Principal Walking with God Day by Day: 365 Daily Devotional Selections
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Walking with God Day by Day: 365 Daily Devotional Selections

,
Año:
2003
Edición:
First Edition
Idioma:
english
Páginas:
400 / 401
ISBN 13:
9781581345162
ISBN:
158134516X
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PDF, 925 KB
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WALKING WITH G OD
DAY BY DAY

OTHER CROSSWAY BOOKS BY
MARTYN LLOYD-JONES
Alive in Christ
The Cross
The Kingdom of God
My Soul Magnifies the Lord
Out of the Depths
Revival
True Happiness
Truth Unchanged, Unchanging
Why Does God Allow War?
(originally Why Does God Allow Suffering?)
GREAT DOCTRINES OF THE BIBLE
Volume 1: God the Father, God the Son
Volume 2: God the Holy Spirit
Volume 3: The Church and Last Things
(also available in one volume: Great Doctrines of the Bible)
LIFE IN CHRIST: STUDIES IN 1 JOHN
Volume 1: Fellowship with God
Volume 2: Walking with God
Volume 3: Children of God
Volume 4: The Love of God
Volume 5: Life in God
(also available in one volume: Life in Christ)
STUDIES IN THE BOOK OF ACTS
Volume 1: Authentic Christianity
Volume 2: Courageous Christianity
Volume 3: Victorious Christianity
STUDIES IN JOHN 17
Volume 1: Saved in Eternity
Volume 2: Safe in the World
Volume 3: Sanctified Through the Truth
Volume 4: Growing in the Spirit
(also available in one volume: The Assurance of Our Salvation)

365

DAILY DEVOTIONAL SELEC TIONS

W ALKING

WITH

GOD
Day by Day
a

MARTYN LLOYD-JONES
ROBERT BACKHOUSE , EDITOR

C R O S S W AY B O O K S
A DIVISION OF
GOOD NEWS PUBLISHERS
WHEATON, ILLINOIS

Walking with God Day by Day
Copyright © 2003 by Good News Publishers
Published by Crossway Books
A division of Good News Publishers
1300 Crescent Street
Wheaton, Illinois 60187
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced,
stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form by any
means, electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording or otherwise,
without the prior permission of the publisher, except as provided
by USA copyright law.
Cover design: David LaPlaca
Cover photo: Getty Images
First printing, 2003
Printed in the United States of America
Note: Why Does God Allow War? has also been published as
Why Does God Allow Suffering?
All Scripture quotations are taken from the King James Version.

C ONTENTS
P;  UBLISHER ’ S F OREWORD
J ANUARY
New Life in the Spirit (from God the Holy Spirit)

F EBRUARY
Our Great Salvation (from Saved in Eternity)

M ARCH
Jesus’ Prayer for Us (from Safe in the World and
Sanctified Through the Truth)

A PRIL
The Cross of Christ (from The Cross)

M AY
The Gospel of Jesus Christ (from The Heart of the Gospel and
Truth Unchanged, Truth Unchanging)

J UNE
When God Moves in Revival (from Revival)

J ULY
The Kingdom of God (from The Kingdom of God and
Why Does God Allow War?)

A UGUST
Knowing and Serving God (from God the Father, God the Son)

S EPTEMBER
Life in Christ (from God the Father, God the Son and
Fellowship with God)

O CTOBER
Walking with God (from Walking with God and
Children of God)

N OVEMBER
Tests of Truth and Love (from The Love of God)

DECEMBER
The Victory of Faith (from Life in God and
Out of the Depths)

S CRIPTURE I NDEX

P UBLISHER’ S F OREWORD

It is impossible to grow spiritually without spending time in God’s
Word, the Holy Bible. Hearing Scripture on Sundays and occasionally in between is not enough—we need to feed on it regularly for
ourselves.
Godly pastors and authors can greatly assist us in such an
endeavor. One of these, Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981), minister
of Westminster Chapel in London for thirty years, was one of the
twentieth century’s leading voices in evangelical doctrine and preaching. His numerous books (many of them published after his homegoing) have brought profound spiritual encouragement to literally
millions of readers around the world over the years.
Lloyd-Jones had been perhaps the most distinguished medical
doctor in all of England. Early in his career, however, he left the medical profession to pursue a “higher calling,” namely, the “cure of
souls.” He is noted for his penetrating diagnosis of the human condition and his persuasive proclamation of the Gospel as the only
sufficient answer. This present volume is a valuable continuation of
that ministry.
Walking with God Day by Day is a daily devotional sharing
short excerpts from many of Dr. Lloyd-Jones’s books. The selections are encouraging, enlightening, and challenging. All who use
this volume will acquire a greater grasp of biblical truth (concerning salvation, the Gospel, revival, the kingdom of God, knowing
God, the victory of faith, and much more) and will learn how to
grow closer to Christ with increasing faith.
It is our prayer that these brief readings from the works of Dr.
Martyn Lloyd-Jones will nurture and equip you in your walk with
Christ.
The Publisher

January
NEW LIFE

IN THE
FROM

God the Holy Spirit

SPIRIT

January 1
NAMES

OF THE

H OLY S PIRIT

The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me.
ISAIAH 61:1

The best way to approach the doctrine of the Holy Spirit is to notice
the names or the descriptive titles given to this blessed Person.
First of all, there are the many names that relate Him to the
Father. Let me enumerate some of them: “the Spirit of God” (Genesis
1:2); “the Spirit of the Lord” (Luke 4:18); “the Spirit of our God”
(1 Corinthians 6:11). Another is “the Spirit of the Lord GOD,” which
is in Isaiah 61:1. Our Lord speaks, in Matthew 10:20, of “the Spirit
of your Father,” while Paul refers to “the Spirit of the living God”
(2 Corinthians 3:3). “My Spirit,” says God in Genesis 6:3, and the
psalmist asks, “Whither shall I go from thy spirit?” (Psalm 139:7).
He is referred to as His Spirit—God’s Spirit—in Numbers 11:29; and
Paul, in Romans 8:11, uses the phrase “the Spirit of him [God the
Father] that raised up Jesus from the dead.” All these are descriptive titles referring to the Holy Spirit in terms of His relationship to
the Father.
In the second group are the titles that relate the Holy Spirit to the
Son. First, “If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of
his” (Romans 8:9), which is a most important phrase. The word
“Spirit” here refers to the Holy Spirit. In Philippians 1:19, Paul
speaks about “the Spirit of Jesus Christ,” and in Galatians 4:6 he
says, “God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son.” Finally He is
referred to as “the Spirit of the Lord” (Acts 5:9).
The third group comprises the direct or personal titles, and first
and foremost here, of course, is the name Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost.
Some people are confused by those two terms, but they mean exactly
the same thing. The English language is a hybrid that has borrowed
from other languages, and “Ghost” is an old Anglo-Saxon word,
while “Spirit” is derived from the Latin spiritus.

1 A THOUGHT

TO

PONDER 2

Notice the names or the descriptive titles given to the Holy Spirit.

From God the Holy Spirit, pp. 6-7.

January 2
W HY I S THE H OLY S PIRIT
C ALLED H OLY?
But ye have an unction from the Holy One.
1 JOHN 2:20

Why is the Holy Spirit called holy? Surely, the explanation is that it
is His special work to produce holiness and order in all that He
does in the application of Christ’s work of salvation. His objective
is to produce holiness, and He does that in nature and creation, as
well as in human beings. But His ultimate work is to make us a
holy people, holy as the children of God. It is also probable that He
is described as the Holy Spirit in order to differentiate Him from
the other spirits—the evil spirits. That is why we are told to test the
spirits and to prove them and to know whether they are of God or
not (1 John 4:1).
Then the next great question is the personality or the personhood of the Spirit. The personhood of the Holy Spirit is not only
forgotten by those whom we describe as liberals or modernists in
their theology, but we ourselves are often guilty of precisely the same
thing. I have heard most orthodox people referring to the Holy Spirit
and His work as “it” and “its” influence and so on, as if the Holy
Spirit were nothing but an influence or a power. And hymns, too,
frequently make the same mistake. There is a confusion about the
Holy Spirit, and I am sure there is a sense in which many of us find
it a little more difficult to conceive of the third person in the blessed
Holy Trinity than to conceive of the Father or the Son.
Why is there this tendency to think of Him as a force or an
influence or an emanation? There are a number of answers to that
question, but they are not good reasons. His work seems to be impersonal because it is a kind of mystical and secret work. He produces
graces and fruits; He gives us gifts, and He gives us various powers.
And because of that, we tend to think of Him as if He were some
influence. I am sure that this is a great part of the explanation.

1 A THOUGHT

TO

His special work is to produce holiness.

PONDER 2

From God the Holy Spirit, p. 8.

January 3
T HE P ERSONALITY

OF THE

H OLY S PIRIT

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the
communion of the Holy Ghost . . .
2 CORINTHIANS 13:14

The Holy Spirit is identified with the Father and the Son in such a
way as to indicate personality.
There are two great arguments here. The first is the baptismal
formula: “baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son,
and of the Holy Ghost” (Matthew 28:19). Here He is associated
with the Father and the Son in a way that of necessity points to His
personality.
The second argument is based on the apostolic benediction in
2 Corinthians 13:14: “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the
love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost . . .” Obviously
the Holy Spirit is a person in line with the person of the Father and
of the Son.
A most interesting way we can prove the personality of the Spirit
is by showing that He is identified with us, with Christians, in a
way that indicates that He is a person. In Acts 15:28 we read, “For
it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no
greater burden than these necessary things.” This was a decision
arrived at by members of the early church, and as they were persons, so He must be a person. You cannot say, “It seemed good to a
power and to us,” because the power would be working in us. But
here is someone outside us—“It seemed good to him and to us.”
Personal qualities are ascribed to the Holy Spirit in the
Scriptures. He is said, for example, to have knowledge. Paul argues,
“For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man
which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but
the Spirit of God” (1 Corinthians 2:11).

1 A THOUGHT

TO

PONDER 2

The Spirit is identified with us, with Christians, in a way that indicates that He is a person.

From God the Holy Spirit, pp. 10-11.

January 4
T HE H OLY S PIRIT H AS

A

M IND

And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what
is the mind of the Spirit.
ROMANS 8:27

The Holy Spirit clearly has a mind. In Romans 8:27 we read, “the
mind of the Spirit”—this is in connection with prayer. He is also
the one who loves, because we read that “the fruit of the Spirit is
love” (Galatians 5:22); and it is His function to shed abroad the
love of God in our hearts (Romans 5:5). And, likewise, we know
He is capable of grief, because in Ephesians 4:30 we are warned
not to “grieve” the Holy Spirit.
The ultimate doctrine about the Spirit, from the practical, experiental standpoint, is that my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit,
so that whatever I do, wherever I go, the Holy Spirit is with me. I
know nothing that so promotes sanctification and holiness as the
realization of that. If only we realized, always, that in anything we
do with our bodies, the Holy Spirit is involved! Remember also
that Paul teaches that in the context of a warning against fornication.
He writes, “Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy
Ghost which is in you . . .?” (1 Corinthians 6:19). That is why fornication should be unthinkable in a Christian. God is in us, in the
Holy Spirit: not an influence, not a power, but a person whom we
can grieve.
I am going through these details not out of an academic interest, nor because I happen to have a theological type of mind. No, I
am concerned about these things, as I am a man trying myself to
live the Christian life, and as I am called of God to be a pastor of
souls, and I feel the responsibility for the souls and conduct and
behavior of others. Wherever you are, wherever you go, if you are
a Christian the Holy Spirit is in you; and if you really want to enjoy
the blessings of salvation, you do so by knowing that your body is
His temple.

1 A THOUGHT

TO

PONDER 2

If you are a Christian, the Holy Spirit is in you.

From God the Holy Spirit, pp. 11-12.

January 5
T HE S PIRIT P ROHIBITED T HEM
He shall testify of me.
JOHN 15:26

Actions are ascribed to the Spirit that can only be performed by a
person. For instance, in 1 Corinthians 2:10 we are told that “the
Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” He
searches—that is the action of a person. We are also told clearly
that He speaks. In Revelation 2:7 we read, “He that hath an ear, let
him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” Then He also
makes intercession for us. “We know not what we should pray for
as we ought,” says Paul in Romans 8:26, “but the Spirit itself maketh
intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”
He also bears testimony. Our Lord said, “He shall testify of
me” (John 15:26). He bears testimony to the Lord. Only a person
can do that. Then we are told, again by our Lord, “He will guide you
into all truth” (John 16:13). Indeed, even in the Old Testament we
are told that He teaches and instructs in the truth: “Thou gavest
also thy good spirit to instruct them” (Nehemiah 9:20).
Another personal action of His is found in Acts 16:6-7 where we
are told, “Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the
regions of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach
the word in Asia, after they were come to Mysia, they assayed to
go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not.” Again, this is
surely a very significant and relevant statement. All Paul’s companions wanted to go and preach in Asia, but the Spirit prohibited them.
Then they wanted to go into Bithynia, and again He would not allow
them. That is a definite action by the Holy Sprit Himself, and it is
proof positive that He is a person.

1 A THOUGHT

TO

PONDER 2

Actions are ascribed to the Spirit that can only be performed by a
person.

From God the Holy Spirit, pp. 13-14.

January 6
T HE C OMFORTER
It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the
Comforter will not come unto you.
JOHN 16:7

The very office to which the Holy Spirit was appointed is personal.
He is described as the Comforter (“another Comforter,” says our
Lord in John 14:16), and a comforter is one who stands by our side
and helps us. The same word is sometimes translated advocate. So
our Lord was saying in effect, “As I have been with you during
these three years, as I have taught you and guided you, and as I
have sent you out on your missions, I will not leave you comfortless. I am going to send you another Comforter. You must not be
troubled; you are not going to be left as orphans.” The Holy Spirit
is one who takes the place of our Lord. He is within us to lead us and
guide us, and that is why our Lord was even able to say, “It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter
will not come unto you” (John 16:7). Obviously this is a personal
office.
Another big proof of the personality of the Holy Spirit is that,
according to the teaching of the Scriptures, the Holy Spirit is susceptible to personal treatment. In other words, we are told that we
can do certain things to the Spirit and that He reacts as only a person can react.
First, we are told that the Holy Spirit can be lied to. In the terrible case of Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5, notice what Peter said:
“Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost,
and to keep back part of the price of the land?” (verse 3). Ananias
and Sapphira had declared that they had given everything, but Peter
charged them with having lied to the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is not
an influence therefore, not some vague power, but clearly a person.
Second, we are told that we can blaspheme against the Holy Spirit
(Matthew 12:31-32). Third, we see that He can be insulted
(Hebrews 10:29). Finally, He can be grieved (Ephesians 4:30).

1 A THOUGHT

TO

PONDER 2

The Holy Spirit is susceptible to personal treatment.

From God the Holy Spirit, pp. 14-15.

January 7
T HE H OLY S PIRIT ’ S D EITY
Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. . . .
And there are diversities of operations,
but it is the same God which worketh all in all.
1 CORINTHIANS 12:4, 6

We must demonstrate the Holy Spirit’s deity. This is a vital part of
the doctrine of the Trinity. It is only Christians who believe this
doctrine; all other religions fail to do so, as do all errors and heresies.
The Trinity is the key that unlocks all truth. So we must look at the
evidence.
The Scripture itself specifically asserts the deity of the Spirit. I
take you back to that terrible incident with Ananias and Sapphira.
After asking, “Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to
the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?”
Peter continued, “Thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God” (Acts
5:3-4). “The terrible thing that you have done,” said Peter in effect,
“is that you have not only been lying to men; you thought that you
were just lying to us, the apostles, and to the other Christians, but
no, you have been lying to God.” And just previously he had said
that Ananias had lied to the Holy Spirit. So clearly that is a specific
statement that the Holy Spirit is God.
But we also find that the Spirit’s name is coupled with the name
of God, and this not only establishes His personality but His Deity.
This is seen in the baptismal formula, in the apostolic benediction,
and also in 1 Corinthians 12, where Paul writes, “Now there are
diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. . . . And there are diversities
of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all” (verses
4, 6). At one point we are told it is the Spirit who does this, and the
next moment we are told that it is God—the same God who works
all and in all, and He is the Spirit. Therefore the Spirit is God—His
deity is proved.

1 A THOUGHT

TO

PONDER 2

Scripture specifically asserts the deity of the Spirit.

From God the Holy Spirit, p. 15.

January 8
T HE H OLY S PIRIT ’ S D IVINE D EEDS
The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the
Almighty hath given me life.
JOB 33:4

Certain things are done by the Spirit that we are told in the Scriptures
can only be done by God. First of all, creation. In Genesis 1:2 we
read, “The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” There
it is at the very beginning. Job says it also: “The Spirit of God hath
made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.” This
is the creative work of the Holy Spirit, again a proof of His deity.
And we must remember also that His is the special operation that we
describe as regeneration. John 3:7 establishes that once and forever: “Ye must be born again.” “Except a man be born of water
and of the Spirit . . .” (John 3:5). This is the action of the Spirit; He
gives the rebirth. Original creation and the new creation are both the
special work of the Spirit. “It is the spirit that quickeneth,” says
our Lord again (John 6:63).
The work of inspiration is also the work of the Spirit. “No
prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation,” says Peter;
“. . . holy men of God spake as they were moved”—carried along,
driven; it does not matter which translation you use—“by the Holy
Ghost” (2 Peter 1:20-21). All the Scriptures were written in that way:
The Holy Spirit inspired and controlled the writers in an infallible
manner. So we have our doctrine of the infallibility of the Scriptures,
and it is proof positive to us that He is God. It is God alone who
can give the truth and inspire men in their record of the truth.
The work of resurrection is also attributed to Him. Very often
people are surprised by this. But it is to be found quite clearly in
Romans 8:11: “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the
dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also
quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.” So
we arrive at this—that the Holy Spirit is a person and a divine person.

1 A THOUGHT

TO

PONDER 2

The Holy Spirit is a person and a divine person.

From God the Holy Spirit, pp. 16-17.

January 9
SUBORDINATION
He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and
shall show it unto you.
JOHN 16:14

The Scriptures teach that the Spirit is subordinate to the Father and
to the Son. That is what is meant in John 16:13. Our Lord says,
“He shall not speak of himself,” which means that He does not
speak from Himself—He is given what to speak. And indeed His
work, we are told, is to glorify Christ (John 16:14). The Spirit does
not glorify Himself; He glorifies the Son.
Is this not wonderful? Here is the subordination. Here is the division of the work. The Son says that He has come to glorify the
Father, and the Spirit’s work is to glorify the Son. Each one reflects
the glory of the other. Thus we look into the mystery of this amazing doctrine of the blessed Trinity: “He shall glorify me: for he shall
receive of mine, and shall show it unto you” (John 16:14). This is,
to me, one of the most amazing and remarkable things about the biblical doctrine of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit seems to hide
Himself and to conceal Himself. He is always, as it were, putting
the focus on the Son, and that is why I believe, and I believe profoundly, that the best test of all as to whether we have received the
Spirit is to ask ourselves, what do we think of, and what do we know
about, the Son? Is the Son real to us? That is the work of the Spirit.
He is glorified indirectly; He is always pointing us to the Son.
Yes, we must realize that He dwells within us, but His work in
dwelling within us is to glorify the Son, and to bring to us that
blessed knowledge of the Son and of His wondrous love to us. It is
He who strengthens us with might in the inner man (Ephesians 3:1619), that we may know this love of Christ.

1 A THOUGHT

TO

PONDER 2

The Spirit does not glorify Himself; He glorifies the Son.

From God the Holy Spirit, pp. 19-20.

January 10
T HE H OLY S PIRIT

AND THE
OF THE WORLD

C REATION

And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
GENESIS 1:2

We are going to remind ourselves of what we are told in the
Scriptures about the activity of the Holy Spirit before the Day of
Pentecost.
First of all, we start at the very creation of the world. The second
verse in the Bible says, “And the Spirit of God moved upon the face
of the waters.” He was operative in the creation of the world. God
the Father has made everything through the Son by the Holy Spirit.
The blessed Trinity is operative in the whole work, always, but the
labor is divided up. And, of course, you will remember that the
Holy Spirit is especially involved in connection with the creation of
man.
The second is the work of the Holy Spirit in sustaining or maintaining the creation. Now there are many statements about this; I
shall simply quote two. In Isaiah 40:7 we read, “The grass withereth,
the flower fadeth: but the spirit of the LORD bloweth upon it.” But
still more strikingly, in Psalm 104 you will find a magnificent description of creation that is perhaps unsurpassed anywhere in the Bible.
The psalmist makes the point that if the Lord withholds Himself or
His power or His Spirit from creation, it all begins to droop and to
wane, to perish and to die. If He puts His Spirit back again, it all
revives. It is the Holy Spirit who sustains creation. Now you will find
statements in the Scripture that say that the Son does that, and the
answer is, of course, that the Son does it through the Holy Spirit.
So the Holy Spirit has been active from the commencement in sustaining and maintaining the universe.

1 A THOUGHT

TO

PONDER 2

The Son sustains creation through the Holy Spirit.

From God the Holy Spirit, pp. 23-24.

January 11
T HE H OLY S PIRIT AND
C OMMON G RACE
That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that
cometh into the world.
JOHN 1:9

It is the Holy Spirit who is responsible for what is called common
grace. Let me give you some definitions of what that means. Common
grace is the term applied to those general blessings that God imparts
to all men and women indiscriminately as He pleases—not only to His
own people, but to all men and women, according to His own will. Or,
again, common grace means those general operations of the Holy
Spirit in which, without renewing the heart, He exercises a moral influence whereby sin is restrained, order is maintained in social life, and
civil righteousness is promoted. That is the general definition. The
Holy Spirit has been operative in this world from the very beginning,
and He has had His influence and His effect upon men and women
who are not saved and who have gone to perdition. While they were
in this life and world they came under these general, non-saving operations of the Holy Spirit. That is what we mean by common grace.
Now, how does the Holy Spirit do this? Well, there are various
answers to that question. You will remember that we are told in the prologue of John’s Gospel about “the true Light, which lighteth every
man” (John 1:9). It does not matter how you translate that verse.
“. . . the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the
world,” says the King James Version; “the Light that lighteth every man
was coming into the world,” says another. This light [that Christ puts
in every person] is a kind of natural light, natural understanding. It is
the light that is in the conscience, and there is that light of conscience
in every person born into this world. Now that is one of the operations of the Holy Spirit in what is called common grace. It is a light
that comes from Christ, because He is the Head of the human race,
but it is the Holy Spirit who puts that light into everyone who is born.

1 A THOUGHT

TO

PONDER 2

Common grace is the term applied to those general blessings that
God imparts to all men and women indiscriminately.

From God the Holy Spirit, p. 24.

January 12
T HE H OUSE

OF

C ORNELIUS

And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them,
as on us at the beginning.
ACTS 11:15

You can say that the Day of Pentecost was the day of public inauguration of the Church as the Body of Christ. There was something
new there that had never been before. There is a sense in which you
can speak of the Church in the Old Testament, yes, but it is not the
same as the Church was subsequent to the Day of Pentecost.
Look at what happened in the house of Cornelius. Peter, of
course, as a Jew would obviously have found it very difficult to
believe that Gentiles could really come into this unity. That was
why the vision was given to him as he was there on the top of the
house. As he was praying he saw a great sheet coming down with
clean and unclean animals and birds upon it, and he heard God’s
voice telling him to kill and eat. God said, “What God hath cleansed,
that call not thou common” (Acts 10:15). But is there not a further
suggestion that even that vision was not enough? Certainly it was
enough to take Peter to the house of Cornelius and to preach as he
did. But even while Peter was preaching, the Holy Spirit descended
upon Cornelius and his household. And Peter and the Jews were
amazed at this. They could not quite understand it, but they had to
face the facts as they heard these other people speak with tongues
and magnify God. “They of the circumcision which believed were
astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles
also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost” (Acts 10:45).
The thing that Peter later emphasized was that while he was
speaking, the Holy Spirit descended upon them: “And as I began to
speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning” (Acts
11:15). Now you see what was happening. God was declaring that
the Church was to consist of Jews and Gentiles.

1 A THOUGHT

TO

PONDER 2

God was declaring that the Church was to consist of Jews and
Gentiles.

From God the Holy Spirit, pp. 36-37.

January 13
T HE S IGNIFICANCE

OF

P ENTECOST

Would God that all the LORD’s people were prophets, and
that the LORD would put his spirit upon them!
NUMBERS 11:29

The great purpose of Pentecost is to give the final proof of the fact
that Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of God and the Savior of the world.
That is declared. The second thing is the great inauguration of the
Church as His Body; and third, it is a proof of the fact that the various people who are added to the Church are members of the Body.
Also, in the Old Testament we are told that the Holy Spirit was
with men or that He came upon them. He worked upon them from
without, as it were, and what David even said, you remember, was,
“Take not thy holy spirit from me” (Psalm 51:11), as if the Holy
Spirit was with him—that is the Old Testament terminology. The
New Testament terminology is in, within; He works from within,
and He abides. In the Old Testament He came upon men and left
them. He comes, in the New Testament, because we are members
of the Body of Christ and because the Spirit comes from Christ
through the whole Body. Because we are members of the Body, the
Spirit abides in us—perfectly; and that, it seems to me, is the essence
of the teaching with regard to this matter.
On the Day of Pentecost the rushing mighty wind and the cloven
tongues as of fire especially emphasized, not the filling with the
Spirit, but the baptizing into the unity of the Body, the inauguration of the Church. That is why you have the special phenomena.
The cloven tongues of fire were never repeated. The walls were
shaken on another occasion, but this particular sound, this noise, the
gathering together of the special phenomena places a uniqueness
upon the event of the Day of Pentecost that has never been repeated.
The filling with the Spirit is something that can be, and often is,
repeated, but that is not the vital thing that happened at Pentecost.
What is emphasized at Pentecost is that the Church became Christ’s
Body, and the Spirit was given to fill the Body.

1 A THOUGHT

TO

PONDER 2

Pentecost inaugurated the Church as Christ’s Body.

From God the Holy Spirit, pp. 40-41.

January 14
T HE WORD

OF

G OD

AND THE

S PIRIT

Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible,
by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
1 PETER 1:23

In order to do His work, the Spirit uses the Word of God. First, He
reveals, through the Word, the great love of God to sinners in general: “God . . . for his great love wherewith he loved us . . .”
(Ephesians 2:4) and so on.
Second, He presents and offers salvation in Christ; through His
people, He states the facts about Christ. That is the business of
preachers of the Gospel. It is to give the record of the life, the death,
the resurrection, and the resurrection appearances of our Lord. What
is preaching? It is proclaiming these facts about Christ. Not only
that—it is an explanation of the fact, the meaning of the facts, how
these facts constitute salvation and are the cause, the means, of salvation. So in the preaching of the Word in the power of the Holy
Spirit, these facts and their interpretation are presented.
Then the Holy Spirit calls us to repentance. He calls everyone
to repentance, all men and women everywhere, because of these
facts, because of “that man whom he hath ordained,” by whom
the whole world is going to be judged in righteousness (Acts 17:31).
And finally the Holy Spirit calls us to faith in Christ. Take again
those words of Paul in his farewell message to the church at Ephesus.
What did Paul testify? What did he preach? It was “repentance
toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21).
He called men and women to faith in Christ in order that they might
obtain forgiveness of sins and inherit eternal life. That was the way
in which our Lord commissioned Paul on the road to Damascus.
He said that He was going to send him to the people and to the
Gentiles “to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power
of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and
inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me”
(Acts 26:18).

1 A THOUGHT

The Spirit uses the Word of God.

TO

PONDER 2

From God the Holy Spirit, pp. 51-52.

January 15
R EGENERATION
. . . that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
JOHN 3:6

What is regeneration? It is the implanting of a principle of new spiritual life and a radical change in the governing disposition of the
soul. The important thing to grasp is the whole idea of disposition.
In addition to the faculties of our souls, there is something at the
back of them that governs them all, and that is what we refer to as
our disposition. Take two men. They have the same faculties, but one
lives a good life, one lives a bad life. What makes the difference?
The answer is that the good man has a good disposition, and this
good disposition, this thing that is behind the faculties and governs
them and uses them, urges him to use his faculties in the direction
of goodness. The other man has an evil disposition; so he urges the
same faculties in an entirely different direction. That is what one
means by disposition.
When you come to think of it, and when you analyze yourself,
your life and your whole conduct and behavior and that of other
people, you will see at once that these dispositions are, of course, of
tremendous importance. They are the condition, if you like, that
determines what we do and what we are.
There is in every person a disposition that seems to determine
the kind of person he or she is. It is this that directs the faculties
and the abilities so that one person is artistic and the other scientific and so on. I am making this point to show that what happens
in regeneration is that God so operates upon us in the Holy Spirit
that this fundamental disposition of ours is changed. He puts a holy
principle, a seed of new spiritual life, into this disposition that determines what I am and how I behave and how I use and employ my
faculties.

1 A THOUGHT

TO

PONDER 2

Regeneration is a radical change in the governing disposition of the
soul.

From God the Holy Spirit, p. 79.

January 16
A S EED

OF

L IFE

Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
JOHN 3:3

The change in my disposition does not mean that I have a greater intellect now than I had before. No, I have exactly the same intellect, the
same mind. But because the disposition governing it is changed, my
mind is operating in a different realm and in a different way, and it
seems to be a new mind. And it is exactly the same with the feelings.
A man who used to hate the Gospel now loves it. A woman who hated
the Lord Jesus Christ now loves Him. And likewise with the will:
The will earlier resisted, it was obstinate and rebellious; but now it
desires, it is anxious, it is concerned about the Gospel.
The next thing that we say is that it is a change that is instantaneous. Now do you see the importance of differentiating between
generation and coming to birth? Generation, by definition, is always
an instantaneous act. There is a moment, a flash, in which the germ
of life enters, impregnates; that is one instantaneous action. In other
words, there are no intermediate stages in regeneration. Life is either
implanted or it is not; it cannot be partly implanted. It is not gradual. When I say that it is instantaneous, I am not referring to our consciousness of it, but to the thing itself, as it is done by God. The
consciousness, of course, comes into the realm of time, whereas
this act of germination is timeless, and that is why it is immediate.
So the next thing is that generation, the implanting of this seed
of life and the change of the disposition, happens in the subconscious, or, if you prefer, in the unconscious. Our Lord explained
that fully to Nicodemus (John 3). It is a secret, inscrutable operation that cannot be directly perceived by us; indeed, we cannot even
fully understand it. The first thing we know about it is that it has
happened, because we are conscious of something different, but
that means that we do not understand it and that we really cannot
arrive at its secret.

1 A THOUGHT

TO

PONDER 2

The will earlier resisted, it was obstinate and rebellious; but now it
is concerned about the Gospel.

From God the Holy Spirit, p. 81.

January 17
T HE N EW B IRTH
No man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.
JOHN 10:29

If you are regenerate, you will remain regenerate. It seems to me
that this is absolutely inevitable because regeneration is the work of
God. Yet there are those who seem to think that people can be born
again as the result of believing the truth, and then if they backslide
or fall into sin or deny the truth, they lose their regeneration, but if
they come back again and believe again, then they are regenerate
again—as if one can be born again and die and be born again and die
an endless number of times! How important doctrine is! How
important it is that we should be clear as to what the Scripture
teaches about these things! It tells us that regeneration is the work
of God Himself in the depths of the soul and that He does it in such
a way that it is permanent. “No man is able to pluck them out of
my Father’s hand” (John 10:29).
“I am persuaded,” says Paul, and let us notice this, “I am persuaded”—he is certain—“that neither death, nor life, nor angels,
nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord”
(Romans 8:38-39). And when Paul says that, he is expounding regeneration. It is not merely the relationship between us—it is because
He has put this life in me that nothing can separate me from Him.
And when we come to deal with the mystical union that follows
directly from this, we see how still more inevitable this must be. This
is a permanent work, and nothing can ever bring it to an end.
Regenerate people cannot go on sinning because they are born
of God (1 John 3:9). They may backslide temporarily, but if they
are born of God they will come back. It is as certain as that they have
been born again. This is the way to test whether or not someone is
born again.

1 A THOUGHT

TO

PONDER 2

Regeneration is the work of God Himself in the depths of the soul,
and it is permanent.

From God the Holy Spirit, pp. 93-94.

January 18
I N C HRIST
For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
1 CORINTHIANS 15:22

Paul draws a contrast between the union of the unbeliever with
Adam and the union of the believer with Christ. This is the great
argument in Romans 5, which is repeated in 1 Corinthians 15:22,
49. In Romans 5 the whole argument is that death passed on to all
people because of Adam. Why? Because of their relationship to
Adam; that is the whole doctrine of original sin. We are all condemned in Adam because of Adam’s sin. He was our representative, he was our federal head; and not only that, we are bound to
him, we were in the loins of Adam when he fell. In Adam all died.
In Christ all shall be made alive again. That is it. The relationship
of the believer to Christ is the same sort of union and relationship
as that old relationship of the whole of Adam’s posterity to Adam.
We are all born in Adam, and we are related, we are joined in that
way. Yes, but being born again, we are in the same sort of relationship to Christ.
Regeneration and union must never be separated. You cannot be
born again without being in Christ; you are born again because
you are in Christ. The moment you are in Him you are born again,
and you cannot regard your regeneration as something separate
and think that union is something you will eventually arrive at.
Not at all! Regeneration and union must always be considered
together and at the same time because the one depends upon the
other and leads to the other; they are mutually self-supporting.
There is nothing that so strengthens my faith and fills me with
a longing to be pure as He is pure and to live even as He did in this
world as the realization of what I am and who I am because I am a
Christian. I am a child of God, and I am in Christ.

1 A THOUGHT

TO

PONDER 2

Regeneration and union must never be separated.

From God the Holy Spirit, pp. 104-105.

January 19
A V ITAL U NION
And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.
JOHN 1:16

We are joined to Christ in a union with Him by means of the
indwelling of the Holy Spirit in us. It is a vital union because our spiritual life is drawn directly from the Lord Jesus Christ. We are sustained by Him through the indwelling Holy Spirit. There is nothing
more important in the Christian life than to realize that our union
with Christ is a vital one. It is a living thing. It is not something
mechanical or conceptual; it is not a thought or an idea; it is really
a vital, spiritual union.
“And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace”
(John 1:16). That says it all. That is our relationship to Him, says
John; something of His fullness and of His life is passing into us,
and we are receiving it.
The trouble with all of us is that we do not realize the truth of
these things. But this is the truth given by the Lord Himself. It is
His prayer for His people that they may know the meaning of this
vital, spiritual relationship. And He does not hesitate to compare it
with the relationship that subsists between the Father and Himself:
As the Father is in Him, so He is in us, and we are in Him. But consider the statement of this truth that is made by the apostle Paul in
Galatians 2:20: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet
not I, but Christ liveth in me.” There is nothing greater than that,
and what it does teach is that this is a life-giving relationship; it is a
union of life. “Not I, but Christ liveth in me.” And then Paul goes
on to say, “And the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith
of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

1 A THOUGHT

TO

PONDER 2

Our union with Christ is a vital, spiritual union.

From God the Holy Spirit, pp. 108-109.

January 20
O UR F ELLOWSHIP

IN

H IS SUFFERINGS

That I may know . . . the fellowship of his sufferings.
PHILIPPIANS 3:10

I would now like to emphasize our fellowship in Christ’s sufferings,
and our fellowship even in His death. Paul says in Philippians 3:10,
“That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the
fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his
death.” What great thoughts! We must work them out, think them
out, and pray them out.
Paul put it another way in Colossians 1:24: “Who now rejoice
in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church.”
I do not pretend to understand that fully, but I do know that there is
no higher statement of the doctrine of the union of the believer with
His Lord. The apostle interprets his own sufferings in the flesh and
in the body as, in a sense, filling up what remains of the sufferings and
the afflictions of Christ Himself. Paul is bearing that in his own flesh.
The result of the mystical union is that he enters into this mystical
fellowship of the sufferings of Christ. There were people living in
the Middle Ages of whom it is said that they so meditated upon and
contemplated their Lord and all that He had done for them that
some of them even developed in their physical hands the imprint of
nails, the stigmata. It is not impossible. Such things do happen.
But all I am concerned to emphasize is that the more deeply we
realize the truth about this union between us and our Lord, the more
we shall know something of the fellowship of His sufferings. In this
world He was “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief” (Isaiah
53:3). That was because of the sin of the world. And because He saw
the enmity of the human heart against His Father, it hurt Him, it
grieved Him, and He suffered. There is no more delicate test of our
relationship to Him and our union with Him than the extent to
which you and I know something of His suffering.

1 A THOUGHT

TO

PONDER 2

The result of the mystical union is mystical fellowship with the sufferings of Christ.

From God the Holy Spirit, pp. 115-116.

January 21
T EMPORARY C ONVERSION
But he that received the seed into stony places,
the same is he that . . . is offended.
M AT T H E W 1 3 : 2 0 - 2 1

Our Lord, because of the danger of a “temporary something” happening, was constantly dealing with this and seemed to be repelling
people. Indeed, they charged Him with making discipleship impossible. Take that great sixth chapter of John where the people were
running after Him and hanging onto His words because of the miracle of the feeding of the five thousand, and our Lord seemed to be
trying deliberately to repel them.
Take also the parable in Matthew 13—the Parable of the
Sower—and our Lord’s own exposition of it. Notice particularly
verses 20-21: “But he that received the seed into stony places, the
same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;
yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when
tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by
he is offended.” But notice what our Lord says about this same
man: he “anon with joy receiveth it [the Word].” That is what I mean
by temporary conversion. He seems to have received the Word, he
is full of joy, but he has no root in him, and that is why he ends up
with nothing at all. Now that is our Lord’s own teaching; there is
the possibility of this very joyful “conversion,” and yet there is
nothing there in a vital, living sense, and it proves temporary.
Paul speaks in 1 Timothy 1:19-20 of “holding faith, and a good
conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have
made shipwreck.” Now that is very serious teaching. He says the
same thing in 2 Timothy 2. There is such a thing as temporary conversion, temporary believers, but they are not true believers. That is
why it is so vital that we should know the biblical teaching as to
what conversion really is.

1 A THOUGHT

TO

PONDER 2

There is the possibility of a joyful conversion proving to be temporary.

From God the Holy Spirit, pp. 119-120.

January 22
FAITH

AND

R EASON

Unto you therefore which believe he is precious.
1 PETER 2:7

What is the relationship between faith and reason? The best answer
I can give is that faith is not a matter of reason. Some people teach
that it is. They say that if only men and women would use their
minds, they would be bound to become Christians; they can reason
themselves into Christianity. But that is thoroughly unscriptural.
They cannot because the natural man’s or woman’s reason is also
fallen. Not only that, there are supernatural and miraculous elements
in faith to which reason cannot attain. So true faith is not entirely a
matter of reason. Indeed, I would quote to you the statement of the
great Blaise Pascal, perhaps the greatest mathematician that the
world has ever known and who had an evangelical conversion. He
said that the supreme achievement of reason is to teach us that there
is an end to reason.
So what about faith and reason? Well, faith is not mere reason, but
on the other hand, neither is it contrary to reason. It is not unreasonable; it is not irrational. That is the charge that is brought against us.
“Ah,” people say, “but what you’re teaching is a kind of irrationality. You say that faith isn’t a matter of reason. Well then, is it
opposed to reason?”
No, it is not. It is not reason; neither is it contrary to reason.
What is it then? It is supra-reason. It means that our reason brings us
to the point where we realize that reason is not enough, and at that
point we have nothing to do but submit ourselves to revelation.
And that is faith. Faith is accepting this revelation.
More and more I like to think of it like this: Faith means that I
deliberately shut myself down to this Book, the Bible. I refuse to
philosophize. I refuse to ask certain questions. People are always asking them. They want to understand the doctrine of the Trinity. You
cannot. You will never understand it. It is too great. So you accept
it; and you stop asking questions.

1 A THOUGHT

TO

PONDER 2

Reason brings us to the point where we realize that reason is not
enough, and at that point we submit ourselves to revelation.
From God the Holy Spirit, pp. 147-148.

January 23
J USTIFICATION

BY FAITH

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God.
ROMANS 5:1

Justification is opposed to condemnation, and nobody can bring an
accusation because it is God who declares people just.
Justification is legal and forensic, and as you go on with the
Scriptures you will find this in other places: “But ye are washed,
but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord
Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:11). And in
Galatians 2:16 there is a statement that is parallel to those in
Romans: “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the
law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus
Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by
the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be
justified.” Galatians is the great epistle that gave Martin Luther his
liberty. His famous commentary on the epistle to the Galatians is a
book that you should read, and the more you go on with it, the more
you will enjoy it. Do not be put off by his polemic against the Roman
Catholics. He had to do that because you must show what is wrong
as well as what is right. People do not like that today, but Luther
had to do it, and I think we must do it in our age and generation.
God makes a legal declaration that all the demands of the law
upon us, as a condition of life, are fully satisfied with regard to all
who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. We are no longer in a state of
condemnation: “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace
with God” (Romans 5:1). “There is therefore now no condemnation
to them which are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). Why? Because
God has declared it. He is the Lawgiver, and He says that Christ
has satisfied the law. “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth” (Romans 10:4).

1 A THOUGHT

TO

PONDER 2

God is the Lawgiver, and He says that Christ has satisfied the law.

From God the Holy Spirit, pp. 171-172.

January 24
J USTIFICATION

AND

S ANCTIFICATION

But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us
wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.
1 CORINTHIANS 1:30

Let me show you the essential difference between justification and
sanctification. Look at it like this: Justification is an act of God the
Father; sanctification is essentially the work of God the Holy Spirit.
There is this division of work in the blessed Persons of the Trinity.
It is the Father who declares righteous and just. It is the Holy Spirit
who sanctifies.
Second, justification takes place outside us, as in a tribunal; sanctification takes place within us, in our inner life. I stand in the court
when I am justified, and the judge pronounces that I am free; it is a
statement about me, outside me. But sanctification is something
that is worked and takes place within.
Third, justification removes the guilt of sin; sanctification
removes the pollution of sin and renews us in the image of God.
And therefore, last, by definition justification is a once-and-for-all
act. It is never to be repeated because it cannot be repeated and never
needs to be repeated. It is not a process but a declaration that we are
pronounced just once and forever, by God. Sanctification, on the
other hand, is a continuous process. We continue to grow in grace and
in the knowledge of the Lord until we are perfect beyond the veil.
So there is nothing quite so erroneous and confusing and
unscriptural as to mistake the essential difference between justification and sanctification. That is the whole trouble with Roman
Catholic teaching and all Catholic piety. If you confuse sanctification
with justification, you will be doubtful as to whether you are justified or not. If you bring in your state and condition and sin that
you may commit, then you are querying your justification. But if you
realize that justification is forensic, external, and declaratory, you
know that you are justified whatever may be true about you.

1 A THOUGHT

TO

PONDER 2

Justification removes the guilt of sin; sanctification removes the
pollution of sin.

From God the Holy Spirit, pp. 174-175.

January 25
T HE P ROOFS

OF

A DOPTION

For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
G A L AT I A N S 3 : 2 6

What are the proofs that any one of us can have that we have been
adopted? Well, you can find the scriptural proof. “For ye are all the
children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” Also in 1 Peter 1:3-6 you
find it again: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus
Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us
again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from
the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that
fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the
power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in
the last time. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season,
if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations.” We
are the inheritance—that is, the children of God. This is for all of
us who believe in Christ.
The second way of assurance is that we are given “the Spirit of
adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father” (Romans 8:15); “we
receive the adoption of sons” (Galatians 4:5). You can be assured
of the fact that you have received adoption because you know that
the Holy Spirit is dwelling within you. We have His testimony to
our spirits that we are the children of God.
And then last of all I would offer the fact that we are led by the
Spirit. This is Paul’s argument: “For as many as are led by the Spirit
of God, they are the sons of God” (Romans 8:14). Paul does not
say, “As many as are actively acting as peacemakers or who are
loving their enemies . . .” No! “As many as are led by the Spirit of
God”; those who subject themselves to His leading and who rejoice
in being led by Him—they are the sons of God.

1 A THOUGHT

TO

PONDER 2

You can be assured of the fact that you have received adoption
because you know that the Holy Spirit is dwelling within you.

From God the Holy Spirit, p. 187.

January 26
T HE R ESULTS

OF

A DOPTION

I . . . will be your God, and ye shall be my people.
LEVITICUS 26:12

The first result of our adoption I shall mention is that if we have the
spirit of adoption, we have lost “the spirit of bondage again to fear”
(Romans 8:15). Positively, in the second place, we have been given a
spirit of liberty. In other words, we are no longer afraid of the law and
its condemnation; we are no longer afraid of death; we are enjoying
something of the glorious liberty of the children of God. Third, we
receive this spirit of adoption through the indwelling Spirit.
But then in addition there are these results: Because we have been
adopted into God’s family, we are entitled to bear His name. We
can say that we are the children of God. We are members of the
household of God. We belong to God’s family. God’s name is upon
us. He has said, “I . . . will be your God, and ye shall be my people” (Leviticus 26:12). We are His people. Peter applies to Christians
what God said to the nation of Israel of old: “But ye are a chosen
generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people;
that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out
of darkness into his marvellous light; which in time past were not a
people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained
mercy, but now have obtained mercy” (1 Peter 2:9-10).
What else? Well, the fifth benefit is that we enjoy the present protection and consolation that God alone can give, and the provision
that He makes for His children. “Even the very hairs of your head
are all numbered” (Luke 12:7); nothing can happen to us apart
from Him.
The next benefit, at first, is not so pleasurable—fatherly chastisements. That is the whole argument of the first half of Hebrews
12: “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every
son whom he receiveth” (verse 6). He chastises His children, but
not those who are not His children.

1 A THOUGHT

TO

PONDER 2

We are members of the household of God. We belong to God’s
family.

From God the Holy Spirit, pp. 187-188.

January 27
B ECOMING H OLY
Be not conformed to this world.
ROMANS 12:2

The Scriptures place great emphasis on our part in sanctification,
on what you and I have to do. What is the point of the mighty arguments of Paul and the apostles in their letters if sanctification is something that I am to receive? Why the exhortations?
Here is one exhortation from the apostle Peter: “Dearly beloved,
I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts,
which war against the soul” (1 Peter 2:11). Do you notice what he
says? We do not receive our sanctification and are then delivered
from these things. No; he tells us to abstain from them and to keep
ourselves from them. And the tragedy is that so many people are
spending their lives waiting to receive something, and in the meantime they are not abstaining from these fleshly lusts.
Take a statement from Paul: “Let him that stole steal no more”
(Ephesians 4:28). That is what he is to do. He is not to wait to receive
something; he is commanded to give up stealing. What can be more
specific than that? And people who are guilty of foolish talking and
jesting and other unseemly things are not to do them (Ephesians 5:4).
“Be not conformed to this world” (Romans 12:2). You do not wait
to receive something; if up to this moment you have been conforming to the world, you must stop.
People have often come to me about this and said, “You know,
I’ve been trying so hard, but I can’t get this experience.” To which
the reply is that the Scripture commands you to abstain: “Cleanse
your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded”
(James 4:8). And I repeat that these injunctions are quite pointless
and a sheer waste of ink if sanctification is something that I can
receive. If it is, we would surely be told, “You need not worry about
this question of sin—you can receive your sanctification in one act,
and all you do then is to maintain it and abide in it.” But this is
most certainly not the New Testament teaching.

1 A THOUGHT

TO

PONDER 2

The Scriptures place great emphasis on our part in sanctification.

From God the Holy Spirit, pp. 215-216.

January 28
I S S ANCTIFICATION

AN

E XPERIENCE ?

We all, with open face, beholding as in a glass the glory of
the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory.
2 CORINTHIANS 3:18

Is sanctification an experience? There are large numbers of stories
about people who have had marvelous experiences, of people, for
example, who had a bad temper or something like that. I accept the
experiences without any hesitation at all. Thank God, I am able to
testify to some such experiences in my own life. So what of them?
Well, here is my answer. First and foremost, there is no evidence at
all in the New Testament that this kind of experience means sanctification. It may be a part of sanctification, it may greatly aid sanctification, but it is not sanctification in and of itself. We must not
base our doctrine on experiences but on the teaching of the Word
of God.
The teaching of the Scripture is that “We all, with open face,
beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the
same image from glory to glory” (2 Corinthians 3:18). Sanctification
is a growth, a development; it is a going forward. But it seems to
me that the main trouble with this teaching about experience is that
it confuses two things that are different, and the two things are
these various experiences that we get in the Christian life and the
grace of God in sanctification.
Sanctification is not an experience—it is a condition. It is my
relationship to God: I am “changed into the same image [of Jesus
Christ] from glory to glory” (2 Corinthians 3:18). Sanctification
involves experiences and is helped by them, but in itself it is not an
experience. Sanctification is that process of growth and development
that starts the moment we are saved, the moment we are justified, the
moment we are regenerated. The experiences are not the process of
growth, but they do help and stimulate it.

1 A THOUGHT

TO

PONDER 2

We must not base our doctrine on experiences but on the teaching
of the Word of God.

From God the Holy Spirit, pp. 216-218.

January 29
F ILLED

WITH THE

S PIRIT

. . . in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.
1 CORINTHIANS 2:4

What does it mean to be filled with the Holy Spirit? Clearly there
are two things at any rate that go with this term. It is something
that happens that gives authority and power and the ability for
service and witness. The apostles were given it at the very beginning, and the result was that they began to speak with other tongues,
and Peter, filled with the Spirit, preached his sermon. Then again,
after they had prayed, they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and
spoke the Word of God with boldness. And when Paul was confronted by the opposition of that clever man, the magician Elymas,
he was filled especially with the Spirit in order to pronounce a judgment, and the judgment fell upon the man. So it is clear that the filling with the Spirit happens for the sake of service; it gives us power
and authority for service.
Let me emphasize this. This filling is an absolute necessity for
true service. Even our Lord Himself did not enter upon His ministry until the Holy Spirit had descended upon Him. He even told the
disciples, whom He had been training for three years, who had
been with Him in the inner circle, who had seen His miracles and
heard all His words, who had seen Him dead and buried and risen
again, even these exceptional men with their exceptional opportunities He told to stay where they were, not to start upon any ministry,
not to attempt to witness to Him, until they had received the power
that the Holy Spirit would give them.
This is something, therefore, that is vital to our witness. It was
the whole secret of the ministry of the apostle Paul. He did not
preach with enticing words of human wisdom, but preached, he said,
“in demonstration of the Spirit and of power” (1 Corinthians 2:4).
He was filled with the Spirit for his task.

1 A THOUGHT

TO

PONDER 2

The filling with the Spirit happens for the sake of service.

From God the Holy Spirit, pp. 241-242.

January 30
T HE I N - FILLING

OF THE

S PIRIT

Be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but
be filled with the Spirit.
EPHESIANS 5:18

The in-filling of the Spirit is essential to true Christian quality in
our life. That is why we are commanded to be filled with the Spirit.
It is a command to every single Christian: “Be not drunk with wine,
wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.” We are exhorted to
be filled with the Spirit. And this is commanded in order that our
graces may grow, in order that the fruit of the Spirit may develop in
us and may be evident to all. It is as we are filled with this life that
the fruit and the graces of this life will be manifest. Indeed, the filling of the Spirit is essential to a true act of worship. Did you notice
how Paul uses that commandment of his in that very connection? He
says, “Be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with
the Spirit”—and then goes on at once—“speaking to yourselves in
psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody
in your heart to the Lord; giving thanks always for all things unto
God and our Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
So the way to test whether we are filled with the Spirit is to ask,
Are we full of thankfulness? Are we full of the spirit of praise, of
thanksgiving, of worship and adoration?
What is a revival? It is God pouring out His Spirit. It is this
tremendous filling that happens to numbers of people at the same
time. You need not wait for a revival to get it; each of us is individually commanded to seek it and to have it and indeed to make sure
it is there. But at times of revival God, as it were, fills a number of
people together; they almost describe it as the Spirit falling upon
them. That is a revival, and that is the greatest need of the Church
today.

1 A THOUGHT

TO

PONDER 2

“Be filled with the Spirit” is a command to every single Christian.

From God the Holy Spirit, pp. 242-243.

January 31
T HE G IFTS

OF THE

H OLY S PIRIT

But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit,
dividing to every man severally as he will.
1 CORINTHIANS 12:11

There are some principles about the subject of spiritual gifts that
stand out clearly in the biblical teaching. The first is that spiritual gifts
must be differentiated from natural gifts. We all have natural gifts, but
the spiritual gift that any one of us may possess is something separate from and entirely different from this. It is a gift that is given
directly to us by the Holy Spirit. Some people have fallen into the
error of thinking that a spiritual gift really means a person’s natural
gift taken hold of by the Holy Spirit and heightened so that it becomes
a spiritual gift. But that is not what Scripture would have us believe.
A spiritual gift is something new, something different.
The second principle is that these gifts are bestowed upon us by
the Holy Spirit in a sovereign manner. This is emphasized very
clearly in 1 Corinthians 12; notice verse 11, for instance: “But all
these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man
severally as he will.” “As he will.” It is He who decides and not us.
He decides what particular gift to give to a particular person. Verse
7 enforces the same point: “But the manifestation of the Spirit is
given to every man to profit withal.” It is a gift, it is given, it is
something that comes entirely from the Holy Spirit.
Third, each Christian is given and therefore has some gift: “But
the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.”
The clear implication there is that every single Christian is given
some particular gift. So from this we deduce that every true member of the Body of Christ, every true Christian, who has been baptized into the Body of Christ by this one Spirit, has some particular
spiritual gift.
The fourth principle taught in 1 Corinthians 12, obviously, is
that the gifts differ in value; see verses 14-30.

1 A THOUGHT

TO

PONDER 2

Every single Christian is given some particular gift.

From God the Holy Spirit, pp. 265-266.

February
O U R G R E AT
S A LVAT I O N
FROM

Saved in Eternity

February 1
T HE R IGHT WAY AND THE
W RONG WAY TO P RAY
Then they took away the stone. . . . And Jesus lifted up his eyes,
and said, ‘Father . . .’”
JOHN 11:41

Sometimes our whole idea of prayer is false. All too often we think
of prayer only as guidance and requests. Now if you were to put that
into practice in human relationships you would regard it as insulting. No, the thing the saint wants to know above everything else is
that all is well between his soul and the Father. There is nothing the
saint delights in more than to know God as his Father. He likes to
maintain the contact and communion, to assure his heart before God
and in the presence of God. The saint is in this difficult world; there
are temptations from the outside, and the whole world is against
him, and the saint is tired—sometimes he almost despairs. So he goes
to God immediately, not to ask this or that but just to make certain
that all is well there, that the contact is unbroken and perfect, that he
can assure his heart and know that all is well.
That is what our Lord is doing in John 17, and that is the thing
that stands out most frequently in that prayer. Our Lord is assuring
His own human heart in the presence of His Father. He did this
also when He was raising Lazarus from the dead; indeed He puts it
in words for us: “Then they took away the stone. . . . And Jesus lifted
up his eyes, and said, ‘Father’”—He is praying—“‘I thank thee that
thou hast heard me’”—always He is assured in His heart—“‘And I
knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people . . .’”
(John 11:41-42). He just turns to God. He knows all is well, but
He is assuring His heart in the presence of God.
Let me put it like this: The saints always prayed to God, and
our Lord supremely did so, because they believed in God’s power,
because they believed in God’s ability to help, and, above all, because
they believed in God’s willingness and readiness to help.

1 A THOUGHT

TO

PONDER 2

Our Lord is assuring His own human heart in the presence of His
Father.

From Saved in Eternity, p. 32.

February 2
W HAT I S L EGITIMATE

IN

P RAYER?

O God, how long shall the adversary reproach?
PSALM 74:10

Pleas and arguments and requests are perfectly legitimate in prayer.
Have you noticed how men of God prayed? They knew God was
omniscient; so they not only made their requests known to Him
but also pleaded with Him. And what I like above everything else is
the way they argued with Him. Moses, for example, did so. On one
occasion he came down from the Mount and found the people rebellious, and when he found God threatening to disown them and
leave them to their own devices, Moses said to God, “You cannot
do this.”
Look too at the man in Psalm 74. “O God, how long shall the
adversary reproach?” (Psalm 74:10). He says in effect, “Lord, why
do You allow men to do these things?” I believe God as Father
delights in listening to such pleas and reasonings and arguments.
This flabby generation of Christians seems to have forgotten what
our fathers used to delight in when they talked about “pleading the
promises.” They did not regard that as offensive. They had no sort
of mock humility, but they felt they were entitled, according to this
teaching, to go to God as the psalmist did and remind him of His
own promises. They said, “Lord, I do not understand. I know it is
my imperfection, but I am certain of these promises. Lord, help me
to see how the promises are to be related to these perplexities.”
So it is perfectly right to plead with God; our Lord pleaded with
Him. In His great prayer in John 17 our Lord argued with God by
bringing His requests. He reminded God of His own promises and
of His own character. I believe God delights in this as Father, and
as we do these things in this way our hearts will be reassured before
Him, and often we shall be amazed and astonished at the answers
that we receive.

1 A THOUGHT

TO

PONDER 2

Pleas and arguments and requests are perfectly legitimate in prayer.

From Saved in Eternity, p. 37.

February 3
T HE P OWER

OF

G OD

And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show
of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
COLOSSIANS 2:15

The plan of salvation displays to us, in a way that nothing else does,
the power of God. The power of God was manifested in the
Incarnation when He prepared a body for His Son and worked the
miracle of the virgin birth—and what marvelous power! But not
only that. I rather prefer to think of it like this: It is as we look at God
in Christ and all that He did in Him and through this plan of salvation that we see His complete power to master everything that is
opposed to Himself, everything that is opposed to the best interests
of man, and everything that is opposed to the best interests of this
world.
For the fact is that the whole problem has arisen in this way. One
of the brightest of the angelic beings that were created by God
rebelled against God and raised himself up against Him. That is the
origin of Satan. He is a power, a person, an angel of great might.
He is as great as this: He deluded a man and conquered him, thereby
making himself the god of this world and “the prince of the power
of the air” (Ephesians 2:2). The power of the devil is something
that we seriously underestimate. He believed he had overturned all
the work of salvation when the Son of God went to the cross.
But, says Paul in Colossians 2, it is there Satan made his greatest blunder, for by the cross God “spoiled principalities and powers, [and] he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in
it” (verse 15). Christ met Satan face to face in single combat and
routed him; at the cross He fulfilled the promise given to man at
the beginning, when Adam was told that the seed of the woman
would bruise the serpent’s head. This was the plan of salvation.

1 A THOUGHT

TO

PONDER 2

The plan of salvation displays to us the power of God.

From Saved in Eternity, pp. 50-51.

February 4
O UR S ECURITY

IN

G OD

And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish,
neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
JOHN 10:28

There is nothing uncertain about my acceptance with God, nor about
my forgiveness, nor about my sonship. When I realize that I have been
brought into God’s plan, I know that nothing can frustrate this.
Now there are many people who talk about the Protestant
Reformation and the influence it had upon the world. You find that
certain statesmen do this. They say you cannot explain the history of
England apart from the Protestant Reformation. Neither, they say,
can you explain the United States of America apart from these
things, because they all had their origin in that Reformation. But
how little do these people really see what it all means and what it
really represents, which is that these great truths are absolute and
certain. Do you know why the Pilgrim Fathers made that attempt
and succeeded in crossing the Atlantic? What was it that enabled
men to do things like that and to do things that were even more
hazardous? It was that they believed in what is called “the doctrine
of the perseverance of the saints”; it was because they had seen themselves in the plan of God that cannot be broken and that cannot
fail. It is as absolute as God Himself; He knows the end as well as the
beginning. “Neither shall any man, “ said Christ, “pluck them out
of my hand.” It is unthinkable.
If God has done all this for us in Christ, and especially in His
death, we can be certain that He will carry on with the work until
it is completed. That is Paul’s argument: “He that spared not his own
Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also
freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32). God, who is sufficiently
concerned about me to send His Son to die on the cross of Calvary
for me, is not going to let me down when any difficulty or temptation faces me.

1 A THOUGHT

TO

PONDER 2

God is not going to let me down when any difficulty or temptation
faces me.

From Saved in Eternity, pp. 63-64.

February 5
O UR LORD’ S G LORY

ON

E ARTH

There is no beauty that we should desire him.
ISAIAH 53:2

Think about the glory of our Lord that we are told about when He
was on earth: “There is no beauty that we should desire him . . . a
man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief” (Isaiah 53:2-3). People
would look at Him and say, “Who is this fellow?” “Is not this the
carpenter, the son of Mary?” (Mark 6:3). He had laid aside the glory;
He had not laid aside anything of His essential being or person or
His essential deity. But neither had He held on to it. He had not
clutched at the manifestation of His glory. He had laid that aside as
one would a cloak and had come in the likeness of man.
Indeed, I must go further than this, because this is the wonder
of it all. He decided that His glory should be veiled by flesh. Think
of it like this: The glory is there still shining in all its power, but a
veil of flesh has come over it so that mankind cannot see it.
Take an Old Testament illustration. In the wilderness Moses
went onto the Mount and spoke with God, and when he came down
his face was shining. The people saw the glory, and it was so bright
that he had to put a veil over his face; the glory was still there, but
it was hidden from them. Something like that happened to our
Lord.
Yes, but He not only came as man, nor is it only true to say
that His glory was veiled by flesh. It is not true to say simply that
the eternal Son of God was made flesh. We are told that he was made
“in the likeness of sinful flesh” (Romans 8:3). Indeed, He not only
came into this world as a man—He took on Him “the form of a
servant” (Philippians 2:7). It would have been a wonderful and
astounding thing if this eternal King and Prince of glory had come on
earth and lived in a palace as a human king with all the pomp and
glory of an earthly kingship. But that is not what He did at all! He
was born as a babe in very poor circumstances.

1 A THOUGHT

He had laid aside the glory.

TO

PONDER 2

From Saved in Eternity, pp. 72-73.

February 6
A G LIMPSE

INTO

E TERNITY

And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the
glory which I had with thee before the world was.
JOHN 17:5

The Lord is looking at what is before Him, and this is His prayer.
Having completed all the work, having done everything that the
Father had appointed Him to do, He asks, as it were, “Has not the
time now arrived when I can come back to You, exactly where I
was before? I have done the work. Father, ‘glorify thou me with thine
own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world
was.’” But the astonishing thing for us to remember at this point is
that He goes back as God-Man! In eternity He was God the Son,
pure deity, and He shared the glory; but now He goes back as GodMan. And as God-Man, and our representative, the glory that He
momentarily laid aside at the request of the Father is restored to
Him, and thus as God-Man and Mediator He again shares this ineffable glory of the eternal God.
And so this prayer was answered. It began to be answered at
the resurrection, the event that finally convinced even the disciples
that He was the Son of God. They did not quite understand it before,
but, as Paul puts it in writing to the Romans, our Lord was “declared
to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead” (Romans 1:4). Who is this
who has conquered death and the grave? He must be, He is the Son
of God. Consider the appearances after the resurrection. You find the
disciples in Jerusalem behind locked doors because they were afraid
of the Jews, and suddenly He came in without the door being
opened. “You see who I am,” he says in effect. “I have flesh and
bones, and I can eat.” See the glorious person of this risen Lord.

1 A THOUGHT

TO

PONDER 2

In eternity He was God the Son, but now He goes back as God-Man.

From Saved in Eternity, pp. 77-78.

February 7
H ISTORICAL E VENTS
. . . that he should give eternal life . . .
JOHN 17:2

If we base our position entirely upon experience, we will convince
nobody. We are dealing with certain historical events and facts that
we must never allow ourselves to forget. Indeed, I am prepared to
go as far as to say that whatever I may feel at this moment, though
I may feel that I am in a state of darkness and am utterly discouraged,
my position is still safe, and I am secure because of these things
that have been done in history outside of me and before I was ever
born.
Thank God, I do not base my position on how I feel. Feelings are
treacherous; they come and go, and what little control we have upon
them! We have all had the following experience, have we not? We
wake up one morning and find ourselves full of peace and joy and
happiness. We have a marvelous day, we read our Bibles, we have
freedom in prayer, and all is well. So we look forward to the next day
being still more wonderful. But strangely enough, we find that when
we wake up the next morning we are lifeless and dull.
If you are going to base your whole position upon experience
and feelings, you are going to be a very unhappy person, and your
Christian life is going to be very unstable. But the answer is this
marvelous plan of salvation. I must, of course, know that I am
related to it—that is essential. But what I am arguing for is that if you
want to enjoy these blessings and if you want to live this Christian
life truly, you do so by looking at these things, by resting upon
them, and by saying, if you like, in the words of a hymn:
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust my sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
E D WA R D M O T E

1 A THOUGHT

TO

PONDER 2

Thank God, I do not base my position on how I feel.

From Saved in Eternity, pp. 83-84.

February 8
T HE P ROMISE

OF THE FATHER

. . . wait for the promise of the Father . . .
ACTS 1:4

The final manifestation of the glory of the Son was that which was
given on the Day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was sent down
upon the infant church gathered together at Jerusalem. That is the
final proof of the fact that Jesus of Nazareth is the only begotten
Son of God. The Scripture talks about “the promise of the Father.”
The Father had promised the children of Israel in the old dispensation that He would send His Spirit. He keeps on saying that He is
going to make a new covenant with them, that the day is coming
when He will take out their stony heart, give them a heart of flesh,
and pour out His Spirit upon them. That is the thing to which they
were looking forward, and in a sense the work of the Messiah, the
Deliverer, the Savior, was to send this promise of the Father. And
this is the very thing that happened on the Day of Pentecost when the
Lord Jesus Christ sent the Holy Spirit.
Now in one place the Scripture tells us that the Lord Jesus Christ
sent the Holy Spirit, and in another place it tells us that God the
Father sent the Spirit after listening to the prayer of His Son. But it
is the same thing, since the Spirit proceeds from the Father and
from the Son. What I particularly want to emphasize is that “these
words” of John 17:1 refer to the words that are recorded in chapters 14, 15, and 16 of John’s Gospel, which all have to do with this
promise of the coming of the Holy Spirit. Our Lord began to speak
about this in chapter 14. He found that the disciples were crestfallen because He said that He was going to leave them. So He told
them that He would give them another Comforter (14:16-17). Then
He proceeded to teach them about the coming of the Holy Spirit.

1 A THOUGHT

TO

PONDER 2

The final manifestation of the glory of the Son was given on the
Day of Pentecost.

From Saved in Eternity, pp. 84-85.

February 9
G LORY B E

TO

G OD

I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which
thou gavest me to do.
JOHN 17:4

The coming of the Holy Spirit is part of this great and vital plan of
salvation, and it is, of course, one of the most wonderful aspects of
all. In the council in eternity, God the Father, God the Son, and
God the Holy Spirit spoke together and planned the salvation of
man. The Father stated the great scheme, and the Son accepted the
decision that He should be the One to carry out the plan; and then
it was equally decided that the Holy Spirit should complete what
the Son had done for mankind.
This is what is sometimes called “the economy of the Trinity,”
the division of the work between the three Persons, and it is something that appears very clearly throughout the Scriptures. It appears,
for example, in the very beginning, in Genesis, where we are shown
how the creation itself was the work of the Trinity: “In the beginning
God . . .” Then we are told that “the Spirit of God moved . . .”
Everything was made through the Word, but in a sense the agency
was still the Spirit.
The Father sends the Son, and the great business of the Son is
to glorify the Father. He says, “I have glorified thee on the earth; I
have finished the work which thou gavest me to do” (John 17:4).
There is a sense in which the Lord Jesus Christ never glorified
Himself. That is why He laid aside His glory, and why He was not
born in a king’s palace but in a stable. That, too, is why He took
upon Himself the form of a servant; it was all to glorify the Father.
All His life as a man was in a sense lived just in this way, in order that
all the glory and power might be to God the Father.

1 A THOUGHT

TO

PONDER 2

Our Lord lived so that all the glory and power might be to God the
Father.

From Saved in Eternity, pp. 85-86.

February 10
T HE H OLY S PIRIT G LORIFIES

THE

S ON

He shall glorify me.
JOHN 16:14

After the Lord Jesus Christ went back to heaven, He sent upon the
church the Holy Spirit, and the business and work of the Holy Spirit
is to glorify the Son. Now this is a marvelous statement. We do not
see the Holy Spirit—He is invisible, and in a sense that is because His
work is to glorify the Son. Indeed, we read about the Holy Spirit in
John 16:14 the same thing that we read elsewhere about the Son.
Our Lord says that the Holy Spirit does not speak of Himself, but
“He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it
unto you.” We are told precisely the same thing about the Son in
relation to the Father. Therefore, the great controlling thought we
must hold in our minds is that the chief work of the Holy Spirit is
to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ.
In a sense the final glorification of the Lord Jesus Christ was
the coming of the Holy Spirit. We are told in John’s Gospel that the
Holy Spirit was not yet come because Jesus was not yet glorified.
We see this in the great promise our Lord made one day in the
Temple when He said, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me,
and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out
of his belly shall flow rivers of living water” (John 7:37-38). And
John expounds on that: “But this spake he of the Spirit, which they
that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet
given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.” So the Holy Spirit
could not be given until Christ had finished the work the Father
had given Him to do, until He had died and risen again, until He had
ascended and taken His seat at the right hand of God. God then said,
in effect, “I give You the promise; You send it upon the people.”

1 A THOUGHT

TO

PONDER 2

The chief work of the Holy Spirit is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ.

From Saved in Eternity, pp. 86-87.

February 11
T HE H OLY S PIRIT R EVEALS
P ERSON OF C HRIST

THE

No man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.
1 CORINTHIANS 12:3

How does the Holy Spirit glorify Christ? It seems to me that the
best way to look at this is to divide it into three main headings.
First of all, He reveals the Lord Jesus Christ and His person. Paul
in his letter to the Corinthians talks about the Lord of glory. Paul
writes: “But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery . . . which
none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they
would not have crucified the Lord of glory” (1 Corinthians 2:7-8).
But we, he says, have received the Spirit, and “the Spirit searcheth all
things, yea, the deep things of God” (verse 10).
Do you see what that means? When the Lord Jesus was here as
man, the Pharisees and the doctors of the law did not recognize Him;
it was they who incited the people to cry out, “Away with Him,
crucify Him.” The Greeks did not know Him either, nor did the great
philosophers; they all rejected Him. They said it was nonsense and
impossible that a carpenter like that should be the Son of God. And
the reason they did not know Him was they had not received the
Holy Spirit. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 12:3, “No man can say that
Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.”
Have you not often been perplexed by the fact that many able
men in this modern world of ours do not believe in the deity of
Jesus Christ? They say that He was only a man. They praise Him and
say He is the greatest man or teacher the world has ever known,
but they do not see in Him the Son of God. We should never be
happy about that. To recognize the Lord Jesus Christ is not a matter of intellect, but the greatest brain can never come to see it and
believe it. It is a spiritual truth and something that is spiritually discerned. The Holy Spirit alone can reveal the person of Christ, but He
can do it, and He can do it to anybody and to everybody.

1 A THOUGHT

TO

PONDER 2

The Holy Spirit alone can reveal the person of Christ.

From Saved in Eternity, pp. 88-89.

February 12
T HE H OLY S PIRIT R EVEALS
WORK OF C HRIST

THE

Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the
Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are
freely given to us of God.
1 CORINTHIANS 2:12

The Holy Spirit not only reveals the person—He also reveals the
work of the Lord Jesus Christ. The preaching of Christ, says Paul,
is a stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to the Greeks
(1 Corinthians 1:23). These so-called wise men frequently stumble at
the cross especially. You see, the preaching of the first disciples was
not only that Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of God, but that He came
into the world in order to deal with the problem of sin. They taught
that the meaning of His death upon the cross was not merely that He
was arrested by the Romans at the instigation of the Pharisees and
put to death by crucifixion. No; they taught also that God had made
Him to be sin for us—it was a great transaction between the Father
and the Son. To the philosophers this was nonsense. They did not
understand because they did not receive the Holy Spirit. But “we,”
says Paul again to the Corinthians, “have received, not the spirit of
the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the
things that are freely given to us of God” (1 Corinthians 2:12).
I want to ask a simple question here: Have you understood this
matter of the atonement? Are you clear about the work of Christ?
Do you see and know that the Lord Jesus Christ has taken your
sins upon Himself and has died for them on the tree? If you are in difficulty, it is because you have not been enlightened by the Holy Spirit.
The only way you can come to know this is not to try to understand it intellectually, but to ask God to enlighten you by the Spirit
and to enable you to see and receive this truth as the Spirit unfolds
the work of Christ.

1 A THOUGHT

TO

Ask God to enlighten you by the Spirit.

PONDER 2

From Saved in Eternity, pp. 89-90.

February 13
T HE H OLY S PIRIT R EVEALS
OF C HRIST

THE

T EACHING

When he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will
guide you into all truth.
JOHN 16:13

The Holy Spirit not only reveals the person and the work of Christ—
He also reveals the teaching of Christ. Our Lord said to the disciples before He left them, “I have yet many things to say unto you,
but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth,
is come, he will guide you into all truth” (John 16:12-13). That is,
“He will remind you of the things I have said and that you cannot
grasp now, and He will make them plain to you.”
So if you are in trouble about the understanding of the Gospel,
ask God to give you His Spirit in all His fullness, and you will begin
to understand. The fatal thing in these matters is to bring your natural intellect to bear upon them: “The natural man receiveth not
the things of the Spirit of God . . . neither can he know them, because
they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14).
Read 1 Corinthians 2, and understand that these things are in a
different realm, they belong to a different order, and the only way
to understand the teaching of the New Testament about Christ’s personal work and teaching is to have the eyes of your understanding
enlightened by the Holy Spirit. Therefore, if you are in trouble, do
not waste your time trying to read books of philosophy about these
matters; do not try to grasp them with the natural intellect, for that
is impossible. We are dealing with miracles. We are in the realm of
the supernatural and the spiritual, and the only hope for us is that
the Holy Spirit will come with that unction, with His eye salve, to
anoint our eyes so that they will be opened to the blessed truth.

1 A THOUGHT

TO

PONDER 2

We are in the realm of the supernatural and the spiritual, and the
only hope for us is the Holy Spirit.

From Saved in Eternity, pp. 90-91.

February 14
T HE H OLY S PIRIT A PPLIES
C HRIST ’ S WORD
When he is come, he will reprove the world of sin.
JOHN 16:8

The Holy Spirit not only reveals Christ—He also applies His Word,
which convicts us of sin. I have met people who said to me, “I do
not understand this teaching about sin. I do not feel I am a sinner.”
Well, if you do not feel you are a sinner, it is simply because you do
not know yourself, and you do not know yourself because the Holy
Spirit has not convicted you. Some of the best people who have
ever trodden this earth have been those who have been most conscious of their sinfulness. I cannot imagine a worse state for anybody
to be in than for him or her to say he or she does not feel he or she
is a sinner. The Holy Spirit convicts and convinces of sin, and if He
has not done it for you, if you value your own soul, ask Him to do
it. Christ came to die for sinners, not for the righteous, and the first
work of the Spirit is to convict of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. We come to Christ for salvation after the Spirit has convinced
us of sin, because the Lord Jesus Christ is the answer to our need.
The Holy Spirit then gives us assurance of our acceptance and
our forgiveness. He is a seal given to us to show that we belong to
God. He testifies with our spirits that we are the children of God. No
Christian has a right to be uncertain about his or her salvation; the
Holy Spirit has been given in order that we might be certain, for “the
Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children
of God” (Romans 8:16). If any Christian who is reading this is
uncertain or is lacking in assurance and in happiness, let me urge this
upon you—ask for the gift of the Spirit in His fullness, ask for this
blessed assurance, tell God you long for it, do not give yourself rest
or peace, and in a sense do not give God rest or peace until you
have it.

1 A THOUGHT

TO

PONDER 2

No Christian has a right to be uncertain about his or her salvation.

From Saved in Eternity, pp. 91-92.

February 15
T HE H OLY S PIRIT

AT

WORK

IN

US

For it is God which worketh in you both to will and
to do of his good pleasure.
PHILIPPIANS 2:13

Our Lord said in John 15 that we are bound to Him as are the
branches to the vine; His life is in us, and it is a part of this blessed
work of the Spirit. Then He goes on to work in us, sanctifying and
perfecting us. “Work out your own salvation,” says Paul in
Philippians 2:12-13, “with fear and trembling. For it is God which
worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” He
even helps us in our prayers: “We know not what we should pray
for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us
with groanings which cannot be uttered” (Romans 8:26). He then
goes on to produce the fruit of the Spirit in us: “love, joy, peace,
longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance”
(Galatians 5:22-23).
The work of the Spirit is to make the Lord Jesus Christ real to us.
So do not waste your time trying to picture the Lord Jesus Christ. Do
not go and look at portraits of Him that are wholly imaginary. There
is a sense, I believe, in which nobody should ever try to paint Him—
it is wrong. I do not like these paintings of Christ; they are the efforts
of the natural mind. If you want a photograph of the Lord Jesus
Christ, the Holy Spirit will give it to you in the inner man. Christ said
Himself, in John 14:21, “He that hath my commandments, and
keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be
loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to
him.” That is the work of the Spirit—to make Christ living, to make
us certain He is there, so that when we speak to Him, and He to us,
the Spirit makes Him real, and He is formed in us.

1 A THOUGHT

TO

PONDER 2

The work of the Spirit is to make the Lord Jesus Christ real to us.

From Saved in Eternity, pp. 92-93.

February 16
T HE H OLY S PIRIT G IVES U S H IS P OWER
My speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of
man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.
1 CORINTHIANS 2:4

The Holy Spirit gives us His power, and, thank God, He not only
gave it to the first apostles, He has also given it to quite unknown
people throughout the centuries. He has enabled some simple people
to speak just the right word at the right moment. John Bunyan tells
us in his autobiography, Grace Abounding, that one of the greatest
blessings and helps he ever had was one afternoon listening to three
uneducated women who were doing some knitting together in the
sunshine, outside a house, talking about the Lord Jesus Christ. He
got more from them than from anybody else. And you find that is
what happens. God gives this power to the simplest, humblest
Christian to testify to the Lord Jesus Christ, sharing what He has
done and the difference He has made to human life. This is how the
Holy Spirit glorifies the Son. When He works in us, what He does
is to make us glorify the Lord Jesus Christ. The man in whom the
Spirit dwells does not talk about himself; whether he is a preacher
or whatever he may be, you do not come away talking about him.
You and I have the inestimable privilege of being men and
women who in this life and in our daily work and vocation can be
glorifying the Lord Jesus Christ. Oh, God grant that we all may be
filled with this Spirit, the Holy Spirit, of God, that we may “know
him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his
sufferings, being made conformable unto his death” (Philippians
3:10); that we may know what He has done for us; that we may
know we are the children of God and joint heirs with Christ; that
we may have glimpses of the glory that awaits us and that we may
find our lives transformed and filled with His power, so that we
may say with Paul, “I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me”
(Galatians 2:20).

1 A THOUGHT

TO

PONDER 2

You and I have the inestimable privilege of being men and women
who in our daily work can glorify the Lord Jesus Christ.

From Saved in Eternity, p. 94.

February 17
G OD F ORGIVES S IN
God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
1 JOHN 1:5

God, being God, cannot simply forgive sin. Now the common idea
about God, the one that we have instinctively, is that when we admit
we have sinned, all that is necessary is that we should come to God,
say we are very sorry, and God will forgive us. But according to the
Bible that is impossible, and I do not hesitate to use that word. As a
preacher of the Christian Gospel, I am compelled to say this, and I
say it with reverence: God, because He is God, cannot just forgive sin
like that.
If you want me to prove what I am saying, this is how I do it. If
God could have forgiven sin just by saying, “I forgive,” He would
have done so, and Christ would never have been sent into this world.
The work that was given to Him to do, this work, this assignment,
this task, was given to the Lord Jesus Christ because, I say again,
without it God cannot forgive sin. He must not only justify the
ungodly—He must remain just. The way of salvation must be consistent with the character of God. He cannot deny Himself; He cannot change Himself; He is unchangeable. “God is light, and in him
is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). He is “the Father of lights, with
whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17).
He is eternally the same, and He is absolutely righteous and holy and
just. He cannot remain that and simply forgive sin.
It is wrong to say, “God is love, and because He is love, He will
forgive me.” My friend, He cannot, because He is God! The work
of Christ was essential because of the character of God, and it was
essential because of man being in sin; something had to be done to
render man fit for God.

1 A THOUGHT

TO

PONDER 2

God, being God, cannot simply forgive sin.

From Saved in Eternity, pp. 99-100.

February 18
W HAT W E C OULD N OT D O
O URSELVES

FOR

I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.
JOHN 17:4

The work of salvation was something that Christ Himself had to
do, and He could therefore speak of it as being done. “I have finished
the work which thou gavest me to do.” Now I want to put that in the
form of a negative like this: The Lord Jesus Christ did not come
into this world to tell us what we have to do; He came Himself to
do something for us that we could never do for ourselves. These negatives are all so essential, because there are people who believe in
the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ, but if you ask them what He
came into this world to do, their answer will be that He came to
tell us what we must do ourselves. Or they talk about good works
and say that if we do this or that, we will make ourselves Christian
and make ourselves right with God. No! Our Lord says here, “I have
finished the work which thou gavest me to do.”
The truth that we have to take hold of is that which is emphasized here, and the best way to understand it is to consider what it
was He did, and, too, what He was doing beforehand. He came to
do certain things Himself, and we are saved by what Christ has
done for us, and not by what He tells us to do. The work of salvation is His work and His doing, and He came specifically to do it;
and here, in these words, He looks ahead, as it were, to His death
on the cross, as well as back to what He has already done. Under
the shadow of the cross, he reviews the whole work, and He is able
to say, “I ha