Oct 21 2009

The Fellowship of the Spirit

clay

“May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” (2 Corinthians 13:14, NIV)

Here is a challenging and thought-provoking excerpt from The Way to Pentecost by Samuel Chadwick:

Fellowship or “communion” [KJV] means partnership. The word passes through various phases in the New Testament, and is variously translated, but the idea of sharing runs through them all. In Luke 5:10, it is said that James and John, sons of Zebedee, were partners with Simon. Paul says of Titus (II Cor. 8:23) that he was his partner and fellow laborer; that is, they were colleagues in the ministry of the Church. Of Philemon and Onesimus it is used in the still more intimate sense of comradeship. The communion of the Holy Ghost, therefore, means that we are partners, colleagues, comrades with the Spirit of God. We are partners in vocation and resources, sharers in work and power….

The Apostolic Benediction prays: “The communion of the Holy Ghost be with you all.” (1 Cor. 13:14, KJV) All the blessings of communion are for each believer. There is nothing promised to the Church that does not belong to its humblest member. The Spirit of God is not the monopoly of any particular class. There is nothing done by a minister that may not be done by anyone to whom the Holy Spirit is given. Let that be quite clear. Everyone can say: The Holy Ghost comes into partnership with me. He is my Helper, my Witness, my Teacher, my Guide, my Strength. For all the will of God we each have the Spirit with all His resources of wisdom and power. All things are possible to the soul strengthened with His might and led in His wisdom. If these things be true, wherein lies the explanation of our weakness and reproach? Where is the note of certainty in our testimony? Where is the prevailing power of prayer? Where is the power that overturns strongholds and casts out devils?

The communion of the Spirit is with us. He seeks partnership with us. His resources are inexhaustible, and His power invincible, but! but! but! There are reserves, conditions, interests; barriers that hinder, grieve, and quench the Spirit. He is held up by the barriers of unbelief, and prayerless living, worldly ambition, stupid vanity, and inflated pride. He longs for our fellowship. For the sake of Christ and the Kingdom of Grace, He longs to be admitted to confidence and co-operation. He wants a central place in our hearts, and to be admitted to the life of the soul. He comes to co-operate, and co-operation waits for confidence and consent. Where there is “agreement” there is power. Service becomes mighty in this fellowship. All the conditions of power are met in “the supply of the Spirit.” Personality is quickened and sanctified. Sympathy is deepened and enlightened, and in sympathy are the discernment that understands and the appeal that woos and wins. Weakness becomes strength when the Spirit of Might comes upon us. Ordinary men become wonderful when clothed with the Spirit of Power.

Weakness is a reproach when such might is at our service. Defeat is dishonor when the partnership of God is rejected. With the communion of the Holy Ghost at our command, what manner of men we ought to be! With such a partnership what mighty works we ought to do! There are no limits to His power. There are no reserves in His communion. There is no respect of persons with Him. Why do we set boundaries to His work, limit His activities, and refuse His appeal? He brings all, let us give all. “The Spirit which He has planted within us jealously longs for our love.” He seeks to enter into communion with us in all our life, and in return He will lead us into the communion of all that He has and is. Sign the deed today, and there will come the joy and power of the Holy Spirit of God who is the Spirit of Christ. “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost be with you all.” (2 Cor. 13:14, KJV)