The Holy Spirit - Chapter Two
by R.A. Torrey
We read in Romans 8:27, “And He that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because He maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”
In this passage mind (mental ability) is ascribed to the Holy Spirit. The Greek word translated “mind” is a comprehensive word, including the ideas of thought, feeling and purpose. It is the same word used in Romans 8:7 where we read that “the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.”
So then in this passage we have all the distinctive marks of personality ascribed to the Holy Spirit.
We find the personality of the Holy Spirit brought out in a most touching and suggestive way in Romans 15:30, “Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me.”
Here we have “love”
ascribed to the Holy Spirit. The reader would do well to stop and ponder those five words, “the love of the Spirit.”
We dwell often upon the love of God the Father. It is the subject of our daily and constant thought. We dwell often upon the love of Jesus Christ the Son. Who would think of calling himself a Christian who passed a day without meditating on the love of his Saviour, but how often have we meditated upon “the love of the Spirit”?
Each day of our lives, if we are living as Christians ought, we kneel down in the presence of God the Father and look up into His face and say, “I thank Thee, Father, for Thy great love that led Thee to give Thine only begotten Son to die upon the cross of Calvary for me.”
Each day of our lives we also look up into the face of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, and say, “Oh, Thou glorious Lord and Saviour, Jesus Thou Son of God, I thank Thee for Thy great love that led Thee not to count it a thing to be grasped to be on equality with God but to empty Thyself and forsaking all the glory of heaven, come down to earth with all its shame and take my sins upon Thyself and die in my place upon the cross of Calvary.”
But how often do we kneel and say to the Holy Spirit, “Oh, Thou eternal and infinite Spirit of God, I thank Thee for Thy great love that led Thee to come into this world of sin and darkness and to seek me out and follow me so patiently until Thou didst bring me to see my utter ruin and need of a Saviour and to reveal to me my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, as just the Saviour whom I need.”
Yet we owe our salvation just as truly to the love of the Spirit as we do to the love of the Father and the love of the Son. If it had not been for the love of God the Father looking down upon me in my utter ruin and providing a perfect atonement for me in the death of His own Son on the cross of Calvary, I would have been in hell today.
If it had not been for the love of Jesus Christ, the eternal Word of God, looking upon me in my utter ruin and in obedience to the Father, putting aside all the glory of heaven for all the shame of earth and taking my place, the place of the curse, upon the cross of Calvary and pouring out His life utterly for me, I would have been in hell today.
But if it had not been for the love of the Holy Spirit, sent by the Father in answer to the prayer of the Son (John 14:16) leading Him to seek me out in my utter blindness and ruin and to follow me day after day, week after week, and year after year, when I persistently turned a deaf ear to His pleadings, following me through paths of sin where it must have been agony for that holy One to go, until at last I listened and He opened my eyes to see my utter ruin and then revealed Jesus to me as just the Saviour that would meet my every need and then enabled me to receive this Jesus as my own Saviour; if it had not been for this patient, long-suffering, never-tiring, infinitely-tender love of the Holy Spirit, I would have been in hell today.
Oh, the Holy Spirit is not merely an influence or a power or an illumination but is a Person just as real as God the Father or Jesus Christ His Son.
The personality of the Holy Spirit comes out in the Old Testament as truly as in the New, for we read in Nehemiah 9:20, “Thou gavest also Thy good Spirit to instruct them, and withheldest not Thy manna from their mouth, and gavest them water for their thirst.”
Here both intelligence and goodness are ascribed to the Holy Spirit. There are some who tell us that while it is true the personality of the Holy Spirit is found in the New Testament, it is not found in the Old. But it is certainly found in this passage.
As a matter of course, the doctrine of the personality of the Holy Spirit is not as fully developed in the Old Testament as in the New. But the doctrine is there. There is perhaps no passage in the entire Bible in which the personality of the Holy Spirit comes out more tenderly and touchingly than in Ephesians 4:30, “And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.”
Here grief is ascribed to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is not a blind impersonal influence or power that comes into our lives to illuminate, sanctify and empower them. No, He is immeasurably more than that, He is a holy Person who comes to dwell in our hearts, One who sees clearly every act we perform, every word we speak, every thought we entertain, even the most fleeting fancy that is allowed to pass through our minds; and if there is anything in act, or word or deed that is impure, unholy, unkind, selfish, mean, petty or untrue, this infinitely holy One is deeply grieved by it. Return to the R.A. Torrey page
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This page updated May 30, 2018