Vespers – Spurgeon’s Question 29

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—

  • Ephesians 2:8

so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,

  • Ephesians 3:17

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

  • John 15:5

But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.

  • 1 Corinthians 6:17

God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

  • 1 Corinthians 1:9

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

  • 1 Peter 5:10

“Q. 29. How does the Spirit apply to us the redemption purchased by Christ?
“A. The Spirit applies to us the redemption purchased by Christ, by working faith in us (Eph. 2:8), and by it uniting us to Christ in our effectual calling (Eph. 3:17).”

  • Charles H. Spurgeon, Spurgeon’s Catechism (Scripture proofs in bold above)

“Q. 30. How doth the Spirit apply to us the redemption purchased by Christ?
“A. The Spirit applieth to us the redemption purchased by Christ by working faith in us, and thereby uniting us to Christ in our effectual calling.”

  • The Shorter Catechism (Westminster Assembly)

The Larger Catechism rearranged the question slightly and took the answer toward completely different proofs.  Even with very similar answers between the Shorter and Spurgeon, the biblical proofs are different for the second half of the answer.

It is odd that the biblical proofs are void of one word, with one exception – the “spirit.”  We derive the Holy Spirit from these Scriptures by function and the attributes of the person, rather than stating something like “The Holy Spirit does …”

We talk about how Jesus enters us, when we accept Him, but does He really?  It is the Advocate that Jesus talked about in John’s version of the Last Supper conversation.  We will have someone better come, but Jesus had to leave first.  Of course, He had to leave, to sit on the right hand of God and intercede for us.  And sometimes, I think His intercession for me runs into a lot of overtime.  I’m kind of mulish at times.  I know something is wrong, but I do it anyway.

When I have talked to people lately about Jesus coming into your heart, I explain that Jesus enters us to reign over us.  We need to leave Him in control rather than wrestling with Him to take control back.  We’d only mess things up if we did.  But the Holy Spirit enters our entire body to guide us and comfort us.  The more we listen to the Holy Spirit’s guidance, the wiser we become.

And now let us sing.

The following hymn, Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart is sung by Sue Nixon.  This hymn may be an old one, but it answers the catechism question very well. In the video, the lyrics do not sync with the music, running a bit faster, and a word or two is different, but the lyrics are provided below for you to sing along.

  1. Spirit of God, descend upon my heart;
    Wean it from earth; through all its pulses move.
    Stoop to my weakness, mighty as Thou art,
    And make me love Thee as I ought to love.
  2. Hast Thou not bid me love Thee, God and King?
    All, all Thine own, soul, heart and strength and mind.
    I see Thy cross; there teach my heart to cling:
    Oh, let me seek Thee, and, oh, let me find!
  3. Teach me to feel that Thou art always nigh;
    Teach me the struggles of the soul to bear,
    To check the rising doubt, the rebel sigh;
    Teach me the patience of unanswered prayer.
  4. Teach me to love Thee as Thine angels love,
    One holy passion filling all my frame;
    The kindling of the heav’n-descended Dove,
    My heart an altar, and Thy love the flame.
  • George Croly, Spirit of God, Descend upon My Heart

Closing Prayer

Dear Lord,
We need Your guidance. Isaiah said we are like sheep who have gone astray.  Only the Good Shepherd can guide us back, or even carry us at times, back into Your presence where we are safe.  We need Your Holy Spirit.  Each age has had its enticements and each future age will as well.  Only You can guide us.  We have the Bible, but even then, it is Your guidance that provides the understanding that we need.
In thy Name we pray.
Amen

Soli Deo Gloria.  Only to God be the Glory.

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