Notes On Mark’s Gospel (142)

“On Your Mark” Day 142

‘Spirit and Truth’ (Chapter 16 Verses 9-20)

Still on the same subject (vv15-16). Have you ever read one of George Whitfield’s sermons? He was one of the greatest used evangelists this world has known. An American couple travelled from the States to hear him. After a very rough crossing they hurried to the Church where Whitfield was preaching, still tired and weary after their crossing the Atlantic. As the great man began to preach, they thought, perhaps he is tired like us, or maybe he has not been able to prepare as he usually would, because they thought he was just rambling. They even began to think, what have we come all this way for? Then it happened. The Holy Spirit fell! Indescribable! Electrifying! Heaven came down! You see, it is not more clever, deeper sermons we need, it is the Holy Spirit. Whitfield’s sermons are the least impressive. Again Dr. M. Lloyd-Jones once said “if there’s no power, it’s not preaching”. If we as a Church block the Spirit in any way, people will not hear the message. It is not just down to the preacher either, we are a body, so everything we do or do not do has a cumulative effect. As long as you seek to impose your wisdom on the Church, as long as you seek to keep the Church in your control, the Holy Spirit is not having his own way. We are supposed to be a Spirit-led people (Romans 8.14). As long as there is disharmony, disunity, self-glorying, we are not being led by the Spirit. We are supposed to be a people walking in the Spirit, as long as we are following other people, copy-catting, we are not in step with the Spirit, nor living by the Spirit (Galatians 5.25).

A twentieth century divine put it clearly in these words; “I would bring everything to the test of the Word and the Spirit. Not the Word only, but the Word and the Spirit”. “God is Spirit” said our Lord, “and they that worship him must worship him in Spirit and truth”. Another said, “while it is never possible to have the Spirit without at least some measure of truth, it is, unfortunately, possible to have a shell of truth without the Spirit. Our hope is that we may have both the Spirit and the truth in fuller measure”. (A.W. Tozer). He is available, the Holy Spirit, I mean (Luke 11.13).

“Your servants raise and call them out,
Righteous and holy men of God;
Lovers of Thee and most devout,
Committed to Thy sacred word.
Kindle the flame of pure desire,
Put in Thy men Thy sacred fire” (James R. Hamilton).

What God has joined together let not man put asunder (Matthew 19.6; John 6.63).

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