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of the Church of Jesus Christ in our geJtleI·atjlon the failure to recognise the divine Person of the is our lives,
words and Why should we be content with merely beating the air? Why should the church stoop to entertainment when the Holy Spirit stands ready to manifest His divine presence and power among us? Oh, that we would prostrate ourselves between the porch and the altar and confess to God our utter hopelessness, our ballkruptcy and our sin of selfsufficiency,and yield ourselves to Him for the mighty infilling of His Holy Spirit.
We are making the fatal mistake of attempting to substitute ourwell-organised plans and programmes for the management and the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit. But the Holy Spirit is God's source of life and vitality to the church; without Him we are dead. He is God's answer to our spiritual needs and when dare to Him we are doomed to Jesus called disciples from the field, away from preaching, from healing the sick, from casting out devils, and told them to wait for the promise· of the Father. Jesus underlined thereby the importance of the anointing of the Holy Spirit upon our ministries. He suggested that our efforts, productive though they may seem to be, are futile or short of any lasting results if they are not done in the power and might of the Spirit of God. For this reason there should be no desire greater in the heart of any child of God, any Christian worker, anyone who is called by the J,1flme f Jesus Christ, than the o desire to live every momept; ipj the fulness and under the control of the blessed Holy,Spirit of God. Only as the Holy Spirit ministers through our lives can we convincingly lift up our Saviour to the world of men. It is only as He operates freely through our lives that we can hope to liquidate the spiritual bankruptcy of the Church of our Lord. Dr. W. H. Griffith Thomas said, "It is only as a dynamic that Christianity can recommend itself to the life of to-day, and according to the New Testament this dynamic is possible only through the grace and presence of the .Holy Spirit." The only. way of demonstrating Christianity as a supernatural religion is by insisting upon the management, the administration, of the Holy Spirit.
for spiritual gifts. But not even these gifts guarantee a
(Romans 8. purpose for our existence. Christ. We are called to be followers of Him, to radiate the life of our blessed Lord and Master. In order to effect this, God has given us His Holy Spirit to dwell within us. He will lovingly communicate to us the life and qualities of our Lord until Christ is funy formed in us. How amazing that God should make it possible for us to act like Christ, to talk like Hil11! This 'is true Christianity. We need not struggle to be holy. because Christ lives His holiness in us by the indwelling Holy Spirit. We need not struggle to have faith, for we "live by the faith of the Son of God." We shaH not lack love, for His love is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost, "We have the mind of Christ," says the Scripture. He is our wisdom,· our righteousness, our life. He is· everything to us•. Further, the· Holy Spirit desires to transform us '~from glory to glory" into the very image of Christ (2 Corinthians 3.18). Oh, the depth of the riches of His love toward us !
ordinary work. We are not in politicians. We are not comedians. Our task is to rescue men from the power of Satan. We are on the battlefield against the forces of darkness (Ephesians 6. 12-13). We are enlisted in a spiritual battle, one that cannot be. fought with carnal weapons. For this reason God has made available to us supernatural power which is indispensable to our success in this warfare. God's word to us is dear: "Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts" (Zechariah 4. 6). Paul told the Corinthians that he came "not with enticing
In Galatians we have that beautiful list of what. Paul cans " the fruit of the Spirit": love, joy, peace, long-imffering, . gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance; these are characteristics of Christ which the Holy Spirit will cultivate in us for the glory of God. Thank God for the Holy Spirit. It was a sad day when horlesthearted Christians unguardedly allowed themselves to confuse the graces and virtues of the Spirit with what was simply a demonstratio~ of the flesh. May God spa~e us from substitutys for Spirihfilled saints. May God. grant 1,1s the genuine manifestation.of His Holy Spirit among us s.o that we will remind men of Christ. When we speak men will be convinced of the reality .of our Lord and be pricked in their hearts as in the days when the gospel was first made known. Second, a Spirit-filled mahis always available for the operation of the Holy Spirit. After the Spirit has formed . Christ within us He desires to use our bodies as centres of operation for His mighty working power, asking onlythato~r livcsbe available to Him. It is most encouraging to. note that God does not lopk for supermen or for ho an:; perfect. He does.not look for men who have a jned great things in life. Rather our lIeavenly Father seeks men whowilJ throw themselv:esat .Hisfeet and say, "Lord, bere am I. I amavaihlble." Itis significant that the Holy Spirit should.tell us that" Elias was a man~' and that he experienced the same:passions as we (James 5. 17). Yet this man moved his generation for God because his life was available to the Holy Spirit. The humble men in the days of early Christianity were termed "unlearned and ignorant," but they nevertheless turned the w.orld upside down for Christ, for they dared to render their lives available to the Spirit. .Menand women wer~ converted daily. The sick were healed and the dead raised. Prison doors were opened.. God was on the move. It was a time of revivaL The foundations of hell were shaken. God is the same to-day.. He is stm looking for men who are are available, and the world also is looking.for men who will let God use them. Paul's dynamic ministry began when, under the blazing light of the presence of Christ on the Damascus road, he cried, "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" Are we available? .
The secret of the StiCCf,'JSS of the Early Church was simply that the Holy Spirit was its administrator. The apostles sought His guidance. When Peter was praying the Holy Spirit said to him, "Three men seek thee ... get thee down, and go with them," and Peter obeyed (Acts to. 19.20). The Spirit said to Philip, " Go near, and join thyself to this chariot," and Philip." ran thither" in obedience to the Spirit's voice (Acts 8. 29). The Spirit chose the men who were His representatives (Acts 13. 2). It was He who chose the fields of service; certain apostles were "forbidden of the Holy Ghost" tp preach in Asia (Acts 16.6). He ~as consulted ;:tboutmatters relating to the business of the church. "It seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us," said. James in his letter to the Ge!)tile brethren abroad (Acts 15.28). Even Satan recognised .His authority and preeminence (Acts 19. 15). Does the Holy Spirit have absolute and unhindered control over our lives? Thq Holy Spirit is God's love-giftto us qn,this side of Calvary. The warriors of the Old Testament never. knew Him as .we can know Him to-day. He came upon them only in a measure and for specific tasks. But those men anowed that measure. to work. Elijah prayed down· fire from heaven" Joshua commanded the sun to stand stilI. Samson took oft the gates of Gaza and slew an army with the jawbone of a· mule. Incredible though it may seem, God has provided something better for us. To-day the Holy Spirit abides with us forever. He has chosen our bodies to b(i Histemple. We are His action centres. There are unlimited· pOssIbilitiesopened before us through the power of the Holy Spirit. "He that believeth on me," Jesus said, "the works that I do shaH he do also; and greater works than these shaH he do; because I go unto my Father" (John 14. 12). In the same breath He said: "And I wilI pray· tbe Father and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever~" How amazing! We need never say "I cab't,"·. for "I cando all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." We heed never confess fear, for "God hath not given ·us the spirit of fear; but of power,and of love, and of a sound mind." We need never fall under Satan's pressure, for " greater is he that is in (us), than he that is in the wodd." We need never be in bondage, for "where the Spirit of the Lord is,there is liberty." Let every Christian ask himself, " How much of my life does the Holy Spirit control ?" Does He saturate every compartment of my being? Am I empty. so that He can fin me ? Am I willing to be nothing so that He can be everything? Am I hungry so that He can satisfy me ? '~ Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be fined" (Matthew 5. 6). " Be filled with the Spirit." ..· from THEALLIANCE WrrNEssor March 19th, 1969. f
Third, the Spirit-jilled man lives under the absolute. and un-. hindered control of the Holy Spirit. To be fined. ~lth the Spirit is to be controlled by the Spirit. The Holy Spirit should be allowed to contro! every word, every thought, every deed, .every emotion, every disposition. He desires to teach us (Luke 12. 12; 1 Corinthians 2. 13), to :bring aU thibgs to our remembrance (John 14.26), to guide us into all truth (John 16. 13) and to glorify Christ through. us (John 16.14), to reprove the world of sin through us (John 16.8) andito empower~s for service (Acts 1. 8). In Romans 8.26 we are told that He helps our weakness in prayer, for we do not know what we should pray for. Instead, the Spirit makes intercession for us.. Oh, that we would give Him back His rightful place !
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