“A word now upon the Spirit’s application of the Word unto the heart, and our task is completed. This is described in such a verse as, ‘For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit, and in much assurance’ (1 Thess. 1:5). That is very much more than having the mind informed or the emotions stirred, and something radically different from being deeply impressed by the preacher’s oratory, earnestness, etc. It is for the preaching of the Gospel to be accompanied by the supernatural operation of the Spirit, and the efficacious grace of God, so that souls are Divinely quickened, convicted, converted, delivered from the dominion of sin and Satan. When the Word is applied by the Spirit to a person, it acts like the entrance of a two-edged sword into his inner man, piercing, wounding, slaying his self-complacency and self-righteousness—as in the case of Saul of Tarsus (Rom. 7:9,10). This is the ‘demonstration of the Spirit’ (1 Cor. 2:4), whereby He gives proof of the Truth by the effects produced in the individual to which it is sayingly applied, so that he has ‘much assurance’—i.e. he knows it is God’s Word because of the radical and permanent change wrought in him.

“Now the child of God is in daily need of this gracious working of the Holy Spirit: to make the Word work “effectually” (1 Thess. 2:13) within his soul and truly regulate his life, so that he can thankfully acknowledge, ‘I will never forget Thy precepts: for with them Thou hast quickened me’ (Ps. 119:93). For that quickening it is his duty and privilege to pray (verses 25, 37, 40, 88, 107, 149, etc.). It is a fervent request that he may be ‘renewed day by day’ in the inner man (2 Cor. 4:16), that he may be ‘strengthened with might by His Spirit’ (Eph. 3:16), that he may be revived and animated to go in the path of God’s commandments (Ps. 119:35). It is an earnest petition that his heart may be awed by a continual sense of God’s majesty, and melted by a realization of His goodness, so that he may see light in God’s light, recognizing the evil in things forbidden and the blessedness of the things enjoined. ‘Quicken Thou me’ is a prayer for vitalizing grace, that he may be taught to profit (Isa. 48:17), for the increasing of his faith, the strengthening of his expectations, the firing of his zeal. It is equivalent to ‘draw me, we will run after Thee’ ” (Song 1:4) (Pink, Arthur W., A Study in Dispensationalism, Chapter 5).

The late Arthur W. Pink had been a prolific writer for most of his life.  His books, articles, and sermons have been reprinted by several publishing houses as demand for his work increases.  The quote comes from his book A Study in Dispensationalism, which explores the weaknesses with the classical brand of dispensationalism.  For that reason, Pink’s work comes off dated; however, the truth concerning the application of God’s word by the Holy Spirit remains appropriate for all generations.  

The Holy Spirit and the Word


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