A.W. Tozer: “If the Holy Spirit was withdrawn from the church today, 95% of what we do would go on and no one would know the difference.
If the Holy Spirit had been withdrawn from the New Testament church, 95% of what they did would stop, and everybody would know the difference.” We often wonder why today’s church fails to experience the excitement, adventure, and growth that the early church experienced. Perhaps we should look at the absence of the Spirit in our conversations, teaching, and planning.
Consider this- if we were to write a history of the local church, would the term “Spirit” appear in the historical account as frequently as it occurs in the book of Acts? Perhaps we lack the enthusiasm of the early church because we lack their reliance on the Spirit.
We rely on our own power, logic, and creativity- tackling only those things we know we can accomplish on our own- rather than depending on the Spirit to empower us. Going back to Jesus, we find that His public ministry began with his baptism, at which time the Spirit descended on Him like a dove.
Luke points out that He returned from His baptism “full of the Holy Spirit” and from his temptations “in the power of the Spirit” (from Luke 4). He then went to the synagogue in Nazareth and proclaimed ““The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”” Luke 4:18, 19, NIV.
Jesus commissioned the church to continue the mission of advancing His kingdom. Jesus promised that the Spirit- the same Spirit that empowered and led Christ’s ministry- would empower and lead our ministries: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”” Acts 1:8, NIV.