Now if any have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. —
[In a model of good preaching, Manton provides brief context which ties this sermon back with the preceding chain of sermons on Romans 8.]
Note on the structure. In the first section of the sermon, Manton provides an overview of and context for the doctrine asserted. After he makes his brief statement concerning the doctrine (two long paragraphs), he moves into a full development of the doctrine. Thereafter, he provides application of the doctrine.
I) Doctrine: That all true Christians have the spirit of Christ.
1) I suppose there are Christians, or Christ’s disciples in name, and disciples indeed : John viii. 31. … there are Christians in the letter, that have the outside of Christians, but not the life and power. We are only Christians in name and profession till we have the Spirit.
2) I assert, that which discriminateth the one from the other, is the having the Spirit.
(i) It is a mark both exclusive and inclusive.
1. (By “exclusive mark”, Manton means a mark which excludes one from category or status. He gives examples such as John 1:47: those who do not hear God’s word of God.)
2. (By “inclusive mark”, Manton means a mark which demonstrates one to be a Christian. He gives the example of Paul in Romans 9:1-3 where Paul would prefer the good of others to the good of himself.)
3. [T]his [mark] is both exclusive and inclusive. The text showeth it to be exclusive; he that hath not the Spirit, is none of his ; that is, not grafted as a living member into Christ’s mystical body for the present, Secondly, It is inclusive: 1 John ii. 13, ‘Hereby we know that we dwell in God, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.’
(ii) To prove this, let us see, —
1. What it is to have the Spirit.
2. Why this is the evidence that we are true Christians.
II) What it is to have the Spirit.
1) By the Spirit of Christ is not meant any created habit and gift.
(i) The third person in the Trinity, called the Holy Ghost, is here meant;
(ii) (Manton proves his point, by noting the manner in which “Spirit” is used in the immediate context: In verse 11, we read that the Spirit which rose Jesus from the dead will indwell believers.)
(iii)(Manton proves this point by the broader context of the NT, referencing John 15:26).
(iv)(Manton’s model of exegesis provides a good model for the preacher/teacher: An interpretation of a passage must first be consistent with and appropriate to most immediate context. Second, the interpretation must be consistent with the broader context of the Bible. This model not only is an appropriate check for one’s understanding of the passage, it also provides confidence to the congregation in the understanding of the passage and in the reliability of the Bible, as a whole. If your interpretation is not consistent with other biblical doctrine, then your understanding at some point is incorrect.]
2) This Spirit is had, or said to be in us. We have not only the fruit, but the tree. But how have we him ? We have a right to his person, he is given to us in the covenant of grace, as our sanctifier; as God is ours by covenant, so is the Spirit ours, … (Ps. 139:7; 1 Cor. 3:16; 1 Cor. 6:19)because he buildeth them up for a holy use, and also dwelleth and resideth there, maintaining God’s interest in their souls.
3) (A comparison between J. Edwards (particularly, Religious Affections) and Manton on the following points would be useful). These eminent operations of the Holy Ghost are either in a way of common gifts, or special graces; as to common gifts, reprobates and hypocrites may be said to be partakers of the Holy Ghost, Heb.6:4 (Balaam, Judas, 1 Cor. 13). There are dona ministrantia, gifts for the service of the church; such as profound knowledge, utterance in preaching, or praying, or any other ministerial acts ; and dona sanctificantia, such as faith, hope, and love; the former may render us useful to the church, but not acceptable to the Lord. The superficial Christianity is rewarded with common gifts, but the real Christianity with special graces;
4) The Spirit, as to sanctifying and saving effects, may be considered as Spiritus assistens aut informans; either as moving, warning, or exciting, by transient motions; so the wicked may be wrought upon by him, as to be convinced, warned, excited;
(a) There are such effects of his sanctifying grace, as are wrought in us, per moduni habitus permanentis, to renew and change us, so as a man from carnal, doth become spiritual, the Spirit of God doth so dwell in us as to frame heart and life into holiness; this work is sometimes called the new creature, 2 Cor. v. 17, and sometimes the divine nature, 2 Pet. i. 4. It differeth from gifts, because they are for outward service ; but this conduceth to change the heart (John 4:14) Two things are considerable in it : 1. Its continuance and radication. 2. Its efficacy and predominancy.
(i) The radication is set forth by the notions of the Spirit’s dwelling in us: John 14:6, 1 Peter 4:14, John 14:23
(ii) Its prevalency and predominancy ; for where the Spirit dwelleth, there he must rule, and have the command of the house; 1 Cor. 2:12, Rom. 8:5 & 13; 2 Cor. 3:17; The objects of sense which feed the flesh make less impression upon us ; and the love of sin is more and more conquered. Now take it thus explained, you may know what it is to have the Spirit, namely, the dwelling and working of the Spirit in our souls, mortifying the flesh, and causing us to live unto God.
III)Why is this an evidence that we are true Christians?
1) That all that are true christians have it. I prove it —
(i) From the promise of God, who hath promised it to them …Zech. 12:10, Prov. 1:23, Rev. 22:17, John 7:38-39.
(ii) From the merit of Christ. Two things Christ purchased and bestowed upon all his people, his righteousness and his Spirit : 2 Cor. 5:21, Gal. iii. 14, 1 Cor. 10:4, 4. And these two gifts are inseparable; where he giveth the one, he giveth the other; we have both, or none : 1 Cor.6:11, Tit. 3:5-7; He freeth us at the same time a malo morali, which is sin ; and a malo naturali, which is punishment.
(iii)When we enter into the covenant of grace, we enter into covenant with Father, Son, and Holy Ghost ; with God, and with the Redeemer, and with the Sanctifier: Matt. 28:19.
(iv)It implieth both our duty and our benefit;
1. our benefit is that we expect that the Holy Ghost should regenerate us, and renew us to the image of God, and plant us into Christ by faith, and then dwell in us, and maintain God’s interest in our souls, and so make us saints and believers:
2. and our duty is to consent to give up ourselves to him as our sanctifier, and to obey his powerful motions, before we are made partakers of the Holy Ghost.
(v) The necessity of having the Spirit appeareth, in that without him we can do nothing in Christianity from first to last;
1. it is the Spirit uniteth us to Christ, and planteth us into his mystical body : 1 Cor.12:13 & 6:17.
2. So for further sanctification, and consolation, and 1 Pet. 1:22: Rom. 8:13;
3. So for vivification, he infuseth life, and quickeneth and maintaineth it in our souls: Gal. 5:25; Eph. 3:16
4. He maketh it (life) fruitful and exciteth it: Ezek. 36;27.
5. For consolation, to uphold our hearts in the midst of all trials and difficulties ; then we may go on cheerfully, and in a course of holiness : Acts 9:31;
6. To comfort us with the sense of God’s love in all our tribulations: Rom. 5:5.
7. To wait for eternal life : Gal. 5:5
2) This Spirit is the evidence of men being true Christians, the only sure and proper evidence: this will appear
(i) By the metaphors and terms by which the Spirit is set forth; he is called a seal, a witness, and an earnest: 2 Cor. 1:22 & 5:5; Eph. 1:13-14; 2 Cor.3:18, Rom. 8:16.
(ii) From the congruity of this evidence.
1. The coming down of the Holy Ghost upon him as the evidence of God’s love to Christ, and the visible demonstration of his affiliation and sonship to the world. (The Father demonstrates his love of the Son by giving the Spirit. As we are joined to the Son, we should likewise expect the Spirit as a sign of the Father’s love: John 1:32, 3:34, 17:23 & 26; Matt. 3:17). So do we know ourselves to be the children of God, by the Spirit’s inhabitation and sanctifying work upon our souls.
2. The pouring out of the Spirit was the visible evidence given to the church of the sufficiency of Christ’s satisfaction. Acts 2:33; John 7:38-39; Rom. 5:11.
3. This is the witness of the truth of the gospel, and therefore the best pledge of the love of God we can have in our hearts; for the believer’s hopes are confirmed in the same way the gospel is confirmed; that which confirmeth Christianity, confirmeth the Christian. Acts 5:32, Heb. 3:4, John 17:17; 1 John 5:10.
(iii)From the qualities of this evidence, and so it is most apt to satisfy the doubting conscience concerning its interest in Christ and his benefits.
1. (Since the breach between God and man is great, the proof of reconciliation must be of an appropriate measure). It is a great benefit, becoming the love of God, to give us his Holy Spirit ; it is more than if he had given us all the world.… Rom. 5:11. …Most men’s patience cometh from their stupidness, their confidence from their security, their quiet from their mindlessness of heavenly things; …Gal. 4:6.
2. It is most sensible, as being within our own hearts: the death of Christ was a demonstration of God’s love, but that was done without us on the cross, and before we were born. (We have none of it in fact until it is brought to bear by the Spirit/application). Gal. 4:6; 2 Cor. 1:22; 1 John 5:11.
3. It is a permanent and abiding testimony…John 14:17….The effects of the Spirit are life, holiness, faith, strength, joy, comfort, and peace; he enlighteneth our understanding, confirmeth our faith, and assures us of salvation exciteth us to prayer, stirreth up holy desires and motions, comforteth us in crosses, awakeneth us in groans after heaven. Now those that have such constant experience of the illuminating, sanctifying, quickening work of the Spirit on their souls, cannot but know what kind of spirit dwelleth and worketh in them.
4. The sanctifying Spirit is the surest note of our reconciliation with God, as that which will not deceive us ; when he sanctifieth, he is pacified towards us: Heb. 13:20-21;1Thes.5:23; 2 Cor. 5:17-18.
(iv)[4.] From God’s constant government. (External and internal). Eccl. 9:2. (God may give material blessings to those he hates and withhold them from those he loves.) I cannot say God hateth me, because he denieth earthly blessings, or blasteth them when bestowed ; this may be for other reasons than to manifest his anger or hatred : I cannot say God loveth me because I enjoy outward prosperity; but if I have the Spirit, that is never given in anger.
1) Use 1 is to persuade us to seek after the presence of the Spirit in our hearts. It is not enough to be baptized, to have the common faith and profession of Christians, no, we must also have the Spirit of Christ
(i) Get him. See that he be entered into your hearts to recover your souls to God….John 3:5, Phil. 1:17; Eph. 4:30
1. God is ready to give the Holy Spirit. Luke 11:13; Tit. 3:5-6, 2 Cor. 3:18; Zech. 12:10; John 7:39; Acts 2:38; Prov. 1:38.
2. Now these must be often renewed, if we would get more of the Spirit into our hearts, for the Spirit is continued and increased to us by the same acts by which it is gotten at first, by faith and repentance; faith assenting, or consenting, or denying.
i. Assenting with admiration of the infinite goodness and love of God shining forth to us in our redemption by Christ. 1 Peter 1:2.
ii. Consent must be often renewed to that covenant by which the Spirit is dispensed. Often enter into a resolution to take God for your God, for your sovereign lord, your portion and happiness ; and Christ for your redeemer and saviour ; and the Holy Ghost for your guide, sanctifier and comforter.
iii. Dependence upon the love of God, and the merits of Christ, and the power of the Spirit, that you may use Christ’s appointed means with the more confidence.
3. [2.] Your repentance must be renewed by a hearty grief for sin, and resolutions and endeavours against it. The more sin is made odious, the more the Spirit hath obtained his effect in you ; and the more heartily you study to please God in the work of love and obedience, the more you are acquainted with the Spirit and his quickenings, the Spirit and his comforts. Acts 9:31.
2) Use 2 is. self-reflection. Let me put that question to you: Acts 19:3, “Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed ?” Is the first great change wrought ? are you called from darkness to light? from sin to holiness? turned from Satan to God ? Are you made partakers of the divine nature? 2 Pet. i. 4. …2 Cor. 3:18; Rom. 8:14; 2 Thess. 2:13.
Here I shall prove two things.
1. That all true christians have this sanctifying Spuit.
2. That it is the certain evidence and proof of their being Christians, or having an interest in Christ.