The Spirit's Work in the Believer
James Smith, 1861
"Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace." Romans 8:5-6
Spirituality flows from the gracious operations of the Holy Spirit in the soul, who . . .
kindles spiritual love,
awakens spiritual desires, and
produces spiritual devotion.
All spiritual people are led by the Spirit, and are taught by Him to know the truth as it is in Jesus. They are kept looking to Jesus — and depending on the assistance of the Spirit in every duty and every trial. They live and labor to glorify God — renouncing self and endeavoring to honor the Lord Jesus Christ. They rest upon the work of Christ outside of them, for their acceptance with God; but they do not, they cannot overlook the work of the Spirit within them — but often pay particular attention to it.
The Spirit's work in the believer consists:
1. In convincing us of sin, when we go astray from the right ways of the Lord.
2. In working repentance and sorrow within us, and leading us to confess and mourn over our sins before God.
3. In opening up, and applying the Word of God, so that it . . .
meets our case,
feeds our faith,
fires our love, and
deepens our humility.
4. In exciting and drawing forth the soul in prayer, praise, and adoration at the throne of God — so that we sometimes . . .
melt in contrition,
are crumbled down in humiliation,
and are almost dissolved in love.
5. In making us bold in God's cause, and giving us to feel liberty in His presence, through faith in the blood of His dear Son.
6. In giving us soul refreshing glimpses . . .
of the glorious person of Jesus,
of the everlasting covenant,
and of eternal glory.
7. In melting us down in sincere gratitude before God, under a sense of His undeserved favor.
8. In removing all legal fears, and causing holy peace to flow through the soul like a river.
9. In melting us in meekness, and producing sweet submission to the sovereign will of God.
10. In sweetly soothing and consoling under trials and bereavements; and enabling us to look forward with hope and joy.
11. In giving us sweet intimations of the love of God to us, by pleasing impressions, and holy discoveries of His grace.
12. In witnessing to our adoption, awakening the cry of "Abba, Father!" in our hearts, and enabling us to claim a filial relationship to God.
13. In drawing forth our souls in love to God — under an overcoming sense of His free and unparalleled love to us.
14. In enabling us to mount upward as on the wings of an eagle, and to run with pleasure and delight in God's holy ways.
15. In quickening us to rejoice in the Lord, when all things around are calculated to fill us with despondency and gloom.
16. In producing patience in our souls, and enabling us to look away from the things which are seen and temporal — and to look to unseen and eternal realities.
In all these things, and many more — the work of the Spirit in the experience of the believer appears.
Reader, do you know anything of these things in your own experience? Is the Spirit of God daily working in your heart, and do you pay attention to . . .
the lessons He teaches,
the impressions He makes, and
the direction in which He points?
The Spirit works within the Christian, teaching him daily to make use of Christ as the panacea for all the ills of life!
O for more of the Spirit's work within us — that we may live to the praise and glory of Him who loved us, and died to redeem us from sin, death, and Hell!
Holy Spirit, work in us more and more — teaching us the truth, and conforming us to Christ! O for more of Your power, love, and holiness!