Franklin Ferguson, New Zealand
Few will deny that there is a lack of power—we believe our contributor from the Antipodes has put his finger on the weak spot.
THE complaint is made that there is a sad lack among the saints of the power of the Holy Spirit in life and testimony. Admitted that this is so; what then is the cause and what the remedy? We will consider the subject in the light of Holy, Scripture.
The normal state of every soul “born again” is that he has a supernatural life (John 3. 3-8), and his body has become a temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6. 19), without which he has no part in Christ (Rom. 8. 9). Moreover, at his new birth he is by the Spirit baptised (immersed) into one body, whether Jew or Gentile, whether bond or free, and is made to drink into one Spirit (1 Cor. 12. 13). There is no second baptism of the Spirit this is done once for all for every member of Christ’s body.
But there is the filling of the Spirit, with varying degrees of fulness. Its extent is governed by the measure that the Spirit is ungrieved within us (Eph. 4. 30); by how; truly the “branch” abides, in the Vine (John 15. 4), and by how closely we walk in the truth (3 John 3). “Thy Word is truth” (John 17. 17). “Be filled with the Spirit” is as much a command as “love one another” (John 15. 12). Given these essential conditions, the believer then comes under the controlling power of the Spirit, and, unmistakably, there will be a life filled with God. The real point at issue is not that we shall have more of the Spirit, but rather that He shall have more of us. Consequently the more we remove the obstructions of sin, worldliness and unbelief, the more will the Divine Power be in evidence in our lives. There may be, nothing spectacular but a holy and serene power will be there, which will tell for God continually.
Everything is known by its fruit (Matt. 7. 16). The proof of being full of the Spirit, is “the fruit of the Spirit” produced in the believer, which is “love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance” (Gal. 5. 22; 23). A Spirit-filled soul will undoubtedly exhibit conformity to the image of God’s Son (Rom. 8. 29), and in him will “the life of Jesus” be manifest (2 Cor. 4. 10). More time given to prayer and confession and meditation in the Word, with a closer walk with God, will make us, in a very real sense, “vessels meet for the Master’s use” (2 Tim. 2. 21).
Now that, the Spirit has come, according to promise, and taken up His abode in all, saints, we have no inducement of power to tarry for, as before Pentecost; but now simply to yield ourselves to God (Rom. 6. 13), that He, unhindered, may work in and through us, “both to will and to do of His good pleasure” (Phil. 2. 13). We shall not need to think or talk of “power,” it will be there in the life for certain; because God Himself will verily be in us and with us, and His realised presence is power.