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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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FILLED WITH FIRE

Samuel A CainBut you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. (Acts 1:8 ESV)

When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. (John 16:13 ESV)

An interesting feature of the modern American mainline church is its reluctance to teach on the Holy Spirit who mediates the power of the risen Christ. Perhaps they are being overly cautious because of the excesses of some television ministries.

John writes 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 also quotes Jesus on this topic: “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) There are two important steps found here: First, the Holy Spirit is sent to the church; second, the church is sent into the world.

Luke points out that after the disciples prayed, “… the place where 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 a 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.’”

Since the name “Holy Spirit” appears more than ninety times in the New Testament, you might think that all Christians would have a reasonable knowledge of Him, but, sadly, this is not the case. The church and our own personal growth will be stunted without understanding the Spirit’s transforming power. We cannot truly worship Him who we do not know. If you would like to know more, I recommend reading R. C. Sproul’s book – Who Is the Holy Spirit? This short paperback book may be purchased at your local bookstore or online for about $4.00. If you would like to read a book on this topic that goes in to more detail, try The Holy Spirit by Sinclair B. Ferguson.

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