CHAPTER III.

OFFICE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.

THE HOLY SPIRIT IS THE SANCTIFIER AND COMFORTER OF GOD'S PEOPLE.[1]

The Holy Spirit is the author of holiness in all those who are saved: "Through sanctification of the Spirit."[2] "Ye are washed, ye are sanctified by the Spirit of our God."[3] He is the author of the new or spiritual life which is produced in regeneration.[4] Not only the beginning of the new life, but its whole progress, is dependent on the Spirit: wherefore, believers are said to live in the Spirit,[5] to walk in the Spirit, to be led by the Spirit,[6] and be filled with the Spirit;[7] and, for this reason David prayed, "Take not thy Holy Spirit from me."[8] As it is his office to change the soul, and from a state of death in trespasses and sins, bring it into a new life, so it is his office to change our vile body, and fashion it like the glorious body of Christ: "He that raised up Jesus from the dead, shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you."[9] As both body and spirit are redeemed by Christ, so both body and spirit are changed by the Holy spirit, and fitted for the presence and enjoyment of God.

The Holy Spirit is the Comforter of God's people. By his teaching, the knowledge of salvation by the remission of sins is obtained. The Saviour promised: "He shall take of mine, and shall show it unto you."[10] In fulfilment of this promise, the Spirit makes known the sufficiency and suitableness of Christ as Saviour, and the efficacy of his blood to cleanse from sin. By the Holy Spirit the promises of the divine word are applied to the heart. Hence, peace and joy are called the fruit of the Spirit.[11] These spiritual enjoyments, which are a foretaste of heaven, are called "the earnest of the Spirit."[12] And, as the earnest is given by him, we have reason to conclude that the full possession will be given by him. As Christ will be the medium through which the felicity of the future world will be bestowed; so, the Holy Spirit will be the immediate agent in bestowing it. The first comfort here below, and the full bliss and glory of heaven, are alike his work.

[1] Ps. li. 10-12; Ezek. xxxvi. 27; John xiv. 26; Acts ix. 31; Rom. v. 5; viii. 13, 16, 26; 1 Cor. vi. 11; 2 Cor. i. 22; iii. 18; Gal. v. 22; 2 Thes. ii. 13.

[2] 1 Pet. i. 2.

[3] 1 Cor. vi. 11.

[4] John iii. 6.

[5]Gal. v. 25.

[6] Gal. v. 18.

[7] Eph. v. 18.

[8] Ps. li. 11.

[9] Rom. viii. 11.

[10] John xvi. 15.

[11] Gal. v. 22.

[12] Eph i. 13, 14; 2 Cor. i. 22.