What does our church need?
(James Smith, "Good seed for the Lord's field!" 1856)
"Our gospel came to you not simply with words — but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction." 1 Thessalonians 1:5
"We have," said one pastor, "the gospel regularly preached, the prayer meetings are continued, the church is in peace — but very few souls are converted to God! What does our church need?"
It needs the presence and power of the Holy Spirit! For unless the Holy Spirit works — your minister may preach, your church may meet — but no real good will be done! God's work is carried on, not by might nor by power — but by the Spirit of the Lord Almighty. It is the Spirit who must . . .
open the heart,
quicken the soul, and
sanctify the person!
And if the Spirit works — then the feeblest ministry is efficient, and the smallest church prospers!
All the success that followed the preaching of Peter, and the labors of Paul — was from the Holy Spirit. Therefore Paul says, "God gave the increase." Then the church felt her need of the Spirit; she realized her dependence on that divine Agent; she prayed with faith, fervor, and importunity for the blessing; and God answered her prayers, and filled His servants with the Holy Spirit and with power!
But now-a-days, we merely talk of the Spirit — rather than feel our need! We boast of our instruments — rather than realize our dependence on the Almighty Agent!