THE ABSOLUTE NECESSITY OF RENEWAL
BY MARK HANBY & V. ARLEN GUIDROZ
Prayerless men, gossiping women, worldly young people, indifferent Sunday school teachers and disgruntled church boards, all totally barren of the fruits and gifts of the Spirit halfheartedly participate
in joyless worship and browse daintily at our sterile altars. These should already have convinced us that the RENEWING OF THE HOLY GHOST is as important as the first baptism. How can we exist without the vital life-sign of spiritual reproduction, which according to God’s word, is the very reason for our existence at all? And how may we excuse the fact that our offensive against diseases and devils is pitifully weak and anemic? We are desperately in need of some substantial evidence as to the power and effect of our bold gospel.
The Vital Life-Sign
Even with the healed cripple standing with them (Acts 4) obviously testifying of Apostolic power and authority, Peter and John, along with the other disciples, were driven to their knees by the insatiable
thirst for renewal, thus giving us a living insight into their spiritual lifeline and secret for continued victory. “And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost and they spake the word of God with boldness” (Acts 4:3 1).
The once-born churches of Revelation received the pronouncement of judgment, not because of a bad start, but because of a mediocre follow-through. This eventual blight of lukewarmness could be cured only by a repeat of first works after sincere repentance and a purchasing of heretofore unattained spiritual qualities in consecration.
Our ‘modern’ Laodicean procedures may salve our bleeding consciences but do not brush aside the vindictive finger of judgment pointed by a glorified Savior at a self-justified church.
There is an absolute necessity of our constant reaching for a recharging and rebaptism of the initial experience This renewing does not come automatically or by the process of time but only as we show
definite desire and exercise positive faith, as in our first all-out effort to reach God.
The Difference Between Renewing and Regeneration
Many of us have long believed that regeneration was necessary and mandatory, but somehow have never been able to distinguish between renewing and regeneration. Both of these ‘roads’ have been marked with a single sign and we have been taught to believe that the renewing of the Holy Ghost is just ‘praying through’ again This is, however, somewhat faulty in concept and definitely short on understanding, in
that ‘praying through’ may be ‘keeping the Holy Ghost’ but the renewing of the Holy Ghost is a spiritual process of growth and maturity.
The fortunate parents of a healthy child are not altogether satisfied in the newborn remaining alive; they are anxiously concerned about his growth and development These proud parents do not complain when their son outgrows his crib or when his last years’ ‘britches’ come only to his knees. They gladly spend their wealth to change wardrobes, increase shoe sizes, pay lunch bills and buy note tablets for this
healthy, growing youngster. These same loving guardians would be greatly distressed and most willing to seek any aid or remedy upon learning that their child had reached an impasse in his journey toward
complete, normal manhood and maturity.
So our heavenly Father is concerned with more than our birth. It is His desire and will that we “. . all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a PERFECT MAN, unto the
measure of the stature of the FULNESS of Christ that we henceforth be no more CHILDREN, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may GROW UP into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part maketh INCREASE 0F THE BODY unto the edifying of itself in love” (Ephesians 4:13-16).
The renewing of the Holy Ghost is as necessary as regeneration, and in understanding these spiritual principles and their individual functions and operations lies the option of being a power-witness or being what we commonly consider ‘a good saint.’
1. NATURE TEACHES US
“For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:”
The Human Body
Physiology has revealed to us many things about the human body. We are mainly interested, however, in the basic units of the body that give or take life.
Every basic part of the body is made up of a collection of tiny units called cells. These cells represent tiny chemical factories that constantly take in and transform certain raw materials and send out new and different substances. The raw materials and the finished products make their way out of the cell through the extremely thin membrane forming the cell wall.
It may be interesting to note that there are millions of billions of cells in your body; it is said that the red cells alone number some 25 trillion. Now just consider, beloved, that each one of our complex selves originated as a single cell–a fertilized egg. The ‘wise ones’ further inform us that all of our present cells were derived from that original cell by the process of cleavage or division.
Lest we fall into the snare of extreme wisdom by further discourse, suffice it to say that it is of great importance in the growth and development of the body, and in maintenance and repair of the body when it is full grown, that the process of cell division, replacement and renewal, is constantly taking place. Cells are continually dying and being replaced in our bodies. Thousands of dead cells are washed from the surface of the skin every time we bathe, and it has been estimated that during every second of our life 10,000,000 red blood cells die and are replaced by new ones.
It is proven that every cell in the body is completely replaced and renewed every seven years. If the body does not receive the raw material with which to manufacture new cells so that the process of renewing can continue, it cannot live more than a few days. The human body cannot live without renewal.
Lower Animal Life
The process of renewing in lower life, commonly known as molting, is the replacement of skin or feathers by an animal. Some snakes and amphibians, for example, molt about once a month.
The feared and respected rattlesnake leaves his skin among the rocks of his lair and ‘lost’ feathers don the caps of scouting youngsters.
Nearly all birds shed and replace their feathers during the annual molt which usually takes place in the late summer. Some birds also have a second molt in the spring before the beginning of their productive
season. With each molt the coloring of the plumage may change and the bird may go into partial retirement You will remember the farmer’s common friend, the hen, whose feathers drop out a few at a time, and in definite order, so the bird appears ragged and shedding.
The value of the cycle of seasons, sowing and the reaping, is taught by agriculture. It is impossible for the farmer to reap a crop until he has first cut down the stalks of last year’s corn, ploughed them back
into the soil, and smoothed the dirt for another year’s planting. The chaff is scattered before the wheat can be planted again and the apples in the orchard must fall to the ground before new fruit can come.
II. MODERN TECHNOLOGY TEACHES RENEWAL
The works of man’s hands also teach us the necessity of renewal. No automobile manufacturer with all his ingenuity has yet designed a vehicle with a fuel capacity to last the lifetime of the car. One of the most affluent enterprises in the world is the common filling station industry; extensive travel is impossible without it.
Consider a modern aircraft that may carry 300 plus passengers halfway around the world. The burst of power at take-off and the whisper-smooth ride thousands of feet above our terra firma would be only a
frustrating and pointless experience if at its destination there were no facilities for replenishing the power supply. With no refuelling, the plane would become useless; a favorite target of the elements; a
nesting place for sparrows. Great speeches extolling the virtues, power, and possibilities of the multi-million dollar manifestation of technological achievement would be lost and tarnished like the oxidizing of its silver sides, if the power had been dissipated and there were no source of renewal.
Replaced cells, ugly hides, and ragged feathers are all nature’s mute testimony that renewing is absolutely necessary; without it none can live, for it is the on-going process of life.
Renewed For Growth
Spiritual renewing removes from us the snake-skin of deceit the feathers of hypocrisy and the plumage of pride. As the trees of the orchard are of no value unless their fruit is shared with others, so the rotten pulp of self-centeredness must be stripped from our branches. Consider the surrendering stalks in the field; so our past accomplishments, successes, and personal achievements must willingly be ploughed under to give richness to a new spring crop.
With hearts pulverized by his mighty preaching and our souls disheveled by conviction, we tearfully succumb to the words of the prophet:
“Therefore also now, saith the Lord, turn ye even to me with ALL your heart and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning:
And REND YOUR HEART, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God; for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.
Who knoweth if he will return and repent, and leave a blessing behind him; even a meat offering and a drink offering unto the Lord your God?
Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast call a solemn assembly:
Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet.
Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, 0 Lord, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them:
wherefore should they say among the people. Where is their God?” (Joel 2:12-17).
And It Shall Come to Pass. . .
But these ragged mourners are not without the further promise of renewing’s benefits!
“Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month.
And the floors shall be full of wheat and the fats shall overflow with wine and oil.
And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpillar, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.
And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed.
And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the Lord your God, and none else: and my people shall never be ashamed.
And it shall come to pass AFTERWARD, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh. (Joel 2:23-28).
THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS TAKEN FROM THE POWER WITNESS AND PUBLISHED BY THE GENERAL HOME MISSIONS DEPARTMENT UNITED PENTECOSTAL CHURCH, HAZELWOOD, MISSOURI, PAGES 15-18.
THIS MATERIAL MAY BE USED FOR STUDY & RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.