Brethren Archive

Spiritual Health, Happiness and Helpfulness

by Inglis Fleming

The secret of spiritual health and happiness is simple. It is this, “If we live in the Spirit” (that is if we have been born of God) “let us also walk in the Spirit” “Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance” (Gal. 5).

As often pointed out “the flesh” is that evil principle of self-seeking which we inherit from fallen Adam. This is still in the believer. So it is written, “If we say that we have no sin we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8). To allow the flesh to act is sin and unhappiness. But as born again and indwelt by the Holy Spirit, the believer has power to live to God, to refuse the lusts of the flesh and the allurements of the world. He lives in the Spirit, He is “led by the Spirit.” He is to walk in the Spirit.

The airman can rise in the air and soar among the clouds superior to the law of gravitation. The engine power of his aeroplane overcomes the force which would hold him down to earth. But if he has engine trouble the law of gravitation always existing may cause him to come down and fall to his serious harm.

So the Christian empowered by the Holy Spirit may rise into the happy heights of holy joy in and praise to God his Father, of service for our Lord Jesus Christ and of liberty from the working of “the flesh.” By the Holy Spirit he is superior “to the law of sin and death” (Rom. 8:2).

But if the Holy Spirit is grieved (Eph. 4:30) by any allowance of evil in thought, word or deed on the part of the Christian, then His power is for the time “shut off” so to speak. Then, the flesh re-asserting itself the believer comes down to the old level. A serious fall then, such as Peter’s when he denied the Lord may result to his distress and harm.

Sad and serious however as this is the believer does not lose his safety “in Christ.” Still his suitability to Christ has been lost. What is he to do? How shall he be recovered to happiness and helpfulness.

The Lord Jesus is his Advocate with the Father on high. The Holy Spirit now works with him to bring him to judge himself and to confess his sin. And the Word of God is clear, “If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (see 1 John 1 and 2).

“Walk” then “in the Spirit” and a victorious and useful life as a Christian will be yours. He will lead you to keep. close to Christ, your Saviour and Lord, to the clear confession of Christ before men, to separation from every form of evil, to constant prayer, to daily reading and meditation in the Holy Scriptures, to association with spiritual companions, to attendance upon the ministry of those given by Christ for the help of His own.

By these means you will be kept in the enjoyment of the love of God, in the sunshine of which the wicked one cannot touch you.


S.T. 1937

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