Wednesday, May 6, 2009

God's arm

No genuine revival can ever arise from the flesh. “That which is born of the flesh is flesh.” Human excitement at the utmost, and carnal zeal at its extremity, can do nothing towards the real conversion of souls. Here we are taught the lesson, “not by might nor by power.” Disappointments ought to have taught the Church of God this lesson long ago. The many revivals which she has had which have proved to be spurious - the puffing up of excitement and not the building up of grace, all these should have driven her out of the last relic of her self confidence, and have made her feel that it is not of herself to do anything in the Lord’s cause without his help. “Our help cometh from the Lord that made heaven and earth.”

It is well to be constantly convinced of this. We must have God’s arm laid to the work, or else nothing will be accomplished which will stand the solemn tests of the last great day. Wood, hay, and stubble we may build alone, but gold, silver and precious stones are from the king’s treasury. “Without me ye can do nothing,” was the Savior’s word to his chosen apostles; how much more applicable must it be to us who are “less than the least of all saints”! In vain your holy assemblies, in vain your earnest desires, in vain your passionate addresses, in vain your efforts of a thousand shapes: unless God himself shall step forth from the hiding-place of his power, and set himself a second time to his own glorious work, no good can come of all your toils.

From a sermon entitled "The Mighty Arm," delivered February 4, 1866. Image by fauxto_digit under Creative Commons License.

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