One of the great dangers that faces today's preachers is the problem of an over intellectual approach. Careful, meditative and painstaking exegesis brings a potential liability, that of losing the vitality, which must accompany exposition.
The Puritans called it 'that certain unction;' Martyn Lloyd-Jones called it 'an access of power;' others have called it 'the anointing.' If you desire that your preaching be lifted up to a position in which you are being used by the Spirit as a channel, then Arturo Azurdia can help you.
The insights in this book are gained from Art's careful study and practical experiences of being used by the Holy Spirit in his ministry. Art seeks a balance between the Holy Spirit and the Word. He proceeds to show the need for the unction and describes the work of the Holy Spirit in preaching, and impresses upon his readers the benefits of being Spirit-filled ministers. His main points are supported by the New Testament and by those people considered to be great evangelical preachers of the past. He shows that the empowering of the Holy Spirit is a sovereign work of God, and that the minister of the Word should be a person of constant prayer. His last chapter, "Pray me full" affirms this and is helpful to all ministers.
“I believe that the greatest impediment to the advancement of the gospel in our time is the attempt of the church of Jesus Christ to do the work of God apart from the truth and the power of the Spirit of God.” (Page 29)
“In a nutshell, here is the thesis for which I am contending: the efficacious empowerment of the Spirit of God is indispensable to the ministry of proclamation.” (Page 13)
“The ‘greater works’ to which Jesus here refers are the conversions of people and the advancement of the gospel.” (Page 22)
“At this vital point, three essential principles of apostolic ministry converge: the message, method, and means for ministry ordained by Jesus Christ. The divine message? Jesus Christ. The divine method? Authoritative proclamation. The divine means? The power of the Spirit of God. This, then, summarizes that to which I am referring as ‘the vitality of the Spirit’. In a single statement, the vitality of the Spirit is His effectual work of glorifying Jesus Christ through fallible men who faithfully proclaim the Christocentric scriptures. This is ministry distinctive to the new covenant people of God: Christ is our message, preaching Christ from all of the scriptures is our method, and the attending power of the purchased Spirit of God is our means.” (Pages 61–62)
“I have become convinced that preachers can rightly anticipate the Holy Spirit’s power only when they are resolutely wedded to the Holy Spirit’s purpose. What is His purpose? To glorify Jesus Christ through the instrumentality of the Old and the New Testament scriptures, both of which point to Him.” (Page 59)
When you finish reading this book not only will you have a better idea of the role of the Spirit in preaching, but you will also know better how to preach in dependence on the Holy Spirit. Everyone who is preaching, or preparing to preach, needs to read this book.
—Joseph A. Pipa, Jr., President, Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Greenville, South Carolina
You will be delighted by this book. . . . If your praying for the Spirit's power has become formal or thoughtless then this book can change both you and your ministry—by the Spirit's power.
—Edmund P. Clowney
Arturo Azurdia believes that much modern preaching is powerless. Sadly, he is right. . . . in a searching and warm-hearted analysis, he shows how the situation should and can be remedied.