I had the privilege to preach “away” the past two Sunday evenings. On each occasion I preached on the Holy Spirit. Both venues and congregations could be considered Charismatic, though they may not use that label.
On the first occasion I launched from Isaiah 6 and the prophet’s realisation that a holy God requires his people to be holy. This comes about through blood and fire, as illustrated by the live coal from the altar (on which an animal would be sacrificed). Of course, it’s also a Salvation Army battle cry!
As promised, on the second occasion I spoke from Romans 12 on the Gifts of the Spirit. I stressed that Paul sandwiches a very succinct theology between a call to surrender to God and to love each other.
In both passages, obedience to the Law, as summarised in the two great commandments to love God and love our neighbours, is seen as the measure of holiness. Again this chimes with our Salvationist and Wesleyan heritage which describes holiness as perfect love.
It seems to me that the early Christians had the correct balance between the Power of the Spirit and the Purity of the Spirit. In The Salvation Army we’ve been afraid of the first. But perhaps that has contributed to a decline of the second.
It would be wonderful if we could recapture our belief in a dynamic Holy Spirit who has the power to really make us like Jesus!
Steven — Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.