“The Spirit prays in you, because Christ prays for you” by Thomas Goodwin

“For first, he instantly poured out his Spirit and that ‘richly’ (as the apostle to Titus speaks), and he ‘being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this which you now see and hear’, says the apostle in his first sermon after (Acts 2:33). He then received it, and visibly poured him out. So it is said, ‘He ascended up on high, and gave gifts unto men….for the work of the ministry (Eph. 4:8, 15), and for the joining in of the saints to the increase of the body of Christ’ (v. 16), that is, for the converting of elect sinners, and making them saints. And the gifts there mentioned (some of them) remain unto this day, in ‘pastors and teachers’, etc. And this Spirit is still in our preaching and in your hearts, in hearing, in praying, etc., and persuades you of Christ’s love to this very day; and is in all these the pledge of the continuance of Christ’s love still in heaven unto sinners. All our sermons, and your prayers are evidences to you, that Christ’s heart is still the same towards sinners that ever it was, for the Spirit that assists in all these comes in his name, and in his stead, and works all by commission from him. And do none you feel your hearts moved in the preaching of these things, at and other times? And who is it that moves you? It is the Spirit who speaks in Christ’s name from heaven, even as himself is said to ‘speak from heaven’ (Heb. 12:25). And when you pray, it is the Spirit that indites your prayers, and that ‘makes intercession for you’ in your own hearts (Rom. 8:26), which intercession of his is but the evidence and echo of Christ’s intercession in heaven. The Spirit prays in you, because Christ prays for you. He is an intercessor on earth, because Christ is an intercessor in heaven. As he did take off Christ’s words, and used the same that he before had uttered, when spake in and to the disciples the words of life, so he takes off Christ’s prayers also when he prays in us; he takes but the words as it were out of Christ’s mouth, or heart rather, and directs our heart to offer them up to God. He also follows us to the sacrament, and in that glass shows us Christ’s face smiling on us, and through his face his heart; and thus helping of us to a sight of him, we go away rejoicing that we saw our Saviour that day.”

–Thomas Goodwin, “Outward Demonstrations of Christ’s Tender Heart” in The Heart of Christ (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1651/2011), 36-37.

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About nickgardner29

Love Christ; Love Cait; Love the local church. Avid reader of books, eater of nachos, Razorback fan.
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