Time or Eternity? ™

Posts Tagged ‘The Holy Spirt’

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.