The Sovereign Work of the Spirit

“The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is everyone that is born of the Spirit.” - John 3:8  

    A comparison is here drawn between the wind and the Spirit.  The comparison is a double one: first, both are sovereign in their actions, and second, both are mysterious in their operations.  The comparison is pointed out in the word “so.”  The first point of analogy is seen in the words “where it listeth” or “pleaseth;” the second is found in the words “canst not tell.”  With the second point of analogy we are not now concerned, but upon the first we would comment further. “The wind bloweth where it pleaseth... so is every one that is born of the Spirit.” The wind is an element which man can neither harness nor hinder.  The wind neither consults man’s pleasure nor can it be regulated by his devices. So it is with the Spirit.  The wind blows when it pleases, where it pleases, as it pleases.  So it is with the Spirit.  The wind is regulated by Divine wisdom, yet, so far as man is concerned, it is absolutely sovereign in its operations.  So it is with the Spirit.  Sometimes the wind blows so softly it scarcely rustles a leaf; at other times it blows so loudly that its roar can be heard for miles.  So it is in the matter of the new birth; with some the Holy Spirit deals so gently, that His work is imperceptible to human onlookers; with others His action is so powerful, radical, revolutionary, that His operations are patent to many.  Sometimes the wind is purely local in its reach, at other times wide-spread in its scope.  So it is with the Spirit: today He acts on one or two souls, tomorrow He may, as at Pentecost, “prick in the heart” a whole multitude.  But whether He works on few or many, He consults not man. He acts as He pleases.  The new birth is due to the sovereign will of the Spirit.             

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