Calvinism Recognizes the Power of the Holy Ghost
L. R. Shelton
An audio file of this sermon is available at
One of the greatest evils of Calvinism, as viewed through the eyes of an Arminian, is the power of the Holy Spirit in the work of salvation and in the church. Every Arminian will rise in defense, "Brother Shelton, we believe in the Holy Spirit!" Certainly, you do – I have never known a true Arminian who denied
the personality of the Holy Spirit. I believe every true Arminian will say, "Brother Shelton, I believe in the Holy Spirit. I believe in the Trinity – God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit." Yes, that's true, but you listen. The church today has rejected the power of the Holy Spirit as the world
has rejected the truth of their salvation. Calvinism recognizes the power of the Holy Spirit. The average church member, I mean, Arminian, will tell you that the Bible teaches the work of the Holy Spirit, but they will not have old-time Bible, Holy Spirit conviction that leads to heartfelt repentance, because it's
stirs the human heart; they count it as unwholesome and undigestible. Now that's an Arminian. Brother, I ought to know!
For four years, from 1950 to 1953, I was under a tent, which I pitched here and there, sometimes out in the middle of the piney woods, sometimes at the edge of a city – it didn't make much difference to the folks who wanted to come – and I preached to large crowds. God would bring some under
Holy Spirit conviction, and when He did every Arminian preacher would get mad, quit the meeting, and go off criticizing me. Finally they said, "We have to get rid of that preacher because his messages are unwholesome to us; they are not digestible. We don't understand them." They told the truth.
They thought they had put me to death, but here I am pleading with sinners. Brother, if I go down, I'll go down with my guns blazing with the truth of God's Word, pleading with sinners to repent, and trusting the Holy Spirit to do His work in the hearts of individuals.
Now you may think certain individuals cannot be saved, and you may consigned them to Hell and sit on the lid, but God will blow the lid off to get them out in spite of you, me, or anybody else! Listen to John 6:63, "It is the Spirit that quickeneth (maketh alive)" – not the
preacher, not the evangelist. Listen again, "It is the Spirit that quickeneth (maketh alive); the flesh profiteth nothing." It is not the preacher, not what the preacher says, nor how he says it, nor is it the manner in which he says it, nor illustrations he may use; it is not anything that
anyone can do that quickens a sinner. It is the work of the Holy Spirit. He may do it when a preacher is a thousand miles away. Yes, sir! That sinner may be reading a message: that sinner may be reading God's Word; that sinner may be listening to the radio, there alone, nobody knows he is there. His family may
have forbidden him to tune in, but he is off in a corner somewhere quietly listening to that radio, and all at once the Holy Spirit thrusts the Word home to his heart like a twoedged sword, and he is never the same from that moment on. The Holy Spirit will bring that sinner to Christ in spite of Hell and high water.
If the average preacher today had to rely on just the Gospel he preached to get men to Christ, he would never have any converts. That is the reason he has to add his little two cents worth by manipulating invitations to get men to walk the aisle, make a profession of faith, and
join the church – he has to make a showing or lose his job! The Gospel he preaches has some similarities, but makes no unpleasant demands. He offers the same things the world does, only on a higher plane. He says and affirms that Christ is the only Saviour for sinners, which is correct, but he teaches that Christ
becomes the sinners Saviour only by the sinner's consent. Therefore, he will give his invitations and so manipulate them as to bring that sinner to a consent to Christ, or make a decision for Christ, but, brother, he never asks that the sinner be broken or give up anything. Let me tell you something, sinners. Listen! I
don't offer you an easy path, I don't offer you a bed of roses; I don't offer you anything but suffering, tribulation, trials, heartaches, and troubles, but I offer you victory in Christ Jesus my Lord. Sinner, may you be broken at the feet of Christ under the power of God's Holy Spirit. May God help you; may God lead you!
Now why does he always decide on the side of truth? It is because the Holy Spirit (and not the preacher) has written the Law of God within his mind (Heb. 10:16, 17), and because the Holy Spirit has sealed the instructions (Job 33:16) in his heart. And the Law of God that the Holy Spirit writes in
the sinner's mind is identically the same that he finds in the Word of God. As he reads the Word of God, the Holy Spirit shows him that the thing he sees there is what is already written in his mind and his heart. Then the Holy Spirit seals the instructions or writes the Law of God into the sinner's heart
– not "on" it, but "into" it; when He does this, the sinner always decides on the side of truth in Christ.