The Power of the Spirit and Mission

(Lloyd-Jones on Howell Harris part 3)

In his lecture on Howell Harris, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, the great evangelical Bible teacher, argued that an experience of the Holy Spirit’s power was the key to Harris’ effectiveness in the 18th century ‘Great Awakening’.

It was this ‘baptism of fire’ that spurred Harris on to reach others with the gospel of Christ.

Here, he continues to argue his point effectively, whilst applying it to the reader with stinging relevance!

The Baptism of the Spirit as the Stimulus to Effective Evangelism

‘This is what created within [Howell Harris] a compassion for the lost. This is what urged him to go out and to tell the people about their condition and do something about them. His concern for the lost and the perishing was the consuming passion of his soul.

I would make this comment at this point. Is not that always the crucial test which we must apply to those who claim to have received the baptism of the Spirit?

The crucial test is the concern for souls, compassion for the lost. That was the great characteristic of our Lord. He saw the people as ‘sheep without a shepherd’. He ‘had compassion upon them’; and the man who is filled with the Spirit in this way is like his Lord.

His outstanding characteristic is his compassion for the lost; his concern for them was the test of ‘the baptism of the Spirit’.’

The power of the Spirit leads to mission not self-indulgence

Lloyd-Jones continues, ‘It does not lead to an inward looking, self-indulgent, church movement that turns in on itself and spends its time reciting and even boasting at times of experiences. It always leads to this concern for others…

The baptism of or with the Spirit shows itself primarily by giving its recipients a great evangelistic concern.’ (Lloyd-Jones, The Puritans and their Successors, Banner of Truth Edition p.292-3)

Oh that we could placard that statement over every church that claims an experience of the Holy Spirit!

To read Part One of Lloyd-Jones on Howell Harris click here

To read the Part Four click here

You can purchase ‘The Puritans: Their Origins and Successors’ here

© 2009 Lex Loizides

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