“One can be so proud of his doctrinal soundness that the Holy Spirit cannot convict him of the unsoundness of his life. Vain men give to one another a special recognition as having great power and position in this heavenly kingdom by virtue of a proficient learning in languages and Biblical history, or skill in doctrinal analysis.

 

If the faith of illiterate fishermen did more for the establishment of the church in a few years than centuries of prodigious scholarship, one may readily understand that a trust in the wisdom of men and the letter of Scripture has caused the church to fall from its first gospel state in much the way that Adam fell through eating of the same tree of knowledge. The Bible teacher and religious leader who gain and hold a church position through intellectual attainments and oratorical skills can be said to differ from lesser men only as the serpent differed from the other beasts of the field—in that it was more subtle. And the old Serpent has elevated many of his servants through this same subtlety into places of authority and influence within that which pretends to be the Church of Christ.

 

In this fallen state of the church today, Bible scholars are everywhere given over to the self-assuming workings of their own natural intellectual powers. Preachers and teachers come forth to play the orator with gospel mysteries as though the kingdom of God were a kingdom of words, and not as it is in reality the inward work of the Triune God in the soul and spirit of man. Paul said that his gospel was not in word only, but in the power of the Holy Spirit. But these men profess to preach the same gospel as Paul, while denying that same power of the Holy Spirit that he knew; and the gospel in their mouths has become a play upon words, so that they are always studying new ways to present them. They maintain a form of godliness while denying the power thereof. The truth has become in their hands no longer the piercing sword of the Spirit of Truth, but the persuasion of cleverly fashioned phrases. In this way the living Word of God has died in the hands of those who profess to be its dearest friends.”

 

These words were written by William Law 300 years ago and if it was true then, how much more does it apply today? Has the miraculous power of the Holy Spirit of God been all but lost within nominal Christianity?

 

Help all the nations, near and far,

Awake, Thy glory see;

Behold the bright and morning star,

The Christ of Calvary . . . (O God We Pray for All Mankind)