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Sunday, June 21, 2015

A Mistaken Notion

"There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men" (1 Corinthians 12:4-6)

The mistaken notion that I see is so prevalent, that everyone who is baptized with the Holy Spirit will have power as an evangelist, leads to three great evils.

First, it leads to the evil of disappointment, and sometimes even to despair. Many believers seek the baptism of the Spirit, meet the conditions of that baptism, and really do receive it. But God has not called them to an evangelist's work, and therefore He does not empower them with the evangelist's gift. The person ends up perplexed and bewildered, wondering whether they have received the baptism, and some will end up in despair.

The second evil is graver than the first: the error of presumption. Many believers whom God has not called to the work of evangelism or pastor rush into it because he has received, or thinks he has received, the baptism with the Holy Spirit. It is presumed that "all I need to become a pastor is to receive the baptism with the Holy Spirit." This is very far from the truth. He first needs a call from God to that specific work, then he needs such a knowledge of the Word of God that he has something to preach that is worth listening to, and the baptism of the Spirit as well.

The third evil is the worst of all: the mischief of indifference. Thee are many who know they are not called to the of preaching. If they think that the baptism with the Spirit simply imparts power to preach, it is a matter of no personal concern to them. We must come to see the truth that while the Spirit imparts power, the way in which that power will be manifested depends upon the work to which God has called us, and no efficient work can be done without it.

We have the right to "desire the greater gifts" (1 Corinthians 12:31), but the Holy Spirit is sovereign, and He must determine the final issue. It is ours to put ourselves unreservedly at His disposal for both the gift and the power for serving Him.

Holy Spirit, You are sovereign God in every way, and I place myself before You to do Your will. I open my heart and say that I am willing for whatever You desire for my life and service. I give up all preconceived notions of what that must look like. Amen

~R. A. Torrey~

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