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The Person And Work Of The Holy Spirit by R. A. Torrey


The Holy Spirit takes up His abode in the one who is born of the Spirit. The Apostle Paul says to the believers in Corinth in 1 Cor. iii.16, R. V., |Know ye not that ye are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?| This passage refers, not so much to the individual believer, as to the whole body of believers, the Church. The Church as a body is indwelt by the Spirit of God. But in 1 Cor. vi.19, R. V., we read, |Know ye not that your body is a temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have from God?| It is evident in this passage that Paul is not speaking of the body of believers, of the Church as a whole, but of the individual believer. In a similar way, the Lord Jesus said to His disciples on the night before His crucifixion, |And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you and shall be in you| (John xiv.16, 17). The Holy Spirit dwells in every one who is born again. We read in Rom. viii.9, |If any man have not the Spirit of Christ (the Spirit of Christ in this verse, as we have already seen, does not mean merely a Christlike spirit, but is a name of the Holy Spirit) he is none of His.| One may be a very imperfect believer but if he really is a believer in Jesus Christ, if he has really been born again, the Spirit of God dwells in him. It is very evident from the First Epistle to the Corinthians that the believers in Corinth were very imperfect believers; they were full of imperfection and there was gross sin among them. But nevertheless Paul tells them that they are temples of the Holy Spirit, even when dealing with them concerning gross immoralities. (See 1 Cor. vi.15-19.) The Holy Spirit dwells in every child of God. In some, however, He dwells way back of consciousness in the hidden sanctuary of their spirit. He is not allowed to take possession as He desires of the whole man, spirit, soul and body. Some therefore are not distinctly conscious of His indwelling, but He is there none the less. What a solemn, and yet what a glorious thought, that in me dwells this august Person, the Holy Spirit. If we are children of God, we are not so much to pray that the Spirit may come and dwell in us, for He does that already, we are rather to recognize His presence, His gracious and glorious indwelling, and give to Him complete control of the house He already inhabits, and strive to so live as not to grieve this holy One, this Divine Guest. We shall see later, however, that it is right to pray for the filling or baptism with the Spirit. What a thought it gives of the hallowedness and sacredness of the body, to think of the Holy Spirit dwelling within us. How considerately we ought to treat these bodies and how sensitively we ought to shun everything that will defile them. How carefully we ought to walk in all things so as not to grieve Him who dwells within us.

This indwelling Spirit is a source of full and everlasting satisfaction and life. Jesus says in John iv.14, R. V., |Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up unto (better 'into' as in A. V.) eternal life.| Jesus was talking to the woman of Samaria by the well at Sychar. She had said to Him, |Art Thou greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank thereof himself, and his children and his cattle?| Then Jesus answered and said unto her, |Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again.| How true that is of every earthly fountain. No matter how deeply we drink we shall thirst again. No earthly spring of satisfaction ever fully satisfies. We may drink of the fountain of wealth as deeply as we may, it will not satisfy long. We shall thirst again. We may drink of the fountain of fame as deeply as any man ever drank, the satisfaction is but for an hour. We may drink of the fountain of worldly pleasure, of human science and philosophy and of earthly learning, we may even drink of the fountain of human love, none will satisfy long; we shall thirst again. But then Jesus went on to say, |But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst, but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.| The water that Jesus Christ gives is the Holy Spirit. This John tells us in the most explicit language in John vii.37-39, |In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, 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. (But this spake He of the Spirit, which they that believe on Him should receive.)| The Holy Spirit fully and forever satisfies the one who receives Him. He becomes within him a well of water springing up, ever springing up, into everlasting life. It is a great thing to have a well that you can carry with you; to have a well that is within you; to have your source of satisfaction, not in the things outside yourself, but in a well within and that is always within, and that is always springing up in freshness and power; to have our well of satisfaction and joy within us. We are then independent of our environment. It matters little whether we have health or sickness, prosperity or adversity, our source of joy is within and is ever springing up. It matters comparatively little even whether we have our friends with us or are separated from them, separated even by what men call death, this fountain within is always gushing up and our souls are satisfied. Sometimes this fountain within gushes up with greatest power and fullness in the days of deepest bereavement. At such a time all earthly satisfactions fail. What satisfaction is there in money, or worldly pleasure, in the theatre or the opera or the dance, in fame or power or human learning, when some loved one is taken from us? But in the hours when those that we loved dearest upon earth are taken from us, then it is that the spring of joy of the indwelling Spirit of God bursts forth with fullest flow, sorrow and sighing flee away and our own spirits are filled with peace and ecstasy. We have beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness (Isa. lxi.3). If the experience were not too sacred to put in print, I could tell of a moment of sudden and overwhelming bereavement and sorrow, when it seemed as if I would be crushed, when I cried aloud in an agony that seemed unendurable, when suddenly and instantly this fountain of the Holy Spirit within burst forth and I knew such a rest and joy as I had rarely known before, and my whole being was suffused with the oil of gladness.

The one who has the Spirit of God dwelling within as a well springing up into everlasting life is independent of the world's pleasures. He does not need to run after the theatre and the opera and the dance and the cards and the other pleasures without which life does not seem worth living to those who have not received the Holy Spirit. He gives these things up, not so much because he thinks they are wrong, as because he has something so much better. He loses all taste for them.

A lady once came to Mr. Moody and said, |Mr. Moody, I do not like you.| He asked, |Why not?| She said, |Because you are too narrow.| |Narrow! I did not know that I was narrow.| |Yes, you are too narrow. You don't believe in the theatre; you don't believe in cards; you don't believe in dancing.| |How do you know I don't believe in the theatre?| he asked. |Oh,| she said, |I know you don't.| Mr. Moody replied, |I go to the theatre whenever I want to.| |What,| cried the woman, |you go to the theatre whenever you want to?| |Yes, I go to the theatre whenever I want to.| |Oh,| she said, |Mr. Moody, you are a much broader man than I thought you were. I am so glad to hear you say it, that you go to the theatre whenever you want to.| |Yes, I go to the theatre whenever I want to. I don't want to.| Any one who has really received the Holy Spirit, and in whom the Holy Spirit dwells and is unhindered in His working will not want to. Why is it then that so many professed Christians do go after these worldly amusements? For one of two reasons; either because they have never definitely received the Holy Spirit, or else because the fountain is choked. It is quite possible for a fountain to become choked. The best well in one of our inland cities was choked and dry for many months because an old rag carpet had been thrust into the opening from which the water flowed. When the rag was pulled out, the water flowed again pure and cool and invigorating. There are many in the Church to-day who once knew the matchless joy of the Holy Spirit, but some sin or worldly conformity, some act of disobedience, more or less conscious disobedience, to God has come in and the fountain is choked. Let us pull out the old rags to-day that this wondrous fountain may burst forth again, springing up every day and hour into everlasting life.

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