Personal Piety—A Prime Requisite*

Ordination address at British Union Evange­listic Council, September, 1941.

By W. G. MURDOCH, President, Newbold College, England

There is no doubt that a thorough study of the technique of evangelism is of great assistance. The mechanical aids, such as the cultivation of the voice—enunciation, pronun­ciation, modulation, and pitch—platform etiquette, and effective advertising, all have a distinct place in successful evangelism. These, however, are secondary. The primary and supreme factor is the personal relationship of the evangelist with the Source of power.

It is of supreme importance that the evan­gelist, although busy with the care of the vine­yards, give careful and prayerful attention to the vineyard of his own soul. (Song of Solo-- moo i :6.) Christ, speaking to the woman at the well, stated that he who drinks of the water of life shall have in himself a spring of water that will overflow to all with whom he comes in a contact. ( John 4:14.) This super bound­ing, overflowing life will be a mighty factor in attracting others to the message.

In order to witness with power, our hearts must be in tune with God. (Acts :8 ; John I :12; Rom. i :s6.) There must be nothing that is hindering our contact with the great Dynamo of heaven. More important than education or money is this entire consecration. This power transforms the life. It is death and resurrection power, the power that the apostle Paul had when he was crucified with Christ.

Jonah had this power when he was instru­mental in converting all Nineveh to God. He had a death and a resurrection. Christ Him­self speaks of Jonah's experience as a type of His own. With this resurrection Jonah was a new man. He spoke with all the fervor of a man risen from the grave, to a. people who were doomed to die. We need to pray for this power today, rather than for peace. This is earth's last hour. "The work that centuries might have done must crowd the hour of setting sun." We need a new resurgence of Pentecost, a revival of primitive godliness.

''Before the final visitation of God's judgments upon the earth, there will be, among the people of the Lord, such a revival of primitive godliness as has not been witnessed since apostolic times. The Spirit and power of God will be poured out upon His children."--"The Great Controversy," p. 464.

However, the Holy Spirit will not descend upon an individual whose heart is not right with God, who is cherishing any known sin, who does not with his whole soul desire this heavenly gift. There is danger that we trust to our organization, to our perfect machinery. What we need today is not more motion, but more motive power. For forty years the chil­dren of Israel were in the wilderness, holding committee meetings and passing resolutions. We have been more than twice as long getting to the heavenly Canaan, and it is now time that we move forward. We must forget the past. We must not dwell on the mistakes and failures of the past. This will only hinder our progress.

The second chapter of Joel was written especially for these days in which we are living. The Lord has promised in those verses to make up to us the time that we have wasted, if from now on we will open our hearts for the reception of the Spirit. "I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten."

We must have an enlarged vision of what God can do for us. ( Joel 2 :23. ) The prophet speaks of the former rain, and tells us that it was                      moderate outpouring of the Spirit of God. Yet with that moderate bestowal, a poor fisherman, who a little time before had denied his Lord, preached a sermon and three thou­sand souls were converted. We are on the verge of greater things than the church has yet seen. Thousands will come into this truth in a day, just as soon as our own hearts will make way for the presence and power of the Spirit in our lives.

"They that wait upon the Lord shall renew [or exchange] their strength." Isa. 40:31. That is, they will exchange their own weak­ness for God's power, their sins for Christ's righteousness, their defeat for His victory, and their poverty for His riches. This is the only way to be a successful soul winner.


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By W. G. MURDOCH, President, Newbold College, England

June 1942

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