Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Sword of the Spirit...

Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth….(John 17:16)

Sanctification by the truth of God’s word is of great necessity to the Christian who would be useful in the Master’s hands. This truth enables us gain a revelation of God’s mind concerning every matter of life. By this truth, we understand that our Faith is produced by a spiritual view of the atonement of Christ, and of His infinite fullness as a complete and perfect Saviour.

We also understand that Love is excited by a discovery of the excellence of God’s moral perfections. Holy fear and reverence arise from a sight of the majesty and glory of His natural attributes, and a sense of His presence. Joy may come from a sense of the infinite rectitude of His moral government, from the sight of the glory of God, in His works of providence and grace, or from a general view of the beauty and excellence of divine truth.

Comfort may be derived from evidence of the divine favor; and confidence, from an appropriation of God’s promises to ourselves. And in many other ways, also the Holy Spirit produces spiritual feelings through the instrumentality of the truth. But all religious feeling, produced by impulse, without any rational view of the truth, is to be suspected. It may be the work of Satan (2 Corinthians 11:14). Satan is very busy in counterfeiting religious experiences for those he wishes to deceive!

Every religious affection has its counterfeit. Thus, even sorrow may be produced by the fear of hell, without any sense of the evil of sin; a presumption of our own ‘good fortune’ may be mistaken for faith, and this will produce (false) joy. We may exercise a carnal or selfish love to God, because we think he loves us, and has made us the objects of his special favor; and the promises of God, so far as they concern the personal good of the believer, may administer as much comfort to the hypocrite as to the real saint.

This is why it’s very important in these times that we should not only exercise a general belief of the great doctrines of the gospel, but that we should have a right understanding of them. The truth in God’s word is so necessary in the Christian warfare that it is called the sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17b). But of what benefit is the sword to the soldier who knows not how to use it?

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