8 - THE SPIRIT IN THE BELIEVER

THE SPIRIT IN THE BELIEVER
 
CHAPTER 8 

THE SPIRIT IN THE BELIEVER

A large area of truth that is of great importance for every believer has to do with the work of the Holy Spirit toward the individual Christian. That work begins before salvation, brings about the new birth through regeneration and then secures to God the possession that He has purchased in Christ. Accompanying that work is what He does to give the believer power to testify effectively for the Lord in this day of our service for Him. Considering these truths in our hearts will produce a sense of appreciation for the Holy Spirit. Likewise, it should make us acknowledge our dependence on Him for everything needed to bring honor to Christ and to serve Him with greater effectiveness.

SANCTIFYING TO SALVATION

In two places we read of the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit that takes place in the sinner before salvation (I Peter 1:2, II Thess.2:13). In both cases it is clear that it is the Spirit’s work, carrying out God’s eternal purpose, that results in the salvation of that person who has been chosen “according to the foreknowledge of God.”  It is a work that He begins in the person through which the sinner is being separated from the world under judgment and set apart for that moment when in grace he is linked with Christ in salvation. We understand that in the deliverance of a sinner, it is the Holy Spirit’s work to produce conviction of sin. He creates the longing for deliverance and leads one to the final realization by faith that God’s salvation for the soul is Christ Himself. No man naturally seeks after God (Rom.3:11). No man can come to Christ except the Father draw him (John 6:44), and intimately connected with that drawing, revealing work is the Holy Spirit.

Every believer can look back to conversion’s moment, realizing now that those stirrings and that awakened sense of need were a result of Divine grace operating in power to bring him to the Saviour. The One accomplishing that work is the Spirit of God, for which we are thankful to God.

REGENERATING THE BELIEVER

The work of regeneration is God’s act to bring about spiritual life in the person who has responded to the truth of the gospel and trusted the Lord Jesus. Regeneration is God’s work while conversion suggests man’s responsibility toward the truth received. In this sense, regeneration can be equated with the new birth. In fact, J. H. Thayer, in his “Lexicon of Greek Words,” says that the word used in this case can be translated “new birth, reproduction, renewal, re-creation” (the word is composed of two words meaning ‘again’ and ‘birth’).  Mr. W. E. Vine says in his book that the two words (“new birth” and “regeneration”) “refer to the same event but view it in different aspects.”

 

Regeneration of the individual is only mentioned in Titus 3:5, but its truth is found throughout the Bible. In addition, Matt.19:28 speaks of the future work when, upon the return of Christ, Israel will be restored from its present state of apostasy to its determined status under the sovereignty of the Messiah. There it is called “the regeneration,” referring to a future event.

When the Lord Jesus spoke to Nicodemus of the need for the new birth in John 3, He was clearly indicating that despite his life and knowledge, Nicodemus was yet spiritually dead (Eph.2:1-3).  He was without any ability to please or live for God. This condition is true of all men, regardless of their condition of life. One may possess wealth, position, some religious knowledge, proper ancestry and education as Nicodemus did, or may be a darkened, ignorant individual living in the depths of sin. It is a truth and a requirement that embraces all men, transcending every bound. Nicodemus, like Paul, may have taken pride in having been born a Jew, a true Israelite. That birth conferred upon him certain national privileges (Rom.3:1-2), but the Lord was telling him that, notwithstanding his natural birth, he would need a new, spiritual birth to see or enter the kingdom of God. This need represents a state or position before God without consideration of condition. It is the result of death having entered the world though Adam’s sin (Gen.2:17, Rom.5:12), and all are born without life for God.

To illustrate this principle, we think of a poor fellow, whose fellow-workman suddenly dropped dead beside him. He was found trying to prop up the dead man, trying to make him stand and sit upright. Finding his effort to be useless, he was heard saying to himself, “He needs something inside him.” This is the need of sinners today; there is no life within or power to live for God. It is useless to prop them up with morality and religion when they need Divine life.

Sinners are not in the kingdom of God, for they are rebels by nature and will against God. The flesh controls each one and it is not subject to the law of God, neither can it ever be (Rom.8:7). Man is at enmity with God and no matter what he might do to reform or to try to improve human nature, it is still flesh, unaltered and unaffected (John 3:6). It requires a Divine work to cause the fundamental spiritual change necessary for him to become a child of God with a love begotten in his soul for the things of Christ. I John 1:12-13  clearly  tells us  that  this power or authority is from God, given to “as many as received Him.” It is linked with believing on His Name and is instantaneous with salvation. But that work is not of man in any way; it is of God alone (Eph.2:8-9). It is not accomplished by descending naturally from those who are already saved, “not of blood” (or having been born a Jew or of any other privileged people); it is not through the “will of the flesh” or by reformation, personal improvement and attempts to do better; it is not by man’s work or agency toward another man nor of simple decision to become a Christian for it is “not of the will of man.” It is of God, and we must be clear and insist on this truth. Much present evangelistic activity or religious work tells the individual to do something in some form or another in order to be saved. This work, small as it may be, interferes with the work of the Holy Spirit and usually results in a profession without life.

In John 3:5 the Lord told Nicodemus that it was a birth of “water and of the Spirit.” Another translation reads “born of water even the Spirit.” While there are some who think the water is baptism or water in some other literal form, a careful study of the Lord’s use of “water” shows that He uses it representatively or symbolically the majority of the time. In John 4:10-14, the Lord told the woman that the “water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.”  He was clearly speaking of something that was in contrast to the water of the well from which she was drawing. This was a water of satisfaction that could only be obtained from the Lord Jesus. In the great day of the feast in John 7, He stood and cried to the people that “if any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. . . out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake He of the Spirit)” 7:37-39. Considering these scriptures together along with other references (Titus 3:5, I Peter 1:2), we would say that the New Birth is the result of the Holy Spirit’s use of  the Word of God to give eternal life to the soul of the sinner who comes to Christ.

The result of regeneration is the present  possession of eternal life by that believer, a life that is from God and has desires to please God. It is marked by those characteristics that are according to the Word of God. The shallow evangelism that produces “converts” who have never truly experienced the convicting and regenerating work of the Holy Spirit also results in those whose lives do not manifest the evidence of spiritual reality according to God. Because of this, many godly preachers lament the condition of these in their congregations.

WHEN THE COMFORTER IS COME

The closing teaching of the Lord Jesus given to His disciples before His going to Calvary (John 14-16) is full of precious truth to encourage and strengthen His own. In these chapters, He emphasizes His promised coming again for them, the character of the hostile world in which they were being left, and the sustaining presence and power of the Comforter being given to them. He promised “another Comforter” in 14:16. This indicates that this One Who was coming would be all to them that the Lord had been in His presence with them.  He would continue what the Lord would be if He could continue with them. He would be One of the same kind or character, carrying on the same work.

The Comforter brings to our minds precious truths concerning the tender care and loving interest the Lord has for His own. This Person He promised would be a “comforter” because He would remove their sorrow at His leaving them. Through His ministry to them, this One would reveal further truths concerning Him and glorify Him (16:14). The “comforter” was one who stood up for another, who supported another one in his every need. He was one who pleaded their cause and interceded for them. He met the needs they had, no matter what they were, out of His vast capability. In that day it was a word that would describe a “helper in court” who spoke on behalf of an accused person. In I Jn. 2:1, the Lord  Himself is the Advocate (same word) toward the Father on behalf of the sinning saint. He has an unquestioned ability to represent the believer before a Heavenly Father Who has been sinned against. Through that advocacy, He maintains every believer so completely that He produces full restoration and continued enjoyment of communion available at all times.

A missionary who was once working among the Karre people of French Equatorial Africa, had tried to explain to the believers there the meaning of the “Comforter.” The work of the Comforter was explained, speaking of how He encourages, exhorts, admonishes, protects, comforts and guides the believer. Upon hearing all this, they exclaimed, “Oh, if anyone would do all that for us, we would say, ‘He’s the one who falls down beside us.’" When porters, carrying heavy loads on their heads, go long journeys, they may become sick and straggle to the end of the line of carriers. Finally, they may collapse and be killed and eaten by wild animals during the night. If someone passing sees them prostrate there,  stoops to pick them up and help them to safety, they speak of such a person as “the one who falls down beside us.” This is a picture of what the Holy Spirit does for believers in the journey under the load of life.

In what sense was the Lord Himself the Comforter for His disciples in His earthly ministry? Doesn’t it mean that He gave them support in their life, a life involving adversity? He strengthened and encouraged them in their pathway, heard and dealt with their problems, taught them spiritual truths, and led them along the way. Though unseen, the Spirit would carry on the same work, showing the same care and concern for the believers and guarding them with holy jealousy as the possessions of the Lord Himself (James 4:5). He would fulfill the work that the Lord had begun in His ministry among them.

RECEPTION AND INDWELLING OF THE SPIRIT

The first aspect of the ministry of the Holy Spirit to the believer today has to do with His indwelling presence in the individual. This feature is the hallmark of the present age, for it was never true of any person before the day of Pentecost in Acts 2 (apart from the Lord Jesus Himself). The full reception of the Spirit is simultaneous with salvation (Eph. 1:13). Some hold a teaching that the Holy Spirit is received partially upon conversion, and that a further “blessing” must be waited for and sought for; this is contrary to the Scripture. How one could receive ‘part’ of a real Person is beyond our comprehension!

Our Bible teaches that the mark of every child of God is that the Holy Spirit, the “Spirit of Christ” indwells them, and if not, “they are none of His” (Rom.8:9). The evidence of truly belonging to Christ is the presence of an unseen Person living permanently in the saved one and producing a life that bears the marks of God’s work in it. The Lord Jesus said that “He dwelleth with you and shall be in you” (John 14:17). Notice other scriptures that bear on the same subject (I Jn.2:27; 3:24; 4:13; I Cor.2:12; 6:19-20; Gal.3:2; 4:6; Rom.5:5; 8:23). The result of that indwelling is fruit that shows His presence in that life, such as doing righteousness, not continuing to commit sin, loving the people of God, loving men as Christ did, believing that Jesus is the Christ and overcoming the world (I Jn.2:29,3:9, 4:7, 5:1,4,18). The characteristics of the ‘family of God’ are seen in the children who are born into it. Without those characteristics, there is reason to question if a spiritual work has taken place. True children of God are now a new creation in Christ (II Cor.5:17) with old things having passed away and all things becoming new.

Jude 19 speaks of men who are “sensual, having not the Spirit.” The same word here translated “sensual” is translated “natural” in I Cor.2:14, the word used for the natural man who is not saved. This emphasizes that there are two basic groups of men in this world,  those who are “in the Spirit” and those who are “in the flesh” (Rom. 8:8-9). These groups are determined by whether or not they are in Christ and saved or without Christ, and lost.

We read in three passages of the “anointing of the Holy Spirit” in relation to the believer (II Cor.1:21-22, I Jn. 2:20,27). This act of the Spirit seems to accompany the reception of the Spirit in that it is true of all believers regardless of their condition of life. The coming of the Holy Spirit to indwell the believer occurs only once so far as the individual is concerned, and it “abides” and need not ever be repeated. The difference between indwelling and anointing is that the indwelling has to do with the reception and abiding presence of the Holy Spirit. The anointing is linked with the impartation of Divine abilities and His work to set apart that believer for a life for God. The result of anointing is an ability to understand Divine truths and to grow spiritually in a life pleasing to God, as well as ability to honor God by service.

The reception of the Holy Spirit is vital because it is through His indwelling that the child of God is empowered to live the spiritual life, or the life pleasing to God. The experience of reception is accompanied by many other truths and aspects of His work that we will deal with later on. Those include sealing, being the earnest, witnessing, giving assurance, and providing spiritual gift for service. There actually is no aspect of the Christian life that can be accomplished properly without the active work of the Holy Spirit in and through the believer.  Any other kind of work or effort will not effect the result that God desires, nor will it produce the fruit that glorifies the Lord Jesus. The natural man cannot please God, neither can the believer who is carnal (having the Spirit but walking according to the flesh) truly bring glory to God or accomplish anything for God  (Rom. 8:4-8, Gal. 5:16-17).

 

The Holy Spirit in the believer gives assurance that the believer belongs to Christ. Rom. 8:16  tells us that “the Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.” Again, I Jn.5:10 says that “He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself.” And in I Jn.4:13 we read, “hereby know we that we dwell in Him, and He in us, because He hath given us of His Spirit.” That witnessing work is what gives the believer confidence of salvation. It isn’t through experiences or feelings that we receive assurance of salvation; it is the witness of the Spirit through the Word of God speaking peace to our souls that gives certainty that we belong to Christ.

SEALING OF THE SPIRIT

In three passages, we read of the “sealing” of the Holy Spirit in relation to the believer, II Cor.1:22, Eph.1:13, 4:30. This also is a sovereign work of God toward the believer and doesn’t require seeking for it or personal conditions to realize it. Some, misreading Eph.1:13, place it as an event subsequent to salvation. However, we understand the proper tense of the verb in that passage would give the reading, “upon believing, (or “when ye believed”) ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.” Believing in Christ brings about the sealing that takes place at the same time. II Cor.1:21-22 links four events that are all acts of God toward the believer: being established in Christ, anointed through God’s work, being sealed and being given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts. They emphasize to us aspects of His work that are true of every believer at salvation.

The seals of scripture are most interesting to study, and their meaning is much the same as that which prevails in ordinary life. Using a seal validated the authority of the instrument involved, such as a document from the king (Est. 3:12, 8:10.) The scroll containing the righteous judgments of God to be poured out on an ungodly, apostate world is sealed (Rev.5:1,5), and only One with proper authority can open the seals and allow the unfolding of these final judgments. A seal was placed on the tomb of the Lord Jesus (Matt. 27:66) signifying that the authority and power of Rome would be directed against anyone who broke that seal. The den of lions into which Daniel was cast was sealed with the king’s signet (Dan.6:17) that it might not be opened by anyone who did not have the proper authority and Daniel thereby be released unlawfully. Property was sealed (Jer.32:44) when bought, that it might be secured to the lawful owner. In our own day, we use the same principle when documents are sealed by a notary public to authenticate the accuracy of their contents. The same principle is applied to letters that are registered so that only the sender and the receiver are authorized to open them. Sealing these items secures them and their contents to the one who has sealed them and the one who is authorized to participate in them. We do this because the contents are personal and valuable and important to us.

In the same way, God has sealed the believer as the purchased possession of the Lord Jesus; the Holy Spirit entering and indwelling the believer is that seal. This is a work of God alone, for nowhere is the believer told to seek the sealing of the Spirit. This act is the evidence that this person belongs to Christ, and he is secured for Christ against all who would seek to take him away. No doubt it is for the comfort and confidence of the saint, and it is for the preservation of that believer from all enemies, saying, “This is the property of the Lord Jesus, since He has purchased it through His own precious blood.” It looks forward to the eventual complete possession of that believer by the Lord Jesus when He comes to take His own to be with Himself eternally. So it anticipates the day of deliverance and reception at the rapture of the saints. For this reason we read in Eph.4:30 that we are “sealed unto (for, with a view to) the day of redemption.” Presently, we have realized the redemption of our souls by the blood of Christ; ultimately, the seal looks on to a full redemption by His power to bring us unto Himself for His  pleasure eternally.   This seal maintains and guarantees this possession for Himself unto the day of its full realization.

This truth is a comfort to our hearts, and though it may not be fully understood by us as it should be, it is vitally and intimately linked with our blessings of grace in the Lord Jesus. It is the evidence of redemption established in the soul upon salvation, but it also anticipates the complete redemption of the entire being upon the coming of the Lord (Eph.4:30.) In keeping with its suggested truths, we believe it supports the doctrine of the eternal security of the believer, since it is a work done by God in every one who is saved; it is linked with the establishment and accomplishment of His eternal purposes with relation to each one who believes, so that the work God has begun will not rest until it is completed .

EARNEST OF THE SPIRIT

Very closely linked with the sealing of the Holy Spirit is the truth that the Spirit is the earnest of our inheritance, spoken of in II Cor. 1:22, 5:5, Eph.1:14. The earnest indicates something that is a portion of what will be more fully realized in the future, but it is of the same character as that which will be enjoyed. It is the idea of the “pledge” or “down payment” that secures and guarantees the fulfillment of a promise. It is a foretaste of what will be more fully enjoyed in the future. We see a good illustration in the case of the men who were sent by Israel to spy out the land from Kadesh-barnea. They came back bearing the fruit of the land to show the people what was to be theirs in the land before them.  Likewise, in the modern Greek, we understand that the same word is used for the engagement ring that is given to the bride to assure her that the expected marriage promises will be fulfilled. The indwelling Spirit is the Guarantor to the believer that all the purposes of God will be carried out according to God’s time to bring us into the full enjoyment of the inheritance secured for us in the Lord Jesus. By His presence within, He is the proof of the glories that are yet to come. But in another sense, He enables the believer to enjoy by faith presently some portion of what will be fully ours in a coming day. He gives us the capacity to enjoy spiritual things now and brings heaven and heavenly blessings into our experience in some measure (I Cor. 2:12).

It may be that the expression found in Rom.8:23 has reference to the same truth, that the Spirit is the “firstfruits” to the believer. He is the present expression of the blessings that are ours in Christ and what will be enjoyed more fully in heaven. In this sense, we have been blessed “with all spiritual blessings (or “every spiritual blessing”) in heavenly places in Christ” (Eph. 1:3). “The heavenlies” indicate a spiritual position; but more than that, the term seems to suggest a sphere involving the present enjoyment of spiritual, heavenly conditions and blessings in the present life of a child of God. Romans 8 develops those blessings that will be more fully enjoyed in the future; these include “the glory which shall be revealed in us” (8:18), “the manifestation of the sons of God” (8:19),  the deliverance of the creation from the “bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God” (8:21), and the “redemption of our body”  (8:23). We anticipate the bright and glorious morrow that the Spirit enables us to enjoy somewhat even now while we await that day.

WITNESSING FOR CHRIST

The Lord Jesus told His disciples in John 15:27 “ye also shall bear witness,” and in Acts 1:8 He again reminded them that “Ye shall be witnesses unto me (or “my witnesses”) both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” God told Ananias that Saul would be a chosen vessel to the Lord to bear His Name before men, (Acts 9:15) and again in Acts 22:15 we read that Saul (or Paul) would be the Lord’s witness unto all men. Accompanying these mentions of the witness character of individual believers is the essential inclusion of the Holy Spirit to give power to do so. The Lord told the disciples concerning that Comforter, Who is the Spirit of truth, “He shall testify (bear witness) of Me,” and in Acts 1:8, we read that “Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you,”and we read concerning Paul, in Acts 9:17, that he was to be “filled with the Holy Ghost.” 

The work of the Spirit toward the world is to be the Witness, representing God before men and presenting to them irrefutable truth to bring conviction and conversion. The believer is only a witness as he is enabled and supported in his responsibility by the Spirit of Truth within. Our supply of strength and ability to speak properly of Christ before an unbelieving world only comes through the Spirit; He must give the wisdom and help for us to stand before men and speak the truth. We can see the evidence of that power as the gospel went out in the Acts, beginning in Jerusalem and spreading to the uttermost parts of the earth. The testimony of Peter in Acts 2 was with such power and effectiveness that those who heard him were convicted, “pricked in their heart,” with the result that they said, “what shall we do?” (2:37). In Acts 4:13-14, the council could say nothing against the testimony of the apostles because they saw the evidence of Divine working, and in verse 33, we find recorded that “with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus."  Again, in Acts 5:32, Peter declared to the Jewish council that “we are His witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost...” As a result, in vs.33 we read that “they were cut to the heart. .” One further reference of the power of the Holy Spirit to give witnessing ability is in Acts 6:8-10. There the enemies of the gospel could not “resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spoke” when Stephen “full of faith and power” disputed with them  (verse 8).

There is striking evidence that witnessing must be through the power of the Holy Spirit in Acts 1,2. We notice that the disciples didn’t immediately rush out and start witnessing to sinners after the Lord spoke in Acts 1:8. He told them they would be witnesses unto Him in all the world, but instead, they continued together in the upper room without going out. It wasn’t until the Holy Spirit came in Acts 2 that they began to witness for Christ. There was no recorded witnessing activity before the Day of Pentecost.

These references make clear that the power for witnessing then, as well as now, was found in the unhindered work of the Holy Spirit in the believer. He delights to speak of Christ while bringing conviction concerning sin to the unbeliever. It is God’s purpose that this witnessing will be carried on through the personal testimony of the believer as well as through the preaching of the gospel. We all have a responsibility in this work, and our own failure to do it in dependence on the Spirit is only too evident. There are some believers who rarely speak a word for the honor of their Lord. We can plead a lack of ability, but it is not our ability that matters; if we will only recognize that we are charged with this responsibility to “go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15) and depending on the Spirit to give needed power, it can be done.

It is related that one day Charles Finney looked at a scoffer, and the scoffer got saved; such was the power of the Spirit in a sanctified life. It is said also that Evan Roberts used to look around a company, and souls came under conviction; such was the power of the Holy Spirit through a clean channel. We lack this, we sadly acknowledge, but the Holy Spirit is the same today as He was then. It is our own condition that limits His effectiveness through us.

All power and ability for any activity in the Christian sphere is derived from the Spirit of God. No man is sufficient for these things in  himself,  no matter how much natural ability he may possess. The most dangerous condition for any Christian is when he thinks he is strong or has the ability in himself to do anything. It is when we are weak that we are strong (II Cor. 12:10), and we would gain by entering into the sentiment of Phil.4:13, “I can do all things through Christ, which strengtheneth me.” It is in this condition that we realize how much we must consciously depend on the power of God to accomplish the work we have been given. A strong, self-reliant man is perhaps the weakest of all in the spiritual sphere, for it is hardest for him to realize his need to seek continually for and depend on the power of God to work through him. God has given the believer gift for service, and He gives the ability to use that gift properly. It is our responsibility to exercise ourselves in its use.

REVEALING  SPIRITUAL TRUTH

The Lord Jesus spoke of the Comforter as the “Spirit of Truth” when speaking to His disciples in the upper room. This thrice-repeated expression emphasizes His activity to represent God in a world that does not know truth (John 18:38). It also speaks of His necessary, present ministry to the saints of God. First, we read that He would “teach you all things and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you” (14:26). This was a most comforting ministry in that the wondrous truths of Christ would be brought back to their minds; in addition, they would be taught further developments of truth by the Spirit of God. The import of this also has to do with the reliability of the record they have left concerning the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus. It was not left to their imperfect memory to recall the events and words of their blessed Lord. There was no mistake made when they set out to write the gospel accounts; the Spirit of Truth enabled them to have perfect recall of all that He purposed for them to write in the sacred record. We need to keep this in mind when we handle the Word of God. We should never let the critical, intellectual knife of “Bible scholars” who have not the Spirit ruin our confidence in and enjoyment of God’s Word. Their questionings as to what writer derived his information from which source, and their conclusions that this or that portion should not be included, can only undermine the Word of God. God has left us an accurate record arranged spiritually to present Divine truth for the blessing of our souls. Not only that, but when the Spirit began this ministry, He opened their minds to understand the significance of things the Lord told them. For example, in John 20:9 we read, “for as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.” But when the Spirit came, we find Peter preaching at Pentecost the spiritual truth and significance of the resurrection from the dead in that the crucified One, having been rejected by men, was now exalted by God.   As a result, conviction resulted in the hearts of those who heard him. Other examples could be considered to show that the implications of truths the Lord Jesus taught them were not understood until the Spirit of Truth began to open their understanding and they could assimilate the truth.

Secondly, we read that “He would testify of Me” (John 15:26-27), and the disciples would bear witness. The Spirit of Truth’s coming resulted in a clear, accurate testimony to the truth of Himself. The witness that men need and which God desires is one that is centered on Christ alone and is exalting to Him.

In the third place, the Lord said that the Spirit of Truth would "guide you into all truth" (John 16:13). This shows that He would open to their minds, in all the Scriptures, the truths concerning the Lord Jesus. The vast expanse of the Word of God, the Scriptures of Truth, centers upon the wondrous Person of the Lord Jesus. Our understanding of Scripture results from the ministry of the Spirit. He brings to our hearts what is the mind of God relative to the exaltation of Christ and all doctrines taught in the Word of God. No doubt this also embraces the epistles that would fill up the canon of Scripture, and it tells us that the men who wrote them were guided by the Holy Spirit.

Lastly, John 16:13 tells us that "He shall show you things to come."  This includes the content of prophetic ministry through the writers of our New Testament, chiefly John in the Revelation. But it also includes Peter in his second epistle and Paul as He was used to reveal God’s purposes yet to be displayed in the future. As a result, we can echo his words in Phil.3:20, "we look for the Saviour" and take up the closing words of Rev.22:20, "Even so, come, Lord Jesus".

"The Holy Ghost revealing

Thy grace hath given us rest;

Thy stripes have given us healing,

Thy love doth make us blest.

In Thee the Father sees us

Accepted and complete;

Thy blood, from sin which frees us,

  For glory makes us meet."

            Samuel Tregelles  (BHB # 144)