Category Archives: Holy Spirit

Extending Grace: God Comforting Through Us

God comforts His people, by the power of His Spirit, through His people.

2 Corinthians 1:3-11

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort. For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again. You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.

 

God’s Preparation of Hudson Taylor

“Years afterwards, when responsible himself for the guidance of many missionaries, it was easy to see that the trials of those early days were all needed. He was pioneering a way in China, little as he or anyone else could imagine it, for hundreds who were to follow. Every burden must be his, every testing real as only experience can make it. As iron is tempered to steel, his heart must be stronger and more patient than others, through having loved and suffered more. He who was to encourage thousands in a life of childlike trust, must himself learn yet deeper lessons of a Father’s loving care. So difficulties were permitted to gather about him, especially at the first when impressions are deep and lasting, difficulties attended by many a deliverance which made them a lifelong blessing.”[1]

 Adolphe Monod:

“It is through the anguish of temptation that you will learn, like your Savior, to some day sympathize with the weaknesses of others and to help those who are tempted [Hebrews 4:14-5:3].”[1]

May the Spirit of Christ, the Great Comforter, fulfill His ministry to others through us as willing channels of His healing, comforting, and edifying grace. May He strengthen their hearts and sustain their faith through our example and loving presence. And, may He continue giving us grace so that we might perpetually extend His grace to others and be a source of comfort to them.

________

[1] Howard Taylor, Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2009), 50.

[2] Adolphe Monod, Jesus Tempted in the Wilderness: Sharing Christ’s Victory, trans. Canstance Walker (Vestavia Hills: Solid Ground Christian Books, 2010), 38.

Leave a comment

Filed under Biblical Counseling, Holy Spirit, Pastoral Ministry, Suffering

The Life Giving Spirit of God

Praise God for His Life-Giving and Life-Sustaining Spirit:

Psalm 104:29-30 “When you hide your face, they are dismayed; when you take away their breath, they die and return to their dust. When you send forth your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the ground.” 

‎Isaiah 63:14“…Like livestock that go down into the valley, the Spirit of the Lord gave [the people of Israel] rest. So You led your people, to make for Yourself a glorious name.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Holy Spirit

Marks of True Revival (from OT)

NINE CHARACTERISTICS OF GREAT REVIVALS THROUGHOUT THE OLD TESTAMENT

Wilbur Smith lists nine characteristics of the great revivals:[1]

(1) Most revivals were preceded by a time of deep spiritual decline and despair.

(2) Each of [the ten great OT] revivals began in the heart of one of God’s servants, who then became the instrument in God’s hands to stir up the sleeping consciences of God’s people.

(3) Every revival in the Old Testament rested solidly on a new and powerful proclamation of the Word of God.

(4) Each revival was marked by a return to the genuine worship of Yahweh.

(5) Revivals are preceded by a destruction of every idol that blocked the rightful acknowledgement of Yahweh as the only true and living God.

(6) In each case, there was a deep sense of sin and an overpowering desire to separate themselves from it and from all its sponsoring causes.

(7) In every revival in the Old Testament, there was a likewise a return to the offering of blood sacrifices. In other words, there was a corporate return to the one place of atonement–the Lamb that was slain for the removal of sin.

(8) Old Testament revivals were accompanied by the experience of a new sense of unbounded joy and exuberant gladness.

(9) Each revival was followed by a time a great productivity and prosperity.

_________

[1] Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., Revive Us Again: Biblical Principles for Revival Today (Scotland: Christian Focus, 2003), 10-14. Kaiser cites Wilbur M. Smith, The Glorious Revival under King Hezekiah (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1937), vi-vii.

Leave a comment

Filed under Revival

Holiness of Heart and Life

The Gospel Produces the Fruit of Holiness

Charles Hodge wrote the following thoughts on holiness:

“Holiness is essential to the correct knowledge of divine things and the great security from error… Wherever you find vital piety, there you find the doctrines of the fall, of depravity, of regeneration, of atonement, and of the deity of Jesus Christ.”[1]

Keeping the gospel before us is God’s way of protecting us from error–as a result, our lives will reflect the fruit of His Spirit and character of His Son.

Guarding One’s Heart

In lectures to his seminary students, he wrote the following:

“‘Keep your hearts with all diligence, for out of them are the issues of life.’ Remember that it is only in God’s light that you can see light. That holiness is essential to correct knowledge of divine things, and the great security from error. And as you see, that when men lose the life of religion [the Spirit of God], they can believe the most monstrous doctrines, and glory in them; and that when clergy once fall into such errors, generations perish before the slow course of reviving piety brings back the truth; ‘what manner of men ought you to be in all holy conversation and godliness.’ Not only then for your own sake, but for the sake of your children, and your children’s children, forsake not your God…

“Finally, lean not to your own understanding. If there be any declaration of the Bible, confirmed by the history of the church, and especially by the recent history of European churches, it is that ‘he that leaneth to his own understanding is a fool.’ When men forsake the word of God, and profess to be wise above that which is written, they inevitably and universally lose themselves in vain speculations… Submit yourselves, therefore, to the teaching of him, in whom ‘are all treasures of wisdom and knowledge.’ It is only when thus taught, that you will be able to teach others also.'”[1]

The heart is the well-spring of life. Where there is true piety–spiritual regeneration–there will be Christlike fruit and increasing maturity and spiritual security. The Spirit of the Lord guides, grows, and guards His own.

[1, 2] David Calhoun, Princeton Seminary: Faith and Learning (1812-1868) (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1994), 123-24.

Leave a comment

Filed under Holy Spirit

More Light Lord, More Light…

“More Light, Lord… More Light!!”

Charles Spurgeon in his lecture entitled “Light. Fire. Faith. Life. Love.” wrote this brief account of a desperate prayer for greater illumination: “I suggest to you all the prayer of a Puritan who, during a debate, was observed to be absorbed in writing. His friends thought he was taking notes of his opponent’s speech; but when they got hold of his paper, they found nothing but these words, ‘More light, Lord! More light, Lord!’ Oh, for more light from the great Father of lights!”

The Importance of the Holy Spirit in the Life of a Theological Student:

Archibald Alexander, the first President of Princeton Theological Seminary, 1812:

The student of the Bible must receive illumination and assistance from the Holy Spirit in order to “be possessed of sincere and ardent piety. He should be a man ‘taught of God,’ conscious of his own insufficiency, but confident of the help of the Almighty… he, who would understand the Scriptures, therefore, ought not to ‘lean to his own understanding,’ but by continual and earnest prayer should look unto the ‘Father of lights,’ from whom proceedeth every good and every perfect gift; and who hath promised to give wisdom to those who lack it, and ask for it… There is no person who needs more to be in the constant exercise of prayer than the Theological student: not only at stated periods, but continually in the midst of his studies, his heart should be raised to heaven for help and direction.” [1]

Ashbel Green, former President of the College of New Jersey (1812, Princeton) on the purpose of a theological institution:

The primary purpose of a theological seminary would be a gospel institution that serves to: “unite, in those who shall sustain the ministerial office, religion and literature [faith and learning]; that piety of the heart which is the fruit only of the renewing and sanctifying grace of God, with solid learning; believing that religion without learning, or learning without religion, in ministers of the Gospel, must ultimately prove injurious to the Church.”[2]

Education without a regenerate heart, proves inadequate and spiritually-destructive, often evidenced in self-promotion and pride. A regenerate heart that does not seek to grow and learn shall bear little fruit within itself and spur on even less in the lives of those around it. In everything a seminary seeks to be, it is useless without the powerful working of the Holy Spirit to effect all that it is and hopes to be for the cause of Christ and His Kingdom.

[1] David B. Calhoun, Princeton Seminary: Faith and Learning (1812-1868) (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1994), 35.

[2] Ibid, 31.

Leave a comment

Filed under Holy Spirit, Illumination, Learning, Tribbett