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It Cannot Be Passed On

It Cannot Be Passed On

      I recently heard a sermon on the Holy Spirit. It was preached by a ‘long-time’ Christian and proclaimer of the Word. In this sermon, some things were said that caused me to ‘cock an eyebrow’ and made me listen more intently. I began to hear things that were at best, questionable. As usual, some of these things were stated as passages were ‘pulled out of context ‘and therefore misapplied. Some of the passages used were taken from various ‘modern’ so-called versions of the Bible, designed to ‘pull’ folks in a certain direction. These have caused untold damage to the church. Other things seemed to be stated because of the present trend to ‘go with the crowd’ on certain subjects. Regardless, it was disturbing because this was being ‘aired out’ on the internet for all to hear.
     How much ‘misinformation’ does it take to lead one astray? How often does one need to repeat error before it becomes ingrained? Why regurgitate what some well-respected, well-intentioned, yet mistaken, brother of the past wrote if it does not align with God’s Word on a subject? Can we not see that the repeating of error is just as wrong as falsehood when it was first proclaimed? How many times have we seen preaching of a ‘little error’ lead to even more? “A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.” (Gal. 5:9 & 1Cor 5:6b) should come to mind.  We need to call attention to error to refute it (and do it properly with the Word of God – book chapter and verse) so others can be warned.
     We know that the Spirit of God, His Work, functions, and operations were given in ‘measures’ at a certain time for a specific purpose. Yet when reading about the Spirit, Who was responsible for these, some want to claim the same for us today. While some reject the ‘miraculous’ works of the babyhood of the church, they profess to have His ‘bodily presence’ living in their ‘heart’ today. They even use such passages as Rom. 8:9 as proof text. When asked: “What does the Spirit do for you that the Word cannot and does not do?” The reply is something like: “He is just a ‘comfort’ for me to have Him there.”   Is there any comfort in that which is against the Word of God?
     I suppose in such a case, the Spirit is a ‘house guest’ in one’s ‘heart’. Is there anyone that can find this for me in the Word of God?   Per Rom. 15:4, we have hope and comfort, and develop patience through the Word the Spirit brought. I think not!    We do know that the Spirit brought the Word. We don’t need to forget that the Spirit is the author of the scriptures. We are reminded of this in 2Tim 3:16-17. This passage ‘passes on’ some valuable information.   It tells us 1) All of God’s Word is inspired (God breathed). This means that all of it was delivered by the Spirit by inspiration. 2) Scripture is profitable in several areas for our good. 3) The purpose of this is that the “man of God may be perfect” (whole or complete – not sinless) and “throughly furnished” or totally supplied with all we need. 2Pet. 1:3-4 also affirms this.
     It seems to me that some want the “personal indwelling” so they can lay claim to having something ‘religious’ as part of them. Again, what does He do “within you’ that cannot and does not occur through the Word? Perhaps they want the Spirit to do all the work so they can be saved. They may want the Spirit to ‘guide them’. Does the Word not do that per Psa. 119:105? Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.    Since they claim to have the “indwelling of the Spirit”, how long till they claim to have the “direct operation of the Spirit” as was needed in the ‘baby church’ in absence of the written Word?    It’s just a matter of time.   Perhaps this is the idea behind this poem, written by my wife’s father (O.D. Wilson) many years ago. It is very apparent that these misunderstandings go way back. We need to use all means to refute error and teach truth. The poem bears the same title as this article.

It Cannot Be “Passed On”!

Tell me which apostle laid his hands on you,
All the 12 are gone, we know this is true.
Jesus gave them power through the Holy Ghost,
To “lay hands” on some when it was needed most.

When the 12 “laid hands” on Philip, it is said.
He could “heal” the sick, and even raise the dead.
But he couldn’t “pass on” this power we find,
For only the 12 had this gift divine.

Simon saw that through the 12 apostle’s hands,
Gifts were given, so he tried to buy the “plan”.
Peter told him, gifts of God no one could buy,
So, repent and pray, or you will surely die.

Oral, Jim, and Tammy tell us it is true.
One of Christ’s apostles laid his hands on you?
Why then offer unto us a different way,
Than the Spirit gave the 12 back in their day?
                               Acts chapter 8:14-22

       1Cor. 13:10 tells us when the “perfect” came (the completed Word of God) “that which is in part (gifts of the Spirit) shall be done away”.  Want blessings of God?  Look into the “perfect law of liberty”, the Bible (Jas. 1:25), continue therein, and “do the work”. The blessings await! If we believe the Word of God, why not fully follow it?

Dennis Strickland – Mooresville church of Christ

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