1. He works effectively
1 Corinthians 12: 11, ‘All these are the work of one and the same Spirit’. And what He does, He does as God. His work must therefore be effective.
2. He distributes spiritual gifts to everyone just as He determines
He does so in complete freedom and with perfect wisdom. Thus Christians are kept in complete dependence on Him. He distributes as He determines (1 Cor. 12: 7-11) – then who should not be content with his or her share? What claim can anyone lay to those works which He distributes by His own decision?
3. He gives
They ‘began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them’, (Acts 2: 4). He gave the tongues to them, freely, as a gift. He can act freely because in the work of our salvation, the action of one person in the Trinity in no way interferes with the freedom of any other – so the love of the Father in sending the Son is free, and in no way does this sending prejudice the freedom and love of the Son, but He lays down His life freely. In the same way, the redemption of the Son in no way affects the freedom of the Father’s grace in forgiving and accepting us through Christ; and again, the Father and Son’s sending of the Spirit does not detract from the freedom of the Spirit in His operations, but what He gives believers He gives freely. This is because the purpose of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is essentially one and the same, so that in the work of one there is the free participation of all three.
*Excerpted from Living with the Living God by George Smeaton & John Owen (Christian Heritage, 2016).
Where to Buy:
Living with the Living God is available at any good Christian bookstore. If you don’t have a Christian bookstore near you, you may want to consider purchasing a copy from one of the online book retailers listed below:
Doubtless there is true religion in heaven. Heaven’s religion, indeed, is absolutely pure and perfect. According to the pictures of heaven Scripture gives us, its religion consists mainly in love and joy, expressed in the most fervent and exalted praises. Now, the religion of the saints in heaven is the religion of earthly saints made perfect. Grace here is the dawn of glory hereafter. Texts such as 1 Corinthians 13 prove this. So if the religion of heaven is a religion of emotion, all true religion must be a religion of emotion.
The way to learn the true nature of anything is to go where that thing is found in its purity. We must therefore raise our minds to heaven, if we would know what true religion is. This is because all who are truly spiritual are not of this world. They are strangers here, and belong to heaven. They are born from above, and heaven is their native country. The nature which they receive from their heavenly birth is a heavenly nature. The life of true religion in the believer’s heart is a seed of the religion of heaven, and God prepares us for heaven by conforming us to it. So if heaven’s religion is one of emotion, ours on earth must be too.
*Excerpted from The Experience That Counts by Jonathan Edwards (Christian Heritage, 2016).
Where to Buy:
The Experience That Counts by Jonathan Edwards is available at any good Christian bookstore. If you don’t have a Christian bookstore near you, you may want to consider purchasing a copy from one of the online book retailers listed below:
Christian Freedom provides an accessible entry into Samuel Bolton’s original work, The True Bounds of Christian Freedom, first published in 1645. This book is not simply an academic discussion of the issues; Samuel Bolton constantly reminds his readers of the gospel, and the great transformation that has happened to a person who has trusted in Jesus Christ. Bolton shows us clearly that real Christian obedience comes from a changed heart, and is motivated by love for God. He deals with the practical question of what happens when Christians fall into sin, and encourages us to rely on what Christ has done for us, rather than on our performance.
What does it mean to be a Christian? Is Christianity a matter of the intellect alone? What about desires, feelings, and experiences? What is conversion? These questions are not new. Jonathan Edwards, the great American theologian tackled these, and many others, against the background of the First Great Awakening.
These questions, and the answers Edwards gives to them, are profoundly relevant to us today. Find ‘a guide for the perplexed’ – a voice of clear Biblical and spiritual sanity to lead us safely through the maze of contemporary confusion in this crucial area.
Living with the Living God brings together two classic works on the person and work of the Holy Spirit from two of the most renowned theologians – George Smeaton and John Owen.
Part one looks at the Biblical teaching concerning the Holy Spirit, as Smeaton leads us on a journey of exploration through Scripture teaching on the Holy Spirit. Part two sees John Owen deal with the relationship between the believer and the Holy Spirit in our daily experience.
Living with the Living God provides a helpful aid for the contemporary reader in understanding the work of the Holy Spirit.
Where to Buy:
Books in the Grace Essentials series are available at any good Christian bookstore. If you don’t have a Christian bookstore near you, you may want to consider purchasing a copy from one of the online book retailers listed below: