Sunday Study: THE TWOFOLD WORK OF GRACE

Adapted from Oswald Chambers, God’s Revivalist, February 14, 1907, p.1.

The work of our Lord Jesus Christ in the world is twofold:

First, it is a work accomplished for us and makes a reconciliation between God and man (Romans 5:6,8; Heb. 2:17).

Second, it is a work accomplished in us and affects our entire sanctification (John 14:12-17).

The one establishes a right relationship between God and us (Rom. 5:10). The other is the fruit of that relationship (James 2:17-20; 1 John 5:1-5).

The first work is the means by which the latter is obtained. The object of Christ’s work is to make us holy (1 Cor. 1:30). That and nothing less is the meaning of Christ’s birth, life, death, resurrection, ascension, and Pentecost.

Christ Jesus baptizes us with the Holy Ghost and fire (Matt. 3:11); that is His pronouncement that His work is finished. This He did historically for the world at Pentecost (Acts 1:8; 2:1-4), and this He does personally to every man, woman, and child who enters by faith on the finished work of Christ. This has been and is the case in all pentecosts, subsequent to the great historic Pentecost, personal or communal (Acts 15:8-11).

In the New Testament, “sanctification by the Spirit,” “sanctification by the blood,” or “…the Word,” “the baptism with the Holy Ghost and fire,” “receiving the Holy Ghost,” and “filled with the Spirit” are all used as interchangeable terms. Why? BECAUSE THEY ALL MEAN
ONE THING—entire sanctification (1 Thess. 4:3-4). In analyzing this marvelous, definite work of grace, ENTIRE SANCTIFICATION, we find that the blood, or the Word, or faith (John 17:17; Heb. 13:12; Acts 15:9) are all lively factors in cleansing from all sin, that is in the purifying and cleansing side of entire sanctification, and the Holy Ghost and fire baptizing the cleansed soul. Fire is emblematic of God’s presence here, whereby the whole spirit, soul, and body become incandescent with God. The baptism with the Holy Ghost and fire, or entire sanctification, is not first for service but for the “PRAISE OF HIS GLORY” (Eph. 1:12).

Our Lord told His disciples not to rejoice over the fact that they had gifts to heal and cast out demons and do many wonderful things (Luke 10:17-20). Our Lord told us that the Holy Ghost, when He was come, would not do anything but the following:
1. He will glorify me;
2. He will bring to your remembrance what I have said and lead you into all truth about that; and
3. He will not speak of Himself (John 16:12-14).

The results of the baptism with the Holy Ghost and fire are not that you are gifted, but that you bear fruit (John 15:2,8). The only way our Lord told us to judge prophets was not by their words or works, but by their fruits (read carefully Matt. 7:15-23).

When a soul is baptized with the Holy Ghost and fire, the fruits of the Spirit become clearly manifest in practical life. This signifies character. “Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.” These are the fruits of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23), and these spring along from one cause, the indwelling presence of the Holy Ghost.

The gifts of the Spirit are very diverse and are not necessarily the result of the indwelling Spirit, as at a personal pentecost. For Paul distinctly says a man may have gifts, gifts of tongues and prophecy, who has never been entirely sanctified, because the fruit of the Spirit is not there (1 Cor. 13:1-2,8). But it all amounts to a clashing of a tambourine (1 Cor. 13:1).

God may use a man as His instrument who is not a servant of His. Every good gift cometh from above, whether the devil seems to use it or not. The Holy Ghost gives power for service, in unsanctified as well as sanctified souls.

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