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Friday, February 17, 2017

The Cross of Calvary # 14

The Cross of Calvary # 14

The Cross and the Holy Spirit, continued

From faith to faith the Holy Spirit leads the trusting one, as he cooperates with Him, by a glad and ready "yes" to all His dealings, until, at the appearing of the Lord from heaven, the body of humiliation itself is transformed, and made like unto His glorious body; or should physical death be the will of God for the redeemed one, the Holy Spirit ministers such abundant life in Christ, that he does not "see death", but only falls asleep to be "forever with the Lord." Mortality is now "swallowed up of life." "Now He that wrought us for this very thing is God, Who gave unto us the earnest of the Spirit."

"He would grant you strength by the entrance of His Spirit unto your inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith ... and to know the love of Christ ... that you may be filled therewith, even to the measure of the fullness of God." (Ephesians 3:17-20).

These words sum up in brief the purpose of the word of the Holy Spirit in the believer. Paul prays for the Ephesians that they may be "strengthened with power" through the Spirit, "that Christ may dwell" in their hearts by faith. The Eternal Spirit of the Father takes possession of the redeemed one, for the express purpose of revealing the indwelling of the Son. He strengthens the believer for the fulfillment of the conditions necessary for Christ to be fully formed within - the conditions we have already seen as explained in Paul's words to the Galatians, "I have been crucified with Christ - Christ liveth in me."

Faith on the part of the redeemed one is again mentioned here. Faith is non-existent apart from its object. Faith is simply reliance upon the word of God, with the character of God at the back of His word! "Faith cometh by hearing," and is awakened in the receptive heart by he Spirit of God Himself, as He speak the word of God to the soul. "You were made partakers of His resurrection, through the faith wrought in you by God, Who raised Him," wrote Paul to the Colossians.

We are therefore cast upon the Holy Spirit to supply to us all our need, even the very faith by which we are to cooperate with Him, and appropriate all that the Lord Jesus has wrought for us in His death on the Cross.

Unbelief is described by the Lord as sin, when more often it is bewailed as an "infirmity" which must be born as an affliction by the poor soul under its power. But we must deal with unbelief as sin; confess it to God as sin; renounce it as sin; and expect deliverance from it through the death of Christ, as much as from any known sin.

Let us look once more to Calvary. We are crucified with Christ, therefore let us count upon Him as the living One, to give us the "spirit of faith," and then, ceasing from our own works in struggling to "believe," let us rest - lie down, so to speak - upon His word, and we shall be given a childlike trustful confidence in Him, and be taught to live in the faith of the Son of God, as He lived by the Father.

As the Christ is thus revealed within, the Spirit of God leads the believer on, and he is made "strong to apprehend" with all saints, the breadth, length, height, and depth of the love of Christ. The supreme manifestation of that love as manifested in His death on Calvary. "Strong to apprehend!" Divine strength is needed, for the apprehending comes only by the sharing of His sufferings. The apprehending of another's sorrows with the mind alone, does not create the fellowship that is engendered by walking the same path. "Ye shall indeed drink of My cup," said the Master to His disciples.

But to be "strong to apprehend" something of the love that led the Christ to Calvary is not all. "That ye may be filled therewith," writes the Apostle. And to what extent, Paul? "Even to the measure of the fullness of God!"

But this is beyond our power to grasp, O faithful Apostle of the Cross. Yes, but "He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask," or even "think," for the conception of the mind has no place here! "According to the power that worketh in us" we can be filled with the love of Christ - filled, and filled, and filled unto all the fullness of God, yea, as when "the water were risen, waters to swim in!"

"Oh that I knew this blessed life" may be the cry in the heart of some who read these words. Child of God, if thou art vainly trying to realize the deliverance of Calvary, without reliance upon the inworking Spirit of God, open thy whole being to Him, and commit thyself into His hands. Yield to Him to vitally unite thee to the crucified One, and to reveal within thee the living Lord.

Art thou willing for implicit obedience to Him at any cost? Wilt thou let Him have full right of way in thy life? Art thou now ready for the message of faith? Then once more turn to Calvary. As thou lookest away to Him Who died, dare to believe the written word of God that thou hast died with Him, and God's wisdom in a mystery will be unveiled to thee by the Eternal Spirit.

"But what is the anointing of the Spirit?"

Art thou in the service of the King? As the Holy Spirit reveals the Christ in thee, thou shalt understand that thy Lord not only dwelleth in thee, but that thou art a member of the Body of Christ, and as thou art brought into thy place in the Body, the holy oil which anointed the Christ above His fellows, will flow down to the skirts of His garments, even upon and through thee, anointing thee for all service in the will of God.

The Christ Himself will work through thee mightily by the Holy Spirit, as thou dost abandon thyself to His will. But remember "There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit". "Diversities of working but the same God Who worketh all things in all." "All worketh ... the same Spirit, dividing to each one severally even as He will."

The Son of God was anointed with the oil of gladness above His fellows, because He "loved righteousness, and hated iniquity." Even so will the Christ bring into the deep hatred of sin, and love of all that is of the righteousness of God; thou wilt love thy Lord not only as a God of love, but also as the God of terrible holiness. Thou wilt covet the severity of God upon all in thyself that is unlike Him, and gladly be chastened that thou mayest become a partaker of His holiness. So shalt thou become united in closer bonds to thy Lord, and a sharer in the anointing of Him, the sceptre of whose kingdom is a sceptre of "rightness" or "straitness."

Knowing that thou hast given room to the Holy Spirit, now walk step by step in the Spirit, depending alone upon Him, and seeking only His will and pleasure; so will He lead thee on, and teach thee how to abide in thy Lord, being adjusted into thy place in His mystical Body, and thou shalt know that "the anointing which ye have received of Him, abideth in you ... the same anointing teacheth you all things, ye shall abide in Him."

~Jessie Penn-Lewis~

(continued with # 15 - "The Life Side of the Cross"

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