Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Spirit of Truth

"In these days of error, it is most necessary that the children of God, who would not be entangled in the snares of the enemy, should be well grounded and established in the Truth*; and this by the teaching and testimony, work and witness of the blessed Spirit. For want of this heavenly instruction, how many who are weak in the faith or ignorant of Satan’s devices are caught with some new view, some novel interpretation of a text, some subtle, plausible explanation of a passage in which, could they see into the real intention of a passage of the writer or speaker, they would at a glance perceive some abominable heresy couched.

But when the Truth has been made sweet and precious to the heart by an unction from above, and becomes endeared to the soul by being made the power of God unto salvation, there is communicated thereby a spiritual insight which, as if instinctively, detects error by the distaste which is felt towards it, as jarring with the Spirit’s inward teaching. One so taught, to use a figure, is like a person possessed of a musical ear, who detects at once a false note, even where there has not been much, if any musical education. Many of the dear family of God, as possessed of this heavenly teaching, feel who cannot argue, believe who cannot reason, love who cannot explain. These are ever feeling after Truth, feeling for its power in their own hearts; and when this power is made experimentally [experientially, ed.] known, when it comes as a gracious, heavenly influence into their souls, and drops with the dew and unction of the Spirit into their consciences, there is raised up and drawn forth thereby a living faith, a confiding trust, a silent witness within its reality and blessedness, by which it is sealed, as with the very voice of God.

In this divine witness to the power of the Truth are couched all their hopes which anchor within the veil, all the tokens for good which, as so many waymarks, line their struggling, suffering path, all the comfort which supports them as a cordial under all their afflictions and sorrows in life, and all the confidence which they have in the Lord’s faithfulness to His promises; for as the Truth is thus sealed with a heavenly unction on their breast, it gives them an assurance of an interest in it which makes it unspeakably sweet and precious, as a sure earnest of an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away.

If, then, our Meditations on the Person and work of the blessed Spirit should lead any of the dear family of God into clearer views of that heavenly Teacher and most benign Comforter, or in any way strengthen their faith, confirm their hope, brighten their evidences, establish their minds, draw forth their affections, and fix them more deeply and firmly in the Truth, we shall not grudge the labour both of time and thought which it demands to set it forth in any way adequate to its vast importance and divine blessedness....

The Trinity,… assumes and involves both the Deity and the Personality of the Holy Ghost, for if a Person in the Trinity, He must be a divine Person, and if a divine Person, He has a substantial existence, and is not a mere covenant title, a shadowy name, a breath, an influence, an afflatus [inspiration, mental force, ed.], or an emanation [flowing, effusion, emission, ed.]."

The Truth:

"But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth." (John 4:23-24)

"Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come." (John 16:13)

"For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;" (Ephesians 5:9)

"This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth." (1 John 5:6)

To be continued....

Today's post is a selected excerpt from “Meditations on the Person, Work, and Covenant Offices of God the Holy Ghost,” by J.C. Philpot (1802-1869), On Matters of Christian Faith and Experience, Vol. 1 (Old Paths Gospel Press) (406-466-2311). (pp. 159, 160, 164, ) This lengthy Meditation by J.C. Philpot is a most excellent treatise on the Person and Work of the Holy Spirit; and in our present age of great apostasy, this Meditation offers a refutation against the wave of heresies about the Holy Spirit that are coming in like a flood.

*Minor formatting changes were made for blog posting. 'Truth' has been capitalized in this excerpt to emphasize that this is referring to Scriptural Truth. Bible verses were added.