Led by the Spirit
by Marvin Rickett
Source: The Gospel Reminder, February 22, 2004
The Scripture says, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God” (Romans 8:14). There are a lot of religious folks who claim to be led by the Holy Spirit, but who are not. They claim to speak in tongues and do miracles. They continually speak of the Holy Spirit prompting them in their religious life. Yet it is evident the Holy Spirit has absolutely nothing to do with their brand of religion. The evidence is in the fact that their religious practice is not what the New Testament says. They do not do the Word of the Lord (Matthew 7:21). Surely, the Holy Spirit does not tell them one thing in the New Testament, and something entirely different and conflicting in their present-day promptings. The Bible is the Holy Spirit’s word. As for these modern-day promptings, they come from another “spirit.”
One of the marks of the Pentecostals or Charismatics is their heavy emphasis on the Holy Spirit. Their preaching is full of references to the Holy Spirit, almost to the exclusion of emphasis on the Father and the Son. True Christianity has the opposite effect. Emphasis is placed by the Spirit on the Son and the Father. Jesus, when He promised to send the Holy Spirit upon the apostles, said, “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me” (John 15:26). He further said, “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth is come, he will guide you into all truth: For he shall not speak of himself: but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he shall show you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you” (John 16:13-14). True Christianity placed the Holy Spirit in the background and placed the Son in the foreground. One would not hear much said about the Holy Spirit, even though He is doing a vital work. He would, rather, hear about the Son, who died for our sins; and the Father, from whom comes every good and perfect gift.
Brethren have complained that we have neglected in our teaching and preaching lessons on the Holy Spirit. Perhaps. But when we present the Holy Spirit’s word, the New Testament, we are giving Him exactly the honor that is supposed to be accorded Him.
What are the marks of one who is really being led by the Holy Spirit and is Spirit-filled? He is one who is obeying all of the Word of the Lord. He believes on Jesus Christ, has repented of his sins, confessed Christ, and has been baptized into Jesus Christ, for the remission of his sins. Anyone claiming to be saved by faith alone or at the point of faith has not done the Word of the Lord and therefore is not being led by the Spirit.
One who is led by the Holy Spirit and is Spirit-filled is one doing all the things the Scriptures show a Christian to do. He has allowed his life to be filled with the Word. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom” (Colossians 3:16). When one walks according to the Word and allows the Word to dwell in him richly, he is being led by the Holy Spirit and is Spirit-filled.
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