Rich Sandess – The Will of the Holy Spirit in Churches Today

Rich Sandness 24-July-2016

What is the will of the Holy Spirit, in churches today? There used to be a book out, several years ago, by Gene Getz, called: “The Measure of a Church”. I didn’t quite buy it in time, and it wasn’t long before it was out of print, for whatever reason. I just glanced through a few parts of it briefly, and don’t really remember it, however, if I had it here now today, I might even critique it, and risk being constructively critical. (I do not know, maybe not.) Gene Getz was good at bringing up key themes to write about, such as for instance his book: “Building Up One Another”, which focused on all the “One Another” phrases in the New Testament. From a prompting and referential standpoint, I thought it was excellent, although, I’m not sure if his writing was as warm, or as stimulating as some.

Obviously, in the trinity, we see the Godhead described in the bible, as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Some people are so bold as to ignore and set aside 1st Corinthians chapter 11-13, with ridiculous man-made rhetorical conclusion which has no biblical basis, whatsoever. Part of the reason why some do this, is out of fear of the Holy Spirit. Part of the reason why some do so, is out of fear of ‘losing their own will’. After all, why give over the steering wheel to someone else, when you are already behind it? Those are just a couple of thoughts, but there are more, which in this writing, I do not make priority to pursue. People will do what they will do, they can become just as adamant as Adam. I will say this: Study 1st Corinthians chapters 11 through 13, and “control”, as in “good control” will be assured, but avoid those chapters, and avoid the careful reading of the Book of Acts, and “confusion”, will indeed be yours, and one can in no wise “get it”, in regards of the work of the Holy Spirit within the body of Christ, the living church, if they should do so.

All of that to intro, my chief statement. I believe, and not without biblical support, that true churches of today WILL HAVE a certain ‘move’ and vibrancy of the Holy Spirit within them. AND, “Evangelism” WILL BE a concern, in spite of the influences of Calvin and others today, which seems to imply that if someone is to be born of God, it will just happen, automatically, without Evangelism being a constraint, or concern, for others, within “born-again Christians”. No, if someone is looking for a healthy church, then look for churches that are sincerely concerned for ‘the Lost’, and are concernedly doing something about it, in a manifold-ministry way. As the title of the recent movie read: “God’s Not Dead”. But sadly, there are some church-goers, or non-church goers, that have taken on a dead perception, and concern for the lost, and are without admission that God can save others, through them, or certainly some seem to be “without excitement” of such, and then what would that say? Having “entheos” at work within you is a good thing, but not having God’s enthusiasm at work within us, can become a real ‘deflated balloon’, sort of situation, that won’t make the life of any angelic party, or celebration, over the salvation of but one person. Many would ‘argue away’ the ‘works’ of the Holy Spirit today, wherein, they should not.


Looking briefly just now, evidently it is available again, as well as another one called “The Measure of a ‘Healthy’ Church”. At that time, as I remember it, “The Measure of a Church” was out of print for a while, but sort of ‘the next step’ in his progression of thought was a book called: “Sharpening the Focus of the Church”, I won’t list all his books, he had several, but perhaps one of the best known was: “The Measure of a Man”. In all of these, of course, the parameters that he utilized were scriptural definitions, within overall scriptural context.