Our Resources in the Holy Spirit
Edward Robinson, Exmouth
It will be obvious that only the fringe of so great a subject can be touched upon in the space of a short article. The great variety of the services of the Holy Spirit is very evident in the New Testament. This is clearly shown in the many titles by which He is known, and is exemplified, for instance, by Paul in the words: He that "hath anointed us, is God; who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts", 2 Cor. I. 21-22. These words are most comprehensive and of wide significance, suggesting the way in which He takes into His care every Christian throughout the whole of his pathway here on earth.
This anointing is a special mark of distinction by the Spirit, marking off those who are constituted a kingdom, priests to God. It gives an inward sense of dignity, in no way incompatible with true humility; rather is it the accompaniment which gives greater depth to the grace which has so wrought. That we may be fully established and have complete assurance, He seals us until the day of our redemption, precious token of the fact that we are divine property—we belong to God and bear the royal seal. In the earnest of the Spirit, there is provided a foretaste of the joys that are to be our unfailing portion in that day of eternal bliss soon to dawn. The returning prodigal is invested with the best robe (indicative of all the worth of Christ) and the ring placed on his hand.
In 2 Kings 4. 1-7, there is a most interesting suggestion of the resources we have in the Spirit. The widow is in a state of bankruptcy having only a pot of oil. The prophet opens up to her the riches of this "supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ", Phil. 1.19. She is able to pay off all her creditors and has capital to "live ... of the rest". We are joint heirs with Christ, and while we await the full enjoyment of our inheritance we have now the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts. A number of large estates in this land have been inherited but their upkeep has proved to require large sums. In this incident is portrayed the abundant provision in the Spirit for meeting all our obligations in righteousness, and furthermore in His indwelling for a life of spiritual prosperity.
The gracious activities of the Holy Spirit are presented in figure a number of times in the Old Testament, and it is instructive to note the opening up of detail connected with New Testament truth concerning the Church. For instance, in Esther 2. 8-17 is the story of the presentation of Esther to the king. In contrast to the long period of preparation of others, it is said that she "required nothing but what Hegai the king's chamberlain... appointed". Left in the charge of the Holy Spirit, Another Comforter, the Church is being prepared for the soon-coming presentation to her heavenly Lord, graced with every feature of beauty which the grace and skill of the Spirit can provide. Similarly, again under the guise of a servant (which in typical lowliness He assumes), we see another striking picture of His service, Gen. 24. Abraham's servant is here entrusted with the mission to obtain for Isaac a bride who is of his own kindred, Eph. 5. 30. He conducts Rebekah across the desert, furnishing her with carrying power in the camels and with every suited adornment of gold, silver, precious jewels and raiment, preserving her in faithfulness until she is brought into the presence of the bridegroom. Can we not clearly see a beautiful picture of the unceasing care of the Church by the Holy Spirit throughout her wilderness journey in view of presentation to Christ, the heavenly Bridegroom? She is endowed with every grace and beauty, adorned for her husband under the hand of the Spirit, awaiting with expectancy the moment of meeting, the consummation of the years of patient service since the day of Pentecost. In the meantime, the Spirit identifies Himself with her earnest longings, "the Spirit and the bride say, Come".