This was going to be something of a "blog-spotting" post but I really want to emphasise two blogs in particular and they deserve a post of their own - so the blog-spotting one will follow maybe tomorrow or later in the week.
Firstly I am saddened to note that Jesse Phillips has decided to withdraw from the blogging world and focus on his family and church commitments. Jesse is probably one of the bloggers who has had most impact on me and from whom I have learnt much (alongside Pete, Julie, Lydia, and Terry Virgo). His passion for the Holy Spirit and for "more" of the manifest Presence of God is sadly rare in the blogging and Christian world today. He has taught me some very useful new words that are now part of my theological vocabulary such as "functional cessationist" (as so many sadly are) and "Charismatic Resurgence" (as we pray continues to grow!)
But Jesse mixed that passion with a rational, careful theology that respects the infallibility of the Word of God. He is an incredible gift to the Church and I hope that Sovereign Grace Ministries do not miss his gifting and make full use of him. His blog is going to remain public for only about a week so I urge everyone to go and make use of his resources - particularly his papers on the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Such a key issue so vitally needed today. Thank you Jesse. We deeply appreciate you and you will be missed, although we respect your brave decision to put what matters most first.
Secondly I am thrilled to read Terry Virgo's latest blog post: "Filled with the Spirit" - in light of my last post; "Baptism in the Holy Spirit and Resurrection!". How thrilling when God speaks the same subject again and again through different people! Terry begins by noting that although Dr Lloyd-Jones was key in providing an irrefutable theology for believing in the Baptism of the Holy Spirit as a distinct, glorious experience and inheritance allowing us to cry; "Abba!" - he is right in asking why the Doctor did not put his theology into practice and lay hands on people. One quote caught my attention;
"I was fascinated to note that John Piper exonerated Dr Lloyd-Jones’ view of the baptism of the Holy Spirit but asked the question, ‘Where were the Doctor’s hands?’ He went on to answer, ‘Probably in his books.’".
Where do people say our hands are? I fear that if someone was asked where my hands are, the answer would probably be; "In his books", or "typing his blog". While that is an okay practice, I wish that people could say more and more that my hands are being laid on people for healing, or to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Terry Virgo is an awesome example of someone who loves theology and books but more and more he is being used of God to lay hands on people to receive the Holy Spirit and signs, wonders and miracles from God. Where are we laying our hands? Even if we aren't seeing Acts miracles yet, are we at least laying hands on people to give God the chance to act?
Terry closed his blog by saying;
"As people heard clear instruction on Sunday morning their faith was stimulated, their expectation lifted and they came and received".
Let us never be in danger of despising theology for experience. Rob Rufus taught us so ably at Brighton that the teaching of the Word of God is key for building people's faith. One one occasion one woman was vehemently opposed to his being there and didn't believe it was right she was healed - but that her sickness was for the "glory of God". As Rob opened the Word of God she became angry that she had been deceived so and was healed! As we read and soak ourselves in the Bible we will find our faith rising and rising.
There is so much more to receive and experience from God! Have you received the Holy Spirit in power? It's a promise of God for you! Not only that - Jesus Christ died in agony on the Cross so that heaven might be opened and the Holy Spirit be poured out. Look to Jesus and ask Him for power from on high today as you read. "Come to Me and drink all you who thirst". Come to Him! Drink! Receive! This world is crying out desperate for a church that is baptised in the Holy Spirit and speaking and moving in power.