God’s Word Working Through God’s Spirit

“God’s Word, working through God’s Spirit, is God’s primary instrument for growing God’s church.”

God has always worked through the preaching of his Word in the power of the Spirit. The book of Acts should be enough to convince me. Take the connection that Luke makes between the focus of the apostles on the Word and prayer, and the results: “‘But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word’ … And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith” (Acts 6:4,7).

 

Becket Cook didn’t believe in God and was surprised that anyone did. He was a little surprised to meet a pastor, and even more surprised to find himself in a church, just to check it out.

As he listened to the hour-long sermon, he realized: every word is true. It completely changed his understanding of Christianity.

After the sermon, the pastor invited people to come up to the front of the auditorium where people were waiting to pray for them. “Hi. I’m not a Christian, and I don’t know what I believe, but I’m here,” he said.

A few minutes later he sat down and collected his thoughts. Suddenly, everything changed. “All of a sudden, a giant wave of God’s presence came crashing over me. A flood of intense warmth, emotion, and power coursed through me. I didn’t understand it at the time, but I now believe it was the Holy Spirit … In that moment, everything became clear: God was real, Jesus was real, the Bible was real, the resurrection was real, heaven was real, hell was real—it was all real. Everything that I had dismissed as a fairy tale was all true. Like Paul, it was as if the scales fell from my eyes and I was able to see.”

In his book A Change of Affection, Cook describes what happened in that moment. “Every Christian term I had heard over the years to describe this indescribable reality was appropriate: ‘saved,’ ‘born again,’ ‘regenerated,’ ‘adopted into the family of God,’ ‘given eternal life’!”

He hadn’t expected it, but he was changed in an instant through the preaching of the Word and the power of the Holy Spirit.

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[Editor’s note: Watch Gay to Christian Testimony – Homosexuality Was My Identity

Becket Cook spent over 25 years pursuing the desires we all desperately want as human beings: relationships, love, intimacy, support, and affirmation. Undeniably, these desires had a unique grip on his heart that was incomparable to any other desire. They carried with them emotions that vastly impacted his will, intentions, and actions and became a unique part of his identity. The problem with this is that he was not created to have an identity rooted in sexual orientation or human relationships. No one is. We were created to have an identity rooted in God. If that’s off, all of our desires are off and we find ourselves chasing things that we were never supposed to pursue. Homosexual relationships are one of those things. It stands contrary to God’s moral will for mankind. But we don’t have to stand as enemies of God. Through Jesus Christ, there is hope for new life. There is hope for salvation.]