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The Power of the Spirit
by William Law
Published by Christian Literature Crusade 1971

 

 

 

  1. The Indwelling Spirit of God Essential to Salvation — Nothing but obedience to the Spirit, walking in the Spirit, trusting in Him for continual inspiration can possibly keep men from being sinners or idolaters in all that they do. Our salvation can only be worked out by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit forming the very life of Christ within the redeemed heart. The New Testament without the coming of the Holy Spirit in power over self, sin, and the devil is no better a help to heaven than the Old Testament without the coming of the Messiah.
  2. The Gospel a Ministration of the Spirit — No one can know the truth of salvation by a mere rational consent to that which is historically said of Christ. Only by an inward experience of His cross, death, and resurrection can the saving power of the gospel be known. He who places any hope or trust for salvation in a mere intellectual assent to doctrinal opinions has no more scriptural faith than he who looks for redemption to an image of stone. Our salvation is in the life of Jesus Christ formed in our hearts by the Holy Spirit.
  3. Worship of the Letter a Denial of the Spirit — The basis of the Christian life is a constant meditation upon and simple acceptance of all that the Bible would say to us. But as Christ's work of redemption in the flesh was only preparatory to His future indwelling of us by the Spirit, so the written doctrines of Scripture are only a means to all that inward teaching and powerful working of Christ's Spirit within us.
  4. The Wisdom of this World Denies the Spirit — To know the truth of gospel salvation is to know that man's natural wisdom is to be equally sacrificed with man's natural folly. They are but one and the same thing, only called sometimes by one name, and sometimes by the other. In the present church, the tree of life is hissed at as the visionary food of extremists, and the tree of death, called the tree of knowledge, has the eyes and hearts of priests and people, and is thought to do as much good to Christians as it did evil to the first inhabitants of Paradise.
  5. The Holy Spirit's Continuous Inspiration — Without the present illumination of the Holy Spirit, the Word of God must remain a dead letter to every man, no matter how intelligent or well-educated he may be. The things of God are spiritually discerned, and therefore the natural man does not receive them, but God reveals them to us by His Spirit. There is a vast difference between the Holy Spirit's actual workings in the heart of man, and reports about these workings. Where the Spirit rules not, there all is the work of the flesh, though nothing be talked of but spiritual and Christian matters.
  6. The Church a Habitation of the Spirit — Where can a Christian go in order to be assured of communing with the true Church? He need go to no particular place, because wherever he is, that which is to save him and which he is to be saved from are always with him. Self is all the evil that he has, and God is all the goodness that he can ever have; but self and God are always with him. Death to self is the only entrance into the Church of the living God; and nothing but God can give this death, and that alone through the inward work of the cross of Christ by His Spirit made real in the soul.
  7. The True Unity of the Holy Spirit — As nothing except the Spirit of Christ living, dwelling, and working in men's minds and hearts is the inward Church; so only that outward behaviour of the words and works which Christ showed among men, practiced today in the daily form and manner of life, marks out the member of the church which He set up in this world. Any failure to live as Christ lived, and love as Christ loved, is truly a breaking of that church unity which makes us one with Christ as our Head and unites us with men as the members of His body.
  8. Christ Lives in Us by His Spirit — Seek for no life, no power, and no good, except in the awakening of all these by the Holy Spirit filling your heart with Christ: and then so much as you have of this inward Christ living in you, so much you have of real salvation. For the heart is always far from God, unless the Spirit of Christ be alive and reigning within it.
  9. Natural Reason Opposes the Spirit — Reason may see what is done in the physical and spiritual realms, but it cannot bring the experience of these realities either to the man's body or to his soul. Logical reasoning about Scripture words and doctrines will do no more to remove pride, hypocrisy, envy, or malice from the soul of man than reasoning about geometry. The one leaves man as empty of the life of God as the other. Yet the church is filled with professing Christians whose faith has never gone beyond a conviction that the words of Scripture are true. Failure to discern the difference between a rational understanding of truth and the faith which appropriates it has brought the darkness and death of the world into the church to this day.
  10. The Unpardonable Sin against the Holy Spirit — Since none belong to God but those who are led by the Spirit of God, the continual, immediate guidance, unction, and teaching of His Holy Spirit in redeemed man is the all-important essential of gospel salvation. How then can one more profanely sin against the Holy Spirit, or more expressly turn men from God to Satan, than by denying a faith and hope that look solely to the Spirit's continual operations for all that can be holy and good in man?
  11. The Baptism with the Holy Spirit — There is no greater sign of your own baptism in the Spirit than when you find yourself all love and compassion towards them that are weak and sinful, and especially towards those who oppose or misuse you. Nor is there greater reason for repentance than when you find yourself angry and offended at the behaviour of others.
  12. True Wisdom and Knowledge Alone by the Spirit — If love is not the breath of your life, the spirit that forms and governs everything that proceeds from you, everything that has your labour, your allowance, and consent, then you are cut off from the creative power of God, you are dead while you yet live, and your nature and works can have no other breath but that which is called pride, wrath, envy, hypocrisy, hatred, revenge, and self-exaltation. To be always governed by the love of the Holy Spirit is the same thing as to be always taught of God.
  13. Self and Its Pride Oppose the Spirit — So great is the blindness which pride brings to the soul, that helpless creatures feel exalted because of natural abilities that are given them by God, and boast of such things as though they were their own. No man has the power to do anything except by a life that every moment is loaned to him from God. We reason ourselves into all kinds of misery, making our lives the tools of unnecessary desires. Seeking after imaginary happiness, creating to ourselves a thousand unnatural needs, amusing our hearts with false hopes and insatiable passions, envying one another, we bring distress of every sort upon ourselves. Herein lies the great struggle for eternal life: pride and humility are the two master powers, the two kingdoms in strife for the eternal possession of man.
  14. Reformation and Revival by the Spirit — Herein lies the only hope for true revival and reformation in the Church: a total denial of self and the wisdom of man, to look wholly to the Holy Spirit to manifest once more the life and works of Christ through living members of His body upon this earth. Until your faith and submission to the Holy Spirit are a practical demonstration in daily living of the life of Christ manifest through you, there is little purpose in agonizing for revival in the lives of others.
  15. Victory over Sin through the Power of the Spirit — As surely as you must say "not my will, but thine be done" to become a true follower of Christ, so surely you must turn from your own strength to His Spirit to be the doer of His will in you. To be in heart and soul and spirit that man who loves as Christ loves and walks as Christ walks, and yet not to have the Spirit of Christ within, is surely too absurd for any to believe.
  16. Faith and Works are One in the Spirit — Faith and its works, which are nothing else but Christ in us, must be as strictly one as Christ is one. They can no more be two things than our Saviour and our salvation are two different things in us. Works without faith is the dead and unacceptable offering of sinful flesh; and faith without works is a fraud, a false profession of that which is dead because it does not have the life of God in it; and this is proven by the lack of the fruit of the Spirit.