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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Inspirational Christian Devotions # 22 -1

Inspirational Christian Devotions # 22

The Importance of the Holy Spirit # 1

"Therefore I say unto you, Every sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men; but the blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven. And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him; but whosoever shall speak against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this age, nor in that which is to come" (Matthew 12:31, 32)

It is not my thought or intention to speak about the "unpardonable sin"; but what is laid on my heart for this moment, is a word about the importance of the Holy Spirit.

I think that if, in anything that the Lord Jesus said at all, He gave importance to the Holy Spirit in these words more so. This is a tremendous statement about the Holy Spirit. You see what He says: Anyone shall speak a word against Himself, the Son of man, it shall be forgiven; but whoso shall speak against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven, neither in this age nor the age to come. That is a tremendous statement, and that lifts and elevates the Holy Spirit to a position and a place of very great importance in the estimation of the Lord Jesus Himself.

There is something needed in the direction of a recovery of this matter of the Holy Spirit's great importance. Firstly, simply, not as a matter of creed, or even dogma, of doctrine and teaching, common belief and acceptance, but the realization that the Holy Spirit is on equality with the Father and the Son; that the order of the Trinity is not downward - at the top is God the Father; under Him, lower down, is God the Son; and on a third lower level, is God the Holy Spirit. No student or thoughtful reader of the Bible could ever have that idea. What is perfectly clear in the Word of God is that these are all on the same level, and it is just as right to speak of God the Holy Spirit, as to speak of God the Father. They Three are One God; they are God. And we must ever bear that in mind, that when we are thinking or speaking about the Holy Spirit, we are not contemplating an inferior, a minor, or one in a third place in order - not at all! We begin there, in that recognition,for the equality in the Godhead is not only a "truth" in Christian doctrine or Bible teaching, it is something that affects our lives very definitely. If we do not give due honor to the Holy Spirit, there will be something weak and lacking in our lives. Now there is the need of perhaps recovering or correcting this matter in our thought: the equality of the Holy Spirit with the Father and the Son.

In this matter it would seem that, as on all very vital matters, the great enemy has been busy. One of the works of the enemy, as you know, is to underrate and undervalue the most important things; to take something therefrom, perhaps by discrediting in some way. And because of extremes with which the enemy, with all his ingenuity, has forced this very matter of the Holy Spirit,  people have got afraid. There have been many extremes in this matter of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit has been cleverly counterfeited; the Holy Spirit has been given to mean something that He does not mean; the Holy Spirit has been exaggerated in some directions; this great work of discrediting the Holy Spirit, and making people afraid. "Don't say too much about the Holy Spirit! Don't talk too much about the Holy Spirit - it is dangerous!" And many of you know quite well what I mean, because there are movements in this world which are a disgrace to the Lord, and which put off many people from the Lord Himself, because of the shameful way their behavior surrounds the teaching of the Holy Spirit. I need not say more about that; it is just a part of this fear that has come into many honest hearts when the matter of the Holy Spirit is in view - the perils, the dangers, the contradictions, that which has come in to dishonor the Lord, and discredit the Gospel. That is a work of the enemy.

But perhaps you will say, "Did not the Lord Jesus Himself say, 'When He is come He shall not speak of Himself? Therefore, will any Holy Spirit-taught and led teacher make a lot of the Holy Spirit?" You see the tangle that we are in at once when you raise a question like that? The fact is: the Bible is full of the Holy Spirit; the New Testament overflows with the Holy Spirit; the apostles told much about the Holy Spirit. They preached and taught concerning the Holy Spirit very, very fully; we have a mass on this matter. And it was all inspired by the Holy Spirit! Is He not speaking of Himself? Is this not drawing attention to the Holy Spirit? We have to get our mind, our mentality, clear; clear of what looks like a paradox and a contradiction. It is not so? You must remember that even in the teaching of the apostles, and the Word of God about the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit is never the end in Himself: Christ is always the end. And if the Holy Spirit is made much of, it is His work to glorify Christ, and not to glorify Himself. It is true and it remains true that He will not speak of Himself; He will speak of Christ. But, we know quite well that we should know nothing of Christ but for the Holy Spirit. And so, be perfectly clear about this, that it is not a mistake, and it is not dangerous to bring the Holy Spirit very much into view, provided we always recognize that it is not to end with Himself, it is that He should lead us to Christ: there is no other way of being led to Christ. So, we do not make the Holy Spirit the object or the end. His work and His purpose is the magnifying of the Lord Jesus: "He shall take of Mine and show it unto you."

Well now, getting clear on that matter, we shall not be unbalanced; we shall not do the wrong thing in this connection, but we shall recognize that the Lord Jesus has given immense importance to the work and place of the Holy Spirit.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 2)

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