About Jesus    Steve Sweetman

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Agonizing In Prayer For The Church

I have recently expressed my concern about liberalism penetrating the Evangelical church. In many churches we have replaced the power of the Spirit with mere human effort.

In reading the book of Galatians I see a parallel between those churches and some modern day churches. In both cases the ministry of the Holy Spirit has been set aside, or at the least limited. Paul was astonished that the Galatians were turning to a different gospel (Gal. 1:6) "You are foolish, who has demonized you", he said. (Gal. 3:1) "Are you so foolish to think that you can begin in the Spirit but now try to attain perfection by your own human effort". (Gal. 3:3) They were attempting to work out their salvation by reverting back to Old Testament rules. Can you see the parallel? In many areas of the church today, as I have shown in my last two articles, we have replaced the Holy Spirit with man made rules and man made ways of doing things.

Paul agonized over this situation. He told these people that he was in pain, as if giving birth to a child, until "Christ could be formed in them again". (Gal. 3:19) He went as far to say that they had been alienated from Christ and had fallen from grace. (Gal. 5:4) I will let you struggle over that verse.

If Paul were here today, I believe he would be agonizing once again. Many areas of the church need Christ formed in them once again. The Holy Spirit needs to be reintroduced and He needs to be in charge.

As Paul agonized over the churches in Galatia, don’t be surprised if the Lord gives some of us the same spirit of intercession. We too may find ourselves agonizing in prayer for the church in our nation. It is important in our times of prayer to see the bigger picture, and not just our own needs. I believe that we need to pray for the church across our nation to become the Spirit filled church that it should be. We pray for a burden for the lost. Let’s pray for a burden for the church and her restoration. Before the 3000 could be saved in Acts 2 the church was filled with the Spirit.


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