“At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.” —Titus 3:3-7
I fear the Church is believing the lie that it is possible to solve global issues apart from the Holy Spirit. Throughout history, theologians, monks, and saints have reminded us of the Truth through anointed and biblically sound answers. But it seems that perhaps we have forgotten. So we continue to confront our world’s issues incorrectly, which becomes painfully obvious in our rhetoric and conduct.
The world doesn’t need the Church unless we are filled with the Holy Spirit.
The infilling, sanctifying, purifying work of the Spirit on and in His Church is the only solution that this dusty, dying world needs.
I think about how lame and perfunctory the Christian church sometimes appears—how we postulate and fight, discuss and condemn. We can be so much like the sons of Thunder (James and John) fighting for our rights, or like Peter attempting to walk on water. Our puffing is great, our pretexts sound, and yet we are powerless against fear, doubt, and the turbulent injustices that arise in surprising fury in our lives. The same could be said of Peter, James, and John before the infilling of the Holy Spirit; they were powerless, weak, dogmatic, and ineffective.
After the day of Pentecost and days of prayer, reconciliation, and unity, the Holy Spirit descended. What a dynamic change He bestowed on this infant church comprised of these huddled, fearful Jesus-disciples! It had everything to do with the purifying power that fell on them. Suddenly, Peter became better, bolder, and dynamically evangelistic. James and John would now compete only in their sacrificial roles in servanthood.
How devastating for a sick and desperate world to see Christianity pronounce Jesus as Savior yet fight for their own positions! Nothing that we do is eternal unless our love and actions are potentialized and governed by the administration of the Holy Spirit. He is all we need. He is all our world desperately needs.
Jesus knew the primitive church needed the power and purity of the infilling Holy Spirit. The modern church needs it as well. Now Church—awake! Beg for His infilling, and go in His power.
Robin Brunson Radi, along with her husband and children, serves as a Global Missionary for the Church of the Nazarene in Buenos Aires, Argentina.