Yield to the Sovereignty of the Holy Ghost

It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. – John 6:63

Religion, and the truth of it, is not to be learnt by the head. Years of reading, hours of assiduous study, will never make a man a Christian. “It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing.” Oh! art thou destitute of the Spirit of the living God? For oh! I charge thee to remember this my hearer: if in thy soul mysterious and supernatural influence of the Holy Spirit has never been shed abroad, thou art an utter stranger to all the things of God. The promises are not thine; heaven is not thine, thou art on thy road to the land of the dead, to the region of the corpse, where their worm dieth not, and their fire is not quenched. Oh that the Spirit of God may rest upon you now! Bethink you, you are absolutely dependent upon His influence. You are in God’s hand today to be saved or to be lost-not in your own hands, but in His. You are dead in sins; unless He quickens you, you must remain so. The moth beneath your finger is not more absolutely at your mercy than you are now at the mercy of God. Let Him but will to leave you as you are, and you are lost; but oh! if mercy speaks and says, “Let that man live,” you are saved. I would that you could feel the weight of this tremendous doctrine of sovereignty. It is like the hammer of Thor, it may shake your heart however stout it be, and make your rocky soul tremble to its base.

“Life, death, and hell, and worlds unknown,
Hang on His firm decree.”

Yield to the sovereignty of the Holy Ghost; and He shall assuredly prove to you that, in that very yielding, there was a proof that He had loved you; for He made you yield; He made you willing to bow before Him in the day of His power. ~ C.H. Spurgeon


The Holy Ghost Teacheth Sovereignly

But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth… – John 16:13

The Holy Ghost teaches sovereignly. He teaches whom He pleases. He takes the fool and makes him know the wonders of the dying love of Christ, to bring aspiring wisdom low and make the pride of man humble and abase itself. And as the Spirit teaches whom He wills, so He teaches when He wills. He has His own hours of instruction, and He will not be limited and bound by us. And then again He teaches as He wills-some by affliction, some by communion; some He teaches by the Word read, some by the Word spoken, some by neither, but directly by His own agency. And so also the Holy Spirit is a sovereign in that He teaches in whatever degree He pleases. He will make one man learn much, while another comprehends but little. Some Christians wear their beards early-they come to a rapid and high degree of maturity, and that on a sudden, while others creep but slowly to the goal and are very long in reaching it. Some Christians in early years understand more than others whose hairs have turned grey. The Holy Ghost is a sovereign. He does not have all His pupils in one class, and them all the same lesson by simultaneous instruction; but each man is in a separate class, each man learning a separate lesson. Some beginning at the end of the book, some at the beginning, and some in the middle-some learning one doctrine and some another, some going backwards and some forwards. The Holy Spirit teacheth sovereignly, and giveth to every man according as He wills, but then, wherever He teaches at all, He teaches effectually. He has never failed to make us learn yet…We instruct the ear, and the ear is far removed from the heart; He teaches the heart itself, and therefore His every word falleth upon good soil, and bringeth forth good and abundant fruit-He teaches effectually…Put thyself daily under His teaching, and thou shalt never learn a word amiss, nor a thought awry, but become infallibly taught, well taught in the whole truth as it is in Jesus.~ C.H. Spurgeon


Experientially Taught by the Holy Spirit

…He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. – John 14:26

The Holy Spirit teaches us by refreshing the memory. “He shall bring all things to your remembrance.” He puts all those old treasures into the ark of our soul, and when the time comes, He opens it, and brings out these precious things in right good order, and shows them to us again and again. He refreshes the memory, and when this is done, He does better, He teaches us the Word, by making us feel its effect, and that, after all, is the best way of learning. You may try to teach a child the meaning of the term “sweetness;” but words will not avail, give him some honey and he will never forget it. You might seek to tell him of the glorious mountains, and the Alps, that pierce the clouds and send their snows peaks, like white-robed ambassadors up to the courts of heaven: take him there, let him see them, and he will never forget them. You might seek to paint for him the grandeur of the American continent, with its hills, and lakes, and rivers, such as the world saw not before: let him go and view it, and he will know more of the land than he could know by all your teaching when he sat at home. So the Holy Spirit does not only tell us of Christ’s love, He sheds it abroad in the heart. He does not merely tell us of the sweetness of pardon, but He gives us a sense of no condemnation, and then we know all about it better than we could have done by any teaching of words and thoughts. He takes us into the banqueting house and waves the banner of love over us…He takes us to the cross of Christ; and He bids us put our finger into the print of the nails, and our hands into His side, and tells us not to be “faithless, but believing,” and so in the highest and most effectual manner He teacheth us to profit. ~ C.H. Spurgeon


The Holy Spirit Always Gives the Right Focus

For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. – 1 Corinthians 2:11

How hard it is sometimes to state a fact which you perfectly understand yourself, in such a way that another man may see it. It is like the telescope; there are many persons who are disappointed with a telescope, because whenever they walk into an observatory and put their eye to the glass, expecting to see the rings of Saturn, and the belts of Jupiter, they have said, “I can see nothing at all; a piece of glass, and a grain or two of dust is all I can see!” “But,” says the astronomer, when he comes, “I can see Saturn in all her glory.” Why cannot you? Because the focus does not suit the stranger’s eye. By a little skill, the focus can be altered so that the observer may be able to see what he could not see before. So is it with language; it is a sort of telescope by which I enable another to see my thoughts, but I cannot always give him the right focus. Now the Holy Spirit always gives the right focus to every truth. He sheds a light so strong and forcible upon the Word, that our spirit says. “Now I see it, now I understand it.” For even here, in this precious Book, there are words which I have looked at a hundred times, but I could not understand them, till at some favored hour, the key-word seemed as if it leaped up from the midst of the verse and said to me, “Look at the verse in My light,” and at once I perceived-not always from a word in the verse itself, but sometimes in the context-I perceived the meaning which I could not see before. This, too, is a part of the Spirit’s training-to shed a light upon truth. But the Spirit not only enlightens the truth, but He enlightens the understanding. ‘Tis marvellous, too, how the Holy Ghost does teach men who seemed as if they never could learn…The Spirit teaches us by enlightening the understanding. ~ C.H. Spurgeon


Excited Interest Wrought by the Holy Spirit

…He shall teach you all things… – John 14:26

In teaching God’s people, one of the first things the Spirit does is to excite interest in their minds. I frequently find that when men are being educated for the ministry, the hardest thing is to get them going. They are like bats on the ground; if once a bat gets on the earth he cannot fly until he creeps to the top of a stone and gets a little above the earth, and then he gets wing and can fly well enough. So there are many who have not got their energies aroused, they have talent but it is asleep, and we want a kind of railway-whistle to blow in their ears to make them start up and rub away the film from their eyes so that they may see. Now it is just so with men, when the Spirit of God begins to teach them. He excites their interest in the things which He wishes them to learn; He shows them that these things have a personal bearing upon their soul’s present and eternal welfare. He so brings precious truth home, that what the man thought was utterly indifferent yesterday, he now begins to esteem inestimably precious “Oh!” said he, “theology! Oh, what use can it be to me?” But now the knowledge of Christ and Him crucified has become to him the most desirable and excellent of all the sciences. The Holy Spirit awakens his interest.

Now, the Holy Spirit makes a man willing to learn…”Lord, humble me; Lord, bring me down; teach me those things that will make me cover my head with dust and ashes; show me my nothingness; teach me my emptiness; reveal to me my filthiness.” So that the Holy Spirit thus proceeds with His work awaking interest, and enkindling a teachable spirit. ~ C.H. Spurgeon


We Are Taught Christ

But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. – John 14:26

It is the Holy Ghost who manifests the Savior to us in the glory of His person; the complex character of His manhood and of His deity; it is He who tells us of the love of His heart, of the power of His arm, of the clearness of His eye, the preciousness of His blood, and of the prevalence of His plea. To know that Christ is my Redeemer, is to know more than Plato could have taught me. To know that I am a member of His body, of His flesh and of His bones; that my name is on His breast, and engraven on the palms of His hands, is to know more than the Universities of Oxford or Cambridge could teach to all their scholars, learn they never so well. Not at the feet of Gamaliel did Paul learn to say-“He loved me, and gave Himself for me.” Not in the midst of the Rabbis, or at the feet of the members of the Sanhedrim, did Paul learn to cry-“Those things which I counted gain, I now count loss for Christ’s sake.” “God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.” No, this must have been taught as he himself confesseth-“not of flesh and blood, but of the Holy Ghost.”

I need only hint that it is also the Spirit who teaches us our adoption. Indeed, and the privileges of the new covenant, beginning from regeneration, running through redemption, justification pardon, sanctification, adoption, preservation, continual safety, even unto abundant entrance into the kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ-all is the teaching of the Holy Spirit, and especially that last point, for “eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him. But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” ~ C.H. Spurgeon


We Must be Taught God

…He shall teach you all things… – John 14:26

God is to be heard in every wind, and seen in every cloud, but not all of God. God’s goodness, and God’s omnipotence, the world clearly manifesteth to us in the works of creation, but where do I read of His grace, where do I read of His mercy, or of His justice? There are lines which I cannot read in creation. Those must have ears indeed who can hear the notes of mercy or of grace whispering in the evening gale. No, brethren, these parts of God’s attributes are only revealed to us in this precious Book, and there they are so revealed that we cannot know them until the Spirit opens our eyes to perceive them. To know the inflexibility of Divine justice, and to see how God exacts punishment for every jot and tittle of sin, and yet to know that that full-justice does not eclipse His equally full-mercy, but that the two move around each other, without for a single instant coming into contact, or conflict, or casting the slighest shallow one or the other; to see how God is just and yet the justifier of the ungodly, and so to know God that my spirit loves His nature, appreciates His attributes, and desires to be like Him-this is a knowledge which astronomy cannot teach, which all the researches of the sciences can never give to us. We must be taught God, if we ever learn of Him-we must be taught God, by God the Holy Ghost. Oh that we may learn this lesson well, that we may be able to sing of His faithfulness, of His covenant love, of His immutability, of His boundless mercy, of His inflexible justice, that we may be able to talk to one another concerning that incomprehensible One, and may see Him even as a man seeth his friend; and may come to walk with Him as Enoch did all the days of our life. This, indeed, must be an education given to us by the Holy Ghost. ~ C.H. Spurgeon