Friday, July 18, 2008

The Lack of the Spirit

I recently started reading a five volume set entitled "The Westminster Pulpit" which is a set of about 300 sermons as preached by G. Campbell Morgan at the Westminster Chapel in London. G. Campbell morgan was a contemporary of D.L. Moody and Charles H. Spurgeon. Morgan is renowned for being one of the greatest Biblical expositors of his time and his famous Friday night Bible class was easily the biggest London had ever seen drawing somewhere between 1,500 to 1,700 people on a weekly basis.

Below is a quote from one of his sermons I am currently reading entitled "The Lack of the Spirit" which was an expository sermon on Acts 19:2. His words are astonishingly stiring and could most certainly be a description of the church today, though the man has been in the ground for some 63 years now.

There are hundreds and thousands of people who in some measure believe in Jesus Christ who have never received the Spirit, who have never been baptized with the Spirit, who have never been born again, for the terms are synonymous. Ethic without enthusiam, principle without passion, desire without dynamic, negation of the wrong things without position in the soil of the new life--this is a perilous state in which to live. It is a perilous state because to continue in that state is to become in the one tremendous word of the writer of the letter to the Hebrews, "hardened."

The ethic merely accepted as true becomes traditional bondage. The principle obeyed with no passion of fire burning through it becomes heartlessness. Desire for the higher life and the broadening of the outlook long unfulfilled become cynicism. The negation becomes chaos. This is what is happening everywhere. You believe on Jesus, yes, and you believe on Jesus very reverently; you have never taken His name in vain. So far from that, you have always attended what we call the means of grace, you have sung hymns of the sanctuary, you have attentively listened to the message delivered by the servants of God. You have come so far as to believe the ideals of Jesus, you accept them, but there is no passion, no fire, no force, no light upon the mountains, no song in the heart.

Faultily faultless, icily regular, Splendidly null.