, , , , ,

III. [Jesus was Led by the Spirit]

Thirdly, we are to consider the leader, He was led by the Spirit. In which we are to note five things: not making any question, but that it was the good Spirit, for so it appears in Luke. 4. 1.[1]

First, that the state of a man regenerate by baptism[2], is not a standing still, Matt. 20. 6. He found others standing idle in the marketplace, and he said to them, Why stand ye idle all day?[3] We must not only have a mortifying and reviving, but a quickening[4] and stirring spirit. 1. Cor. 15. 45[5] which will move us, and cause us to proceed: we must not lie still like lumps of flesh, laying all upon Christs shoulders, Phil. 3. 16[6] we must walk forwards, for the kingdom of God consists not in words, but in power, 1. Cor. 4. 19.[7]

Secondly, as there must be a stirring, so this stirring must not be such, as when a man is left to his own voluntary or natural motion: we must go according as we are lead. For having given ourselves to God, we are no longer to be at our own disposition or direction: whereas before our calling, we were Gentiles, and were carried into errors, 1. Cor. 12. 2[8] we wandered up & down as masterless or careless, or else gave heed to the doctrine of devils, 1. Tim. 4.1[9] or else led with divers [various] lusts, 2. Tim. 3. 6.[10] But now being become the children of God, we must be led by the Spirit of God: for so many as be the sons of God, are led thereby, Rom. 8. 14.[11] We must not be led by the Spirit, whence the Revelation came Matt. 16. 22. from whence revelations of flesh and blood do arise: but by the Spirit from whence the voice came, This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased.[12] It came not by the Spirit that minister’s wise counsel, but by that which came down upon them.

Thirdly, the manner of leading, is described to be such a kind of leading when a ship is loosed from the shore, as Luke. chapter 8. verse. 22. it is called launching forth: so, in the eighteenth chapter of the Acts, the 31. verse, Paul is said to have sailed forth.

The Holy Ghost driving us, is compared to a gale [blowing, not storm] of wind, John 3. 8[13] which teaches us, that as when the wind blows, we must be ready to hoist up sail: so must we make vs ready to be led by the spirit. Our hope is compared to an anchor, Heb. 6. 19. which must be hailed up to us; and our faith to the sail, we are to bear as great a sail as we can. We must also look to the closeness of the vessel, which is our conscience: for if we have not a good conscience, we may make shipwreck of faith, religion, and all, 1. Tim., 1. 19. And thus are we to proceed in our journey towards our Country, the spiritual Jerusalem, as it were sea-faring men. Acts. 20. 22. Now behold I go bound in spirit to Jerusalem: to which journey the love of Christ must constrain vs. 2. Cor. 5. 14.[14]

Fourthly, that he was led to be tempted. His temptation therefore came not by chance, nor as Job chap 5. vers. 6. speaks, out of the dust, or out of the earth, nor from the devil, for he had no power without leave, not only over Job’s person, Job. 1. 12. but not so much as over his goods, verse 14.[15] He had no power of himself so much as over the hogs of the Gergashites, who were profan, Matt. 8. 31.[16]

Hence gather we this comfort, that the Holy Ghost is not a stander by (as a stranger) [one who merely stands without responding] when we are tempted, Tanquam otiosus spectator [as if he were an idle spectator] but he leads us by the hand, and stands by as a faithful assistant, Esay chapter 4. verse. 13. He makes an issue out of [is concerned about] all our temptations, and will not suffer us to be tempted above our strength, 1. Cor. Chap. 10. vers. 13.[17] And he turns the work of sin, and of the devil too, unto our good, Ro. 8. 28.[18] So that all these shall make us more wary after to resist them: and hell, by fearing it, shall be an occasion unto us, to avoid that might bring vs to it: and so they shall all be fellow-helpers to our salvation.

[How might they be good?]

So that temptations, whether

[1] they be (as the fathers call them) rods to chasten us for sin committed,

[2] or to try and sift us, Mat. 3. 12. and so to take away the chaff, the fan is in the Holy Ghost’s hand:

[3] or whether they be sent to buffet us against the prick of the flesh, 2. Cor. 12. 7,[19]

[4]or whether they be as matters serving for our experience, not only for ourselves, that we may know our own strength, Rom. 5. 3. and to work patience in us:

[5] but to the devil also, that so his mouth may be stopped, as in Job 2. 3. Hast thou marked my servant Job, how upright he is, and that in all the world there is not such a one?

Howsoever they be, the Devil has not the rod or chain in his hands, but the Holy Ghost to order them, as may best serve for his glory and our good: and as for the devil, he binds him fast, Rev. 20. 2.[20]

Fifthly, by the Greek word here used, is set forth the difference between the temptations of the Saints, and reprobates. In the Lord’s Prayer one petition is, Lead vs not into temptation: but there, the Word imports [carries] another manner of leading, than is here meant. We do not there pray against this manner of leading here, which is so to lead us, as to be with us, and to bring us back again, Heb. 13. 20[21] but we pray there, that he would not cast or drive us into temptations; and when we are there, leave vs, by withdrawing his grace and Holy Spirit, as he doth from the reprobate and forsaken.


In this section, Andrews considers the clause from Mathew 4:1, that Jesus was “led by the Spirit” into the wilderness. From this he draws a series of conclusions.

First, the Spirit which the believer receives is a Spirit which brings about change and movement. Jesus was led, but we too are put into motion.

Second, we are being led: the Spirit has now taken control: “we are no longer to be at our own disposition or direction.” Before, we were led about by our own passions. But if we now are God’s we are led by the Spirit: Romans 8:14 (ESV) “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.”

Third, as such, we are like ships which are blown by the wind. He takes this from the analogy of the Spirit to the wind (the two words are the same in Greek) in John 3. From this he draws out the analogy to the a “shipwreck of our faith” if we defile and refuse our conscience.

Fourth, being led out to be tempted is not a whole evil, because God uses all things for God. To be tempted and tried may prove to be (1) correction for our past sin; (2) a trial which takes sin away from us (sifting us like wheat to remove the chaff and leave the grain); (3) it may be a trouble which protects us from further sin by making us humble; (4) we may be humbled by learning our limitations and dependence; (5) it may even be a rebuke to Devil, as it was in the case of Job.

[1] Luke 4:1 (ESV) “And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness.”

[2] Article 27 of the Church of England respecting baptism provides as follows: “Baptism is not only a sign of profession, and mark of difference, whereby Christian men are discerned from others that be not christened, but it is also a sign of Regeneration or New-Birth, whereby, as by an instrument, they that receive Baptism rightly are grafted into the Church; the promises of the forgiveness of sin, and of our adoption to be the sons of God by the Holy Ghost, are visibly signed and sealed; Faith is confirmed, and Grace increased by virtue of prayer unto God.”

[3] The text cited refers to a parable of Jesus; the language as cited has no direct application to Andrews’ argument. Here he is using the reference as an illustration, not as evidence.

[4] To be “quick” is to be alive and moving. To “quicken” is to make alive, restore life.

[5] 1 Corinthians 15:44–46 (ESV) “44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual.”

[6] Andrews’ argument in this place is better understood and supported if we look to more of the context for v. 16:

Philippians 3:14–16 (ESV) “14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. 16 Only let us hold true to what we have attained.”

[7] 1 Corinthians 4:19 (ESV) “But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I will find out not the talk of these arrogant people but their power.”

[8] 1 Corinthians 12:2 (ESV)  “You know that when you were pagans you were led astray to mute idols, however you were led.”

[9] 1 Timothy 4:1 (ESV) “Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons.”

[10] 2 Timothy 3:6 (ESV) “For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions.” Rather than “various passions,” the Geneva has “divers lustes”.

[11] Romans 8:14 (ESV)  “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.”

[12] Matt. 3:16.

[13] John 3:8 (ESV) “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

[14] 2 Corinthians 5:14 (ESV) “For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died.”

[15]In the first chapter of Job, Satan accuses Job of serving God only for receiving material rewards. He asks and receives power to cause Job injury. First, he is granted power only over such things as around Job. Second, he is granted the power to afflict Job’s body – but not kill him.  Andrews also alludes to:

Job 5:6–7 (ESV)

                      For affliction does not come from the dust,

nor does trouble sprout from the ground,

                      but man is born to trouble

as the sparks fly upward.

[16] After Jesus casts out the Legion of demons from the man, the demons go into a nearby herd of hogs. Matthew 8:31 (ESV) “And the demons begged him, saying, ‘If you cast us out, send us away into the herd of pigs.’”

[17] 1 Corinthians 10:13 (ESV)  “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”

[18] Romans 8:28–29 (ESV)  “28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.”

[19] 2 Corinthians 12:7–10 (ESV) “7 So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

[20] Revelation 20:2 (ESV) “And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years.”

[21] Hebrews 13:20 (ESV) “Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant.”