Chapter 8: The Holy Spirit
Two of my favorite things about this chapter were how Nee emphasized that We don’t all have the same experience of the Holy Spirit:
“We cannot and must not stipulate what particular form such outward expressions will take in every given case, but one thing is sure, that each one upon whom the Spirit of God falls will unfailingly know it.”
“There is noting stereotyped about God’s dealings with his children. Therefore we must not, by our prejudices and preconceptions, make watertight compartments for the working of his Spirit.”
And the Holy Spirit is given to us with the same meritless favor as salvation. I think these are things that we get confused about in the Christian world these days.
“The outpouring of the Spirit has no relation to your merit or mine, but only to the merits of the Lord Jesus.”
“The Lord has been crucified, therefore our sins have been forgiven; the Lord has been glorified, therefore the Spirit has been poured out upon us.”
One other interesting thing was at the beginning of the chapter when he made a distinction between the Spirit Outpoured and the Spirit Indwelling something I think is helpful. The Spirit indwelling being what I am most familiar: the guiding, faith-building, personal Spirit. And the Spirit outpoured being the stereotypical gifts of the Spirit more visible to and created for the edification of the church at large. I think it is a helpful distinction because it admits that our experience of the Holy Spirit and if we do not have any of the outward gifts manifested in our lives it does not signify a lack of the Spirit. He honors the experience of both.
“Moreover, when we compare them, we cannot but come to the conclusion that the inward activity of the Holy Spirit is more precious. But to say this is mot for one moment to imply that his outward activity is not also precious, for God only gives good gifts to his children.”
What are your thoughts on the Holy Spirit?
That is kind of a large question, isn’t it?