Back to Pen Index
The Church WITHOUT The Spirit
The Church is the Body of Christ, and the Spirit is the Spirit of Christ. He fills the Body, directs its movements, controls its members, inspires its wisdom, supplies it's strength. He guides into truth, sanctifies its agents, and empowers for witnessing. The Spirit has never abdicated His authority nor relegated His power. Neither Pope nor Parliament, neither Conference nor Council is supreme in the Church of Christ. The Church that is man-managed instead of God-governed is doomed to failure. A ministry that is College-trained but not Spirit-filled works no miracles.
The Church that multiplies committees and neglects prayer may be fussy, noisy, enterprising, but it labors in vain and spends its strength for nought. It is possible to excel in mechanics and fail in dynamic. There is a superabundance of machinery; what is wanting is power. To run an organization needs no God. Man can supply the energy, enterprise, and enthusiasm for things human. The real work of a Church depends upon the power of the Spirit.
The Presence of the Spirit is vital and central to the work of the Church. Nothing else avails. Apart from Him, wisdom becomes folly, and strength weakness. The Church is called to be a "spiritual house" and a holy priesthood. Only spiritual people can be its "living stones," and only the Spirit-filled its priests.
The Church always fails at the point of self-confidence. When the Church is run on the same lines as a circus, there may be crowds, but there is no Shekinah. That is why prayer is the test of faith and the secret of power. The Spirit of God travails in the prayer-life of the soul. Miracles are the direct work of His power, and without miracles the Church cannot live. The carnal can argue, but it is the Spirit of God that convicts. Education can civilize, but it is being born of the Spirit that saves.
The energy of the flesh can run bazaars, organize amusements, and raise millions; but it is the presence of the Holy Spirit that makes a Temple of the Living God. The root-trouble of the present distress is that the Church has more faith in the world and in the flesh than in the Holy Ghost, and things will get no better till we get back to His realized presence and power. The breath of the four winds would turn death into life and dry bones into mighty armies, but it only comes by PRAYER!
— By Samuel Chadwick
Back to Top
Satisfaction in God
Our continual apprehension of God, may produce our continual satisfaction in God, under all His dispensations. Whatever enjoyments are by God conferred upon us, where lies the relish, where the sweetness of them? Truly, we may come to relish our enjoyments, only so far as we have something of God in them. It was required in Psal. xxxvii. 4, "Delight thyself in the Lord." Yea, and what if we should have no delight but the Lord? Let us ponder with ourselves over our enjoyments: "In these enjoyments I see God, and by these enjoyments, I serve God!"
And now, let all our delight in, and all our value and fondness for our enjoyments, be only, or mainly, upon such a divine score as this. As far as any of our enjoyments lead us unto God, so far let us relish it, affect it, embrace it, and rejoyce in it: "O taste, and feed upon God in all;" and ask for nothing, no, not for life itself, any further than as it may help us, in our seeing and our serving of our God.
And then, whatever afflictions do lay fetters upon us, let us not only remember that we are concerned with God therein, but let our concernment with God procure a very profound submission in our souls. Be able to say with him in Psal. xxxix. 9, "I open not my mouth, because thou didst it." In all our afflictions, let us remark the justice of that God, before whom, "why should a living man complain for the punishment of his sin?" The wisdom of that God, "whose judgments are right:" the goodness of that God, who "punishes us less than our iniquities do deserve." Let us behave ourselves, as having to do with none but God in our afflictions: And let our afflictions make us more conformable unto God: which conformity being effected, let us then say, "'Tis good for me that I have been afflicted."
Sirs, what were this, but a pitch of holiness, almost angelical! Oh! Mount up, as with the wings of eagles, of angels: be not a sorry, puny, mechanick sort of Christians any longer; but reach forth unto these things that are thus before you.
— By Cotton Mather