Great Spiritual Inspiration from Christian Pastors and Theologians

In my new book, Transforming Presence: How the Holy Spirit Changes Everything From the Inside Out, I have included more than 250 footnotes. I wanted this book to be clear, well-researched, and in line with some of the historic and contemporary voices of the Christian faith. Below are just a few of the many insights I discovered from some of the great pastors and theologians of today and yesteryear. I trust these will be an inspiration to you today.

“The Holy Spirit is God’s agent on earth, yet He is the least understood member of the Trinity.”[1]  Jim Cymbala

“If we review the history of the church, we notice how many important truths, clearly revealed in Scripture, have been allowed to lie dormant for centuries, unknown and unappreciated except by a few isolated Christians until it pleases God to enlighten the Church by chosen witnesses, and to bestow on His children the knowledge of hidden and forgotten treasures. For how long a period, even after the Reformation, were the doctrines of the Holy Ghost, His work in conversion, and His indwelling in the believer, almost unknown!”[2] Adolph Saphir – A Jewish Presbyterian Missionary (1831 –1891)

“There have always been people in the Christian church who were very sure about the Holy Spirit. It was simple. He was the divine backer of their particular emphasis in theology and practice.”[3] Michael Green

“When it comes to the Holy Spirit, churches are either cemeteries or insane asylums.” Jim Cymbala

“If some churches marginalize the Spirit in favor of the institution and its forms, others react simply by making the opposite choice. However, there are myriad ways of domesticating the Spirit besides assimilating His sovereign work to formalism. If some render the Spirit an ecclesiastical employee, others presume to make the Spirit a mascot for a movement or a prisoner of their own private experience.“[4] Michael Horton

“Without the Spirit of God we can do nothing; we are as ships without wind, or chariots without steeds; like branches without sap, we are withered; like coals without fire, we are useless; as an offering without the sacrificial flame, we are unaccepted.”[5]  Charles Spurgeon

“The biblical doctrine of the Holy Spirit suffers today from three extremes: abuse, neglect and distortion.”[6]  Robert Lightner

“Are you willing to pursue truth in your journey to know and be known by the Holy Spirit? Do you have enough humility to be open to the possibility that you have been wrong in your understanding of the Spirit? It’s easy to get into ‘defensive mode’ where you quickly disagree and turn to proof texts and learn arguments to defend what you’ve always believed. Rather than guarding your perspective, consider taking a fresh look at familiar passages to make sure you haven’t missed something. You may end up with the same theology you’ve always had, but maybe you won’t. Don’t let your view be determined by a particular denomination or by what you’ve always been told. Within the context of relationship with other believers, seek out what God has said about His Spirit. Open your mind and your life to the leading of the Spirit, regardless of what others may think or assume about you.”[7] Francis Chan

“To everyone who honestly desires to know that he has the Spirit and to know Him in His person as a personal possession and teacher, we say: Study the teaching of the word in regard to the Spirit. Be not content with the teaching of the church or of men about the Spirit but go to the word… Be determined to accept nothing but what the word teaches, but also to accept heartily all that it teaches.”[8] Andrew Murray

“Let us not fail to grasp this precious truth that as Jesus Christ while on earth never did anything without the Holy Spirit, so now the Holy Spirit never does anything apart from Jesus.”[9] A.B. Simpson

“Our cravings for more of God’s word aren’t hunger pains we work up. A holy appetite grows inside of us through the work of the Holy Spirit that causes us to crave truth.”[10] Jim Cymbala

“The ultimate criterion for the Spirit’s activity is the exaltation of Jesus as Lord. Whatever takes away from that, even if they be legitimate expressions of the Spirit, begins to move away from Christ to a more pagan fascination with spiritual activity as an end in itself.”[11] Gordon Fee

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SOURCE: Church Leaders, Daniel Henderson