The Baptism with the Holy Spirit – Part 28

Having stated that, it must be said that preaching a doctrine, or a line, or an emphasis, or a truth, is to miss the point entirely. While it is important to be grounded in doctrinal truth, we are not saved by the truth. We are saved by a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. We can have the purist understanding of truth but be far from the life of God in our living. Indeed, this is one of the tragedies of our day that men and women can be rehearsed in the finer details of doctrinal truth but demonstrate little of its power in their daily lives.

For instance, in the great chapter on love in 1 Corinthians 13 Paul makes that point. One can be familiar with spiritual experiences, being able to speak with tongues, move in prophecy, have great demonstrations of miraculous faith, etc but be without love. In such cases one profits nothing.

It is so sad when there is a great gap between what is understood in the mind, where doctrines are expressed so coherently, yet there is a yawning chasm between that on the one hand and a marked deficit of Christian experience and behaviour on the other.

It behoves us all to make sure that in our preaching there is a clear call to an application of the truth presented. We are also encouraged to admonish one another in our walk together. That is to be bold enough to share with one another at a level that our struggles, sin and failures can be acknowledged. It is too easy to cover up these failures and shortcomings. Where this has happened with brothers in ministry, or sisters in influential relationships, it is especially important that there should also be transparency, repentance and accountability with friends and the church.