HOLY SPIRIT

GRIEVING THE SPIRIT

“Don’t grieve God.  Don’t break his heart.  His Holy Spirit, moving and breathing in you, is the most intimate part of your life, making you fit for himself.  Don’t take such a gift for granted” (Eph 4:30 MSG).

“All that we know of ourselves spiritually, all that we know of God, of Jesus, and of His Word, we owe to the teaching of the Holy Spirit.  All the real light, sanctification, strength, and comfort we ever possess on our way to glory, we must ascribe to Him” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, March 19th).

“…the Spirit that God caused to live in us jealously yearns for us” (James 4:5 International Standard Version).

“Think of the grief of the Spirit of Love!  Who can measure the anguish of His rebuffs, reproaches, and rejection.  Love is sensitive.  It shrinks from distrust, indifference and reproach.  It yearns for love” Samuel Chadwick (ref#195, p 122-123).

“The Spirit though always the blessed occupant of the Church of Christ and of the individual believer, may not always be manifestly present.  The prayerless, unholy, and trifling walk of a believer will cause Him to withdraw His sensible presence.  The coldness, formality, worldliness, and divisions of a church will compel Him to withhold the plentiful rain or the gentle dew of His precious influence.  He may be so disowned, dishonored, wounded, and grieved, as to retire behind the curtains of His secret glory for a while, leaving the scene of worldliness and strife to the curse and the reproach of barrenness” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, March 19th).

Oh FATHER, You have graced me with the HOLY SPIRIT. And I plead for more of His influences, not less.   I remind myself it is my work to not interrupt His work.

HOLY SPIRIT

ABIDING WITH THE SPIRIT

“…the Holy Spirit…God has given to those who obey him” (Acts 5:32 ESV).

“The Spirit of God undertakes the achievement of an amazing work.  He enters the soul, and proposes to restore the empire of grace, the reign of holiness, and the throne of God.  He works to form all things anew, to create a revolution in favor of Christ and heaven.  He undertakes to change the heart, turning its enmity into love; to collect all the elements of darkness and confusion, changing them into perfect light and perfect order; to subdue the will, bringing it into harmony with God’s will; to explore all the recesses of sin, turning its very impurity into holiness; in a word, to regenerate the soul, restoring the divine image and fitting it for the full and eternal enjoyment of God in glory” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, July 4th).

So, first I have to make a habit of asking the FATHER daily for the SPIRIT.  Then I have to make a habit of recognizing often throughout the day His presence with me.  Then I have to discipline my actions to parallel the FATHER’s.

It’s just like possessing a new nature.  It can’t be in me latent but I must work it into my activities—use it—depend on it.  FATHER, my goal is to cast out my humanness and rely on the SPIRIT’s direction.

Refusing human fleshly thoughts will be a constant battle the rest of my life.  But practice leads toward perfectness.  I will never get there but the process (progression) will bring me more and more joy.  FATHER, thank You for the HOLY SPIRIT who brings You to me and takes my praise back to You.

Matthew, speaking of JESUS says “…He will ignite the kingdom life within you, a fire within you, the Holy Spirit within you, changing you from the inside out. He’s going to clean house—make a clean sweep of your lives. He’ll place everything true in its proper place before God; everything false he’ll put out with the trash to be burned”(Matt 3:11-12 MSG).

HOLY SPIRIT

THE HOLY SPIRIT AS A GUIDE

“The Holy Spirit is our Guide, not only to show us the way, but to go with us by continued aids and influences.  To be led into a truth is more than barely to know it; it is not only to have the notion of it in our heads, but the relish, and savour, and power of it in our hearts” Matthew Henry (ref#18, [John 16:7-15]). 

“…the Helper, the Holy Spirit…will teach you all things…” (John 14:26 ESV).

“The abiding Indweller…the Spirit, is perpetually admonishing, leading, drawing, and constraining the soul…” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Aug 9th).

“It is the Holy Spirit who guides us into the right path for us to walk and convicts us of our sin if we stray from that path.  It is the Holy Spirit who reminds us of the truth of God’s Word and teaches us how to apply God’s Word to our daily lives.  It is the Holy Spirit who works in us to conform us to the image of Christ Jesus, and who works through us to minister the presence and power of Christ to others” Charles F. Stanley (ref#230, p ix).

“And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules”(Ezek 36:27 ESV).  “God does this by combining together invincible might and gentle inducements.  God works upon us morally, not physically, because He will preserve our nature…He does not force us against our wills, but sweetly draws us.  He presents weighty reasons, casting into the mind one after another, till the scales be turned and then all is made efficacious by His Spirit. Yet this is not a work which He does in the soul once and for all, but is often renewed and repeated; and that because the ‘flesh’ or sinful nature remains in us, unchanged, even after regeneration.  Therefore do we need to ask God to continueinclining our hearts toward Himself” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p120).

“…there are many…people who do that which is grossly dishonoring to God under the plea that they were ‘prompted by the Spirit’ so to act.  To be ‘led by the Spirit of God’ does not mean being influenced by unaccountable suggestions and uncontrollable impulses which result in conduct displeasing to God….There is a safe and sure criterion by which the Christian may gauge his inward impulses, and ascertain whether they proceed from his own restless spirit, an evil spirit, or the Spirit of God.  That criterion is the written Word of God, and by it all must be measured” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p121).

FATHER, I must ask daily for the SPIRIT not because I don’t have Him or He is elusive but I ask for Him to constrain me—to move me—to stretch me that I might, by experience, live in fellowship with CHRIST—that I might benefit from His presence—enjoy Him—revel in who He is.

HOLY SPIRIT

THE SPIRIT AS A GUARANTEE

“In him you…were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it…” (Eph 1:13-14 ESV).

“…in this word ‘sealed,’…is a message of safety and security in God’s love and power.  God sends the Holy Spirit as a preserving seal to lock in our faith, as an authenticating seal to validate our sonship, and as a protecting seal to keep out destructive forces. The point is that God wants us to feel secure and safe in his love and power” (ref: John Piper, Sealed by the Spirit to the Day of Redemption, https://www.desiringgod.org/messages/sealed-by-the-spirit-to-the-day-of-redemption).

“…By his Spirit he has stamped us with his eternal pledge—a sure beginning of what he is destined to complete”(2 Cor 1:20-22 MSG).

“…in most cases, the sealing of the Spirit is a…gradualwork.  It is a work of time.  The soul is placed in the school of deep experience and is led step by step, stage by stage.

The knowledge of self and of Christ increases,

deeper views of indwelling sin are discovered,

the heart’s treachery is more acutely felt,

the devices of Satan are better known,

the mystery of God’s gracious and providential dealings with His children are more clearly unfolded and better understood—

and all this may be arrived at through a process of deep and painful, yet sanctified, discipline…” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, April 14th).

FATHER, how precious it is to possess the SPIRIT.  For I know I need Him every minute of my unstable, always-changing life.  Move me to realize each trial You craft for me is so I might grasp the SPIRIT and find security only in You.

“How independent of outward circumstances the Holy Spirit can make the Christian” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, April 8th, PM)!

 

 

 

HOLY SPIRIT

BE FILLED

“…be filled with the Spirit,” (Eph 5:18 ESV).

“…we are leaky vessels, and have to be kept right under the fountain all the time in order to keep full…” Jim Cymbala (ref#161, p110-111).

“…Be filled”…literally rendered “be being kept filled.”…a command demanding conscious, continual action on our part (ref#228, p74).

“…it is one thing to have the Holy Spirit dwelling away back of consciousness in some hidden sanctuary of our being, and quite another thing to have that Holy Spirit taking entire possession of the house” R.A. Torrey (ref#223, p115).

“The fullness of the Spirit vitalizes natural powers, quickens dormant faculties, and reinforces capabilities…The brain gets a new quality of alertness, endurance and effectiveness.  The mind receives new powers of perception, intelligence and understanding.  The heart finds a new clarity of vision, a new simplicity of motive, and a new intensity of emotion.  The impossible becomes capable of achievement in the sanctified powers of the natural man” Samuel Chadwick (ref#195, p143-144).

“…seek to ‘be filled with the Spirit’!  Then your thirsting’s for God will be deeper, your breathings after holiness more intense, your communion with your heavenly Father closer, and your faith in Jesus stronger.  The indwelling of the Spirit is the root of all holiness; but the communication of the Spirit in the fullness of His gracious, sanctifying, Christ-transforming influence is the secret of a higher degree of heavenly-mindedness” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Nov 13th).

“The work of God cannot be accomplished without the fullness of the Spirit, and everywhere God waits to give His Holy Spirit to them that ask Him.  It is His will that every believer should be filled with the Spirit, overflow in the power of the Spirit, and in all things prevail through the Spirit…God waits to fill ordinary people with extraordinary power, and to turn a baffled faith into a rapturous conquest” Samuel Chadwick (ref#195, p161-162).

“If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him (Luke 11:13 ESV).

HOLY SPIRIT

THE SPIRIT CALLS EVERYONE TO REPENTANCE

“…it is Christ’s blood, but the Spirit must apply it” A. W. Pink (ref#269, p90).  “All merit is in the Son…and all power is of the Spirit” Jim Cymbala (ref#161, p197).  “The Holy Spirit is here to take the place…of an absent Christ…” A.W. Pink  (A.W. Pink’s Commentary on John and Hebrews, [John 16:1-11], www.studylight.org)

“It is by the Holy Spirit our eyes are opened to see and our hearts to feel the enormity of sin, and thus are we enabled to perceive our need of Christ’s blood” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p110).  It is only ‘through the Spirit’ we can, in any measure, successfully ‘mortify the deeds of the body’” A. W. Pink (ref#269, p113).  “…the soul…does not know its real weakness and deep necessity until taught it by the Holy Spirit.  This is even so after conversion” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, April 4th).

“The Spirit shall convince…of sin, not merely tell…of it.  The Spirit convinces of the fact of sin, of the fault of sin, of the folly of sin, of the filth of sin, that by it we are become hateful to God…” Matthew Henry (ref#18, [John 16:7-15]).

“The renewed heart is moved and melted when it contemplates the holy Savior having our iniquities imputed to Him…But how rarely is it considered that it is little less wonderful for the Holy Spiritto exercise Himself with oursins and hold them up to the eyes of our understanding….He rakes in our foul hearts and makes us conscious of what a stench they are in the nostrils of an infinitely pure God” A. W. Pink (ref#269, p87).

“…He does in some degree mortify and subdue the evils of the soul in which He resides….Though He kills not sin in believers, He subdues it—though He does not subdue the flesh as that it never troubles or defiles them any more, its dominion is taken away” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p101).

FATHER, the movements of the SPIRIT amaze me.  He constantly kills my pride by dropping facts of my sin in my head.  He so times His conviction that I have no words to debate Him.  I am found out before I myself find out.  Thank You for constantly proving that I am depraved and You are holy.

“…what an unspeakable mercy to have One who knows us completely, and who can acquaint us with ourselves” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, April 4th)!  “…forgiveness can only come through Christ’s work on Calvary, daily living for the Lord can only be done through the Spirit” Jim Cymbala (ref#161, p159).

HOLY SPIRIT

THE HOLY SPIRIT REPRESENTS CHRIST

“The Spirit…is Christ without the limitations of the flesh and the material world.  He can reveal what Christ could not speak.  He has resources of power greater than those Christ could use, and he makes possible greater works than his” Jim Cymbala (ref#161, p18).

“…the Spirit…was the gift of God to His Son, and the gift of His Son to the world.  He came to fulfill the mission for which Christ came into the world.  He is our Lord’s Paraclete, His Advocate and Administrator” Samuel Chadwick (ref#195, p37).

“The Spirit is not our Advocate, but Christ’s.  An advocate appears as representative of another, and the Holy Spirit comes to represent Christ, interpret and vindicate Christ, administer for Christ in His Church and Kingdom; to be to the believer all that Christ Himself was and is…” Samuel Chadwick (ref#195, p33).

“He [the SPIRIT] is sent primarily to make us holy—to conform us to the character of God” Jerry Bridges (ref#244, p71, brackets mine).  “He reveals, through the Word, the great love of God to sinners…” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, Jan 14th).

“…our spiritual life is drawn directly from the Lord Jesus Christ.  We are sustained by Him through the indwelling Holy Spirit.  There is nothing more important in the Christian life than to realize that our union with Christ is a vital one.  It is a living thing.  It is not something mechanical or conceptual; it is not a thought or an idea; it is really a vital, spiritual union….something of His fullness and of His life is passing into us, and we are receiving it” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, Jan 19th).

FATHER, guide me to correct thinking about the HOLY SPIRIT.  I too easily think of Him as a “vending machine”—His presence to aid me through life.  But He is CHRIST’s.  And CHRIST’s purpose is so I might walk in Your will and be transformed into holiness.

“He [the SPIRIT] employs simply and only the truth as it is in Jesus…He enters the soul…He moves over the dark chaos, without form and void, and in a moment a world of immortal beauty bursts into view.  He overshadows the soul, and a vital root is planted whose stream of existence, once it begins, flows on with the eternity of God Himself” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, July 4th, [brackets mine]).

JESUS

CHRIST’S INTERCESSION

FATHER, Your Son is at Your right hand, interceding for us (Heb 7:25).  But this interceding is not “as if the Lord Jesus Christ were there pleading for us before an unwilling God…” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, Oct 2nd).  He is not “trying to persuade the Father…in getting Him to change His opinion” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, Oct 2nd).

Those words don’t depict a scene of CHRIST simply sitting beside You either, FATHER.  He does not just sit; He does not just speak.  He does not just craft words to convince You to act in our favor.

CHRIST is not talk but action.  On earth He performed Your will (John 4:34).  Now He lives in us that we might perform Your will.

I know, FATHER, that CHRIST is my permanent guest.  By the SPIRIT He resides in my personality, subdues my sinful desires and transforms me into His likeness (2 Cor 3:18) John Stott (ref#258, p86) so that You, CHRIST, and I all have the same desires.

 “Christ…is to intercede for his people:…the things he intercedes for are…

the consolation of distressed ones;

fresh discoveries of pardoning grace to fallen believers;

renewed strength to oppose sin, exercise grace, discharge duty, and bear up under temptations, and deliverance out of them;

perseverance in faith and holiness, and eternal glorification…” (Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible, [Heb 7:25]).

Thus, His intercession is sweet.  “Christ will…treat you as his dear friend…you shall always be where he is” (John 12:26), “and shall behold his glory, and dwell with him, in most free and intimate communion and enjoyment (1 John 3:1-3; Rev 21:1-7)” Jonathan Edwards (ref#263).

“Christ is our life…We are…chosen, adopted, pardoned, justified, and quickened people.  This is our present state; this is our present character.  We bear about with us the life of God in our souls” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, July 7th).

JESUS

THE SHEPHERD OF OUR SOULS

“God was so sure of the depth and expansiveness of your sin, of your inability to grasp how desperate your condition is (and, even if you were able, your complete inability to free yourself from it), that he was willing to harness the forces of nature and to carefully control the events of human history so that at a certain point Jesus would come to live the life you could not live, die the death that you should have died, and rise again, conquering death.  Why did God go to this elaborate and sacrificial extent?  There is only one answer to the question.  God the Father planned it, God the Son was willing to do it, and God the Holy Spirit applied this work to your heart and mine because there just was no other way” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, Feb 29th).

“…He used his servant body to carry our sins to the Cross so we could be rid of sin, free to live the right way. His wounds became your healing. You were lost sheep with no idea who you were or where you were going. Now you’re named and kept for good by the Shepherd of your souls”(1 Pet 2:21-25 MSG).

“…the guilty, trembling sinner may confidently and safely rest in the work of the Savior….Acts 2:32;…Rom 5:10;…Rom 4:25;…Rom 8:34;…John 14:19;…Heb 1:3;…1 Pet 3:22;…Jesus is at the right hand of God, and the principalities and powers of all worlds are subject to His authority….Your Head and Redeemer is alive to frustrate every purpose, resist every plot, and silence every tongue that would condemn you” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Dec 15th).

“…our enemies…are…under the hand of God and can do no more than what he permits them to do. Furthermore, God can, whenever he pleases, render all their endeavors vain and ineffectual” John Calvin (ref#164, Jan 31st).

“…it’s the gospel that changes us….not only have our sins been forgiven, but our bondage to sin has been broken….in him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Cor 5:21)” Bob Kauflin (ref#199, p132-133).

“Since your standing with God is based not on your righteousness but on Christ’s, in moments of failure, you can run to him and not from him” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, March 6th).

JESUS

OUR GIFT—THE PRIESTHOOD

FATHER, Your Son is my High Priest: “For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf”(Heb 9:24 ESV).

“When our coldness, our old nature, our neglect, our ingratitude, and our backslidings might have prevailed, He [CHRIST] has never entirely and forever withdrawn.  His post is to watch…with a sleepless eye of love…’He withdraweth not his eyes from the righteous’ (Job 36:7)…” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, May 1st, brackets mine).

“It is a personal, an anticipative, and a present intercession.  It embraces all the personal needs of each believer…it bears the saint and his sorrow before the throne.  At a crisis of his history, at a juncture, or perhaps even at the most critical moment in his life when a believer’s heart is oppressed with emotion and cannot breathe a prayer—Jesus is remembering him, sympathizing with him, and interceding for him” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, March 27th).

JESUS is our High Priest who goes before making us priests also.  “…To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever…”(Rev 1:5-6 ESV).

As JESUS is our High Priest, we then, can be priests to others.  “In the kingdom of Christ each individual is a priest.  The priest’s work is not limited to any order of the ministry. All may offer the sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving: all have direct access to the holiest through the blood of Jesus: all Christians, as priests, are to minister to one another and to plead for one another” Marvin Vincent (ref#271).

“…the three fundamental functions of the priesthood. Worship—insuring that people exalt God’s greatness. Intercession—insuring that people experience God’s grace.  Blessing—insuring that people enjoy God’s favor”Doug Newton (ref#166, p140).

“If you have believed in God’s decontaminating work in your own life…you are now qualified to function as a priest.  You are now called to use your words to intercede on behalf of people and pronounce over them the blessings of God’s mercy and grace as God directs you” Doug Newton (ref#166, p141).  “God…is saying…If you will make your whole life about bringing the benefits of my presence and grace to others, you will have Me in a way the others never will.  I will be your portion” Doug Newton (ref#166, p141).