Sunday, February 22, 2009

"But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me." John 15:26

The special work and office of the Holy Ghost is to testify of Jesus, to glorify him, to take of the things that are his, and to shew them to the soul; and therefore without these teachings and testimonies of the Holy Ghost we have no true, no saving knowledge of him, no living faith in him, no sweet communion with him, no tender and affectionate love toward him. And are not these the marks which peculiarly distinguish the living family of God from the dead in sin and the dead in profession?

A bare knowledge of the letter of truth can communicate no such gracious affections as warm, soften, melt, and animate the soul of a child of God, under the felt power and influence of the Holy Ghost; can create no such faith as gives him manifest union with Jesus; can inspire no such hope as carries every desire of his heart within the veil; can produce no such godly sorrow for sin as makes him loathe and abhor himself in dust and ashes; can shed abroad no such love as makes him love the Lord with a pure heart fervently. But the same blessed and holy Teacher who takes of the things that are Christ's and reveals them to the soul, thus raising up faith, hope, and love, and bringing into living exercise every other spiritual gift and grace, first prepares the heart to receive him in all his gracious characters and covenant relationships by deeply and powerfully convincing us of our need of him as our all in all.

Is he a Priest? We need his atoning blood and his all-prevailing intercession that we may have peace with God, and that our prayers and supplications may rise up with acceptance into his ears. Is he a Prophet? We need his heavenly instruction, that we may sit at his feet and hear his word, so as to believe his promises and obey his precepts. Is he a King? We need his powerful and peaceful sceptre to subdue every foe, calm every fear, subdue every lust, crucify the whole body of sin, and bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.