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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : PREACHER BURNS HIS SERMONS - THEN CATCHES FIRE HIMSELF!

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Joined: 2007/4/25
Posts: 1529
Scotland, UK



Samuel Chadwick was born in the industrial north of England in 1860. His father worked long hours in the cotton mill and, when he was only eight, Samuel went to work there, too, as a means of supporting the impoverished family. Devout Methodists, they attended chapel three times on Sunday, and as a young boy, Chadwick gave his heart to Christ. Listening to God's word week by week, he often felt the inner call to serve Christ. It seemed impossible, as he was poor and uneducated, but in faith he made preparations. After a twelve-hour factory shift he would rush home for five hours of prayer and study. At the age of 21 he was appointed lay pastor of a chapel at Stacksteads, Lancashire. It was no dream appointment! The congregation was self-satisfied.

Yet Chadwick threw himself in with great optimism. He had been trained to prepare well-researched and interesting sermons as the sure way to bring in the crowds. He recalled later: "This led unconsciously to a false aim in my work. I lived and laboured for my sermons, and was unfortunately more concerned about their excellence and reputation than the repentance of the people."

Soon, however, his sermons were exhausted and nothing had changed. Staring defeat in the face and sensing his lack of real power, an intense hunger was kindled within him for more of God. At this point he heard the testimony of someone who had been revitalised by an experience of the Holy Spirit. So, with a few friends he covenanted to pray and search the scriptures until God sent revival.

One evening he was praying over his next sermon, when a powerful sense of conviction settled on him. His pride, blindness and reliance on human methods paraded before his eyes as God humbled him to the dust. Well into the night he wrestled and repented, then he got out his pile of precious sermons and set fire to them! The result was immediate: the Holy Spirit fell upon him.

In his own words: "I could not explain what had happened, but it was a bigger thing than I had ever known. There came into my soul a deep peace, a thrilling joy, and a new sense of power. My mind was quickened. I felt I had received a new faculty of understanding. Every power was vitalised. My body was quickened. There was a new sense of spring and vitality, a new power of endurance and a strong man's exhilaration in big things."

The tide turned. At his next sermon seven souls were converted ("one for each of my barren years"), and he called the whole congregation to a week of prayer. The following weekend most of the church was baptised in the Holy Spirit and revival began to spread through the valleys. In the space of a few months, hundreds were converted to Jesus, among them some of the most notorious sinners in the area.

The pattern was repeated over the next few years as Chadwick moved to various places. 1890 saw him in Leeds, where the power of God was so strongly upon him that the chapel was full half an hour before the service began, and police had to control the crowds. The river of God moved strongly, and Chadwick records:

"We were always praying and fighting [the devil], singing and rejoicing, doing the impossible and planning still bigger things. The newspapers never left us alone, and people came from far and wide."Opposition was swept away and within a few years the chapel had to be demolished and a substantial Mission Hall built.

Always a man of the people, Chadwick would spend his Saturdays mixing with local workers. Once, when his wife was away, he teasingly invited anyone who was lonely to come for Saturday tea. He expected about a dozen. Six hundred turned up! Yet God had catered: one church member was a baker and had been awoken by the Lord with the order to bake for all he was worth!

The final phase of Chadwick's life was spent as Principal of Cliff College, a Methodist training school for preachers, and it was here that he wrote his famous book, The Way to Pentecost, which was being printed when he died in 1932.

In it we read: "I owe everything to the gift of Pentecost. For fifty days the facts of the Gospel were complete, but no conversions were recorded. Pentecost registered three thousand souls. It is by fire that a holy passion is kindled in the soul whereby we live the life of God. The soul's safety is in its heat. Truth without enthusiasm, morality without emotion, ritual without soul, make for a Church without power.

"Destitute of the Fire of God, nothing else counts; possessing Fire, nothing else matters."

Colin Murray

 2014/7/26 4:37Profile


The Way to Pentecost
Samuel Chadwick

Chapter 7: The Indwelling of the Spirit

Inwardness is the distinctive feature of the Spirit. The Son of God reveals and works from without, but the Spirit of God dwells and works from within. The Son is the Word. He reveals the Living and Eternal Truth and is the express image of the invisible and Glorious God. The Spirit is the secret Presence. He is the source of Life and Truth; the very soul of the universe, and the source of Light and Life, Wisdom and Power. He is behind the Word, within the Strength, the Dweller in the innermost of all secret places.

In all the Old Testament references to the Spirit there is the suggestion of inwardness. At the Creation, God made the heavens and the earth, but the Spirit is said to have brooded over the face of the waters, as if He would beget rather than create. The Son is said to have made the worlds, but there is no suggestion of the Son brooding over Creation. When God threatened to destroy the world for its wickedness, He said, "My Spirit shall not always strive with man." Striving implies an inward contest rather than an outward compulsion. From within He sought to instruct, correct, and save. Again, when God chose Israel to be His peculiar people, Nehemiah says, "Thou gavest also Thy Good Spirit to instruct them." The instruction covered a wide area, from Bezaleel, the craftsman, who was filled "with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship," to the Prophets, who "spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." There is one marginal reading in the Revised Version that is both emphatic and illuminating: "The Spirit of the Lord clothed Itself with Gideon." He did not come upon him like a garment, but the Spirit clothed Himself with Gideon as with a garment.
From "With" to "In"
The distinction is patent enough in the New Testament The very first word of Promise concerning the Spirit in the Upper Room emphasizes it. "Ye know Him; for He abideth with you, and shall be in you." The change from with to in marks the transition from one dispensation to another. The very essence of the Christian religion is in the realized Presence of God in the soul, and this Presence is the Pentecostal gift of the Spirit. There is often some confusion in the inter change of terms, and the elimination of the middle factor. The Son comes in the coming of the Spirit, and abides in the soul in the presence of the Spirit; and in the coming of the Son through the Spirit the Father comes and abides also. "He will come... I will come... We will come" all refer to the Coming of the Spirit as promised in our Lord's farewell talk with His disciples (John l4:16-23) "In their relation to the human soul the Father and the Son act through and are represented by the Holy Spirit. And yet the Spirit is not merged in either the Father or in the Son." There is absolute unity with perfect distinction of Persons in the Trinity. They are never confused in the unity nor divided in the distinction. Each is Divine and all are One.

The Spirit works from within, That is the distinction that makes all the difference. There were things Christ could not do that are possible to the Spirit for this very reason. "He that abideth with you shall dwell in you"; and so it came to pass. "The Holy Spirit which dwelleth in us." Auguste Sabatier says:-- "It is not enough to represent the Spirit of God as coming as a help of man's spirit, supplying strength which he lacks, an associate or juxtaposed force, a supernatural auxiliary. There is no simple addition of divine power and human power in the Christian life. The Spirit of God identifies Himself with the human ME into which it enters and whose life it becomes. If we may so speak it is individualized in the new moral personality it creates." The Spirit of God identified with the human Me; the human Me identified with the Spirit of God. The Spirit of God is the Spirit of Christ, and the experience of Gal. 2:20 is the result. That is as our Lord promised. He that is with you, shall be in you. "I in you, and ye in Me."
The Spirit in the Son
St. Paul singles out the fact of our Lord's Resurrection to set forth the work of the Spirit in the mediatorial work of the Son. He selects the Resurrection be cause it was the culminating and representative act, but the same Spirit was in all our Lord's life and ministry. The indwelling Spirit is the key to both His personality and His work. When He became man He emptied Himself of all the prerogatives and privileges of deity. He Himself was unchanged, for He is the same yesterday, today, and for ever, but He laid aside all that belonged to His exalted state and submitted to the limitations of our nature and our lot. But God gave to the self-emptied Son the fullness of His Spirit, and our Lord was in all things dependent upon the Spirit. His body was prepared for Him by the Spirit. He grew in wisdom and in stature under the guidance of the Spirit. His teaching was given to Him by the Spirit, and His miracles were wrought in the power of the Spirit. At the last He offered Himself to God through the Eternal Spirit, and it was the Spirit that brought again our Lord Jesus from the dead. The standard of the Spirit's power is demonstrated in the Son. He is the Spirit's unit of measurement; the standard and sample of what the Holy Ghost can do in and for and through sanctified humanity.
The Spirit in the Believer
The believer's fellowship with the Son is as absolute as the Son's fellowship with the Father. He has no more reserves in His partnership than in His renunciation. He has made possible to us whatever was or is accessible to Him. The gift of His Spirit includes all His inheritance just as the Father gave all in His Son, "He shall be in you." The very same Spirit that was in Him shall be in us. All that He had been to Him He comes to be to us. The Spirit dwells in the believer as He dwelt in the Son. There is no other interpretation to be put on such sayings as these: "Know ye that your body is the Temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you?" (I Cor. 6:19).

"Ye are the temple of the living God, as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them" (II Cor. 6:16).

"Ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be the Spirit of God dwell in you" (Rom. 8:9).

"But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwelleth in you, He that raised up Christ Jesus from the dead shall quicken also your mortal bodies through His Spirit that dwelleth in you" (Rom. 8:11).

What does it mean exactly to say "He dwelleth in you"?

Christian teachers are often disposed to interpret the language of the Scriptures as a strong figure of speech. Dying with Christ, fellowship in His Resurrection, and the mutual indwelling of the believer and our Lord are attempts to express the experience of the soul in its relation to spiritual life and power. They argue that these expressions are not to be taken literally, but as types of great spiritual realities in the soul. What saith the Scripture? The New Testament abounds with teaching and testimony that demand a deeper explanation if the terms used do not involve personality, there is an end of intelligible speech. The indwelling is that of a real, personal, spiritual Presence. It is not a gift that can be located somewhere in the brain or heart of a man, but a personal Spirit that indwells another personality; a personality within a personality by which the Spirit becomes the life of my life, the soul of my soul; an indwelling that secures identity without confusion and possession without absorption. "He that is Christ's not merely has the Spirit of Christ ruling in him, leading him, guiding him, sanctifying him, preparing him body and soul for glorification; but has Him also as the new animating Soul of his soul, Spirit of his spirit, repeating in himself the mystery of the union of two natures in one personality."

That is the mystery of grace that passeth all understanding, and the miracle of grace by which the incarnation is perpetuated in the Body of Christ. That is the mystery of the ages. "In that day ye shall know that I am in My Father, and ye in Me, and I in you" (St. John 14:20). Of course it is a mystery; a truth that can never be discovered and is known only by revelation. What is promised transcends human clothed Himself with Gideon." Spirit clothing itself achievement and human understanding. "It is a work of Divine Omnipotence and love. The gift of the Holy Ghost is the most personal act of the Godhead. It is the goodness of God alone that must give it. It is His omnipotence that must work it in us. The blessing of Pentecost is a supernatural gift, a wonderful act of God in the soul. It is an unspeakably holy and glorious thing that a man can be filled with the Spirit of God."
The Incarnation of the Spirit
The marginal reading of Judges 6:34 (Revised Version) will help us here again, especially if we read it in the light of New Testament experience: "the Spirit clothed Himself with Gideon." Spirit clothing itself with humanity is the miracle of the incarnation. A body is as necessary to the Spirit as to the Son. For the Son a Body was prepared by the Spirit; for the Spirit a Body is made possible by the Son. The Spirit lived in and through Gideon. The life of Gideon became the life of the Spirit. The man was endued and the Spirit was clothed. The Spirit thought through Gideon's brain, felt through Gideon's heart, looked through Gideon's eyes, spake through Gideon's voice, wrought by Gideon's hands, and yet all the time Gideon was still Gideon and the Spirit was still the Spirit.

The same Spirit quickens our mortal bodies by dwelling in them. Romans 8:11 is a present experience. Calvin says by "mortal bodies" he means "whatever remains in us that is still liable to death. The customary usage is to apply this term to the more material part of us, therefore the word is used, not of the final resurrection, which takes place in a moment, but of the continual operation of the Spirit, which, quickening the flesh, sets up the heavenly life within us." The Spirit that dwells in us quickens our mortal bodies. It does not create new faculties, but it awakens the dormant and develops the latent. The natural endowments of a man are the basis of the Spirit's energy, but there is no part of a man's being that is not vitalized and strengthened by His power. The Spirit gives fullness of life He gives health as surely as He gives life. There is truth at the back of all the vagaries of health movements in the name of the Christian faith, and fear of extremes must not be allowed to frighten us from the truth. Sickness may be and is in the will of God for some of His children, but even in them strength is made perfect in weakness. Faith health is better than faith healing, and the quickening Spirit makes for vitality and vigor as surely as He makes for sanity and spiritual power. The Spirit redeems the material through the spiritual. Creation groans for deliverance through the Spirit, and for social redemption there is no other way of salvation. The Spirit dwells in men, clothes Himself with consecrated humanity, and accomplishes extraordinary things through quite ordinary people on the simple conditions of abiding surrender, implicit obedience, and simple faith.

 2014/7/26 6:45

Joined: 2007/4/25
Posts: 1529
Scotland, UK


Reading that book just now - on chapter 13...

Colin Murray

 2014/7/26 7:29Profile

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