Description: A series of classes on the 'Doctrine of Salvation' using Berkhof's book 'Systematic Theology'.
Doctrine of Salvation 4
Sermon Transcript by Rev. Ernest O’Neill
Dear ones, shall we pray and then I’ll begin.
Lord Jesus, we thank you that you are able to give us understanding today and understanding not only
of concepts but of you yourself. Lord Jesus, we know that what you want us to sense is the heart of
God, the heart of your Father. Lord, we would ask you, by your Holy Spirit, to impart that to each
of us here in a private and personal way that we may sense that we have touched God today.
Father, we thank you for your love of us. We thank you that the more that we understand of what you
have done for us and of how you feel about us, the more fully committed to you we are and the more
your character is wrought in us. So we ask you to give us a revelation of your own self today, that
we may know you more clearly, and love you more dearly, and live with you more nearly. In Jesus’
name we pray, amen.
I’d like to go back to the simple steps that I suggested were the basis of the doctrine of salvation
when we said that God’s own purpose at the beginning was that we should receive the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is the uncreated life that flows through the Father and the son. God’s will was
that we should receive that Holy Spirit, and that way we would be born of him and would be like him
inside as well as outside. That was God’s purpose.
But we refused that, and because we refused it we developed an incredibly selfish will that then
became incapable of obeying him and brought us into the whole problem of Romans 7, “The good that I
would I cannot do and the evil I want to avoid is the very thing that I do.” God’s answer to this
was to crucify us in Jesus, and because of that God made the Holy Spirit available in the world once
more. So the Holy Spirit is available to us and to anyone who wants to receive the Holy Spirit now.
To be born of the Spirit simply means to believe that this is true, and then to obey the Holy
Spirit. So those are the basic steps in salvation: believe and obey.
Now what we’re discussing is the operation of the Holy Spirit in connection with this plan of
salvation. Last time we talked a little about the general, or common, grace of the Holy Spirit.
That’s the grace that the Holy Spirit sheds abroad in the world of nature; he creates and sustains
natural life. What we are talking about particularly in the doctrine of salvation is the second
work, though it’s really the primary work of the Holy Spirit, and that is specific or special grace;
the special grace that the Holy Spirit sheds abroad and that is the grace where he creates and
sustains spiritual life.
Common grace comes to all men; God causes his rain to fall on the just and the unjust. So common
grace is expressed to all men, so all men have their bodies held together by the power of the Holy
Spirit, all men experience the seasons, but the special grace is extended only to those who are, and
this is one of the most important phrases in the New Testament — only to those who are in Christ.
Now if you would turn to Ephesians 1: 3 you will see that emphasized. “Blessed be the God and
Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the
heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be
holy and blameless before him. He destined us in love to be his sons through Jesus Christ,
according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace which he freely bestowed
on us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our
trespasses, according to the riches of his grace which he lavished upon us. For he has made known
to us in all wisdom and insight the mystery of his will, according to his purpose which he set forth
in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and
things on earth. In him, according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to
the counsel of his will, we who first hoped in Christ have been destined and appointed to live for
the praise of his glory. In him you also, who have heard the word of truth.”
And so it continues on right through Ephesians and that is the keynote of the New Testament; that
salvation is only made real to us in Jesus, and I’d point you back to why that is so. Do you see
that God in fact put us in the ark of Jesus, the flood was coming down on us, and God put us into
the ark of Jesus and crucified us in him? So that is our position, God actually placed us all there
and that’s why we are still alive today and that’s why we are able to remain alive. That’s why God
has not flooded us out with another flood. That’s why people who are sinning in the world today
should by rights have been flooded out and destroyed by God because God said, “The wages of sin is
death.” The only reason we’re not flooded out is because God put us into Jesus and flooded us out
there. He destroyed us in Jesus, and that’s why we’re still alive today and that’s why he’s able to
make the Holy Spirit available.
So loved ones, in a very real way every blessing that we have and every experience comes because
we’re in Jesus and the more real that is in your life the more real salvation becomes to you, and
that’s what they call in theology the mystical union. There is mysticism of transcendentalism and of
eastern religions and of meditation and of cosmic consciousness that is not God’s will, but there is
a mysticism that is built into the New Testament and it is built into God’s plan for us; it’s the
mystical union of believers with Jesus their Savior. And the only way that the Holy Spirit can give
us the things of Jesus is by taking them from Jesus and making them real to us. That’s what that
verse says; that “the Holy Spirit takes the things of mine and makes them real to you” or shares
them with you. It’s the Holy Spirit that makes that mystical union possible.
Now if I could just deal with two important points. Do you see that there is, in a sense, an
objective union that exists whether we like it or not, and there is a subjective union that exists
only when we believe it by faith? There’s an objective union that exists whether we know it or not,
there’s a subjective union that exists only as a result of faith. There’s an objective union that
exists because of God’s act and there’s a subjective union that is made real because of the act of
In other words, I think it’s important for each of us to see that even before we believed in Jesus
we had been put into Jesus. In God’s eyes he had put us in Jesus. In God’s eyes, even when you
were swearing like a trooper, when you detested church, when you hated God, when you were a rebel
against everybody, God had put you into Jesus and destroyed you in Jesus and that’s the only reason
he did not destroy you the first moment you swore.
So in a real sense do you see that even though there was a time in your life and mine that we did
not know Jesus, even at that time God regarded us as being in his son. That’s incredible but he did
and it’s in that sense that even “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” So it’s important
to see that there is an objective union that exists even now between God and the dealer in Las Vegas
that has just stolen $1,000 from some poor soul that took a free plane flight down there. God
regards that dealer as being in Jesus, and for that reason God is not wiping that person out, he is
giving him a chance to continue to live to receive the Holy Spirit, if the dealer is willing to
That’s important, because I think a number of us when we say that think, “Ah, then you’re saying
that everybody’s going to heaven.” No, I’m just saying that God regards us all as being in Jesus
and he’s giving us these 70 years to realize that or not, and if we don’t realize it and take
advantage of it by receiving the Holy Spirit and submitting ourselves to the Holy Spirit, then we’re
going to die. Because even though we’re in Jesus in God’s eyes, we still have only temporal life
until we actually receive the Holy Spirit.
So I think it’s quite important to see that there is an objective union that exists in God’s eyes.
In other words, in a real sense, when you’re talking to somebody about Jesus you’re not telling
them, “Get up and climb into Jesus,” you’re saying to them, “Would you realize that your Creator
Father has put you into his son and has destroyed that evil that’s in you already? Now will you
believe that and will you receive his Holy Spirit to recreate his image in you?”
So it’s encouraging brothers and sisters to realize their true situation. You could go far the
other way and say, “Are you just putting us back into the Christian Scientist position that there’s
no such thing as evil and there’s no such thing as sin if you just believe the right thing?” No,
no, because if you won’t accept that you are in Jesus then the lie that you believe that you aren’t
in Jesus begins to work actual evil in you. So it produces real evil in you, it produces real
disease in you.
But the truth is loved ones, that God has put the whole world into Jesus. That’s the only reason
you can say that God has reconciled the world to himself, you see. There is that verse in 2
Corinthians 5:19, “That is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their
trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.” You have to really
be absolutely honest about that, so do we mean that he is saying, “In Christ God was reconciling the
world to himself and not counting the trespasses of Hitler against him?” That’s right, you see,
yes, that’s true.
God put Hitler into Jesus and destroyed all the evil that was in him there, but because Hitler would
not accept that and believe it, the lie that he believed that he was on his own and could do what he
wanted, began to work all manner of evil in Hitler and he produced actual sins and killed actual
people. But the important thing to see is that Hitler went to hell, not because God had not put him
into Jesus, but because Hitler would not take advantage of that position that God had put him in,
and would not receive the Holy Spirit that God was offering him.
The beauty of it is that it deals with this business of people saying, “I’m not as good as you”
because we are all potentially as good as each other. The issue is not that you aren’t as good, but
that you won’t believe what God has done to you in Jesus. We are all put into Jesus, but for a dear
one who won’t accept that, it is because he’s unwilling to receive the Holy Spirit that he is going
to go to hell and not because God hasn’t already saved him. In that sense, God has already thrown
the life belt over him. He almost has to duck down under the life belt to get out from under it.
And that’s why a non-Christian is actually choosing not to accept what God has done for him, you
In a sense it’s harder to be a non-Christian than to be a Christian. The whole thing is working
towards accepting what God has done for us in Jesus. That’s why Jesus said, “They will not
believe.” He emphasized the will and not just the future tense, but “they do not want to believe,
they refuse to believe.” That’s why a person will not go to heaven; because they refuse to believe
what God has already done.
Now, any questions dear ones? Do you want to push me on that a bit because it was light to me when
I eventually saw it. I think it’s good to see that there is such a thing as the objective union.
It will not save a man or a woman, but it does provide them all the wherewithal to be saved.
[Question inaudible 16:50]
Yes, I agree with you. You’re right that in a sense that you could call that part a common grace.
It gives us a 70 year respite from the destruction, but I agree with you, there’s no saving virtue
in it. What we have failed to see, often, is that the only reason why we can experience a personal
union with Jesus now, spiritually and intellectually and emotionally, is because this eternal union
has been established by God. I think we have often got into extreme subjectivity and into a kind of
unchristian, unspiritual, unscriptural mysticism because we’ve suggested that the only union is this
union where “I feel Jesus near me.” I think that gets into extreme subjectivity and then before you
know it you’re into the whole problem of “is he only near me when I feel he’s near me, or am I only
in him when I feel I’m in him.”
I think that’s why it’s so important to emphasize that the only reason we can experience him in our
subjective lives is because it has already been made real by God in the eternal realm and I do think
[Question inaudible 18:36]
Berkoff says, and I would have to break from him altogether on this – he doesn’t, I think, deal with
the mystical union in your textbook and that’s why I didn’t turn to it too much, but in the next
chapter we’ll come upon other things. But Berkoff in his chapter on mystical union would present it
this way, which is wild. He would say there is an objective union. And he would say that God has
already established the people who are going to be in this objective union, so for Berkoff objective
union means salvation. In fact, he wouldn’t quite go as far as to say that, for example, a person
like John Bunyan is going to be saved because he’s been put in this objective union whatever way he
lives in this life, but he’ll almost say that.
For Berkoff, the objective union is salvation and its salvation because he believes in this idea of
the elect; that God has already chosen those who are going to be saved and he has put them into
Jesus. In fact, he would not say, “God has put all men into Jesus.” We on the other hand, would
say that God has put all men into Jesus, because we would say that verse says, “God has reconciled
the world to himself” so that means he’s put the whole world into Jesus and destroyed it there. But
Berkoff would say, “No, he’s not put the whole world, he only put those who he knows are going to be
saved into Jesus.” So that’s one problem he would come into.
But then Scott, I think a lot of people who would take the name Armenian have fallen into this trap
where they have said, “There is no objective union.” They would say the only union you have is a
subjective one with Jesus and then that’s what gets you into the extreme problem in evangelicalism
of emphasizing the subjective feeling of Jesus’ presence. I used to do evangelistic work about nine
years ago and because I was willing to do anything and I had been an old foolish intellectual, I
knew that God had to break down all my pride. So when this dear person asked me, “Would you do
this?” I said yes, believing God wanted to break me.
So we used to deal with dear ones at the altar after an altar call, and one of the problems that I
would see would be that we would encourage the belief “Behold I stand at the door and knock, if any
man hear my voice and open the door I will come into him and will sup with him and he with me.”
Then you encourage a dear one to confess and repent of his sins which is right, but then there would
be a tendency in us to say, “Do you feel Jesus has come into your heart?” And the poor soul would
kneel there and say, “Well, no I don’t feel that.” Then some churches got into the situation of
thinking that if they say the song “Just as I Am” quietly, they’ll feel it and if that didn’t work,
repeating to them the promises of God. But you almost got into a tendency to emphasize the feeling
Now of course, there’s no harm in asking a person if they believe Jesus has come into their heart,
but what you should emphasize is if they’ve confessed their sins and repented of them honestly, then
they can take a stand in that and the Holy Spirit will back them in that stand and will reinforce it
in their heart and will witness that they have been honest about their sins.
The real problem with dear ones that were not able to be sure that Jesus had come into their heart
was that they had not confessed all their sins. They had not repented of all their sins. They were
kneeling there and were trying to say, “Into my heart, into my heart, come into my heart Lord
Jesus.” And they were trying to feel Jesus in their hearts, but they knew they were still arguing
with God about whether they should be honest on their income tax or not and whether that was a sin
or not and God saw that. The Holy Spirit is the Holy Spirit of truth and you could see that their
confession was inadequate, so he would not give them the witness of Jesus in their own spirits you
So the tendency would be therefore, for some of us to say you had to create the union with Jesus in
your feelings or in your subjective experience. Now of course, it’s a much stronger position to say
God has created the union, God has put you into Jesus. All the Father is asking you to do is
believe that and accept all the consequences of that, you see. And of course it’s a great way to
meet Satan when Satan would say, “Oh, you’re not in Jesus,” you come back with God’s word, “God put
me into Jesus. All you can say Satan is I’m not taking advantage of my position in Jesus.” But
then that’s a dead easy thing to decide; am I or am I not?” Then you can simply answer, you see.
I think where Satan gets some of us into trouble is that he suggests you’re not really in Jesus.
Then he says, “You don’t feel it — you don’t feel his presence the way you used to feel his
presence.” And we say, “Yeah, that’s right,” because we’re laying emphasis on the subjective union.
But if we keep a stand on the objective union, we say, “Satan, go away. God put me into Jesus, you
can’t take me out. God has put me in Jesus.” And then all Satan can say is, “Yeah, but you’re not
receiving the Holy Spirit.” Then all you have to do is go to the Holy Spirit and say, “Holy Spirit
is there anything you want me to do differently?” And it takes it out of that realm of feeling and
a kind of trickery.
[Question inaudible 24:55] this is in Jesus or Jesus in you. These people asked, they said,
[inaudible 25:08] you must love yourself before you love God. That wasn’t a question because I
thought I understood I am crucified in Christ, nevertheless [inaudible 25:18] because you are in
Christ and Christ [inaudible 25:26]. That’s all we’re asking you [inaudible 25:31] love me as I
love you. So I can see [inaudible 25:38] living in Christ our sins are forgiven [inaudible 25:47].
That’s very good. That that is in Christ and that is Christ in us. And Christ is implanted in us
by the Holy Spirit in response to our believing that we are in Christ. So if we believe that we’re
in Christ and if we receive and obey the Holy Spirit, then the Holy Spirit makes Christ being in us
real to us. He forms Christ fully in us.
[Question inaudible 26:28] I doubt sometimes in my mind is that the Holy Spirit or is that my
The only way I’ve found to deal with it is to accept that the Holy Spirit is the Holy Spirit of
truth and that he will lead me into all truth. And I actually ask him, I say, “Holy Spirit, will
you show me? I know you may not do it just this second, but I’m asking you will you accept this as
something that I’m asking you to do? Show me over the next few days whether this is from you or
from my own self.”
I think there are a lot of us that get into dreadful subjectivity because we ignore this fact and we
turn in on ourselves instead of turning in on the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the one who makes
the second, the subjective union, real. We so often thought that its we ourselves who make it real
and that’s where we get into a lot of the emotionalism I think, where we’re trying to make ourselves
feel it’s real where it’s not. There’s nothing emotional or tricky about it. It’s simply you
believe and receive and you obey the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit will make this real in you.
And if this isn’t real in you it’s because you’re not believing, receiving, and obeying the Holy
When I think that I’m trying [inaudible 28:01] whether I’m doing that for something [inaudible
28:06] my motives are pure [inaudible 28:18].
That’s where I began to deal with the Holy Spirit when he began to question me about my motive life
too, and I think that’s what he continually does with all of us. He searches our hearts and tries
our hearts to see what we’re really made of, and I think it is possible to come through to honesty.
I agree with you that that’s what’s preventing the answers to our prayers; that we’re praying that
we may spend it on our selfish passions.
Now, Berkoff either under interprets the Armenian position or he over states it to the point where
it is ridiculous. So it seems to me that this is a strong position here. Now I would have to agree
with Berkoff to the extent that I think a lot of evangelicals do not pay enough attention to that
objective union. I think that’s where some of us got into difficulty with crucifixion because we
wondered if we had to crucify ourselves. And the answer of course is no, because you are already
crucified with Christ. All you have to do is allow the Holy Spirit to make that real in you. And
of course what Luther was trying to do by beating his body was to try to crucify himself. What you
end up with when you do that is, you end up in works of law; you’re trying to destroy yourself so
that your “self” can be accepted by God. But it is a kind of self-righteousness when in fact, we
have been crucified with Christ, and what we’re asking the Holy Spirit to do is to make that real in
I think that covers what he talks about there, but he does have some, what he calls,
“characteristics of the mystical union” and they’re good mainly because of the Bible references he
gives, which I think you should look up yourselves. Since you don’t have the book I would like to
go through the trouble of writing all the references down and then I would encourage you to read
them because they are excellent.
He says first of all, it is an organic union; organic in the sense that the hand is an organic part
of the rest of the body. It is an organic union and he says that Christ and the believers form one
body. And that of course, is the true version of one world that God has brought about among us and
that can be ours if we will accept it. Christ and the believers form one body. Even the union that
the antichrist will bring when he comes will be a shadow and a counterfeit of God’s provision that
he has made for us.
We have often missed the boat here because in churches we’re too nicey-nice to each other, too
polite, too indifferent to each other and too false in our love of one another. So rarely, in any
of our churches, have we ever experienced this brother/sister love whereby you know the other fella
would die for you, or the other girl would die for you if need be. That’s the kind of union that
we’re praying that the Holy Spirit will intensify among us, because that’s the kind of union that
makes life livable at all. And it’s that kind of organic union that is brought about by God in
I’ll just write these references. John 15:5, 1 Corinthians 6:15-19, Ephesians 1:22-23, 4:15-16,
5:29-30. And then this kind of organic union in Christ ministers to the believers and the
believers’ minister to Christ. So it’s a two-way experience of love. Now even those words show you
how poverty stricken most of our Christian communities are because there is so little sense that
we’re ministering to Christ, that we’re ministering love to Christ, or that Christ is ministering to
us. So often we’re concerned with running an organization or running a service, yet this is what
God’s will is for us, an organic union like that.
Of course then you begin to see each other as part of Jesus and that brings great love and great
respect. That’s why a person can come into a Christian community that is real and never have felt
so loved or respected or appreciated in their life before because there’s a respect that is unto
Christ. That’s why so many people are redeemed in a Christian community, because people are at last
looking at them as they are in Jesus and they believe the best about them which then releases the
Holy Spirit into those people.
A brother the other day who is married to one of the sisters who has begun to spend more time
working in one of the departments here in Fish said she’s just a different person these days because
of working with other brothers and sisters in Jesus’ presence. That’s a redemptive experience in a
way that no other experience can be redemptive. So of course, that’s why the answers to all our
problems are not the halfway houses, and the drug treatment centers, and even the foster homes but
the answer is a loving body of Jesus that will take care of his people.
But number two is, it’s a vital union; vital in the sense of living and alive where Christ is the
vitalizing and dominating principle. That brings such a relief to anybody that is a leader in a
body of Christ, when all the members begin to look upon Christ as the vitalizing and dominating
principle that brings such freedom. That’s why many of us are released into new talents that we
never had before, because when we’re outside Jesus, everybody is looking at us and we’re trying to
prove that we’re right, and we’re trying to prove ourselves to the world; we won’t risk anything
that we think that we may not be able to succeed at so we remain very narrow people.
But when you get into a Christian community that really loves, then all kinds of people are released
into all kinds of abilities and that’s one of the freeing experiences, you know, because no longer
do you think everybody’s looking at you because Jesus is the vitalizing and dominating principle.
And you find that in Galatians 4:19, and then Romans 8:10, and 2 Corinthians 13:5, and Galatians
4:19-20. And you can realize from some of the truths that come out of this that it’s really
worthwhile to look up those references because they are good.
Number three, it is a union mediated by the Holy Spirit which is good to remember when we all get
together in “sensitivity groups” and start to try to bring about union that way. It is not the
way. I remember those endless discussions in Methodist Churches where we tried to sort out why we
weren’t closer to each other and all you ended up with was getting further away from each other as
you analyzed the problem, because the union is mediated by the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit, you remember, was poured out on the day of Pentecost and immediately brought one
accord among the people. That’s why I shared last Sunday night that in prayer requests it is not
important to tell the details of a dad who is an alcoholic but simply to say, “Would you pray for my
dad who is an alcoholic?“ Because then the Holy Spirit brings a union among maybe four people to
pray exactly the right thing for that person. And then, “Where two or three are gathered together
and agree upon anything in my name I will do it.” Then God answered the prayer. But the Holy
Spirit brings the union about, not the people.
A few more verses: 1 Corinthians 6:17, 12:13, 2 Corinthians 3:17-18, and Galatians 4: 19-20. And
that’s why, if you ever sense any disunion in the particular body to which you belong, pray. Pray
and ask the Holy Spirit to keep the unity of the Spirit among the brothers and sisters. That’s
really what we need to do, pray. Don’t do a whole lot of talking.
Number four is a union that implies reciprocal action. In other words, the more we exercise faith
ourselves, the more we reciprocate the action of God and that is really what is involved in
accepting God’s action. God has put us into Jesus, has united us in Christ and, we accept that
action by uniting ourselves to Christ by faith. We accept that position by a conscious act of
faith. And of course what that does is release the Holy Spirit. It’s not the faith that causes the
union, but the faith releases the Holy Spirit to intensify our union with Christ. So we united
ourselves to Christ by faith through the action of the Holy Spirit intensifying our union.
That’s why when you’re in the office and someone has said, “For Christ’s sake do this,” or, “For
Christ’s sake do that,” it’s really important to see, “Lord Jesus I’m in you and you’re in me and
you can hear this at this moment.” It’s really important to intensify this by faith day-by-day, to
begin to regard yourself and identify yourself more and more with Jesus and see yourself as part of
Jesus and see that where you go Jesus goes. The more you do that, the more you’re uniting yourself
to Jesus and the more you’re enabling the Holy Spirit to make it real to you.
It’s very tricky. I know the “for Christ’s sake” business is a form of speech and it’s just very
tricky how often you should put up with it. I know there are moments when you don’t get anywhere by
saying, “Do you know what you just said?” I understand that. But there are other times when you’re
allowing a spirit to come into you which is wrong. There are times too when our motive is not
absolutely clear; are we being quiet to be diplomatic, or are we being quiet to save ourselves and
protect ourselves from being thought square? I think you have to judge it on your own level and I’m
sure it’s not only swearing, that’s not at all it.
It seems to me that every moment we act as if we’re out of Christ we are hindering the Holy Spirit
making our union with Christ real, that’s the real importance of sin. I don’t know that God is all
worked up over the actual thing that we do, though he hates us hurting somebody else, but I don’t
know that he’s so worked up over the actual act that we do. But it’s the attitude that we have
towards Christ, because we’re acting out of Christ at that moment and every time you act out of
Christ you’re intensifying an unbelieving attitude within you which is in fact, grieving the Holy
Spirit, which is in turn making it difficult for him to make real to you your union with Jesus.
So it’s very important all through the day to act in Christ. That’s the real tragedy of Sunday
Christians; it’s not really that God is all worked up over the fact that you’re just nice on one
day, but he knows that spiritually it is making it impossible for the Holy Spirit to make Jesus’
union real to you. So it is important. That’s what would come if we act very Christ like because
we’re together here and we’re discussing the doctrine of salvation and we all want each other to
think well of us. That’s what’s so agonizing about doing that and then acting differently outside,
because God sees what you’re doing and he sees that you’re acting out of Christ. And indeed you
don’t really believe you’re in Christ because you’re acting out of him when you choose to. So the
Holy Spirit is grieved and it’s difficult for him to make the union real.
So it’s incredible, to tell the truth, the amount of union that we have with him when you think of
how we do our best to prevent it.
[Question inaudible 44:32]
I think that Ken if I ever said that I’d have to back off from it because I do think that we can
exercise faith. The Holy Spirit shows us our union with Christ and then we can accept what he has
shown us or reject it. And that’s what I mean when I say that I think we can say yes or no, and the
moment we say yes, we’re exercising faith. We’re accepting that what the Holy Spirit has shown us
is true. Oh — I know what you’re getting at now; I said I suspect that all we can do is say yes or
no to the Holy Spirit. But I’m assuming that one of the things the Holy Spirit does is show us is
that we’re in Jesus, and then we can say yes or no to that. And if we say yes then we’re in
essence exercising faith.
Berkoff goes a wee bit that way. He says, “Faith is the gift of God.” Well, that’s okay, but we
have the right to say yes or no to that gift, and I think that that’s what we do; we say yes or no
to it. There comes a moment when you’re in the office or you’re out in the street and your eyes look
where they shouldn’t look and the Holy Spirit says to you, “Would Jesus look there?” That’s a
moment of truth, and you can say yes or no to what the Holy Spirit is saying and what you do with it
will automatically affect your eyes. And then you can run it through all the other things in your
I’ll end with these last verses for you to study: John 14:23, dear ones, 15:4-5, and Galatians 2:20,
and Ephesians 3:17.
Now, shall I close? May the grace of our Lord Jesus, the love of God and the fellowship of the
Holy Spirit be with us now and evermore, amen.