Word and Spirit Print
Church
Written by Toby Sumpter   
Thursday, 26 November 2009 08:39

The Father comes to us by the Word and the Spirit.

But the Word without the Spirit is not enough. Our salvation would not be effectual without Pentecost. The death and resurrection of Jesus would be meaningless to us without the pouring out of the Spirit.

Same thing with preaching, counseling, evangelism, even parenting: These words would be lifeless and empty without the Spirit. If the Holy Spirit does not enliven, if the Spirit does not give light, the words tumble into the nothing.

The Spirit turns the Word into flesh, but the Spirit also turns flesh into Word.

Too often we think that if we only say the right thing, formulate the right argument, give the right answer then we will be effective, then our words will produce light and life. We think words are enough. But the Spirit hovers over the waters. The Spirit is a hurricane of joy and love and peace, the Storm that carves life out of the dirt.

This means that Christian ministry must have Spirit-glorified flesh. So how do we gin up the Spirit? Which songs must we sing, which liturgy should we follow, how do we get the Spirit to incarnate our words, the gospel words we speak to those around us? Part of the answer is that it’s impossible, and that we cannot “get” the Spirit to do anything. The Spirit blows where He wishes, and we do not know His plans or intentions. But we do have the Scriptures, and we know the ways that the Spirit tends to work. The Spirit likes weakness. The Spirit glorifies the humble. The Spirit carves life out of the dirt. One practical suggestion is that Christian ministry needs to embrace the weakness of human flesh. Pastors and elders and parents must learn to hug and kiss and cry and shout and plead. The Word has to sink down into our earth, our bodily earth, into our emotions, our passions, our bodies in order to spring up into newness of human life.

We know that we have been given the Spirit, but frequently we think that this means that we go about ministering grace in some absolutely different way. I’ll stand over here and quote Bible verses and then you’ll understand. I’ll hand you a tract, and then you’ll get it. I’ll explain why you’re being irrational, and that should clue you in. But the Spirit incarnates the Word. The Word must barrel out into the world, transfigured into a human body. The Word must be earthy or there is no Spirit. We're frequently functional Docetists, the Word only pretends to be flesh. We don't really need the Spirit; Word is enough.

I wonder how many counseling sessions have failed because we refused to hug the individual we were counseling. Or how many spouses might be won over with a real kiss? I wonder how many individuals have fallen away from the faith because we did not cry for their souls to the Father. And I mean cry. I wonder how many prayers for the lost and the unbelieving continue to go unanswered because we still get more angry over politics.

The Spirit turned the Word into flesh, but the Spirit continues to turn flesh into Word. And that means that He turns our feeble bodies, our powerless words into the words and actions of the Word Made Flesh. As the gospel penetrates our lives, our flesh and pain and tears and blood become the Word by the working of the Spirit who proceeds from the Father. And that should be reason for great hope and faith.

 



Share the goodness
Reddit! Del.icio.us! Mixx! Free and Open Source Software News Google! Live! Facebook! StumbleUpon! TwitThis
Comments
What Word of God?
EvangelistShold (Registered) 2011-12-12 07:31:27

What translation/interpretation do you speak of? Just wondering? My new Pastor to us at this new church,where we are visiting kinda still...reads from the Message bible...that is not the Word of God to me.I almost got up and left the building..It was even hard to follow him on which scripture he was quoting...? I would have to read each and every one he read but in my bible..KJV so I could say oh that's what he is saying God said...by verse,otherwise....hu? what? its a strange word to me, when I hear it,what is your version of the Word of God? which Word of God do you read? what do you think about all that? just curious.What Word of God are we to Obey? I know what The Word of God is to me..is the one I read ,pray and obey with Gods help of course.the kjv. or the standard kjv.I know my version, its no guess.I use many other versions for study only, I start with the kjv..stay in it and end with it,but use the other few for comparing one to the other.
I do love your writings all of them
EvangelistShold (Registered) 2011-12-12 07:59:09

I wrote a page or two the other day,I believe if perhaps..a person that calls themselves a Christian...lets say used the message bible..of which I wouldn't have one..but this person uses it,reads it, prays it..meditates on it...out of the message bible..then a test or trial comes their way..and it's coming we all know that.Then let's say the enemy or one of his cohart' is listening,of which they do. Then this person is in the middle of trial,test,tribulation..and it gets real hot for them in this place,then they decide to quote their version of The Word of God...the message to the devil and or his cohart's and one of the it's written by Jesus..out of the message bible.Then then I believe the enemy would say pretty much this..Jesus I know,Paul I know,The Word of God I know...you I don't know or the words you have thrown at me as if they were The Words of God...NO! then the enemy proceeds to destroy them,or do what ever the enemy does to those who disobey God.. and is trying to rebuke...
this site does say we can comment
EvangelistShold (Registered) 2011-12-12 08:02:49

thanks.
Only registered users can write comments!
Last Updated on Thursday, 26 November 2009 08:52