Fulfilling His Promise
The ever-abiding presence and indwelling of the Lord Jesus is the first and principal blessing of the Pentecostal life. In the course of our Lord's dealings with His disciples on earth, He spared no paints to teach and train them or to renew and sanctify the.. In most respects, however, they remained just what they were. The reason was that, up to this point, He was still nothing more than an external Christ who stood outside of them and from without sought to work on them by His word and His personal influence.
With the advent of Pentecost this condition was entirely changed. In the Holy Spirit, He came down as the indwelling Christ to become the life of their life. He had promised this in the words: "I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you" (John 14:18, 20).
This was the source of all the other blessings that came with Pentecost. Jesus Christ, the Crucified, came in spiritual power to impart to them that ever-abiding presence of their Lord in a way that was intimate and all-powerful. Him whom they had had in the flesh, living with them on earth, they now received by the Spirit in His heavenly glory within them. Instead of an outward Jesus near them, they now obtained the inward Jesus with them.
From this first and principle blessing sprang the second: the Spirit of Jesus came into them as the life and the power if sanctification. Often the Lord had to rebuke the disciples for their pride and exhort them to humility. It was all of no avail. Even on the last night of His earthly life, at the table of the Holy Supper, there was strife among them as to which of them should be the greatest (Luke 22:24).
The outward teaching of the outward Christ, whatever other influences it may have exercised, was not sufficient to redeem them from the power of indwelling sin. This could be achieved only by the indwelling Christ. Only when Jesus descended into them by the Holy Spirit did they undergo a complete change. They received Him in His heavenly humility and subjection to the Father and in His self-sacrifice for others. Henceforth all was changed. From that moment on they were animated by the spirit of the meek and lowly Jesus.
Many Christians keep their minds occupied only with the external Christ on the Cross. They wait for the blessing of His teaching and His working without understanding that the blessing of Pentecost brings Him into us. That is why they make so little progress in sanctification. Christ Himself is made unto us sanctification.
(continued with # 8 - "Living the Life of Love")