Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Book Review: The Holy Spirit Who He Is and What He Does

The Holy Spirit: Who He Is and What He Does. R.A. Torrey. Edited by Harold J. Chadwick. Bridge Logos. 343 pages.

This is the third R.A. Torrey title I've read and reviewed. I've reviewed How to Study the Bible and How to Pray. The focus of this nonfiction book is the Holy Spirit. This edited work includes eight chapters: "The Personality of the Holy Spirit," "The Holy Spirit Convicting the World of Sin," "The Regenerating Work of the Holy Spirit," "How To Be Fully and Forever Satisfied," "The Baptism With the Holy Spirit: What It Is and What It Does", "The Baptism With the Holy Spirit: Who Needs It and Who Can Have It," "The Baptism With the Holy Spirit: How To Obtain It," "The Baptism With the Holy Spirit: How To Obtain It Right Now." As you can see, over half of the chapters focus specifically on something Torrey calls the baptism of the Holy Spirit. He distinguishes this from the regenerative filling of the Spirit which all believers possess AND is clear that the baptism of the Holy Spirit does not equal the teaching that all believers shall speak in tongues. In some ways, the baptism of the Holy Spirit to Torrey represents being filled with the POWER OF THE SPIRIT. This God-given, grace-given power-of-the-Spirit is not a one-time-only experience; instead as each service opportunity arises, believers can be baptized anew with the power of the Spirit and have their works of service be blessed by God as they surrender all to Him. Almost an emptying of yourself--your pride, your self-reliance, your independence, your will, your stubbornness to do things your way or not at all--so that God can fill you with "more" of His Spirit. It is NOT about trying to use God's power to accomplish what you will, what you want, when you want. It is NOT about trying to manipulate God so that you can put on a powerful show. This baptism has everything to do with obedience and repentance and abiding. I personally preferred the earlier chapters that focused on the Holy Spirit. There were some great quotes about the Bible!!!

Favorite quotes:
Every believer in Christ has two divine persons praying for him every day: first, the Son, our "Advocate with the Father" who "ever liveth to make intercession for us" up yonder at the right hand of God in the glory. (1 John 2:1; Hebrews 7:25) Second, the Holy Spirit who prays through us down here on earth. What a wonderful thought that each and every believer in Christ has two divine persons praying for him or her every day. What a sense it gives us of our security--I do not believe the devil will ever get us and hold us. (40)
Every time we study our Bible it is possible for us to have this divine person, the author of the book, to interpret it for us, and to teach us its real and its innermost meaning. (41)
One of the great needs in the present day is conviction of sin. The average person has no realization of the awfulness of sin, nor of the fact that he himself is a great sinner before God. If men and women can be brought to a realization of the great sinners they are before God, most of the doctrinal difficulties about the deity of Christ and about the doctrine of the atonement through the shed blood of Jesus Christ will take care of themselves. For nothing but a divine Savior who has redeemed them by shedding His blood to pay the penalty of their sins will satisfy the longings of their hearts. (56)
Let us never forget that it is impossible for us to convince any man or woman of sin, and in all our preaching and in all our personal work let us constantly look to the Holy Spirit to do the work through us. And let us also be sure that we are in such relations to God that the Holy Spirit can do His work through us. (58)
Unbelievers do not look upon their unbelief in Jesus Christ as sin at all. Oftentimes they are proud of their unbelief instead of being ashamed of it, and they look upon it as a mark of intellectual superiority. (65)
There are two things, and two things only, that sinners need to see in order to be saved. First, they need to see their own sins and consequent need. Second, they need to see the righteousness of Jesus Christ, and the righteousness that God has provided for them in Christ. It is the work of the Holy Spirit to show sinners both these things. (66)
There is a third thing that the Holy Spirit convicts people of--judgment... The average person has little faith that there is to be a future judgment. Indeed, a large number of our church members, and even of our preachers, have lost all realization of future judgments and of a future awful hell. A great many of our churches, and not a few of our superficially orthodox preachers, have really given up all belief in the hell that Jesus Christ and the Scriptures teach, and even those preachers who do still believe in it theoretically seldom, if ever, preach it. (69)
It is only through the direct testimony of the Holy Spirit in the individual heart that any person ever comes to a true, living, and saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. (79)
The Bible is the most definite book that was ever written. That is one of the reasons why I love it. (123)
What does repentance mean? Doubtless you have been told time after time that repentance is a "change of mind." When you were told that, you were told the exact truth. But a change of mind about what? A change of mind about three things: a change of mind about God, a change of mind about Jesus Christ, a change of mind about sin. (163)
I do not believe in trying to bring the Bible down to the level of our experience, but in bringing our experience up to the level of the Bible. (188)

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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