Lecture XIV. The Holy Spirit of Promise



THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 771 677 Lecture XI. & XII The Promises- No.'s 1 - 5 ...

17. The Old Covenant had only a shadow of the Gospel. Heb. 10:1: "For the law having a SHADOW of good things to come and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually, make the comers thereunto perfect." The New is the inwrought effect of the gospel. Let it be understood that the New Testament is not the Gospel itself; but is that which is to be effected by the Gospel. The New Testament and the Gospel are by no means to be confounded the one with the other. The New Testament or Covenant is that work in the heart which is wrought by the Holy Ghost, by the instrumentality of the Gospel. Most professors of religion, in speaking of the New Testament, mean by it the book containing the Gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, the Epistles and the Apocalypse. Now these are not the New Testament; for the New Testament and Covenant, you understand, are the same thing. These books are the Gospel. And, as I have said, the Gospel is only the means by which God makes the New Covenant with the soul, or by which he inclines the soul to close in with, and obey the Old Covenant. Now the whole object of God in the Gospel is not to abrogate the Old Covenant, but to bring men into obedience to it; i.e. to be perfectly conformed to the law of love. The Gospel is as distinct from the New Covenant as the means are distinct from the end. And for an individual to suppose he has received the New Covenant because he has the Gospel in his hands, or because he lives under the Gospel dispensation, is a dangerous and fatal error. A man may live under the Gospel, may understand and believe many of its truths, and yet the Gospel may never have been so fully received by him, as effectually and permanently to have written the Old Covenant or law in his heart.

It has been said that regeneration is all that is included in the promise of the New Covenant, and that every real Christian has received this New Covenant. Now if this be so, in what sense did not Abraham and the Old Testament saints receive the promises and their fulfillment? Were they not regenerated? See Heb. 11:13: "These all died in faith, NOT HAVING RECEIVED THE PROMISES." Also verses 39, 40: "And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, RECEIVED NOT THE PROMISE: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect." Now here many of the most distinguished saints under the Old Testament dispensation are mentioned by name, and it is expressly said of every one of them, that they "died in faith," but "had not received the promises." It is not meant that they had not heard the promises, for to them the promises were given. It must therefore mean, that they did not receive their fulfillment. But who will doubt that they were regenerated? Now I cannot resist the conviction that to suppose regeneration to be the receiving of the New Covenant or New Testament, in the sense in which it is promised in the passages [I have] so often quoted, is a great and dangerous error. It appears to me that the Bible abundantly teaches that these promises are made to believers and not to unbelievers--that they are made to the Church, and not to the world, and that it is after we believe that we are to be sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise. Eph. 1:13: "In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also AFTER THAT YE BELIEVED, YE WERE SEALED WITH THAT HOLY SPIRIT OF PROMISE." I have been ready sometimes to ask, can it be possible that those who maintain that the promise in Jeremiah means nothing more than regeneration, have thoroughly considered what they say and whereof they affirm?

18. The condition of the Old Covenant was perfect obedience to law. I have so often quoted the passages to prove this, that I need not here repeat them. The condition of the New Covenant is faith in Christ. Gal. 3:14: "That the blessing of Abraham, might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit THROUGH FAITH." Now it is naturally impossible that the New Covenant should be received, or the Old written in the heart upon any other condition than faith. Without confidence or faith there can be no love; and there cannot be genuine faith that does not produce love.

These are only a few of the exceeding great and precious promises of which the Apostle speaks in the text. Every student of the Bible knows that I might extend this examination indefinitely, and write a volume as large as the Bible itself, should I quote all the promises, and remark upon them only to a limited extent. Some of them I have quoted over and over again for the purpose of showing their particular bearing upon the different propositions I have laid down. Those which I have quoted are only specimens of the promises, and designed only as illustrations of the truth that the promises are sufficient to accomplish the great work of making us partakers of the divine nature. The Lord willing, I design ere long to take up a more direct examination of the question whether entire sanctification is attainable in this life, and enter more into detail than would be proper in these discourses on the promises. In my next, I design to present some reasons why the promises are not fulfilled in, and to us.

In the mean time, I wish to call your attention to what I regard as a settled truth, viz: that the doctrine of sanctification is so spiritual a subject that no mind will understand it that is not in a truly and highly spiritual state. No man ever understood discourses on regeneration, and especially on the evidences of regeneration, and the exercises of a regenerated heart, who had not himself been regenerated. Nor will a man understand any course of reasoning on the subject of sanctification, who has not experience on that subject. By this I do not mean, that he may not have sufficient intellectual perception to understand some things about it. But I do mean that he will not understand the fullness with which the Bible teaches that doctrine until his spiritual perceptions are made clear and penetrating; e.g. no man ever believed that Jesus was the Christ who was not born of God. It is expressly asserted in the Bible that "whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ, is born of God" and that "no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost." Now it is not intended in this passage that a man may not settle the abstract question to some extent, as a matter of science and evidence respecting the divinity of Christ. But it is intended that none but a spiritual mind can have any knowledge of Christ as God. And to me it seems plain that the more spiritual any truth is, the more certainly it will be misunderstood by any but a spiritual mind; for the natural man discerneth not the things of the Spirit of God, neither can he know them because they are spiritually discerned. The utmost that I expect to do by any thing that I can say, and by any scriptures that can be quoted, with minds not in a truly spiritual state, is so far to convince their understanding as to convict their heart of being wrong, and thus to bring them to search after the true light.



THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 870 869 Lecture XIV. The Holy Spirit of Promise ...

The Holy Spirit of Promise
Lecture XIV
August 14, 1839



THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 899 869 Lecture XIV. The Holy Spirit of Promise ...

8. Finally. Every individual Christian may receive and is bound to receive this gift of the Holy Ghost through faith at the present moment. It must not be supposed that every Christian has of course received the Holy Ghost in such a sense as it is promised in these passages of Scripture or in any higher sense than he was received by the Old Testament saints who had actually been regenerated and were real saints, of whom it is said, that "they all died in faith not having received the promises." Now it would seem as if there were thousands of Christians who have not received the promises on account of their ignorance and unbelief. It is said that "after we believe we are sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise." Now beloved the thing that we need is to understand and get hold of this promise to Abraham, and through Abraham to Christ, and through Christ and by Christ to the whole Church of God. Now remember it is to be received by simple faith in these promises. "Be it unto thee according to thy faith." "For it is written the just shall live by faith."



THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1840 paragraph 376 21 Lectures I. - IX. Sanctification- No.'s 1 - 9 ...

Eph. 1:13: "In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also, after that ye believed, ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise."



POWER FROM ON HIGH - CHAPTER 7 - How To Win Souls paragraph 52

45th. We learn from the Scriptures that "after we believe" we are, or may be, sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, and that this sealing is the earnest of our salvation. Ephesians 1:13, 14: "In whom ye also trusted after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of His glory." This sealing, this earnest of our inheritance, is that which renders our salvation sure. Hence, in Ephesians 4:30, the apostle says: "Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption." And in 2 Corinthians 1:21 and 22 the apostle says: "Now He which establisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God, who hath also sealed us and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts." Thus we are established in Christ and anointed by the Spirit, and also sealed by the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts. And this, remember, is a blessing that we receive after that we believe, as Paul has informed us in his Epistle to the Ephesians, above quoted. Now, it is of the first importance that converts should be taught not to rest short of this permanent sanctification, this sealing, this being established in Christ by the special anointing of the Holy Ghost.