Help To Appropriate This Blessing
In the Acts of the apostles we read often about laying on of hands and prayer. Even an effectual man like Paul - whose conversion was due to the direct intervention of the Lord - had to receive the Holy Spirit through laying on of hands and prayer on the part of Ananias (Acts 1:17).
This implies that there must be among ministers of the gospel and believers generally a power of the Spirit which makes them the channel of faith and courage to others. Those who are weak must be helped to appropriate the blessing for themselves. But those who have this blessing, as well as those who desire to have it, must realize and acknowledge their absolute dependence on the Lord and expect all from Him.
The gift of the Spirit is imparted only by God Himself. Every fresh outpouring of the Spirit comes from above. There must be frequent personal dealing with God. The minister of the Spirit whom God is to use for communicating the blessing, as well as the believer who is to receive it, must meet with God in immediate and close communion. Every good gift comes from above. Faith in this truth will give us courage to expect with confidence and gladness that the full Pentecostal blessing may be looked for and that a life under the continual leading of the Holy Spirit is within our reach.
The proclamation and appropriation of this blessing will restore the Christian community to the primary Pentecostal power.
On the day of Pentecost, speaking "with other tongues" and prophesying was the result of being filled with the Spirit. Here at Ephesus, twenty years later, the very same miracle is again witnessed as the visible token and pledge of the other glorious gifts of the Spirit. We may depend on it that where the reception of the Holy Spirit and the possibility of being filled with Him are proclaimed and appropriated, the blessed life of the Pentecostal community will be restored in all its fresh power.
An increasing acknowledge of the lack of power in the Church exists today. In spite of the multiplication of the means of grace, there is neither the power of the divine salvation in believers nor the power for conversion in preaching. Little conflict exists in the Church between worldliness and unbelief.
This complaint is justified. If the expression of it became strong enough, the children of God might be led to cast themselves on the great truth which the Word of God teaches. When faith in the full Pentecostal blessing is found in the Christian Church again, the members will find their strength and be able to do their first woks.
(continued with # 6 - "The Church Needs Men Who Testify")