What the Bible Teaches



Chapter 260

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Topic 10:The Work of the Spirit in the Universe.

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POINT 10: The Creation of the material universe and man is accomplished through the agency of the Holy Spirit.

Psalms 33:6 By the word of the LORD were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth.

Job 33:4 The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life.

Colossians 1:16 For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.

Genesis 1:2- 3 [2] Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. [3] And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light.

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POINT 20: The maintenance of living creatures is through the agency of the Holy Spirit.

Psalms 104:29- 30 [29] When you hide your face, they are terrified; when you take away their breath, they die and return to the dust. [30] When you send your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the earth.

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POINT 30: The development of the present order of things from the early chaotic, undeveloped state, is accomplished through the agency of the Holy Spirit.

Genesis 1:2- 3 [2] Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. [3] And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light.

Genesis 2:7 the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

Note 1 -- Seemingly, each new and higher impartation of the Spirit of God brings forth a higher order of being -- inert matter, motion, light, vegetable life, animal life, man (the new man), Jesus Christ. This is Biblical development, as distinguished from the godless evolution so popular today. This, however, is only hinted at in the Bible.

Note 2 -- The Word of God is even more plainly active in each stage of progress in creation. "God said" occurs ten times in Genesis 1.

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Topic 20:The Work of the Spirit in Man in general.

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POINT 10: The Holy Spirit bears witness to the truth regarding Jesus Christ.

John 15:26- 27 [26] "When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me. [27] And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.

Acts 5:30- 32 [30] The God of our fathers raised Jesus from the dead -- whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree. [31] God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel. [32] We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.

Note 1 -- At first sight this testimony would seem to be confined to the believer, for John 15:26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceeds from the Father, he shall testify of me says "Whom I will send unto you" (i.e., of course, believers), but in the next chapter, verses 7 and 8 "Nevertheless, I tell you the truth; it is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment", where the Holy Spirit's work in the world is distinctly described, it says, "I will send him unto you." The truth seems clearly to be that the Spirit works on the world through the believers to whom He is sent. If we as believers realized the utter dependence of the world upon us for the Spirit's gracious work, would we not be more careful to see that the Spirit found in us an unobstructed channel? How slowly the world comes to know Jesus because of the unfaithfulness of the church.

Note 2 -- John 14:17 [16] And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever -- [17] the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. FINISH HERE John 14:6 Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Note 3 -- It is only through the testimony of the Holy Spirit that men ever come to a true knowledge of Christ.

1 Corinthians 12:3 Therefore I tell you that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus be cursed," and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit.

If you wish men to get a true view of Jesus Christ -- such a view of Him that they may believe and be saved -- you must seek for them the testimony of the Holy Spirit. Neither your testimony, nor even that of the Word alone, will effect this -- though it is your testimony or that of the word which the Holy Spirit uses. But unless your testimony and that of the word is taken up by the Holy Spirit and He Himself testifies, they will not believe. This explains why it is that one who has been long in darkness concerning Jesus Christ so quickly comes to see the truth when he surrenders his will to God and seek light from Him.

John 7:17 If anyone chooses to do God's will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.

Acts 5:32 We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.

It explains also why it is that when you have shown a man the truth about Christ over and over again and he has seen nothing, suddenly it all bursts upon him, and he sees and believes. The Spirit has borne His witness to Christ. It was not merely Peter's words about Christ that convinced the Jews of the truth concerning Christ on the Day of Pentecost. It was the Spirit Himself bearing witness. If you wish men to see the truth about Christ, do not depend upon your own posers of expression and persuasion, but cast yourself upon the Holy Spirit and seek for them His testimony and see to it that they put themselves in a place where the Spirit can testify. This is the cure for both ignorance and skepticism concerning Christ. Confer John 7:17.

Note 4 -- The testimony of the Holy Spirit to Christ is different from His testimony to our sonship. We will discuss that later.

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POINT 20: The Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin and of righteousness and of judgment.

He convicts the world of its sin in not believing in Christ.

Acts 2:36- 37 [36] "Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ." [37] When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?"

With a convincing that is self-condemning, the Holy Spirit convinces the world of Christ's righteousness attested by His going to the Father, the coming of the Spirit being in itself a proof that Christ has gone to the Father.

Acts 2:33 Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear.

He convicts the world of judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged. He was judged at the cross.

Compare Colossians 2:15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.

John 12:31 Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out.

Hebrews 2:14 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death -- that is, the devil --

It is ours to preach the word and look to the Holy Spirit to produce conviction.

Acts 2:4, 37 [4] All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. [37] When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?"

Oftentimes the reason why we fail to produce conviction is because we are trying to do it ourselves. Let us not forget on the other hand that it is through us the Spirit produces conviction.

John 16:7- 8 [7] But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. [8] When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment:

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Topic 30:The Work of the Holy Spirit in the Believer.

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POINT 10: The Holy Spirit makes anew or regenerates the believer.

Titus 3:5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,

John 3:3- 5 [3] In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again." [4] "How can a man be born when he is old?" Nicodemus asked. "Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be born!" [5] Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit."

Romans 12:2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is -- his good, pleasing and perfect will.

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

Regeneration is the Holy Spirit's work. Regeneration is the impartation of life, spiritual life, to the one "dead in trespasses and sins." It is the Holy Spirit who imparts this life.

Ephesians 2:1 [1] As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, [2] in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.

John 6:63 The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.

Note 1 -- In 2 Corinthians 3:6, we are told that the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. This is sometimes interpreted to mean that the literal interpretation of the Scripture kills, but that the interpretation that gives the spirit of the passage gives life. It means nothing of the kind, as the context shows. This is a favorite perversion of Scripture with those who do not like to take the Bible as meaning just what it says. Still another false interpretation is that the letter means the old covenant, the law; the spirit, the new covenant, the Gospel. But this is not the thought. The contrast, as is seen from verse 3 is between the mere written word written with ink, and the living word written in the heart "with the Spirit of the living God." This much is true in the second interpretation, that the law was "the ministration of death." (verse 7), because unaccompanied by the Spirit's power, and the gospel is a ministration of life, because it is a ministration of the Spirit. But the Gospel is a ministration of the Spirit and of life only when the Gospel is preached "not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power" (1 Corinthians 2:4) or as Paul puts it in another place (1 Thessalonians 1:5) when the Gospel comes "not in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost." The mere letter of the Gospel will merely condemn and kill unless accompanied by the Spirit's power. The ministry of many an orthodox preacher and teacher is a ministry of death. It is true that the word of the Gospel is the instrument God uses in regeneration.

Compare James 1:18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.

1 Peter 1:23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.

1 Corinthians 4:15 Even though you have ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel.

But it is not the bare word, but the word made a living thing in the heart by the power of the Holy Spirit. No amount of preaching, no matter how orthodox it may be, no amount of mere study of the Word, will regenerate unless the Holy Spirit works. It is He and He alone who makes a man a new creature. This He is ever ready to do when the conditions are supplied. But we are utterly dependent upon Him. Just as we are utterly dependent upon the work of Christ for us in justification, so we are utterly dependent upon the work of the Holy Spirit in us for regeneration. Regeneration is the impartation of a new nature -- God's nature.

2 Peter 1:4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

It is the Holy Spirit who imparts this to us, makes us partakers of the divine nature.

Compare Luke 1:35 The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.

This is done through the Word.

2 Peter 1:4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

1 Corinthians 4:15 Even though you have ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel.

To put it in a word: The human heart is the soil, the preacher or teacher plants the seed, the word of God is the seed, the Spirit of God causes the seed to grow, and the Divine nature is the result.

Note 2 -- The Spirit of God dwells in the one thus born of the Spirit.

1 Corinthians 3:16 Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you?

Some say that it is not the individual believer, but the church in which the Spirit of God dwells. But consider:

1 Corinthians 6:19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;

This shows that Paul conceives of the individual believer as the temple of the indwelling Spirit. In the indwelling of the Spirit we have an advance upon the work of regeneration. That is a momentary act, the impartation of life, the implantation of a new nature. But in the indwelling Spirit is an abiding presence.

John 14:16- 17 [16] And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever -- [17] the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.

The Holy Spirit dwells in every one who belongs to Christ.

Romans 8:9 You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.

The Corinthian believers were very imperfect believers, but Paul told them that they were temples of the Holy Spirit even when dealing with them concerning gross immorality.

See 1 Corinthians 6:15-19 [15] Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! [16] Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, "The two will become one flesh." [17] But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit. [18] Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. [19] Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;

The Holy Spirit dwells in every child of God. In some, however, He dwells back in the hidden sanctuary of their spirit and is not allowed to take possession as He desires of the whole man -- spirit, soul and body. Some, therefore, are not distinctly conscious of His indwelling, but He is there. What a solemn but glorious thought. If we are children of God we are not so much to pray that the Spirit may come and dwell in us; for He does that already. We are rather to recognize His presence, His gracious and glorious indwelling, and give Him complete control of the house He already inhabits, and strive to so live as not to grieve this Holy one, this Divine guest. We shall see later that it is right to pray for "the filling" or "baptism" with the Spirit. What a thought it gives of the hallowedness of life and of the sacredness of the body, to think of the Holy Spirit dwelling within us. How carefully we ought to walk so as not to grieve Him. How considerately we ought to treat these bodies, and how sensitively we ought to shun everything that will defile them.

Note 3 -- This indwelling Spirit is a source of everlasting satisfaction and life.

John 4:14 but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.

Compare John 7:37- 39 [37] On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. [38] Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him." [39] By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.

It is clear that the water here spoken of is the Holy Spirit. The one who drinks of this water "shall never thirst" or literally shall not thirst for eternity. He has a fountain within. No need now to go outside for satisfaction. He is independent of environment for life and joy. Why then do so many professed Christians feel compelled to run into the world for their satisfaction?

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POINT 20: The Holy Spirit sets the believer in Christ free from the law of sin and death.

Romans 8:1- 2 [1] Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, [2] because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.

In the preceding chapter we see what the law of sin and death is. (Romans 7:9- 24) Paul had been aroused by the law of God to see what was holy and just and good. He delighted in this law after the inward man. (verse 22) and strove to keep it. But he found that there was not only this "holy and just and good" law without him, but he found there was another law in his members warring against the law of his mind. This law of sin and death was, that when he would do good evil was present. (verse 21) "To will is present to me, but to do that which is good is not." (verse 18) In this wretched position of approving of the law in his mind, but in servitude to the law of sin and death in his actions, Paul found himself until he discovered in Christ Jesus a third law, "the law of the Spirit of life." This law set him free from the law of sin and death so that now he not only could "will" but also "do," and the righteousness of the law was fulfilled in him who walked not after the flesh, but after the Spirit (Romans 8:3) It is the work of the Holy Spirit when we give up trying to live right in our own strength --, i.e., in the energy of the flesh -- and surrender to the Holy Spirit to live after Him and walk in his blessed power, to set us free from this awful law of sin and death.

There are many professed Christians today living in Romans 7:9- 24. Some even go so far as to reason that this is the normal Christian life. But in verse 9 Paul tells us distinctly that this was "when the commandment came," and again in verse 14 that this was his experience as "carnal, sold under sin," but in Romans 8:9 he tells us how not to be in the flesh but in the Spirit. In the eighth chapter of Romans we have the picture of the true Christian life, the life that is possible to and that God expects from every on of His children -- the life where not merely the commandment comes, but the Spirit comes and works obedience and victory. Life not in the flesh but in the Spirit, where we not only see the beauty of the law, but where the Spirit imparts power to keep it. (Romans 8:4) We still have "the flesh," but we do not live after it; we "through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body." (Romans 8:13) We walk after the Spirit and do not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. (Galatians 5:16) We "have crucified the flesh with the passions and lusts thereof." (Galatians 5:24) It is thus our privilege in the Spirit's power to get daily, hourly, constant victory over the flesh and over sin. But this victory is not in ourselves, not in any strength of our own. Left to ourselves, deserted of the Spirit of God, we would be as helpless as ever. It is still true that in us, that is, in our flesh, no good thing dwells. (Romans 7:18) It is all in the Spirit's power. The Spirit's power may be in such fullness, that one is not conscious even of the presence of the flesh -- it seems dead and gone -- but it is only kept in the place of death by the Holy Spirit's power. If we try to take one step in our own strength we fall. We must live in the Spirit and walk in the Spirit if we are to have victory. (Galatians 5:16, 25)

Note -- in John 8:32, it is the truth that sets us free and gives victory over sin, and in Psalms 119:11, the indwelling word. In this, as in everything else, what is attributed to the Spirit in one place is attributed to the word elsewhere.

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POINT 30: The Holy Spirit strengthens the believer with power in the inner man.

Ephesians 3:16 [16] I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,

The result of this strengthening is seen in the following:

Ephesians 3:17- 19 [17] so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, [18] may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, [19] and to know this love that surpasses knowledge -- that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

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POINT 40: The Holy Spirit leads us into a holy life -- a life as sons of God, a godlike life.

Romans 8:13- 14 [13] For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, [14] because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

Not merely does the Holy Spirit give us power to live a holy life, a life well pleasing to God when we have discovered what that life is; He takes us as it were by the hand and leads us into that life. Our whole part is simply to surrender ourselves utterly to Him to lead and mold us. Those who do this are not merely God's offspring which all men are, neither are we merely God's children. "These are sons of God."

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POINT 50: The Holy Spirit bears witness together with the spirit of the believer that the believer is a child of God.

Romans 8:16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children.

Note that Paul does not say that the Spirit bears witness to our spirit but with it -- "together with our spirit," is the exact force of the word used. That is, there are two who bear witness to our sonship; first our spirit bears witness that we are children of God; second, the Holy Spirit bears witness together with our spirit that we are children of God.

How does the Holy Spirit bear His testimony to this fact?

Galatians 4:6 Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, "Abba, Father."

It is only when "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law is fulfilled" in me "who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit" (v. 4) and I "through the Spirit of God do mortify the deeds of the body" (v. 13) and when I am surrendered to the Spirit's leading (v. 14) -- it is then and only then that I can expect (v. 16) to be realized in my experience, and to have the clear assurance of sonship that comes from the Spirit of God testifying together with my spirit that I am a child of God. There are many seeking this testimony of the Holy Spirit in the wrong place -- i.e., as a condition of their surrendering wholly to God and confessing the crucified and risen on as their Savior and Lord.

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POINT 60: The Holy Spirit brings forth fruit in the believer in Christ-like graces of character.

Galatians 5:22- 23 [22] But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, [23] gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Compare Romans 4:17 As it is written: "I have made you a father of many nations." He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed -- the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were.

Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 5:5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

All real beauty of character, all real Christlikeness in us, is the Holy Spirit's work, it is His fruit. He bears it, not us. Notice these graces are not said to be the fruits of the Spirit, they are the fruit. There is a unity of origin running through all the multiplicity of manifestation. It is a beautiful life that is set forth in these verses. Every word is worthy of earnest study and profound meditation. "Love", "joy", "peace", "long-suffering", "kindness", "goodness", "faith", "meekness", "self-control." Is not this the life we all long for, the Christ-life? It is not natural to us, and it is not attainable by any effort of the flesh or nature. The life that is natural to us is set forth in the three preceding verses.

:19- 21

But when the indwelling Spirit is given full control in the one He inhabits, when we are brought to realize the utter badness of the flesh and give up in hopeless despair of ever attaining to anything in its power -- when, in other words, we come to the end of self and just give over the whole work of making us what we ought to be to the indwelling Holy Spirit, then, and only then, holy graces of character are His fruit. Do you wish these graces in your character and life? Renounce self utterly and all its striving after holiness, and let the Holy Spirit, who dwells in you, take full control and bear His own glorious fruit. (We get the same essential truth from another point of view in the following passage.)

Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Settle it clearly and forever that the flesh can never bear this fruit, that you can never attain these things by your own effort, that they are "the fruit of the Spirit." We hear a good deal in these days about "ethical culture," which usually means a cultivation of the flesh, until it bears the fruit of the Spirit. It can not be done until thorns can be made to bear figs, and a bramble bush grapes.

Luke 6:44 Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers.

Matthew 12:33 Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit.

We hear also a good deal about "character-building." That is all very well if you let the Holy Spirit do the building, and then it is not so much building as fruit-bearing. See, however, the following:

2 Peter 1:5- 7 [5] For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; [6] and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; [7] and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.

We hear also about cultivating graces of character, but we must always bear in mind that the way to cultivate true graces of character is by submitting ourselves utterly to the Spirit to do His work. "This is sanctification of the Spirit."

1 Peter 1:2 To God's elect, strangers in the world, ... [2] who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance.

2 Thessalonians 2:13 But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth.

There is a sense, however, in which cultivating graces of character is right. We look at Jesus Christ to see what we ought to be, then we look to the Holy Spirit to make us this that we ought to be.

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POINT 70: The Holy Spirit guides the believer into all the truth.

John 16:13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.

This promise was made in the first instance to the Apostles, but the Apostles themselves applied it to all believers.

1 John 2:20, 27 [20] But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth. [27] As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit -- just as it has taught you, remain in him.

It is the privilege of each of us to be "taught of God." Each believer is independent of human teachers -- "you need not that any man teach you." This does not mean, of course, that we may not learn much from others who are taught of the Holy Spirit. If John had thought that he would never have written this epistle to teach others. The man who is most fully taught of God, is the very one who will be most ready to listen to what God has taught others. Much less does it mean that when we are taught of the Spirit we are independent of the Word of God. For the Word is the very place to which the Spirit leads His pupils and the instrument through which He instructs them.

Ephesians 6:17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

John 6:63 The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.

Ephesians 5:18- 19 [18] Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. [19] Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord,

Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.

But while we may learn much from men we are not dependent upon them. We have a Divine teacher, the Holy Spirit.

We shall never truly know the truth until we are taught by the Spirit. No amount of mere human teaching, no matter who our teachers may be, will give us a correct understanding of the truth; not even a diligent study of the Word either in the English or original languages will give us a real understanding of the truth. We must be taught by the Holy Spirit. And each of us may be so taught. The one who is so taught will understand the truth of God better, even if he does not know a word of Greek or Hebrew, better than one who knows Greek and Hebrew and all the cognate languages, but is not taught by the Spirit.

The Spirit will guide the one He teaches into all the truth. Not in a day, nor in a week, nor in a year, but step by step. There are two especial lines of the Spirit's teaching mentioned. (a) "He shall declare unto you the things that are to come." Many say we can know nothing of the future, that our thoughts on the subject are guesswork. Anyone taught by the Spirit knows better. (b) "He shall glorify me (i.e., Christ), for he shall take of mine, and shall declare it unto you." This is the Holy Spirit's especial line with the believer as with the unbeliever, to declare unto them the things of Christ and glorify Him.

Many fear to emphasize the truth about the Holy Spirit lest Christ be disparaged, but no one magnifies Christ as the Holy Spirit does. We shall never understand Christ nor see His glory until the Holy Spirit interprets Him to us. The mere listening to sermons and lectures, the mere study of the Word even, will never give you to see "the things of Christ." The Holy Spirit must show you, and His is willing to do it. He is longing to do it. I suppose the Holy Spirit's most intense desire is to reveal Jesus Christ to men. Let Him do it. Christ is so different when the Spirit glorifies Him by taking of the things of Christ and showing them unto us.

260.030.080      Torrey: p256, T:III, P:8
POINT 80: The Holy Spirit guides brings to remembrance the words of Christ.

John 14:26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

Here again we have teaching of the Holy Spirit, but we have something besides.

This promise was made primarily to the Apostles, and is the guarantee of the accuracy of their report of what Jesus said; but the Holy Spirit does a similar work with each believer who expects it of Him, and looks to Him to do it. He brings to mind the teachings of Christ and the Word, just when we need them for either the necessities of our life or of our service. How many of us could tell of occasions when we were in great distress of soul, or great questioning as to duty, or great extremity as to what to say to one whom we were trying to lead to Christ or to help, and just the Scripture we needed -- some passage we had not thought of for a long time and perhaps never in this connection - - was brought to mind. It was the Holy Spirit who did this, and He is ready to do it even more when we expect it from Him. Is it without significance that in the verse following this blessed promise, Jesus says: "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you?" If we will just look to the Holy Spirit to bring to mind Scripture just when we need it and just the Scripture we need, we will indeed have Christ's peace.

260.030.090      Torrey: p257, T:III, P:9
POINT 90: In these verses we have a twofold work of the Spirit. (a) The Holy Spirit reveals to us the deep things of God which are hidden from and foolishness to the natural man. (It is primarily to the Apostles, that He does this, but we cannot limit this work of the Spirit to them.) (b) The Holy Spirit imparts power to discern, know and appreciate what he has taught.

1 Corinthians 2:9- 14 [9] However, as it is written: "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him" -- [10] but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. [11] For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. [12] We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. [13] This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. [14] The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.

Not only is the Holy Spirit the Author of Revelation -- the written word of God -- He is also the interpreter of what He has revealed. How much more interesting and helpful any way deep book becomes when we have the author of the book right at hand to interpret it to us. This is what we always may have when we study the Bible. The author, the Holy Spirit, is right at hand to interpret. To understand the book we must look to Him and the darkest places become clear. We need to pray often with the Psalmist: "Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law." (Psalms 119:18) It is not enough that we have the objective revelation in the written word, we must have the (subjective) inward illumination of the Holy Spirit to enable us to comprehend it. It is a great mistake to try to comprehend a spiritual revelation with the natural understanding. It is the foolish attempt to do this that has landed so many in the bog of "the higher criticism." A man with no aesthetic sense might as well expect to appreciate the Sistine Madonna because he is not color-blind, as an unspiritual man to understand the Bible simply because he understands the laws of grammar and the vocabulary of the languages in which the Bible was written. I would as soon think of setting a man to teach art because he understood paints, as to set him to teach the Bible because he understood Greek and Hebrew. We all need not only to recognize the utter insufficiency and worthlessness before God of our own righteousness, which is the lesson of opening chapters of the Epistle to the Romans, but also the utter insufficiency and worthlessness in the things of God of our own wisdom, which is the lesson of the first Epistle to the Corinthians, especially the first to the third chapters. See, e.g.:

1 Corinthians 1:19- 21, 26-27 [19] For it is written: "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate." [20] Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? [21] For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. [26] Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. [27] But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.

The Jews had a revelation by the Spirit but they failed to depend upon Him to interpret it to them, so they went astray. The whole evangelical church recognizes the utter insufficiency of man's righteousness, theoretically at least. Now it needs to be taught and made to feel the utter insufficiency of man's wisdom. That is perhaps the lesson that this nineteenth century of overweening intellectual conceit needs most of any.

To understand God's word we must empty ourselves utterly of our own wisdom, and rest in utter dependence upon the Spirit of God to interpret it to us.

Matthew 11:25 At that time Jesus said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children."

When we have put away our own righteousness, then, and only then, we get the righteousness of God.

Philippians 3:4- 9 [3] For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh -- [4] though I myself have reasons for such confidence. If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: [5] circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; [6] as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless. [7] But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. [8] What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ [9] and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ -- the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.

Romans 10:3 Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness.

When we put away our own wisdom -- then, and only then, we get the wisdom of God.

1 Corinthians 3:18 Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a "fool" so that he may become wise.

Matthew 11:25 At that time Jesus said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.

1 Corinthians 1:25- 28 [25] For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength. [26] Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. [27] But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. [28] He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things -- and the things that are not -- to nullify the things that are,

When we put away our own strength, then, and only then, we get the strength of God.

Isaiah 40:29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.

2 Corinthians 12:9 But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.

1 Corinthians 1:27- 28 [27] But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. [28] He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things -- and the things that are not -- to nullify the things that are,

Emptying must precede filling. Self-poured-out that God may be poured in.

We must daily be taught by the Spirit to understand the word. I cannot depend today on the fact that the Spirit taught me yesterday. Each new contact with the Word must be in the power of the Spirit. That the Holy Spirit once illumined our mind to grasp a certain passage is not enough. He must do so each time we confront that passage. Andrew Murray has put this truth well. He says "Each time you come to the Word in study, in hearing a sermon or reading a religious book, there ought to be, as distinct as your intercourse with the external means, a definite act of self-abnegation, denying your own wisdom and yielding yourself in faith to the Divine teacher." ("The Spirit of Christ," p. 221.)

260.030.100      Torrey: p260, T:III, P:10
POINT 100: The Holy Spirit enables the believer to communicate to others in power the truth He Himself has been taught.

1 Corinthians 2:1- 5 [1] When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. [2] For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. [3] I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. [4] My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, [5] so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power.

1 Thessalonians 1:5 [4] For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, [5] because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake.

Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

We not only need the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth in the first place, and the Holy Spirit in the second place to interpret to us as individuals the truth He has revealed, but, in the third place also we need the Holy Spirit to enable us to effectually communicate to others the truth He Himself has interpreted to us. We need Him all along the line. One great cause of real failure in the ministry even when there is seeming success, and not only in the ministry, but in all forms of service by Christian men and women, is from the attempt to teach by "enticing words of man's wisdom" -- i.e., by the arts of human logic, rhetoric and eloquence -- what the Holy Spirit has taught us. What is needed is Holy Spirit power "demonstration of the Spirit and of power."

There are three causes of failure in preaching:

First. Some other message is taught than the message which the Holy Spirit has revealed in the Word -- men preach science, art philosophy, sociology, history, experience, etc., and not the simple word of God as found in the Holy Spirit's Book, the Bible.

Second. The Spirit-taught message, the Bible, is studied and sought to be comprehended solely by the natural understanding -- i.e., without the Spirit's illumination. That, alas, is too common even in institutions where men are being trained for the ministry.

Third. The Spirit-given message, the Word, the Bible, studied and comprehended under the Holy Spirit illumination, is given out to others with "enticing words of man's wisdom," and not "in demonstration of the Spirit and of power."

We need, we are absolutely dependent upon, the Spirit all along the line. He must teach us how to speak as well as what to speak. His must be the power as well as the message.

260.030.110      Torrey: p261, T:III, P:11
POINT 110: The Holy Spirit helps, guides and gives power to the believer in prayer.

Jude 1:20 But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit.

Ephesians 6:18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

Romans 8:26- 27 [26] In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. [27] And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will.

The disciples did not know how to pray as they ought to, so they came to Jesus and said: "Lord, teach us to pray."

Luke 11:1 One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples."

John 14:16- 17 [16] And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever -- [17] the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.

Romans 8:26 (above)

He teaches us to pray. True prayer is prayer in the Spirit -- i.e., the prayer the Spirit inspires and directs. When we come into God's presence we should recognize our infirmity, our ignorance of what we should pray for, or how we should do it, and in the consciousness of our utter inability to pray aright, look up to the Holy Spirit, and cast ourselves utterly upon Him, to direct our prayers, to lead out our desires an guide our utterance of them. Rushing heedlessly into God's presence and asking the first thing that comes into our mind, or that some thoughtless one asks us to pray for, is not praying "in the Holy Spirit," and is not true prayer. We must wait for the Holy Spirit, and surrender ourselves to the Holy Spirit. The prayer that God the Holy Spirit inspires is the prayer that God the Father answers.

Note 1 -- Romans 8:26-27 (above)

The longings which the Holy Spirit begets in our hearts are often too deep for utterance, too deep apparently for clear and definite comprehension on the part of the believer himself in whom the Holy Spirit is working. God Himself must "search the heart" to know "what is the mind of the Spirit" in these unuttered and unutterable longings. But God does know what is in the mind of the Spirit, He does know what those Spirit-given longings mean, even if we do not, and these longings are "according (to the will of) God," and He grants them, so it comes to pass that:

Ephesians 3:20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,

Note 2 1 Corinthians 14:15 So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my mind; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my mind.

260.030.120      Torrey: p262, T:III, P:12
POINT 120: The Holy Spirit helps, inspires the believer to and guides him to praise and thanksgiving.

Ephesians 5:18-20 [18] Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. [19] Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, [20] always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Not only does He teach us to pray, He also teaches us to render thanks. One of the most prominent characteristics of "the spirit-filled life" is thanksgiving.

Acts 2:4, 11 [4] All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. [11] (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs -- we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!"

True thanksgiving is "to God, even the Father," through or "in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ," in the Holy Spirit. The same is true of prayer.

Ephesians 2:18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.

260.030.130      Torrey: p262, T:III, P:13
POINT 130: The Holy Spirit inspires worship on the part of the believer.

Philippians 3:3 For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh --

Prayer is not worship, thanksgiving is not worship. Worship is a definite act of the creature in relation to God. Worship is bowing before God in adoring acknowledgment and contemplation of Himself. Someone has said: "In our prayers we are taken up with our needs, in our thanksgiving we are taken up with our blessings, in our worship we are taken up with Himself."

There is no true and acceptable worship except that which the Holy Spirit prompts and directs.

John 4:23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.

The Flesh seeks to enter every sphere of life. It has its worship as well as its lusts. The worship which the flesh worships is an abomination to God. (Herein we see the folly of any attempt at a Parliament of Religions, where the representatives of different religions attempt to worship together.)

(Reviser's Note: There is certainly a difference between Christians of different denominations worshipping together as contrasted to persons who believe in different gods or who claim to believe in the same God of Christianity but in truth have fundamentally different beliefs, e.g., Muslims who worship the deistic Allah, Jews who deny that Jesus is the Messiah, Christians, and Mormons, who claim that Jehovah was once a man on "another earth" and that he became the god of this universe and that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are three separate gods.)

Not all earnest and honest worship is worship in the Spirit. A man may be very honest and very earnest in his worship, and still not have submitted himself to the guidance of the Holy Spirit in the matter, and so his worship is in the flesh. Even when there is great loyalty to the letter of the Word, worship may not be "in the Spirit" -- i.e., inspired and directed by Him. TO worship aright we must "have no confidence in the flesh," we must recognize the utter inability of the flesh -- i.e., our natural self, as contrasted to the Divine Spirit that dwells in and should mold everything in the believer -- to worship acceptably; we must realize also the danger there is that the flesh, self, intrude itself into our worship. In utter self-distrust an self- abnegation we must cast ourselves upon the Holy Spirit to lead us aright in our worship.

Just as we must renounce any merit in ourselves and cast ourselves utterly upon Christ and His work for us for justification, just so must we renounce any capacity for good in ourselves, and cast ourselves utterly upon the Holy Spirit an His work in us, in holy living, knowing, praying, thanking and worshipping, and all else that we are to do.

260.030.140      Torrey: p263, T:III, P:14
POINT 140: The Holy Spirit calls men and sends them forth to definite lines of work.

Acts 13:2- 4 [2] While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them." [3] So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off. [4] The two of them, sent on their way by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia and sailed from there to Cyprus.

The Holy Spirit not only calls men in a general way into Christian work, but selects the specific work and points it out.

"Shall I go to China, to Africa, to India?" many are asking, and many others ought to ask. You cannot rightly settle that question for yourselves, neither can any other man settle it rightly for you. Not every Christian man is called to China or Africa, or any other foreign field, or to the foreign field at all. Go alone knows whether He wishes you in any of these places. He is willing to show you.

How does the Holy Spirit call? The passage before us does not tell us. It is presumably purposely silent on this point, lest, perhaps, we think that He must always call in precisely the same way. There is nothing to indicate that He spoke by an audible voice, much less that He made His will known in any of the fantastic ways in which some profess to discern His leading -- as, e.g., by twitchings of the body, opening the Bible at random and putting the finger on a passage that may be construed into some entirely different meaning than what the inspired writer intended by it. But the important point is, He made His will clearly known and He is willing to make His will clearly known to us today.

The great need in Christian work today is men and women whom the Holy Spirit calls and sends forth. We have plenty of men and women whom men have called and sent forth, or who have called themselves. (There are many today who object strenuously to being sent forth by men, by any organization of any kind, who are, what is immeasurably worse than that, send forth by self, not by God.)

How shall we receive the Holy Spirit's call? By desiring it, seeking it, waiting upon the Lord for it, and expecting it. "As they ministered to the Lord and fasted," the record reads. Many a man is saying in self-justification for staying out of the ministry, and staying at home from the foreign field, "I have never had a call." How do you know that? Have you been listening for it? God speaks often in a "still small voice." Only the listening ear can catch it. Have you definitely offered yourself to God to send you where He will? While no man ought to go to China or Africa unless he is clearly and definitely called, he ought to definitely offer himself to God for this work, to be ready for a call an to be listening sharply that he may hear it when it comes. No educated Christian man or woman has a right to rest easy out of the foreign field unless he has definitely offered himself to God for that work, and is clear no call from God has come. A man needs no more definite call to Africa than to Boston, or New York, or Chicago.

260.030.150      Torrey: p265, T:III, P:15
POINT 150: The Holy Spirit guides in the details of daily life and service, as to where to go an where not to go; what to do and what not to do.

Acts 8:27- 29 [27] So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians. This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, [28] and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the book of Isaiah the prophet. [29] The Spirit told Philip, "Go to that chariot and stay near it."

Acts 16:6- 7 [6] Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. [7] When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to.

It is possible for us to have the unerring guidance of the Holy Spirit at every turn of life. For example, in personal work it is manifestly not God's intention that we speak to every one we meet. There are some to whom we ought not to speak. Time spent on them would be taken from work more to God's glory. Doubtless Philip met many as he journeyed toward Gaza before he met the one of whom the Spirit said: "Go near, and join thyself to this chariot." So is He ready to guide us also. So also in all the affairs of life, business, study, everything, we can have God's wisdom. There is no promise more plain and explicit than the following:

James 1:5- 7 [5] If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. [6] But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. [7] That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord;

Here are really five steps;

First. That we "lack wisdom." We must be conscious of and fully admit our own inability to decide wisely. Not only the sinfulness, but the wisdom of the flesh must be renounced.

Second. We must really desire to know God's way, and be willing to do God's will. That is implied in the asking if the asking is sincere. This is a point of fundamental importance. Here we find the reason men oftentimes do not know God's will and have the Spirit's guidance. They are not really willing to do whatever the Spirit leads. It is "the meek" whom He guides in judgment and "the meek" to whom "He will teach his way." (Psalms 25:9) It is he that "willeth to do his will" who shall know, etc. (John 7:17)

Third. We must "ask," definitely ask for guidance.

Fourth. We must confidently expect guidance. "Let him ask in faith, nothing doubting." (John 7:6-7)

Fifth. We must follow step by step as the guidance comes. Just how it will come no one can tell, but it will come. It may come with only a step made clear at a time. That is all we need to know -- the next step. Many are in darkness about guidance because they do not know what God will have them do next week, or next month, or next year. Do you know the next step? That is enough. Take it and He will show you the next.

Numbers 9:17- 23 [17] Whenever the cloud lifted from above the Tent, the Israelites set out; wherever the cloud settled, the Israelites encamped. [18] At the LORD's command the Israelites set out, and at his command they encamped. As long as the cloud stayed over the tabernacle, they remained in camp. [19] When the cloud remained over the tabernacle a long time, the Israelites obeyed the LORD's order and did not set out. [20] Sometimes the cloud was over the tabernacle only a few days; at the LORD's command they would encamp, and then at his command they would set out. [21] Sometimes the cloud stayed only from evening till morning, and when it lifted in the morning, they set out. Whether by day or by night, whenever the cloud lifted, they set out. [22] Whether the cloud stayed over the tabernacle for two days or a month or a year, the Israelites would remain in camp and not set out; but when it lifted, they would set out. [23] At the LORD's command they encamped, and at the LORD's command they set out. They obeyed the LORD's order, in accordance with his command through Moses.


1 John 1:5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.

Many are tortured by leadings they fear may be from God, but of which they are not sure. You have a right, as God's children, to be sure. Go to God. Say, "Here I am, heavenly Father, I am willing to do thy will, but make it clear. If this is thy will I will do it, but make it clear if it is so." He will do so, if it is His will, and you are willing to do it; and you need not, and ought not to do that thing until He does make it clear. We have no right to dictate to God how He shall give His guidance: by shutting up every other way, or by a sign, or by letting us put our finger on a text. It is ours to seek and expect wisdom, but it is not ours to dictate how it shall be given.

1 Corinthians 12:11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.

Two things are evident from what has been said thus far about the work of the Holy Spirit in the believer:

First. How utterly dependent we are upon the Holy Spirit at every turn of Christian life and service.

Second. How perfect is the provision for life and service that God has made and what the fullness of privilege that is open to the humblest believer through the Holy Spirit's work. It is not so much what we are by nature, either intellectually, morally, spiritually, or even physically, that is important, but what the Holy Spirit can do for us, and what we will let Him do. The Holy Spirit often takes the one who gives the least natural promise and uses him beyond those who give the greatest natural promise. Christian life is not to be lived i the realm of natural temperament, and Christian work is to be done in the power of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit is willing an eagerly desirous to do for each of us His whole work. He will do for each of us all that we let Him do.

260.030.160      Torrey: p267, T:III, P:16
POINT 160: The Holy Spirit quickens the mortal body of the believer.

Romans 8:11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.

This, as the context shows, refers to the future Resurrection of the body. This is the Spirit's work. The glorified body is from Him. It is a spiritual body. We now have the first fruits of the Spirit, but are waiting for the full harvest, the redemption of the body.

Romans 8:23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.

Note. -- There is a sense in which the Holy Spirit even now quickens our bodies.

Matthew 12:28 But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.

Acts 10:38 [37] You know what has happened throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached -- [38] how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.

James 5:14 Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord.

By His Holy Spirit God imparts new health and vigor to these mortal bodies in the present life.

Psalms 104:29- 30 [29] When you hide your face, they are terrified; when you take away their breath, they die and return to the dust. [30] When you send your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the earth.

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