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E. R. (Eugene Russell) Hendrix.

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This is the love of God shed abroad in the heart
by the Holy Spirit that is given unto us. This
is only one of the fruits of the Spirit, but a first
fruit. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,
long-sufifering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
meekness, self-control. All these come from
the vision of God as he is revealed in Christ by
the Holy Spirit. We love because he first loved,
and all these other fruits of the Spirit are born
of that love.

The Holy Spirit proves himself divine not



The Deity of the Holy Spirit. 183

only by appealing to the best that is in us, call- The Hoiy



spirit appeals
to the best



ing out our faith and hope and courage and

love as only divinity can do, but by rebuking inHs,and

all that would hinder us from the closest fellow- ''"""' ""

best for us.

ship with God. In revealing God as he is in
Christ, he seeks to make us new creatures in
Oirist Jesus, There is a mold already prepared
in which our new life is to be cast, a holy exam-
ple of perfect humanity to which we are to be
conformed. We are .thus saved from the follies
and fanaticism which have sometimes attended
the doctrine of the Spirit, and which overturn
the rational character of the Christian faith. If
we are indeed sons Ave must have the spirit of
sons as did our Lord himself, who though he
were a Son yet learned he obedience by the
things which he suffered, and who came not to
do his own will but the will of his Father who
sent him. The Spirit-life is not license, but lib-
erty ; not fanaticism, but faith ; not uncharitable-
ness, but love. The fruits of the Spirit, such as
meekness and kindness and self-control, grow
too near the earth for the enthusiast and the
fanatic. The Lord's beatitudes are the foolish-
ness of men. There are no words for them
either in heathen langiiag-es or in the vocabu-



184 The Deity of the Holy Sp>irit.

lary of the children of this world- The sc^ "
Ught have a language all their own, a la:: ^ . ^ _
mome corrent in hea¥en than en earl^L They
who have not learned to speak it here will 21:55
thor way there.
neMitfy The Sprit, who is the very author of reascwi,

^ __Zy ^ ever appeals to reason. He is the Spirit of or-
der, of fight, and of love. There is no surer
proof of the Spirit's absence than the absence
of wisdom and reverence in worship. Where
the Spirit of tmth is wanting we may always
e^tect dangerous half-truths to abound, more
dangerous than falsehoods, because thej are
Satan's misqnotations of Scripture, perver5::-5
of the very word of God such as he would fain
have used to deceive the Son of jMan. There is
scarce any sin more blasphemous than to wrest
the Scriptures frcnn their true meaning to serve
the purpose of fanaticism. It is making the
tmth of God a fie. It is changing the signals
which tell of the true and safe channel to where
are shoals and quicksands and rocks. It is tak-
ing the lamp of God which is intended to g-jd. le
our steps and using it to lead men out *:' : r
way, as when Satan tempted the ignoran: an I
unlearned at Ephesus whom he tossed to and



The Deity of tlie Holy Spirit. 185

fro and carried about with every wind of doc-
trine, by the sleight of men, in craftiness, after
the wiles of error. The sword of the Spirit is
the word of God. WTiatever is claimed as of
the Spirit which contradicts the evident mean-
ing of that word already given is not of God-
Satan himself has been known to enter a bad
man and assume the prophet's role. The very
Spanish Inquisition was always opened with
prayer addressed to the Holy Spirit, and 'Tloli-
ness to the Lord'* is inscribed over the portals
of the Mormon Temple, with all its vile prac-
tices. Try, prove the spirits whether they be
of God. The apostle who urged, "Quench not
the Spirit," was he who urged also, "Hold fast
that which is good ; abstain from every form of
evil." WTiat surer way to ofiFend and quench
the Spirit, the Spirit of holiness, than by abhor-
ring not e\41? We are never to do evil in the
name of the Lord that good may come. It is
ever Satan, though transformed into an angel
of light, who suggests iL The Spirit teaches
nothing save that which he hears, for he speaks
not of himself. God does not say one thing in
his Son and another in his Spirit. The dispen-
sation of the Holy Spirit cannot contravene the



1 86 Tlic Deity of the Holy Spirit.

dispensation of the Divine Son. The kingdom
of heaven is righteousness, peace, and joy in
the Holy Ghost. If we or an angel from heaven
preach any other gospel, let him be anathema.
The Holy Spirit sanctifies by the truth, not by
the perversion of the truth.
Thetempta- The power which attends the Holy Spirit's
twnofsimon presence has ever tempted bad men since the

Mag'us.

days of Simon Magus. It is power which gives
influence, secures favor, brings honor. Power
is always a temptation, whether to good men
or bad. It was the very power to work miracles
that was a source of temptation to our Lord
when constantly assailed by the tempter with
the suggestion to use it for himself and to remit
somewhat of his absolute dependence on God.
Bad men always stand ready like Simon Magus
to buy power with money, and would even bar-
ter for the gift which the apostles dared not use
for themselves. If money cannot buy it, bad
men seek to simulate it. It needs not an apos-
tle to tell us that such men are in the gall of
bitterness and in the bond of iniquity. Let Mo-
hammed's followers seek the loaves and fishes,
if the False Prophet declares that human nature
is weak and not much is to be expected of it,



The Deity of the Holy Spirit. 1S7

but not those who are new creatures in Christ
Jesus, and who walk not after the flesh but the
spirit. No more could Christ have been divine
had he not appealed to the best that was in men
than can the Spirit be divine and worthy of wor-
ship save as he imparts a consuming passion for
the truth and righteousness. Jesus Christ the
Righteous in promising another Comforter
promised one who should glorify him, for he
should take of mine and show it unto you. He
both desireth and requireth truth in the in-
ward parts. The awful fate of Ananias and
Sapphira was intended to stamp out both fanati-
cism and hypocrisy in the infant Church. The
Holy Spirit asserted the awful, sacred majesty
of his person if men dared attempt a lie in his
name. Might not this have been an eternal
sin? If it were blasphemy against the Holy
Spirit to charge that Christ, who was filled with
the Holy Ghost and cast out devils by the Holy
Ghost, had an unclean spirit, or cast out devils
by the power of Beelzebub, is it not equal blas-
phemy to claim that a deliberate lie or perver-
sion of the word of God was prompted by the
pure and Holy Spirit? Only what spiritualize-5
our thousfhts is either divine or worthv of wor-



i88



The Deity of the Holy Spirit.



ship. He who possesses all the divine attri-
butes is both personal and divine, and inspires
worship in spirit and in truth. The Holy Spirit
enables the only true worship. The Deity be-
comes thus self-witnessing-.

The appeal which the Holy Spirit makes to
our spirit only vitalizes it and makes it con-
scious of being more than a part of nature sim-
ply to receive here the full satisfaction of its
longings. Our spirit consciously personal de-
mands a personal object, a knowable object, an
infinite object. Man's very power of thought is
the basis of his capacity for religion. It is the
man who can be made to think who keepeth
the word, the good seed in a good and honest
heart, and who can be expected to bring forth
fruit. When one understandeth not the word,
then Cometh Satan and snatcheth it away. The
thoughtful are usually the thankful. Those
who give thought are those who give thanks.
The special work of the Holy Spirit is thus to
call forth worship by first convincing the mind
and setting men to thinking. The communion
of the Holy Spirit, the mighty thinker, sets men
to thinking on the great themes of the gospel.
Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things



The Deity of the Holy Spirit. 189

are honorable, whatsoever things are just, what-
soever things arc pure, whatsoever things are
lovely, whatsoever things are of good report;
and if there be any virtue and if there be any
praise, we are bidden to think on these things.
Thus the God of peace shall be with us. His
dwelling place is the spirit of a good man. He
restorcth our soul to its rightful use and makes
even our bodies temples of the Holy Spirit, as-
serting that sovereignty which is the right over
both our moral and physical natures.

It is not the petty offenses which "vex" the ir/u-ni/ic
Spirit, or even the greater ones which "pro- ^^"''"'

" ffritned."

voke" him, as did our fathers in the wilderness,
against which we need to guard as most peril-
ous. He may be "grieved" as was Christ in
Gethsemane, because we sleep when we should
watch and so fail to invigorate our flesh by the
strong purpose and life of the spirit for the
times of great conflict. He may be "grieved"
even with those who have the zeal which shall
abide until the day of redemption, as was our
Lord with his chosen three who could not
watch with him one hour. But it is when we
harden our hearts against him, resisting his
gracious influences and absolutely ignoring his



190 The Deity of the Holy Spirit.

voice, allowing our minds to be preoccupied
against him who alone is able to keep us from
falling and to present us faultless before the
presence of his glory with exceeding joy, that
our sin is in danger of becoming an eternal sin.
"A man that hath set at naught Moses' law
[especially against blasphemy] dieth without
compassion on the word of two or three wat-
nesses : of how much sorer punishment, think
ye, shall he be judged worthy, who hath trod-
den under foot the Son of God, and hath count-
ed the blood of the covenant wherewith he was
sanctified an unholy thing, and hath done de-
spite to the Spirit of grace?" It is because the
Spirit dwelling within would thus seek our first
thoughts for spiritual things, that to be despised
and set at naught, his presence and help ig-
nored, not only ofifends him, but, like the sin
of Sapphira, even tempts him. Can we wonder
if God's Spirit does not always strive with man ?
The mountain of the Lord's presence is again
girded with fire, as in the wilderness, and we
dare not trifle save at our peril. 'Tor as touch-
ing those who were once enlightened and tasted
of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers
of the Holy Ghost, and tasted the good word



resources.



The Deity of the Holy Spirit. 191

of God and the power of the age to come, and
then fell away, it is impossible to renew tliem
again unto repentance." The inspired writer
wrote these words even for those to whom he
says, "But, beloved, we are persuaded better
things of you and things that accompany salva-
tion, though we thus speak."

It is a new knowledge of the divine resources Theneiv
which comes with a knowledge of the Holy ^'"'^'"'^^ ''^

the divine

Spirit dwelling in our hearts by faith. He not
only possesses all the divine attributes, not even
veiled, as with our incarnate Lord, but all the
sources of life are in himself. He who by an
eternal procession comes from the Father and
the Son, who alone searcheth and knoweth the
deep things of God, comes not alone to guide
us into all truth, but to strengthen our moral
as well as our intellectual powers. He not only
helpeth our infirmity when we know not how
to pray as we ought, but he is able so to impart
unto us of his divine powder as to be able to
keep us from falling and to present us faultless
before the presence of his glory with exceeding
joy. He does not make it impossible for us to
sin, but, even as with our Lord, he makes it pos-
sible for us not to sin. The impartation of cour-



192 The Deity of the Holy Spirit.

age, fortitude, wisdom, shows the continuous
life of the Holy Spirit in man. Ilis resources
are boundless, his exchequer can never be ex-
hausted. He makes no allowance for any
breaking point in man, for no temptation can
overtake but that with the temptation is pro-
vided a way of escape. Even granite may be
crushed, and iron and steel can be broken. Men
know their breaking point, and just how much
the granite can bear and the iron and steel can
carry. They do not dare fire even a cannon
after it has lived its appointed life of a fixed num-
ber of shots which may have tested to the full
the possible arrangement and rearrangement of
its molecular particles. But there is one finite
being who may partake of the Hfe of the infinite,
and hence the Holy Spirit makes no allowance
for any breaking point in man, whatever his trial
and however great his temptation. The finite
spirit becomes conscious of a life of God in the
soul, and endures as seeing him who is invisi-
ble. Courage is not physical, it is moral.
Women calmly face death in an imperiled ship
where men take to intoxicants. Men are not
bravest when they are fighting — they may sim-
ply be infuriated then, like even domestic ani-



The Deity of the Holy Spirit. 193

mals — but in enduring. Having done all to
stand is the triumph of courage, because cour-
age is the power of being dominated by a great
principle which makes men indifferent to dan-
ger and pain. It has its home in the soul and
partakes of its very immortality. It is he who
believes that shall not make haste, and this is
the victory that not only overcometh the world
but can overcome in any world, even our faith.

With all his glowing tribute to John the Bap- spiritual
tist, that among them that were born of women gifi^ ^'■s' (''"»

spiritual

there had not risen a greater, what did Jesus ^^^^^^^
mean when he said yet he that is least in the
kingdomi of heaven is greater than he? Who
dare say that with all the spiritual gifts of the
prophets they ever reached such spiritual states
as those described by Paul and shared by the
apostles ? It was then that the words were ful-
filled, "I will put my laws into their mind, and
in their heart also will I write them." Moses
falters even as he comes down from his audience
with Jehovah, and casts the tables of the law
from his hand and breaks them in utter despair
of saving even his own kinsmen according to
the flesh. Elijah has doubts about his own spir-
itual children, the seven thousand who have not
13



194 ^^'^ Deity of the Holy Spirit.

bowed the knee to Baal, and expects them to
be untrue like the rest. John the Baptist, even
after having borne witness to Christ as the One
mightier than I who cometh after mc, and who
shall baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire,
sends messengers who have been watching out-
side his prison cell to ask of Jesus, "Art thou
he that should come, or look we for another?"
But we look in vain for any such faint-hearted-
ness in Paul. "ISTone of these things move me,
neither count I my life dear unto me." "For the
which cause I suffer also these things : yet I am
not ashamed ; for I know whom I have believed,
and I am persuaded that he is able to guard
that which I have committed to him against
that day." Listen to the snatch of the martyr's
song that he hums to himself even before his
day of execution : "For if we die with him, we
shall also live with him : if we endure, we shall
also reign with him : if we shall deny him, he
also will deny us : if we are faithless, he abideth
faithful ; for he cannot deny himself." Dare we
listen longer? Yes, the notes grow fuller and
the song more triumphant as he seizes the stylus
once more : "For I am already being offered,
and the time of my departure is come. I have



The Deity of the Holy Spirit. 195

fought the good fight, I have finished the
course, I have kept the faith : henceforth there
is laid up for nie the crown of righteousness
which the Lord the righteous judge shall give
to me at that day : and not only to me, but also
to all them that have loved his appearing."

The Holy Spirit is the perpetual guarantee Men must be
to the Church of God, not onlv of the posses- ^'"J^'y -J ■-'/

' _ , to be filled

sion and final understanding and realization of ^^,1,,^
all truth, but of final and glorious triumph to •^/''''■'•
all who are filled with the Spirit. Few men are
empty enough of self to go all lengths with the
Holy Spirit without diverging into the self of
fanaticism. When water is where fire belongs
comes the terrible explosion which makes the
iron-molder careful to see that the mold is
empty of all that the fire would consume. Pen-
tecost was possible only to' those who waited
and were ready to receive the Holy Spirit, even
though the tongues of fire and flame attended
his coming. The men who burst or break when
the Spirit of God comes upon them have not
been emptied of self. Such disasters do not dis-
count the fire but the vessels which receive it.
It takes a chosen vessel to bear Christ's holy
name before the Gentiles and kings and the



196 The Deity of the Holy Spirit.

children of Israel. Christ's beatitudes before
Paul's were spiritual states, a love that hopeth
all things, endurcth all things, that never fail-
eth. His gift as he breathed upon his apostles
w^as Peace. "My peace give I unto you ; not as
the world giveth give I unto you." It is the
peace of God which passeth all understanding
that keeps our minds and hearts in the knowl-
edge and love of God and of his Son, Jesus Christ
our Lord. The Holy Spirit which he breathed
upon them after his resurrection, and especially
after his ascension, was the breath of life to
Christ both physically and spiritually ; and so it
became to his disciples, so that John was able
to say, "We have an anointing from the Holy
One. He that soweth unto the Spirit shall of
the Spirit reap life." The Church is the very
seat of Christ's power, the very center of his
enlightening, quickening, comforting grace.
When Christ's life is ours, the Holy Spirit
dwells in us without ceasing. But it is only as
we are strengthened with might through his
Spirit in the inner man that Christ dwells in our
hearts through faith. According to the power
that worketh in us Christ is able to do exceed-
ing abundantly above all that we ask or think.



The Dcily of the Holy Spirit. 197

Tlie Spirit of Jesus is the Spirit of tlic all-con-
quering Christ, who permitted no antai^onism
between his body and Spirit, as he said, "A
body hast thou prepared me," and "Lo, I come
to do thy will, O God." We must present our
bodies a living sacrifice if we would know and
prove the good and accei)table and perfect will
of God. How much more Samson might have
been, and Jephthah and Rahab and Balaam, had
they not been conformed to this world in place
of being transformed by the renewing of their
minds both to know and do God's perfect will.

Our Lord taught that the only perfect life The only fer-
■was one lived m tlie presence 01 a perfect bemg /,-j,^^,„^/^^
and which ever sought his approval. With the presence of a
Holy Spirit dwelling within, how pure we should P^^P


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Online LibraryE. R. (Eugene Russell) HendrixThe personality of the Holy Spirit → online text (page 10 of 11)