Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Our Powerlessness Contrasted With Christ's Promises

These are some power quotes from my reading today in Dr. John R. Rice's book, The Power of Pentecost or the Fullness of the Spirit.

Powerless Christianity is not normal Christianity (p18).

In John 7:37,38 Jesus gave a wonderful promise: "In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, if any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. he that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water." Here is a promise for the time then future. After Jesus was risen from the dead, His disciples, and not only those then His disciples but all that should believe on Him, had an unceasing, unfailing source of power promised. "He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly [his innermost being] shall flow rivers of living water." And by this river this life-giving stream flowing out from a Christian's heart and life, Jesus meant the fullness of the Holy Spirit (p19-20).

If we are only empty cisterns, or if we are stagnant pools, we do not have what Jesus promised us! We are not obtaining our full birthright! We are not living up to our privileges! Every Christian should be a living fountian of the water of life. The Holy Spirit, within us and flowing from us, should bring life to those about us, just as a an artesian well brings life to the desert. So Jesus promised for those who should believe on Him. It is a promise for every Christian, the promise of fullness of power (p20).

Jesus said: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father" (John 14:12). Here is a promise so great that few will believe it. Jesus himself did all his mighty works in the power of the Holy Spirit. Now He tells the disciples that they may do exactly the same kind of work as He did. He does not make a single exception. He does not say that some of His miaracles were too stupendous to be done by the hands of others. He does not say that the raising of the dead or the healing of the sick or the cleaninsing of the leper or the conversion of the the drunkard and the harlot and infidel were too much for these disciples. No, He said plainly, "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also." And then He added that they should do even greater works, since His life was cut short and His public ministry ended at the crucifixion (p20).

Here is a startling teaching, but it is true. Jesus promised that the marvels, the power, the wonder of His own ministry might be repeated in the lives of multitudes of all who believed in Him (p20-21).

O Christian, believe it! God has for you blessings you have never claimed, power you have never used, an enduement you have never sought and found! And lest one should think that this promise was only for the twelve, or only for the Christians of apostolic times, Jesus made the promise clear. It is to him "that believeth on me" that Jesus promised, "The works that I do shall he do also" (p21).

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