|Are we playing Spiritual
The religious writer, Ellen G. White,
questioned this attitude in her book The Great Controversy:
"The sanctification now gaining prominence in the religious world
carries with it a spirit of self-exaltation and a disregard for the law
of God that mark it as foreign to the religion of the Bible. Its
advocates teach that sanctification is an instantaneous work, by which,
through faith alone, they attain to perfect holiness. 'Only believe,'
they say, 'and the blessing is yours.' No further effort on the part of
the receiver is supposed to be required. At the same time they deny the
authority of the law of God, urging that they are released from
obligation to keep the commandments. But is it possible for men to be
holy, in accord with the will and character of God, without coming into
harmony with the principles which are an expression of His nature and
will, and which show what is well pleasing to Him?"—Page 471.
Her reasoning is fully supported by the
"If a man love me, he will keep my
words," Jesus said: "and my Father will love him, and we will
come unto him, and make our abode with him" John 14:23.
"He that hath my commandments, and
keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be
loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to
him." Verse 21.
"He that loveth me not keepeth
not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the
Father's which sent me." Verse 24. (Italics supplied.)
Spiritual charades are of no
consequence in the face of such evidence of God's requirements. Love,
according to Christ, results in willing adherence to God's commandments,
and the fact that one doesn't keep His commandments indicates that love
toward God may be lacking. A super intellect is not needed to absorb the
meaning of those texts. Proclaiming faith in love without exhibiting a
love for Christ expressed in keeping all his laws is a useless exercise
in verbal banality.
There is, however, one more Bible text
which should be heard, inasmuch as it shows the connection between true
love and the Holy Spirit.
In Christ's own words (John 14:15-17),
He explains this relationship.
"If ye love me, keep my
commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another
Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of
truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not,
neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and
shall be in you." (Italics supplied.)
Even though the Holy Spirit will be
granted to those who ask for His presence, the gift is dependent on believing
in Christ and keeping His commandments. Christ finally honors
this trust and faith in Him with the bestowing of the Holy Spirit, whom
He calls the "Spirit of truth."
"Howbeit when he, the Spirit of
truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth." John 16:13.
is a continuous process