Friday, January 25, 2008

What we owe to the Spirit

THERE are many choice gifts comprehended in the Covenant of Grace, but the first and richest of them are these two — the gift of Jesus Christ for us and the gift of the Holy Ghost to us. The first of these I trust we are not likely to undervalue. We delight to hear of that “unspeakable gift” — the Son of God, who bare our sins, and carried our sorrows, and endured our punishment in his own body on the tree. There is something so tangible in the cross, the nails, the vinegar, the spear, that we are not able to forget the Master, especially when so often we enjoy the delightful privilege of assembling round his table, and breaking bread in remembrance of him.

But the second great gift, by no means inferior to the first — the gift of the Holy Spirit to us — is so spiritual and we are so carnal, is so mysterious and we are so material, that we are very apt to forget its value, aye, and even to forget the gift altogether. And yet, my brethren, let us ever remember that Christ on the cross is of no value to us apart from the Holy Spirit in us. In vain that blood is flowing, unless the finger of the Spirit applies the blood to our conscience; in vain is that garment of righteousness wrought out, a garment without seam, woven from the top throughout, unless the Holy Spirit wraps it around us, and arrays us in its costly folds. The river of the water of life cannot quench our thirst till the Spirit presents the goblet and lifts it to our lip. All the things that are in the paradise of God itself could never be blissful to us so long as we are dead souls, and dead souls we are until that heavenly wind comes from the four corners of the earth and breathes upon us slain, that we may live. We do not hesitate to say, that we owe as much to God the Holy Ghost as we do to God the Son.

From a sermon entitled "The Teaching of the Holy Ghost," delivered May 13, 1860. Flickr photo by Jim Champion; some rights reserved. by

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