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Jesus is the Lord. And whosoever “heareth his sayings, and doeth them,” shall never perish, but is heir to everlasting glory.”
It was no less, indeed it was much more than this, to say that Jesus is the Lord. And therefore Paul says, that no man can declare or teach this truth, but by the Holy Ghost. He proclaimed it first, in fulfilment of the promise which Christ had made on the day of Pentecost." And ever since He has put it into the hearts of faithful men to proclaim, that “God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son: so that he that hath the Son hath life, and he that hath not the Son hath not life.”
No doubt these truths may be spoken in words, and even taught, without the Spirit's influence. A man may say that Jesus is the Lord, because others around him say it, and inquire no farther: and such doctrine may be taught because the Church teaches it, and we repeat the Church's creed with our lips, while in our hearts we know and feel nothing of its meaning. But if from the heart we say that Jesus is the Lord : and not only the Lord, but our Lord: the Lord whom we are bound to serve, the lawgiver whose commands we are to follow, the prophet who is to show us real wisdom: such language is “taught of God.” For wherever this is acknowledged, and made the rule of action; that is accomplished which Jesus came to effect: the heart is turned from worldly vanities to serve “the living and true God;" the affections are taken from things below, and raised to things of heaven. And this conversion of the heart is the work of the Holy Ghost; who thus performs the office which is peculiarly his own:” he shows that we are by nature at enmity with God, and need to be reconciled to him : and then he shows that Jesus is that Reconciler, that Mediator, who “ is the propitiation for our sin,” and “ the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.” “ To recognise this, is to “receive” Jesus as the Lord. And they who do thus “receive him, are born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” ” So Simon was assured, when he made his “good confession, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona : for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.”" For no man can say that Jesus
9 Matt. vii. 24. 1 Acts ii. 33. * 1 John v. 11, 12.
is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.
Great is indeed the blessedness, when this truth is imprinted on the heart. One who has received it, does “not abide in darkness:” he has a light to walk by, a lamp to direct his steps, and “guide his feet into the way of peace.” Even when he goes down into the valley of the shadow of death, there is still one with him to support and comfort him. And he need fear no evil; for he who is thus with him, and sustains him, is “his Lord and his God.”"
3 See John xvi. 7–11. * Heb. v. 9. * John i. 13. 6 Matt. xvi. 16, 17. 7 See Ps. xxiii. 4, and John xx. 28.
1 CoR. xii. 4–11.
4. Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
5. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.
6. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.
7. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal."
St. Paul had before given one general rule, by which a teacher who spoke by the Spirit of God might be discerned, and distinguished from any false pretenders. A man speaking by the Spirit of God would acknowledge Jesus as the Lord, and teach in his name.
But there was great difference in the spiritual gifts of those who agreed alike in laying this foundation, and were employed in building up the church of God. The same Spirit wrought in all; but with a diversity of gifts, and administrations, and operations. The members of the human body are numerous, because the purposes to be served are numerous; but are all directed by one principle within. So it is likewise in the christian body: so it was especially in the early church, whose circumstances required diversities of gifts, and differences of administrations, and diversities of operations: and in consequence the members and ministers of the church were endued with a variety of qualifications, given to erery man to profit withal: “ divided to every man severally,” in order that he might exercise them for the common good in the sphere of duty assigned him.
* Tooc to avoidepov, to use for the general good.
8. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 9. To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 10. To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues. 11. But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.”
To one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom. Such as was manifested by James, when he presided over the council at Jerusalem, and satisfied the apostles and elders that they among the Gentiles who had turned to God should not be compelled to conform to the law of Moses.” Such also as was exercised by Barnabas, when being sent down from Jerusalem to judge concerning the unexpected progress of the Gospel at Antioch, he perceived the work to be of God, confirmed the disciples in the faith, and “exhorted them that with full purpose of heart they should cleave unto the Lord.”
* Chrysostom allows that it was difficult, even in his time, to assign the exact meaning to the different gifts here enumerated: because, he says, “we are ignorant of the facts to which the apostle refers, which used then to take place, and do not happen now.”
3 Acts xv. 13–22. * Acts xi. 22–24.
To another is given by the same Spirit the word of knowledge. In this Apollos excelled: who was remarkable for his acquaintance with the Scriptures,” and therefore capable of alleging proofs and answering objections: so that he “mightily convinced the Jews, and that publicly, showing from the scriptures that Jesus was Christ.”"
To another, faith, which is common to all, and is the basis of all their energies, is given in a preeminent degree. Faith, like that which encouraged Peter to descend from the ship into the sea; but which does not fail, as with him on that occasion, though the winds are boisterous." Of such faith St. Paul's whole history is an example. It enabled him to “count not his life dear unto himself, so that he might finish his course with joy:” it enabled him to “go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that should befal him there: save that the Holy Ghost witnessed in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions “awaited him.” It enabled Peter and John to proclaim Jesus as the Lord, whom the Jews, his hearers, “by wicked hands had crucified and slain,” and to declare in the presence of the council, that whatever might betide them, “they could not but speak the things which they had seen and heard.”
Another is remarkable for the gifts of healing. It was by this power that Peter and John attracted to themselves first the wonder and then the admiration of the people. They said to the cripple at the gate
* Acts xviii. 24. 6 Acts xviii. 28. 7 Matt. xiv. 28–31. * Acts xx. 22–24. 9 Acts ii. 23. 1 Acts iv. 20.