In this extract from God’s Way of Holiness, Horatius Bonar describes the partnership between The Holy Spirit and Christ through scripture in bringing believers to greater holiness:
He then that would be holy must be like Christ, and he that would be like Christ must be ” filled with the Spirit” ; he that would have in him the mind of Christ must have the same “anointing” as He had, the Same indwelling and inworking Spirit, the Spirit of “adoption,” of life, faith, truth, liberty, strength, and holy joy. it is through this mighty Quickener that we are quickened; it is through “sanctification of the Spirit” that we are sanctified (2 Thess 2:13; 1 Peter 1:2). It is as our Guest that He does His work, not working without dwelling, nor dwelling without working (2 Tim 1:14), not exerting a mere influence, like that of music on the ruffled soul, but coming into us and abiding with us; so that being “filled with His company,” as well as pervaded by His power, we are thoroughly “transformed.” He does not merely ply us with arguments, nor affect us with “moral suasion,” but impresses us with the irresistible touch of His divine hand, and penetrates us with His own vital energy; nay, He impregnates us with His own purity and life, in spite of desperate resistance and unteachableness and unbelief on our part, all the days of our life.
He that would be like Christ, moreover, must study Him. We cannot make ourselves holy by merely trying to be so, any more than we can make ourselves believe and love by simple energy of endeavor. No force can effect this. Men try to be holy, and they fail. They cannot by direct effort work themselves into holiness. They must gaze upon a holy object and so be changed into its likeness “from glory to glory” (2 Cor 3:18). They must have a holy Being for their bosom friend. Companionship with Jesus, like that of John, can alone make us to resemble either the disciple or the Master.
He that would be holy must steep himself in the Word, must bask in the sunshine with radiates from each page of revelation. It is through the truth that we are sanctified (John 17:17).