“The promise of the Spirit is not appreciated as it should be. Its fulfillment is not realized as it might be. It is the absence of the Spirit that makes the gospel ministry so powerless. Learning, talents, eloquence, every natural or acquired endowment, may be possessed; but without the presence of the Spirit of God, no heart will be touched, no sinner be won to Christ. On the other hand, if they are connected with Christ, if the gifts of the Spirit are theirs, the poorest and most ignorant of His disciples will have a power that will tell upon hearts. God makes them the channel for the outworking of the highest influence in the universe.”-Ellen G. White, Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 328.
“The apostle’s earnest words of entreaty were not fruitless. The Holy Spirit wrought with mighty power, and many whose feet had wandered into strange paths, returned to their former faith in the gospel. Henceforth they were steadfast in the liberty wherewith Christ had made them free. In their lives were revealed the fruits of the Spirit-‘love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.’ The name of God was glorified, and many were added to the number of believers throughout that region.”-Ellen G. White, The Acts of the Apostles, p. 388.
- Dwell more on the contrast between cold formalism and unbridled fanaticism. Or, are they always in contrast? That is, could a church be fanatical and coldly formal at the same time? If so, how might that be made manifest? Why would either extreme, or both, be detrimental to revival and reformation? What about your own local church? Where does it stand in this area? How could you help it to find the right balance?
- What evidence, if any, can we see of false revivals going on in the world? How can we know that they are false? On the other hand, would it be wrong to believe that God is working a revival among those who, though loving the Lord, don’t know the things that we do?
- In class, go over your answer to Thursday’s question regarding someone who thinks that he or she has had a supernatural experience with God. What can you learn from each other’s answers?