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The Spirit-filled Life by John MacNeil

CHAPTER II. EVERY BELIEVER'S BIRTHRIGHT.

On every hand a lack of something is being felt and expressed by God's people. Their Christian experience is not what they expected it would be. Instead of expected victory, it is oft-recurring, dreaded defeat; instead of soul satisfaction, it is soul hunger; instead of deep, abiding heart rest, it is disquiet and discontent; instead of advancing, it is losing ground. Is this all Christ meant when He said, |Come unto Me|? Is this life of constant disappointment the normal life of the Bible Christian? To these sad questionings the Divine Word answers with an emphatic |No,| and the testimony of an ever-increasing number of God's children answers |No.|

For this widely felt, though sometimes inarticulate demand, the Divine supply is the fullness of the Spirit; and this Fullness is the birthright of every believer, his birthright by virtue of his new birth. Sometimes we hear it said that to be filled with the Spirit is the Christian privilege; but birthright is a stronger word. Reader, it is your birthright to be filled with the Spirit, as Peter was filled, as Stephen was filled, as the one hundred and twenty men and women in the upper room were filled (Acts ii.4, and i.14, 15), as the men and women in Cornelius' house were filled (Acts x.44-47). |And ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, for to you is the promise, and to your children, and to all that are afar off| (Acts ii.38, 39). What have you done with your birthright? Have you claimed it? Are you living at this moment in the possession and enjoyment of it? Or, are you, Esau-like, |despising your birthright|? (Gen. xxv.34). Or, if not despising, are you neglecting it? Esau's eyes were ultimately opened to his folly in parting with his birthright for |one mess of meat,| and he then desired to inherit the blessing, seeking it |diligently with tears;| but alas! his awaking came too late (Heb. xii.16, 17). May every reader of these lines have the desire graciously awakened (if it has not yet been awakened and satisfied), to inherit their birthright blessing, while place of repentance is to be found. May the prediction be fulfilled in our glad experience: |The house of Jacob shall possess their possessions| (Obad.17).

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