man, to sympathize and to suffer, but not man, to feel sin working and warring within Him as we do. He must be one with us, in all the afflictions, sorrows, and penalties of our sin, but not one with us in any of our sinful propensities or hereditary corruptions.

That Christ’s body might be like ours, as to its organization and sympathies, it was formed of the substance of the Virgin Mary, His human mother: but that His body might be sinless, and thus unlike ours, it was created by the power of the Holy Ghost.  By the operation of the Holy Spirit, God has provided a Saviour,—perfect and immaculate, without the taint of original sin, or the least propensity to evil. He felt our infirmities, as hunger, weariness, pain; he had no disease that we ever read of; his body was human, but perfect; and his human soul as full of love, gentleness, goodness, patience, as perfection itself could make Him.  But, besides being perfect in Himself, “the Spirit of the Lord rested upon Him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord, and made Him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord;” all which St. John had in view when he describes Him as ” full of grace and truth.”

The human body of the Saviour grew as other children; so also the graces of the Spirit advanced and ripened. The child Jesus grew, and waxed strong in the Spirit.” These graces of the Spirit became stronger by exercise; so that, as years passed on, He increased in wisdom, as well as in stature, in favor with God as well as in favor with men. This is seen in the instructive incident of the Lord, when twelve years old, conversing with the doctors in the Temple; who, it is said, “were astonished at His understanding and His answers.” Thus the Divine Saviour is the perfect example of piety in childhood and youth.



The Baptizing of Jesus Christ: The Work of The Holy Spirit

In Jesus, The Holy Spiirt on April 17, 2012 at 8:01 am

When the Lord was baptized, the Holy Ghost was again remarkably manifested,—“the Spirit of God descended like a dove, and lighted upon Him.” (Matt. 3:16) It was not to make the Savior personally Holy, that the Spirit descended on Him in that visible form, for He was perfectly holy already; but the Spirit, on that occasion, bestowed the gifts needful for His great office of Prophet, Priest, and King, of His Church.

The Spirit given at His baptism was, also, the seal of the Father testifying to the world, beyond all doubt, that He was indeed the long-promised seed of the woman, the hope of the Church. It was with reference to His baptism that the Lord said, ” The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings to the meek. He hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.”

By the Spirit’s descent on His baptism, the great seal of heaven was on Christ; and it was men’s own blindness and condemnation that they would not see it.   He thus reproved the Jews for their worldly spirit and their unbelief, ” Labour not for the meat that perisheth, but for that which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give you;” and then added this assurance that He could supply the living bread, ” for, Him hath God the Father sealed.” The emblem of a dove, which the Holy Spirit chose to assume on that occasion, expressively denotes the Peace which Jesus brings to His people: ” This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased,—hear Him,” for He, and He only, can speak peace to your souls.

Sinless from His birth,—filled with grace,— and, from the time of His baptism, sealed by the Holy Spirit, He entered upon His public work,— “full of the Holy Ghost;”—up to that time He had been “waxing strong in spirit,” but now He is “full.”


The Spirit of The World and The Spirit of God

In The Holy Spiirt, The Spiirt of the World on April 10, 2012 at 8:00 am

The heresy of all heresies, is a worldly spirit. We are apt to consider this temper only as an infirmity, or pardonable failure; but it is, indeed, the great apostasy from God and the divine life. It is not a single sin, but the whole nature of all sin, that leaves no possibility of coming out of our fallen state, until it be totally renounced with all the strength of our hearts.  Every sin, be it of what kind it will, is only a branch of the worldly spirit that lives in us. Choose any life but the life of God and heaven, and you choose death; for death is nothing else but the loss of the life of God and heaven.

The creatures of this world have but one life, the life of this world; this is their one life, and their one good. Eternal beings have but one life and one good, and that is the life of God. The spirit of the soul is in itself nothing but a spirit breathed forth from the life of God, and for this only end, that the life of God, the nature of God, the working of God, the tempers of God, may be manifest in it. All the religion of fallen man, all the methods of our redemption, have only this one end, to take from us that strange and earthly life we have gotten by the fall, and to kindle again the life of God and heaven in our souls. It is to take from us entirely the whole spirit of this world. And that for this necessary reason, because all that is in the world, is not of the Father, that is, is not that life, or that spirit of life, which we had from God by our creation; but is of the world, is brought into us by our fall from God into the life of this world. And therefore a worldly spirit is not to be considered as a single sin, or as something that may consist with some real degrees of goodness, but as a real state of death to the kingdom and life of God in our souls.

Therefore,  the heresy of heresies is a worldly spirit. It is the greatest blindness and darkness of our nature, and keeps us in the grossest ignorance of both heaven and hell . For though they are both within us, yet we feel neither the one nor the other so long as the spirit of the world reigns within us. Of all things, therefore, detest the spirit of this world, or there is no help; you must live and die an utter stranger to all that is divine and heavenly. For a worldly spirit can know nothing of God; it can know nothing, feel nothing, taste nothing, delight in nothing, but with earthly senses, and after an earthly manner. For nothing feels, or tastes, or understands, or likes, or dislikes, but the life that is in us. The spirit that leads our life, , is the spirit that forms our understanding. All this only to show you the utter impossibility of knowing God and divine truths till your life is divine, and wholly dead to the spirit of the world; since our light and knowledge can be no better or higher, than the state of heart and life is.

If you were to ask me, What is the apostasy of these last days, or whence is all the degeneracy of the present Christian Church? I should place it all in a worldly spirit. If here you see only forms of godliness, there open wickedness; if here superficial holiness, political piety, crafty prudence, there haughty sanctity, partial zeal, envious orthodoxy; all these are only forms of the worldly spirit. This is the great net with which the devil becomes a fisher of men. And be assured of this, that every son of man is in this net, till through and by the Spirit of Christ he breaks out of it .