(2)To the closet, where they may find communion with their heavenly Friend. There is a leading and a being led — with a privilege mysteriously grand, growing out of that relation. Not that the preacher had clothed the truth in unintelligible language, but in the language of Scripture, inspired by the Spirit of God, and therefore in a language which that statesman was unable to comprehend because it was to be spiritually discerned. God’s Spirit continually reaches out to embrace and encourage us. Christ gives the Comforter. (3) In so far as sonship involves the idea of exaltation, power, blessing, etc., the indwelling of the Spirit is the immediate source of all these distinctions.IV. Unquestionable.III. If you are a child of God you will be led by the Spirit.3. First, take it indefinitely. And there are three things which do make up this unto us. They bear the name of children (vers. He who is led does not lead. We now cry, "Abba, Father." A spiritual right to all the creatures — "All things are yours."2. Guidance by means of the revealed Word of God, yet due to a Divine and supernatural influence.5. Are we tempted? Left to self-guidance he possesses vast and uncontrollable powers of self-destruction. But sometimes it happens that a person may be under the influence of unperceived prejudices, or passions, which warp him to a side. Cast yourself upon the Divine guidance, and you shall make no mistake. He does not undertake to lead a spiritual corpse, a soul dead in sins, The leading of the Spirit, then, is His acting upon His own life in the soul. What is signified by being "led by the Spirit"? Sanctifying grace, when He rectifies the heart, inclines the will, and meliorates the affections (Philippians 3:13). Practice (Ezekiel 36:27).(Bp. We are His by regeneration as well as adoption, by a new birth as well as by a new title. In determining their inward and outward life.I. )Sons of GodU. Thirdly, inclination, or bowing of the will and affections to close and comply with such truths and motions which are apprehended. I love Easter -- the triumphal notes of the music, the joy it expresses. The Word preached is often blest, as well as the Word written, but this can only be the case when the Word preached is in conformity with the Word written. Now this is considerable with a double reference, either first of all to our first conversion; or, secondly, to our following conversation. His love to us is infinite (Psalm 103:13); what return do we make? We act upon matter by machinery, but upon mind by argument, by instruction, and so we endeavour to fashion men as we desire. Is manifested by Divine resemblance.6. The sermon was entitled "The Star in the East," by Dr. Claudius Buchanan, and described the progress of the gospel in India, and the evidence there afforded of its Divine power. It assumes —(1) The existence of spiritual life in those He leads. Cast yourself upon the Divine guidance, and you shall make no mistake. "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace."6. (2) Bears a filial love to His Father. Divine.2. It is only by our spiritual union with Him, that we, in a secondary sense, yet a most vital and precious one, are made also "sons of God." We come to God through prayer, then find provision, then protection.(T. The various sciences have distinct nomenclatures which they who are not initiated do not understand. He is "led by the Spirit of God."1. They participate in the inheritance of children.(J. )Sons of GodU. G. Thomas. Again, they are not neither after one and the same manner. Waterland, D.D. (5) Pray much for this grace of the Spirit (Psalm 143:10).3. The latter leading appertains to all God's children, and at all times. R. Are we sorrowful? We might almost have called it a picture. The reason of man is perverted; it is clouded by prejudice; it attaches undue weight to things that are of no importance, and overlooks the things which are of first-rate importance. — the Spirit leads us to the tender love of Jesus. Loving.II. But sometimes it happens that a person may be under the influence of unperceived prejudices, or passions, which warp him to a side. Who of us cannot recall some trying time when the utter dismay came over him of not knowing what way to take — the sun gone down, human helpers away or feeble, human advisers indifferent or undecided? We are His by regeneration as well as adoption, by a new birth as well as by a new title. Both these, in a moral point of view, coalesce in the case of every one by nature. He knows the path to heaven — all its intricacies and dangers: the sunken rock, the treacherous quicksand, the concealed pit, the subtle snare, the windings, and intricacy, and straitness of the way. Thirdly, they are members of Christ. (3)To the house of God(4)To the Lord's table. (1) One great instrument which the Holy Ghost uses upon the mind is the Word of God. Practice (Ezekiel 36:27).(Bp. 17). The world is converted into a vast school for the benefit of the Church, as the wilderness was when God brought His people out of Egypt (Deuteronomy 4:36; Deuteronomy 32:10).5. Lyth, D.D. Romans 8:5-13 tells us that if we are in the Spirit, we have the possibility of walking according to the Spirit, and thus we have power to overcome the sin that is within. He provides for us, defends us, extricates us out of our difficulties, instructs us, corrects us, makes us privy to His plans, and will eventually take us home to Himself, that we may dwell for ever in our Father's house.Conclusion:1. )The happiness of the sons of GodJ. (2) To safety. Lyth, D.D.1. If the Spirit have wrought our hearts to be right with God in all our affections we may be assured that we are His sons.3. (3) In so far as sonship involves the idea of exaltation, power, blessing, etc., the indwelling of the Spirit is the immediate source of all these distinctions.IV. The effects of this are many and great.1. THE DESCRIPTION. G. The second is the predicate, or consequent, in the privilege belonging to these persons. )The sons of GodJ. The glory of children is their fathers (Proverbs 17:6); but the privilege is not only of honour but of profit (ver. All other ways are crooked, as deviating from the straight line of righteousness. Guidance by means of the revealed Word of God, yet due to a Divine and supernatural influence.5. (2) Trials may befall him; but he knows that "all things work together for good to them that love God." (a)As for his actions, he dares not do anything wilfully that would displease Him (Malachi 1:6). THE PRIVILEGES OF DIVINE SONSHIP TO WHICH THE LEADERSHIP OF THE SPIRIT INTRODUCES US. (3)To the house of God(4)To the Lord's table. Then, instead of being taught of a mere outward change wrought by this leading, there is a transformation of our whole interior nature and condition. HOW DOES THE SPIRIT LEAD THE SONS OF GOD?1. Why? If the Holy Ghost has never made Christ precious to you, you know nothing about Him.3. Thus from sinful self, as from righteous self, the Spirit leads us —(2) To Christ. Something altogether different from abandonment to natural impulses.3. We might almost have called it a picture. Conclusion: Use the text —1. It is a mere act of grace.2. THE PRIVILEGE OF GOD'S PEOPLE: "They are the sons of God." All is sober and rational, as it is sacred and solemn. Winslow, D.D. H. Spurgeon.I. Why? (3) Be willing to follow the motions of the Spirit. This, however, is not to be so understood, as if the Holy Ghost were now our sole conducter, exclusive of the other two Divine Persons (John 14:23; Matthew 28:20). Instead of Jehovah we are told of "the Spirit." Now, if all this be the case we need a leader such as the Spirit of God.2. (2)Obedience to God's will. (1) By unfolding the meaning of the written Word. What can we see of truth, of providence, of God's mind and will, of ourselves?2. — the Spirit leads us to the tender love of Jesus. Some Christians think themselves wise enough to instruct God as to the experiences through which they should pass.3. A claim to eternal glory (Colossians 1:12; Matthew 25:34). It is a mere act of grace.2. (5) Pray much for this grace of the Spirit (Psalm 143:10).3. Into vital godliness — the mystic essence of spiritual life. THE CONDITION ON WHICH WE ARE "SONS OF GOD."1. They are "led by the Spirit of God." Since the benefit of all depends upon our own willing compliance and hearty endeavours, let us make it our constant resolution to attend the motions, and to obey the suggestions of God's Holy Spirit, and so to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling.(D. The methods are various — meditation, personal affliction, the prayers of Christians, some sermon, etc.3. That as some thrive in wickedness, so others should thrive in goodness; and as Satan enlarges his kingdom, so the Lord also should increase His. He must first lead you to God by conversion. By nature we are all God's children, and cannot cease to be so. Strutt. But sometimes it happens that a person may be under the influence of unperceived prejudices, or passions, which warp him to a side. )Sons of GodU. THE PRIVILEGES OF DIVINE SONSHIP TO WHICH THE LEADERSHIP OF THE SPIRIT INTRODUCES US. In the Greek there are two terms for "leading." Not that the preacher had clothed the truth in unintelligible language, but in the language of Scripture, inspired by the Spirit of God, and therefore in a language which that statesman was unable to comprehend because it was to be spiritually discerned. Exclusively, if they be not led by His Spirit, whatever they be else they are none of His children. III. (5) Is led by His Spirit; which brings us to —2. And secondly, for one and the same time. These appear chiefly either in checks of conscience dissuading us from evil, or in godly motions, inciting us to what is right and good. (b)As for his sufferings, he receives them submissively as corrections. Peculiar love. They have the inward witness of the Spirit (ver. Obedient.2. — the Spirit leads us to the fulness of Jesus. THE RESULTS OF OUR BEING "SONS OF GOD."1. WHAT IS IT TO BE LED BY THE SPIRIT?1. He leads the sons of God into all truth. (1) Our moral eyesight is blinded. There is the leading and guiding of the Spirit, which is requisite and necessary for Christians in each of these conditions. They are led by His Spirit.2. This is distinguished into preventing, assisting, perfecting; being considered, first, as laying the early seeds of that spiritual life; next, as contributing to its growth; and lastly, as adding the finishing hand to it.3. They have the inward witness of the Spirit (ver. Obedient.2. The love of truth, or the conformity of our hearts to the standard of God's will.3. 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; but as we do not sea the air above us, nor even hear it in the calm of summer, yet we perceive its existence by the gentle stirring of the trees, the strong flight of birds, the slow sailing of great clouds; so the unseen and silent Spirit reveals His presence by the life He brings, the influence He exerts.2. What a safeguard against the powers of darkness!4. To be ever mindful of the world of spirits whereunto we belong; and particularly of that blessed Spirit who presides over us, and whose temple we are, while we behave as becomes us.2. The Word preached is often blest, as well as the Word written, but this can only be the case when the Word preached is in conformity with the Word written. And yet the Holy Ghost is emphatically styled "the Spirit of Grace," as being more immediately concerned in the work of grace. We are not led blindfold and irresistibly; the reason is illumined, the emotions are quickened. "All things are theirs."4. Lyth, D.D.1. 26).II. It leads us in paths that we had not known. THE HIGH PRIVILEGE OF THOSE WHO ARE LED BY THE SPIRIT OF GOD. (2) As a leader for the will, and yielding self-will to the voice of God in the conscience and in revealed law. THEIR ASSURANCE is —1. It may further be cleared to us upon these considerations. God loves him too well not to try him. Christ gives the Comforter. Secondly, by the goodness of the ways themselves in which we converse, we find these two joined together (Ezekiel 36:27, 28). Indefinitely, if they be led by God's Spirit, they are His children, let them be who they will be. How may I became a child of God?2. The love of truth, or the conformity of our hearts to the standard of God's will.3. Effectively. He leads —(1) In a right way, the way of God's commandments. Neither in thought nor action are we competent to take a single step by ourselves; and yet every step we take brings us nearer to God or takes us farther from Him. Secondly, those that are led by the Spirit, they are made conformable and like unto God, and have His image stamped upon them. Left to self-guidance he possesses vast and uncontrollable powers of self-destruction. Lyth, D.D.1. From whence we may observe this much, that this being led and acted and guided by the Spirit of God, it is not only the property of one or two particular persons, who are singular and alone by themselves, but it is the condition of a whole society and generation of men. This may therefore take off the slander which is cast upon religion as a private and singular business, as the invention only of some few persons, which they take up to themselves. Not mere resemblance. It is not enough to be the sons of God, unless we know ourselves to be so.1. First, information, or discovery of such and such truths in the proposition. H. Spurgeon.I. Let us see, then, how a man may know that he is led by the Spirit of God. Why? THEIR PROSPECTS.1. He is "led by the Spirit of God."1. By admission into His Church? "We having the same Spirit of faith, according as it is written" (2 Corinthians 4:13). Mr. Pitt was once taken by Wilberforce to hear William Cecil; that statesman listened attentively, and when he was retiring, upon being asked by his friend how he liked the statements he had heard, the honest answer was, that he could not understand one single sentence. Hodge, D.D.The Spirit is everywhere present. Both these, in a moral point of view, coalesce in the case of every one by nature. Favour and fellowship.4. (3) He directly, apart from the Word, speaks in the hearts of the saints. They are careful not to "quench " or "grieve" the Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:19; Ephesians 4:30).3. If you are a child of God you will be led by the Spirit.3. Christ is engaged to protect and defend them.5. Lyth, D.D. 17). Loving.II. (1) He may look up to God as his reconciled Father in Jesus. Where we find the same operations we may conclude there are the same principles. HIS PRESENT CONDITION. Hence men are said to resist, grieve, quench the Holy Spirit.II. (d) We have a traitor within. THE EVIDENCE THAT WE ARE "SONS OF GOD." )Leadings of the Holy SpiritBp. We ought to be led by the Spirit in little things as well as in great. "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace."6. From whence we may observe this much, that this being led and acted and guided by the Spirit of God, it is not only the property of one or two particular persons, who are singular and alone by themselves, but it is the condition of a whole society and generation of men. Unquestionable.III. )The guidance of the SpiritO. And therefore there is no safe and certain rule to go by in such cases, but a strict examination into the nature and quality of the action. Horton. Consider —1. Cast yourself upon the Divine guidance, and you shall make no mistake. In this lab, John Piper shows us … They are led by His Spirit.2. A true son will let God have His way.III. The second is the predicate, or consequent, in the privilege belonging to these persons. How must I prove that I am a child of God?4. They are joint heirs with Christ, and the time shall come when they shall enter upon a heavenly and immortal inheritance. )The nature and tokens of the Spirit's operationD. Or it is as if a little child in the dark had not only asked direction from his father, but had seized that father's hand, so to trust implicitly to his guidance (see also Psalm 23. "(3) He may come to God with the confidence of a child. (2)To the closet, where they may find communion with their heavenly Friend. Something altogether different from abandonment to natural impulses.3. Horton., Thomas Horton, D.D.I. Every man is led by some spirit; one by a spirit of error (1 Timothy 4:1), another by the spirit of giddiness (Isaiah 19:14), another by the spirit of bondage, another by the spirit of the world (1 Corinthians 2:12), and all, besides, by the unclean spirit. We were too infantile in the childhood of our spiritual life to know God when He took us up. Just as children resemble their parents in physical form and feature, and so prove themselves partakers of their nature, so do the sons of God resemble Him in moral lineaments, in spirit and disposition, and thus prove themselves partakers of His nature. There is the leading and guiding of the Spirit, which is requisite and necessary for Christians in each of these conditions. (2)To the closet, where they may find communion with their heavenly Friend. Reverence.2. Winslow, D.D. If they be not led by His Spirit, whatever they be else, they are none of His children. A formal act and covenant of adoption is entered into, whereby our Maker assumes in our favour a parental position and name, and we are permitted to believe in His paternal relation to us, to talk about it, and to act upon it (John 1:12, 13; Galatians 4:4, 5; 1 John 3:1).2. Thirdly, inclination, or bowing of the will and affections to close and comply with such truths and motions which are apprehended. )The leading of the Spirit the secret token of the sons of GodC. Why are such led by the Spirit? HIS PRIVILEGE.1. THE PRIVILEGE. There is a twofold leading by the Spirit; the one is common and ordinary, the other is special and peculiar. Guidance by means of the revealed Word of God, yet due to a Divine and supernatural influence.5. (2) To safety. What advantage have I as a child of God?(J. Since the benefit of all depends upon our own willing compliance and hearty endeavours, let us make it our constant resolution to attend the motions, and to obey the suggestions of God's Holy Spirit, and so to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling.(D. For instance, the Holy Ghost leads the saints to prayer, which is the vital breath of their souls.7. Unquestionable.III. (2) To safety. But you must try your spiritual sonship by this rule — your Heavenly Father is holy (1 Peter 1:15, 16), merciful, righteous, slow to anger, abhors all manner of evil; are we like that, or the reverse? The Spirit of God does all these three in the work of conversion. Dwelling in that heart He knows where wisely to supply a cheek, or gently to administer a rebuke, or tenderly to whisper a promise, or sympathetically, to soothe a sorrow, or effectually to aid an incipient resolve, or strengthen a wavering purpose, or confirm a fluctuating hope.II. Men are the special creation of God; may have a special resemblance to Him; may have affection, not fear; may cry "Abba, Father."II. And as for his privileges in eternity, "Eye hath not seen" etc.,(Bp. Then, instead of being taught of a mere outward change wrought by this leading, there is a transformation of our whole interior nature and condition. (2) It gives right views and motives to determine us in all emergencies. We can perhaps talk largely of our love, but if we loved Him could we estrange ourselves from His interest, hear His sacred name blasphemed, etc. (3) Sweetly and gently. Grace is one and the same for substance in all sorts of Christians, and they are led by the same Spirit of God, which is the worker and preserver of it in them there where it is wrought. There is one only-begotten Son of God, becoming also the Son of man, born of Mary, our humanity being for ever taken up into His Divinity and glorified by it. They participate in the inheritance of children.(J. And this are they which are led by His Spirit. To pray that the Spirit of God may alway dwell with us, and to take care to avoid all such practices as may offend the Holy Spirit.3. Secondly, by the goodness of the ways themselves in which we converse, we find these two joined together (Ezekiel 36:27, 28). Horton. (5) The blessings that result from this leading. Not in the paths where the garments will be defiled; not into the scenes of worldly dissipation and amusement, but often through many obstacles —(1)To the Cross, where they find rest to their souls. And here again two more. And not only so, but He leads us into intense love for the souls of sinners. So we who are led by the Spirit do not go to God as beggars, but as His own sons, whom He receiveth as a father receiveth his children. (c) The world around us is continually placing temptation in our way. 14, 16).3. ITS DUTIES.1. J. S. Bird, B.A.I. Where we find the same operations we may conclude there are the same principles. His love to us is infinite (Psalm 103:13); what return do we make? Not on Sundays only, nor alone at periods set apart for prayer, but during every minute of every hour of every day. Heirship with Christ; sharers of His glory.II. Promote charity—Christian love—for that is the chief grace of our faith. )The happiness of the sons of GodJ. An active and progressive, not a passive and stationary life.2. (4) Let your dependence be upon God and His Spirit for guidance (Psalm 25:9; Proverbs 3:5, 6; Job 18:7; Proverbs 20:24). If we be led by the Spirit we shall be tender of grieving the Spirit, and doing anything which may be offensive to Him. He is a new creature, a son. Lyth, D.D.1. Something altogether different from abandonment to natural impulses.3. (4) Progressively, from grace to grace and virtue to virtue, whereas passion goes by sudden flashes. They have free and certain access to God as their Father (Romans 5:2; Ephesians 3:12).6. Men are the special creation of God; may have a special resemblance to Him; may have affection, not fear; may cry "Abba, Father."II. )Leadings of the Holy SpiritBp. If we be led by the Spirit we shall be tender of grieving the Spirit, and doing anything which may be offensive to Him. (7)To heaven.3. )The condition and privilege of a son of GodBp. The second is the predicate, or consequent, in the privilege belonging to these persons. (3) He directly, apart from the Word, speaks in the hearts of the saints. To all those who come home the door is open.2. Dwelling in that heart He knows where wisely to supply a cheek, or gently to administer a rebuke, or tenderly to whisper a promise, or sympathetically, to soothe a sorrow, or effectually to aid an incipient resolve, or strengthen a wavering purpose, or confirm a fluctuating hope.II. If the first half of chapter 13 of the book of Romans was not controversial enough, the second half of the chapter does not ease the controversy. In determining their inward and outward life.I. F. Adeney, M.A.I. THEIR SPIRIT is —1. "He shall abide with you for ever, even the Spirit of Truth," etc.3. To be ever mindful of the world of spirits whereunto we belong; and particularly of that blessed Spirit who presides over us, and whose temple we are, while we behave as becomes us.2. What is he without a guide in the wilderness, a pilot on the ocean? Secondly, those that are led by the Spirit, they are made conformable and like unto God, and have His image stamped upon them. The various sciences have distinct nomenclatures which they who are not initiated do not understand. The operations of God's Holy Spirit, then, only prepare us for godliness, or incite us and enable us thereto; the rest must come from ourselves. Confident.3. It appears among bands of youth, in exploring parties in political combinations and social reforms, and especially in the military spirit.3. It is not by blind suggestions or impulses. As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the children of God. (b) We are surrounded with a host of spiritual beings, who are continually operating against our safety. HIS PRESENT CONDITION. A blind man is under the necessity of being led, in order that he may be preserved from the dangers into which he would be otherwise betrayed.2. To repentance.2. There were so in the times of the prophets, and there were so in the times of the apostles, and there are so still in ours, and will be further to the end of the world. Lyth, D.D.1. This restoration is the source of our deepest joy.4. They feel the confidence of children.6. St. Paul regards this as an adoption (ver. (c) The world around us is continually placing temptation in our way. The children of God they are led on by His spirit in this. "By one Spirit we are all baptized into one body, and have been made all to drink into one Spirit" (1 Corinthians 12:13). Conclusion:1. Is manifested by Divine resemblance.6. 2. (4) Progressively, from grace to grace and virtue to virtue, whereas passion goes by sudden flashes. 3. Where we find the same operations we may conclude there are the same principles. Lyth, D.D.1. (2) And our way is encompassed with peril. Every man is led by some spirit; one by a spirit of error (1 Timothy 4:1), another by the spirit of giddiness (Isaiah 19:14), another by the spirit of bondage, another by the spirit of the world (1 Corinthians 2:12), and all, besides, by the unclean spirit. (1) It leads to the government of the tongue, the control of the passions, the ordering of the conduct. In the discharge of all their duties they seek His aid.5. 17). If we would have a comfortable assurance we must be led by the Spirit in —1. Favour and fellowship.4. They have the inward witness of the Spirit (ver. (2) The first leading of the Spirit must be had before the secondary leading. Disposition. Yes. Now, gospel truth is just as unintelligible to one who has not been renewed by the Spirit of God. Unquestionable.III. Thus he can look upon his trials with thankfulness, believing that they shall work out for him, "a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. Hodge, D.D.The Spirit is everywhere present. 13). Tossed from opinion to opinion, perplexed by conflicting creeds, are you anxiously inquiring, "What is truth?" They render the obedience of children.5. First, by our delight in the Word of God, and our conformity and agreeableness to that. Commences with adoption. For upon that supposition every good work, word, or thought, would be so entirely God's, that no part of it would be ours. Effectively. Christ is engaged to protect and defend them.5. They have —1. Commences with adoption. Lyth, D.D. But before we draw such conclusion with respect to any particular thought, special care should be taken that we proceed upon sure grounds; otherwise we may be apt to ascribe the rovings of fancy, or mere dreams of our own, to the Holy Spirit of God. God is our Father —1. The testimony of the spirit of man.III. That Word is our great sheet-anchor in the present day, and. But more: He leads us from an opposite extreme of self — from a despairing view of our personal sinfulness. They participate in the inheritance of children.(J. Bickersteth. Is not always irresistible. The third is the consent or correspondency of this conduct in this variety, where many and different persons are intimated to be guided by one and the selfsame Spirit. The leadership of the Spirit must be regarded as the influence which is thus exerted over the souls of men, and freely yielded to by them. As a consolation. (2) As it is certain evidence of sonship here, so it is a certain pledge of heaven and salvation hereafter. It implies following the Spirit —(1) As a guide for the intellect — seeking light in prayer, and humbly searching the inspired Scriptures. There are many signs besides the one here mentioned, as —(1) Every child is like His Father, It is not so in carnal generation always. (b) We are surrounded with a host of spiritual beings, who are continually operating against our safety. What a safeguard against the powers of darkness!4. The marks are —(1)Separation from the world. R. He comforts by applying the promises — by leading to Christ — by bending the will in deep submission to God — and by unveiling to faith's far-seeing eye the glories of a sorrowless, tearless, sinless world. (a)By understanding the Bible. Both these, in a moral point of view, coalesce in the case of every one by nature. Into vital godliness — the mystic essence of spiritual life. In renewing them.2. Instead of Jehovah we are told of "the Spirit." What, then, is the peculiar privilege of those who are so led? Reverence.2. When He is received into the heart a new nature is born; a Son of God, in the image of Christ. How is it that the Spirit of God leads? Glorious.2. The witness of God's Spirit.2. We cannot explain His mode of operation, but probably it is somewhat in the same way in which our spirits operate upon other men's spirits. 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