A. T. Jones
IT must never for a moment be forgotten that the great object of the gift of the Holy Spirit is the perfecting of the receiver of the gift.
Whosoever receives, or would receive, the gift of the Holy Spirit, frustrates the very purpose of the gift unless he believes in Christian perfection, and unless he expects the Holy Spirit to bring him unto perfection.
This is taught and illustrated in the very first chapter in the Bible: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters” (Gen. 1:1, 2).
The word here translated “moved” signifies “to brood over” and fructify. Thus when the unformed mass had been created, it was the Spirit of God which, through the spoken word of God, shaped the earth, clothed it with beauty and fruitfulness, and brought it to perfection.
Except for this gift of the Spirit to move upon the void and formless earth, and except for the further word of God and ministration of the Spirit of God, the earth would forever have remained without form and void. The object of its creation would have been utterly missed.
The only object in the creation of the earth was that it should be brought to perfection. When it had been created, the Spirit of God was given to move upon it. And the object of this bestowal of the Spirit was that the earth, by the ministration of the Spirit, should be brought to perfection. And so this object was accomplished.
Now “we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:10).
But though we are thus created unto the good works of God, yet when we have been so created, so far as the realization of these good works in action, our lives are as formless and void as was the earth when it was first created.
And unless the Spirit of God can come upon this new creation, to brood over it and fructify it with the power of God; unless the further word of God, and the ministration of the Spirit of God, shall come into the life, this new creation must forever remain as formless and void as, without it, would have remained the original creation.
Such, however, is not the object in this creation, as it was not the object of the original creation. The object in this new creation is that it shall be brought to perfection, as certainly as was the object in the original creation. And this can be done only by the gift of the Spirit of God, and the further word, and ministration of the Spirit, of God.
Therefore, every believer must constantly hold perfection in view. He must never be satisfied one moment with anything short of perfection. He must never forget that only this is the object of his having been created new in Christ Jesus. And he must never forget that this object can be accomplished only by the power and ministration of the Holy Spirit through the word of God.
“Ask, and it will be given to you.” “Receive the Holy Spirit.” “Be filled with the Spirit.”
The Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, October 4, 1898