"Led By The Spirit"
Romans 8:14: “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.”
This verse stands at the head of a new line of thought in which the work of the Holy Spirit holds the place of paramount interest. (Rom. 8:14-27)
Use the text:
- As a test - Am I a child of God? If so, I am led by the Spirit.
- As a consolation - If I am a child of God, I will be led by the Spirit.
- As an assurance - If I am led by the Spirit of God, then I am most certainly the child of God.
Four Important Questions
- How may I become a child of God?
- How can I know that I am a child of God?
- How must I prove that I am a child of God?
- What advantage do I have as a child of God?
In the Greek there are two terms for “leading":
- The first signifies a violent and rather irregular act of propelling a body - a driving or pushing on as by winds or waves.
- The other (employed in verse 14, our text), refers to an even, constant, unbroken force ,acting not less powerfully because it acts gently and steadily.
The Spirit who abides in us always leads us. He is always at His gracious work on the heart. He always abides; He does not come and go.
So the sons of God are led by the Spirit. We are not drawn as by a rope. We are led. Even more so, we are gently led. The text does not say, “As many as are driven by the Spirit of God.” No! The Devil is a driver. Whenever you see a person acting wild and fanatical, whatever spirit there is in that person is not the Spirit of Christ.
It is necessary that believers be led by the Spirit of God, for the believer is a traveler to the eternal world. And in spiritual things, we are little children who need to be led because of our weaknesses. Left to our own guidance we possess vast, uncontrollable powers of self destruction. Without being led of the Spirit would be as though we had no one to guide us through the wilderness. It would be like being in a runaway plane without a pilot.
The Spirit Of God Alone Is A Qualified Guide
- He knows the path to heaven. He knows all the intricacies and dangers. He knows where the quicksand is. He knows all the subtle windings of the road. It is utterly impossible that He should mislead us.
- He knows His own work in the soul. He knows all its depressions, its assaults, and its victories.
- Dwelling in the heart He knows where to check. He knows where to rebuke. He knows when to whisper a promise, or to aid a resolve, or to strengthen a wavering purpose, or to confirm a fluctuating or fading hope.
How Does The Spirit Lead?
His presence is not discerned by mystic signs. We do not see it in a burning bush or in cloven tongues of fire. We do not hear it in a mighty rushing wind or in a still, small voice. As we do not see the air above and about us, nor even hear its effects in the calm of summer, yet we perceive its existence by the gentle stirring of the trees, the strong flight of birds, and the slow or swift sailing of great clouds. So, the unseen and silent Spirit of God reveals His presence by the life He brings and the influence He exerts.
There are those who doubt this: “How can God influence us in that way?” Well, look at the things that do influence us. When we have the blues and we are not any weaker than usual, but something influences us from the outside world. Something moves upon us. The stock market has dropped or you didn’t do well in school, or a politician has disturbed you, or the weather has changed. If the things of nature can so affect us, cannot the Creator? You bet He can!
We cannot explain His mode of operation, but when the Holy Spirit comes into our hearts, He goes straight to the conscience and lays hold on it. Then He sends a truth through us to drive out one passion or another that shouldn’t be in our lives. He quells that rebellion.
So We Are Led By The Holy Spirit
The leading of the Spirit is His acting upon His own life in the soul. We are entirely unable to lead ourselves. The Holy Spirit leads us from ourselves. He leads us away from all reliance upon our own righteousness and strength. Even more than this, He leads us from an opposite extreme of self - from a despairing view of our personal sinfulness. Many walk in painful and humiliating bondage from not having been sufficiently led out of themselves. So, from sinful self, as from righteous self, the Spirit leads us.
He Leads Us To Christ!
- Are you guilty? The Spirit will lead you to the cross of Christ.
- Are you weary? The Spirit will lead you to abide in Christ.
- Are you sorrowful? The Spirit will lead you to the sympathy of Christ.
- Are you tempted? The Spirit will lead you to the protection of Christ.
- Are you sad and desolate? The Spirit will lead you to the tender love of Christ.
- Are you poor, empty, and helpless? The Spirit will lead you to the fullness of Christ.
The Holy Spirit is our Comforter, but our Lord Jesus is our Comfort.
He Leads Us To Truth!
“He shall guide you into all truth.” Tossed from opinion to opinion, preplexed by conflicting creeds; are you not anxiously inquiring as to what is truth? Commit yourself to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. He can harmonize apparent contradictions, reconcile discrepancies, clear away overshadowing mists, and place each doctrine clearly before your mind.
He Leads Us To All Holiness!
As the “Spirit of Holiness,” it is His aim to deepen the impress of the restored image of God in the soul, and to increase our happiness by making us more holy, and to advance our wholeness by making us more like God. All His unfoldings of Christ have this purpose - the completion of us in holiness.
He Leads Us To All Comfort!
If sorrow abounds, consolation super abounds, since the Comforter is The Holy Spirit of God.
- By applying the promises
- By leading to Christ
- By bending the will in deep submission to God
- By unveiling to faith’s far-seeing eye the glories of a tearless, sorrowless, sinless world
He Leads Us To Glory!
In glory He perfects the building, completes the temple, completes and perfects our redemption.
When Does The Spirit Of God Lead?
- He would always lead, but there are times when we are headstrong and go our own way.
- The healthy condition of a child of God is to be always led by the Spirit of God. He is to lead not only on Sundays during times of worship, but during every minute of every hour of every day. We ought to be led by the Spirit in little things as well as in the great matters of our lives. One action, apart from the leadership of the Spirit, allowed to run to its full results could shatter us. A pilot, who only occasionally takes the controls to fly the plane, is little better than none. We must allow the Spirit of God to lead us in everything.
We Must Beware Of Being Led By Any Other Than The Spirit Of God!
We must not be led by worldly principles, nor by personal ambition, nor by carnal desire, nor by self-will, nor what is even pleasing. We must be led in everything by the unerring Spirit Of God.
- Of being led by other than the Holy Spirit when times of temptation are strong
- Of being biased by the profound research of the world
- Or the distinguished talents of the carnal
- Or the admired example of modern man
- Or the persuasive personality of pastors.
This Must Not Be!
It is in consistence with the honor and love that we owe the Holy Spirit. “Thou shall guide me by Thy counsel, and afterwards receive me to glory.” Children of God are led not only in knowledge, but also in love. The Spirit causes every true-born child of God to burn with love for the rest of the family of God. “We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren.” And not only the brethren, but He leads us into intense love for the souls of sinners. As Christians, we must not say, “It not any of my business whether someone is lost or saved.” The Spirit of God never leads us into such callousness.
So the leading of the Spirit consists in enlightening our understandings, as Jesus said: “When He the Spirit of truth is come, He will guide you into all truth.” It consists also in the sanctification of our will and affections; so that he who is led by the Spirit is transformed by the renewing of his mind, proving what is that good, acceptable, and perfect will of God. He has the eyes of his understanding enlightened to know what is the hope of the calling of God, and the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.
This message is by Dr. Harold L. White
You can email Dr. White at firstname.lastname@example.org