Wednesday, August 25, 2010
10And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he (Stephen)spake.
Conviction or contumely. Stephen's message and demeanour would provoke either one or the other.
We know that he was one of the seven deacons chosen in Jerusalem for church administrative activity, but that his ministry was powerful in the fruit of conversions and healings.
What sort of man was this? Full of faith. Full of power. Full of the Spirit. Full of wisdom and the remarkable story of God's dealing with His people (see Acts 7). Of honest report.
I am particularly interested in the significance of stating that his spirit could not be resisted. Many preachers have the facts. They have the wisdom of scripture. But they lecture. The fervour is missing. The confidence of calling. The boldness to state the truth even though it chafes. The certainty of present spiritual warfare. The certainty of present spiritual power. The fisherman's zeal for souls.
Yesterday I uncovered some old cassette tapes of the preaching of R. W. Schambach of Tyler, Texas. Here also was irresistible spirit...
" We gotta have dances in the church to keep the young people together. Barbecues. Bowling leagues. Come on saints of God! They are the future hope of the Church. There is a devil out there. Get these young people full of the Holy Ghost and fire. Soak them in the Gospel account. Give them bottles of anointing oil and send them out to the hospitals to pray for the sick. Send them to the streets to talk to people. They will see Jesus at work. There will be no difficulty capturing their enthusiasm. Can you give me an amen, SOMEBODY?"
"Brother Schambach" was often heard saying, "Ah come to cut."