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O You Vainglorious Churches!

'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the Lord Almighty.  - Zech. 4:6

    Everybody may be saying, "How wondrously that church flourishes! What power! What influence! What numbers!"

    And suddenly some radical evil which had been eating out the very soul of the church may come to its issue, and then in a moment all the apparent prosperity will subside, and the Philistines will rejoice.

    When the Spirit of God departs from a church, what remains is but its old records, ancient creeds, title deeds, traditions, histories and memories.

    The great power of the church does not lie in the power of her organizations. You may have good schemes for work, wisely arranged and managed, but they will be a failure without the divine energy.

    Too often excellent methods are rigidly adhered to, and confidently relied upon, and yet without the Holy Spirit they are sheer folly.

    Formal routine satisfies many.

    Souls are not saved by systems, but by the Spirit.

    Organizations without the Holy Spirit are windmills without wind.

    Methods and arrangements without grace are lamps without oil.

    Even the most scriptural forms of church government and effort, are null and void without the "power from on high."

    Nor does the strength of a church lie in her wealth. Money avails nothing to a church devoid of grace; it does but increase the evil which is corrupting within.

    O you vainglorious churches, you may gild your domes, you may make your pillars of alabaster, and cover your altars with precious stones, you may clothe your priests in scarlet and in fair white linen, you may make your ceremonies imposing, your processions gorgeous, and your music enchanting, but all this avails nothing if the Spirit of God is gone; all that remains to you is as sounding brass, and a tinkling cymbal.

    Nor does the strength of a church lie in her numbers. What is a large church without the Lord's presence, but a mass of chaff to be scattered with a whirlwind, or to rot on the threshing floor?

    Nor does the strength of a church lie in her doctrines. The Laodicea church did not hold false doctrines, yet she was nauseous to the Lord.

    Truth may be held in unrighteousness.

    Orthodox churches may become lifeless corpses.

    'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the Lord Almighty. (Zech. 4:6)

Topics: Churchianity
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