Can We Worship with Sincerity?
It is the great work of the gospel ministry to lead believers to the Holy Spirit.
It was the great aim of the Lord Jesus, after He had educated and trained His disciples for three years, to lead them to the point of waiting for the promise of the Father and receiving the Holy Spirit sent down from heaven. This was the chief object of Peter on the day of Pentecost, when, after summoning those who were pricked in their hearts to repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of sins, he assured them that they should then receive the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38).
Paul aimed at this when he asked his fellow Christians if they did not know that they were each a temple of the Holy Spirit. He reminded them that they had to be filled with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18).
Yes, the supreme need of the Christian life is to receive the Holy Spirit and, when we have it, to be conscious of the fact and live in harmony with it. An evangelical minister must not merely preach about the Holy Spirit from time to time, but also direct his efforts toward teaching his congregation that there can be no true worship except through the indwelling an unceasing operation of the Holy Spirit.
To lead believers to the Holy Spirit, the great lack in their life must be pointed out to them.
This was the intention in Paul's question: "Did ye receive the Holy Spirit when ye believed?" Only those who are thirsty will drink water with eagerness, and only those who are sick will desire a physician. In the same way, it is only when believers are prepared to acknowledge the defective and sinful character of their spiritual condition that the preaching of the full blessing of Pentecost will find an entrance into their hearts.
Many Christians imagine that the only thing lacking in their life is more earnestness or more strength and, if they only obtain these benefits, they will become all they ought to be. This makes the preaching of a full salvation of little avail. It is only when the discovery is made that they are not standing in a right attitude toward the Holy Spirit, that they have only His preparatory operations but do not yet know Him in His indwelling, that the way to something higher will ever be open or even be desired.
For this discovery, it is indispensable that the question should be put to each individual as pointedly and as personally as may be: "Did ye receive the Holy Spirit when ye believed?" When the answer takes the shape of a deeply felt and utterly sincere concern, then the time of revival is not far off.
(continued with # 5 - "Help to Appropriate This Blessing")