First and foremost, Whitefield was committed to a belief in the power of the Holy Spirit for the ministry. He preached extemporaneously, sometimes with the help of a memorized manuscript, relying on the Spirit to provide the exact words for the occasion. This also applied to everyday decisions and his planning for preaching trips. He drew inspiration from Paul 's leading by the Spirit and saw the same direct inspiration and leading in his own life.
He was also unafraid of Spirit-fueled commotion in his meetings. In fact, as Kidd notes, his ministry could have looked similar to the modern charismatic, Pentecostal movement. His meetings were often filled with people sobbing and crying out for mercy from God. Whitefield saw this, most of the time, as a genuine movement of the Spirit of God on the people of God and sinners alike.
Another central piece of Whitefield 's theology was his belief in the necessity of a new birth for conversion. While he remained a committed paedobaptist, he broke with the Anglican theology of the day which said a child who was baptized was essentially guaranteed conversion if they maintained a righteous lifestyle. Whitefield right...
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...ternity in torment and separation from God, he was willing to do whatever was necessary to bring the gospel to the people. His contemporaries believed that same, which is why many of their most famous sermons took on a "fire and brimstone"- type tone. In fact, in several sermons Whitefield and Edwards used the same type metaphors (a sinner dangling over hell by a fine cord, for example) without consulting with one another. Both believed that divine punishment awaited the unregenerate. It would be unfair, however, to say that this was all they preached. Just as Whitefield believed in a literal hell, he also believed that a real heaven, God 's presence, was in store for those who put their faith in Christ. Because of this, he was able to preach comfort for those who believed. Both were crucial to his faith and ministry, and both held a prominent place in his preaching.
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