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Blooming with Books
5 Stars Out Of 5
Word + Spirit = Power to change the world!
October 7, 2012
Blooming with Books
WORD Spirit POWER
What Happens When You Seek All God Has to Offer
By R.T. Kendall
There is a divorce in the Church that has rendered it ineffective and powerless. But in our efforts to remain busy we haven't realized what we are missing. We have divorced the Word of God from His Spirit.
Word Spirit Power will help us bring about a remarriage of the Word and the Spirit in today's Church. Word + Spirit = Power
Many believe that signs and wonders were ended when the the Book of Revelation was penned, but the truth is we don't experience the signs and wonders because we have separated the Scriptures from the power of God. To preach the Gospel without the power of God behind it we are merely teaching words. This coming together of Scripture with the power of God's Spirit is what gave strength and meaning to Peter's preaching on the Day of Pentecost. God's power is what lies behind the miraculous and it is the irresistible force behind preaching.
Today many Christians are like the Sadducees, we are ignorant of the Scriptures and the power of God. We must daily read and study the Bible so that when we have need of its guidance and wisdom the Holy Spirit can bring it our mind. The Bible is a record of God's integrity. And it is through God's name that signs and wonders were done proclaiming the truth of His Word. Even the hymns of today are powerless because there is no theology that we sing unlike those of Issac Watts and Charles Wesley. When we come to Christianity with the attitude of "What's in it for me?" we are missing the point. The Cross appeased God's wrath at our sinfulness. God owes us nothing! We must humble ourselves before God and thank Him for what He has already given us.
To return to what God has intended us to be we must pursue "the Third Person of the Trinity, Holy Spirit" It is only through the Holy Spirit that we can truly be aware of God's presence in our lives. The Holy Spirit was sent by God to unify the Church and to enable us to accomplish the purpose God has created us, as the Church, for. But somewhere along the way we seemed to lose our awareness of the Spirit's presence and began viewing Him with fear and doubt.
To experience true spiritual renewal we must recover the original purpose of the Holy Spirit. Today's Church "lacks the heart and power to recover the glory of the church of Acts," instead it is under a cloud of oppression struggling to survive. This is the time when we should return to God and the Bible - a time of spiritual awakening.
The religious world uses terms that divide and exclude, but God wants us to be inclusive. As Christians we can have disagreements but we must not become disagreeable so that by our very words and actions we cause others to close eyes and ears to God!
If we refuse the Spirit we are refusing God and we are refusing Jesus as they are one. To be in God we must be in the Spirit, we must trust Him as we trust the Father and the Son. When the Spirit came on those first believers of the early Church they were filled with a boldness they had not previously had. But this was not an offering to only the first believers, but to believers today as well. We must allow the Spirit to provide us with the power by revealing the meaning of God's Word to us His Children!
We must not allow our ego or pride to hinder the Spirit. We must crucify our ego so that we don't handicap the Spirit's work in our lives and limit our effectiveness both within and without the Church. We must not allow the legalism of doctrine to cause us to reject the both the Spirit and the works of the Spirit. It is only when the Spirit become real to the individual believer "that religion is replaced with authentic spirituality and power."
Word Spirit Power takes an interesting look at the Church and what is wrong with it. Are you willing to to accept the gift that has been given to the Church and to the Kingdom?
I received a copy of this book from Chosen a division of Baker Books for the purpose of this review. All opinions expressed are my own.
If you could describe your walk with God as shallow, unexciting, powerless, empty or dull- then you need to read "Word, Spirit, Power"- immediately. The first chapter, (R.T. Kendall's self-introduction) is something of a dry start, though you'll come to appreciate his academic tone. If by chance it doesn't grow on you, but you long to see the power of God in the church today, and in your own life in particular, just push through - it will be more than worth it. Kendall teaches on the importance of knowing God's Word, while Charles Carrin teaches out of his unique experience on the importance of understanding the work of the Holy Spirit and the need for the Holy Spirit in the Christian's life. Jack Taylor concludes with the section on Power - the outcome of a life lived in the Word and in the Spirit. You will discover each author's reverence for Scripture and ability to teach profoundly yet convey the message plainly. That bears repeating: you don't have to be a seminary student to appreciate the depth of teaching - these men are remarkably good at keeping it simple. Though each writer shares a good deal from his own experiences, this is NOT a book full of experiential claims loosely supported by random Scripture verses. It is a challenging, thought-provoking, and humbly presented call to lay down your pride, your ego, possibly your doctrine, and probably the qualifications and pre-conditions you (knowingly or not) attach to your prayer for more of God, so that you truly can be filled with the life-changing power of the Holy Spirit. I am convinced that the message in "Word, Spirit, Power" could be a catalyst for phenomenal individual and corporate revival. If I could, I would put this book into the hands of every Christian I know and I unreservedly recommend that you read it. I am absolutely confident that God will use the message in this book powerfully in your life. Be warned, upon reading it you will find areas of disbelief, doubt, and pride that you didn't know were there, lurking within you. As a result you may find yourself on your face before God in repentance and desperation - but can you think of any better place to be?
I received a complimentary copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.
This book really expands on the importance of not only being equipped with knowledge of the bible but also the importance of being filled with the Holy Spirit which gives us power to serve God using the gifts that are accessible to us. The Holy Spirit also allows us to hear God's voice, feel his love and enables us to live according to God's will when we are obedient to His word, seeking what he has to offer. The author's give amazing testimonies of their experiences with the Holy Spirit and how it came to be. I really enjoyed reading about the transformation of Tom's life and how he was used by the Holy Spirit. That demonstrates God is always near and will place people in our lives for a season to fulfill a need. Truth is in the word, power is in the truth and Holy Spirit is in the power as mentioned in this book really sums it up. I believe after reading this book, many will pursue the Holy Spirit. It has helped me on my journey. Thanks Bethany House Publishing for the opportunity to read this book free of charge.
How often have we felt as R.T. Kendall describes in this book, theologically sound but powerless. This book describes seeking God for the power of the Holy Spirit. The authors are not content to simply teach biblical truths or to be sound in their theology but they want to see the power of God manifested in His Church through healings, through signs and wonders, through the gifts of the Spirit. Like many others, they are tired of going through the motions of "church" and they want to see the living God.
My thoughts on the book are that the authors do give you a hunger for God. I agreed with them that our God is a living God. God is not dead. He didn't give us the Bible and then abandon us. He didn't heal people during the ministry of Jesus and the book of Acts only to leave us with the completion of the New Testament. I have read articles and books on the cessation of the manifestation gifts of the Spirit such as speaking in tongues, prophecy, or healing and while I agree that there can be abuses of these gifts, I find the arguments in favor of their cessation based on a philosophy more than a theology. I agreed with the authors that the Bible is given to us not to replace the supernatural but to correct abuses of it. This was a good point. The book focuses on the experiences of the authors and then allows the authors to write short chapters on seeking God and His power.
What are the weaknesses of the book? First, while I am not a full cessationist, I would call myself a "partial cessationist." Why? Because I believe the healings of Jesus and the Apostles were unique to the work of God. The healings of Jesus, for example, showed He was the Messiah and verified that He was sent from God (John 3:2; 6:38; Acts 10:38). The Apostles likewise were able to perform miracles to demonstrate their validity (Acts 14:3). Few would claim to be able to do miracles as Jesus or the Apostles did and few (if any) would ever claim to be speaking on the same level as God spoke through Jesus or the Apostles. No doubt the Lord Jesus and the Apostles carried a unique authority from God to glorify His name. While I agree that all disciples of Jesus are now full of the Spirit (Acts 2:38), few if any would claim to be speaking on the same level as say Paul the Apostle or would claim to heal as Jesus healed (Matthew 4:23-25). I have never witnessed a special and unique healing such as raising the dead. While I believe God can raise the dead, I have never heard of a verified raising of the dead. I believe that since the completion of the New Testament, God is not speaking the same to us as He did through the Apostles. Few, other than cults, would disagree.
That said, the book does give me a hunger for more of God. I truly do believe that God answers prayer. I believe He is certainly able to do miracles. I believe He longs to hear our cries (John 14:13-14). I believe that prayer is powerful not because prayer itself has power but because of the intercessory work of Jesus Christ who sits at the right hand of God the Father (Hebrews 4:14-16). Jesus is our faithful high priest (Hebrews 7:25) and because He is praying for us before the Father, we can pray and I believe God can do mighty things to exalt His name and His glory in the earth. I believe, as the authors do, that we should pray great and mighty prayers. While we do not know the will of God, we can know that God does desire to glorify His name (Ephesians 3:20-21). Faith in God can move mountains (Mark 11:22-24).
Overall, this book will generate a passion for the Lord Jesus and His presence. Critics won't find much to wrestle with here except perhaps the experiences of the authors. The chapters are given not to theologically show our need for God and His power but to generate a hunger for God. I am hungry for God. I want Him to move in power in my life. I want to see souls saved for the glory of God and I want Jesus to be exalted in answering our cries. Truly He is a mighty God!