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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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Has Your Church Been Shaken Lately?

HSThe ministry of the Holy Spirit is often ignored in many mainline Christian churches today. Perhaps they feel their silence on the issue is warranted because of the excesses seen on Christian television and perpetrated by some Charismatics and Pentecostals. Nevertheless, one outstanding feature of the modern American church is its ignorance of the Holy Spirit who mediates the power of the risen Christ.

I must admit that some exposure to Pentecostals when I was a young man led me to the conclusion that the purpose of the Holy Spirit was to assist you in pew jumping and shouting uncontrollable utterances. John writes, however, that Jesus said, “If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever – the Spirit of truth” (14:15-17) Luke goes on to quote Jesus further: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8) John Stott wrote of this, “Before Christ sent the church into the world he sent the Spirit into the church. The same order must be observed today.”

This is, perhaps, why the witness and practices of modern church culture in American seems to have lost its way. While God pursues His labors with a holy zeal, can the same be said of the Christians in our culture? A. W. Tozer believed that the Spirit-filled man could literally live in a state of spiritual fervor just as God dwells “in a state of perpetual enthusiasm.” Indeed, we must be filled with the Holy Spirit. Again, Luke points out, “After they prayed, the place were they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.” (Acts 4:31) When men surrender themselves to the Spirit of God, evangelism takes wings. Such realization led Charles Spurgeon to declare, “If there were only one prayer which I might pray before I died, it should be this: ‘Lord, send thy church men filled with the Holy Ghost and with fire.’”

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