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- By Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
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Quench not the Spirit.
1 Thessalonians 5:19
A characteristic of dead orthodoxy is a dislike of enthusiasm. If you like it in more biblical terms, I could put it like this: It is to be guilty of quenching the Spirit. To dislike enthusiasm is to quench the Spirit. Those who are familiar with the history of the church, and in particular with the history of revivals, will know that this charge of enthusiasm is the one that has always been brought against people who have been most active in a period of revival.
This has been a common accusation throughout history. Read, for instance, the stories of the men of the eighteenth century. A charge that George Whitefield constantly had to answer and rebuff at the hand of bishops was this charge of enthusiasm. They said, “Look here, we’re not objecting so much to your doctrine—it is the way you are preaching it, it is the way you are doing it.” John Wesley was constantly charged in the same way, even by his own mother, Susannah Wesley. Why could he not preach like everybody else? What was he so excited about? Why all this disturbance? Susannah Wesley was a very godly woman, but she could not understand this son of hers, who suddenly had become an enthusiast. One of the things that comes out very clearly as you read the literature of the eighteenth century in terms of the Christian church is that this charge was constantly brought forward.
So, then, we must look at this subject because clearly this opposition to what is called enthusiasm can be one of the greatest hindrances to revival. And it is the particular danger of people who are in a state of dead orthodoxy. As I understand the matter, there are two great principles laid down in the New Testament for our help and guidance. The first principle is that everything must be done “decently and in order” (1 Corinthians 14:40). But there is another statement: “Quench not the Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 5:19).
A Thought to Ponder
To dislike enthusiasm is to quench the Spirit.
From Revival, pp. 72-73.
Today’s devo is taken from Walking with God Day by Day © 2003 by Good News Publishers. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
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