Fruitfulness Always Follows Fullness
By Fred D. Jarvis
Bible Christianity is vitality and life. The early Christians had a dynamic and real faith. Theirs was a virile, not a sterile experience. They knew the secret of triumphant living. To them, Jesus was Lord. The Lordship of Jesus Christ was the great and grand design of redemption. He was their all in all. Their prime purpose was “that in all things He might have the preeminence” (Col. 1:18).
The Lordship of Jesus Christ and the fullness of the Spirit were two basic tenets of their victorious faith. To them the anointing of God was the answer to the impotence of man. They worshiped a Savior who had all authority in heaven and on earth.
The early church ministered in power sent down from heaven. They preached in the demonstration of the Spirit and of power. They turned the world upside down. The Book of Acts is a pageantry of power. The power of Pentecost was a mighty tidal wave of blessing that swept over the then known world.
Jesus said, “If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink. He that believeth on Me…out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water” (John 7:37-38). They experienced a divine flow of blessing. It kept on flowing and flowing! It was not just a little stream of stagnant water, or even a single river – but Rivers of living water!
Their emphasis was not upon their weakness, but on His power; not upon their surrender, but on His enduement! The Holy Spirit came down – and the disciples went out! The church was born in a flame. Jesus’ promise of power was fulfilled at Pentecost. Overnight, these disciples were dramatically transformed into spiritual dynamos!
The prominence of the power of the Holy Spirit in the early church is unmistakable. By contrast today, however, the reality of the Holy Spirit’s power is conspicuously absent in much of our contemporary Christianity. The power of the Holy Spirit is our greatest need today!
We are more accustomed to the superficial than to the supernatural. We try to enjoy the best of both worlds. The line that separates the world from the church has been all but obliterated. We have increased the number of churches, without appreciably increasing the number of saints.
The moral climate of the church has been dangerously lowered. Many of the sins and the styles of the unregenerate world are foolishly accepted by a shocking number of professing Christians. Although many churches boast of an all-time high in attendance, at the same time they have an all-time low in spiritual power.
The early church was more than a club. They determined to know nothing but Jesus Christ and Him crucified. Their aim was to preach Christ where Christ had not been named. They were not concerned about income, security or social status – but doing the will of God from the heart!
Their main concern was not with buildings or budgets – but with witnessing in the power of the Holy Spirit. They did not promote and publicize in the energy of the flesh, or try to build the biggest church in town. Rather – they persuaded people to receive Jesus as Lord.
God does not fill us with His Spirit to make life enjoyable, but to make us employable. Fruitfulness always follows fullness. “…Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto Me…” (Acts 1:8)
Soul winning and missions are the inevitable results of the Spirit’s outpouring. We must look away from self, unto Jesus – and then out to the lost world!