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Duty of Living and Walking in the Holy Spirit: Conclusion

Book Sixth

CONCLUSION.

Adam became a living soul when God breathed into him the breath of life:[1] and from that time, the process of breathing is evidence that life exists. Prayer may be regarded as the breathing of the spiritual man. Sufficient proof was given that Saul of Tarsus had been converted, when the Lord said, “Behold, he prayeth.”[2] True prayer proceeds from the Holy Spirit, imparting spiritual life, and enkindling those spiritual desires which find their vent in prayer. These desires are breathed into the bosom of God, in the exercise of filial confidence in him; and, being in accordance with the will of God,[3] they are regarded by him with favor, and obtain answers of grace and peace.

From this view of prayer, we may see the propriety of the Apostle’s injunction: “Pray without ceasing.”[4] The cessation of prayer would be the cessation of spiritual life. A form of words may not be incessantly used; but spiritual desires must ever have place in the heart; and the habit must ever exist, of looking to God for the fulfilment of these desires. This constant intercourse with God is the life of faith. We live with him, converse with him, and enjoy communion with him, through the Holy Spirit which dwelleth in us.

We often complain that our prayers are not answered; but it would be profitable to inquire, what those unanswered petitions were. Did we ask for wealth, power, and long life? If so, our desires were carnal, and did not proceed from the Spirit of God. We must learn to regulate our desires by the will of God, and our prayers will be sure to obtain a gracious hearing.

Sincere prayer begins with the very commencement of spiritual life. An infant’s cries express its wants, before it knows how to express them in words; and the tender mother will understand this inarticulate language. So the desires of the spiritual infant may be signified by “groanings which cannot be uttered:”[5] but the Lord understands these groans, and knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, who maketh intercession for them. As the lamb in the bosom of the kind shepherd; as the babe on the breast of its tender mother; so the spiritual babe reposes on the bosom of eternal love; and in that bosom breathes all its desires.

Spiritual life, evidenced at first by the breathing of prayer, is afterwards indicated by spiritual growth. To be spiritual, we must not ever remain babes in religion. Paul said to the Corinthians, “I could not speak unto you, as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.”[6] Spiritual life is progressive, and tends to make us men, strong men in Christ Jesus. The truth of God supplies the milk for babes, and the strong meat for those who have attained to greater age.[7] We have been engaged in the study of this truth; and it will be well for us to inquire whether our spiritual life has been nourished by it, and whether we are growing in faith, and love, and every grace. Unless the truth strengthens the inner man, and gives increased vigor in the Christian life, our study of it has been in vain.

[1] Gen. ii. 7.

[2] Acts ix. 11.

[3] Rom. viii. 27.

[4] 1 Thess. v. 17.

[5] Rom. viii. 26.

[6] 1 Cor. iii. 1.

[7] 1 Pet. ii. 2; Heb. v. 12.

John L. Dagg- Manual of Theology

Duty of Living and Walking in the Holy Spirit: Office of the Holy Spirit- Book Sixth- Chapter 3

Book Sixth

CHAPTER III.

OFFICE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.

THE HOLY SPIRIT IS THE SANCTIFIER AND COMFORTER OF GOD’S PEOPLE.[1]

The Holy Spirit is the author of holiness in all those who are saved: “Through sanctification of the Spirit.”[2] “Ye are washed, ye are sanctified by the Spirit of our God.”[3] He is the author of the new or spiritual life which is produced in regeneration.[4] Not only the beginning of the new life, but its whole progress, is dependent on the Spirit: wherefore, believers are said to live in the Spirit,[5] to walk in the Spirit, to be led by the Spirit,[6] and be filled with the Spirit;[7] and, for this reason David prayed, “Take not thy Holy Spirit from me.”[8] As it is his office to change the soul, and from a state of death in trespasses and sins, bring it into a new life, so it is his office to change our vile body, and fashion it like the glorious body of Christ: “He that raised up Jesus from the dead, shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.”[9] As both body and spirit are redeemed by Christ, so both body and spirit are changed by the Holy spirit, and fitted for the presence and enjoyment of God.

The Holy Spirit is the Comforter of God’s people. By his teaching, the knowledge of salvation by the remission of sins is obtained. The Saviour promised: “He shall take of mine, and shall show it unto you.”[10] In fulfilment of this promise, the Spirit makes known the sufficiency and suitableness of Christ as Saviour, and the efficacy of his blood to cleanse from sin. By the Holy Spirit the promises of the divine word are applied to the heart. Hence, peace and joy are called the fruit of the Spirit.[11] These spiritual enjoyments, which are a foretaste of heaven, are called “the earnest of the Spirit.”[12] And, as the earnest is given by him, we have reason to conclude that the full possession will be given by him. As Christ will be the medium through which the felicity of the future world will be bestowed; so, the Holy Spirit will be the immediate agent in bestowing it. The first comfort here below, and the full bliss and glory of heaven, are alike his work.

[1] Ps. li. 10-12; Ezek. xxxvi. 27; John xiv. 26; Acts ix. 31; Rom. v. 5; viii. 13, 16, 26; 1 Cor. vi. 11; 2 Cor. i. 22; iii. 18; Gal. v. 22; 2 Thes. ii. 13.

[2] 1 Pet. i. 2.

[3] 1 Cor. vi. 11.

[4] John iii. 6.

[5] Gal. v. 25.

[6] Gal. v. 18.

[7] Eph. v. 18.

[8] Ps. li. 11.

[9] Rom. viii. 11.

[10] John xvi. 15.

[11] Gal. v. 22.

[12] Eph i. 13, 14; 2 Cor. i. 22.

John L. Dagg- Manual of Theology

Duty of Living and Walking in the Holy Spirit: The Divinity of the Holy Spirit- Book Sixth- Chapter 2

Book Sixth

CHAPTER II.

THE DIVINITY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.

THE HOLY SPIRIT IS GOD.[1]

When we have ascertained that there is a person to whom the name Holy Spirit is applied, we can have little difficulty in arriving at the conclusion that he is a divine person. The following arguments establish this truth.

1. In the commission he is equally included with the Father and the Son, in the name into which we are baptised. If he is not God when we devote ourselves to him in our baptism, we are guilty of idolatry. It is no objection to this argument, that Paul says the Israelites were baptised unto Moses.[2] A formal baptism in the name of Moses is neither affirmed nor intended. An analogy is exhibited between the course of a believer who dedicates himself to Christ in baptism, and the course of the Israelites, who gave themselves up to the guidance of Moses, from the Red Sea to the promised land: but an analogy only is all that is intended. The Corinthians were not baptised in the name of Paul;[3] though it was their duty to follow him as he followed Christ: and the Israelites were not baptised in the name of Moses; though they followed him as their leader. The Angel, in whom the name of God was, went before them, in the pillar of cloud and fire; and Moses, equally with all the rest, followed his guidance, and acknowledged his authority.

2. In the benediction, the Spirit is named, equally with the Father and the Son, and regarded as the source of spiritual blessings. The words may be considered a prayer to the Holy Spirit, for the bestowment of these blessings.

3. When the bodies of believers are called the temple of the Holy Ghost,[4] the deity of the Holy Ghost is recognised. They to whom temples of wood or stone were erected, were regarded as deities: and he to whom the bodies of the saints are temples, must be God. But we are not left to our own inference on this subject. Paul has drawn the conclusion for us: for after having stated that the bodies of the saints are the temples of the Holy Ghost, he speaks of them as belonging to God;[5] and in another place, when speaking of the saints as a temple, he calls the building a “habitation of God through the Spirit.”[6] The same view is presented in 1 Cor. iii. 16: “Know ye not, that ye are the temple of God, and that the spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy: for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” So the heathen deities were imagined to dwell in the temples dedicated to them; and so God was in his holy temple at Jerusalem.

4. The heinousness of the sin against the Holy Ghost, is proof of his divinity. When Ananias and Sapphira lied to the Holy Ghost, Peter explained the enormity of their sin in these words: “Thou hast not lied to men, but to God.”[7] To sin against the Holy Ghost, is to sin, not against a creature, but against God. This argument acquires greatly increased force, when we consider the words of Christ: “All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men; but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.[8] Whatever be the reason that renders blasphemy against the Holy Ghost unpardonable, it must include in it that he is God. If he is not God, sin committed against him would be less heinous than that committed against the Father and the Son.

5. Passages of the Old Testament which speak of Jehovah, the Supreme God, are, in the New Testament, applied to the Holy Ghost.[9]

6. The attributes of God are applied, in Scripture, to the Holy Spirit.

Eternity. “Who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God.”[10]

Omnipresence. “Whither shall I go from thy Spirit? and whither shall I flee from thy presence?”[11]

Omniscience. “The Spirit searcheth all things; yea, the deep things of God.”[12]

7. Divine works are ascribed to the Holy Spirit.

Creation. “The Spirit of God moved on the face of the waters.”[13] “By his Spirit he garnished the heavens.[14]

Providence. “Thou sendest forth thy Spirit, they are created; and thou renewest the face of the earth.”[15]

Miracles. “If I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.”[16] “To another is given the working of miracles by the same Spirit.”[17]

Resurrection of Christ. “Declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.”[18] “Being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit.”[19]

Resurrection of believers. “If the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.”[20]

[1] Matt. xxviii. 19; Heb. ix. 14; Ps. cxxxix. 7; 1 Cor. vi. 19; 2 Cor. vi. 16; Acts v. 3, 4.

[2] 1 Cor. x. 2.

[3] 1 Cor. i. 13.

[4] 1 Cor. vi. 19.

[5] 1 Cor. vi. 20.

[6] Eph. ii. 22.

[7] Acts v. 3, 4.

[8] Matt. xii. 31.

[9] Ex. xvii. 7 compared with Heb. iii. 9; Isaiah vi. 8, with Acts xxviii. 25; Jer. xxxi. 31-34, with Heb. x. 15-17.

[10] Heb. ix. 14.

[11] Ps. cxxxix. 7.

[12] 1 Cor. ii. 10.

[13] Gen. i. 2.

[14] Job xxvi. 13.

[15] Ps. civ. 30.

[16] Matt. xii. 28.

[17] 1 Cor. xii. 10.

[18] Rom. i. 4.

[19] 1 Pet. iii. 18.

[20] Rom. viii. 11.

John L. Dagg- Manual of Theology

The Trinitarian Controversy and the Problem of Shallow Roots

by Tom Chantry

I was looking at the enormous Norway Maple in my backyard the other day, and a question occurred. How deep are its roots? Living as we do in the age of Google, I soon found myself reading this fascinating and instructive article on the question of root depth.

Apparently there has been some dispute over the natural root depth of trees. Back in the 1930s, scientists investigated this question by digging out the root systems of large trees. The answer that they reached is one you may have seen in textbooks when you were a kid: that the root system of trees is as extensive as the branch system. Indeed, reports exist of such trees to this day.

However, this was not the end of the question. Many assumed that trees could not be grown in modern cities because the typical soil composition would not allow for the development of such elaborate root systems. It turns out, though, that those 1930s scientists had understandably chosen trees for their study which were planted in easily dug soil such as loess (sediment deposited by wind). The more diggable soil allowed for careful extraction of a tree’s root system. It turns out, though, that in such soil trees tend to grow deeper roots, but that the same variety of trees may also grow tall with roots stretching out horizontally.

Today, urban arborists often explain that trees don’t require deep soil, and common opinion has turned against the old deep-root theory. The correct conclusion, as expressed by James Urban of the American Society of Landscape Architects is this: “Trees are genetically capable of growing deep roots, but root architecture is strongly influenced by soil and climate conditions.” Specifically, soil which is compacted and has poor drainage creates a poor environment for root depth. This does not mean, however, that trees cannot grow, only that they may grow without deep roots.

Yet all may not be well. A tree may look tall, full, and impressive, but its root system may prove insufficient. A tree with shallow, horizontal……

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

Do Christians and Muslims Worship the Same God?

December 23, 2015 Leave a comment

By Albert Mohler, Jr.

A statement made by a professor at a leading evangelical college has become a flashpoint in a controversy that really matters. In explaining why she intended to wear a traditional Muslim hijab over the holiday season in order to symbolize solidarity with her Muslim neighbors, the professor asserted that Christians and Muslims worship the same God.

Is this true?

The answer to that question depends upon a distinctly Christian and clearly biblical answer to yet another question: Can anyone truly worship the Father while rejecting the Son?

The Christian’s answer to that question must follow the example of Christ. Jesus himself settled the question when he responded to Jewish leaders who confronted him after he had said “I am the light of the world.” When they denied him, Jesus said, “If you knew me, you would know my Father also” (John 8:19). Later in that same chapter, Jesus used some of the strongest language of his earthly ministry in stating clearly that to deny him is to deny the Father.

Christians and Muslims do not worship the same God. Christians worship the triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and no other god. We know the Father through the Son, and it is solely through Christ’s atonement for sin that salvation has come. Salvation comes to those who confess with their lips that Jesus Christ is Lord and believe in their hearts that God has raised him from the dead (Romans 10:9). The New Testament leaves no margin for misunderstanding. To deny the Son is to deny the Father.

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

Take the Trinity Test

Tim Challies, together with Rebecca Stark, put together a test on the Trinity. Here is some info on the test.

Thirty-Four on the Three in One: Which Are Not True?

In his little book Delighting in the Trinity, Michael Reeves calls the Trinity “the governing center of all Christian belief” and “the cockpit of all Christian thinking.”1 In other words, it’s not an irrelevant or secondary doctrine, but of primary importance.

How well do you know this central doctrine of Christianity? I’ve put together a little quiz so you can test yourself. Here are 34 statements related to the Trinity. Which ones are not true? (There’s a link to the answers at the end of the post.)

 

 

Take the Trinity Test here.

Baptist Confession of 1689 (2013)

October 14, 2015 1 comment