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The Holy Spirit In Ephesians: Blessings And Responsibilities

Frank Wallace

The Holy Spirit in the Epistle to the Ephesians

The normal presentation of teaching in the New Testament is that once we are blessed by God in whatever way we are blessed there should be a corresponding walk.

This is true in all dispensations. The nation of Israel, for example, was taken up by God and blessed in a special way, and God demanded of that nation a higher form of conduct that He expected from the Gentile nations, because they were not blessed in the same way as Israel was. This principle is true when we come to the New Testament, blessings are given to us and then following that there is a call upon us to walk worthy of these blessings. Sometimes this call is expressed "worthy of God" (1 Thess.2:12), sometimes "worthy of the Lord" (Col.1:10), sometimes "worthy of the vocation to which you are called" (Eph.4:1). The context of each would determine the kind of response in the heart of the believer.

In the epistle to the Ephesians we find an unfolding of the truth concerning the Holy Spirit and His blessings to us and also the responsibilities that flow from it that perhaps we have not in any of the other epistles, with perhaps the exception of the Roman epistle. So I want to say a few words tonight about these exhortations that we have from Paul in chapters 4, 5 and 6 of the epistle to the Ephesians and to state briefly at the beginning the very wonderful things that are mentioned in the three previous chapters.

Chapter 1

"After that you believed, you were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, who is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory."   (vv.13b-14)

In these verses we have a cluster of wonderful blessings. First of all, what a wonderful thing it is to be led to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, to receive the forgiveness of our sins and then to be sealed with the Holy Spirit. In so doing God places His mark upon us, indicating that we belong to Him, indicating that we are, if you like, the authentic article. God puts His stamp upon us, we belong to Him, we are really His, and He delights to have us.

Then we are told that the Spirit is "the earnest of our inheritance", that is, that He can give us a foretaste now of what shall be our eternal employment. This is a very wonderful thing. Before ever we reach glory the Holy Spirit can produce in our hearts an enjoyment of things that we are going on to. Two simple illustrations help us in this. Firstly, in Genesis 24, when Rebekah was secured as a wife for Isaac, the servant brought forth articles of silver and gold and presented them to her and said, 'This is what you can expect when you are the wife of my master. All that my master Abraham has he has given to his son Isaac, and whatever he has is available for you once you become his wife'. This is a very beautiful picture of what the Holy Spirit is doing for us today, before we get to glory He enables us to enjoy all the wonderful things that are in the life of Christ. Then secondly, before the Israelites went into the land of Israel to possess it, the spies brought back that beautiful bunch of grapes from Eschol (Num.13:23). That was a foretaste of what they would enjoy once they possessed the land. Again, we believe, this is a picture of the earnest of the Spirit helping us to enjoy things now before we actually possess them for all eternity. Oh, how wonderful to realise that we are sealed now, He is the earnest of the inheritance now "until the redemption of the purchased possession".

In the widest possible sense we think of the possession as belonging to Christ, and it will be redeemed for Him. It will be liberated that He might have full sway over it. This will involve for us the change of our bodies, for glorified bodies to enjoy that inheritance along with Christ. These are marvellous things, far above anything that this world can possibly offer. These are the very best things that God has prepared for us. Oh how easily we forget the wonderful things that have been given to us, and the wonderful things that are in store for us, and occupied with difficulties we grovel in the things of earth and time and sense. What a wonderful thing it is to be a Christian! The fact that we are sealed with the Holy Spirit is the divine guarantee that everything that has been promised will eventually be ours in every detail that God has planned.

Chapter 2

"For through him (the Lord Jesus Christ) we both (Jew and Gentile) have access by one Spirit unto the Father."   (v.18)

In the old dispensation, in the tabernacle or the temple, the veil was present, indicating that there was not free access into the presence of God. Only a privileged elite, the priests could go in and worship God, all others were barred. Even the Gentile was barred from the court, just a special place for them, and so there was not free access. But now for every believer in Christ, in the power of the Spirit, and through Christ, there is access into the Father's presence.

We might think it is a routine thing when we bend our knees and pray to the Father, but really what we are doing is taking advantage of what has been secured for us in Christ, the Spirit making it available for us, and it is a tremendous blessing. We might become very formal and just do it as a matter of fact, but for believers today, to enter into the Father's presence knowingly, intelligently, and take advantage of it is a tremendous blessing; and it is available for all, every true believer in Christ, brother and sister alike. The reference to the one Spirit is a reminder that what was really the privilege of Israel through their priesthood is now available to the Gentiles also, the one Spirit for the Jew, the one Spirit for the Gentile. There is no privileged company, no privileged nation today, all believers in Christ have this wonderful privilege of free access to the Father. Surely this delightful name for God to have, the Father, gives a sense of the nearness and the relationship and gives us encouragement. He is not a God that is far off, He is not an austere God that has to be appeased by sacrifices of one kind or another. All that has been done for us in Christ, and because of Him, and what He has done, we can approach freely, intelligently and happily into the presence of the Father and take advantage of it.

"In whom (the Lord Jesus Christ) you also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit."   (v.22).

Unfortunately, as we look at the condition of Christendom, we see it's multiple divisions, it's weakness, the sad departure from the Scriptures and we get upset, and it is right that we should be affected by it. We should be concerned about it. It is not a light thing to see the church of God divided as it is, with all the sorrows that beset it at this moment; but it is good to see what is in the divine mind and what is actually taking place. Paul says that every believer is "built together for an habitation of God through the Spirit" and God is dwelling in the midst of His people in the Spirit's power. This may be such a complex matter, such a tremendously exalted matter that we are unable to properly apprehend it, but nevertheless, we believe the statements of Scripture that there is a dwelling place of God upon earth and that He does dwell in the midst of the people - the Spirit's presence and power assures us of this. What a wonderful blessing indeed. That does not belong to any single particular company of believers, it is the blessing of all believers. All believers are built together for an habitation of God in the Spirit.

Chapter 3

"By revelation he (the Lord Jesus Christ) made known unto me the mystery..... by the Spirit."   (vv.3,5)

When we come to chapter 3 we read about the power that is working in us, we read of the revelation of the mystery, the highest truths that ever could be given to man revealed in the power of the Spirit to the Lord's servant Paul, this wonderful strength that the Spirit gives in the inner man. These are wonderful blessings indeed, and they belong to every believer. Oh that we were in the enjoyment of them more and more so that we could answer to these exhortations that we receive in the last three chapters.

Chapter 4

"Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby you are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: and be ye kind one to another, tender-hearted, even as God for Christ's sake has forgiven you."   (vv.29-32)

To help us to understand this expression "grieving the Spirit of God" I would ask you to turn with me to Mark 3. "And he entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand. And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him. And he saith unto the man who had the withered hand, Stand forth. And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace. And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other." (vv.1-5). This 'grieved' is a strengthened word there, a little different from the word we find in verse 30, "grieve not the Holy Spirit of God", although coming from the same root, but this passage seems to me to indicate how the Holy Spirit is grieved, that is, if our hearts are hardened, we have not compassion, we have not care for each other, we are not concerned about each other's well being. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are coequal in Person and glory, and what grieved the Lord very obviously will grieve the Holy Spirit.

It seems to me that what follows in Ephesians 4, bitterness, wrath, anger, clamour, evil speaking and malice are all the things that come from a hard heart, and indicate a wrong attitude towards each other, something that ought not to be there at all in a Christian company. The kind of persons that you feel the Holy Spirit will support, encourage and stimulate in all the power that belongs to Him, are the ones which are "Kind to one another, tender-hearted, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you". This is the indication of a true, tender heart. It is a tremendous blessing to take account of, that the Holy Spirit indwells us, and this has been burdened upon me recently in view of these meetings. Just think of that! The Holy Spirit, a divine Person, indwells each believer. This is a distinctive blessing that belongs to the Christian era. We used to sing the children's hymn 'We would have liked to have been at the time when the Lord was upon earth to have seen His deeds of kindness and have heard His words of power', but how marvellous today that a divine Person, coequal with the Son, is here indwelling us! Oh, how important that we should not grieve Him! What a sad thing it is to grieve the Holy Spirit!

There are other similar passages in the Bible, for instance, Ananias and Sapphira sinned against, lied to, the Holy Spirit (Acts 5). We are also warned not to quench the Spirit (1 Thess.5:19). He is a divine Person, He is not someone that we can treat in a very ordinary way. He is infinitely glorious and infinitely greater than us, and yet He deigns to indwell us and to abide with us forever. He is holy - that is His characteristic name, and it seems that anything that is unholy will cause Him grief.

If the Lord Jesus were here, we would never dream of inviting Him to some place of evil repute, we would never dream of taking Him to some place where His name was dishonoured, it would never cross our minds, and yet we may do that when we go to such places without thought and we have the Holy Spirit indwelling us. How He must be grieved if He sees anything of an unholy character in our lives, in our thoughts, in our ways.

We are to "Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption." It seems to me that the day of redemption looms before every believer as this tremendous blessing, when set free from every hindering element, he is going to enjoy all that God has purposed for him, and in the meantime there is to be no grieving the Holy Spirit by our demeanour or by our ways. Again I say, we want to do the things that please the Holy Spirit, "be kind to one another, be tender-hearted, forgive one another even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you". We can all answer to this as we are helped by the Lord to do the things that please Him and we are sure that when we do this we will have the unqualified support of the Lord Jesus Christ and of the Holy Spirit, not grieving Him but doing the things that are consistent with the blessing that we have.

Chapter 5

"Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord: giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ: submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God."   (vv.17-21).

It seems to me that all that follows rests upon this first verse 17, that we are intelligent as to what the will of the Lord is for us. Once we are intelligent to that, then the rest will follow. We will not be intoxicated by anything that belongs to this world, not necessarily wine, we might be intoxicated with ambition, we might also be intoxicated with desires that are perfectly permissible amongst men, not necessarily gross evil, but things that will take us away from the will of the Lord. Now the apostle says 'Do not be marked by that feature. Be filled with the Spirit'.

Some time ago I read a little book that changed my thinking about being filled with the Spirit. Naturally, in our usage of the language we would speak about filling up a bottle. It is something from the outside that fills the bottle, but this brother pointed out that this is not the way we think of it in the Christian life. The Holy Spirit is indwelling us already. It is not that some part of the Spirit comes into us and then another part and then another part until we are filled up; this is not the idea. He is already indwelling us. To be filled means to be taken over completely by His control and power, and means the exclusion of anything that is preventing that power from operating in our lives.

To be filled with the Spirit means to exclude everything that hinders the Spirit's power. It is not to be 90% of the Spirit's will and 10% my own will. For every Christian there is to be a one hundred percent acceptance of the will of the Lord. There is to be no reserve, no reluctance, no dark patches, the whole life is to be given over to the will of the Lord, and when that is so, the Holy Spirit is free to operate in us and promote in us the things that are precious and abiding.

Incidentally, when we are talking about being filled with the Spirit, I think the family of John the Baptist must be the most marvellous family in the Bible. Zacharias was filled with the Spirit (Luke 1:67), Elizabeth was filled with the Spirit (Luke 1:41), John the Baptist was filled with the Spirit from the day of his birth (Luke 1:15); what a happy family that must have been. It did not mean that Zacharias did not make a mistake, he did, but what a happy family it must have been, all the thinking, all the behaviour guided by the Spirit. Oh what a wonderful thing is held out for each one of us, to be filled with the Spirit! This is the only exhortation that I know of in this respect, to be filled with the Spirit. This is a glorious possibility for you, for me, and for every believer.

Verses 18-21 follows from being filled with the Spirit. I suggest that there are three features that will inevitably follow if the Holy Spirit really is controlling our lives, if we are filled with the Spirit.

- Firstly, this attitude of joy and singing. In past years, did we not get a great deal of joy in standing round a piano and singing these wonderful hymns, what a comfort it was. Did it not bind the saints together? The enemy knows that music binds people together. Was there ever such a time when music played such a part in ideologies in this world? It did so in Nebuchadnezzar's day when he set up his great image on the plane of Dura (Dan.3). All the music that was there was to bind these different nations together with one object, to induce them to bow down and worship the image. So it is in that great city that is in opposition to the things of the Lord in the book of Revelation, all the music that we find in it is all to draw souls away with it's sensual power (18:22). Oh what an evil thing it is. But oh how wonderful that when the saint is set free, when the saint is filled with the Spirit, it produces this happy singing of psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, compositions that make much of God, that make much of Christ, that make much of the Holy Spirit and all the divine blessings that we have. These compositions are really teaching compositions, joyous compositions, comforting compositions, and, thank God, we have many of them.

These psalms are not the Old Testament psalms, they are not the psalms of David. We could not possibly sing them all as a Christian. Some we can sing, but we could not possibly sing about wishing vengeance upon our enemies, we could not sing to the Lord today to come down and deal with our enemies in a very summary fashion; that would be contrary to what we have already spoken about, being tender hearted. No, the psalms of Ephesians 5 are New Testament psalms, New Testament compositions. Those that know something of the language tell us that in Paul's second epistle to Timothy we have one of those psalms. So we can sing these psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, whenever they were composed, as long as they are truthful. Again, we cannot sing them all. Some are sentimental, some are not true, some do not bear the light of Scripture. We should not retain them in our hymn book simply because we like the tune or the lyrics, no, it is truth that matters in a psalm, in a hymn and in a spiritual song that we can sing to make merry before the Lord.

- Then we come to "giving thanks". Oh, dear brethren, what a wonderful Christian attitude this is. It is easy to moan and think that we could be better off than we are. It is easy to complain about things that come across our pathway, and I suppose in one way or another we are all guilty of it. It is easy to get upset. When we sit down and take account of all that God has done for us, as we mentioned in these three earlier chapters, when we take account of the blessings that we have in spite of the difficulties, oh, we have abundant reasons for giving thanks. This is surely the proper attitude of a Christian. If we are a little less than being filled with the Spirit it is that little bit that will produce the niggling, the moaning and the complaining, it is that little bit that will bring us down below the standard that God wants us to maintain. So it is so necessary for us to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

- Finally, we are told to submit to each other "in the fear of God", that is, there is to be no standing aloof from each other, but we are to be happy to be submitting to each other. If you think something, I am happy to go on with it, provided it is the truth of course. We are willing to help, willing to share the exercise, willing to take a low place, willing to think others better than ourselves. It is so easy to say these things, but if we are filled with the Spirit they will be living realities. The Spirit will produce them in our hearts.

Chapter 6

"Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand..... and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; and for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak."   (vv.13,17-20)

In chapter 6 we have this well known reference to the whole armour of God that enables us to "withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand". Perhaps it is important to remind each one of us here that this armour is not to be put on against men and women in the flesh, this is to be put on against "spiritual wickedness in high places" (v.12), this is a power of evil controlled by Satan himself, and it is a very, very powerful influence. We are all affected by it every day of our lives, and more so now as we come, I believe, nearer to the end when, even in this so-called 'Christian country', Satanic forces are operating on a scale they have never done before. This is a very solemn thing. We have idolatry in this country, we have Satanic worship in this country, we have all forms of wickedness and evil of a spiritual character, and the Christian is exposed to its power and its influence, and so he requires the whole armour of God. There are unseen influences around that would cause us to deviate from the Christian pathway and so we need every part of this armour. We cannot miss one part out because that would be an opportunity for Satan's power to operate through that omission.

I am not going to consider them all, but I am going to refer to verse 17, "the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God". I suppose you have heard the story of the brother who said he had forgotten his sword, and he was reminded that it was not his sword, it was the Spirit's sword. If it were our sword it would have been blunted a long time ago, perhaps broken and cast away, but it is the Spirit's sword, it is the sword that He can use effectively in dealing with this tremendous evil power. When we speak about this we remember the time when our Master, the Lord Jesus, confronted Satan for a period of forty days and forty nights and incessantly He was attacked by Satan, tempted by every conceivable form of temptation. Three temptations are recorded for us and they are sufficient to show us that Satan was defeated by the Lord Jesus quoting the word of God. What an important thing it is, not only to read the word of God but to have it memorised so that, at the appropriate moment, we can quote it to defeat those evil insinuations that are put into our minds.

We are also to "take the helmet of salvation". We require to have our minds guarded against the evil insinuations that are placed there (and they do come into our minds), and once they are there, I am sure you will acknowledge that, it is the word of God that can put them out. The word of God is a very, very effective weapon indeed. In 2 Corinthians Paul says, "the weapons of our warfare are not carnal" (10:4). He says we might walk after the flesh, but we do not war after the flesh, the weapons that we use are "mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds" (2 Cor.10:4), that is, every high thing that sets itself up in exaltation against God.

The weapon a Christian uses is the sword of the Spirit. When the opponents came to the Lord Jesus and questioned Him, He said, "Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God" (Matt.22:29). That is how He defeated them, by quoting the word of God. I encourage young believers, and I suppose it is true for older believers too, that in conversation with people who are extremely intellectual and clever it is no use trying to defeat them by argument, they can perhaps defeat us quite easily, the important thing for us is to quote the word of God. When we quote the word of God, let me say it reverently, we give the Holy Spirit the opportunity to use the sword effectively against those who oppose the truth. Now He can use it in a better way than we can, so one says how valuable it is to quote the word of God.

When Geoffrey Bull was captured by the communists in Tibet and placed in solitary confinement, there were loud speakers blaring into his solitary confinement communist propaganda twenty four hours a day. What was it that kept him from going mad? It was the fact that he had memorised the word of God. Being able to quote the word of God for his own comfort was enough to defeat the power of Satan in this insidious propaganda. We are also exposed to this kind of thing today through the media and through conversation with people, and things become common place. They are so easily taken on that before we know where we are we are being taken away from the pathway of the will of God; but the word of God, the divine guide that has been placed in our hands, is the power that the Spirit of God can use to defeat Satan's ends and so rid us of this terrible influence. Dear believers, it is a powerful influence. It will come in a very subtle but a very powerful way and we must be on our guard against it. The helmet of salvation guards the minds against these insidious thoughts that Satan places there, seeds of doubt, seeds of fear and distrust. Oh, how easily he can do this and so our resistance is lowered and lowered and before long the time comes when it is so easy to slip away, our resolves are down, our resistance is down, the enemy has frittered away our resources, our defences, and then he can come along with a blatant and open invitation to evil and to neglect the Lord Jesus and off we go. How often this has been done. The helmet of salvation, the sword of the Spirit, these are the guides that the believer has, the helps that the believer has to withstand those evil influences.

Lastly, in verse 18, "praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints". Is it not true that all prayers are in the Spirit? Are they? Does Scripture help us to understand that all prayers are in the Spirit? For instance, we think of the story the Lord Jesus told of the two men who went up to the temple to pray in Luke 18. The Pharisee prayed within himself; was that a prayer in the Spirit? We believe that if it did reach the ear of God it certainly was of no power whatsoever. It was a prayer in himself, for himself, an exaltation of himself, only concerned about himself, no feeling for his fellow man, it was all about himself and selfishness. The other man prayed in a spirit of self judgment, with a really contrite heart, and we believe that was a prayer in the Spirit. That was a prayer that the Holy Spirit could lend His power to, and give effect to. So we believe there are many prayers in Scripture that indicate praying in the Spirit, but there are other prayers that indicate otherwise.

- When Daniel read the book of Jeremiah and saw that the seventy years had a short time to run (perhaps another two years), he began to pray to God in relation to the promise that God had made, that after seventy years had expired He would take a remnant of the people out from Babylon and bring them back to the land of promise (Dan.9:2). So Daniel began to pray, and he prayed intelligently, he prayed about the city, he prayed about the land, he prayed about the people. Here was a prayer in the Spirit. It was an intelligent prayer, it was not about himself (except confessing his failures), but he was praying for God's interests in God's land, in God's city and for God's people. Oh, that was an intelligent prayer, a prayer in the Spirit.

- When Hannah prayed she made the promise that if she got what she asked for she would hand it over to God (1 Sam.1). This was also a prayer in the Spirit, a prayer of genuine desire that was for the Lord's glory. It was to be for her blessing too, but eventually for God's glory; and what a man God gave to her - Samuel, who became the link between the decadent period of Israel's history and it's restoration under David and Solomon.

- So we could go on. Jabez's prayer was a prayer in the Spirit (1 Chr.3:10), a prayer for spiritual enlargement, that sin might not grieve him. We could have connected that with grieving the Holy Spirit. He says 'I do not want to be grieved by sin.' How much more ought we to be concerned that we do not grieve the Holy Spirit by sin. But Jabez prayed intensely that God would enlarge his coasts, bless him and help him and make him an honoured person, and God gave to him his request because it was a prayer in the Spirit.

- When we come to Paul's prayers in this epistle, what marvellous prayers they are! He is not asking for himself, he is not asking for improved conditions (he was in prison), no, he was concerned about God's interests, about Christ's interests.

I think that should characterise our prayer meetings, the interests of the Lord and His people in their growth, in their enlargement and in their spiritual apprehension. So we are to pray in the Spirit. Not praying to the brethren, not giving them a lecture, not reminding some of the brethren of their faults, that is not praying in the Spirit. Praying in the Spirit it to pray earnestly, feelingly and intelligently as to what is proper in the sight of the Lord and praying for its prosperity. I think it is a wonderful thing to be in line with the Spirit's mind, to pray in such a way that He can support us and help us and encourage us in those prayers, not praying in the flesh, not listening to how many 'Amens' are said to our prayers indicating universal consent, but rather being concerned about how heaven views our prayers; that is more important than anything else.

So Paul says, "praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints". It is a good thing to have an enlarged view of the requirements of the Lord's people. There are various magazines or sources of information available, and when we read them we learn what the Lord is doing in other parts of the world, and we see the Lord's servants asking for prayer, just as Paul did here. Paul says, "Pray for me", pray "that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel" (6:19). So these dear servants in many parts of the world today are asking for our prayers. We may not be preachers or expositors, we may not be doing some prominent work for the Lord but what a wonderful thing it is to be a prayer partner, to be a help for those who really require it in the situations that they are facing, dangerous situations, trying situations, not very congenial situations, disappointment too as persons are obviously making progress and then suddenly they fall away. What sadness there is in the hearts of the Lord's servants as they see this. Oh how wonderful it is when we feel there are people who are praying for us, this is a very powerful service. They are praying in the Spirit. I believe that one of the most important things about prayer is to pray intelligently. We should know what we are praying for and we should pray specifically for it. We should not make enlarged prayers that really boiled down we do not know what is being prayed for, but we are to pray for specific things that the Lord has placed upon our hearts and the Holy Spirit supporting it.


These are only a few remarks about these very important features that are connected with the gift of the Holy Spirit. I think you will agree with me that it is a very valuable exercise to be in line with these things in view of the wondrous place that God has given to us in Christ and the wondrous blessing that we are indwelt by the Spirit, never to be taken from us, to abide with us forever. What a glorious possession we have, what a wonderful thing it is! Thank God we all experience it in one way or another. There is the evidence of the Spirit's help when we pray to the Lord, or pray to the Father, this help that we get day by day, power not of our own. 'What a power that worketh in us!' says Paul, 'This is going to secure for God a really wide, intelligent and established response, not only in time, but for all eternity.' May we be encouraged for His name's sake.