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The Holy Spirit And His Work

"The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the

communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all" (2 Corinthians 13. 14). With this lovely benediction the apostle Paul closes his second epistle to the Church of God in Corinth. Also in Philippians 2.1 we have a reference to the "fellowship of the Spirit."

Ere He departed out of this world and returned to the Father the Lord Jesus said to His disciples,-" I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may be with you for ever" (John 14.16). He also said of Him, "ye know Him; f6r He abideth with you, and shall be in you" (verse 17). The Holy Spirit is omniscient, and of Him it is declared, " the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God" (1 Corinthians 2.10).

Yet again the Lord Jesus said,-" When He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He shall guide you into all the truth ... He shall glorify Me: for He shall take of Mine, and shall declare it unto you "(John 16.18, 14). The Spirit would not speak of Himself, but of Another. God the Father and God the Spirit are united in glorifying God the Son. The Spirit takes of the things of Christ and declares them to us and thus Christ is glorified. The way of the Spirit in glorifying Christ is worthy of emulation by all who would honour the Lord. John the Baptist was content to be a voice that the glory and majesty of Christ might shine forth.

We have a delightful illustration of the Spirit's work in Genesis 24. in the service of Abraham's servant who knew the kindness and prosperity of God as he sought a bride for Abraham's son. He refused the food proffered by Rebekah's relatives until he had told his errand. Permission having been granted, he said, "I am Abraham's servant. And the LORD bath blessed my master greatly; and he is become great ... And Sarah my master's wife bare a son to my master when she was old: and unto him bath he given all that he bath" (verses 84, 35, 86). His testimony concerning the father and the son, of the former's greatness and of the son being heir to all his wealth, some evidence of which they beheld secured the ready acquiescence of Laban and Bethuel to his plea that Rebekah should be granted to be the wife of Isaac. Having dispensed valuable presents, fresh tokens of Abraham's wealth, he was now eager to return. On the morrow when her brother and mother desired that Rebekah's departure should be postponed for ten days he said,-" Hinder me not, seeing the LORD bath prospered my way; send me away that I may go to my master." Thus urged, they called upon Rebekah to decide, and she said, "I will go " (see verses 49 to 58).

So it is of the Son of God, the Object of His Father's love, the Heir of all things the Spirit bears witness. Thus we read,-" When the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, He shall bear witness of Me"(John 15.26). Taken in conjunction with the further words of the Lord as to the Spirit's work in John 16.18-15 we see how closely the resemblance is to the Genesis story.

It was by telling of Isaac, the heir to his father's great wealth, that the servant sought to win Rebekah's heart and it is by unfolding to us the beauties and riches of Christ that the Holy Spirit seeks to draw us closer to Christ and lead us more steadfastly to consider Him. The more we are occupied with Him the more really spiritual we shall be.

The Holy Spirit speaks of Christ, of His glory, His beauty, His fulness, His grace, yea, the "unsearchable riches of Christ," the dignity of His person and the perfection of His work. He sets forth the amazing blessedness of being one with Christ, "members of His body," and the most spiritual teaching will be characterized by a full presentation of Christ. When one ministers in the power of the Holy Spirit there will be much of Christ's in his ministry. When the claims of Christ are thus presented in conjunction with something of His grace and glory we may expect those who hear to submit as readily thereto as did Rebekah to the request of Abraham's servant, when she said, "I will go." She was fully prepared to enter upon the unknown path in companionship with the one who had told her of the absent Isaac and his glory, thus winning her heart to one "whom, not having seen" she loved and whose glory she was going to share.

The abiding presence of the Holy Spirit is assured to every believer on the Lord Jesus Christ, but it is only through subjection to His teaching that the happier and fuller results of His work will be known. The Holy Spirit must neither be quenched nor grieved in us.

It is the Holy Spirit who shows us "things to come" and His teaching will ever accord with the Word of God which He inspired. It is He who reveals the deep things of God. The Spirit searcheth the depths of His wisdom, His love, His judgements. To Him we are indebted for our understanding of our present and eternal relationship to God, of the great redemptive work, and our present and eternal blessings in Christ, and of the things freely given to us of God.

The communion of the Holy Spirit is full of blessing to us. His presence is connected with liberty, light, power and joy. Thus we read,-" The disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit" (Acts 13. 52). Doubts and fears are dispelled under His ministry. He it is who leads to true repentance and though this is not a joyful work it is a very needful one and has good results. When through grace we believe in the risen and glorified Saviour the Holy Spirit takes up His abode in us as the seal of our acceptance and the earnest of our inheritance. This fills our hearts with joy unspeakable and full of glory and as thus filled we can become channels of blessing to others. In John 7.88, 89 the Lord's words are,-" He that believeth on Me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. But thus spake He of the Spirit, which they that believed on Him were to receive: for the Spirit was not yet given; because Jesus was not yet glorified."

The Spirit is the spring of joy and power in the heart of the believer. He fits, fills and uses us as His vessels in ministering to poor, thirsty, needy souls around us. He links us with the Man in the glory, maintains us in living communion with Him, and enables us to be, in our feeble measure, the expression of what He is. It is in happy communion with the Spirit that we can present our bodies, and all that we have, as a free-will offering unto God, according as He has blessed us. See Romans 12.1.

Let us then seek to be like our Lord Jesus Christ. The measure of His likeness to which we attain will only be through the communion of God the Holy Spirit.

"May we His holy strivings know,

And to His voice give heed

So by Him live, and walk, and. grow

As sons of God indeed."