The Love Of The Spirit-Filled Person
By Wesley L. Duewel (1916 – 2016)
A Christian is like a city set upon a hill (Matt. 5:14). We cannot be hid. We should thank God that the world watches us, because this is our opportunity to bring glory to God. But too often non-Christians stumble because of what they see in professing Christians.
…The people of the world judge God and His salvation by what they see in us. They cannot see God’s love pouring into our soul through the ministry of the Spirit. They can only see the way we express that love in our outward actions. They expect even higher standards from us than they require of themselves.
We dare not be blind to our faults but must humbly admit them. We dare not be careless in our words or crude in our actions. We dare not be tactless, for hungry, defeated people are watching us. If we manifest the fruit of the Spirit in our lives, many other hungry people will be attracted to Christ and God will be glorified.
Most important of all, God expects a very high standard of ethical living from us. He sent His Son to die for our cleansing. Christ gladly paid the price for our salvation – from both the guilt and the power of sin. And the Holy Spirit works within us, not merely to cleanse us, but to help us glorify Christ in all we say and do. We dare not grieve our holy triune God. Are we failing Him? How urgent it is that we constantly express the ethic of perfect holy love in our relations with others.
…The love of the Spirit-filled person is true love, the love of First Corinthians chapter 13. It knows no jealousy, envy, pride, covetousness, or ill will. When we are filled with God, we are filled with love, for God is love (1 John 4:8). Although we will never be perfect in mind or body as Adam was perfect, we can be perfect in love, for God purifies our love (4:17-18). Our love will not be infinite, but it will increase as we follow the Holy Spirit’s guidance and discipline.
Only as we exercise God’s redeeming love in sharing Christ with others will we remain Spirit-filled. We must, with Christ, share Calvary love with a missionary passion. Redemptive love feels a sense of responsibility for the salvation of others that begins with our next-door neighbors (our own Jerusalem – Acts 1:8) and extends to the ends of the earth.
Redemptive love is not based on the worthiness of the recipient. It reaches out to the most degraded as well as the most educated and cultured; it loves those whose lives are most promising and those whose lives seem hopeless. No person can love soul-winning as much as a Spirit-filled person, for concern for the salvation of others is born of the Holy Spirit. Christians who close their hearts to others’ needs are in danger of losing the fullness of the Spirit.
Redemptive love works in practical ways to resolve crises, to restore broken relationships, and to bring out the most effective service from others. Spirit-filled persons feel indebted to bring every unsaved person to the transforming love of Christ and to serve their fellow Christians. Redemptive love causes them to desire to meet every need as far as possible. Such love is unselfish, flexible, humble, and constantly seeking to serve others. It is the kind of love that causes one to put on an apron and wash others’ feet (John 13:4-5, 15). We Christians love because God first loved us.
This is the ethic of the Spirit-filled life – holy, self-giving, redemptive love. All of the other fruit of the Spirit grow from it (Gal. 5:22-23), and it increases as we hunger and ask God for more, for if we ask, we will receive (Luke 11:13). By this combination – constant hunger for more of the Spirit, continual transfiguration by the Spirit into the glorious likeness of Jesus Christ, and steadfast guidance and discipline of the Spirit to enable us to express the life of the Spirit that indwells us – we will be a center of revival and blessing to God’s cause wherever we are, and others will see and hunger to know God too.
– Quoted from the book More God, More Power by Wesley L. Duewel. Copyright © 2000 by Wesley L. Duewel. Used by permission of the Duewel Literature Trust, Inc., Greenwood IN. Dr. Duewel’s books may be purchased by calling (317) 881-6755, Ext. 361.