Romans 8 - Additional Thoughts
Reading from A. W. Pink’s Study of Scriptures on Experimental Preaching, the following was very comforting to me and informative.
Last week (Sept 19, 2010) Pastor Sower’s preached to us of the “Love of God shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost,” he explaining that this was not something only that we know, an idea to embrace, but that in reality, in truth GOD DOES THIS. This is an experience of the believer; we can know such love shed abroad in our hearts, experientially.
How much harder it is to explain the works of the Spirit in the heart and soul, the comfort, the inner strengthening, as well as the inward struggles and how God supplies grace in such wars than it is to explain the objective truths of the gospel. Pink words it this way and I give it to you as a kind of introduction to this section of Romans though it applies to our whole study of this chapter.
To know what our spiritual state really is, and what our practical acquaintance with Christ actually amounts to—is most desirable and profitable, for it arms us against our spiritual enemies, puts a stop to doubting, and causes us to glory in the Lord. But to describe clearly and declare fully the influences and operations of the Spirit within us, as they truly are, is a very difficult task. It is much easier to preach the doctrine of grace, than to describe the effects of it when applied to the heart by God. It is to those portions of the Word which treat most directly and largely with the exercises of the heart, that the preacher should turn, both for guidance and material. Much in the Book of Job and in the Lamentations will afford help; but it is in the Psalms more particularly that the Spirit has recorded the varied breathings and traced out the diverse experiences of "the living in Jerusalem."
True Christian experience may be defined as the teaching of God in the soul, an inward acquaintance with Divine things. It is a feeling sense of their reality, in contrast from a mere notional and theoretical knowledge of them, so that we know them not "in word only—but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit, and in much assurance" (1 Thess. 1:5). It is the Spirit's application of the Truth to the soul—so that what is written in the Word, is now inscribed on the heart. This supplies demonstration of what before was intangible and unreal, the Divine verities have become known realities. The soul can now say of God, "I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear—but now my eye sees You!" (Job 42:5). He knows that God is holy, for he has been made painfully conscious of the exceeding sinfulness of sin; he knows that "the wrath of God is revealed from Heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness" (Romans 1:18), for he has felt the same, scorching his own conscience. He knows that He is "the God of all grace," for he has "tasted that the Lord is gracious" (1 Peter 2:3).
1Th 1:5 For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.
Job 42:5 I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee.
1Pe 2:3 If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.
SO I am encouraged as we read Romans Eight that we note some explanation of the effects of the operations of the SPIRIT:
1) It is the believer’s high privilege to be IN THE SPIRIT, to Walk After the Spirit, to Mind the things of the Spirit.
2) Being in this Spirit and thus spiritually minded is for the believer LIFE AND PEACE.
3) God’s Spirit indwelling the believer.
4) The Spirit is Life
5) Putting to death through the Spirit the deeds of the flesh.
6) To be led by the Spirit.
7) To have a Spirit of Adoption whereby we cry out Abba, Father.
8) Having now the firstfruits of the Spirit.
9) And having now The Spirit to help us prayer.
 A. W. Pink, Studies in the Scriptures VOL XVI JUNE 1937, Experimental Preaching, Mt. Zion Publications, P 23, http://www.gracegems.org/Pink2/experimental_preaching.htm.
More in Adult Sunday School Class - Romans
September 29, 2010Romans 8 - Additional Thoughts