Finally Sri Lanka Bound

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“If Jesus rose from the dead what are you going to do with him?”

Arrested by the question and its implications, Jim (name changed) kept asking me to repeat that question.

But at first, he clarified, “Are you asking me that question. I hope not, I don’t know what I’d say.”

“Okay then” I said. “I am asking you that question.”

“Wow” Jim said.

As an aside, with everything going on at home, even today I was somewhat skeptical going to Sri Lanka was a wise idea.

The last hour and a half with Jim has helped. I am reminded again that Jesus redeems everything including my questionable decisions.

I’m learning that when I say, “I’m on my way to Sri Lanka”, it is an awesome conversation starter.

Every person I’ve spoken with has followed up with additional question.

When they find out I’ll be in Sri Lanka for 10 weeks, the questions cascade.

And when I tell them I’ve been researching and writing about this person named Jack Miller, whom they’ve obviously never heard of, they become even more intrigued: “Who he is? What makes him so unique?”

In Jim’s case, I just told him some Jack-stories — one after another — about a 5′ 7″ seminary professor/church planter/missionary going to the oddest people and places sharing the gospel — on planes, in trains, in automobiles, on Wall Street and Grafton Street, in Ugandan hospital beds and on Ugandan garbage trucks, from scholarly lecterns to rugged motor-cycle gangs, or while lying on the grass next to a drunken sailor on St. Stephen’s Green.

Jim inquired as to how my story connected with Jack’s story taking me on a journey from Bayou La Batre, AL to Trincomalee, Sri Lanka through all the spiritual, marital, financial, and intellectual ups and downs.

For a moment I was concerned I was being overbearing since Jim was sort of trapped.

People tend to despise Christians who cram the gospel down their throat, and I was on the aisle and he was next to the window of a smaller plane. I’m fairly certain a number of people around were listening to us.

So I asked him if I was being offensive, and told him to please stop me anytime he wanted.

But he kept asking more questions.

That is when the conversation turned more to the bible.

When I told him about all the other wanna-be Messiah’s at the time, and how to discern if one was following a false-Messiah or The Messiah, he was arrested again.

I said “You can tell if a Messiah’s claims are false if that Messiah is dead.”

“That is what happened to all the other people who were following false-Messiah’s and false gods, and that is how the disciples felt at the cross.”

“What a tragedy to learn they had given up everything they loved to follow this man who was just another false-messiah. What fools they had been! It’s over. It’s time to pick up the pieces, make the most out of life and move on, or be like Judas and commit suicide.”

But then three days later, “Wait! What? What do you mean the tomb is empty? I saw Him die! I saw His side cut open. I watched them anoint his dead body, and wrap his body in cloth. I heard the Roman soldiers confirm his death and report it to Pilate. Now, how many people did you say saw Him alive? 500 at one time? And, what about all these women? And what did you say about Thomas putting his hands into his hands and side?”

There was no question or experience that Jim, or any other modern person had or could ask that the those first witnesses to the resurrection didn’t in some way ask, search out, or experience.

Jim asked me to repeat the question a third time, this time with an “I” instead of “you. “If I, I, really believe Jesus rose from the dead, what am I going to do about that?”

I casually reminded him. “If Jesus didn’t rise, don’t sweat it. It is no a big deal. Who cares!” and made mention of Pascal’s wager.

“But if he did rise from the dead, what are you going to do about it?”

Jim is a successful businessman only three years from retirement. He was in Nashville on business now heading home to his wife of 30 years.

And he couldn’t let that question go. It was stuck.

I noticed that his eyes were beginning to redden around the edges.

I told him “Thank you for asking such great questions. You have really helped me a lot with your openness and willingness to talk. I had been praying today for someone that I could really love, and that God would give me courage to talk to them about these things.”

He said, “I think that prayer was answered. If the other leg’s to your flight work like this, you are going to have some good long conversations.”

As we approached the terminal, Jim said he had been raised Catholic and attended a Catholic School. “I’ve thought about questions like these a lot, but I’ve never had someone just sit next to me, one-on-one like this (and he pointed from me to him), so I could ask these questions.”

He thanked me emphatically and said: “Tell me that question one more time.”

And I talked to him about faith receiving and resting upon the promises of Jesus Christ, and that Christ had come to marry himself to you, Jim.”

Emboldened by the Lydia-like openness of his heart, just before arriving at the gate, I said, “Jim, can I pray for you.”

He said “Yes, of course” before he did not have a clue I meant pray now, right here, on the plane, together.

That same look of shock crossed his face as I bowed my head and prayed for God to answer Jim’s question directly.

When I looked up after a moment, I thought I’d say thank you and so nice to meet you.

But he was looking me straight in the eye, tears now leaking around the edges of his red eyes, and said in shock, “No one has every prayed for me like that before.”

I’m not sure how to interpret what Jim said next or what happened since I was already rising to getting my bags as the other passengers ushered us out of the way.

But as we hearty grasped hands, he was so thankful. I promise to keep pray for him and his wife while I’m in Sri Lanka this summer, and that God will give he and his wife an answer to that question.

And I’m almost positive Jim said something to the effect of “I think I have learned both the question and the answer” as he pointed at our seats “right here.”

What will God do next?

Check out my Indiegogo Life Fundraising Page at http://igg.me/at/hjVcV6iYesA


Sri Lanka Bound With Jack Miller

BTC-Campus2002

Since beginning PhD studies in 2012, teaching in India has been impossible.

Last year, as the end came into sight, I began praying about a schedule that would marry academics and missions in South Asia.

After all, who integrated life, church, missions, and academics more than the late Dr. Jack Miller?

Beginning May 18, for ten weeks, I’ll be teaching Gospel Transformation and The Person of Jesus at Baldaeus Theological College.

While there, I’ll also be writing the first rough draft of “Cheer Up! The Life and Ministry of C. John (Jack) Miller: Unsung Prophet of Grace.”

Teams from Nashville Presbytery have taught at Baldaeus since the devastating Tsunami nearly wiped out the coastal area.

Baldaeus is remotely located on the Northeastern coast of Sri Lanka near Trincomalee, a perfect combination of quietness and missions.

During this time, we are also going to try and accomplish another dream I’ve had, a dream behind Nation2Nation.

We are calling it “Sunday School from Sri Lanka.

Students I am teaching at Baldaeus will literally “Zoom” into Hickory Grove for Sunday School allowing our church to join me in Sri Lanka and meet Baldaeus’ leadership, and hear the stories of some of these leaders I’ll be teaching this summer semester.

Would you be interested in partnering with me in these two significant projects — writing a biographical dissertation on the late Dr. Jack Miller, and teaching 30 students the gospel.

Would you pray for me personally as I write; pray for Vicki and the kids in my absence; pray for our church, and pray for the students I’ll be teaching.

Pray that the gospel would run wide and deep in all our lives beginning with me.

My hope is to complete the dissertation in time to graduate December 2015.

Also, I would be remiss if I did not ask if there were some who wanted to partner financially.

There are always people who can’t go themselves, but they love to partner financially to enable others to go on their behalf.

Your help would be greatly appreciated, though please don’t give out of a sense of guilt.

Here is a brief budget for how your money will be spent.

The total cost of this 10 week trip is approximately $6000 which includes airline ticket ($1400), visa/related documents and shots ($600), translation of Gospel Transformation and Person of Jesus ($800), reimbursement to Baldaeus for room, board and other expenses for the 10 weeks ($2000), other miscellaneous travel expenses ($600).

YesuBabu is one of the leaders in Presbyterian Church of South India and is currently attending Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Dehradun.

He has expressed interest in attending at least a month of classes if I could raise an additional $600 for him to go.

Since 2011, Kiran Kumar and others have asked me to return to India to teach Sonship/Gospel Transformation again.

So the idea of having YesuBabu join us at Baldaeus and spending some time with him is just icing on the cake.

If you have any questions let me know. My number is 615-337-4917.

You can support this project through Indiegogo Life at: Sri Lanka Bound with Jack Miller

Or if you’d like to donate thru Nation2Nation at Hickory Grove, you can send a check to Nation2Nation, 84 South Greenhill Road, Mount Juliet, TN. 37122.

Please note in the memo section: “Sri Lanka Bound with Jack Miller.”

I am so grateful for your love, support, and partnership in the gospel.

Love in Christ, Mike Graham


Pure Luck (or God’s Providence if you Believe in that Sort of Stuff)

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I was uncertain about going. But it was the first prayer meeting at the Starbucks near the bypass.

The objective was simple enough. Ron, Jeff and I agreed that if we are going to start a Life-Group with an aim at planting a PCA church, the first thing we needed was to create space in our own hearts and lives, time devoted to praying together in the community.

As we met and prayed, we would ask God to give us His eyes to really see the people He loved so much He sent His Son to die; real people to whom we would share the gospel and see God’s church planted and grow.

My ambivalence was compounded by the fact that my family was gathering at the same time (Sunday, 5:30-8:00pm) to cook-out and celebrate Mother’s Day and Jame’s 16th birthday, the very time I was supposed to be at the Starbucks.

And next week, I was to be in Sri Lanka for ten weeks. So you can imagine that I was deeply conflicted.

Oh No! What do I do? I was the one pushing for Ron and Jeff, the designated leaders from our church, to begin with just meeting to pray in the community without an agenda. This was a meeting they agreed to have on Mother’s Day despite Bob questioning its sensibleness, because I was about to leave and wanted to see it started.

So somewhat to accommodate me, they had agreed despite it being Mother’s Day. And now, for the very first meeting, I was going to call at the last minute, and ask them to proceed without me for a meeting that was being rushed for me.

Fortunately, I had told Vicki (my wife) the week before about the meeting. So it wasn’t completely unexpected to her. However, in light of our family getting together, the timing was still disappointing. She loves family gatherings like this, and such family time is increasingly rare.

Nonetheless, though my conscience remained deeply troubled, she graciously released me to go to the prayer meeting.

What do I do? Sacrifice family for church, or sacrifice church for family? Often, since my spiritual antennae is so broken, it is hard for me to discern right, almost right, and just wrong.

That all began to change when I arrived.

Ron, Jeff and Angie (Jeff’s wife) were smiling.

“You are not going to guess what happened” Ron said, as he handed me a Vol State Community College business card.

I thought he was going to tell me they found a space to meet, which would have seemed a little premature. But I had encouraged them, as leaders of Hickory Grove North (their choice for the name, not mine) to run with this Life-Group-Become-Church-Plant in my absence.

Instead, the story they shared was more assuring and confirming, at least for me, than something like meeting space.

Just by chance (or God’s providence if you believe that sort of stuff), Ron had arrived early.

He was looking at people coming into the Starbucks from the community, praying, and thinking about who he might talk to about the gospel.

So he started talking to this man:

a. Who just “happens by luck” to be an engineering professor at Vol State Community College,

b. Who just “happens by luck” to be from where? From Sri Lanka of all places!

c. Who just “happens by luck” to have become a Christian a year ago,

d. And who just “happens by luck” to have been looking for a church home.

And then It just so happened that this Sri-Lankan gave us his card so he could find out how to get involved with this Life-Group.

So our first meeting “just happened” to continue with a prayerful sense of joy, love for the community, and expectation that God had gone before us and is already planting his church in Gallatin-Station Camp.

And, to tie the ribbon on top of this gift, it just so “happened” that when I walked in the door at home, my son Michael was just taking the last of the steaks off the grill, the table was fully set, and we had a feast!

And at that exact moment my beautiful wife walked around the corner, saw me, smiled, and says, “Great! you are just in time.”

And we all sat down and had wonderful Mother’s Day and 16th Birthday for James.

As for me, I just sat there reflecting, deeply satisfied, and thankful. That God would care about all those unreconcilable things causing me anxiety; things I was carrying by myself, and had even forgotten to pray about.

Even though I may not have made the right decisions, nonetheless, He knew exactly what I needed, and worked everything for my good and His glory.

Obviously life can be far more complicated and these things aren’t always tied up so neatly as this.

But last night, I was grateful for this particular example of pure luck (or God’s providential care if you believe that sort of stuff).


A Dear John Letter to Preachers from Dr. Jack Miller

While working in the archives of the late Dr. Jack Miller this week, I stumbled across this 1980 letter that I’m convinced  every preacher, seminary student, teacher, and church leader should read.

Presumably it is to one of the “John’s” on staff at New Life Church, though, at this point, I’m unsure which. For reference in my files, I’ve affectionately named the file: “Dear John Letter to Preachers.”

This morning, while praying for a fellow preacher who is really struggling with, among other things, his call to ministry, I sent this to him for encouragement.

Thinking some other preachers may need encouragement, or you may want to know how to pray for your preacher, I decided to share it more broadly.

1980, July 15-23, Letter to John on Preaching

Love in Christ, Mike


A “Little Jack Horner” Approach to God’s Promises

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[T]here are various ways to claim the promises of God.

There is the Jack Horner approach. What is the Jack Horner approach to claiming God’s promises?

“Little Jack Horner sat in the corner.” What was he doing? “Eating Christmas pie.”  And what happened? “He stuck in his thumb and pulled out a plum and said what a good boy am I.”

There are all kind of ways that people attempt to study the Bible like that.

You thumb thru the Bible, find your favorite quotes and promises, and then pull them out of their context, and say “what a good boy am I” while trying to use these promises in a self-centered way to try to jack yourself up.

We don’t want to use God’s promises like Jack Horner did where we search to find those juicy biblical plums that talk about peace and joy, and try to use them to support our self centered lives.

So don’t just look for those promises that give you a sense of comfort and joy so you can feel better about your life and circumstances.

Instead, the biblical way of claiming God’s promises is to take a particular promise that exalts Jesus and gives glory to God.

For example, take a promise of God like the one in Romans 15:13. That is a great one.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”

That is a great and glorious promise abounding in hope so that God receives all the glory as we build our lives on His promises through faith in the power and presence of the Holy Spirit.

And the context of this great promise is that of missions.

The joy, peace and hope are promises that are going somewhere; it is a great missionary promise about this God of hope who abounds in hope. It is a promise that is to be shared with others who need both hope and the God of abounding hope.

If you get up in the morning and you memorize this promise, it will help you get to know the kind of a God you are meeting with, what quality of hope He intends you to have, and why He wants you to have that hope.

You can you ask for the Spirit’s help so you can claim this promise, and He will give you peace in believing that Jesus is alive; that He is at work and has a purpose for you.

Rather than sitting in the corner keeping God’s promises to yourself like Little Jack Horner, this is the Bible’s way of claiming God’s promises for His glory.

The little Jack Horner approach is an approach in which you are trying to get God to conform to your problems and to give you comfort rather than conforming your life and problems to God.

The Bible’s way of claiming the promises of God is for you to have a vision of God: who He is, what He is, where He is going, and what He is doing in you and in the world.

And so then, in the morning, the [basic] structure of your prayer is that you spend enough time for you to get into fellowship with God.

While you are in this fellowship with God in prayer, the Spirit will help you see more clearly how to claim God’s promises in the way the Bible intends for them to operate in your life.

Isn’t that exciting for Christians? Doesn’t that give you great confidence in God and His promises?

We tend to be so self-centered, we can even turn claiming His promises into ways of getting Him to serve us.

The great difficulty with the little Jack Horner approach to claiming the promises of God is that your comforter is far too small.

There is really no program or vision for claiming the promises that warrants you waking up in the morning yearning for fellowship with God.

When we use a Jack Horner approach to claiming God’s promises, what is typical is that our program for God’s help centers on our survival: How can I survive one more day? How can I survive one more morning? How can I survive one more set of bills at the first month?

And this is where the devil wants to keep you.

But God, through His promises, wants to give you a bigger purpose and greater vision for His glory, His holiness, His love, His grace, His mission, His joy, His peace, and His hope.

So what you do then, in the morning each day as part of your prayer, is that you ask the Holy Spirit to show you where those things are in your life that are taking you out of fellowship with God and His purposes?

It is also a good idea to ask for the Spirit’s help to make a list of those things you think you are going to be afraid as you partner with God today.

And as you make this list of things you can’t handle (e.g., if God calls you to share your faith to someone, or to love a person at work you really dislike, to turn from some sin, to repent to your wife, ask forgiveness of your children, etc.), then you pray and ask God to help you with each one of these specific fears ahead of time.

And the whole point is that you begin to see that prayer is fellowship with God as you claim His promises, and prayer actually begins to be structured into your daily life.

Before long, you will wonder how you ever managed life without this prayerful fellowship with God claiming His promises.

Paraphrase of Jack Miller by Mike Graham


Introducing “The Jack Miller Project” Facebook Page

Dr. C. John (Jack) MillerFriends,

Introducing The Jack Miller Project Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/thejackmillerproject).

Some of you may know that I have been doing research on the late Dr. Jack Miller, adoption and prayer as I’ve worked toward a PhD in Applied Theology at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

In my very last seminar before comps, when mentioning to my cohort that the late Dr. Jack Miller was probably the most well known leader in the reformed renewal that few knew anything about (especially my Baptist friends), Dr. Danny Akin, my supervising professor, suggested I remedy that with a biography of the late Dr. Miller while so many are still with us.

Consequently, my dissertation project has become much more focused.

Plenty of published and unpublished material, audio recordings, and people to interview easily exist for this project.

However, since I regularly run into so many who were influenced by the late Dr. Miller — directly or indirectly (especially through Sonship) — with no place to tell of their experience, I decided to start this page.

Just this past week, I connected dots with a friend with whom I’d worked with in India when he described how Gospel Transformation (www.serge.org) had influenced the start of RUFI at Georgia Tech. Yet he knew little about Dr. Miller, and those at World Harvest Mission (Serge) didn’t know about Georgia Tech.

If this were only a singular case, that could be dismissed. But, in my research, I keep hearing stories and receiving things like old newsletters from Gary North, or articles from RC Sproul Jr.

Yesterday I came into my office and someone had placed a book on my desk open to a chapter in which Dr. John Frame describes Dr. Miller’s lasting influence on him and many at New Life Escondido and elsewhere.

When I was in class a few semesters ago and reading Dr. Dennis Johnson’s book on preaching, there Jack’s impact was described again, after which I discovered in an audio of Jack that Dr. Johnson helped to write the New Life pamphlet when he was at Westminster and New Life Glenside.

And when I was in Jack Miller’s archives housed at the PCA Historical Center, in the files was a letter from Dr. Paul Kooistra, then president of Covenant Seminary, referring to Jack as the one who taught him about grace, and requesting his help in reorganizing the seminary.

Of course I already knew a little about Jack’s influence on Tim Keller, Scotty Smith, Steve Brown, Ed Welch, Dave Powlison, etc., etc., etc.

Then it occurred to me that there are probably many many people who have these stories that I want, that I need to hear about, stories about how “Jack” personally impacted them.

So in this age of social media, I decided to informally add to the body of my research by starting The Jack Miller Project Facebook Page.

Would you help me? Would you take some time to reflect and write your story, and in some form get it to me?

Be sure and tell me how you met him, when, where and in what context.

I want to find out everything I can about the late Dr. Jack Miller so that it can be gathered and archived accurately and in one place.

You can post on this timeline (though I am moderating posts) short or long, you can send me a message through Facebook or my email, you can upload photos, audios or even videos.

Since this is for my PhD research, if you do post, you would also be giving me implicit permission to use this material for publication unless you state otherwise.

Also, my contact information is publicly displayed, so if you’d like more information about this research project, or you’d like to mail photos, please feel free to contact me directly.

If I need to contact you for more information, I’ll initiate that through Facebook.

This Facebook project may not go anywhere, and that is okay, since I already have plenty of research on hand. Or it may go viral, sort of like that ByFaith Online discussion group on Sonship did in the late 90’s in smaller PCA circles.

But, since most of you use Facebook accounts, and your friends use Facebook, this could actually be an awesome venue to share and gather these stories and experiences, and we can praise God together for how he used Jack in our lives.

So would you consider sharing with me your most memorable stories about Jack, and ask your friends to do so as well?

My guess is that, based on the number of people impacted by Dr. Miller, this page could soon have many stories from all over the world.

If I discover social media not to be an effective bulletin board for this project, I’ll remove the page.

Thanks for your help!

Love in Christ, Mike Graham


The True Charismatic Movement

Historically, the various pneumatic movements have put forward the view that emotional intensity practically equals the presence of the Holy Spirit. But this can turn into a disastrous mistake. …

The heart of the problem appears to be that Christians often think of the filling of the Spirit largely in quantitative terms, as though the believer were a quart jar one-third full. In this view the coming of the Spirit consists in the filling of the jar to the brim, usually through an experience of great emotional power.

In all this longing there is commonly a hunger for a life which is delivered at one stroke from all sin and temptation. This longing is not to be despised. But it will not be fully realized until the believer is fully glorified at the time of his death or at the return of the Lord. Furthermore, the serious danger is that those who seek the Spirit in this way will shift their reliance from the daily working of the Spirit to a previous landmark experience of great emotional intensity.

What happens is that people with this experience in their background can become secretly proud that they are “spiritual” Christians of a special class. They no longer look to Christ in love (2 Cor. 3:18). Instead, they mount a pedestal and quench the Holy Spirit, denying the reality of the sin which yet remains in them and which must be put to death by active reliance on Christ (Rev. 3:14–22, Col. 3:15).

At present there are some teachings that push their adherents in this direction. They emphasize intense religious experience, and they tend to stress sin as human actions without taking sufficiently into account sin as a state of the heart. These ingredients of perfectionism are dangerous.

The hazard here should be obvious. People who believe this know they have the Holy Spirit. And they are right. But they no longer can freely admit that they must confess their pride and unbelief on a daily basis. They also may begin to think themselves qualified to serve as priests for others.

Moreover, those they “help” will often admire them—for a time. For just as they are soft on their own sins, so they will be soft on the sins of others. Or if they are severe with people’s sins, they will only deal with surface matters; for those who do not have the courage to look into the depths of their own hearts cannot see clearly into the heart of another.

What we must see is that God never promised to transform us into super-Christians who would never again sin and never again need to repent. He never promised anybody strength apart from continued dependence upon Himself (Jer. 10:23, John 15:5).

Therefore, I want to set down two closely related criteria for the Spirit-filled life:

The first is sincere love to the Lord Jesus Christ as the gift of the Father’s love,

and the second is a genuine repentance which causes us to be broken down before God.

First, according to Scripture, the presence of love in the Christian life is a sure evidence of the fullness of the Holy Spirit. To understand this as a promise to you personally, turn to your Bible and read John 14:15–24 (a related passage is John 16:27).

From verse 16 we learn that the Holy Spirit will be given to the disciples because Christ will pray to the Father. Hence, Jesus promises them, “I will not leave you orphans” (John 14:18).

But there is something that the disciples must do and be if they are to receive the full presence of the Father. This concerns their response to Jesus. The Lord says, “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him” (John 14:21).

Catch the loving fire of Jesus’ words. Loving obedience to Jesus by His disciples attracts the love of both the Father and the Son.

Loving obedience results in the Father and the Son coming into the believer’s life in a fuller way. The language is strong. The Father and the Son will move in whenever a believer looks in love to Jesus. …

But if you wish the continued fellowship of this love, adore Jesus Christ and love Him with all your heart. Show your love by obeying Him, and you will find your life abounding in spiritual power. …

We must therefore see that the Spirit of truth present at Pentecost is, first of all, a Spirit of love leading people into disciplined obedience to Christ.

He is a missionary Spirit who draws us into the fellowship of the saints by causing redeemed sinners to love Christ and one another. As those in Christ grow in love to one another, this love becomes highly visible (John 13:34–35, 17:22–23). It magnetizes men and women to the church of God.

Here then is the true charismatic movement. It is centered on the excellent way of love (1 Cor. 12:31–13:13). Outward signs and wonders prove little as to the reality of the Holy Spirit’s presence (Matt. 7:21–23).

In particular, “speaking in tongues” is a phenomenon to be found in non-Christian religions, and therefore can hardly be a convincing proof of the Spirit’s presence.

Consequently, forget every quantitative concept of the Holy Spirit’s presence. For to have the Holy Spirit in you is to have more of Christ in you, to be more like Christ and to bear the fruit of the Spirit which comes through faith in Christ and His merits (Gal. 5:22–23).

The second (and intimately related) criterion of the Spirit’s presence is repentance.

The church at Jerusalem [in Acts 11:18] identifies the Gentile reception of the Spirit through faith in Christ with repentance.

Here, as elsewhere in Acts, the word “repentance” (metanoia) is used in a very broad sense, virtually as a synonym for conversion. The emphasis falls on the radical character of the change from death to life, from the proud delusions of the pagans to a humble dependence upon the living God for salvation. Hence, this passage makes absolutely clear that the New Testament church saw the fullness of the Spirit to be the same as a state of repentance for sin.

But what is true of the first turning (conversion) of the sinner to the Lord must continue throughout the Christian life. There must be a daily conversion of the heart to God (Col. 2:6). And the more you deepen your repentance, the more room you have in your heart for the rivers of living water. The more you know that you are stained to the bone with selfish impulses, the more you see how you hold out against the will of the Lord, then the more you will go to Christ as a thirsty sinner who finds deeper cleansing, more life and greater joy through the Spirit.

We have said that love and repentance are positive proof of the fullness of the Spirit’s presence. But what is the vital-connection between the two?

The answer is found by looking into the heart of any child of God who is walking in loving obedience. It’s exciting. Here you meet ardent love to Jesus because the believer has been “broken” down through repentance. Repentance prepares the way so that the Lord of glory can enter into the spirit and be adored as the new center of heavenly life. Before, such people were consumed by self-love, but once the Spirit convicted them of sin and turned them to the cross, self-love was crowded out by love to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Jack Miller, taken from Chapter 4: Repentance and the Spirit-Filled Life, in Repentance (Kindle Edition), Christian Literature Crusade (emphasis added).


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