WORD AND SPIRIT
1Th. 1:5-6 for our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. You also became imitators of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit,
I am grateful to The Lord for the different men and women of God that have impacted my life over the years. One of these men that I speak of often is Dick Mills. His life and ministry had a profound influence on me. Brother Mills had an incredible two fold emphasis in his ministry, he was a picture of what it means to rely on the Word and the Spirit in our ministry. From my first memories of being in Brother Mills services, I remember the powerful teaching from the scripture always followed up by a demonstration of the Spirit through the operation of the gifts of the Spirit. I clearly remember Dick telling me about the importance of the Word and the Spirit and him telling me of how John Calvin had emphasized this and even coined the phrase “Word and Spirit”. Here is a quote from John Piper’s book “The Legacy of Sovereign Joy” as he spoke about Calvin’s emphasis of the Word and the Spirit.
“Here he wrestles with how we can come to a saving knowledge of God through the Scriptures. His answer is the famous phrase, “the internal testimony of the Holy Spirit.” For example, he says, “Scripture will ultimately suffice for a saving knowledge of God only when its certainty is founded upon the inward persuasion of the Holy Spirit”. So two things came together for Calvin to give him a “saving knowledge of God”—Scripture and the “inward persuasion of the Holy Spirit.” Neither alone suffices to save. But how does this actually work? What does the Spirit do? The answer is not that the Spirit gives us added revelation to what is in Scripture but that he awakens us, as from the dead, to see and taste the divine reality of God in Scripture, which authenticates it as God’s own Word. He says, “Our Heavenly Father, revealing his majesty [in Scripture], lifts reverence for Scripture beyond the realm of controversy”. There is the key for Calvin: The witness of God to Scripture is the immediate, unassailable, life-giving revelation to our minds of the majesty of God that is manifest in the Scriptures themselves. The “majesty of God” is the ground of our confidence in his Word.”
That is exactly what our world needs today, a return to an emphasis on the Majesty of God. Somehow, many of the modern day “christians” have lost their sense of majesty. Caught up in an emphasis of how The Lord helps us in the affairs of this life, majesty has become irrelevant. Only an awakening of our souls can restore this sense of majesty to our lives.