I’ve heard people criticize Charles Finney as someone who believed man’s efforts are all that are necessary to further the Gospel. Yet what does he say in his autobiography? Here he makes it clear what his foundational beliefs are in this respect:
When Christ commissioned his apostles to go and preach, he told them to abide in Jerusalem till they were endued with power from on high. This power, as every one knows, was the baptism of the Holy Spirit poured out upon them on the day of Pentecost. This was an indispensable qualification for success in their ministry.
I did not suppose then, nor do I now, that this baptism was simply the power to work miracles. The power to work miracles and the gift of tongues were given as signs to attest the reality of their divine commission. But the baptism itself was a divine purifying, an anointing bestowing on them a divine illumination, filling them with faith, and love, with peace and power; so that their words were made sharp in the hearts of God’s enemies, quick and powerful, like a two-edged sword.
This is an indispensable qualification of a successful ministry; and I have often been surprised and pained that to this day so little stress is laid upon this qualification for preaching Christ to a sinful world. Without the direct teaching of the Holy Spirit, a man will never make much progress in preaching the Gospel.