Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
Select a thought to read by choosing a collection, the month, and then the day:
“The kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.”
There is nothing more boring or more worthless than religion without the power of the holy Ghost. If the kind of religion that Jesus’ sacrificial death made possible for us was only one in ceremony and talk, he could have spared himself the trouble. We could have talked about God and carried out ceremonies without Jesus being brutalized and executed.
Religion that is expressed in mere ceremony and talk is the equivalent of a living death. People can walk around for days, unaware that they are very sick with what doctors call “walking pneumonia”. And people can practice a religion with no holy Ghost for many years without knowing that they are dead. God’s way is the way of life, and Paul taught us that “the Spirit is life”. Jesus came to pay the price for the Spirit of eternal life to become available to us. Jesus himself said that he came to give us life, and to give us life more abundantly than we had ever known it (Jn. 10:10). Religion without the holy Ghost is not abundant life; rather, it is abundant boredom.
I suppose that we could borrow a phrase from Patrick Henry and say, “Give me the holy Ghost or give me death!” But then, without the holy Ghost, death is all that’s left, and we don’t have to make a demand for death, to get it. It is already on the way, and the only way for us to overcome it is to be filled with the Spirit of life before it arrives.
Have nothing to do with any religion without the holy Ghost, no matter what men have named it. Not only is that religion like death itself; it is an abomination to God, for it gives men a false sense of security and makes them trust in a lie. Religion without the holy Ghost is like a body with no spirit; it is lifeless, and only the dead partake of it.