Thursday, May 15, 2014

Why the Holy Spirit?

Mission is not human effort responding to a commandment. It is not even obedience to the Great Commission. It is natural and spontaneous. Only after the Spirit fell did the disciples speak (Acts 2:4). The Spirit creates a witnessing church. “It is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you” (Mt 10:20). Spreading the gospel is dependent not on human wisdom and strength but on a demonstration of Spirit and power (1 Cor 2:4-5). Mission is not something we do to expand the size of the church; it is something God does to gather and bring justice to the nations. The Spirit is not the sustainer of the church but the driving power of its mission. The main thing for us to do is place ourselves at the Spirit’s disposal.

The goal is world transformation…Spiritual ecstasy is not meant to be an end in itself—the goal is transformation. The purpose of the outpouring of the Spirit is to bring the kingdom near and change real-life situations.— Flame of Love, pages 142-143

<idle musing>
Pinnock is an equal opportunity offender here! He clobbers the "go because Jesus commanded" as they do it on their own effort crowd. And in the next page he clobbers the "get filled with the Holy Spirit and everything is cool" crowd. Both have their place, but both need to be submitted to the overarching purposes of God. But we prefer extremes, don't we?

About 38 years ago, I heard Stuart Briscoe give a talk at a conference. His theme was "Trust and Obey" (yes, as in the hymn). He said our problem is we choose one or the other, so over here you've got a group of people with heavy burdens on their backs, hauling them around and saying, "Obey! Obey! Obey!" And over there you've got a group of people flapping their wings and jumping around saying, "Trust! Trust! Trust!" OK, it was better in person with him acting it out, but you get the idea...we have to hold the two in hand at the same time. You obey because you trust, but your trust must entail obedience. And it is all by the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit.
</idle musing>

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