Charles Haddon Spurgeon: “No Good Thing without the Spirit”
Remember, brethren, and here is another thought which should make the Spirit very dear to you – without the Holy Spirit no good thing ever did or ever can come into any of your heart – no sigh of repentance – no cry of faith – no glance of love – no tear of hallowed sorrow! Your heart can never palpitate with divine life except through the Spirit! You are not capable of the smallest degree of spiritual emotion, much less spiritual action, apart from the Holy Spirit! Dead you lie, living only for evil and absolutely dead for God, until the Holy Spirit comes and raises you from the grave! There is nothing good in you today, my brethren, which was not put there. The flowers of Christ are all exotics – “In me, that is, in my flesh, dwells no good thing.” Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? No one! Everything must come from Christ, and Christ gives nothing to men except through the Spirit of all grace; prize, then, the Spirit as the channel of all good which comes into you.
And further, no good thing can come out of you apart from the Spirit. Let it be in you, yet it lies dormant except God works in you to will and to do of His own good pleasure. Do you desire to preach? – how can you, unless the Holy Spirit touches your tongue? Do you desire to pray? Alas, what dull work it is unless the Spirit makes intercession for you! Do you desire to subdue sin? Would you be holy? Would you imitate your Master? Do you desire to rise to superlative heights of spirituality? Are you wanting to be made like the angels of God, full of zeal and ardor for the Master’s cause? You cannot without the Spirit – “Without Me you can do nothing.” O branch of the vine, you can have no fruit without the sap! O child of God, you have no life within you apart from the life which God gives you through His Spirit! Said I not well, then, that the Holy Spirit is superlatively precious, so that even the presence of Christ after the flesh is not to be compared to His presence for glory and for power?
This brings us to the conclusion, which is a practical point. Brethren, if these things are so, let us, who are believers in Christ, view the mysterious Spirit with deep awe and reverence. Let us so reverence Him as not to grieve Him or provoke Him to anger by our sins. Let us not quench Him in one of His faintest motions in our soul; let us foster every suggestion, and be ready to obey every prompting. If the Holy Spirit is indeed so mighty, let us do nothing without Him; let us begin no project, and carry on no enterprise, and conclude no transaction without imploring His blessing. Let us pay Him the due homage of feeling our entire weakness apart from Him, and then depending alone upon Him, having this for our prayer, “Open my heart, and my whole being to Your incoming, and uphold me with Your free Spirit when I shall have received that Spirit in my inward parts.”
~ From Spurgeon’s sermon “The Superlative Excellence of the Holy Spirit”