One much-used song that nurtured early Pentecostal revivals was the hymn, “The Comforter Has Come!” In his highly readable 2012 book, Spirit of Love: A Trinitarian Theology of Grace, Amos Yong notes how the fourth stanza provides a salient window into the how early Pentecostals interpreted those Pentecostal outpourings of the Spirit as nothing less than encounters with God’s love:
“O boundless love Divine! How shall this tongue of mine
To wond’ring mortals tell the matchless grace divine—
That I, a child of hell, should in His image shine!
The Comforter has Come!”
The baptism in the Spirit, moreover— ongoing baptisms in the Spirit provide us ongoing infusions of God’s love, empowering us to love. Yong thus is thus pointing out how also in the very nature of things, love received fosters the giving of love. Hence, we become altruistic people— equipped, energised, and empowered by the power of love. Resolution of guilt alone is insufficient in the empowering of people in mission with God. The greater aim of God is the gracing of people through outpourings of love— namely, the Spirit of Love.
Not just people of power,
But make us through the Spirit of Fellowship—
Apostles of Love.
For like John the Beloved
You call us the Beloved community;
So increase our faith— and make us thankful;
Increase our hope— and make us courageous;
Increase our love— and make us compassionate.
Let not the world note the greatness of our deeds,
But let them note the kindness of our presence.
For to us, you are kind;
Calling us by name,
Making us partakers of your nature,
Sending us forth as preachers of Love.