Holy Spirit Blessing

John vii. 38: “He that believeth on me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given.)” This passage cannot be read without perceiving that it holds up for the believer a second blessing.

The Holy Ghost had been given as a Pardoner and Comforter long before. David had prayed: “Take not thy Holy Spirit from me.” Paul says that holy men wrote the word as they were “moved by the Holy Ghost.” Evidently, then, the promise in the passage above is for the gift of the Holy Ghost in a new form or office–viz., as the sanctifier.

This, then, is the second blessing: “They that believe [that are already believers] shall receive the Holy Ghost.” After this living waters shall rise up and flow uninterruptedly from the heart and life. John xiv. 23: “Jesus answered, if a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” Here is unquestionably something of a wonderful nature done some time after conversion. The promise is to a regenerated man, for the heart cannot love Christ unless it has been born again.

Now read: “If a man loves me, keeps my words”–all this is in the present. Now comes the assurance of something in the future: “We” — that is, the Father and the Son –” will come unto him and take up our abode with him.” This constant abiding of the Father and the Son in the soul is one of the wonderful and gracious features of sanctification. This is also the fulfillment of what was shadowed in the most holy place, in the perpetual shekinah, the glorious indwelling of God. John xv. 2: “Every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.” Here the Christian is represented as a branch on the vine, Christ, and as bearing fruit. After this, and while bearing fruit, it is suddenly cleansed.

The Greek word kathairei, translated “purgeth” in the verse above, has for its main meaning, according to the lexicon, “cleanseth and purifieth.” Take it any way, this verse is a death-blow to those who insist that we are made holy in regeneration, and need only time for development. It plainly teaches that there is a cleansing after conversion, and that this purification, done by Christ himself, comes not to a backslider, but to a branch on the vine–to a Christian bearing fruit.  Read more here

Pastor Ward Clinton

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