What Is The Importance Of The Doctrine Of The Personality Of The Holy Spirit – Spiritual Reading.
1. The Doctrine of the Personality of the Holy Spirit is of the highest importance from the standpoint of worship.
If the Holy Spirit is a person and a Divine Person, and He is, and if we do not know Him as such, if we think of the Holy Spirit only as an impersonal influence or power, then we are robbing a Divine Person of the worship which is His due, and the love which is His due, and the confidence and surrender and obedience which are His due.
And may I stop at this point to ask each one of you, “Do you worship the Holy Spirit?” Theoretically we all do, every time we sing the long metre Doxology,” Praise God from whom all blessings flow,Praise Him all creatures here below.Praise Him above, ye heavenly hosts,Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.”
Theoretically we all do every time we sing the Gloria Patri: “Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.” But it is one thing to do a thing theoretically and quite another thing to actually do it. It is one thing to sing words, quite another thing to realise the meaning and the force of the words that you sing.
I had a striking illustration of this some years ago. I was going to a Bible Conference in New York State. I had to pass through a city four miles from the grounds where the Conference was held. I had a relative living in that city and on the way to the Conference stopped to call upon my relative, who went with me to the Conference. This relative was a Christian, she was much older than I, had been a Christian much longer than I, a member of the Presbyterian Church, brought up on the Shorter Catechism, and thoroughly orthodox.
I spoke that morning at the Conference on the Personality of the Holy Spirit. When the address was over, we were waiting on the veranda of the hotel for the trolley to take us back to the city. My relative turned to me and said, “Archie, I never thought of it before as a person.” Well, I had never thought of it as a person, but thank God I had come to know Him as a person.
2. In the second place, it is of the highest importance from a practical standpoint that we know the Holy Spirit as a person.
If you think of the Holy Spirit, as so many even among Christian people do, as a mere influence or power, then your thought will be, “How can I get hold of the Holy Spirit and use it.”
But if you think of Him in the Biblical way as a Divine person, your thought will be, “How can the Holy Spirit get hold of me and use me?” Is there no difference between the thought of man, the worm, using God to thresh the mountain, or God using man, the worm, to thresh the mountain? The former conception is heathenish, it does not differ essentially from the conception of the African fetich worshipper who uses his god.
The latter conception, of God the Holy Ghost getting hold of and using us, is lofty and Christian. If you think of the Holy Spirit merely as an influence or power, your thought will be, “How can I get more of the Holy Spirit?” But if you think of Him in the Biblical way as a person, your thought will be, “How can the Holy Spirit get more of me?” The former conception, the conception of the Holy Spirit as a mere influence or power, inevitably leads to self-confidence, to self-exaltation, to the parade of self.
If you think of the Holy Spirit as an influence or power and then fancy that you have received the Holy Spirit, the inevitable result will be that you will strut around as if you belonged to a superior order of Christians. I remember a woman who came to me one afternoon at the Northfield Bible Conference at the close of an address and said to me, “Brother Torrey, I want to ask you a question; but before I do, I want you to understand that I am a Holy Ghost woman.”
It made me shudder. It did not sound like it. But on the other hand, if you think of the Holy Spirit in the Biblical way as a Divine Person of infinite majesty, who comes to dwell in our hearts and take possession of us and use us, it leads to self-renunciation, self-abnegation, self-humiliation. I know of no thought that is more [calculated to put one in the dust and keep one in the dust than this great Biblical truth of the Holy Ghost as a Divine Person coming to take up His dwelling in our hearts, and to take possession of our lives and to use us.
3. The doctrine of the personality of the Holy Spirit is of the highest importance from the standpoint of experience.
Thousands and tens of thousands of Christian men and women can testify to an entire transformation of their experience through coming to know the Holy Spirit as a person.
In fact, this address upon the Personality of the Holy Spirit which, for substance, I have given in almost every city in which I have ever held a series of meetings, is in some respects apparently the most abstruse and technical subject that I ever attempted to handle before a popular audience, and yet, notwithstanding that fact, more men and women have come to me at the close of the address and more have written to me, testifying of personal blessing received, than of any other address which God has permitted me to give.
Excerpt From – The Fundamental Doctrines Of The Christian Faith By Reuben Archer Torrey.
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