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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Wholly Sanctified # 8

The Spirit is that which trusts. Confidence is one of its attributes and exercises. It is the filial quality in the child of God which looks in the Father's face without a cloud, which lies upon His bosom without a fear, and puts its hand in His with the abandonment of childlike simplicity.

The spirit is that which loves God. It is not the human emotional love of which we speak, for that belongs to the lower nature of the soul and may be most fully developed in one whose spirit is still dead to God in trespasses and sins. It is that divine love which is the direct gift of the Holy Spirit and the true spring of all holiness and obedience: nothing less than the love of God shed abroad in the heart by the Holy Spirit; its appropriate sphere is the human heart.

The spirit is that which glorifies God. It makes His will and honor its supreme aim and loses itself in His glory. The very conception of such an aim is foreign to the human mind and can be only received by a spirit which has been born again and created in the divine image.

The spirit is that which enjoys God. It hungers for His presence and fellowship and finds its nourishment, its portion, its satisfaction, its inheritance in Himself as it all and in all.

This wonderful element of our human nature is subject to all the sensibilities and susceptibilities that we find in a courser form in our physical life.

There are spiritual senses and organs just as real and intense as those of our physical frame. We find them distinctly recognized in the Scriptures. There is the sense of spiritual hearing: He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches (Revelation 2:11); "Blessed are you ...ears because they hear. (Matthew 13:16); "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me" (John 10:27).

There is the sense of vision: "Your eyes will see the king in his beauty and view a land that stretches afar" (Isaiah 33:17); "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus" (Hebrews 12:2); "... beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord" (2 Corinthians 3:18); "You have eyes but fail to see" (Mark 8:18); "To open their eyes and turn from darkness to light, and from the power of satan to God" (Acts 26:18).

There is sense of spiritual touch: "I press on to take hold that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me"( Philippians 3:12); "And ... to let the sick just touch the edge of his cloak, and all who touched him were healed" (Matthew 14:36).

There is the sense of taste: "The one who feeds on me will live because of me" (John 6:57); "Taste and see that the Lord is good" (Psalm 34:8); "He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty" (John 6:35).

There is the sense of smell. Very definitely it is referred to in Isaiah 112-3).

The spirit is real subsistence. When separated from the body after death, it will have the same consciousness as when in life, and perhaps more intense powers of feeling, action and enjoyment.

Such is a brief view of this supreme endowment of our humanity, this upper chamber of the house of God, this higher nature received from our Creator, and lost, or, at least, degraded, defiled and buried through our sin and fall.

What is it for the spirit to be sanctified?

It is indispensable that the spirit be quickened into life. It is dead by nature. The work of regeneration quickens it into vitality as a newborn life, breathed, given from heaven as unto us in the first creation, as from the very lips of God. In one sense, the unregenerate soul is not spiritually alive. Its faculties are alive, its animal life is active, but spiritually it is dead in sin. When "sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin," (Romans 5:12) not only did man become subject to physical death but spiritual death reigned also. 

Thank God for the grace of God revealed in the gift by grace. Jesus Christ has delivered us from the bondage of death and enables us to reign in life by His own sacrifice.

~A. B. Simpson~

(continued with # 9)

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