Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Illumination from the Spirit

When the Holy Spirit enters, after quickening he gives enlightening. We cannot make men see the truth, they are so blind; but when the Lord puts his Spirit within them their eyes are opened. At first they may see rather hazily; but still they do see. As the light increases, and the eye is strengthened, they see more and more clearly. What a mercy it is to see Christ, to look unto him, and so to be lightened! By the Spirit, souls see things in their reality: they see the actual truth of them, and perceive that they are facts.

The Spirit of God illuminates every believer, so that he sees still more marvellous things out of God’s law; but this never happens unless the Spirit opens his eyes. The apostle speaks of being brought “out of darkness into his marvellous light”; and it is a marvellous light, indeed, to come to the blind and dead. Marvellous because it reveals truth with clearness. It reveals marvellous things in a marvellous way. If hills and mountains, if rocks and stones were suddenly to be full of eyes, it would be a strange thing in the earth, but not more marvellous than for you and for me by the illumination of the Holy Spirit to see spiritual things. When you cannot make people see the truth, do not grow angry with them, but cry, “Lord, put thy Spirit within them.” When you get into a puzzle over the Word of the Lord, do not give up in despair, but believingly cry, “Lord, put thy Spirit within me.” Here lies the only true light of the soul. Depend upon it, all that you see by any light except the Spirit of God, you do not spiritually see.

If you only see intellectually, or rationally, you do not see to salvation. Unless intellect and reason have received heavenly light, you may see, and yet not see; even as Israel of old. Indeed, your boasted clear sight may aggravate your ruin, like that of the Pharisees, of whom our Lord said, “But now ye say, We see, therefore your sin remaineth.” O Lord, grant us the Spirit within, for our soul’s illumination!

From a sermon entitled, "The Covenant Promise of the Spirit," delivered April 10, 1891.

Photo by Kiwehowin; some rights reserved.

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