TITLE: The Refill does the work 2/5/15
By Richard McCaw
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The Refill does the Work
by Richard McCaw
If you were to take up a pen without a refill, it could not write. Frustrated you would throw the shell into the garbage and walk away.
Many sincere people go to church, give to charity and read the Bible yet feel frustrated. Without a genuine experience of the Living Christ, their good efforts avail nothing.
When my best friend, Tony Falloon and I used to go witnessing, we very often met people who trusted their self-efforts to get God’s approval.
Some said, “I’m trying my best!”
Still others said “I’m a good person!”
And others remarked, “I don’t commit crimes!” or “I don’t smoke, drink, or go to parties!”
If we still have to work to get into heaven then Christ died in vain!
If an engineer erected a building and declared, “The work is finished!” yet someone else came and added additional windows he would feel insulted!
I once spent an entire night, preparing a Bible study for teenagers entitled, “Who lives the Christian life?" They were on a mission the next day to another school in the country parts of Jamaica.
Next morning I stood at the Kingston Railway Station expecting Christian leaders from Wolmers’ Boys’ School, one of the school fellowships of which I had oversight. One by one they arrived, greeted each other excitedly, laughed, and shared jokes. We were on our way to St. Mary’s High School in St. Mary to minister to the Christian Fellowship there.
As we sat waiting for the train, I announced our devotions from a verse from Paul, the apostle’s letter to the Galatians, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ Who lives in me.” They took out their Bibles and notebooks.
“Lord,” I prayed, “transform us by Your Spirit!”
Everyone shared and we found that other scriptures also taught that no man can heal, preach, or do anything for God, except by the power of the Holy Spirit.
“And many people really think that they live the Christian life!” remarked one student.
“We are only vessels God uses!” I pointed out. “The shell of a pen cannot do anything, it’s the refill that does the writing!”
The sound of the train arriving made everyone grab their Bibles and bags and enter the cabins.
When we arrived at St. Mary’s High School two students escorted us into a classroom. After I preached, as students scattered about, several young people listened as the boys shared from the scriptures.
Before I could minister that no man can live the Christian life, the truth had been etched on my own heart by the Holy Spirit. At a Keswick convention sometime before I had heard the Rev. Alec Motyer, from the British Keswick ministry, title his sermon: “No man can, but by the Holy Ghost.”
“A man, puts on a jacket,” he preached, “and whenever he raises his arm, the arm of the jacket also lifts up. When he bends down, the jacket’s arm also bends down. As he walks down the street, when he swings his arm, the arm of the jacket also swings back and forth.”
Then he expounded, “No man can pray, but by the Holy Ghost. No man can sing for God, but by the Holy Ghost. No man can heal the sick, but by the Holy Ghost. No man can minister effectively, but by the Holy Ghost!” I had never heard anything like that before and my life was completely transformed. Jesus was the One doing the work. I was like a garment fit for His use.
Because Israelites were failing day after day to achieve God's extremely high standard of holiness, God spoke through the prophet Isaiah, saying, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways.”
The apostles understood that principle.
One day Peter and John, healed a man, who had been lame from birth. Then everyone saw the man enter the temple, walking, leaping and praising God. Overjoyed, he held on to Peter and John, so that everyone could know how great they were. But Peter responded, “Why look so intently at us, as though by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk?” Then he declared, “His name, through faith in His name, has made this man strong, whom you see and know.”
Suddenly religious leaders, grieved that they preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead, arrested and jailed them until the next day.
Next day, they were challenged, “By what power, or by what name, have you done this?”
Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, replied, “Rulers of the people and elders of Israel, if we this day are judged for a good deed done to a helpless man, by what means he has been made well, let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’ Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
Paul, the Apostle, taught Philippian believers that “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Jesus is the One, Who lives His very life through the believer’s spirit.
References: 1. Galatians 2:20; 2. 1 Cor 12:3; 3. Isa 55:6 –9; 4. Acts 3:12, 16; 5. Acts 4:8-12; 6. Phil 2:10, 11
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