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IN TOUCH WITH GOD    by Edward Heppenstall

 
Power From God APRIL 11

FILLED WITH THE SPIRITó1

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

The Christian life is nothing except as it is the fruit of the Spirit. A great lack is frequently felt and expressed by God's people. Somehow, the Christian life is not what we expected it to be. Instead of the abundant life, it is often a meager life. Instead of inner satisfaction, it is one of increasing hunger. Instead of a life of peace, it is often disquiet and discontent. Instead of love and compassion, life is marked by irritation and hostility. Some Christians live and die spiritually poor.

Christ is glorified when we experience His presence and fullness. Fathers in their work and business, with the pressure of a thousand responsibilities, need the fullness of the Spirit if they are to give glory to God. Mothers in the home, with the demands of children upon them, need this fullness to give glory to God. Young people in all their associations at school and in their pleasures need the Spirit for the same reason.

To he filled with the Spirit is to experience what Christ promised us: "Out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water" (John 7:38). The promise is for us. "Rivers of living water"ónot a trickle or an almost dry stream. Life abundant, not a cramped life.

Christ gave the promise Himself, so it has to be genuine and it has to be vital. A promise from God never used is like a check never cashed. "I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh" (Acts 2:17). "Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?" (chap. 19:2). This is one of the most important questions we can ask of ourselves. The emphasis is upon receiving, not achieving. The word receiving is used in accepting a gift.

In this respect the gift of the Spirit is not different from the gift of salvation. As salvation is a gift based on the completed work of Christ's redemption, so is the Holy Spirit. There was a time when we had not heard of God's gift of salvation offered to us. When Christ came to us we gladly accepted the salvation and forgiveness of sins. Accepting the gift of salvation, being born again, is our starting point. The acceptance of the gift of salvation and of the Holy Spirit is the same in both cases.

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