Addendum to "Boxing in the Spirit?".
I have been reading and studying a great deal of Dr Lloyd-Jones' tomes at the mo, still deep in my subject of the "gifts of the Spirit" and the correct context in which they should be viewed. While reading the Doctor's commentary on Romans 12, I found the following insightful quote, that I think would buttress what I was arguing - namely that we should be most careful of seeing the Spirit's omnipresence to the neglect of the Biblical truth that He can be "more or less" present.
Dr Lloyd-Jones said:
"We know that is true because Scripture itself teaches that; if a church backslides or falls from the truth or limits the truth of God (and I would say an individual also) then she will lose her power".
Then again commenting on the account of John on the Isle of Patmos:
"Sometimes I think that one of the most wonderful statements on this subject, one which clinches this matter is given by the Apostle John in Revelation 1:10 ... "I was in the Spirit on the Lord's Day and heard behind me a great voice as of a trumpet.
What does he mean? Was he not always in the Spirit? Was he not a man who had been baptised with the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost and filled again many times over as the Book of Acts tells us? ...
The Spirit was always in John, but he became "in the Spirit" which means he was taken up into the Spirit. He was given a special experience by the Spirit. He was lifted up into this realm and there he began to see things".
These words just thrill my heart!! And awake such a hunger in me!! I am well aware of the excesses and problems that eager but unwise charismatics have caused, but here we have one of the greatest and most respected Reformed evangelical teachers of the last century simply opening up the Word of God and explaining what is there!! As Dr L-J said, to me that clinches the matter. Yes indeed the Spirit is in all true believers, but there is SO much more of the Spirit to receive!! How much more?? How deep can we go??
To end with Dr L-J again: "We were never meant to be content with a little!".