Power to Bless Others
The divine power of the exalted Jesus to grant repentance and the forgiveness of sins is exercised by Him through His servants. The minister of the gospel who desires to preach repentance and forgiveness through Jesus and have success in winning souls must do the work in the power of the Spirit of Jesus. Much preaching of conversion and pardon is fruitless because these elements of truth are presented only as a doctrine.
Some preachers try to reach the hearts of their audience in the power of mere human earnestness, reasoning, and eloquence. But little blessing is won by these means. The man whose chief desire is to be filled with the Spirit of the indwelling Christ can be assured that the glorified Lord will speak and work in him. He will obtain the blessing - not always in the same manner, but it will always certainly come.
In preaching and in the daily life of a servant of Christ, the full blessing of Pentecost is the sure way of becoming a blessing to others. "He that believeth on me," said Jesus, "out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water" (John 7:38). This refers to the Holy Spirit. A heart filled with the Spirit will overflow with the Spirit.
It is the blessing of Pentecost that will make the Church what God would have her be.
We have spoken of what the Spirit will do in individual believers. Think of what the blessing will be when the Church as a whole answers her calling to be filled with the Spirit and exhibits the life, the power, and the very presence of her Lord to the world. We must not only seek and receive this blessing, each person for himself, but we must also remember that the full manifestation of the blessing cannot be given until the whole body of Christ receives it. "Whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it" (1 Corinthians 12:26).
If many members of the Church of Christ are content to remain without this blessing, the whole Church will suffer. Even in individual disciples the blessing cannot come to its full manifestation. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that we should not only think of what being filled with the Spirit means for ourselves but also consider what it will do for the Church.
Will You Separate Yourself?
Let us recall the morning of the day of Pentecost. At that time, the Christian Church in Jerusalem consisted only of one hundred and twenty disciples, most of them poor, unlearned fishermen, tax collectors, and humble women, an insignificant and despised gathering. Yet it was by these believers that the Kingdom of God had to be proclaimed and extended, and they did it.
By them and those who were added to them, the power of Jewish prejudice and of hardness of heart was overcome, and the Church of Christ won glorious triumphs. This grand result was achieved simply and only because the first Christian Church was filled with the Spirit. The members of it gave themselves wholly to their Lord. They allowed themselves to be filled, consecrated, governed, and used only by Him. They yielded themselves to Him as instruments of His power. He dwelt in them and used them for all His wondrous deeds.
It is to this same experience that the Church of Christ in our age must be brought back. This is the only thing that will help her in the conflict with sin and the world. She must be filled with the Spirit.
Beloved fellow Christians, this call comes to you and the whole Church of the Lord. This one thing is needed. We have to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Do not imagine that you must comprehend or understand it all before you seek and find it. For those who wait on Him, God will do more than they can conceive. You must taste the happiness, and know by personal experience the blessedness of having Jesus in your heart. Then His Spirit of holiness and humility, of love and self-sacrifice, and of courage and power will become as natural as your own spirit.
If you have the Word of God in you, you will be able to carry it as a blessing to others. If you desire to see the Church of Christ arrayed in her first splendor, then separate yourselves from everything that is evil, cast it out of your heart, and fix your desire on this one thing: to be filled with the Spirit of God. Receive this as your rightful heritage. Appropriate it and hold it by faith. It will certainly be given to you.
(continued with # 11 - "How It Is Bestowed From Heaven")