How to Obtain Fullness of Power in Christian Life and Service - R. A. Torrey - ebook
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From many earnest hearts there is rising a cry for more power: more power in our personal conflict with the world, the flesh, and the devil, more power in our work for others. The Bible makes the way to obtain this longed for power very plain. There is no presumption in undertaking to tell “How to obtain Fulness of Power in Christian Life and Service”; for the Bible itself tells, and the Bible was intended to be understood. The Bible statement of the way is not mystical nor mysterious, it is very plain and straightforward. If we will only make personal trial of “The Power of the Word of God,” “The Power of the Blood of Christ,” “The Power of the Holy Spirit,” “The Power of Prayer,” “The Power of a Surrendered Life,” we will then know “The Fulness of Power in Christian Life and Service.” We will try to make this plain in the following chapters. The present volume has been written partly in response to a request from some who have used the author’s book “How to Bring Men to Christ,” that he would write another book for use in the training of those who have come to Christ. But the book has also another and far more important purpose. There are many who do not even know that there is a life of abiding rest, joy, satisfaction, and power; and many others who, while they think there must be something beyond the life they know, are in ignorance as to how to obtain it. This book is written to help them.

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How to Obtain

Fullness of Power

in Christian Life and Service

by

R. A. TORREY

Author of

“How to Bring Men to Christ,”

“How to Study the Bible for Greatest Profit,”

“The Baptism with the Holy Spirit,” etc.

“God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this, that Power belongeth unto God.” Ps. 62:11“Be strong in the Lord, and in the Power of his might.” Eph, 6:10 “Ye are strong, and the Word of God abideth in you.” Jno. 2:14 “Strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inward man.” Eph. 3:16 R. V.

FLEMING H. REVELL COMPANYNEW YORK CHICAGO TORONTOPublishers of Evangelical Literature.

Copyright 1907 byFleming H. Revell Company

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CONTENTS

Preface

1. The Power of the Word of God

2. The Power of the Blood of Christ

3. The Power of the Holy Spirit

4. The Power of Prayer

5. The Power of a Surrendered Life

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Preface

From many earnest hearts there is rising a cry for more power: more power in our personal conflict with the world, the flesh, and the devil, more power in our work for others. The Bible makes the way to obtain this longed for power very plain. There is no presumption in undertaking to tell “How to obtain Fulness of Power in Christian Life and Service”; for the Bible itself tells, and the Bible was intended to be understood. The Bible statement of the way is not mystical nor mysterious, it is very plain and straightforward. If we will only make personal trial of “The Power of the Word of God,” “The Power of the Blood of Christ,” “The Power of the Holy Spirit,” “The Power of Prayer,” “The Power of a Surrendered Life,” we will then know “The Fulness of Power in Christian Life and Service.” We will try to make this plain in the following chapters.

The present volume has been written partly in response to a request from some who have used the author’s book “How to Bring Men to Christ,” that he would write another book for use in the training of those who have come to Christ. But the book has also another and far more important purpose. There are many who do not even know that there is a life of abiding rest, joy, satisfaction, and power; and many others who, while they think there must be something beyond the life they know, are in ignorance as to how to obtain it. This book is written to help them.

—R. A. Torrey

CHAPTER 1

The Power of the Word of God

“Power belongeth unto God.” (Psa 62:11.) The great reservoir of the power that belongeth unto God, is His own Word—the Bible. If we wish to make it ours, we must go to that book. Yet people abound in the church who are praying for power and neglecting the Bible. Men are longing to have power for fruit-bearing in their own lives and yet forget that Jesus has said: “The seed is the Word of God.” (Luk 8:11.) They are longing to have power to melt the cold heart and break the stubborn will, and yet forget that God has said: “Is not my word like as fire, and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?” (Jer 23:29.) If we are to obtain fulness of power in life and service we must feed upon the Word of God. There is no other food so strengthening. If we will not take time to study the Bible we cannot have power, any more than we can have physical power if we will not take time to eat nutritious food.

Let us see what the Word of God has power to do:

1. First of all, the Word of God has power to convict of sin. In Act 2:37 we read: “Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?” If we look back and see what it was they heard and that produced this deep conviction, we find that it was simply the Word of God. If you will read Peter’s sermon, you will find it one of the most Biblical sermons ever preached. It was Scripture from beginning to end. It was, then, the Word of God, carried home by the Spirit of God, that pricked them to their heart. If you wish to produce conviction, you must give men the Word of God. I heard a man pray some time ago this prayer: “O God, convict us of sin.” A very good prayer, but unless you bring your soul in contact with that instrument which God has appointed for the conviction of sin, you will not have conviction of sin. If you wish to produce conviction in others, you must use the Word to do it. Not long ago a fine looking young man came into our inquiry room. I said to him: “Are you a Christian?” “No, sir.” “Why not?” “I think Christianity is a first-rate thing, but I have not much feeling about this.” “But,” I said, “do you not know that you are a sinner?” He said: “Yes, sir, I suppose I am; but I am not very much of a sinner. I am a pretty good sort of a fellow.” I replied: “So, my friend, you have not very much conviction of sin. I have something in my hand that is a divinely appointed instrument to produce conviction of sin.” I opened my Bible to Mat 22:37-38 and asked him to read it. He read, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.” “What commandment is that?” I asked. He replied: “The first and great commandment,” “In the light of that, what must be the first and great sin?” He replied: “It must be to neglect to keep that commandment.” “Have you kept it?” The Spirit of God took it home to his heart then and there. It was not long before we were kneeling, and he asking God for mercy through Christ.

2. In the next place, the Word of God has power to regenerate. In 1 Pet 1:23 we read: “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.” In Jam 1:18 we read: “Of his own will begat he us with the Word of Truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures.” If you wish to be born again, the way is very simple. Take the Word of God concerning Christ crucified and risen, and drop it into your heart by meditation upon it. Look to God by His Holy Spirit to quicken it, believe it with the heart, and the work is done. If you wish to see someone else born again, give him the Word of God. The process of regeneration on our side is the simplest thing in the world. On God’s side it is mysterious, but with that we have nothing to do. The process is simply this the human heart is the soil; you and I are sowers; the Word of God is the seed which we drop into that soil; God quickens it by His Holy Spirit and gives the increase (1 Cor 3:6); the heart closes around the Word by faith, and the new life is the product. The new birth is simply the impartation of a new nature, the impartation of God’s nature. But how are we made partakers of God’s nature? Head 2 Pet 1:4 (R. V.) and the context: “That through these (exceeding great and precious promises) ye may become partakers of the divine nature.” That is all there is to it. The Word of God is the seed out of which the divine nature springs up in the human soul,

3. Again, the Word of God has power to produce faith. In Rom 10:17 we read: “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” You can never get faith by merely praying; you can never get it by any effort of the will; you can never get it by trying to pump it up in any way. Faith is the product of a certain cause, and that cause is the Word of God, It is so, for example, with saving faith. Suppose you want a man to have saving faith. Simply give him something definite from God’s Word upon which he can rest. The Philippian jailor asked: “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” (Act 16:30) and Paul answered: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved and thy house.” But Paul did not stop there. Read the 32d verse: “And they spake unto him the Word of the Lord and to all that were in his house.” They did not merely tell the Philippian jailor to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and then leave him there floundering in the dark without giving him something to believe, or something for his faith to rest upon. They gave that which God has ordained to produce faith. It is at this point that we often make a mistake. We tell people, “Believe, believe, believe,” but do not show them how; do not give them anything definite to believe. The Biblical way and the intelligent way is, when yon tell a man to believe, to give him something to believe. Give him, for example, Is. 53:6, and thus hold up Christ crucified; or give him 1 Pet 2:24. Here he has something for his faith to rest upon. Faith must have a foundation. Faith cannot float in thin air. It is pitiable to see men told to believe, to believe, to believe, and then given nothing to rest their faith upon.

Not only saving faith comes through the Word of God, but prevailing faith in prayer does also. Suppose I read Mar 11:24: “What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” I used to say, “The way to get anything I want is to believe I am going to get it.” I would kneel down and pray and try to believe, but I did not get the things that I asked for. I had no real faith. Heal faith must have a warrant. Before I can truly believe I am to receive what I ask, I must have a definite promise of God’s Word, or a definite leading of the Holy Spirit, to rest my faith upon. What, then, shall we do? We come into God’s presence. There is something we desire. Now the question is, Is there any promise in God’s Word regarding this which we desire? We look into the Word of God and find the promise. All we have to do is to spread that promise out before God. For example, we say: “Heavenly Father, we desire the Holy Spirit. Thou hast said in Thy word, ‘If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?’ and Thou hast said again in Act 2:39 that ‘the promise is unto you and your children and to them that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.’ I am a called man; I am a saved man; and here I have your word for it. You have promised it. I ask Thee now to fill me with the Holy Spirit. “We then take 1 Joh 5:14-15, and say: “Father, this is the confidence I have in Thee, that, if I ask anything according to Thy will—and I know that this is according to Thy will—Thou hearest me, and, if I know that Thou hearest me, I know that I have the petition that I have asked of Thee.” Then I rise up, standing upon this promise of God, and say: “It is mine,” and it will be mine. The only way to have a faith that prevails in prayer is to study your Bible, and know the promises, and lay them before God when you pray. George Müller is one of the mightiest men of prayer in this century. But he always prepares for prayer by studying the Word. (Joh 15:7.)

It is just the same with the faith that we desire instead of doubt. This also comes by the Word of God. Suppose you have a skeptic to deal with, and you wish that man to have faith. What will you do with him? Give him a book on Christian evidences? I have nothing to say against books on Christian evidences, but there is an inspired book on Christian evidences, and it is worth all the libraries ever written on this subject. Turn to Joh 20:31: “But these are written that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.” Clearly, then, this book of John was given that, through what is “written” therein, men, “might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing they might have life through his name.” The Gospel of John is an inspired book on Christian evidences. What, then, shall we do with ourselves if we are skeptics? What shall we da with others? First, find out whether their will is surrendered or not. “If any man willeth to do his will, he shall know of the teaching, whether it be of God, or whether I speak from myself.” (Joh 7:17, R. V.) After the will is surrendered, just say, “Take this book and read it thoughtfully and honestly and come back and tell me the result.” The result is absolutely sure. There is no man, agnostic, infidel, or whatever you please, whose will is surrendered to the truth who will take this book to God and ask Him to give him light, who will not come out believing in Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God. I have tried this with I know not how many men and women, and there has never been one exception to the rule laid down by Christ. It has always come out the same way. The faith that gets the victory over the world, the flesh and the devil, the faith that wins mighty victories for God, is also through the Word. (1 Joh 5:4; Eph, 6:16; Heb 11:33-34.) Very early in my ministry I read a sermon by Mr. Moody. In it there was something to the effect that a man would not amount to anything if he had not faith. I said: “That sermon is true. I must have faith.” I went to work and tried to work up faith. I did not succeed a bit. The more I tried to work up faith, the less I had. But one day I ran across this text: “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom 10:17), and I had learned the great secret of faith, one of the greatest secrets I have ever learned. I commenced to feed my faith on the Word of God, and as I have thus fed it, it has kept on growing from that day to this. So in every aspect we see that faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. If we are to have faith—and if we are to have power for God we must have faith—we must feed steadily, largely, daily upon the Word of God.