In 2007 something was birthed in my heart from Heaven. The process is a little too involved to be included in today’s post, but the result of this leading of the Lord in my life was the ministry now known as Transforming Truth. What began as a request for sermon CD’s from two ladies in the northern part of Georgia, became a once-a-week radio broadcast on an AM station, to a twice-weekly local television ministry, to an international media outreach. There is a whole lot more to the story of what the Holy Spirit did, but the single facet which initiated, sustained and grew the vision and work was, is and will continue to be a relentless commitment to the supremacy of the Scriptures.
I make no apology for this guiding conviction in my life and calling: God’s Word is the supreme and final authority for all matters pertaining to faith and life.
In the last four years, this commitment to the Word of God has branched further into an intentional emphasis upon living in the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. It is the objective truth of God’s Word which leads me to preach, write and dialogue much concerning our need for personal interaction with God’s Spirit. My reading of God led me into relationship with God. My theology birthed experience. The womb of the Word brought forth life in the Spirit. Not surprisingly, after a decade of my touting the necessity of sound theology, expository preaching and the primacy of Kingdom truth, when I began to incorporate all the pertinent passages concerning the person and work of the Holy Spirit, some who followed my ministry became uncomfortable. Others became concerned. A few became angry. Nevertheless, I cannot escape (and do not wish to!) the dogmatic certainty that an objective approach to the Bible can lead to no other reasonable conclusion other than the one upon which I stand: since the Church exploded onto the scene in Acts chapter two, nothing has changed concerning what we are to expect and experience from the Holy Spirit.
Today I want to challenge all of you who hold to an uncompromised allegiance to God’s Word. I call on you to intentionally disrobe from your denominational affiliation every single time you study His blessed book. I ask you to approach the Scriptures with nothing else in your hands. Forget what your favorite pastors have taught you. If they taught you well, you will find their teaching in an objective study of the Bible, so you need not fear losing anything valuable. Jettison what all of your peers expect of you regarding theological positions and denominational norms. Be a woman or man of spiritual courage, and go all the way with your commitment to frame up your beliefs with a sola scriptura loyalty. Ask and expect the Holy Spirit to strip all those stacked layers of religious build-up off your mind and soul, so that you will be sanded down to your theological grain and able to receive the finish that the Lord applies to your mind and heart. If you are today like I once was, and you believe that the Holy Spirit no longer works as He did in the New Testament, then use only that inspired New Testament to substantiate your views. If you believe that what is documented in the Bible concerning the Holy Spirit no longer applies to us today, then ensure that you have the clear teaching of Scripture alone to define when those changes occurred. By the way, the more you import and export verses from multiple passages, and then repackage them together to frame up your case as to why the Holy Spirit has changed His ways, the more you risk leaving what is called exegesis (receiving your conclusions out of the Scriptures) and trespassing into eisegesis (reading your conclusions into the Scriptures). Exegesis is how we arrive at the gate of sound theology. Eisegesis is how we arrive at the doorstep of error. What we believe will source the flow of how we live, so how we approach the Bible is of vast importance. If we are ever to be the people whom God destines us to be, and if we are ever to accomplish that which God has assigned the Church in our generation, there must be a renewed commitment to the objectivity of God’s Word, free of modern, Americanized, religious smudges. Our commitment to the Word of God will inevitably lead us into a life of encounter with the Spirit of God because the Scripture will show that, despite all of the obvious error which came forth from the last 100+ years of charismania concerning the Holy Spirit, He is still God, still available and still very, very active. I am quite convinced that large segments of the Church in America hold to the authority of Scripture in every other area of their beliefs, only to abandon their commitment in this essential area of pneumatology (the study of the Holy Spirit). What a tragic place to get it wrong.
This Sunday my prepared sermon centers on the authority of Scripture, one of the four threads which hold New Bridge Church together as a faith family and a church on mission. I will be as dogmatic in that sermon as a man can be. It will be my joy to preach from my undiluted commitment to disclose what do the Scriptures themselves say (as opposed to ‘what someone said that the Scriptures say’). I predict that my sermon will last less than one hour this Sunday, but my commitment and confidence in this area will lastingly endure. That blessed book that God has given us discloses the infinite personhood of the Holy Spirit. My bible reveals that what began to be outpoured on Pentecost continues today – there is not one single verse in the entire bible that declares that the activity which began on Pentecost has ceased today. Rather than the ceasing of the work of the Holy Spirit, I anticipate that we are currently seeing and will continue to see an increase in His activity. Few of us would deny that the activity of the enemy is increasing! Yet many who would not deny that reality would quickly dismiss the notion that God will outmatch the enemy’s activity by enlarging the outpouring of His own presence and power in these final days. Those who deny that God is moving in fresh, renewing ways will, at the most, be spectators of what He does. Their unbelief may cause them to be blind to it altogether. Those who are praying for a greater outpouring will see it. They will not only see it, they will step into it. At some point, this outpouring of the Holy Spirit’s presence and power will not merely be before them, around them or upon them…
He will pour through them.
And that is when we will see the last and greatest revival that the American Church has ever known.
All of this will come through that segment of the Church who hold to authority of the Scriptures and live in the necessity and expectancy of the Holy Spirit. Both of these pillars will facilitate what King Jesus will do here before His return.
I hope you will be part of it.
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