And the LORD said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh…” Genesis 6.3
Ministers of Scotland: Lectures on Revival III
The Rev. Alexander Moody Stuart, A. M., Minister of St. Luke’s Parish, Edinburgh
“The Spirit then is gloriously present in the church: present with believers, dwelling in them; present to unbelievers, striving with them: and with the Spirit therefore men have specially to do, whether believers or unbelievers. We are all brought into special nearness and contact with him…Pray that your eyes may be opened to perceive ‘him with whom you have to do,’ lest you should even sin against the Holy Ghost.”
A primary work of the Spirit is to effect conviction in the souls of men (Jn. 16.8-11). What is that like? How do we experience conviction? Like David? Peter? Paul? Under conviction, people may feel suddenly surprised, exposed, ashamed, fearful, or filled with remorse. The Spirit strives with people to achieve conviction, so that they might lift their eyes to the Lord and find help in Him. Does our preaching join with the Spirit’s striving to bring people to conviction? If not, how can we become engaged with Him, as He seeks to engage the people of God? The Spirit of God works with the Word of God, so whenever we’re working with the Word of God – whether in preaching and teaching, counseling, disciple-making, or bearing witness to the Lord – we must wield it like a two-edged sword (Ps. 149.5, 6), and look to the Spirit to strive with our hearers, so that He can achieve the ends He seeks in bringing revival, renewal, and awakening to the world.
Would you say that your preaching and other ministries work to bring conviction to people? Why or why not?
Preparing for Revival
All quotations in this series are taken from Ministers of Scotland,Lectures on Revival, Richard Owen Roberts, ed. (Wheaton: Richard Owen Roberts, Publishers, 1980). Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.