The Acts of the Holy Spirit: Tracing His Work in the Early Church, Discerning His Life-Giving Presence Today

by Arthur T. Pierson

For such a short little book, I was struck by Pierson’s writing eloquence and ability to say in such a brief span volumes more than many contemporary authors do in longer books.

A.T. Pierson was a Presbyterian minister who lived from 19371837-1911. He edited The Missionary Review of the World for many years and apparently was a prolific writer. I most assuredly will be reading more by Pierson because of this book.

There may not be a more contentious subject in the contemporary American church today than the role of the Holy Spirit. Entire denominations have been created due to the negligence or over-emphasis on Him.

Pierson takes the book of Acts, and in short, succinct chapters, describes the role and ministry of the Holy Spirit for the corporate church and individual believers in Jesus Christ. He does so in a way that is enlightening and challenging.

As a pedigreed Southern Baptist, I have to admit that for years, my tribe has simply tried to work around the Spirit. Most Baptist preachers, teachers, evangelists and professors that I’ve known are big on the Father and Son but a little intimidated by the Spirit.

In fact, in my own life, it’s rather disconcerting to realize that I have not taught and equipped those under my care to recognize and know how to “walk in the Spirit.” It will be a renewed commitment, I can assure you.

Pierson states at one point, “Satan’s activity is always increased when disciples bestir themselves anew.” I can heartily agree to the accuracy of that statement after some personal experiences of the last few months. It crystallized in my mind, once again, the unseen reality of spiritual warfare.

No one attribute is more needful today for Christ’s witnesses than Holy Spirit boldness due to Holy Spirit fullness.

Pierson shares at length about the dangers of a church or Christian organization being led and guided by logic, by secular principles or organizational procedures without first being led by the Holy Spirit.

All in all, it’s a fantastic little book that would be a great foundation to start learning more about the role of the Holy Spirit in the lives of Christians.

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