This is the fourth and final episode in this series on Thomas Charles’ work Spiritual Counsels. We have looked at the Person of Christ. And we have seen how the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin and shows us Christ, comforts, and sanctifies us. This week, we look at the necessity of the Holy Spirit.
1. The Necessity and importance of having the Spirit.
Without the Holy Spirit, we are dead. The Spirit is the life and soul of true religion, the conveyer of spiritual consolation, and the implanter and nourisher of every grace. He is the life, light, and energy of the Christian life. What would religion be without the Spirit? You show up to church, tip your hat, and live a religion without any life or soul, light or energy. Even the Scripture is not sufficient, not efficacious without the Holy Spirit. Live in the awareness of the need of His continual work.
Is the Spirit daily within you? Is He daily convincing you of sin and showing you of Christ? Are you going on from strength to strength, glory to glory? Are you walking in humility before the Spirit?
God will never deny those who ask for Him. “Ask and ye shall have,” is His gracious blessing. Everyone who asks receives.
“And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:9-13)
We ought to continue to ask for the Holy Spirit. His work in us is not over after conversion. The Spirit is a Person who moves in. We need to take Him to each room and throw open the door to Him, saying, ‘Take this room, too.’
2. The Christian ought to be very careful not to grieve the Holy Spirit.
When we choose sin, the Spirit is grieved because He loves us.
How do you respond to the Holy Spirit? Do you listen to a lot of podcasts, a lot of sermons, attend a lot of church services, but don’t produce much fruit? We need to be aware of the defiling influence of sin. Make your heart and your life a home for the Spirit. Thomas Charles writes:
“Shall we, who have tasted that the Lord is gracious, by our negligence, sin and folly, grieve him who is come on purpose to comfort us? How deservedly then do we walk in darkness and have no light. Shall we grieve him, without whom we cannot live, cannot think one good thought, nor breathe one good desire! . . .
Shall we not rather take notice of his love and his kindness, and thankfully receive all our comforts from his hands, and observe his love and grace in every refreshing thought put into our minds? Yea, shall we not carefully watch and promote all his strivings and motions within us, and cheerfully comply with them, however self-denying and contrary to flesh and blood? When he convinces of sin, let us set our hearts mightily against it. When he speaks comfort, let us hear him as the Lord our Comforter, making known the riches of love and grace in the Father and the Son, to our souls. And when we have no comfort, 'walking in darkness and having no light,' let us honour him by looking to and waiting for him only, for our light in darkness, our joy in sorrow, and our peace in trouble.”
In this week's Supporter Episode, John Snyder recommends his favorite Bible software programs, where to find them, and how to get the most out of them.