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Sunday, May 07, 2017

Impressions, by Martin Wells Knapp, 47

In a previous excerpt, Knapp stated that there are four features of "impressions" from God. These are Scriptural; Right (consistent with good morals); Providential (in harmony with God's will); and Reasonable. His discussion of "Impressions from Above" continues:

 Clark in his excellent book on "The Offices of the Holy Spirit," says:

"Whenever the will of God is clearly revealed in the Bible in regard to any subject, our duty in regard to that subject is determined. We are not to expect an inward revelation in addition to the outward one to show us what to do.

"If Jesus says: 'Do not kill, do not steal, do not bear false witness, defraud not, honor thy father and mother,' we need no other revelation in regard to our duty in these particulars.

"And the Scriptures do go into more detailed directions than we should imagine, until we acquaint ourselves thoroughly with them. If the Christian lady wishes to know how she may dress so as to please God, she finds that women are 'To adorn themselves in modest apparel;' and with God's providence and the Holy Spirit to assist the sincere inquirer in determining, I think few would be left long in doubt.

"If we want to know what kind of talk is acceptable to God, we read (1) that we are to let no corrupt communication proceed out of our mouth, nor any foolish talking, and (2) that our talk ought to be good 'to the use of edifying.'

"If we are in doubt how to treat our enemies and those who have injured us, we are told explicitly, 'Love your enemies,' 'Pray for them that despitefully use you,' 'Avenge not yourselves.' And if our civil or personal rights are invaded, we are asked, 'Why do ye not rather suffer wrong than go to law?' and told that charity, which is perfect love, 'seeketh not her own.' And the universal duty of Christians when praying is, 'Forgive, if ye have aught against any man.'

"If we want to understand our obligations to the civil magistrates and rulers, we are told to honor them, to obey them in all things, not in conflict with our duty to the King of kings, to pray for them, and to pay tribute to them.

"If we are at a loss as to how far we may join in the pleasures and customs of the world, we are enjoined not to be conformed to the world, and assured that 'If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.' It is to the written Word then that we are first to look for the knowledge of our Christian duties as well as for the knowledge of salvation."

In applying these tests all light should be welcomed, the Scriptures should be diligently studied, good books read, wise counselors conferred with, and above all the presence and guidance of the Holy Spirit should be constantly claimed.

All the conditions mentioned in the preceding chapter should also be met. Converted, cleansed, filled, acknowledging God's guidance, persistently praying and believing for it, and patiently waiting for and expecting it in the use of all known means, it will be freely and graciously given.

Only a few of the practical questions which are daily arising have been noticed, but the same process of testing will apply to all.

It is the gracious privilege of every Christian in this way to be so assuringly convinced of the truthfulness and divinity of his convictions, that with Isaiah he can exclaim:

"For the Lord God will help me; therefore I shall not be confounded; therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know I shall not be ashamed." 

Excerpted from Impressions, by Martin Wells Knapp. Original publication date, 1892. Public domain. My source is here. The previous post in the series is here.

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