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« on: February 05, 2010, 05:11:12 AM »

THE HOLY SPIRIT AT WORK

BY

S. Franklin Logsdon

"It is expedient for you that I go away . . . I will send him unto you"

Copyright @ 1960

CHAPTER FIFTEEN

THE SPIRIT POSES A QUESTION

"What manner of persons ought ye to be?"

THE HOLY SPIRIT MAKES EFFECTIVE USE of the interrogation. He does it in a pressing, piercing and provocative manner. There are three things to notice about the question of our text:

(1) Its suddenness. It emerges abruptly in the midst of a fearful revelation.
(2) Its solemnity. It is asked in view of the dissolution of all things with great noise and fervent heat—a staggering thought, the proportions and character of which cannot be comprehended by the human mind.
(3) Its significance. It is posed as an inducement to readiness for the coming of the Lord.

What kind of person should one be when Christ returns? We need not depend on our imperfect judgment for the answer. All the required characteristics have been clearly designated in His Word. And the Holy Spirit waits to make them real in the life of the believer.
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« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2010, 05:17:37 AM »

A HOLY PEOPLE

Holiness a requirement of the Lord

"Be ye holy; for I am holy" is a New Testament repetition of an Old Testament command, proving the unchangeableness of the divine standard.

With Andrew Murray, we would do well to pray: "Teach us, O Lord, how holy Thou art that we may know how holy Thou dost want us to be." There is not in Scripture a word more distinctly divine in its origin and meaning than the word "holy." No word leads one higher into the mysteries of Deity nor deeper into the blessedness of God's children. Yet, it is a word many Christians never clearly appreciate. Since two cannot walk together except they be agreed (Amos 3:3), the believer cannot enjoy fellowship with the Lord until he knows in his experience something concerning this truth (II Corinthians 7:1). Only the Holy Spirit can help us here.

Holiness a rejection of Christ

A Christian is primarily an imitator of Christ. And when our Father asks that we be holy as He is holy, He is asking that His Son be seen in us, for Christ is the embodiment of holiness.

In the miracle of the new birth, we receive the Spirit of God's Son (Galatians 4:6). In the matter of growth in grace, the Holy Spirit makes us more Christlike. This is the whole design of the doctrine of holiness. There was a day when people were able to take knowledge that certain ones had been with Jesus. They carried with them something of the sweetness of His presence in their conduct. There was a time when the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ was so manifest in the lives of His devoted followers that they were called "Christ-i-ans," that is, "Christ-ones" or "Christ-followers." It is this reflection of God's Son which the Holy Spirit wants to produce today.

Holiness a result of the Spirit's work

It would be difficult to conceive how one could be holy in his conversation and conduct apart from the ministry of the Holy Spirit. The fact is, it is not only inconceivable, it is impossible. Let us remember, "It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh [self] profiteth nothing." This leaves no alternative for the believer.

The psalmist, in his expressed longing for a life of holiness, cried, "Quicken me!" Nine times this outburst is found in Psalm 119. There are, we will recall, nine component parts to the fruit of the Spirit as listed in Galatians 5. And the fruit of the Spirit is the evidence of quickening—the manifestation of the holy life which the Spirit makes possible in a yielded believer.
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« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2010, 05:18:53 AM »

A FAITHFUL PEOPLE

In view of the coming of the Lord, steadfastness should be the watchword of the hour.

Faithfulness dependent upon establishment

The word "establish" has a strong practical connotation.

 It suggests firmness, stability, growth and healthfulness.
 It portrays roots sunken deeply in the soil of life-giving Truth (Psalm 1:3).
 It speaks of stalwartness in the field of conquest,
 of orthodoxy in the realm of Bible belief,
 of maturity in the sphere of spiritual profession,
 of devoted attachment in the orbit of Christian dedication.
 It conveys the thought of being strengthened, or of becoming successful.
 It makes one dependable and profitable, not likely to be tossed to and fro as a child with every or with any contrary wind of doctrine.

And this is precisely the manner of persons we ought to be as the end time storms increase with frightful intensity. This is the kind of persons we should be as we anticipate the glorious appearing of our blessed Lord.

Faithfulness contingent upon discernment

"He that is spiritual judgeth [discerneth] all things" (I Corinthians 2:15), and spiritual discernment is one of the gifts of the Spirit.

- It is the discriminating potential so essential in choosing.
- It equips one to distinguish between truth and error, between the flesh and the spirit, between self-interest and the will of God.
- It is the chief prerequisite to vision.
- It is indispensable to Bible study, especially in prophecy and doctrine.

Faithfulness the proof of steadfastness

What is more pathetic than a vacillating, deviating, fluctuating individual who claims vital union with the sustaining, unchangeable God?

In Deuteronomy, Moses five times exhorted the people to "cleave unto the Lord thy God" for—

1.  The course of spiritual survival (4:4).
2.  The avenue to prosperity (10:20).
3.  The guarantee of safety (11:22).
4.  The safeguard against seduction (13:4).
5.  The promise of satisfaction (30:20).

The New Testament parallelisms are found, respectively:

- In cleaving to the Lord with purpose of heart (Acts 11:23),
- In yielding bodies for service (Romans 12:1),
- In being filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18),
- In being steadfast (I Corinthians 15:58),
- In abiding in Him (I John 2:28).

The practical ministry of the Holy Spirit in making Christians to be what they ought to be is exhibited in many revealing ways.

- He wants to captivate the heart.
- He desires to illuminate the mind.
- He waits to animate the life.

The Holy Spirit alone can promote us in an unbroken fellowship with God.
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« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2010, 05:19:59 AM »

AN ACTIVE PEOPLE

"Faith without works is dead" (James 2:20). The reason is given in verse 17 of the same chapter: "Faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone." Here is something of a desertion or oversight or neglect. Faith neglected grows anemic as does a plant cut off from the sun. Faith must not be left alone. It will die, and with its death destitution ensues.

- It requires living faith to please God, for "without faith it is impossible to please him" (Hebrews 11:6a).
- It requires living faith to pray, for "he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him" (Hebrews 11:6b).
- It requires faith to progress, for "the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God" (Galatians 2:20).
- It requires living faith to prevail, for "this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith" (I John 5:4).

And faith is doing what God's Word commands.

When one operates within the orbit of divine approval, he may expect both assistance and blessing from above. But let us all be solemnly advised that what God does not authorize, He cannot approve; what He cannot approve, He will not accept. To do other than the Bible instructs is a venture without profit, a dissipation of energy. Vain oblations today, as of old, weary the Most High.

A PREPARED PEOPLE

There will be a dissolution of all things, a pouring forth of the vials of divine wrath upon this world which rejected Heaven's offer of grace.

- They sink with the floundering vessel who refuse the lifeboat.
- They burn with the flaming building who spurn rescue attempts.
- They perish in the disaster who fail to take the provided refuge.

But what manner of persons ought they to be who have the assurance of escaping the wrath to come? They should be holy, faithful, active, joyful and thankful. Above all, they must be ready. Let us observe some of the characteristics of a ready people for the coming of the Lord.

An informed people

"When ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors" (Matthew 24:33). All future developments in the divine economy hinge on the second coming of Christ, and Jesus had been briefing His disciples on striking facts incident to this tremendous event—the universal effect, the rapidity of its accomplishment, etc.

Within our own generation we have witnessed many startling developments which bear a striking resemblance to the subject which Jesus was setting forth. Indeed, they are of such a nature as to establish convincing pertinence. We have seen Palestine delivered from the Turks, her deserts blossoming as a rose, and her becoming an important exporter of citrus fruits. We have seen the rebirth of Jewish statehood, after 2,000 years of nonexistence—a new political entity universally recognized, with envoys and purchasing commissions in countries far and wide.

We have seen the white man being evacuated from Asia, fulfilling the slogan "Asia for the Asiatics." We have seen the alignment of nations by political treaty, economic agreement and security alliance, to such an extent that the stage seems already arranged for the end-time struggle and eventual Battle of Armageddon. We have seen an erstwhile backward country become a colossal terror to the world, enveloping more than half the human race in our generation.

Concurrently, and as the main contributing factor:

- We have seen the dark, dismal shadows of apostasy lengthening into depressing darkness as the "salt of the earth" loses its savor.
- We have seen church attendance decline and immorality and crime increase without precedent.
- We have witnessed the attempt of man to conquer outer space.
- We have seen destructive devices produced which threaten the annihilation of the race.

As children of God, taught of the Spirit, we should have sufficient knowledge to maintain a noticeable poise amid a world of fainting hearts and frustrated minds, to maintain an uplook which invigorates and stabilizes.
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« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2010, 05:20:11 AM »

An alert people

"Watch therefore, for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come" (Matthew 24:42).

It should at least occur to the thinking mind that the Lord Jesus had something important and necessary incorporated into this exhortation. He deemed it wise to encourage alertness. Paul took Him seriously and lived in the light and challenge of this stirring truth. He pressed this message upon the hearts of others: "But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day; we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober" (I Thessalonians 5:4-6).

A ready people

"Therefore, be ye also ready, for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh."

With the certainty of the event, and with the uncertainty of the time of its fulfillment, does it not seem most reasonable that readiness should be the practice of sincere Christians? But what does readiness involve?

Readiness involves:

- Assurance of salvation,
- Thoroughness of dedication,
- Constancy of communion,
- Closeness of fellowship,
- Faithfulness in service,
- Cleanness of life.

Who is sufficient for these things? With what unspeakable urgency we must yield ourselves, body, soul and spirit, to the precious ministry of the Holy Spirit!

What manner of persons ought ye to be?

The question resolves itself into a very obvious answer.

We ought to be people who are:

- Born of the Spirit,
- Cleansed of the Spirit,
- Filled with the Spirit,
- Empowered by the Spirit,
- Led of the Spirit
- Used of the Spirit.

~ end of chapter 15 ~

RETURN TO MAIN INDEX

CHAPTER 14. THE SPIRIT KNOWS THE FUTURE

http://ourfinalauthority.com/index.php

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