“Power belongs to God” (Psalm 62:11). The great reservoir of the power that belongs to God is His own Word—the Bible. If we wish to make it ours, we must go to that book. Yet people abound in the church who are praying for power and neglecting the Bible. They long to have power to melt the cold heart and break the stubborn will, but they forget that God has said: “‘Is not My word like a fire?’ says the Lord, ‘And like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?’” (Jeremiah 23:29).
If we are to obtain fullness of power in life and service, we must feed upon the Word of God. There is no other food so strengthening. If we will not take time to study the Bible, we cannot have power, any more than we can have physical power if we will not take time to eat nutritious food.
The Word of God has power to convict of sin. In Acts 2:37 we read: “Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Men and brethren, what shall we do?’” If we look back and see what it was they heard that produced this deep conviction, we find it was simply the Word of God. If you read Peter’s sermon, you will find it is one of the most Biblical sermons ever preached. It was Scripture from beginning to end.
It was, then, the Word of God, carried home by the Spirit of God, that pricked them to their heart. If you wish to produce conviction, you must give men the Word of God.
Not long ago a young man came into our inquiry room. I said to him: “Are you a Christian?” “No, sir.” “Why not?” “I think Christianity is a first-rate thing, but I don’t have much feeling about this.” “But,” I said, “do you not know that you are a sinner?” He said: “Yes, sir, I suppose I am; but I am not very much of a sinner. I am a pretty good sort of a fellow.”
I opened my Bible and asked him to read Matthew 22:37-38. He read, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment.” “What commandment is that?” I asked. He replied: “The first and great commandment.” “In the light of that, what must be the first and great sin?” He replied: “It must be to neglect to keep that commandment.” “Have you kept it?”
The Spirit of God took it home to his heart. It was not long before we were kneeling, and he was asking God for mercy through Christ.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, New King James Version.
Reuben Archer Torrey served as superintendent of the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago from 1889 to 1908. This article is adapted from “How to Obtain Fullness of Power in Christian Life and Service,” by R.A. Torrey. Work is in the public domain.