My devotional reading this morning was taken from Acts 1:5, You shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now. William Law writes in his book The Power of the Spirit that Christ commanded his disciples to wait for this gift of the Spirit before they bore witness to the world about what they humanly knew of His birth, life, teachings, death and resurrection.
As salvation is in its whole nature the inward birth and life of Christ in the believer, so nothing but this “new creature in Christ” (2 Cor. 5:17) can bear true witness to the realities of redemption. Therefore a man, however expert in all Scripture learning, an only talk about the gospel as of any tale he has been told until the life of Christ has been brought forth, verified, fulfilled and enjoyed through the power of the Holy Spirit in his soul.
No one can know salvation by a mere rational consent to that which is historically said of Christ. Only by an inward experience of His cross, death and resurrection can the saving power of the gospel be known. For the reality of Christ’s redemption is not in fleshly, finite, outward things – much less in verbal descriptions of them – but is a birth, a life, a spiritual operation which as truly belongs to God alone as does His creative power.
We must never forget that Jesus said “you must be born again.” Salvation truly wrought is always a supernatural act of God whereby God takes a heart bent on bringing glory to self and transforms it into one that seeks only to glorify God. All that is good and all that is evil comes from the heart, and thanks be to God we have a God who loves to do heart transplants! (Ezek. 36:26).
Come, Holy Spirit, come.