Monday, June 18, 2012
God gives the Church increase
When the church is visited by the power of the Holy Spirit she is increased on every side. When a Church in the midst of a vast population remains stationary in numbers, or even becomes smaller, no man can see in such a condition the marks of God’s blessing. Certainly it would be a novel sort of benediction; for the first blessing, the blessing of Pentecost, resulted in three thousand being added to the church in one day, and we find afterwards that “The Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” We read in the Acts of the Apostles that the churches “walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.”
Ever since those early days, when the Lord has been with his people they have increased in numbers, their children have sprung up as among the grass, and as willows by the water courses. When they have been “minished and brought low” it has been because they have departed from the truth or lost their first love. The clearness of gospel testimony has been dimmed, spirituality has been at a low ebb, the Holy Ghost has been despised, and he has suspended his operations, and then the church has dwindled down till she has had little more than a name to live: but as soon as ever the Lord has returned to her she has become a fruitful mother, and her children have cried out, “the place is too strait for us, give place to us that we may dwell.” When the Lord has sent forth his power with the preaching of the gospel, converts have been as the drops of the dew and as the sands upon the sea-shore, innumerable. It is plain that one of the blessings which we as a church should seek with all our hearts is that of continual increase.
From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Enquire Of The Lord," delivered July 9, 1876. Image by Nana B Agyei on Flickr under Creative Commons License.