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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The Gospel According to Paul # 13

In His Letters to the Corinthians (continued)

"The Communion of the Holy Spirit" (continued)

It takes the Holy Spirit to make us grow up spiritually in this way. The measure of our spirituality can be indicated very quickly an clearly by the measure of our mutual love, our fellowship. We are, after all, little people spiritually if we are always at variance. It takes big people to live with certain other big people without quarreling.  It takes "the grace of the Lord Jesus, and the love of God", to lead to "the fellowship of the Holy Spirit".

This fellowship of the Holy Spirit, then, is essentially corporate. Perhaps you have thought that this last clause, "the communion of the Holy Spirit", meant your communion with the Holy Spirit and that of the Holy Spirit with you. It does not mean that at all. Paul is perhaps just gently hitting back at the old state, touching on that old condition. 'What you Corinthians lacked more than you lacked anything else was fellowship; there was no fellowship. Now you have come along the way of "the grace of the Lord Jesus, and the love of God", and "the communion of the Holy Spirit" is found amongst you'. That is what it means. It is corporate, and it is a mighty work of the Holy Spirit. It has to be in more than one of us. Now you, of course, think it has to be in the other person! No, it has to be in more than one of us, not just the other person. It must be in you and me - it must be in everyone concerned. Well, that is the gospel: good tidings to a people in a pretty bad state! What good tidings!

Let me close with this. We never get anywhere by recognizing the deplorable state and just going for it - beginning to knock people about, wielding the sword or the sledge-hammer and smashing things, bringing people down under condemnation. We never get anywhere that way. If Paul had gone to work that way, and, although there was brokenness, it was not the end. Something, "beauty of ashes", came out of it - because "the grace of the Lord Jesus, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit", was the principle upon which Paul himself lived and by which he worked.

You and I must be people of good news. We have got good news for any situation, though it be as bad as that in Corinth. Believe this! Good news! Good news! That must be our attitude to everything, by the grace of God; not despairing, not giving up. No, good news! The Lord make us people of the gospel, the good tidings.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 14 - (In His Letter to the Galatians)

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