August 25, 2015


In establishing a believer in Christ, the work of the Spirit which is related to salvation prepares the individual for a life in the will of God. There are a number of important factors bearing on this.

The believer has (1) a new nature,

(2) the life of God in him,

(3) is related vitally to God and to other believers in the baptism of the Spirit, and

(4) possesses the presence of God in his body and consciousness.

This sets the stage for an effective expression of a life on high moral standards in keeping with the character of God. It is intrinsic in this new relationship that a young believer only recently entering into salvation in Christ can nevertheless experience and know the will of God and achieve a high moral standard.

 Sometimes the change is dramatic as compared to former life and fulfills the concept of conversion as it relates to a spiritual experience. Another factor, however, is evident and that is the maturity which is achieved only in time which gives the believer in Christ greater understanding of the will of God. Maturity must be developed in coping with situations that are not expressly covered by the Bible and relating the life of the believer to the total program of God as he understands it. Obviously maturity takes times whereas spirituality is a possibility for a believer immediately upon conversion.

The major point in the whole relationship of the Holy Spirit to the believer’s morality is that prior to conversion the believer was hopelessly a slave to sin and incapable of pleasing God. In his new salvation he is set free and now has the principles and the power to lead a life that is in keeping with the standards of God.

Although his achievement of moral excellence may always be relative in this life, it is tied in with the power of the Spirit in his life and the degree to which the Holy Spirit fills him and directs him. A believer now has the power given by God to yield himself to God and be an instrument of righteousness instead of an instrument of sin. The subsequent holy life remains the pattern of experience to be followed today. There are three major factors in this: (1) yieldedness to the Spirit, (2) fellowship with the Spirit, and (3) the ministry of the Spirit.

Yieldedness to the Holy Spirit

The indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit in the believer provides an inexhaustible and constant source of spiritual direction and empowerment. The ministry of the Spirit, however, is not automatic and is not effective without cooperation on the part of the individual, hence the command in 1 Thessalonians 5:19 to “Quench not the Spirit.” This command, included in a series of other exhortations, puts the finger upon an essential requirement for vital Christian life and conformity to the moral will of God. Quenching is a concept used in relation to extinguishing or suppressing a fire. In Hebrews 11:34 the heroes of faith are said to have “Quenched the violence of fire.” In the spiritual conflict discussed in Ephesians 6:16, the shield of faith is “able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” Hence, it may be concluded that quenching the Holy Spirit is to suppress, stifle, or otherwise obstruct the ministry of the Spirit to the individual. In a word it is saying, “No,” and replacing the will of the Spirit with the will of the individual. This, in brief, is the whole issue of morality—whether man will accomplish what he wants to do or whether his life is surrendered and yielded to the will of God.

The major conflict of all creation is between the will of God and the will of the creature. This began with the original rebellion of Satan against God outlined in the five “I will’s” of Isaiah 14, summarized in the ambitious goal, “I will be like the Most High” (Isa 14:14). This original act of rebellion against God on the part of Satan was extended to the human race in the Garden of Eden. The conflict of the ages is accordingly between the will of the creature and the will of the Creator.

In order to attain a biblical standard of morality, it is necessary for the believer to be like God and this involves yieldedness of his own will to the will of God. Accordingly, in Romans 6:13 the exhortation is that we should stop presenting (present tense) our bodies as instruments of unrighteousness, and once for all (aorist tense) present ourselves to God as a single and definite act. In doing this we should let the Holy Spirit direct our lives and guide our steps and thus achieve the moral standards and goals which are God’s will for us.

A similar exhortation is found in Romans 12:1 where the believer is exhorted to present or yield (aorist tense) his body as a living sacrifice once for all and thereby achieve through knowledge and fulfillment “that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Rom 12:2). Many believers in Christ have never realistically yielded themselves completely to the will of God, and accordingly their whole life is spent in self-will and self-direction instead of achieving a high standard of fulfillment.

The command of 1 Thessalonians 5:19 is probably best interpreted as “Stop quenching the Spirit.” The implication is that there have been hindrances to the will of the Spirit being established in the life of the believer, and this action of hindering the Spirit should be stopped. There can be no achievement of the moral purpose of God in the life of the believer apart from an intimate and vital relationship between the guidance and direction of the Spirit and the life of the individual.

Yieldedness to the will of God implies, first of all, yieldedness to the Word of God and the standards of moral excellence which are set forth in the Scriptures. Many issues which face the Christian, however, are not taught explicitly in the Bible. Hence, second, there must be yieldedness to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is given to the individual to provide guidance in these matters, that is, to apply the general principles of the Bible to the particular issue which is facing the individual.

Third, in addition to being yielded to the Word of God and to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, yieldedness implies adjustment to the providential acts of God, whether it be Paul’s “thorn in the flesh,” or anything else which might prompt rebellion against God’s dealings with His child. The believer must be willing to accept divinely appointed situations, although free to pray and ask God to change them. The role of the Spirit in comforting the believer is often related to providential situations in which, contrary to the believer’s own desire, God is fulfilling His purpose in providing a means and context for life which ordinarily would not be the situation of human choosing.

The supreme illustration of such yieldedness is, of course, Jesus Christ. This is described in Philippians 2:5-11, and speaks of His condescension and humility. Christ is revealed as being willing to be what God wanted Him to be, willing to do what God wanted Him to do, and willing to go where God wanted Him to go. In a similar measure Christians in the will of God may have unpleasant tasks to perform which require yieldedness of heart and the sustaining grace of the Holy Spirit. Like Christ, the believer must say, “Not my will, but thine, be done” (Luke 22:42). Moral excellence in the life of the believer is inseparable from a vital communication and empowerment of the indwelling Holy Spirit which is only possible when the believer is yielded to the Holy Spirit.


God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

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