Tuesday, February 20, 2007

“In demonstration of the Spirit and of power”

I think many of us evangelicals and—dare I say—especially those of us who are Reformed, yield too much ground, too often, to the Pentecostals and charismatics. We have our correct theology, correct doctrine, correct forms of worship, but where is the life, the power, the “fire”? We try, with our narrow views, to confine God between the leather covers of our Bibles (and this is absolutely not an attack against the sufficiency of Scripture) but, God is greater and infinitely more vast than the physical pages of our Bibles. The Holy Spirit is not constrained.

That’s why I appreciate this stirring quote from the late Dr. David Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981), taken from his book, Revival. It is posted at Adrian Warnock’s blog. Of particular interest to me is what Dr. Lloyd-Jones says about the preacher and his need for the power of the Spirit. Here is a part of the passage (From D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Revival [Westchester, IL: Crossway Books, 1987], p. 124.):

“The outstanding temptation—the besetting sin—of every preacher…is that after you have prepared your sermons you feel that all is well. You have your two sermons ready for Sunday. Well, that is all right. You have your notes, and you can speak, and you can deliver your message. But that is not preaching! That can be utterly useless. Oh, it may be entertaining, there may be a certain amount of intellectual stimulus and profit in it, but that is not preaching. Preaching is in demonstration of the Spirit and of power. And a man has to realize, after he has prepared his sermons, that however perfectly he may have done so, that it is all waste and useless unless the power of the Spirit comes upon it and upon him. He must pray for that.” (emphasis mine)
I have 3 preaching engagements coming up within the next month, and this is a great reminder for me. I recommend you read the entire quote. I think the good Doctor was on to something. Do we know the power of the Spirit in our life and ministry? It’s one thing to “accept it by faith”, and quite another to experience “the power of God” (1 Corinthians 2:4-5).

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