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A True Work of the Spirit, Part 4

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John MacArthur

A True Work of the Spirit, Part 4

In this series, we've seenthat a true work of the Holy Spirit exalts the true Christ, opposes Satan's interests, and points people to the Scriptures. Today, we will continue by looking at another mark of the Spirit's work. The following material is adapted from Jonathan Edwards's The Distinguishing Marks of a Work of the Spirit of God.

It Elevates Truth

"We know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error" (v. 6).

Another rule by which to judge spirits is that whatever operates as a spirit of truth, leading people to truth, convincing them of those things that are true -- we may safely determine that it is a right and true spirit.

For instance, if the spirit at work makes men more aware than they used to be of the central gospel truths: that there is a God; that He is a great and sin-hating God; that life is short and very uncertain; that there is another world; that they have immortal souls; that they must give account of themselves to God; that they are exceeding sinful by nature and practice; that they are helpless in themselves -- then that spirit operates as a spirit of truth. He represents things as they truly are. He brings men to the light.

On the other hand, the spirit of darkness will not uncover and make manifest the truth. Christ tells us that Satan is a liar, and the father of lies. His kingdom is a kingdom of darkness. It is upheld and promoted only by darkness and error. Satan has all his power and dominion by darkness. Whatever spirit removes our darkness and brings us to the light undeceives us. If I am brought to the truth and am made aware of things as they really are, my duty is immediately to thank God for it without inquiring by what means I have such a benefit.