Contemporary Christianity spends itself far more in posing questions and pondering problems than in maintaining and promulgating the faith. The habit of the early Church was otherwise. It leaned hard on the reality and power of the Holy Spirit for vitality, assurance, and direction. Perhaps the modern Church needs a fresh look at Pentecost to see the folly of relying mainly on human organization and skills. Not to seek the Holy Spirit, not to thrust open our souls to his illuminating, purifying, and empowering light is to invite gloom and tragedy into the work of the Kingdom. To substitute the clatter of ecclesiastical machinery for the quiet penetration of the Spirit’s teaching and transforming power spells uncertainty and failure; not because of him but of ourselves we become straitened and weak.
The teaching of Paul and of our Lord himself indicates that the most vital doctrine of our Christian faith is that of the Holy Spirit. Yet far more is said and read about the Fatherhood of God and Christ’s sacraficial life and death than about the Person and power of the Holy Spirit. This is not wholly bad, of course, for to glorify the Son is to glorify the Father; yet even this requires the Holy Spirit’s glorification of the Son. With so much emphasis on the Holy Spirit in both the Old and New Testaments it seems strange that Christians should have neglected this doctrine so long.
Eighteenth-century deism proclaimed an absolute Deity. Its God was mighty enough to fashion the universe and to announce laws for its regulation, but it had no Father whose measureless love provided a Redeemer-Son for sinning humanity. For men of that deistic age God was simply Sovereign Ruler, Mighty Architect, All-wise Judge. Such faith furnished a ...1
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