At present, we are working with the light of truth presented by Dr. Francis Schaeffer from his book True Spirituality where we are discussing the basic considerations of the Christian life, or true Christianity.
Let’s move to the third step in our new relationship. When I have accepted Christ as my Savior, I am also immediately in a new relationship with and to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit lives in me as the agent of the whole Trinity. Now the fruit of the Spirit is clearly delineated in the Bible:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23
The Scripture is equally clear about the works of the flesh:
Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. Galatians 5:19-21
The Holy Spirit is the agent of the whole Trinity. He is the agent of the crucified the raised, the glorified Christ. If I am bringing forth something other than the fruit of the Spirit, the only reason is that I have grieved the Holy Spirit who is our divine guest. Dr. Charles Hodge expresses it like this: “The great distinction of a true Christian is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. How careful should he be, lest anything in his thoughts or feelings would be offensive to this Divine guest?” The Holy Spirit is a person, but knowing that he is a person would remind us that he can be grieved, that he can be made sad. So in Ephesians 4:30 we are told, And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
Do not make sad the divine guest who lives in you. If you are a true Christian, you are sealed by him to the day of redemption. It is by his indwelling that our continuing salvation is guaranteed to us. Let us not grieve him, make him sad.
In 1 Thessalonians 5:19 we have the command: Do not quench the Spirit. When we grieve him, we push aside the one who is the agent to us of the work of Christ for our present life. On the basis of the finished, passive work of Christ—that is, his suffering on the cross—and on the basis of the active obedience of Christ—that is, keeping the law perfectly through his life—the fruits are there. They are there to flow out through the agency of the Holy Spirit through us into the external world. The fruits are normal; not to have them is not to have the Christian life which should be considered usual. There are oceans of grace that wait. Orchard upon orchard waits, vineyard upon vineyard of fruit waits. There is only one reason why they do not flow out through the Christian’s life, and that is that the instrumentality of faith is not being used. This is to quench the Holy Spirit. When we sin in this sense, we sin twice: we sin in the sin, and this is terrible, as it is against the law and the character of God himself, our Father; but at the same time we sin by omission, because we have not raised the empty hands of faith for the gift that is there.
(Friends: I sit here in this year of my 73rd birthday, on this December morning, and I read what I am posting and writing, and I have to admit my need to repent for the carelessness I have in assuming God’s grace, kindness, and blessing to me. He has always been sooo good to me. And I have not nearly, not even close, been sufficiently tuned-in and protected and embraced and cherished the gift of His Holy Spirit that lives in me. I get contented with little drops of fruit when I should, by faith, by devotion from my heart, be seeking buckets of fruit to be produced through me for His glory….. so I need to pray: oh dear Father…I repent for being so careless and casual with Your gift of the Holy Spirit who lives in me. I repent for grieving Him in all the occasions that I have and do. I pray, that by this same, this precious Holy Spirit, that You will give me the will of obedience to be more mindful and aware of what it is that You have given me…that I am a vessel of Your Spirit ‘so that’ I can produce buckets of fruit. It is only by your power and through practicing faith that I can produce fruit for You. It is not about me…it is only about You…Your eternal glory. I pray You forgive me and strengthen me and help me to live in the mindfulness and practice of living in active faith. I am sooooo glad that you are patient and merciful and forgiving and longsuffering. Thank you, thank you for such love. Amen.)
Thoughts developed or used directly from the work of Schaeffer, Francis. True Spirituality . Tyndale House Publishers, Inc