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Sunday, November 25, 2012

"Upon That Great Day of the Feast ..." # 3

Christ Glorified - The Holy Spirit Given

So now we have the answer to the question that we asked before: what does it mean in John 7:39, when the Scripture says, "The Holy Spirit was not yet given because that Jesus was not yet glorified ...?" We have the answer because we know that Christ has been Glorified! The Hour has come! The Father has glorified the Son! His Cross, His resurrection, and His Ascension is now, and forevermore, a living Reality. Beloved, the Holy Spirit has been given because Christ has been Glorified! The Holy Spirit has been poured forth because of the Cross, the Resurrection and the Ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ! The day of Pentecost has fully come! The promise of the Father has been given to the Son; and the Church, which is the Body of Christ, has been baptized, immersed, in the Spirit - The Church has been empowered to become the fullness of Christ.

Now, it is true that the whole Church was baptized in the Spirit upon the Day of Pentecost; but it is also true that each one of us, each member of the many-membered Body of Christ, must be baptized in the Spirit, must be "filled in [the] Spirit," if our portion of the fullness of Christ is to become a reality. It is at this point that the majority of the confusion about the Holy Spirit in Christianity has taken place: some believe that we receive all of the Holy Spirit that we need when we are saved; some believe that we must be baptized in the Spirit after we are saved; and there are many other beliefs about the gifts, and power, and ministry, etc. Most of these different beliefs are based on Scripture. But the trouble is that most of us have not seen the fullness of the Holy Spirit's work in God's eternal purpose in Christ. Most of us see only a part of what it means to be "filled with and by and in the Spirit." Most of us see only a measure of that great realm of the Holy Spirit, the realm in which the Holy Spirit's eternal goal is to fill up all the redeemed unto all the fullness of Christ.

Beloved, whatever our belief about the in-filling of the Holy Spirit, as long as it is truly based upon the Holy Scripture, we can all agree that we, each one of us, are not yet truly "filled unto all the fullness of God". We can all agree that we are not yet "filled up to the measure of all the fullness of God" (Ephesians 3:19). We can also agree that the Church His Body is not yet "the fullness of Him (of Christ) that filleth all in all" (Ephesians 1:23). And we are sure we can all agree that we do not yet "Pray at all times - on every occasion, in every season - in the Spirit with all [manner of] prayer and entreaty" (Ephesians 6:18).

Therefore, no matter how mature or immature we may be in the Lord, we must also agree that each of us must heed the direct command of our Lord:  "... be filled in [the] Spirit." Below, we have quoted H. C. Moule's paraphrase of our Lord's command. So let us read this as our prayer for a fresh in-filling of God's Holy Spirit:

"But be filled, with a fullness habitual, normal, always supplied and always received, in the Spirit. Let the Holy One, Your Sealer and Sanctifier, so surround and possess you that you shall be as it were vessels immersed in His pure flood; and then, yielding your hearts without reserve to Him, you shall be vessels not only immersed but open; "in Him," and "filled" in Him, as He continually welcomed, continually occupies all departments of your life. Amen and Amen.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 4 - "Sealed With the Holy Spirit of Promise")

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