The Holy Spirit : a series of Bible studies on the person, presence and power of the Holy Spirit online

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destroy ; for the temple of God is holy, which
temple ye are." 1 Cor. 3 :16, 17. Again " Know
ye not that your body is a temple of the Holy


Spirit which is in you, which ye have from God?
And ye are not your own; for ye are bought
with a price : glorify God therefore in your
body." 1 Cor. 6:19, 20. In these two pas-
sages the apostle is emphasizing the sacredness
of the temple of the Holy Spirit. In the first,
the Church, as the temple, is considered. In the
second, the body of the believer. The destruc-
tion or defilement is substantially the same in
both. It is the perversion of the temple from a
holy to an unholy use. In the Church, as an
organized body of believers, this sin is commit-
ted when the Church fails to recognize Christ as
her foundation and the work of the Church to
co-operate with God in saving souls and develop-
ing a holy life in Christians. In the Christian's
body this sin consists in using the body for
unholy and impure purposes especially as the sin
may take the form of fornication. The apostles
realized the great temptation to this sin both in
the Church and in the believer, and knowing this
he makes the warning against it a serious matter.
That any kindred sin, even defrauding a brother,
is to be considered as an abuse of the body, as
the abode of the Holy Spirit, is apparent from
the language of Paul where he urges against for-
nication, concupisence and defrauding a fellow


Christian and adds: "For God called us not for
uncleanness, but in sanctification. Therefore he
that rejecteth, rejecteth not man but God, who
giveth his Holy Spirit unto you." 1 Thes. 4:7,

6. Another sin or offence against the Holy
Spirit, to which the Christian is peculiarly liable
and from the commission of which he is specially
warned is that stated by Paul in the terse lan-
guage " quench not the Spirit." 1 Thes. 5 : 19.
In his work of purifying the soul from all cor-
ruption, the Holy Spirit- can be either actively
hindered or passively nulified. His work may
thus be quenched ill the soul. The professing
Christian may by antagonistic means overcome
the influence of the Spirit upon his own soul or
upon others. His daily life ; his business habits;
his social relations ; his "walk" may be such as
to over-power in large measure the influence of
the Spirit as he seeks to purify and edify and
comfort the soul. The Christian again may sim-
ply be indifferent to the Spirit's influences and
by leaving him alone, refusing to actively co-op-
erate so render largely ineffective the Spirit's
influence. The Spirit ever strives to lead the
disciple to higher and holier life ; to purer and
nobler purposes ; to guide into duty ; to over-


come temptation; to, in fact, prosecute the
great work of the Church and of Christians in
the world, and whatever power the Christian may
use against such influence and leading of the

* o

Spirit is quenching his power, and so also is the
simple neglect of such holy influences. By these
means the efficiency of the Spirit in the world is
largly hindered.

7. A final sin against the Holy Spirit is that
presented by Paul when considering the tempta-
tion to which Christians are liable in speaking
impure language, to using bitter and angry words
against others. He says: "Grieve not the Holy
Spirit of God in whom ye were sealed unto the
day of redemption." Eph. 4 : 30. The precepts
enjoined are practical. The Christian is to walk
before men in an exemplary way manifesting so
far as possible a Christ-like character. That the
Holy Spirit is grieved when unholy actions, im-
pure words, unkind statements are found in his
daily walk, is but a sequence to his own holy
nature and his holy work on earth. Ye are
brethren and he is our elder brother who when he
was reviled, reviled not again; who taught sim-
plicity in manner, purity in word and thought,
honesty in life everywhere, and humility in ser-
vice for his sake; and it can but grieve him


sorely if we walk not in his ways. He has
sealed us unto the day of our redemption, when
we shall be like him, for we shall see hiui as he

Here we have set before us seven distinct sins
against the Holy Spirit. Each carries with it its
own penalty. To sin against God the Father has
been grivous enough, since such sin ruined the
race. To sin against the beloved Son who gave
himself for us is still greater as it embodies
enmity with deepest ingratitude. But to sin
against the Holy Spirit, the convincer, and com-
forter, is greater still, since it not only includes all
the others but adds to these transgression against
all truth. Let the soul then, whether in the depths
of sin or in the way of life, learn the enormity
of sinning in any way against the Holy Spirit.

" Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and
to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is
now, and ever shall be, world without end.


The Spirit, oh sinner
In mercy doeth move
Thy heart so long hardened
Of sin to reprove,


Resist not the Spirit
Nor longer delay.
God's gracious entreaties
May end with to-day.

Defiled is the temple
Its beauty laid low
On God's holy altar
The embers faint glow
By love yet rekindled
A flame may be fanned.
Oh quench not the Spirit
The Lord is at hand.

Oh child of the kingdom
From sin's service cease,
Be filled .with the Spirit,
With comfort and peace,
Oh grieve not the Spirit
Thy teacher is he,
That Jesus thy Savior
May glorified be.

P. P. Bliss.




Part of the work promised by tho blessed
Master, as resulting from the advent of the Para-
clete, was to be his influence upon the unsaved.
" And he, whenhe is come, will convict the world
in respect of sin and of righteousness and of judg-
ment ; of sin, because they believe not on me; of
righteousness, because I go to the Father, and ye
behold me no more ; of judgment, because the
prince of this world hath been judged." John
16: 8-11. There is here set forth clearly, the
doctrine that the arousingof the soul to its sinful
condition, of the need of righteousness, and of the
certainty of the judgment, is the personal work of
the Holy Spirit. Without his secret power exerted
in this threefold conviction, the sinner can never
come to Christ ; will never seek for salvation from
s'in or its consequences. Before the sinner will
either desire or seek after salvation, he must
realize his true condition and seek for divine help.


Both the knowledge of this need and the power
to seek for salvation is wrought in his soul by the
agency of the Holy Spirit, and in the words of
the Lord we have set forth the trinity of convic-
tion produced in the heart of the sinner, showing
him how he has offended the triune God. But
this declaration of our Lord in this closing dis-
course to his disciples was but the affirmation of
truths already in part set forth. Earlier in his
ministry he had set before them the truth that the
power to receive him as Savior, and the efficiency
of the Word itself, were dependent upon the
direct influence of the Holy Spirit. From the
analogy of the bread, he had taught them that
they spiritually must be made partakers of himself,
feeding upon him in order to the maintenance of
spiritual life. It was one of the Lord's teachings
hard to be understood without the enlightening of
the Holy Spirit. The result was, many of his
professed followers said: " This is a hard say-
ing. . . . But Jesus knowing in himself that
his disciples murmured at this, said unto them,
Doth this cause you to stumble? Wliat then if
you should behold the Son of man ascending
where he was before? It is the Spirit that quick-
eneth ; the flesh profiteth nothing ; the words that
I have spoken unto you are Spirit and are life.


But there are some of you that believe not."
John 6 : 60-64. Here he clearly connects the
reception of spiritual life, and the knowledge of
the truth and consequent salvation of the soul,
with his ascension and the resulting baptism of the
Holy Spirit. Genuine discipleship is here shown
to be, not simply the result of hearing the truth,
but the application of that truth to the inner life
by the Spirit of God. This passage was his own
interpretation of his other declaration that ** no
man can come unto me except it be given unto
him of the Father." John 6 : 64-65. These are
strong words. They carry a weight of meaning
not lightly to be esteemed by the sinner. Every
drawing toward God is not of his own will, except
as that will is moved by the Holy Spirit. Every
conviction of separation from God, and need of
God, every perception of the truth of God's
Word, is produced in the mind and soul by the
Holy Spirit. It becomes a matter of great
moment when the sinner, for any reason, sets
aside these impressions and convictions. He is
setting aside the only power by which he can
come to God and find salvation. The teachings
of the apostles but add emphasis to these conclu-
sions set forth from the Master's own words.
Paul says: "I give you to understand that no


man speaking in the Spirit of God, saith Jesus is
anathema ; and no man can say, Jesus is Lord but
in the Holy Spirit." 1 Cor. 12:3. Here the
apostle sets forth that public confession of Christ
as Lord as the soul's Lord is made by the
power given by the Holy Spirit. John also says:
" Hereby know ye the Spirit of God ; every Spirit
that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the
flesh is of God." 1 John 4 : 2.

Thus there is set forth clearly, that the
sinner is dependent upon the Holy Spirit for con-
viction. The three-fold conviction already con-
sidered, viZj the reception and understanding of
the divine word ; for the power to receive Christ
as Savior ; for the power and disposition to con-
fess Christ as Lord and Master before men. In
other words the Scriptures plainly teach that the
sinner is dependent upon the Holy Spirit in secur-
ing salvation from the very first awakening to the
fact that he is a lost soul and needing a Savior,
until the work of grace is completed in his con-
fession of the Lord Jesus as Savior. No creeds,
no forms, no morality, no Church organization,
no service can bring him into God's Kingdom.
The Holy Spirit, operating upon his heart, some
times in ceremonies, some times in forms, some
times in a sound creod, always with the Word of


God, always by some human voice bearing the
message, awakens him to his true condition, and
if he yields, works in him a full salvation.

One memorable scene in the life of our Lord
brings plainly before the mind this wonderful
truth. The quiet night had witnessed the Savior,
as was his custom, seeking the garden for prayer
and meditation. A ruler of the Jews follows him
Together they sit down to talk of the kingdom of
God the spiritual Christ and the Rabbi, knowing
but little beyond Jewish forms and ceremonies.
Read the record : "Rabbi, we know that thou art
a teacher come from God ; for no man can do
these signs that thou doest, except God be with
him. Jesus answered and said unto him : Verily,
verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born
anew, (from above) he cannot see the kingdom of
God. Nicodemus saithunto him, How can a man
be born when he is old? Can he enter a second
time into his mother's womb, and be born? Jesus
answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except
a man be born of water (i. e. out of water in
natural birth) and the Spirit, he cannot enter in-
to the kingdom of God. That which is born of
the flesh is flesh (natural); and that which is
born of the Spirit is Spirit. Marvel not that I
said unto thee, ye must be born anew. The wind


bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the
voice thereof, but knowest not whence it cometh
and whither it goeth ; so is every one that is born
of the Spirit." John 3 : 1-8. *

It was substantially this truth that Paul sought
to emphasize when he declared; " The kindness
of God our Savior, and his love toward man, ap-
peared, not by works done in righteousness, which
we did ourselves, but according to his mercy he
saved us, through the washing (laver) of regener-
ation and renewing of the Holy Spirit, which he
poured out upon us richly, through Jesus Christ
our Savior: that being justified by his grace, we made heirs according to the hope of
eternal life." Titus 3: 4-7. The essential fact
is the work of the Holy Spirit in renewing the
soul, and without this there is no salvation. So
forcibly is this truth declared in God's Word that

* The interpretation here given to the expression
" born out of water," is not vital to the argument or line
of thought. It is suggested as the one adopted by the
author on thewell known principle of interpretation that
a figurative and literal reference is never made to the
same thing in the same text. The same principle applies
in Matt. 3: 11. In the passage above,the facts of natural
birth, the close connection with the thought in the pre-
ceeding and succeeding verses, and the well known custom
of the Jews of receiving the new born child into a basin
of water directly, these make the interpretation seem


there is nothing strange about the repeated
emphasis laid upon the work of salvation, as being
really a new creation. Not a re-modelling ; not
simply a transformation, but a regeneration. As
in the beginning God created the worlds, so now
he recreates the soul, and as in the beginning the
Holy Spirit brought order from chaos, beauty
from desolation, life from death ; so now he also
brings spiritual order out of the ruin of sin and
imparts life where sin reigned.

In Ephesians 2:10 we read: "We are his
workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for [good
works which God afore prepared that we should
walk in them." In 2 Cor. 5: 17, we read again,
"Wherefore if any man is in Christ he is a new
creature." All creation is by divine decree, he
speaks and it is done. Creating is not forming
or making over out of old materials, it is absolutly
bringing to be, that which was not. We have already
seen that no life can come in any form except by
divine impartation from the Holy Spirit. He it
is then who comes to the soul dead in trespasses
and sins, absolutely without spiritual life, and
imparts the germ of the Christ life in the soul,
thus destroying the old Adam in the soul, putting
him to subjection in the flesh, and creating the
new Adam, instead that he may reign over the


whole man. Thus he creates the soul anew in
Christ, thus the soul receives Christ and ' he that
hath the Son hath the life, he that hath not the
Son hath not the life." Uohn 5 : 12. "And
this is life eternal, that they should know thee
the only true God and him whom thou didst send,
Jesus Christ." John 17 : 3.

If these truths be fully received we are con-
fronted with the important facts that to the influ-
ence and presence of the Holy Spirit the sinner is
indebted for every holy desire, every awakening
to his real condition as a sinner. His conscience,
his judgement, his apprehension, his decisi'on,
his conviction of truth and duty, are wrought
through the Holy Spirit. Again and again should
the church emphasize these momentous truths and
before a dying, sinning world should hold the
awful consequences of not heeding every influence
of the Spirit, coming in mercy, and whose holy
ministrations to us, in us, and for us, are part of
the purchase of the Redeemer's blood. He comes
to this work in us because a crucified Christ
ascended up on high and sent him into the world
for this purpose. As the world cannot be saved
without the blood of the crucified Christ, so the
world cannot come to Christ, except the Holy


Spirit move upon him to awaken, convict and

" Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and
to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is
now, and ever shall be, world without end.




Thus far in our studies of God's work in the
world, under the dispensation of the Holy Spirit,
it has become apparent that the sinner cannot be
saved except as he receives the |influence of the
Spirit. It would only be a natural conclusion
from the texts considered, that the primary result
of salvation is a proper adjustment of the saved
soul to God's will through the help of the Holy
Spirit; and if, as we have seen, a soul is never
finally without hope until there is a complete
separation from the Spirit, it may reasonably be
argued that a soul is never saved until there is a
complete union with the Holy Spirit. It would
then follow that, as important as is the work of
the Holy Spirit in securing regeneration, his
work is none the less important in completing
regeneration by sustaining forever the new life
begun in the soul, which is sanctification. It is
at this point that care shonld be specially taken


to understand the meaning of the term sanctifica-
tion as implying a setting apart to divine service,
rather than any conformity to a fixed standard
of Christian experience. Special emphasis then
is laid in the New Testament on the relation of
the Holy Spirit to the believer in Christ Jesus.
Our blessed Lord himself in the promises given
to the disciples concerning the Comforter laid
special stress on this part of his mission.

1. "I will pray the Father and he shall give
you another Comforter that he may be with you
forever .... He abideth with you and
shall be in you." John 14:16, 17. The same
apostle who records this promise also declares :
"Hereby we know that he abideth in us by the
Spirit which he gave us. "1 John 3:24. And
again: " Hereby know we that we abide in him
and he in us because he hath given us of his
Spirit." 1 John 4:13. And so Paul asks:
" Know ye not that your body is a temple of the
Holy Spirit which is in you, which we have from
God." 1 Cor. 6:19. Thus it is set forth that
the Holy Spirit dwells in and abides with believ-
ers in Christ Jesus. Such a truth sets before the
professor the sacredness of his new life. He is
no longer alone. God, the Holy Spirit, is with
him and dwells in him sacred, holy relationship.


And this relationship is not a temporary one : it
is not transitory, nor fluctuating. While there
may be an ebb and flow in the believer's emo-
tions, or even in his realization of the Spirit's
presence, yet the Holy Spirit is promised as an
abiding presence. The Master uses the strongest
of terms forever abides, dwells in you, and
these terms imply that where the relationship has
become real, it is also permanent. The neces-
sity for this will become more and more appar-
ent as we examine the nature of the work to be
accomplished by the indwelling Spirit.

2. Special emphasis is laid upon his work in
purifying the heart and cleansing the soul.
Various terms are used by which to designate
this work, but they are largely synonymous.
The work of purification is considered a transfor-
mation into the likeness or image of the Lord
Jesus Christ. It is to this thought Paul is
directing attention, when in drawing the con-
trast between the old and new dispensations, he
declares that the commendation of the gospel he
had preached was in the work wrought by the
Holy Spirit in the hearts of the disciples ; white
'that of the old was that God had written his law
on tables of stone, "Ye are an epistle of Christ,
ministered by us, written not with ink, but with


the Spirit of the living God ; not in tables of
stone, but in tables that are hearts of flesh."
He then shows that it is the Spirit who makes
the dead sinner to] live, and develops him into a
glorious righteousness. Then he argues that
while Moses, having seen the glory of the divine
presence in the Mount, must needs veil his face
from the people and that this veiling still con-
tinues to the one who seeks to know God only
through the law, that now, under the new dis-
pensation and by the power of the Holy Spirit, we
can know God;and by the work of the Spirit when
we do know him the veils of ignorance, prejudice
and sinfulness are taken away, and seeing Christ,
we are by the Spirit transformed into his image.
"Now the Lord is the Spirit and where the Spirit
of the Lord is, there is liberty, (i. e., unveiled
vision). But we all with unveiled face reflecting
as a mirror (margin R. V.,) the glory of the
Lord, are transformed into the same image from
glory to glory, even as from the Lord the
Spirit," 2 Cor. 3 : 13-18. Thus the soul is by
the Spirit enabled to discern in Christ the glory
of righteousness, and by the same Spirit is
enabled by gradual transformation to attain
thereto, even to a likeness of Christ. It is this
same truth in another form that Paul, in speaking


of, the evils begotten by sin in the world,
says: "And such were some of you: but ye
were washed, but ye were sanctified, but ye were
justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ,
and in the Spirit of our God." 1 Cor. 6:11.
And that this work might be accomplished, was
set forth as the purpose of God in salvation
where Paul again said: "God chose you from
the beginning unto salvation in sa notification of
the Spirit and belief of the truth." 2 Thes.

3. It is the development of this spiritual life,
begun in the soul and carried forward to the per-
fect likeness to Christ by the Holy Spirit, that
renders it essential that the Christian shall be led
by the Spirit. The soul is no longer to follow
his carnal desires, but the Spirit is to lead him
on to complete victory over sin in every form.
So Paul declares: "But I say, walk by the
Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the
flesh, for the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and
the Spirit [against the flesh ; for these are con-
trary the one to the other ; that ye may not do
the things that ye would. But if ye are led by
the Spirit, ye are not under the law." Gal.
5 : 16-18. It is only another mode of presenting
the same thought, when the apostle, following


the promise of our blessed Lord, recognizes that
the believer is taught the way of duty and service
by the Holy Spirit. Christ had said : " He shall
teach you all things and bring all things to your
remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."
John 14:26. And again, "He shall guide you
into all the truth." John 16 : 13.

4. Every saved soul realizes his need of
divine direction, of divine illumination, of that
wisdom which is from above, and to every such
soul there comes, in the words -of the blessed
Master, an assurance that he shall be so guided
and led. The Spirit within him enables him to
perceive spiritual things, to know God's will and
to receive divine wisdom. This spiritual illumin-
ation is by Paul put into contrast with the nat-
ural powers, when quoting from the prophet he
says : " Things which eye saw not, and ear heard
not, and which entered not into the heart of
man, Whatsoever things God prepared for them
that love him. But unto us God revealed them
through the Spirit : for the Spirit searcheth all
things, yea, the deep things of God. For who
among men knoweth the things of a man, save
the Spirit of the man, which is in him? even so
the things of God none knoweth, save the Spirit
of God. But we received, not the Spirit of the


world, but the Spirit which is from God ; that
we might know the things that are freely given
to us of God, which things we also speak not in
words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which
the Spirit teacheth : comparing spiritual things
with spiritual. Now the natural man
receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God :
for they are foolishness unto him ; and he cannot
know them, because they are spiritually judged.
But he that is spiritural judgeth all things, and
he himself is judged of no man." 1 Cor. 2 : 9-

No language can express more clearly the
wonderful blessings opened to the believer by
the Holy Spirit than this language of Paul, in
which he recognized not only the fact of the
abode of the Spirit within the soul of the
believer; but that he is there to enable him
to become Christlike, and to lead and teach
him in the mysteries of the way of life, of
discharge of duty, and to know spiritural things.

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Online LibraryPastorThe Holy Spirit : a series of Bible studies on the person, presence and power of the Holy Spirit → online text (page 4 of 10)