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|Power From God||APRIL 1|
HAVE YOU RECEIVED THE HOLY SPIRIT?
And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, he said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? Acts 19:1, 2.
So crucial was the Holy Spirit a test of church membership that one must inevitably ask Paul's question of new believers. The question is still valid today.
Just prior to His leaving the earth to return to His Father, Christ promised that the third member of the Godhead would take His place. In this way Jesus would continue to be a reality and a power to His church. For unless God has some way to make possible our connection with the living Christ now in heaven, Jesus remains a person of history rather than a divine power in the present. What Christ offers us is not a man out there in space, but a personal Christ within us. "I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever. . . . I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you" (John 14:16-18).
The Holy Spirit came to bear witness to Christ. His work is to glorify Christ. "He shall glorify me; for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you" (chap. 16:14). The Holy Spirit is not to focus the spotlight on Himself by sensational manifestations. "For he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak" (verse 13). The Holy Spirit does not work in isolation. He does not say or do something different from what Christ said and did. He unites with Christ to make the life and teachings of Christ real to us. He does not work independently.
While on earth, Christ wrought out for us a perfect righteousness and a complete redemption. The Holy Spirit makes this real to us. This is why "no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost" (1 Cor. 12:3). This close cooperation and identification of the Holy Spirit with the living Christ prevents the Christian faith from degenerating into a vague mysticism and perilous spiritism. The Spirit does not seek to catch the headlines or startle the mind. He is never a blind, unintelligent force. He comes to us in terms of our personal relationship to Christ.
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