“Come from the four winds, O breath; and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.’. Ezekiel 37:9.
The third thing in the text and doctrine to be spoken to, is the sort of life that is effected and wrought in the souls of God’s elect by these influences and breathings of the Holy Spirit.
It is a life of faith. The apostle calls it so, Gal. 2:20, “The life I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me; and gave himself for me.” And the just is said to live by faith. The man is ever embracing a Redeemer, and the fullness of the Godhead in him; always deriving fresh supplies out of that full treasury and store-house.
It is a life of justification. The law pronounces a curse against every one that “doth not continue in all things written in the book of the law to do them.” The believer gets this sentence of death canceled: Rom. 8:1. “There is no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.” And not only so, but he has the everlasting righteousness of Immanuel God-man imputed to him: so that with a holy boldness he may challenge justice, and challenge the law, what they have to say against him, as the apostle does, Rom. 8:33: “Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect?”
It is a life of reconciliation with God; God and they are at friendship; which follows naturally on their justification: Rom. 5:1: “Being justified by faith, we have peace with God.” God does not retain the least grudge in his heart against them; and he and they walk together, because they are agreed: that is, they have fellowship one with another, according to that, 1 John 1:3: “Truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.”
It is a life of holiness and sanctification: for the Spirit of the Lord is a cleansing, purifying, and renewing Spirit: he renews the soul after the image of God; makes the heart, that was a “cage of unclean birds,” a fit temple for the Holy Ghost to dwell in; he garnishes the soul, and makes it like the King’s daughter, all glorious within. They that had lain among the pots, become “like the wings of a dove covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold.”
It is a very lightsome and comfortable life: and no wonder; for his name is The Comforter. His consolations are so strong, that they furnish the soul with ground of joy in the blackest and cloudiest day: Hab. 3:17, 18: “Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines, the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat, the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.” And the joy that he gives is deep: “Your heart shall rejoice.” And it is abiding: “Your joy shall no man take from you.” And it is such as cannot be made language of: “We rejoice with joy unspeakable, and full of glory.”
It is a life of liberty; for “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” He brings us into “the glorious liberty of the sons of God.” Before the Spirit comes with his saving influences, the man is in bondage; in bondage to sin, to Satan, to the law, and to the curse and condemnation of God: but the Spirit of the Lord frees from all these. Christ, by his Spirit, sets the captives of the mighty at liberty, and “delivers the prey from the terrible.”
It is a heavenly life; they are made to live above the world: “Our conversation is in heaven,” says the apostle. They look on themselves as pilgrims and strangers on the earth, and, therefore, look not so much to the things that are seen, as to the things that are not seen. With Moses, they “have respect unto the recompense of the reward;” their eyes are set upon the land that is very far off, and the King in his beauty.