17 July, 2013
Wholly Sanctified - The Sanctified Spirit is a Spirit Filled - 3
A. B. Simpson
3. The sanctified spirit is a spirit filled with the presence and the Spirit of the Lord.
What it gives to Him is only a possibility. It is His presence that makes it a reality. Even when dedicated it is but a vessel, empty and meet for the Master's use. It is He who fills it and pours it out for the supply of the needs of others or to satisfy the desire of his own heart. Even the consecration which we make to God, the very act of dedication itself, has to be made perfect by His grace. We cannot even yield ourselves to Him in a manner that is without imperfection, but we can choose to be His, and then He will come into our dedicated will and make the living sacrifice worthy of His holy altar.
We can lie down upon that altar in full surrender and because He, the great Burnt-Offering, offered Himself to God for us, once for all, we too can become to God a sacrifice of sweet-smelling savor. This was, really, the meaning of the Burnt-Offering of old. The offerer did not offer himself, but touched the spotless lamb and it became the perfect offering. So with our hand upon the head of Christ, our consecration is accepted in Him, and He comes into our will and our spirit, and so unites Himself with us that the sacrifice is acceptable and complete.
And so, again, our knowledge of God and fellowship with Him are dependent upon His own grace to be made effectual. We dedicate our spirit to God, and then He reveals Himself to us, opening the eyes of our understanding, showing us the person of Christ, unfolding His truth to our spiritual apprehension, and making us to see light in His own light.
It is wonderful how the untutored mind will thus often, in a short time, by the simple touch of the Holy Spirit, be filled with the most profound and scriptural teaching of God and the plan of salvation through Christ. We once knew a poor girl, saved from a life of infamy and but little educated, in a few days rise to the most extraordinary acquaintance with the Scriptures and the whole plan of redemption, through the simple anointing of the Holy Spirit. We simply give to Him our spirit that it may know Him and He fills it with His light and revelation.
So, again, we choose to be transformed to His image, but we cannot create that image by our own morality or struggles after righteousness. We must be created anew in His likeness by His own Spirit, and stamped with His resemblance by His heavenly seal impressed directly upon our heart from His hand. And thus He does become to us our holiness, for Christ is made unto us our sanctification, and we are made the righteousness of God in Him. We turn from the sin, choose to be holy, and God fills our proffered hand with His own spotless righteousness.
So, again, our faith is but the filling of His Spirit and the imparting of the faith of God. We choose to trust and He makes that choice good by enabling us to believe, and to continue in the faith grounded and settled, and so living by the faith of the Son of God. Our love is but a purpose on our part, the power is His; for when we choose to love He sheds abroad that love within us and imparts to us His own Spirit and nature which is love. All our struggles will not work up one throb of genuine love to God, but He will breathe His own perfect love into any heart that chooses to make Him the one object of affection.
We cannot love our enemies but we can choose to love them, and God will make us to love them. Often have we known consecrated characters placed in circumstances where they were obliged to come in contact with uncongenial companions whom they could not love; but, choosing at His bidding to act in the spirit of love, God has so inbreathed His very heart, that without a struggle they could adjust themselves to this relationship and meet the uncongenial associate, or even enemy, with quietness, and even tenderness, and a holy desire for his highest good.
So, again, it is with His joy in us. And so, likewise, the power to glorify Him is nothing more nor less than simply this, to let God Himself be manifested in us and so glorify Himself, as others see Him reflected through us. Sanctification is thus God's own life in the spirit that is yielded up to Him to be His dwelling place and the instrument of His power and will. So also of our spiritual senses of which we have spoken. They are sanctified when they become the organs of God's operation, when our spiritual ear is quickened by His Spirit, our spiritual eyes opened by His touch, our spiritual taste, and touch, and smell, made alive by His own quickening life within us.
Now, beloved, have you ever learned this wonderful secret of regenerated spirit and God's Spirit, the Guest and Occupant of that consecrated abode? Will we illustrate this somewhat lofty conception by a simple illustration? Here is a common leather case which represents the body. Within it is a silver casket, which stands for the soul. We touch a spring and it opens and discloses an exquisite golden locket, which we will consider as the symbol of the spirit or higher nature, and within that golden locket is a place all set with precious gems for a single picture.