The Holy Spirit and the
Life of the
Saint of God
By Dr. Edward Watke Jr.
Are you a spiritual Christian? How can a saint of God become a
spiritual Christian without a vital, biblical, precious walk in the
Spirit. Christ spoke much of the person and work of the Spirit of
whom He said, "I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another
Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever." (John 14:16)
"... whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth,
which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:" (John 15:26)
We are commanded to walk in the Spirit. (Galatians 5:16-17) How
can we become what God the Father desires without the power of the
Holy Spirit upon our lives?
As Christ came to pay for sin, to be our Savior and has presently a
ministry for us as the High Priest -- so the Holy Spirit has manifold
ministries in our lives as the third person of the trinity. He is now
carrying out this ministry in our lives as children of God -- for He is
doing what the God-head three planned would take place in us and
for us. Do you recognized His work? Do you cooperate with the
Holy Spirit and his labor in your life?
There are many excesses and false teachings that abound concerning
the Holy Spirit. It is apparent that Satan has endeavored to keep
many from understanding the Spirit's work, or to bring excesses and
wrong that other saved people might ignore the importance of the
Holy Spirit in their lives. The following ought to open your eyes
about many matters. I trust it will! -- Dr. Edward Watke Jr.
Table of Contents
No. 1 Reality of This Blessed Person, the
Holy Spirit pg. 3
No. 2 The Holy Spirit ... Do You Know Him? pg. 7
No. 3 The Amazing Relationship of the Lord
Jesus and the Holy Spirit pg. 11
No. 4 The Holy Spirit Is To Be Recognized pg. 16
No. 5 The Fruits of the Wonderful
Spirit-filled Life pg. 19
No. 6 Keeping In Step With the Spirit pg. 23
No. 7 Trusting the Holy Spirit By Faith pg. 25
No. 8 Quenching the Spirit pg. 29
No. 9 Grieving the Spirit pg. 32
No. 10 The Power of the Spirit pg. 35
No. 11 The Gifts of the Spirit pg. 39
No. 12 The Holy Spirit and Missions Today pg. 44
No. 13 Dying, Dead, or Alive? pg. 48
No. 14 Who Will God For Us? pg. 52
No. 15 Listen. . . The Holy Spirit Is Speaking pg. 56
No. 16 What Is the Baptism of the Spirit? pg. 60
(Section with three parts)
No. 17 Biblical Revelation and the Holy Spirit...
Dangers of an Anti-Biblical Position! pg. 65
No. 18 Part two: Biblical Revelation and. . . pg. 71
No. 19 Part three: The Holy Spirit and Rightly
Dividing the Word of Truth pg. 77
No. 20 What About the Sign Gifts? pg. 82
˜ God wants His children to personally know the wonderful Spirit-filled life.
˜ But life isn't always wonderful. . . even life for the Spirit-filled Christian is not always wonderful. . . it wasn't for Paul, for an example.
˜ Most of the saved would say their Christian life is a struggle. . . you could call it carnal, or fleshly. . . a life of ongoing struggle and defeat!
˜ For many Christians something is missing. We just hope things will get better.
˜ For many of us the Christian life is a series of efforts. . . as we try harder. . . we have good intentions, but poor follow-through.
˜ A charismatic congregation once advertised,"We don't teach doctrine, but we teach character!" This may even sound good, but character, maturity, or spirituality comes from the foundation of doctrine. Is your life simply a process of doing the best that you can?
˜ Few doctrines are more life related. The study of the Holy Spirit and the Christian is full of personal application for our daily lives.
˜ We must consider questions like:
1. How do these truths relate to me personally?
2. How should I respond to these truths?
3. How should I apply the truths I will learn to my family, work, church, and daily life?
4. How can the understanding of the Person and work of the Holy Spirit help
me in my service, soul winning, relationships, and in the nitty-gritty of l life?
-- Study, Number ONE --
Reality of this Blessed Person. . . the Holy Spirit!
or, Who Is The Holy Spirit?
1. What a remarkable privilege the disciples (apostles) had in walking with
the Lord Jesus for three and a half years.
2. During that time they saw Him perform many remarkable works.
3. It was extremely significant that Christ was their personal teacher and advisor during those years.
4. Can we imagine what this training must have been like? (Luke 24:25-34)
I. THE PROBLEM THE DISCIPLES FACED:
A. Christ often told them He was about to leave them.
1. He talked about His death -- as the death of a corn of wheat.
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone, but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.
(Jo. 12:23-25, 32-33)
2. He talked about his death -- as going where they could not go now!
"Simon Peter said, unto him, Lord, whither goest thou? Jesus answered him, Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now. . . " (Jh 13:36-38)
B. This brought fear, dismay, sorrow, and bewilderment to the group.
1. Jesus sought to comfort them in John 14:1-3. (Cf II Cor. 1:3-4)
2. He promised, He would not leave them comfortless! (Jo. 14:18)
3. Christ bequeathed many things unto His own! (All in John's gospel.)
a. He gave the promise of a comforter. (7:37-39; 14:16, 26)
b. He gave the promise of a prepared home. (14:1-3)
c. He gave the promise of the power of His Name in prayer. (14:13-14)
d. He gave the promise of His peace. (14:27)
e. He gave the promise of His sustaining life within us. (15:1-8)
f. He gave the promise of continual love. (15:9)
g. He gave the promise of His friendship. (15:13-16)
h. He gave the promise of His joy. (15:11)
C. They could not grasp the fact of Christ's death, or resurrection and glorification. (Mark 16:9-14; Luke 24:25-27, 32, 41-47; Heb. 3:12; 4:6)
D. They needed the power of the Holy Spirit in their lives! (Lk 24:49;
Acts 1:4-8 It is not something we grow into. Jh 3:30; Gal. 2:20; Phil. 4:13)
1. If we don't need help, then why send a Helper?
2. The quality of life Jesus expects from His followers is unattainable
apart from outside intervention.
3. The Christian life is not simply difficult . . .without Him it is impossible!
a. It is not something that gets easier with time;
b. it is not something you grow into;
c. it's impossible in ourselves. You can't live it! I can't live it.
d. God doesn't expect us to live it. He knows that it is impossible.
e. This is a liberating truth. (We are liberated from fleshly self effort of
just trying. . . and from the hollow life of ongoing failure!)
The problem is we try to live the Christian life without the control
of the Person who gives the power.
E. The disciples had great advantage!
If any group should have been able to live consistent Christian
lives, it was them.
1. They were trained by the Master.
2. They saw the lame walk, the blind see, and the dead raised to life.
3. They performed miracles themselves, yet they were told to wait, to
tarry for power from the Holy Spirit. (Lk 24:49)
If the Christian life is simply a matter of doing our best,
there was no need for God to send the Holy Spirit to help us!
1. There may be a great chasm between what we sing on Sunday and what we actually do Monday through Saturday.
2. Many Christians have a different theology for life on week-days.
3. For many of the saved, life is a long string of joys and failures with the promise of heaven in the end. (But mainly it is a string of failures.)
God is looking for imperfect men and women who have learned to walk in moment-by-moment dependence on the Holy Spirit.
II. THE PROMISE GIVEN TO THE DISCIPLES:
A. The promise about the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, was often given.
(Consider John 14:16-17, 26; 15:26; 16:7-15; 7:37-39)
1. It was imperative that Christ Jesus left them!
a. Jo. 16:7 "Nevertheless I tell you the truth, It is expedient for you that
I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you:
but if I depart, I will send him unto you."
2. Christ spoke of One who would be especially sent!
b. Jo 14:16 "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever."
c. Jh. 15:26 "But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto
you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from
the Father, he shall testify of me."
B. All of these statements have rich meaning!
1. "Another comforter" would come! The word, "another," carried a rich
meaning to their hearts.
2. In the original language, the Greek has two words which are translated
"other" or "another."
a. One word means, "one of the same kind," and the other means
"one of another kind."
b. He was saying He was going to send the disciples "another comforter
of the same kind," a comforter like Himself.
c. This Comforter would not stay just three and half years. He would
be with God's people forever.
d. He would be with them and never, never leave them.
e. Comforter -- "one alongside to help," is the literal meaning of the
word. He comes alongside to help, to assist, to bring comfort and
strength where it is needed in our lives.
C. The Lord Jesus described this other Comforter.
1. As the -- "Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it
seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth
with you and shall be in you." (Jo. 14:17)
2. That is why Christ said, "I will not leave you comfortless, (I will not
leave you orphans), I will come unto you." (Jo 14:18)
a. Here is a promise of His return, but how?
b. He is speaking of one who would come and take His place.
3. He is also the "advocate," which is another translation of the word,
comforter. As the advocate. . .
a. He is the One who is in charge of a case, to plead a cause. (Jh. 16:7-10)
b. Yet, not merely an advocate or attorney--
˜ but One who identifies himself totally with all our interests,
˜ and who completely undertakes in our cause whatever
that godly cause might be.
c. He is involved right now, engaged now to see us through all of
the difficulties whatever these difficulties might be.
d. The Holy Spirit is the Personal Agent who transacts all spiritual
business for us,
˜ in our behalf, for our need,
˜ and the One who carries out the Father's interests within us.
˜ The Bible teaches that God the Father is a Person separate and apart from the Son and from the Holy Spirit.
˜ The Lord Jesus Christ is a Person separate from the Father and from the Holy Spirit and
˜ the Holy Spirit is a Person separate in His identity from the Father and the Son.
˜ Thus we have three Persons and yet all three Persons are in the Godhead. All three are equally God.
1. How real is the Holy Spirit to you?
2. Are you living a lifestyle that is empowered and directed by the Holy Spirit?
3. Do you find yourself primarily going through the motions of the Christian
life with much frustration, direction less, unmotivated, and discouraged?
4. Do you expect the Christian life to be better. . . well, "after I get married,
or when I get older, or when I get this or that finished, etc." Is it an ongoing
illusion that someday for some reason it will be better?
5. The promise of a helper presupposes that we need help.
6. Do you have the idea that the Christian life is. . . doing the best I can, and
God understands my constant failure. . . I am expected to fail!
7. What can you attribute to the power of the Holy Spirit in your life today?
Study, Number TWO
The Holy Spirit. . . Do You Know Him?
Do You Recognize Your Need?
We are living in a day when the Holy Spirit is much talked about but little understood. Many excesses, false doctrine, and wrong ideas abound!
˜ For many professing Christians the ministry of the Holy Spirit is more experiential than factual. For the emphasis is upon experience and emotions.
˜ Many are more interested in some emotional experience or feelings they may receive from the Holy Spirit than what the Bible actually teaches concerning the Holy Spirit, His Person, work and ministry to us.
˜ Spirituality is available for every saved person. We are saved on the basis of our relationship to Christ , and we become a spiritual Christian (rather than carnal) on the basis of our relationship to the Holy Spirit. (Gal. 5:16-17,24; Rom. 8:9- 16; I Cor. 2:9-14)
˜ Too many Christians live on a carnal plane; they have not allowed the Person and work of the Holy Spirit to become a personal truth that effects their life.
˜ Many of us are powerless, fruitless, barren, and ineffective in our daily life.
Why is this so? We have not appropriated the ministry of the Holy Spirit
I. THE PROVISION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT . . . IN OUR BEHALF!
A. The Holy Spirit is a Person!
Some people believe that the Holy Spirit is merely an extension or influence from God, and that He has no distinct, personal existence. The word Spirit may seem to be impersonal to many, like a force or energy, not a person.
1. He has the attributes of a person. Three prominent things are included
in the concept of personality -- intellect, emotion, and will.
a. We read of "the mind of the Spirit," (Rom. 8:27)
b. We are not to "grieve the Spirit." (Eph. 4:30) He is not an unfeeling
power, remote from emotions we humans experience and feel.
c. We understand He gives gifts, making decisions about those gifts
given, and dispensing them "as he will." (I Cor. 12:11)
2. He works as a person.
a. Teaching us to pray, leading us in our praying. (Rom. 8:26) Prayer
involves knowledge, orderly thought processes, and purpose.
b. He is the teacher who leads us into all truth. (Jh 14:26) Teaching
requires knowledge, logic, and the ability to communicate
intelligently. The Holy Spirit is all of that to us.
c. The Holy Spirit teaches the things of Christ. (Jh. 16:12-15)
d. Christ said the Holy Spirit will take the things of Christ and make them ours.
3. He ministers as a person, for
a. He makes the Lord Jesus an ever present reality to us.
b. Christ promised that the Holy Spirit's presence, as the Comforter,
would restore to them the presence of Christ.
4. He possesses the titles of a person -- many names-- pronouns "he, him"
B. The Holy Spirit is a Divine Person. (Rom. 1:4; I Jo 2:20; Acts 13:1-4)
.. as a Divine Person .....
1. He is omnipresent -- dwelling in us! (Ps. 139:7; I Cor. 6:19-20)
2. He is omnipotent -- guiding, filling us! (Acts 1:8; Job. 33:4)
3. He is a Person of ultimate royalty, for He is God.
a. But He is not some remote deity, His ministry is to us. (I Cor. 6:11)
b. The Heavenly Father comes real in a daily, and personal sense.
4. He is the Spirit of Glory, the Spirit of grace, our blessed
Comforter! (Heb. 10:29; I Pet. 4:14)
II. SOME PURPOSES OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. . . IN OUR BEHALF!
˜He desires to be our fullness. In the Divine plan, the gift of the Holy Spirit has as much purpose as the gift of the Son for salvation.
˜ Through the Son of God the sinner has life, has salvation, and through the person of the Holy Spirit the saved are to know abundant life, or the fullness of the spiritual life.
˜ Through salvation by Christ's death, burial and resurrection the sinner left the realm of the natural to enter into the supernatural. By the Holy Spirit's
ministry the saved person is led on into the fullness of the Christian life.
˜ The Holy Spirit dwells in us for the purpose of leading us into the fullness of God for our lives.
A. He desires to be "our fullness." (Eph. 1:23; 3:16-19; Jh. 7:37-39)
1. He reveals in the Word the fullness we are to have in Christ;
2. Then He creates in us the desire for that fullness, and
3. Then He acts as the channel for the transmission of fullness from God unto us.
B. He desires we understand this is our "birthright."
1. It is ours by virtue of being born again.
2. It is the right of every believer to know the blessing of the Spirit's
overflowing in us and through us. (Jh 7:37-39)
C. He desires to be the One who "controls our daily lives." (Eph. 5:18)
1. Here is a command to be obeyed, not an option, but an obligation.
2. The refusal of Christ is the greatest sin of the unsaved, and the
refusal of the Spirit's control is the greatest sin of the saved.
3. The early church recognized a Spirit filled person (Acts 6:1-6)
4. His work is the "reproducing of Christ's life in us." (Gal. 5:22-23)
5. His work is the "reenactment of Christ's supernatural power" in us
and through us. (Eph. 5:18; 3:16-20)
6. His work is to make real the "abiding presence of Christ in the life."
D. He desires to fulfill in us all the ministries of His Person!
1. He came to be Spirit of Truth! (John 14:17;
a. To lead us into all truth,
b. to remove all the is false, deceitful, hypocritical, grieving to
God. (Eph. 4:30)
2. He came to be the Spirit of Faith! (II Cor. 4:13)
a. So that all unbelief, distrust, worry, anxiety, unrest,
barrenness, etc., could be removed.
b. So we would believe God utterly, trusting Him for
great things. (Heb. 11:6)
3. He came to be the Spirit of Holiness! (Rom. 1:4)
a. As God, the Holy Spirit, He hates every thing unclean, impure, the
filthy, the degraded, the defiling.
b. He would take away -- out of our lives -- anything unclean, defiling, degrading -- that which grieves and quenches God's work in us.
c. He would take away that which would be the harboring of the impure -- such as pictures, books, TV viewing, etc., that is evil.
4. He came to be the Spirit of Life -- (Rom. 8:3)
a. So indifference, lukewarmness, dullness, deadness might not
b. How alive are you? How fervent? (Rom. 12:11) What about
fervency in prayer, in witnessing, toward the Word of God?
5. He came to be the Comforter! - - (John 14:16)
a. The One who indwells -- enabling us to grow up in all things.
b. To bring about conformity to Christ, the Son, unto His image,
to strengthen us so that we do not go into sin. (Rom 8:1-16)
6. He came to be the Spirit of Grace -- (Heb. 10:29)
a. Here is a touching designation of the Holy Spirit. Between the
sinner and awful judgment stands the Spirit of Grace.
b. He is the One who pleads with sinners (Jh 16:-7-10) to come to
c. He is the One who warns of Hell and points to Calvary, who unveils
God's provision for sin in the merits of Christ's death.
7. He came to be the Spirit of Glory -- (I Pet. 4:14)
a. Christians have suffered much. This world is full of suffering
saints. The Holy Spirit as the Spirit of glory lifts up the believer.
b. He gives grace... strength... glory in the midst of suffering and trial.
c. When you are despairing, He will give you glory, victory, and the
blessing of God's sweet presence in the midst of trials.
1. Do you make much of the Holy Spirit's Person and work for your life?
2. How much of these truths are a reality to you?
3. To what degree do you find failure, frustration, and inability a part of your
4. Do you see it is because you do not appropriate the Spirit's work in
you and for you?
5. Christ said, "Ye know Him for He dwelleth with you and shall be in you!" Can
you say that you know the Holy Spirit?
6. Do you know Jesus as Savior? So do you know the Holy Spirit also?
The extent to which the Holy Spirit is real to us and vital to our Christian
life to that extent are we fruitful in service, victorious
in daily life, and know and
live out the fullness of God on a daily basis!
Study, Number THREE
The Amazing Relationship of the Lord Jesus . . . and the Holy Spirit!
˜The Holy Spirit's place in the life of Christ is nothing short of amazing! From Christ's birth to the resurrection, the Holy Spirit has a fantastic part in the life and ministry of Christ.
˜ We have a tremendous picture before us -- of Christ and the Holy Spirit -- a picture and example for the believer's relationship to the Holy Spirit.
˜ We step into the pages of Holy Scripture and consider the work of the Holy Spirit in the life and ministry of the Jesus Christ. (See Acts 10:39; I Pet 2:21.)
˜ The Holy Spirit and Christ were not strangers -- but always are, always will be -- one with and in the Godhead -- in eternity past. What a blessed mystery!
˜ Since the Holy Spirit had such a close, essential relationship to Christ -- how foolish and presumptuous for us to think that we can live one moment without the Holy Spirit's power and wisdom. We must "walk in the Spirit! Gal. 5:16
˜ There is a mystery connected with the work of the Holy Spirit and only by faith
can we understand.
-- We cannot explain the Holy Spirit as the Divine Agent of conception in the Virgin birth....
-- nor can we explain the Holy Spirit's working as convicting, redeeming agent in the new birth. But how precious, how real are both events! (Jh 3:1-9)
I. CHRIST WAS BEGOTTEN BY THE HOLY SPIRIT!(Lk 1:35)
A. He was born of the Spirit -- fulfillment of the words of the prophesy of
1. The conception of Christ is vitally attributed to the work of the Holy Spirit.... a virgin birth... by the Spirit!
2. This only could make possible the divine immaculate conception... Christ would not inherit the sin nature... passed down from generation to generation.
3. This should settled forever, once and for all, that Christ had no human
father. . . "The Holy Ghost (Spirit) shall come upon thee..." Lk 1:35
B. The Quality of life is also spoken of. . .
1. "the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee...." (Lk 1:35)
2. There is absolute power on the part of the Holy Spirit....
3. This is a mystery beyond our comprehension.... to be received by faith.
C. Believers are also born of the Spirit! (Jh 1:11-13; 3:3-7; Tit 3:5;
I Pet. 1:23)
1. Here is the promise of supernatural birth... born of the Spirit.
2. You cannot fully explain it (nor can you or I explain the wind, (Jh 3:3-11)
whither it cometh.. or whither it goeth)... but how majestically true.
3. It is the sovereign work of God's infinite grace that reaches down to man's
extremity in sin and brings about ... through the shed blood of Christ,
the New birth that makes one a new creature in Christ. (Tit 3:5)
II. CHRIST WAS ANOINTED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT:(Lk 4:17-19; Acts 10:38)
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon ME... he had anointed ME... he hath sent ME."
(Lk 4:18 .... as related to Isa 61.)
A. Jesus was anointed by the Holy Spirit -- (Isa. 61: 1-7)
1. To "preach the gospel to the poor...
2. to heal the brokenhearted.....
3. to preach the acceptable year of the Lord." (Lk 4:17-20)
B. The priests... kings of the Old Testament were the recipients of an
unction... an anointing of oil. (Lev. 8:12; I Sam 16:12-13)
1. These were types, pictures of Christ who would be anointed... not with
oil... but with the Holy Spirit.
Isa 11:1-2 "And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse. . . the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom, and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord."
Also we read in Isa. 42:1... "Behold my servant... mine elect, in whom my soul delights; I have put my spirit upon him."
C. Believers are also anointed with the Spirit:
1. In I John 2:27 we read, "The anointing which ye have received of
2. This parallels the anointing of the Son of God with the Holy Spirit
for a great and glorious ministry. "When Jesus was baptized he was
anointed with the Holy Spirit... the Holy Spirit came upon Him.
3. Believers today need an anointing of the Holy Spirit for every phase of
life's work. (Cf Matt. 3:17)
III. CHRIST WAS INDWELT BY THE HOLY SPIRIT:(Jh 1:32-33; 3:34)
A. At the baptism of Christ, it is written that the Spirit descended and
remained upon Him. (Jh 1:33)
1. He had the Spirit without limitation... without measure -- (Jh 3:34)
"God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him."
2. Others had the Spirit of God... by measure prior to this time.
a. They knew but fragments of the truth of God, the power of God...
b. To them the Spirit came and then went away. Their gifts were
limited... but to Christ every gift of the Spirit was given.
c. The Spirit abode upon Christ (Jh 1:32)
d. Christ was endowed with every divine gift..."For in Him dwelleth
all the fullness of Godhead bodily." (Col. 2:9)
B. We are also indwelt by the Spirit -- (I Cor. 6:19,20; I Cor. 3:15)
1. Written to a needy church, a carnal church, a divided church... but
His indwelling has nothing to do with our perfection or lack of it.
2. He comes to us.... to bring spiritual power resulting in a life of holiness
and sweet fellowship with God and with one another.
IV. CHRIST WAS GUIDED BY THE SPIRIT:(Jh 8:29)
A careful study of the life of Christ indicates that Jesus was constantly guided by the Holy Spirit. He gave such complete obedience that he was able to say: "He that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him." (Jh 8:29)
Here are three beautiful nuggets of truth often overlooked.
A. Christ was filled with the Spirit. (Luke 4:1)
1. "and Jesus being full of the Holy Spirit..."
## the masses of humanity today are well versed and even full of many subjects.... such as current events, literature, sport trivial, etc.
2. But how many of God's people are full of the Spirit as Christ was?
B. Christ was led by the Spirit: (Luke 4:1)
1. "Jesus... was led by the Spirit into the wilderness.
2. Two very practical gleanings of truth come from this....
a. We ought to be led daily by the Holy Spirit in every detail of the
day; (Eph. 5:17; 6:6; Col. 4:12; Psa 37:23; Rom. 8:14)
b. Furthermore we need to be ready for the wilderness experiences
the dry, barren, places... the difficulties, the testings, etc.
˜ We need God's strength -- protection, for all the powers of Satan
are arrayed in diabolical, cunning schemes, bent on the destruction
of the believers' testimony. Mandatory that we are strong.....
˜ Satan would endeavor to keep us from spiritual joy and effective
˜ Jesus was ready for Satan's attacks... for He being full of the Holy
Spirit was led by the Spirit... to a testing time.
˜ Christ hungered; was weak, Satan knew; he made three subtle
attempts to discredit the Lord -- etc.
C. Christ triumphed in the Power of the Holy Spirit... Lk 4:14
1. "And Jesus returned in the power of Spirit into Galilee...."
2. He was led by the Spirit into the wilderness for this testing, and
returned (not defeated) glorious in power.
a. What a picture of triumph and victory.
b. Our goings and returning ought to be characterized by the power
of the Holy Spirit. ( I Jh. 4:4; Rom. 8:37; James 4:17)
c. Rom. 8:4; Jh 16:13; Gal. 5:16; 18; Eph. 5:18
V. CHRIST WAS EMPOWERED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT:(Acts 10:38; Lk. 4:18)
A. Christ declared the source of His power --
1. the result of the fullness of the Spirit is that rivers of living water flowed
out from His life, (Jh 7:39)
2. In this manner Christ started -- sustained and solemnly completed his
earthly ministry -- "with the Holy Ghost and with power... doing good...
3. He stated that He cast out demons -- by the Spirit of God. (Matt. 12:28)
4. And it was through the Holy Spirit that He gave His commands
to the disciples. "He through the Holy Ghost had given commandments
unto the apostles whom he had chosen." (Acts 1:2)
5. OH, THINK.... All of His teachings, His works and His miracles were attributed directly to the Holy Spirit... Luke 4:18
B. We also must serve in the Power of the Holy Spirit:
(Gal. 5:16-17; 5:22-23; Jh 15:1-8; I Cor. 2:4; Eph. 3:16
VI. CHRIST OFFERED HIMSELF TO GOD THROUGH THE SPIRIT:(Heb. 9:14)
A. When Christ voluntarily offered Himself for our atonement, our salvation. . . He did so through the eternal Spirit.
B. We too must present ourselves... Rom. 12:1; our living bodies presented,
our transformation, our confirmation of His will.... 12:2
VII. CHRIST WAS QUICKENED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT:(I Pet. 3:18)
A. The quickening or resurrection was accomplished through the Holy
Spirit. . . the Holy Spirit is credited with this " along with the Father.
B. By the power of the Holy Spirit... the disciples were transformed:
1. as cowards, they became bold (Acts. 2:14, 23, 32)
2. as doubters, they were convinced -- (Jh 20:24-29)
3. their discouragement was changed to assurance -- (Lk 24: 17, 21, 31-35)
4. rejecters became converted through their ministry. -- (Acts )
C. By the Power of the Holy Spirit -- we will also be raised from the dead:
Study, Number FOUR
Is the Holy Spirit... to be Recognized
Important portions of Scripture:
Acts 9:31; 13:52; Rom. 14:17-18; Eph. 5:9-10; Gal. 5:22-23; Rom. 15:30;
Rev. 2:17, 29; 3:1, 13, 22
Scriptures that relate: Rev. 2:7, 2:11; I Cor. 6:19-20; II Thess. 3:5; I Thess. 1:5-6
˜ The Holy Spirit is called "Lord," quite frequently throughout the Word of God.
˜ Paul refers to Him as "Lord" a number of times in the Epistles.
˜ We are urged to treat the Holy Spirit as one of the mighty and wonderful persons of the Triune God.
˜ We must treat Him as a Royal Person... we must make Him Lord in our lives.
˜ We are to go to Him personally and directly as the One who is here in place of the Lord Jesus.
˜ We should treat Him as we would treat Christ were He here on the earth.
˜ We must learn to feel at home in His presence.
I. THE HOLY SPIRIT ACTS ..... AS LORD:
A. We are told that Israel must "turn to the Lord." (II Cor. 3:16-18)
1. The next verse explains that the Lord is the Spirit.
2. Paul gave honor to the exalted place of authority which belongs to the
B. The One who directs the hearts is the Spirit. (II Thess. 3:5) Here He directs
us to the other two persons of the Godhead.
C. The Holy Spirit is called the "Lord of the Harvest."
1. Compare Matt. 9:38 -- Lk 10:2;
2. With Isa. 6:6-8, 10; and Acts 28:25
D. The Spirit as Lord called Paul and Barnabas into service. (Acts 13:2-4)
1. The Spirit Himself did the calling, the sanctifying, the sending.
2. We do not read that God "sent them by His Spirit"... as if the Holy Spirit
is the Father's chore boy to do certain things.
3. The Holy Spirit has charge of the mission fields of the world.
a. He directs the workers to the fields of labor,
b. He directs the workers to the work,
c. He brings the servant of God in touch with the seeking soul.
E. Because He is Lord, Ananias and Sapphira was stricken with death.
F. Because He was made Lord of his life, Paul was mightily used of
God. . . (Acts 9:15-20, 29, 31)
II. THE HOLY SPIRIT . . . IS TO BE TRUSTED AS LORD:
It is one of Satan's clever devices to hide this blessed Spirit in a mist of
superstition and a fog of misconception in order that we may not trust Him to do anything in our lives. . . just as Satan seeks to deceive the unsaved of their need of Jesus Christ as Savior from sin.
For this reason, many Christians lives are barren and their service fruitless. Maybe some don't live for Christ... we say they are unsaved... maybe unyielded!
(Acts 6, 8, 9, 10)
A. The disciples learned to trust the Spirit. (Acts 15:28)
B. Paul trusted the Spirit for a life of goodness and godliness. (Rom. 8:2-5;
Eph. 5:9-10; Gal. 5:16)
C. Peter trusted the ministry of the Spirit. (Acts 10:19; 11:12-16)
D. Peter relates that the early ministers of the Word depended upon
the Spirit. (I Pet. 1:12)
E. Paul trusted the Holy Spirit to appoint the elders. (Acts 20:28)
F. The Holy Spirit was trusted in the giving of gifts. (I Cor. 12:4-6, 11)
G. The Holy Spirit is to be trusted for knowledge, wisdom, discernment,
(I Cor. 2:9-12)
Each person of the Trinity has a work to do, and we must treat each accordingly. The Father did not die for sinners; that was the work of the Son. The Son did not come to teach the Scriptures throughout these centuries, or to empower His willing children for service, or to direct or lead them... that is the work of the Spirit.
We need to intelligently understand the work of the Spirit and learn to trust Him. We must learn to recognize the ministries of the Father and the Son and to also trust the Holy Spirit in His work in our behalf.
III. THE HOLY SPIRIT... MUST BE YIELDED TO... AS LORD:
The Holy Spirit desires to be Lord of our lives. The very command to be filled with the Spirit means "to make Him controller. . . of our very lives." (Eph. 5:18)
A. Yielded to as teacher -- (Rev. 2:7, 11; Jh 14:26 Jh 15:26-27; 16:13-15)
1. It is the Spirit who instructs the people of God (Cf Jh 14:26)
2. While Christ was on earth, He taught the people concerning the will of
of God; He explained the Scriptures.
3. After ascending to heaven, He committed that ministry to the Spirit.
4. As the Son exalted the Father and the Spirit while here on earth, so
now the Spirit exalts the Father and the Son, (Jh 16:13-15.)
B. Yielded to as "Lord of our Bodies" -- (Rom. 6:13; 12:1-2; I Cor. 3:16)
1. He is free to do His work in us and through us (as He did in Christ)
when we yield our bodies to Him. (Eph. 5:18; Acts 1:8; Heb. 10:5-7)
2. It is his desire to fill our lives with God's message.... God's interests.....
God's love.... God's thoughts..... God's will.....
3. This is the secret of the Victorious life.
C. Yielded to as the "Indwelling One!" (I Cor. 6:19-20; 12:13; Eph. 5:18)
1. It is not for us to ask Him to help us... but for us to allow Him
to control us.
2. We are to be His temples, His helpers, to thus allow Him
to take charge of our lives.
3. Our bodies are to be His occupancy! If we expect Him to use us... then we must yield to His control.
˜ There is no jealousy in the Godhead.
˜ We need to understand that each exalts the work and the position of the other.
˜ The Father was not jealous over the attention given the Son while
He was on the earth.
˜ The Son and Father are not jealous over the place and position you
give to the Spirit in His ministry among the saved.
˜ The work of the Spirit is to exalt the Son, (Jh 16:13-15) and to bring
glory to the Father and the Son.
˜ It is the work of the Holy Spirit to unfolded the Scriptures -- to give us discernment, wisdom, enlightenment, understanding of the Word of God.
˜ The more freedom He has in our lives, the more He can exalt Christ.
Study, Number FIVE
The Fruits of the Wonderful
˜ In an airplane trip and experience in Wyoming, where it looked as though we would crash for sure -- we were all totally immersed with our own thoughts that had to do with safety, filled with emotion, preeminent in our lives... controlled by whatever filled our hearts in those anxious moments.
˜ In a similar way -- we are to allow the Holy Spirit to have complete control over our hearts and minds... to be filled with Him is to allow His influence to invade every crack, and crevice of our being -- our thoughts, our motives, our relationships and our dreams... yes, every aspect of our being.
Imagine that you have a cup in your hand, water serves as the content... and you fill it. You and I, who are saved, are that cup, and the filler is the Holy Spirit.
˜ We are to be filled by the Spirit, dominated, controlled by.. . . . Eph. 5:18
˜ To be drunk is to be under the control of alcohol, to surrender one's body, mind, and spirit to its influence.
˜ To be filled with the Spirit is to voluntarily put oneself under the influence of the Holy Spirit.
˜ God's plan of salvation includes a provision for saving you from yourself.
The key player in this is the Holy Spirit -- the Holy Spirit is God's answer to the problem of righteous living -- He is the abiding presence of Christ's life in you. He endows us with strength, power, ability to live for Christ.
˜ It isn't God's will that you and I live lives characterized by defeat -- It isn't His will for us to be defeated in our thought lives, in our emotions, in our attitudes ... in lack of self-control -- or in our faith.
We said last week, this necessitates... total dependency and total surrender.
(See Rom. 6:1-14; 8:9-17; Gal. 5:16-17, 22-24; 5:5)
Now, if the Holy Spirit controls us... what will take place in our lives??
I.CHRIST'S LIFE WILL BE LIVED THROUGH US! (Gal. 2:20; Rom. 8:9-10, Col. 3:4; Rom. 8:28-29; Col. 1:27b, 2:3, 2:6-7)
A. Christ said,... "without Me ye can do nothing.... we are to be
conformed to the image of Christ.
1. What Christ has called us to do -- be Christ-like, mature, conformed to
the His image! (Rom. 8:28,29), this is impossible for us to do!
2. For apart from Me, ye can do NOTHING.. nothing.. not a little, but
nothing! We struggle because we are constantly trying to do what we feel we ought to do in our own ability. (Jh 15:5c)
B. The Spirit of Christ dwells in you -- Rom. 8:9-12
1. Jesus Christ dwells in us through the Holy Spirit. To have the Spirit is to
have the life of Christ within.
2. The Holy Spirit is for us, the presence of Christ.. the spiritual presence of Jesus Himself, We are indwelt of the Spirit of God who is the living
Essence of Jesus in us!
3. Christ lives in me... Gal. 2:20; Rom. 8:12-17:
"It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me!" How? by the Spirit!
a. It is to be no longer I who was expected to produce patience, self- control, and love in my life.
b. That is the job of the Spirit... Who will produce joy in the midst of
stress?? -- the Holy Spirit.
c. Christ's character -- who will make that mine in me? The Holy
Spirit is there to do that.
d. Abiding, not striving, nor struggling,
˜ looking off unto HIM; ˜ trusting Him, Christ, for present power; ˜ trusting Him to subdue all inward corruption;
˜ resting in the love of the Almighty Savior.
C. What did the Apostles, Disciples Sense? (Jh 14:2-3; 25, 28; Jh 15:1-8)
1. They knew by Christ's message-- something big was about to happen
-- He would die, He would depart; they did not understand it all!
2. Up until then, they had drawn their strength and security from His presence.
3. The thought of carrying on without Him must have been very
depressing, for after all, even when He was there they often failed.
4. Jesus knew their fears, their dependence upon Him -- for direction, for
perspective... so as He moved toward those final hours, He explained
the way things would work after He was gone -- Jh 15:1-11
a. He would be the source of everything;
b. His love would be theirs; c. His joy would be theirs;
d. His very life would be lived in them, through them -- by the indwelling
II. THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT WILL BE PRODUCED IN US:(Gal. 5:22-23;
Jh 15:1-8; Eph. 5:9-10)
A. How Do We Bear Fruit? He expects us to bear fruit... but in ourselves this is impossible -- in fact we can't do anything in ourselves.
1. The contrast between works and fruit is important!
a. A machine in a factory works, and turns out a product, but it could
never manufacture fruit.
b. Fruit must grow out of life, and in the case of the believer it is the
fruit of the Spirit.
c. When you think of works-- you think of effort, labors, strain, and
d. When you think of fruit -- you think of beauty, sweetness, the unfolding of life, quietness... no noise there, or effort, or toil, or strain.
e. The flesh produces dead works... but the Spirit produces living fruit.
What a contrast --
2. The New Testament speaks of several different kinds of fruit--
a. People won to Christ -- Rom.1:13
b. Holy living -- Rom. 6:22
c. Gifts brought to God -- Rom. 15:26-28
d. Good works -- Col. 1:10
e. Praise, the fruit of our lips -- Heb. 13:15
f. The fruit of the Spirit -- Gal. 5:22-23; Eph. 5:9
These have to do with character -- not the gifts of the Spirit, but
the graces of the Spirit.
3. We are the branches-- He is the vine. How does the branch bear fruit?
a. Not by incessant effort for sunshine and air;
b. not by vain struggles for those influences that will give beauty to
the blossom.. and life to the leaf;
c. not by trying... but the branch simply abides in the vine, silently,
there is undisturbed union... blossoms and fruit are spontaneous.
4. How then do we bear fruit?
Is it --
a. by efforts and struggling to obtain that which is freely given?
b. By straining to produce fruit? trying harder?
Branches were not designed to produce fruit-- but to have fruit produced
through them -- to bear fruit -- not to produce it!
c. Will we have fruit by looking at ourselves -- our abilities -- our efforts?
d. Only by Christ living His life through us... only by resting in Him,
(Gal. 2:20) a complete surrender of the whole being to Him; a
constant looking to Him for grace, trusting the Holy Spirit to do this!
e. The vine does the work -- the fruit is a product of the sap that runs from the vine into the branch.
The Holy Spirit is willing and able to produce fruit in me... the
very fruit I have tried to produce on my own!
B. Christ expected them (us) to bear fruit -- more fruit, much fruit.
1. Not produce it -- but bear it. (Jh 15:1-8; Matt. 12:33-35)
a. By their fruits ye shall know them; our Christian life is known
by its fruit.
b. In a practical way -- we won't have the marriage we ought to have
without HIS fruit -- characterized by love, joy, peace.
We won't have self-control -- necessary to consistently overcome
temptation -- without His power.
c. Christ is our LIFE -- When the Holy Spirit took up residency in us --
He brings with Him an inexhaustible source of life.
d. He is life -- Jh 4:14; II Pet. 1:4; Jh 7:37-39
2. The Life of Christ in YOU has the potential to produce all kinds of change.
a. But you say, I tried to change, I can't... You are not equipped to
produce change -- only to bear the change. He will do it in YOU!
b. Your new life produces change -- that new nature given of you --
trust the Holy Spirit to use the New Nature -- You are simply the
vehicle through whom change is produced. -- Eph. 4:22, II Pet. 1:3-4
c. the vine-producing life is expressed in and through you.
Study, Number Six
Keeping In Step With the Holy Spirit
˜ The Spirit-filled life is a life of walking and working in harmony with the Holy Spirit. (Gal. 3:1-6) (The Holy Spirit -- quickens, enlightens, convicts, comforts, draws, indwells, teaches, cleanses, leads, assures, seals, assists, intercedes, transforms, perseveres, confirms, and endows.)
˜ It is not a life of struggling alone to please a distant King. There are no solo chores.
˜ There are no marching orders... the Spirit-filled life is a relationship wherein two work as one.
˜ The Word of God puts great emphasis upon "walking in the Spirit. . . keeping in touch with the Spirit. . . allowing Him to lead our lives."
I. WALKING IN THE SPIRIT:Gal. 5:16-17; 24;
˜ We receive all of the Spirit at the time of our salvation. We don't receive Him piece by piece or bit by bit, or little by little.
˜ We have all of Him we can have, the problem is does He have all of us... does He have control of our beings.
˜ So, now that He is in us -- what can we expect? What should be the norm?
A. The Biblical Emphasis is upon our walk with the Spirit -- Gal. 5:16, 24
1. There is the indwelling that took place at our salvation -- now there is
the daily influence that must be a daily experience.
2. "Be ye -- being filled! or be ye being controlled by the Spirit -- and this
refers to a walk... a daily relationship.
3. To walk in the Spirit -- Gal. 5:15-18 -- is to be led by the Spirit.
a. We are to take our cues from Him, He is a personal guide, a moral compass... someone to show us the way -- "I will not leave you
comfortless, (orphans)" Jesus said.
b. Not like a police officer pointing the way -- not like someone in a control tower telling jets where to land -- not someone telling you the way -- but someone going the way with you.
c. There is a big difference between being led and being directed. The Holy Spirit is our leader, our guide, He is always there, and desires to fulfill the goals the Heaven Father desires.
d. He is tuned into our emotional state and our surroundings -- He is always sensitive to both -- He leads at a perfect pace -- He always knows our weaknesses -- and strengths, and takes them into consideration.
4. Being led by someone assumes a continuing relationship; it implies fellowship. It brings to mind cooperation, sensitivity, and common goals.
5. When someone is following another, there must be trust, even to the point of dependency.... all of this describe the believer's relationship with the Holy Spirit as the Christian allows Him to be guide.
To walk in the Spirit is to live with moment by moment dependency on and sensitivity to the initial promptings of the Holy Spirit.
B. The Biblical emphasis is also on Christlikeness-- Rom 8:29; Gal. 4:19;
II Cor. 3:16-19
1. The emphasis is upon righteousness -- Rom. 3:10,19-20; Rom. 10:1-3;
Rom. 3: 21-23, 25; I Cor. 5:21; He is made unto us -- I Cor. 1:30
2. A positional righteousness -- a practical righteousness -- But who makes
it possible to grow unto righteousness? The Holy Spirit.
3. Christ-like character and behavior is His desire -- His aim and goal in our
lives. Gal. 5:22-23
4. His goal is to lead us down the path of righteousness -- Gal. 5:16.
a. So we do not walk in the flesh,
b. Our purpose of walking in the Spirit is not to just find the will of God --
but to so live in dependency on the Spirit (sensitivity to promptings
of) that we say no to the pull of the flesh -- it's lusts, desires,
c. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Gal. 5:24
d. Walk "in line with... in agreement with... the Spirit.
e. Let us "keep in step with the Spirit..."
f. Spirit filled life is not just a bunch of don'ts but a large list of DO's.
II.THE WORD IS CLEAR AS TO HOW WE ARE TO WALK IN THE SPIRIT:
1. This not an automatic thing.
2. We were slaves to sin -- Rom. 6:16-17; 6:20;
3. We must realize that we are set free from sin -- otherwise we feel that
when the tug of temptation is there -- we have to give in -- inclination is to follow the fleshly desires.
4. Realize that in Christ -- we are free -- Rom. 6:11-14;
5. We must live the life of being set free -- Rom. 8:1-8
6. The battle is won or lost in what we think upon -- who controls our
thoughts -- what we think is truth -- Eph. 6:17 -- we have the sword of
the Spirit -- the Word of God -- II Cor. 10:5;
7. The Holy Spirit is equipped, committed to prompting you.. to guide you,
Our part is surrender -- yielding to, depending up, walk with.
Study, Number SEVEN
Trusting the Holy Spirit by FAITH!
(Gal. 3:1-9, vs 3, 13-14; Heb. 11:1, 6; Gal. 5:16-17, 24-25)
The Holy Spirit is a change agent! Change is what He is all about.
˜ He took a man who made his living destroying churches and changed him into the greatest church planter of all time.
˜ He took a group of uneducated fishermen and changed them into world- class evangelists and pastors.
˜ Through the years the Holy Spirit has indwelt men and women that have been saved. They came from the background of every imaginable habit, reputation, and persuasion and
˜ He changed them into people of excellence... power... dedication and fruitfulness.
˜ He will do the same for you today.
"for it is God that worketh in you, to will and to do of His good pleasure."
Phil. 2:13... How does this take place -- by the Holy Spirit... for greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world." (Acts 1:1-2, 8; I Jh 4:4)
Radical change is possible;
˜ We have everything we need to become all He wants us to become.
(II Pet. 1:3)
˜ By abiding in Him, and Him in us, we have the potential to produce a consistent harvest of fruit.... Jh 15 -- fruit, more fruit, much fruit.
˜ the disciples bore fruit. . .men who were unlearned, ignorant men... the kind of fruit that makes the most skeptical unbeliever sit up and take notice.
There is a big difference between looking at a picture and actually being there. A picture can evoke a desire within you to go to the place the picture sets forth ---- but only the place can satisfy that desire. Thus far we have endeavored to paint a picture. Make the picture a reality!
1 Much like a physical journey, our spiritual pilgrimage is undertaken first by acknowledgement... then by application.
2 In pursuit of the Spirit-filled life we begin by accepting that there is such a life;
a. that we can have that life,
b. that the Spirit who indwells us has the power and
c. desire to bring about great change in our character and perspective.
Everything we have... we received -- BY FAITH:
I. Salvation is ours totally by FAITH ALONE --
A. Most of us have no problem understanding and accepting the concept of salvation by faith; nothing I could do to save myself; so I simply trusted Christ's death on the cross as the payment for my sins. By placing my trust in that fact, or truth, I was born again ...
B. Faith is the way we entered into salvation. Is is the means by which we accept God's free gift (See Eph. 2:8-9).
C. We have been put into a family... where His righteousness has become
our righteousness -- II Cor. 5:21; I Pet. 2:24
D. God allowed entry into His family -- where only the righteous are allow!
We are IN HIM; Simply letting us into His family did nothing to reverse our inability to produce righteousness....
E. Most of us are expending a great deal of energy... trying to do right... to
be holy... to produce good fruits... etc.
II. ARE WE TO LIVE NOW BY WORKS.. HAVING BEEN SAVED BY FAITH?
A. Do you trust Him by faith?
1. For some strange reason, after entering into the wonderful relationship by faith -- we begin to conduct our Christian life by works.
2. It is as if we say... "Thank you God for saving me, now I will take it from here."
c. Is it my responsibility (yours) to produce righteousness/ or holiness?
II Cor. 5:21; Rom. 3:19-24; Rom 6:16-22... NO, He gives it to me!
B. Is it up me now to change myself, and become a better person?
How absurd! If I could produce righteousness on my own, why did Christ die for me? The truth is, on my own I can't produce one ounce of righteousness, neither before nor after salvation.
As believers, our potential for righteousness is in direct proportion to our willingness to allow the Holy Spirit to produce His fruit in us and through us.
Sometime we think it is a dedication problem... so we continue to rededicate ourselves.
III. BY FAITH, WE MUST ACCEPT the TRUTH of the SPIRIT FILLED LIFE:
A. How can I live the Christ-like life?How can I have the fruit that is needed in my life? How can I be a effective witness?
B. How does all this potential power that now indwells me interface with my behavior? What brings together my inadequacy with His adequacy? How do I get His power involved with my weakness? (II Cor. 12:9-11)
C. How did you become His Child? How did HE becomes yours?
Was it by dedication on your part, or by unceasing effort?
NO, NO... Gal. 3:3; Col. 2:6-7; Gal. 2:20
IV. IT IS ALL BY FAITH AND BY FAITH ALONE!
A. Only, then, can we act upon it.
1. only, then will we act upon it... (Rom. 12:1-2) a change of mind.
2. Freedom comes from knowing the truth (Jh 8:32), before doing
3. The Spirit-filled life is a life of faith; Faith, as opposed to hope,
always has truth as its object.
4. Faith is believing that God will do as He promised.
a. Faith is not a power.
b. It is not something we are supposed to drum up inside ourselves.
5. Faith is trusting that God will honor His promises. That is all there is
B. Consider the well known story of David and Goliath: I Sam. 17:32-47
1. David did not see Goliath merely as the enemy of Israel, He was coming
against the armies of God. Goliath was God's enemy.
2. David knew he could face Goliath by faith; the soldiers had paralyzing
fear, stress, frustration. . David was not upset, he had faith in God's power
and in what God would do.
3. David's focus was on God's provision... neither he nor the others could
defeat the enemy. . . the only difference was focus.
4. David was not upset, for it was God's battle and not his; David knew exactly what he would do.... and then he would trust God for the rest.
5. This is what faith is -- living by faith boils down to, living as if God is really faithful in keeping His Word. God will keep His Word!
C. Giving the Holy Spirit the Green light --
1. Faith is the Holy Spirit's signal to go into action in my life -- in
2. Faith is entering into the activity that I need to be involved in --
by faith -- trusting the Holy Spirit to do HIS Work.
3. When you are under pressure -- You are either a reactor or a
responder by faith, by God's grace!
4. A responder activates his faith before he activates his will.
˜ David activated his faith, before he willed to do battle.
˜ I Sam. 17:32-37; his activity flowed from his faith.
˜ When you are under pressure, tempted, tried, tested, are you
a reactor or a responder -- when you are face-to-face with the giant
of lust or jealousy -- when your emotions are controlling you --
do you give in -- give over to sin -- give up?
˜ David claimed victory before he went into battle --
˜ The Holy Spirit is there to produce a Christ-like life;
He is there is make holy living a possibility;
He is there to work in your life the fruits that ought to be there!
D. A person who walks by faith --
1. Claims victory by faith -- Rom. 8:1-4;
2. Claims fruit of character by faith -- Gal. 5:22-23
3. Claims fruit of holiness, by faith -- Rom. 6:16-22
4. Claims fruit of soul winning by faith -- Rom. 1:13
5. Claims fruit of good works -- Col. 1:10
1. Have you receive Christ as Savior by faith?
2. Are you trying to produce righteousness on your own?
3. Have you come to grips with the fact that you cannot do anything
outside the power of the Holy Spirit in your life?
4. Are you willing to allow the Holy Spirit to produce fruit through you?
5. Are you able to accept the fact that the Spirit-filled life is a life of faith --
from beginning to end?
6. Are you will to give the green light to the Holy Spirit -- to allow Him to
take charge of your life-- to give you the victory you so desperately need?
Study, Number EIGHT
Quenching the Holy Spirit
˜ Sin always separates a person from God. This is equally true of the
saved as well as the unsaved.
˜ The Scrip is clear.. we can sin against the Holy Spirit -- He is a person, not just an influence; He possesses emotions, which proves His personhood.
˜ The Holy Spirit is a gracious, tender, powerful person, deeply concerned for the welfare of God's child -- and He desires to guide, protect and strengthen us.
˜ What precisely is sin? To help us understand what sin is -- for our learning, it is described in the Greek and Hebrew as:
"missing the mark (Psa. 51:4; 32:1-5; Rom. 3:23)
"a rebellion... " (Isa. 1:2
"a passing over a prescribed line... transgression: (Dan. 9:11; Matt 15:3;
"disobedience.... to a voice... " (Rom. 5:19; Jam. 4:19)
"lawlessness... " (I Jh 3:4)
"an ignorance of what one should have known," (Heb. 9:7)
"iniquity..." (Psa. 32:1-5)
˜ Sin in it's consequences brings:
defilement, bondage, misery, guilt, paralysis, disorder, fears, despair, and death.
˜ God hates sin:
I. WE OFTEN QUENCH THE SPIRIT
I Thess. 5:19
A. This word means "to suppress, to stifle, to make an end of, or to
subdue, or to subside."
B. One translation reads... "to dampen the Spirit." as you would a fire.
There are numerous ways you can put out a fire: such as douse it with water; or cover it; or just neglect it. To burn it must have the proper attention, preparation, and care. To quench the Holy Spirit is the opposite of a normal attitude and reaction to His person (Cf Acts 18:25) "being fervent in Spirit; ( or Romans 12:11) "fervent in Spirit"). We are not to stifle, dampen, or subdue the work of the Spirit. This could well be one of the first steps toward a backslidden state.
C. To whom this was written: I Thess. 1:1, 3, 6-9
1. Having the Holy Spirit (I Cor. 6:19-20) involves tremendous responsibility.
2. God holds us accountable for what we have, what we might have,
what we are, and what we might have been.
3. It is a serious sin to quench the Holy Spirit.
II.WHAT THIS MEANS:
A. To quench the Spirit means "too say no to Him, to extinguish His voice and refuse His promptings." A great contrast to Paul... (Acts 18:25)
where we read..."being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught."
B. The very use of the word -- quench -- portrays the Holy Spirit as a fire, a burning force, a motivating Person Who seeks to direct the believer toward certain actions, goals, thoughts, and life style.
C. Every believer exerts his own will -- for good, or for bad.
D. When we say no to the will of God, we are then in a state of unwillingness and rebellion... and we quench the Holy Spirit.
E. How the Spirit is quenched! (I Thess. 5: I Cor. 10:7-14;
1. We can quench Him by rebelling against the Holy Spirit's leadership.
(compared with Peter - Acts 10, Paul, Acts 16, Philip, Acts 8)
a. His plan, program, will -- includes the field of endeavor where He wants to use us. He gives gifts -- that He might use us.
b. Many a gifted Christian has said, late in life: "I have God's second best.... for I did not do what He called me to do."
2. By being unwilling to yield our lives -- Rom. 12:1; 6:13; 14:9;
a. All activities, indulgences, habits, practices are to be in full accord
to the leadership of the Holy Spirit.
b. Knowingly suppressing His voice about what is sin -- wrong. etc.
3. By failing to submit to the Word of God -- only rule of faith and practice
is the Word of God; Here is the Supreme Court of life's decisions, actions.
4. The context of I Thess 5:11- 24 sets forth ways, in the believer's life that we may well quench the Spirit
a. We often stifle Him or quench Him in the area of praise.
˜ vs 16, we are told to rejoice evermore.
˜ To refuse or to neglect praising the Lord is a sin of which we are
˜ We tend to concentrate on the problems, the difficulties, and the disappointments of life rather than the blessings, promises and victories God gives us.
˜ We easily suppress the One who would give us the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. (Isa 61:3)
b. We are told to pray without ceasing... but so often we neglect prayer.
˜ It is the Spirit who prompts us to pray -- (Rom. 8:26-27).
˜ Sometimes His promptings can be urgent and insistent.
c. And what about obedience to the Word of God? (I Thess. 5:20)
˜ Despise not prophesyings -- the teaching, the preaching of the
Word of God -- that speaks to us; cuts, rebukes, convicts,
reproves, instructs us -- how do we respond to it?
˜ Prophets of old expressed to the people the Word of God -- to
despise is to reject the message through the messenger.
Study, Number NINE
Grieving the Holy Spirit
˜ The subject of the Holy Spirit in Scripture is far more prominent that most Christians are aware of.
˜ The truths about the Holy Spirit have a prominent place in the records of the Word of God.
˜ There are 261 passages in the New Testament in which the Holy Spirit is specifically and directly mentioned.
>> In the gospels -- 54 passages,
>> In the book of Acts -- 57 passages,
>> In Paul's epistles -- 112 passages,
>> In other portions -- 36 passages
˜ So we can readily see the importance of the truths about the Holy Spirit; His place in the Word of God. . . so what about His place in the lives of the saved? and what about the confusion we see concerning the Holy Spirit among the saved and the churches ??
˜ We know He abides in our hearts for a definite purpose. . . He is there to fulfill those 40 plus ministries, spoken of in the Word of God. . . but, especially to comfort, to teach us, to guide us and to empower us. (I Cor. 6:19-20)
˜ The Holy Spirit is the ONE who talks to us, acts, thinks, guides, breaks down, and as well as builds up... who challenges for God the Father and for the Son... who frustrates that which is against the will of the Father.
˜ We may speak to the Spirit -- He speaks to us, He is our ever-present companion... He is our comforter... in time of every need.... it is plain to see in the Word of God that many saved spoke or talked to the Spirit and the Holy Spirit spoke to them. (Acts 8, 9, 10, 13, 16)
In the midst of all of this .....
I.WE OFTEN GRIEVE THE HOLY SPIRIT: Eph. 4:25-30; Col. 3:5-10
James 4:4-6, 8-10
"And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption." Eph. 4:30
˜ The believer is indwelt by the Spirit of God. It is no accident that one of His major titles in the Scripture is that of the Holy Spirit.
˜ To grieve is to hurt the Spirit... to bring sorrow to the Comforter who works in our lives. It includes the thought of bringing sorrow to the person of the Godhead who brings all spiritual blessing to our inner lives.
A. What does grieving mean?
1. The word grieve here means "to make sad, to bring to grief, to be
sorrowful, to be in heaviness, to offend, to vex, or to sadden."
2. One who is hurt is naturally grieved when it involves a love relationship.
a. You cannot grieve a stranger, one who does not know you, nor care
for you, or have any concern for you.
b. You cannot grieve a person some distance away from you, and who
does not know what is happening in your life.
c. You can only grieve someone who loves you deeply - for you cannot
grieve an influence or some inanimate object, or some power.
d. The Holy Spirit is a tender, loving, person... pictured in the dove that
came down upon Christ at His baptism. We can and do grieve Him.
3. God's children are the objects of His affection... (Jh 15:9; Jude 20,21)
a. so whenever continue in sin -- (sin, transgression, iniquity)
b. and / or indifference reigns in our lives --
c. it brings grief to the heart of God.
4. The act of grieving takes place because of our departure from the known will of God as we persist in sin and wrong.
B. What grieves the Holy Spirit? Consider the context... note what it says!
1. We grieve Him when we disregard His presence -- He does not dwell in temples of clay, stone, brick, wood -- but in human vessels -- in living bodies -- Samson is a good example of one who disregarded the presence of the Holy Spirit in his life. (Judges 13:25; 14:6,19) (four times "Spirit of God began to move him ...") (3 times "As the Spirit of God came upon him....") Judges 16:20
2. When we disobey His Word -- II Pet. 1:21; II Tim. 3:16;
3. We grieve Him when we disregard our sin:
a. 4:25- lying; Lying includes anything and everything that has a degree of falseness in it. Within its range comes deception, hypocrisy, misrepresentation, shams, half-truths, pretense, deceit. One of the basic corruptions of heathenism is lying, it has been ingrained into them.
(Col. 3:9; we are exhorted to speak truth!
b. vs 26, 31 - anger; What a common sin anger is! smoldering resentment, inward irritation, hidden malice, bad temper can suddenly flame into violent outburst and evident exasperation. Anger, allow in the heart, is a mighty weapon in Satan's hands. It is a dangerous state of mind and becomes a wedge for more open and damaging forms of sin. (vs 27) Anger gives place to Satan, to demons, for he works through the heart which cherishes anger. It brings malice and desire for revenge.
c. vs 28- stealing, steal someone's good name, unpaid debts, deception,
d. vs 29- evil communication, Our conversation is very revealing, what one says and the manner in which he says it gives an x-ray of the heart. We can speak out of the dearth or emptiness of the heart. Corrupt communication means the unfit for use, the foul, putrid, an unclean flow from an unclean heart, Unholy speech, worthless thoughts and talk... (Eph. 4:29, 32; Matt. 12:33-34; Rom. 3:14; 10:9-10)
e. vs. 31 bitterness, wrath, malice, and evil speaking. Bitterness is the opposite of sweetness, bitterness suggests the acrid, sharp, severe, sarcastic... bitter words and actions. (Heb. 12:15; Jam 3:11-15) Clamor is the audible expression of anger, wrath, and bitterness in the heart.
f. 5:3 -- uncleanness -- unclean immoral actions, desires, thoughts, etc.
g. 5:4 -- filthiness, foolish talking, jesting Unclean stories, coarse jokes, idle empty talk, joking at the expense of decency,
When we persist in these sins there will be a major departure of the
˜ leadership, ˜ ministering, ˜ blessing and
˜ work of the Holy Spirit in the life.
II.WHAT ARE THE RESULTS OF GRIEVING THE HOLY SPIRIT?
There is be a loss of fellowship and sweet intimacy with the L.J.C.
A. One will cease bearing abundant fruit,
B. or exhibiting victory in the life.
C. A deluge of doubts, fears, worries, etc., will come upon the person.
D. The level of living can succumb to the level of the lost.
III. WHAT IS THE CURE FOR GRIEVING THE SPIRIT?
3. Cleansing --
Study, Number TEN
The Power of the Holy Spirit
Zec 4:6 Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This [is] the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, "Not by might, nor by (man's) power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts."
Gen. 32:28 "And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and has prevailed."
Ps 62:11 "God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power [belongeth] unto God."
Ps 63:2 "To see thy power and thy glory, so [as] I have seen thee in the sanctuary."
Isa. 40:29 "He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength...."
Luke 24:49 "And behold, I sent the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high."
Acts 1:8 "But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you..."
Acts 6:8 "And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people."
Eph. 1:19 "And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which He wrought in Christ."
II Tim. 1:7 "For God hath not give us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
Main Texts: Lk 24:44-53; Acts 4:23-31
˜ God's will is that we would know His power. . . His mighty working in our lives.
˜ We live in a world that desires power, but for totally different reasons.
˜ Nobody enjoys power-hungry people. For the power-hungry, everything and everybody are a means to an end. They use people to fulfilled their selfish purposes.
˜ Such people are driven by a desire to control their environment and everybody in it. They don't do well with authority, and they usually hurt people closest to them.
˜ The world is full of power-hungry people -- bosses -- parents -- workers -- business executives -- wives -- husbands -- and even children -- and I think they have their counter- part in Christiandom today.
˜ There are many today, who desire to harness the power of the Holy Spirit; often they are obsessed with the desire to have His power for selfish ends and purposes.
> Are we to tap into the power of the Holy Spirit?
> Did Jesus send the Holy Spirit to empower believers? Yes, but for the right
motive and purpose.
> In my experience I have noticed there are people who talk repeatedly about activating or tapping into the power of the Holy Spirit.
> These talk little about holiness or a godly life -- their emphasis is upon spectacular things such as healing - miracles - tongues or something conspicuously self-centered.
> To many people the Holy Spirit is an errand boy rather than Holy God.
Warning: Stay clear of any teacher, preacher, TV personality who encourages you to harness the power of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit's power cannot be harnessed. His power cannot be used to accomplish anything other than the Father's will. He is not a candy dispenser. He is not a vending machine, nor is he a genie waiting for someone to rub His lamp the right way. He is Holy God.
˜ There are people who are always looking for a way to direct or control the power of the Holy Spirit -- they are confused -- the Holy Spirit was sent to control us, not the other way around.
˜ But there is the right kind of desire -- for the right kind of power - the power of
the Holy Spirit in and through the life for God's glory and honor. (Acts 1:8)
Acts 4:23-31; Acts 6:1-7)
I. THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT WAS PROMISED:
Lk 24:44-49; Acts 1:8; Jh 7:37-39;
A. They needed power, boldness, wisdom, ability. (we likewise)
B. They lacked ability, for they were fearful.
C. Christ was going to carry on HIS work through these "unlearned and
ignorant men," who would normally have no impact on their age.
II. THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT WAS GIVEN FOR A SPECIFIC PURPOSEActs 1:8; Lk 24:49; Acts 4:31-33; Acts 5:29-30, 42 8:1; 20:20;
A. To enable them and us to be effective witnesses for Jesus Christ.
The way people speak of the Holy Spirit's power -- you would think that the purpose was to make life easier, to give me some emotional experiences, or to make me feel better about myself, or my life.
B. For many of them of whom we read in the Word of God -- life got worse when they had the power of the Holy Spirit -- they were persecuted, jailed, beaten, killed, because of their witness.
C. The Holy Spirit manifests His power in us and through us -- to make possible
a powerful effective witness of salvation. (Acts 4:31-33)
1. He desires to make us bold, to control our lives, to use us;
2. to take away fear -- that we might speak boldly for Christ,
3. He desires to accomplish one basic thing, and one thing only -- to make us powerful witnesses about salvation, that we might be Christ-like, and have a powerful influence because of righteous living.)
Consider Acts chapter two -- The Holy Spirit came -- why to bring healing?
so people could have great emotional responses and enjoy those feelings -- so they
could be slain in the Spirit -- so they could speak in an unknown tongue and enjoy some special personal fulfillment? NO! NO! (Acts 2:4-11, 17-18; 21-32)
What took place in Acts 2 -- what was Christ bring about? What was the Holy Spirit doing -- giving boldness to unlearned and ignorant men -- given direction and power to these who days before had fled, had denied, had despaired for
Christ was on the Cross, etc.
III. HIS POWER WAS NOT (is not) FOR MAN'S ENJOYMENT:
When we think of the power of the Holy Spirit -- we are prone to think about the blind being healed, the lame being made to walk, the miracles of Christ, or the Resurrection, or the Second coming, so forth -- Our minds are catapulted into the realm of the spectacular and miraculous... possibly for man's sake.... for man's selfish ends.
A. His power is not given for the performance of miracles.... but that souls
B. His power was given for the express purpose of enabling believers to become more effective witnesses.
C. Being used to see someone saved -- is as great a miracle as someone being
1. We must not allow ourselves to get caught up in pursuing the more spectacular demonstrations of the Holy Spirit's power. To do is dangerous... Jesus warned the people of His day against this very thing... they became enamored with His ability to do the unusual -- they just right out and asked Him how they could get into the action. (Jh 6:28-35)
a. They were sidetracked by the unusual -- they wanted signs!
b. Jesus refused to use His power -- God's power -- to satisfy man's
c. Jesus point them back to the real reason why He came --
Who He was -- Why He came -- How to enter into eternal life.
2. People who are claim to be doing miracles in the power of the Spirit,
but who are doing it in such a way as to draw attention to themselves,
to the miracle rather than Christ -- are deceivers....
IV. HIS POWER SHOULD BE SEEN IN OUR WITNESS:ACTS 1:8
A. The Power of the Spirit enables us to witness;
1. The first priority in service is soul-winning... being a witness,
2. What is the great commission? Why do we send missionaries? Are we to be a missionary? (Matt 28:18-20; Mk 16:15; Lk 24:44-49; Jh 20:21)
3. The mightiest weapon is prayer, and the ruling motive is love... and the power for our Witness is the working of the Holy Spirit through us.
Here is the wonderful story -- Christ paid for sin, Christ went up, (Acts 1:9-11) the Holy Spirit came down -- and the disciples went out.
Are we witnessing as we ought? Those first disciples certainly did receive power when the Holy Spirit came upon them; and they turned the world upside down. He has come come upon millions since then -- transforming their weakness into power, making them "mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds."
4. It fulfills the highest of all functions to our fellow mankind. Rom. 1:14-16
5. It brings us to obedience to the last and most sacred of all our
6. The winning of souls receives the highest of all rewards --
Dan. 12:3; I Cor. 9:19, 22
7. Indeed, we are to be witnesses... study the following:
Acts 1:4-5, 22
Acts 2:4-8, 11
Acts 2:32, 36-38
Acts 3:14-16, vs 15
Acts 5:32, 40-42
Study, Number ELEVEN
The Gifts of the Holy Spirit
When a soldier goes to war, his superiors send him out equipped for what he will face.
˜ They send him in camouflaged uniform, some kind of helmet or head gear and heavy boots.
˜ They do not send him out in a T-shirt, blue jeans, and tennis shoes.
˜ They also send him out equipped to engage the enemy; they give him whatever weapons they think are necessary for his particular assignment.
˜ Then they also equip him him in ways to communicate with his fellow soldiers.
˜ Depending upon on his mission, they may even send him with food rations and water and first aid kit... they do not send him out ill-equipped, or unequipped.
In a similar fashion, God has equipped believers for spiritual warfare -- (Eph. 6:10-12; We have the armor of God (vs 13), includes truth (v. 14), righteousness (v. 14), feet shod with the preparation of the gospel, (vs 15), shield of faith (v 16, helmet of salvation, and the Word of the Spirit, the Word of God. (vs 17.
God has equipped us for service, too -- He has given each of us at least one gift, or ability, that we are to use. Without such supernatural enabling, we cannot grow as we should or plant Churches or fill the earth with the gospel.
We will look at the Holy Spirit's giving of spiritual gifts that are ours today!
We want to see. . .
˜ the way in which the gifts relate to ministry of God's Word,
˜ the way in which they relate to church life, and the exercise or use of spiritual gifts.
˜ As we study about some of the spiritual gifts listed in the New Testament, one thought should strike us -- they were all given to enable a Christian to DO something -- to serve others.
˜ God never gives spiritual gifts merely for believers to enjoy or admire them, for He gives them to build up the Body of Christ.
I. THE DISTRIBUTION OF SPIRITUAL GIFTS:
A foot soldier on the ground does not receive a parachute or a life vest as part of his equipment.
˜ A fighter pilot uses a plane, not a tank.
˜ In addition, he stays in his plane for only a few hours, not for days on end.
˜ A sailor, on the other hand, lives on his ship at sea for a long time.
˜ The ordinance officer provides for the soldier, pilot, or sailor based on the person's particular assignment and specific needs.
A. God, the Holy Spirit, Has Gifted Believers in a Similar manner:
1. He gave some temporary gifts for a designated assignment, that is, for the establishment of the church.
2. When the foundation of the Church had been laid, those gifts were no longer necessary, and they ceased.
3. The fact that some gifts to believers were temporary, however, does not imply that all were that way.
4. That God still gives spiritual gifts to believers seems evident both from Scripture and from the confirming evidence of experience.
5. Three major passages deal with this subject -- Eph. 4, I Cor. 12,
and Rom. 12.
B. Gifts Are Sovereignly Given:
1. Both God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are involved in giving spiritual gifts.
2. The distribution of spiritual gifts is under the sovereign direction of the
Holy Spirit, according to His divine purpose (I Cor. 12:11, 18)
3. This should strip us of any pride concerning the possession or exercise
of our gifts.
4. Any abilities we possess as believers, we received from the Lord. We are to use our gifts, recognizing each as the "ability which God giveth," (I Pet. 4:11), "For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why does thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it." (I Cor. 4:7) Whatever we have, we received from Him, the Head of the Church. (Read I Pet. 4:8-11.
C. Gifts are Given Severally, and Separately, as He Wills:
1. These gifts are spiritual gifts given to every man, (I Cor. 12:7,11); meaning
the saved, the term is also generic -- both men and women receive spiritual gifts.
2. Every believer is given some ability for service by the Holy Spirit. Many may possess more than one gift, but everyone possesses at least one. Therefore, no Christian can claim he is unequipped to serve God.
3. Paul illustrates the truth of the spiritual body by comparing it with our physical body ... the human body has many "members," or "parts,"
(I Cor. 12:20), but not all members have the same function.
4. Some organs are more prominent and perform more vital functions
(vvs. 14-25). Nevertheless, every part is necessary to form the whole body.
The spiritual application is clear: more-gifted believers should not despise less- gifted believers, and less-gifted ones should not envy more gifted ones.
5. Each has his or her place in the work of God. "And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you." (I Cor. 12:21).
6. None of us can arbitrarily dismiss someone whom we consider unimportant, because the Spirit has placed that person, with his particular function, into the body. (I Cor. 12:13; I Cor. 6:19-20)
7. A point of clarification is also needed here -- although a person possesses spiritual gifts, or gift, that fact never guarantees spiritually. Look at the Corinthian church -- many excess and wrongs ( divisions, strifes, party spirit, taking other Christians to court-- suing them; immorality among them, etc. ) (See I Cor. 13:1-8; 1:10; 3:1-10)
8. Understand also that there are diversity of gifts; God made us different, we serve in different ways... we have various gifts, but all who are saved serve the same Lord. (To be used in love, I Cor. 13.)
(I Cor. 12:9-10; Rom. 12:9-10)
II. EXPLANATION OF SPIRITUAL GIFTS:
Some of the spiritual gifts related specifically to the Word of God... these are gifts are evangelism, pastoring, teaching, and exhorting.
A. The Gift of Evangelism Eph. 4:11
1. Some believers have been given a special ability to present the gospel of Christ effectively and to encourage others to reach people for Christ.
2. This is called a gift of evangelism (cf Eph. 4:11). Philip possessed this spiritual gift. From an examination of his ministry we can conclude that this gift can have two aspects -- that of public preaching (Acts 8:5-12) and that of personal witness (Acts 8:26-35).
3. All of us are called to witness, to sow the seed the Word of God, but not all of us possess a special gift of evangelism, the extraordinary ability to present Christ to others.
B. The Gift of Pastor-teacher -
1. Some have the gift of pastor-teacher, and have been given as a gift to
the church. (Eph. 4:11-16; Acts 20:28-32)
2. A man with this gift will be able to teach and to shepherd.
3. The terms, shepherding and pastoring -- are reminiscent of the love and
4. These men will lead their flocks into the green pastures and beside the still waters of God's Word -- as a result, the believers, or flock, will grow and be refreshed.
The primary responsibility of a pastor is to feed the church of God (Acts 20:28).
A pastor must spend time in God's presence, studying the truths of the Bible so that when he steps into the pulpit he truly feeds God's people!
C. A Gift of Teaching -- (Rom. 12:7; Heb. 5:11-14)
1. The gift of teaching involves the ability to explain spiritual truth clearly.
2. Apollos apparently had this gift, for we are told that he was "mighty in the scriptures and that he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord." (Acts 18:24, 25, 27)
3. So good was he at teaching that the Scriptures states that "he helped them much which had believed through grace."
4. Some people have divinely bestowed ability to teach the Word of God accurately, powerfully, and practically.
The exercise of this gift involves three things -- 1) study of the Word, 2) knowledge of the Word and 3) communication of the Word.
D. The Gift of Exhortation - Rom. 12:8
1. This gift, mentioned in Rom. 12:8, involves the ability to apply truth and to encourage and motivate people.
2. God knew that simply knowing the truth would be insufficient. They
would need to apply it and live it. They would need persons who could show them how to do this.... exhorters fill this need.
Then some gifts are general gifts for the body of Christ!
The Holy Spirit imparts gifts for the ministry to the church and through the church. God in His all sufficiency desires to meet the need of every member through those whom He has put into the Church -- sharing, working, praying, evangelizing -- etc., altogether in Christ.
E. Gift of Giving -- Rom. 12:8
1. This gift is mentioned in Romans 12:8. Every believer is to communicate in giving, or to give of his substance" (I Cor. 16:1; Heb. 13:16).
2. However, God has given some believers a unique ability to make money and a burden to distribute their funds for the glory of God, for the benefit of His work and the provision of other's needs.
F. The Gift of Ruling, or administrations (or of governments)
1. Rom. 12:8; I Cor. 12:28 The word rule means to preside over something.
God has given such the ability to organize, to administer, and to expedite matters.
2. This ability has not been given for personal exaltation or control, but for the benefit of God's work... rather than resenting such people (who by temperament may appear to be bossy) wise believers thank God for them and recognize without organization, most spiritual work could come to an end.
3. This gift must be utilized in proper humility - and a spirit of Christlikeness.
A church suffers without these gifts of giving and ruling --
III. THE EXERCISE OF SPIRITUAL GIFTS:
A. I Peter 4:10 and 11 emphasize the point that spiritual giftsare given to benefit the Body of Christ, not self, and to bring glory to the Savior, not self.
1. The Holy Spirit (who gives overseers) leads pastors to build up the saints for the saints work of the ministry (Eph. 4:12-16). Literally "to prepare God's people for works of service."
2. Ministry is not a vocation for a few special people, but it is for all believers.
3. Pastors equip you for your work of the ministry -- for the perfecting of
the saints -- for the reaching of the lost, discipling the newly saved, etc.
4. As believers sit regularly under the ministry of gifted pastor-teachers,
they will be repaired, strengthened, and enabled to perform the work God has given them.
B. Ministry through gifts is extremely important!
1. If all believers will use the spiritual gifts or gift that the Spirit has bestowed upon them, the Body of Christ will grow.
2. The increase of the Body is said to depend on "that which every joint supplieth." (Eph. 4:16)
3. A church grows spiritually and numerically as every believer takes his or her place and functions as the Holy Spirit has gifted him.
4. The exercise of various spiritual gifts is a reflection of the "manifold grace of God," (I Pet. 4:10). God's grace is dispensed to us that we might serve
Him and serve His people.
Study, Number TWELVE
The Holy Spirit and Missions Today!
˜ Missions begins on the other side of our doorstep.
˜ Why should every one in all the world hear the gospel?
˜ All missions... in the Word of God... was carried out by the local church... The local church was involved in the preparation of the workers, the sending, the worship and work of the church was closely interrelated.
˜ Every local church ought to be involved in missions as the church at Antioch was... how joyous it would be if every church had their own going to the fields of the world. Matt. 9:38
˜ The message of missions is ever and only the Word of God...
˜ While the local church is to be separated from the world (II Cor. 6:14-18; Jh 15) Yet it has a great responsibility to the world. It is not to endeavor to entertain, or to control it.. but is to witness to the world while remaining separate from it.
˜ The Christian's responsibility is world-wide... sin covers the whole world.. Christ died for the whole world... we are consequently under solemn responsibility to bring the gospel to the whole world.
˜ We have been saved out of the world; taken out of the old realm of sin and translated into a completely new sphere (Col. 1:13; I Cor. 5:17; Eph. 2:10) Yet at the same time we are to maintain a very definite ministry to those outside of Jesus Christ.... The Christian is to be a "light in the world," (Matt. 5:14;
Phil. 2:15) for we have been sent into the world, (Jh 17:18) to tell of Christ.
I. THE HOLY SPIRIT SELECTS THE MISSIONARIES... As Christ called the Apostles.... etc. so... Acts 9:5-6; Matt 4:19; Acts 1:1-2; 13:1-3; 9:15-16
"As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them." (Acts 13:2)
A When Worship Takes Place, vs. 2
1. While they were worshiping the Lord;
2. It is in the church that the Holy Spirit comes to find those who are
consecrated and willing to carry the glorious message of the gospel to
the ends of the earth.
3. Barnabas and Paul did not pursue their larger and wider ministry independent of the Church and its corporate life and activity.
God gives no place for free lance... exercise of gifts - within the church!
4. This is not a picture of a local church discussing the qualifications, or
decisions of a certain man to perform a definite work for the Lord.
5. The church was not called upon to make a choice... this was the choice
of the Holy Spirit...( See Mark. 13:34... "For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left His house and gave authority to His servants, and to every man his work." Cf Acts 1:1-2; Acts 20:28-32; Acts 9: 15-16; 9:6). It is not a work -- but his particular work, a work appointed to him which he is called to do... all of us have his place of work.
6. The church was called upon and expected to be involved in spiritual exercise of worshiping, fasting, prayer..."... then the Holy Spirit can choose, for many are called, but few are chosen.
a. This was a case of worshiping Him in Spirit and in truth. Jh 4:24
b. Fasting meant more than missing meals... but literally a spiritual exercise when God's children have made up their minds to forego food because of their spiritual burden and desire...seeking God's face.
c. We cannot know the sending of the Spirit without the worship in the Spirit. ... Ministering means offered service!
B. When Given Opportunity, vs 2
"The Holy Spirit said... Barnabas and Saul for the work..."
1. Barnabas and Saul were clearly set apart and chosen by the Holy Spirit
because the Holy Spirit could call them-- they were willing, ready.
a. He sends, we simply release them to go; He chooses and we simply cooperate. He selects and we subscribe to His leadership.
b. It is the Holy Spirit who alone can relate the person to the region.
Livingston wanted to go to China, but the Lord send him to Africa.
Here is a principle-- the right place for the right person, doing the work to which God has called and prepared him to do.
2. Although the fields were white already to harvest.. they did not thrust
themselves out... they waited until they had received their orders from
the Lord of the harvest.
3. They had not been idle... indifferent.. now suddenly willing.
a. Acts 9:17-18; 19-25; 28-29
b. Acts 11:19-26; 28-30
c. The accounts of events reveals that Paul was saved 10 years prior to
this taking place... 10 years of ministry, of maturing, of labors, of growth, of divine preparation. (It has been 10 years since chap. 9.)
4. They were separated to work.. worship and work go together... after
seeking God's face... they were then in the place to heed the marching
orders of the Holy Spirit for the work... Maybe we have so few willing to go, because we have so few who truly worship?
5. If we reverse the order -- work and then worship -- we will have failure;
if we worship -- but do not work, then we are but ritualistic. God never
intended the message of the gospel to us only -- He ordains messengers!
Jh 15:16; II Tim. 1:9
C. When the Spirit is Obediently Followed, vs 3
"When they had. . . laid their hands on them, they sent them away."
1. The early church believers prayed to God; they talked to God and in turn
God talked to them through the Holy Spirit.
2. There was no doubt or question regarding the Holy Spirit's selection.
3. What did the early church do? They listened and obeyed the voice of the Spirit; His selection was confirmed by an act of united prayer and consecration; "prayed, laid hands on them.. etc." And here was an ordination service.... laid hands on him... saw them public set apart, etc.
4. Then we read, "they sent them away," .. they released them...what does
that imply? They knew they should (as the local church) be training new ones, constantly, ... and then releasing them.. sending them out.
II. THE HOLY SPIRIT SENDS FORTH THE MISSIONARIES:Acts 13:4-12
"so they being sent forth by the Holy Spirit, departed......" vs. 4
A. With a Message, vs 4, 5; Acts 13:26-33, 38-39, 43; Rom. 10:13-15
1. When the Holy Spirit specifies the means of missions it always involves
individual lives as instruments of service... "they preached proclaimed..
the Word of God."
It does not say that while they were at Salamis... they cleaned up the slums, improved the social level and taught people how to read and write... certainly they were vitally interested in the conditions, needs etc., but the prime reason for their missionary work was to proclaim the Word of God.
2. What was the message of missionary Phillip?? ... Acts 8:29,30 Here was a Spirit-filled man with a Spirit-filled message.. led of the Holy Spirit... taught him what God was saying in Isa. 53.
B. With Divine Wisdom, vs 6-12
1. They came to the Isle of Cyprus, Sergius Paulus was govern of the island..
They went to the city of Paphos, which is said to be the birthplace of Venus... the goddess of love. The Greeks said that she had been born out of the foam of the sea, hence the worship of the Island was the worship of Venus, which was as vile as any mind could devise.
2. When God is at work, Satan will always be at work... seeking to keep the lost - lost. False prophet Jew, whose name was Bar-jesus. .. attempting to keep Sergious Paulus from hearing the word..
3. Paul recognized. the false prophet with his evil intent, activity -- He possessed divine insight, God-given courage -- set his eyes on him..." (vs 9 - 10) denounced him for what he was.. cease not to pervert the right way of the Lord. False religion will always abound.
4. Paul -- filled with the Holy Spirit - stood unflinchingly against those who brought opposition to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
5. The Holy Spirit will give the needed wisdom-- direction; discernment, power, guidance... if we are willing to GO, trust... Paul must first boldly denounced the deceitful one that truth would be vindicated. (vs 12)
III. THE HOLY SPIRIT USES... HUMBLE, DEDICATED... TRUSTING, DEPENDENT SERVANTS:13:1-14, vs 13
A change takes placein the gospel story.. Saul's name was changed to Paul.
A. Saul's past --
1. Saul was a Jewish name; he was proud of his Jewish ancestry and privileges... Phil. 3:4-9, 10
2. Saul had taken a strong position against this Jesus way... and was
determined to wipe out the church... Acts 22: 3-5; 19-20;
3. Saul was a highly educated person, who could have easily depended upon his ability, gifts, background.
4. After his salvation -- Saul was used publicly, but also he spent much
time away from the limelight -- God was preparing him... out in the desert, etc. Paul's view of himself--- I Tim. 1:15;
B. Saul's humbling before the Lord -- I Cor. 2:1-7
1. He changed his name to the Roman name, Paul.
2. Is seemed he was saying "I am taking all the worldly things that I am proud of and am wrapping them up in a bundle. I am putting them behind me so that I will be able to reach the ones that I could not reach if I held on to these things." If you want to bless men you must identify yourself with them. (Rom. 1:14-16; Gal. 4:19)
3. Why did Jesus come as a baby.. and not a full grown man? He allowed him to come as a little babe and grow up a normal child.. he suffered all the things that come to us on this earth.. and now He knows how we feel and can sympathize with us.
4. So, Saul, adopted a Gentile name... "All that meant most to me I have left behind. I am here to help you to Christ.. I have become all things to all men so that I might win them." The name Paul, means little... and Paul was willing to become little... He might be used.
a. Saul took his name from this first convert -- Paulus.
b. What do you think, feel most important in YOUR life?
Study, Number THIRTEEN
Dying, Dead, or Alive?
The Holy Spirit brought a Holy Zeal, Enthusiasm to the early Church.
As you read the book of Acts, over and over again... you will be impressed with the Zeal, the enthusiasm among the apostles and disciples of the early church.
There was fervency, zeal, a total abandonment to the will of God, to the Holy Spirit's leadership "the sons of God are led by the Spirit of God..." "walking in the Spirit," there was "Praying in the Holy Spirit," Jude
˜ The Holy Spirit invariably generates zeal, fervency or enthusiasm in the life of
the Saint of God for the things of God.
˜ The Holy Spirit opposes indifference, lukewarmness, deadness, coldness.
˜ The Holy Spirit would lead us to seek God's best... the fulfillment of the Father's will.
Enthusiasm what a wonderful word. You perhaps do not understand why this is such a wonderful word.. but I trust that you will by the time this message is completed. Consider what we read in Col. 3:23-29; Eccl. 9: 10; Rom. 12:
I pray that you and I will feel differently about the work of the Lord.... the ministry of the Holy Spirit in us.. and the zeal we ought to manifest for the Lord and His work. The Holy Spirit desires to bring ZEAL to our lives! I Cor. 15:58
˜ Of all the people in the world, Christians are the ones who have the right to be enthusiastic.. about their lives... their position in Christ, their walk with the Lord... about their church.. about their opportunities to serve Christ, and a host of other things.
˜ How often do we witness a display of enthusiasm... in the sports world? in
local games... national college games... professional sports? We have cheer leaders, sports fans, (fanatics)... etc.
˜ What about the business world.. do they display enthusiasm? salesmen out
to sell... insurance, real estate, cars, shoes, pots, pans, etc., and where ever they go... they usually work with enthusiasm.
˜ Sales trainers endeavor to inspire, to challenge their salesmen by sales meetings to motivate, captivate.. to challenge their people to go out to meet the public.
˜ It is sad-- but most Christians are not enthusiastic about their lives, their
opportunities, their ministry... too often we have lost the joy. the thrill,
the wonder of our salvation..... or preaching, or winning others to Christ.
Most S.S. teachers, workers lack enthusiasm about their classes-- little interest in the work... the average Christian in our country has little or no real interest, or enthusiasm about attending church -- praying -- reading their Bibles -- witnessing -- giving --sending missionaries to the unsaved multitudes...or walking with the Lord.
I. ZEAL OR ENTHUSIASM ARE GOOD BIBLE WORDS
A. The word enthusiasm comes from a Greek Word,"enthousiaamos and
enthousiaszein" meaning literally.. "possessed by God or God in us!"
(en-theo).... God in us!
1. It denotes godly conviction; it means to be fervent, intense, eager, filled
filled with zeal or fervor. Like a religious zealot or fanatic,"
A person full of zeal.
2. Enthusiasm.. is really... God IN US! or as Paul put it.. "Christ in you,
the hope of glory..." or "fervent in Spirit. . . serving the Lord."
Col. 1:27; Rom. 12:10-12
B. Enthusiasm is all the following. . . by way of illustration:
1. Enthusiasm is reason gone mad to achieve a definite, rational objective.
2. It is like leaping lightening that blasts obstacles from its path.
3. It is the ex-ray of the soul that penetrates and reveals the invisible.
4. It is the contagion that laughs at quarantine, and inoculates all who
come in contact with it.
5. It is the vibrant thrill in your voice that sways the wills of others into
harmony with your own.
6. It is the magnet that draws kindred souls with irresistible force and
electrifies them with the magnetism of its own resolve.
7. So by definition: It is ardent zeal or interest, fervor, ecstasy, to be
possessed by an idea, burden, cause, thing or vision.
II. ZEAL IS SEEN IN THE LIFE OF CHRIST:
A. Seen in prophecy about Him:
1. Psa. 69:9 "for the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up."
2. Isa. 59:17 "Clad with zeal as with a cloke."
3. Isa. 9:7c "zeal of the Lord of Hosts will perform it."
B. Seen in the action of His life:
1. Lk 2:49 "Wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?"
2. Jh 4:34 "My meat is to do the will of Him that sent me, and to finish
3. Jh 9:4 "I must work the works of Him that sent me.. while it is yet day."
4. Acts 10:38 "He rose up early to pray... He went about doing good."
III. ZEAL(enthusiasm or earnestness) IS COMMANDED:
A. In our love --Deut 6:5 "love.. with all your heart,soul, mind."
1. I Pet 1:22 ". . . see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently."
2. I Pet. 1:8 "Whom having not seen, ye love. . ."
3. I Pet. 2:17 ". . . love the brotherhood."
B. In our obedience -- Psa. 119:2 "Blessed are they that keep His testimonies and that seek Him with the whole heart." See Romans 6:16-17.
C. In our trust -- Prov. 3:5 "trust with all thine heart.." Heb. 11:6
D. In our prayer life -- James 5:16 "the effectual fervent prayer... availeth.."
E. In our service, our labors for the Lord -- Rom. 12:10-12; Col. 3:23
1. diligent in service, in all directions, needs, aspects.
2. diligent because we are fed by a fervent spirit -- literally bubbling.
3. diligent and power animated by thought about serving the Lord.
4. Not indolent, unfruitful, indifferent, full of apathy and I don't care.
5. God must have workers who are wide awake - who are spiritually alive,
who concentrate on the opportunities, who are eager, with resolve,
comprehending the needs, dominated by godly Zeal.
IV. THE LACK OF ZEAL IS DANGEROUS. . . Rev. 2 - 3
A. Psa. 123:4 "Our soul is exceedingly filled with the scorning of those who
are at ease."
B. Amos 6:1 "woe to them that are at ease in Zion."
C. Matt 24:12 "because iniquity shall abound the love of many shall wax cold."
D. Rev. 3:15,16 "Laodicean church... neither hot or cold..."
E. Prov. 6:14, 6:9-11; 10:5; 19:15; 20:13; 24:30-34
God's word warns us about the sluggard -- the slothful.
V. ZEAL, ENTHUSIASM.... is URGED UPON US:
A.Psa. 5:11 "But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice, let them shout for joy."
B. Psa. 66:1 "Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands."
C. Gal. 6:9-10 "Let us not be weary in well doing:. . ."
D. Eph. 6:5-8 ". . . doing the will of God from the heart."
E. Deut 10:12 ". . . to love him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart
and with all thy soul."
F. I Cor. 15:58 "Be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord. . ."
Have we lost the joy of our salvation?
Have we lost the joy of serving the Lord?
Have we lost the sense of privilege of serving Christ?
Have we lost zeal, vigor, dedication, and determination?
Have we lost the thrill of sins forgiven, a name in heaven, a soon returning Lord?
I am not talking about giddiness... slap-happy, noise for noise sake... but do we
have good godly zeal.. Spirit filled living in which He brings into our lives the blessed purpose of a life of full surrender, joy, and zeal?
Study, Number FOURTEEN
Who Will GO for US?
There are a number of verses in the Word of God that are momentous. . . they speak to the depths of the soul. . . they should move us to the depths of our beings.
˜ Isa. 59:16 "And God saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor...." No one who cared, no one concerned... for vs 15 tells us that "judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off; for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter." (What a picture of today.)
˜ Ezek 22:30 (vs 29 tells us about Israel -- land oppressed, robbery abounded, the poor and needy were vexed; many were oppressed wrongfully) "And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none."
˜ Jer. 8:20 "the harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved."
˜ Psa 142: "I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul."
(Spoke about David when hiding in the cave from King Saul.)
˜ Lam. 1:12a. "Is it nothing to you, ye that pass by?" The prophet here is speaking in behalf of his people, Israel... the inhabitants of Jerusalem in particular.
-- Jeremiah had identified himself with his people in their desolation, defeat,
-- Israel had gone into captivity, first the Northern Kingdom, and then Southern. As a prophet his heart was stirred for the people.
-- Israel's sorrows were his sorrows, their heart burden was his heart burden, their despair was his despair; he felt their desolation and defeat.
-- Jeremiah, as the weeping prophet, tender, burdened while he must bring to Israel a message of judgment and doom, his heart was heavy for Israel.
˜ Isa. 6:8 Isaiah had seen God, high, lifted up, he sensed God's holiness, he had repented ... etc., and now he heard the voice... "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?"
I. THE FATHER ASKS... WHO WILL GO FOR US?
"I sought for a man among them to stand in the gap and to make up the hedge, ... but I found none!" (Ezek. 22:30
"Is it nothing to you... that I am not willing that any should perish?"
"Is it nothing to you. . . that I so loved the world. . . that I gave my only begotten son.... to die for sinners?"
A. I so loved the world! so... Who will GO for us?
1. An uncontaining love, an overflowing love, John 3:15-17
2. An impassionate love... man loves, but God so loved.
3. Christ did not die so God could love.... Christ died because of that love;
Are we willing to GO because of that love?
4. His love is a deep, unfathomable, unmixed, pure love.
5. His love is an impartial, universal, sweet love.... Rom. 5:5; II Cor. 5:14
B. I so loved the world. . . that I gave. . . WHO will GO for us?
1. His supreme gift... II Cor. 9:15; none greater -- Jh 15:13
2. His best was given, His all, His precious son, given to die, to suffer,
to literally be made SIN for us... who knew no sin.
3. "gave Him up for us all," Acts 2:23; "He that spared not His own SON,
but delivered Him up for us all..... " Rom. 8:32; Consider Isaiah chapter 53.
a. given to the world, for fallen mankind;
b. given when we were undone, hateful, vengeful, enemies in our minds, Isa 64:6;
4. His only begotten SON used 5 times in Scriptures.
C. That they should not perish.... So, oh, WHO will GO for US?
1. Here is God, the Father's great desire... Jh 3:17
2. To rescue us -- at any price... Jh 3:36; II Cor. 5:21; I Pet. 2:24
a. That we should not perish. . . go into darkness;
b. to down into the pit of hell, no pardon, a horrible place;
c. to be forever condemned, lost, perished
3. That we might be delivered -- have everlasting life
a. that we might know pardon; being washed, sanctified, justified;
b. no longer guilty Rom. 5:1, 8-10; 8:1; 33-40
c. all condemnation removed; judgment for the penalty of sin gone
forever. Jh 6:37-37
d. We might have the bestowment of His love.... eternal life.
II. THE SON ASKS. . . WHO WILL GO FOR US?
If Jesus stood before us today... is it possible that He might ask... "Is it nothing to you, ye that pass by?"
A. I Died for SIN, for SINNERS . . . Oh, who will go for us?
1. I died for the sins of the whole world.... suffered, atonement was made,
2. I literally became a sin offering... a ransom for sin...
a. II Cor. 5:21
b. II Pet 2:24
c. Jh 1:29
d. I Jh. 2:2;
e. I Tim. 2:4-6;
f. Titus 2:11
g. I Tim. 1:15; Isa 53:6
h. Heb. 2:9
i. Lk 24:44-48
3. I endured the agonies of sin; the Father's judgment upon sin;
did I do all this in vain? WHO will GO for US?
4. What about the multitudes who know nothing about my finished work
on the Cross?
5. What about the fact that I was led as a lamb dumb to the slaughter?
6. Has all this been for nothing ?? What about the majority of the 6 billion
people who have never heard?
B. Is it nothing that I bore all the agonies... death itself?? WHO will GO??
1. I was forsaken before Pilate -- Jh 1:11
2. They cried, crucify HIM... .... I remained silent before Pilate, for I
was lifted up to die... I could not intercede for myself!
I was lifted up to die... Jh 12:32; Lk 19:10; Matt. 20:28; Isa 53:5,6;
3. I suffered the just for the unjust that I might bring them unto God.
I Pet. 3:18
4. Oh, think of the agonies of the cross... of that mock trial... of all that I
anticipated... to be made sin....
Are we indifferent, unmoved? unconcerned? do not care??
Oh, WHO will GO for US... WILL GO??
III. THE HOLY SPIRIT ASKS. . . WHO WILL GO FOR US?
A It is nothing that I came? Who will go for us?
1. I came to take up abode in the heart and life of the saved,
2. I came to dwell in you, make you the temple of the triune God... you who
are born again, that,
a. You might be a witness; an ambassador; a firebrand... to take the
message of Christ's death, resurrection., ascension, saving power to a world without Him.
b. Why am I your comforter, your teacher, guide, the One who anoints,
B. It is nothing that I am there to give you power? Who will GO for US?
Acts 1:8; II Cor. 5:14; Rom 5:5;
Why did the early church have such a love for souls that they would
hazard their lives for the lost? I fostered that love within them.
C. It is nothing to you that I am present with you? Who will GO for US?
1. Do I dwell in your just to make you happy... or to give you good feelings?
2. Do I dwell in your just to serve you? or to possess you, to help you come
to the place of consecration... surrender to serve... to make Christ Lord
of your life?
3. Do not I dwell in you to give you compassion for the lost?
What if God Himself stood before us with all these questions? What if Christ stood by us and asked these questions I have posed? How would we answer them? What would we do about our responsibility?
If someone paid us a $1,000.00 for each soul we won to Christ, would we work as never before. Would we do for money what we won't do because of our love for Christ?
Study, Number FIFTEEN
Listen. . . the Holy Spirit Is Speaking!
˜ Let me remind you that the subject of the Holy Spirit is very prominent in the Word of God. . . and in the ministry of the early New Testament Church.
˜ There are over 260 passages in the New Testament in which the Holy Spirit is specifically and directly mentioned.
˜ We know the Holy Spirit abides in the our lives for a very distinct purpose.
I Cor. 6:19-20,
˜ It is the Holy Spirit who teaches us, empowers, talks and acts, thinks and guides, breaks down and builds up, challenges us to be yielded to the Will of the Father.
˜ God the Father, and Christ, the Son are both in heaven... but the Holy Spirit who was sent from the Father is with us... of whom Jesus said, "I will pray the Father, to send you another comforter... the Spirit of truth... he will guide you."
We may speak to the Holy Spirit. . . and He speaks to us...
Listen, He speaks, what is He saying?
˜ He speaks to the churches -- Rev. 2 -3
˜ He speaks. . . as we read in Acts 13:1-4;
˜ He speaks through the Word of Truth -- II Tim. 3:16-17
˜ He speaks... and thus we read Heb. 3:7-19.
We have the finished canon of Scriptural truth-- we are not to look for some audible voice, or some ringing in the ears, or some special dream or mystical vision or method whereby He will speak to us....
He has spoken...in the Word... and What does He say?
I. THE HOLY SPIRIT SPEAKS IN VARIOUS WAYS:
A. He speaks expressly through the Word of God --
Jh 5:39; II Tim. 3:16-17; II Tim. 2:15; I Cor. 10:31, 32
B. He speaks through circumstances of life -- God's sovereign working!
Acts 16:9-10 -- "Assuredly gathering... that the Lord had called."
Neh. 1:1-5 -- in the midst of circumstances, God burdened Nehemiah
I Cor. 16:9,13 -- Paul saw the closed doors and the open doors.
C. He speaks by making us aware of the worth of life --
Oh, how valuable.. the worth of a soul. . . Mk. 8:38, the worth of a single life,
the value of those for whom Christ died. Of a single life dedicated to Him.
D. He speaks in conviction as He makes us aware of the purpose of life:
I Cor. 6:19-20;
E. He speaks by the work of life -- The Holy Spirit is concerned about the work of our life. He wants to lead us into the work that is ours to do, direct us into the Father's appointed will for YOU. Psa 37:23; As He lead an Isaiah, a Jeremiah and a Jonah, or a John the Baptist. (Epaphras prayed -- Col. 4:12)
II. THE HOLY SPIRIT SPEAKS TO DIRECT OUR WALK:Gal. 5:15-17, 24;
The word "followers" in verse 1 is the word mimics... SO it COULD BE TRANSLATED "be ye imitators of God as beloved children."
This sets the theme for this portion of the Word of God... if I am to walk in the Spirit... I must walk in submission to the clear Word of God that the Holy Spirit led men of God to write -- to give to us. (II Tim. 3:16; II Pet 1:21-23)
If we are the children of God, then we ought to imitate our Father. This is the basis for the three admonitions in this section.
1. God is love (I Jh 4:8: Eph. 5:1-2) so therefore, "walk in love."
2. God is light (I Jh 1:5; Eph. 5:8, therefore "walk as children of light."
3. God is truth (I Jh 5:6; Eph. 5:15-17); therefore, "walk in wisdom."
And all three of these admonitions are especially part of an
exhortation that we walk in purity.
A. God is the Standard of the love-life of His children:
We are to walk in LOVE -- Eph. 5:1-2; Gal. 5:16-17, 24
This admonition is written because of the last two verses of chap 4. Paul had warned against bitterness, anger - - what a tragedy when this shows up in the family of God.
1. God is Love; Every thought, word and act of God is the expression of
the love which is the very essence of His character.
a. We are beloved children- born into His family -- to walk as He walks.
b. We are member of His household through love; His standards are to be ours.
c. II Pet. 1:4 -- we are partakers of the divine nature.
d God is love -- it is logical for God's children to walk in love. I Jh 4
e This is not foreign, this ought to be our nature;
Instead -- we often walk in selfishness -- we build walls, we readily practice rejection -- instead we ought to be building bridges, proclaiming peace.
2. "Be ye imitators of God as beloved children."
a. Of Christ, the Father said... "This is my beloved son." (Matt. 3:17)
b. He loves us as He loves His Son... so we are to love. (Jh 17:23; 15:9)
c. We are born into a loving relationship with the Father that ought to result in our showing love to Him by the way we live.
d. Do those things that please HIM. ... walk in love... that pleases Him.
3. Walk in love... as one purchased at a great price. I Cor. 6:19-20; Jh 15:13
Rom. 5:10; This love is also the result of the Holy Spirit's work! Rom. 5:5
a. A walk... not just talk; (I Jh 3:18) we are to love in deed and in truth.
b. As Christ also loved us His love was a self-effacing love; sacrificial love; He laid down His life for His friends... for us -- unlovely, sinful,
polluted. Do we give a reciprocal love?
B. Walk as Children of LIGHT: (5:3-14)
Since God is light and we are imitating our Father, then we should walk in the light and have nothing to do with the darkness of sin. I Jh 1:5-7
1. We were once -- children of darkness; "darkness incarnate you once
were..." "There was a time when you were nothing but darkness."
We were not just in darkness; merely do the things of darkness; but they (we) were darkness itself; lived in the sphere of darkness; so identified with it; and so impregnated by it... as to be actually become darkness.
They were subject to the kingdom of darkness, ruled by the prince of darkness; children of darkness; and destined to live eternity in the pit of darkness.
2. WE walked in the works of darkness: 5:3-8... moral degradation; rotten morally; conduct and conversation of those were were corrupt.
3. But now -- we are Saints 5:3-4
a. As "set-apart ones," no longer do we belong to the world of darkness around us!
b. We are "called out of darkness into His marvelous light," (I Pet. 2:9)
c. How can we indulge in the sins that belong to the world of darkness,
it is below the dignity of the saint of God.
d. He warns of these sins -- sexual sins -- (fornication, uncleanness) which
were so prevalent then and now.
e. Sad to say, but these sins have invaded the homes of Christians, and have brought great grief to families and churches alike.
f. Covetousness seems out of place in this list -- but these two sins are but expressions of the same basic weakness of fallen nature -- uncontrolled appetite.
g. The fornicator and covetous person each desire to satisfy their desires by taking what does not belong to them... I Jh 2:16-17
h. We are warned about some of the sins of the tongue -- gossip, base kind of humor, enjoy jesting about impurity.
Two indications of a person's character.. are what makes him laugh and what makes him weep.
i. Jesting.. one who can take most any kind of conversation and turn the statement into some course jest... attached to a filthy mind or a base motive.. pollutes conversation.. inconvenient.. or out of place.
j. Let your conversation by yea and nay... let it be full of thanks,
Col. 3:16; 4:6
4. Changed -- Because we are kings: 5:5-6; I Pet. 2:9-10
a. When we trust Christ.. we became kings... (Song, I walk with the King Hallelujah)
b. We also await the full revelation of His kingdom when He comes.
II Tim. 4:1
c. Who will inherit the kingdom? -- Gal. 5:21; Whoremonger" pornos... one who practices fornication -- illicit sex... etc.?
d. In Paul's day there were false Christians who argued that they could live in sin; and get away with it.... you are saved by grace.. therefore go ahead and sin that God's grace might abound is what they would say!
"Sin in the life of a believer is different from sin in the life of an unsaved
person. . . !" Yes, it is worse!
e. The saints of God, because of a walk in the Spirit, will not be sinless but he ought to sin less and less and less.
f. In Christ, the Christian is a king and priest and it is beneath his dignity to indulge in the practices of the lost world that are outside the kingdom of God.
3. Because we are light! We were darkness... now we are light in the Lord. II Cor. 6:14- - 7:1; Jh 3:20-21)
a. To "walk as children of light... means to live before the eyes of God,
not hiding anything.
b. To be transparent before God... open.. honest.. dealing with sin; for "all things are naked and open unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do." (Heb. 4:13)
Every time I take a plane to a meeting, I must surrender myself and my luggage to a special inspection, so
c. Walking as children of life also means revealing God's light in our daily lives.. by our character, our conduct.. we bring God's light into a dark world. As God's lights, we are to help others find their way to Christ. The mind of the unsaved is blinded by Satan (II Cor. 4:3-4); and darkness by sin (Eph. 4:17-19)
C. Walk in WISDOM: (5:15-17)
1. Circumspect comes from two Latin words which means "looking around."
2. The Greek words carries the idea of precision and accuracy... carefully,
3. The opposite would be to walk carelessly and without proper guidance, and forethought.
4. Paul was saying... "Don't walk in your sleep.. walk up... open your eyes,
make the most of your day."
Study, Number SIXTEEN
What Is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit?
˜ Vital to a proper dispensational understanding of New Testament ecclesiology is the unique ministry of the Holy Spirit baptism.
˜ The baptism of the Holy Spirit has often been mistakenly equated with an experiential second work of grace after salvation... which some say is to give power over sin and power for service and possibly speaking in tongues.
˜ Some Pentecostals say that tongues-speaking is an evidence of Spirit baptism.
˜ According to many advocates of this position, a person must experience the baptism of the Spirit as they define it in order to be all that God desires, and some would say one's salvation hinges on the baptism of the Spirit.
˜ Years ago the tongues advocates were generally confined to small Pentecostal denominations. But now the charismatic movement transcends denominational barriers and has infiltrated many of the large, main-line denominations, as well as the Roman Catholic Church.
˜ Such groups as the Full Gospel Businessman's Fellowship International have provided considerable impetus for the doctrine of the baptism of the Spirit and its supposed results.... speaking in tongues.
˜ Unfortunately, much confusion has arisen because of the varied ideas about the term -- "baptism of the Spirit."
I. THE BAPTISM OF THE SPIRIT IS UNIQUE:(I Cor. 12:13)
A. What the word -- baptism means: What it always means:
1. It is a Greek word... meaning "to plunge under, to overwhelm, to dip, to
submerge, or to wholly put into."
2. There are two kinds of baptism in Scripture -- water and Spirit. The Greek meaning is the same basic thought... it can't mean one thing in regard to water baptism and yet something totally different in Spirit baptism.
3. Yet water baptism and Spirit baptism is not the same thing.
Water baptism is an act of being wholly put into water. Spirit baptism is an act by the Holy Spirit whereby the saved person is put into the family of God. Consider Romans 6:1-6.
B. The Inception of the Baptism. (Matt. 3:11)
1. Just what is this baptism? At what point in human history did the ministry of the Holy Spirit baptism begin?
2. When did the Church begin? In the Old Testament times? With Abraham? Do we believe that the Church and Israel are the same? Do the promises to one belong to the other? (II Tim. 2:15; I Cor. 10:31-32)
a. Did such take place in the Old Testament times?
b. Is this something the Holy Spirit brings about separate from the
Son or the Father?
3. The first mention is given by John the Baptist in Matthew 3:11.
a. In Matt 3:11 he was stating that the Messiah, Christ, would perform
a spiritual work mightier than anything John the Baptist was capable of doing.
b. The baptism with the Spirit was a divine work which would result in a new Body... the church.
c. It was pronounced to be future -- Matt 3:11; Mk 1:8; Lk 3:16; Jh 1:32 --34 referring to the time of the church age. Up to this time the Spirit had not baptized anyone. He was to do so only after the ascension of Christ.
C. The Importance of the Baptism.... I Cor. 12:13
1. The baptism with the Spirit, or by the Spirit... creates a spiritual Body, the Church: "For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body. . ."
(Eph. 1:19-22; 2:19-22; 3:21; 4:4-6 )
2. This body is a spiritual entity composed of all believers between Pentecost and the Rapture.
3. Since the baptism with the Spirit is essential to the forming of the body, the Church, then the baptism by the Spirit is unique and is connected with the forming of the Church and the Church Age!
4. The baptism by the Spirit is essential to the existence of the Church! Baptism by the Spirit was unknown until the day of Pentecost (Acts 2), so it would be impossible for the Church to exist prior to that occasion.
D. Christ is the One Doing the Baptizing:
1. The death, burial, and resurrection of Christ made possible His ministry of incorporating believers into His body through the agency of the Holy Spirit (Jh 16:7). Christ is the author of the baptism, and the Holy Spirit is the agent or element.
2. The baptism is Christ's work of placing all believers in the church, through the Holy Spirit, beginning at Pentecost. (Acts 2; I Cor. 12:13).
a. In obedience to Christ's last instructions to His disciples, they remained in Jerusalem following Christ's ascension.
b. For they were to be baptized with the Spirit not many days hence. (Acts 1:5)
3. Some teach that we are to tarry... until we have the baptism (in or of)
with the Spirit! They teach we are to tarry, beg, plead, in believing prayer until..... we have been baptized with the Spirit.
The disciples did not plead or pray long enough for the Spirit to come, but were to wait in the upper room until the time assigned for the Spirit to begin His baptizing work. Now that He has undertaking that ministry, the Spirit performed it sovereignly... upon each believer without any waiting or seeking by the believer for such a baptism. (I Cor. 12:13; 6:19-20; 3:16; Jh 7:37-39)
E. Baptism of the Spirit and filling cannot be the same.
1. We are all commanded to be filled with the Spirit. This is dependent upon our submission and obedience. There are many references to people being filled with the Spirit.
2. Many thousands were saved, (the New Testament records) but not a word of their seeking to be baptized by the Holy Spirit or that they sought after that the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
3. The event in Acts 2 was Jewish. The event of Spirit baptism in Acts 11 took place in a Gentile home.
Peter declared that after he had preached the gospel to his hearers, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us, at the beginning, (Acts 11:15).
In interpreting this incident he recalled the promise of the Lord Who had said, "Ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost..." (Acts 11:16, cf Acts 1:5)
In other words, Peter linked the experience of the people gathered in the house of Cornelius with the experience of the disciples at Pentecost.
Peter observed that God had given the Gentiles in the home of Cornelius the "like gift," the Holy Spirit's baptism, that He had given to the disciples at Pentecost. (Acts 11:17)
What was this gift? This explanation establishes the fact that those waiting in the upper room at Pentecost were baptized with the Spirit even though that particular phrase is not employed in the description of the incident in Acts 2. None of these incidents speak of filling and Spirit baptism as being the same.
The filling of the Spirit is emphatically commanded and can be
repeated... Eph. 5:18. "Be ye being filled..."
II. THE BAPTISM OF THE SPIRIT IS UNIVERSAL:
A. It is an instantaneous work in every saved person:
1. The moment one believe on Jesus as Savior, he or she is baptized with
the Spirit and immediately becomes a part of the great Church- His Body.
2. This baptism is not referring to a local body of believers, but the placement in the universal body of Christ. (Acts 1:5; Eph. 4:5)
3. "We all," transcends the local congregation and extends to Paul's meaning to include all Christians everywhere, i.e. the collective church
(I Cor. 1:2) note Paul is writing to "all in every place who call. . . upon . . . Christ."
The baptism of the Spirit is God's blessing to those who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. (Acts 11:17) All true believers are baptized with the Spirit, I Cor. 12:13.
It is not something people are commanded to tarry for, to seek after, to beg for or to be slain the Spirit, that they might prove they have this.
4. How long does one remain in the body of Christ? Forever, it is impossible to be severed from this Body! (Jh 10:27-29; 6:37-47)
5. The verb tense in I Cor. 12:13 supports the truth that the baptism is
permanent and irrevocable... a true believer can never be removed from
the Body of Christ.
B. It is a Positional and Judicial work!
1. Contrary to what many think, or teach, the baptism by the Spirit is not
something we can feel. It is a work of the Spirit, not capable of being
sensed or felt... experientially.
2. The modern charismatic movement tends to equate what they call the
"baptism" with emotional feelings or joys, ecstasy, etc.
3. However the Word of God does not say anything about having sensory
feelings, experience, etc.,
It is a work that occurs by the Spirit by the sovereign will of God... Christ baptizing us with the Spirit into His Body.
It brings wonderful results, for we know we have been placed into the family of God, united with Christ and united with every believer.
It is His act -- just like justification, or the imputing of Christ's righteousness is God's act for the saint of God. (Rom. 4:24; 5:1;
I Cor. 6:11; II Cor. 5:21)
C. It is a Fulfilling work:
(Eph. 1:19-23 2:19-22 3:21 4:4-6)
1. Scriptures emphasize the fact that we are all baptized with the Spirit
to make Christ's body... the Church!
This means every saved person is a recipient, not just selected ones who pray through or are more spiritual... or who speak in tongues as a result.
The Corinthian church contained many carnal, worldly Christians, yet these were all part of the Body of Christ.
Family placing... adoption into God's family is not confined to a select group who meet certain high standards. Every believer is placed into the Body by the baptizing work of the Spirit. (Gal. 4:5-7; Eph. 1:4-7)
III. THE BAPTISM OF THE SPIRIT IS UNIFYING:
A. It brings identification with others.
1. One thought stands out as we contemplate the doctrine of Spirit
baptism -- We are ONE! This is a positional unity.
2. This is emphasized again and again, (I Cor. 12:11-20) for we are inseparably united with other believers....one body!
3. The true, universal church is one despite the fact that its individual members are not all members of the same denomination or group.
4. Spiritual oneness of all the saved is not dependent upon earthly affiliations, or physical proximity... but upon their union with Christ and with His people.
5. Christ's prayer of Jh 17:21 has been answered: "that they all may be one."
Each person who receives Christ is baptized into one body, the Body of Christ, the true church. Christ is the head of this true church -- His Body (Eph. 1:22-23). He is the one Head of the one Body, and He gives life and direction to this Body. (Eph. 4:4; 15-16)
B. It Ought to Bring a Practical Unity:
1. Out of this believers ought to -- appreciate one another. -- I Cor. 12:21
2. Out of this we ought to see -- we need one another. - Jh 13:34-35
3. True compassion, sympathy ought to mark our relationships.-I Cor. 12:25
4. There ought to be helpful interaction -- laboring together for God's glory,
laboring to build up the body. (Eph. 4:16)
Study, Number SEVENTEEN
- PART ONE -
Biblical Revelation and the Holy Spirit. . .Dangers
of An Anti-Biblical Position!
The Battle for the Bible Rages ON!
Harold Lindsell's recent book is well named.. The Battle for the Bible.! The battle has raged for centuries and has become especially heated in the last 100 years or so.
˜ At the turn of the century and on into the 1920's and 1930's, there was a frontal attack on biblical authority by those with liberal and neo-orthodox views which has continued to this very day.
˜ In recent times, a more subtle second attack has come through the back door by those who are caught up in experiential Christianity.
˜ The liberals have always been at the front door, openly accusing the Bible as full of error and have mounted an aggressive attack against the Word of God.
˜ Those at the back door, while professing to believe the Bible, at the same time embraced man's experience, traditions, new revelations, etc., as their authority rather than the Word of God.
It is basically an issue of "revelation -- interpretation -- and authority!"
˜ What is the authority for the believers' life? Is it the Word of God, or personal experience? (Jh 17:17; Matt 4:4; Jh 8:31; I Pet. 1:23;
I Pet. 2:2; II Tim. 3:16-17; Acts 17:11; Jh 5:39)
˜ There is no maturity, there is no sanctification, there is no spiritual legitimacy in an experience apart from the Truth of the Word of God.
˜ But the experiential wave rolls on as doctrine and theology are being washed out the door. Many people are magnifying experience. . . and putting it ahead of what the Bible teaches.
˜ To build a theology or doctrine upon experience is to build upon shifting sand. To build a theology or system of beliefs on God's inspired, revealed Word is to build upon rock.
The battle for the authority of the Bible is really happening.
THE FIRST ISSUE IS -- REVELATION!
Who Holds On To Extra Biblical Revelations?
I. What is the Roman Catholic View of Revelation!
A. They say that "Dogmatic Tradition" is revealed truth. This is also
called "primary truth."
1. They teach that the traditions of the church are the overflow of the
word outside sacred Scripture. Traditions are put on par with the Scriptures, and often are exalted above the Word of God.
They teach: This is neither identical with or separate from Holy Writ, in content it is "other scripture through which the Word made Himself known."
Kasper Schatzgeyer, a Roman Catholic leader (1463-1527) said, "An intimate revelation from the Holy Spirit is an everyday possibility. Once known beyond doubt, it is as binding as the teaching that came from Christ's own mouth."
2. They teach that Disciplinary tradition includes the practices and liturgical rites of the church in apostolic and post apostolic times that are not a part of divine revelation in Scripture. Disciplinary tradition is also commonly called "secondary tradition."
B. Therefore the question... Where does the Bible end? Because of their interpretation of the word tradition, doctrinal teaching is open-ended. Roman Catholic doctrinal teaching is equal in authority to the Scriptures
or even put above the Scriptures. (sacraments, purgatory, penance, etc.)
II. What is the Neo-orthodox View of Revelation?
The neo-orthodox theologian says, "the Bible is not the Word of God as it sits on the shelf. The Bible is a good model and a dynamic witness that contain the potential to become the Word of God. The Bible becomes the Word of God when God chooses to use this imperfect channel to confront man with His perfect word... as a means of a personal encounter by God with man in an act of revelation.The Bible comes the Word of God to the individual when it speaks to him."
A. Their position is that the Bible is inspired only when it creates an experience for you.
B. The Bible, says the neo-orthodox, is not all there is. God is still giving revelations, still inspiring others in the same way He inspired the biblical writers. "If the Bible is indeed the Word of God it is not the last word."
III. What About the Cults and Extra-Biblical Revelation?
A. The Mormons base their whole system on the book of Mormon, supposed revelation by Joseph Smith.
1. They also put two others books written by Joseph Smith on a par with
with Word of God : Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price.
2. From these pour error after error concerning God, the nature of man,
the person and work of Christ, etc., the result is theological chaos.
B. Some more chaos based on extra biblical revelation is found in Christian Science. Listen to the quotes.
C. The best known cult may be Jehovah Witnesses.
1. They deny the Trinity, and teach Christ is but a god, a created being.
2. They teach many satanic doctrines because of their extra-biblical authority.
D. Then there is the religion of Scientology. They claim revelation of some kind from God, but their religion is based on pantheism.
The road of extra revelational claims is full of detours, dead ends, and giant chuckholes. David Berg, leader of the Children of God group refers to himself as Moses, a latter-day prophet, and David, King of Israel. Berg wrote some 500 letters in five years. A report in Christianity Today states the following: "Berg, who is said to have several concubines, insists that his letters are 'God's Word for Today,' and have supplanted the Biblical Scriptures." (Which he calls God's Word for yesterday. )
IV. What About the Charismatics?Where do many of them stand?
A. Many of the charismatics argue for a continued-contemporary
1. Extremes usually start with slight deviations!
2. The price of Charismatic mysticism and subjectivism. . . is much too high and it brings deviation from the truth of God's Word.
a. Everybody is free to do and say what he thinks God is telling him.
b. The uniqueness of the central authority of the Word of God is lost, and we are headed for a mystical Christianity that will eventually
have no real content or substance.
c. We are headed for the kind of situation Amos spoke of when he
said that there was a famine of "hearing the words of the Lord," in
the land. (Amos 8:11)
d. Go to the average Christian bookstore, and what will you find? Over half of the books deal with somebody's experience rather than a solid study of the Bible, doctrine, and theology.
Judging by the statements of Charismatic leaders regarding their theories of continued revelation, the Charismatic view of Scripture borders on neo-orthodox subjectivism. It drifts to and fro on the borders of mysticism.
Are We to Look for Continued-Contemporary Revelation?
I. Is the Biblical Canon Chosen and Closed?Are the books of the Bible
all of God's revelation or are we to look for more?
A. God's Word is complete -- Jude encompasses the entire New Testament when he writes: ".... it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints."
1. In the 16th century the Reformation affirmed, "Sola Scriptura," the
Bible is supreme and the only authority, and thus they denied the Apocryphal a place among the inspired writings.
2. And they rejected the claims of the Roman Catholic church.... "That
traditions are ascribed to Christ himself or to the apostles....(penance,
indulgences, purgatory, mariolatry, etc.), and are as binding and were as valid as the Word of God."
3. They teach the pope speaks with supreme apostolic authority and with infallibility when he made decrees -- ex cathedra.
B. The Canon of Scripture is complete!
1. The Old Testament canon closed about 400 B.C. By then the Jews knew clearly which books were inspired by God.
a. They chose the books written by those known as spokesmen for God and which claimed inspiration of God.
b. The genuine books fit history, geography and theology.
c. They studied these books carefully and found no errors.
2. The same was true of the New Testament canon. The early church applied similar tests to prove which books were authentic and which were not.
a. A key test was apostolic authorship. Every book was written by an apostle or a close associate of an apostle.
b. A second test used by the early church was content.
Does it agree with apostolic doctrine? (Acts 2:42)
c. A third test... was "Is the book read in the churches? In other words
did God's people accept it, use it for worship?
e. A fourth test was a recognition of all the books by the next
generation that followed the early church -- the church fathers.
f. From the time of the apostles until the present, the true church has
believed that the revelation was finished.
3. God has given us the complete; sufficient, inerrant, infallible, and authoritative Word of God.
4. Any attempts to add to the Word of God has always resulted in
cults, false doctrines, heresy, or the weakening of the body of Christ.
II. What Does Inspiration of the Word of God Mean?
A. The English word inspired comes from the Greek term theopneustos meaning "God-breathed." (II Tim. 3:16-17)
1. Scripture is the very breath of God... given directly by God.
2. Scripture is God speaking, and the examples are many.
a. God said to Moses.."Go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say." (Exod. 4:12)
b. Jeremiah, received this charge from God: "Whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak... behold I have put my words into thy mouth." (Jere. 1:7,9)
c. To Ezekiel God said, "Son of man, go get thee unto the house of Israel... and all my words that I shall speak unto thee receive in thine heart, and hear with thine ears. And go .... speak unto them."
(Ezek. 3:4, 10-11)
3. Consider II Pet. 1:21; Gal. 1:23; I Tim. 4:1 (the "faith") That is,
the ONE and ONLY faith... the faith... a completed revelation!
3. "Once for all," as given in Jude 3 is the Greek word hapax, which
refers to something done for all time, with lasting results, never
needed to be repeated. Nothing needs to be added to the faith that
has been delivered "once for all."
Through the Scriptures God has given His people a body of teaching on His Son that is final and complete. Our Christian faith rests on historical objective revelation - not something subjective. This rules out all prophecies, seers, and new revelation until God speaks again in the end time. (Acts 2:16-21; Rev. 11:1-3). Because the Word of God as delivered is unchangeable and unalterable, any new doctrine or new revelation is unnecessary and false.
4. We do not have the right to loosely interpret the meaning of revelation and inspiration to fit our experiences.
5. Scripture is not "clarified" by someone listening to someone who thinks he has the gift of prophecy.
6. Scripture is understood as it is carefully and diligently studied. . . "comparing spiritual things with spiritual." (I Cor. 2:9-16... context of
the whole chapter. Compared with Psa. 119; and Joshua 1; Psa. 1)
7. An accurate understanding of inspiration and revelation is essential for distinguishing between the voice of God and the voice of man.
a. In the Old Testament, men were stoned who professed to speak for God but spoke rather their own opinions.
b. In the New Testament believers are urged to test the spirits and to
pass judgment on teaching. (Acts 17:11; I Jh. 4:1; II Tim. 2:15;
Col. 2:4; 2:18)
˜ The Roman Catholic church has added to Scripture and now has such traditions as penance, purgatory, and Mary's immaculate conception.
˜ Could it be that Charismatics are already building certain traditions of their own? For example, in many Charismatic circles, being slain in the spirit is a familiar term. (When "slain in the spirit," you are knocked flat by a touch from someone who is supposedly a transmitter of divine power.)
˜ One Charismatic said, "Oh, yes, it's vital to be slain in the Spirit. In fact, you should never go for more than two or three weeks without being slain in the Spirit."
˜ Another said that there are no limits to it. It sometimes even becomes a contest to see who can get slain the most often.
˜ Dr. John MacArthur Jr., pastor of Grace Community Church of Panorama City, CA., asked a Charismatic: "Why do you do this?" His answer was,"Because this is the way the Spirit of God's power comes upon you!" "According to what Scripture?" he was asked. "Well, there isn't any Scripture." he replied.
˜ No Scripture, no authority for it. The practice is not from the divinely revealed Word of God but because of man's erroneous teachings, seeking something new.
˜ Charismatic and Roman Catholic methodology walk hand in hand at this point. For many Charismatics -- dreams, new revelations, visions, etc., become as binding on the believer as the Word of God.
˜ But, What saith the Scriptures?
Introductory Thoughts to the Second Lesson
about this truth:
˜ Hermeneutics is the science and art of Biblical Interpretation... and as such is
one of the most important members of the theological disciplines!
˜ There are basic qualifications of the those who interpret the Word of God.
> An interpreter of God's Word must be born again (I Cor. 2:14-16).
> The interpreter must have a desire to study the Word of God.
> He must have a deep reverence for the God.
> He must have an utter dependence on the Holy Spirit to guide and direct.
˜ That God has spoken in the Holy Scriptures is the very heart of our faith,
and without that we would be cast upon the uncertain waters of the relativity
of knowledge. God has spoken... What has He said?
˜ In the science of hermeneutics (or the interpretation of the Scriptures) the great need is to bridge the gap between our minds and the minds of the Biblical writers as they were led of the Holy Spirit in what they wrote. "What did God
say through them. . . what am I to understand... is the issue!"
˜ Some say that everyone has his own interpretation... "so it is just whatever you
think or feel" . . . they would say!
> God does want us to to be able to interpret the Scriptures correctly.
> To study, interpret, and be able to apply the Bible correctly are the goals
of any conscientious Christian.
˜ If an individual can make the Bible say what he wants it so say, then the Bible cannot guide him. It is merely a weapon in his hands to support his own ideas. The Bible was not written with that purpose in mind. (See John 20:30-32.)
˜ There are some basic assumptions that we must first accept as we interpret the Word of God. . . Everyone lives his life with certain basic assumptions. These vary from one situation to another. For example, if you were flying to Europe -- you would have to assume at least 4 basic things --
˜ Consciously or unconsciously -- in all religions either -- traditions -- human reasoning -- another book other than the Bible -- or the Scriptures themselves are the ultimate authority --
> The Bible is authoritative.
> The primary aim of interpretation is to discover the author's meaning to us
and ultimately God's meaning to us through the person He used to write it.
> Language can communicate spiritual truth. (Rom. 10:17; Heb. 4:12;
˜ There are four basic elements in the study of the Word of God --
> Observation -- what does it say here?
> Interpretation -- what does it mean?
> Correlation -- how does it relate to the rest of what the Bible says?
> Application -- what does it mean to me?
˜ In the Bible, God is speaking -- it demands my response -- what does it say to
me? What do I need to change? What do I need to do, react how???
Study, Number EIGHTEEN
- PART TWO -
Biblical Interpretation and the
The Dangers of An Anti-Biblical Position!
The question of interpretation is almost as crucial as the issue of revelation as we noted two weeks ago.
˜ What good does it do to agree that the Bible is God's final and complete revelation and then end up misinterpreting it?
˜ If we misinterpret the Scriptures we not only miss the truth, but we can make
the Word of God say most anything we desire it to say.
˜ How do we interpret God's Word? Are there basic fundamental principles to follow in interpreting the Scriptures?
˜ We live in a culture today that puts much emphasis upon doing your own thing, and speaking up for your own opinion. The emphasis is upon freedom for yourself... and this approach has effected people's Bible reading and study.
˜ People say... "Well this verse means this to me!" But is that actually what the
verse is saying?
˜ We need good solid understanding of how to interpret the Scriptures.
I. ERRORS WE NEED TO AVOID IN INTERPRETING THE WORD OF GOD!
A. Don't make a point at the price of proper interpretation, in order to
fulfill personal bias or thought.
1. An illustration that is obvious is John 3:1-7. Just what is "water"
in this text?
a. Does it mean water baptism? (Church of Christ and Christian churches teach that it does.)
b. Could it have meant that to Nicodemus?
c. What is the context? What were Jesus and Nicodemus taking about?
2. An illustration from Genesis 11... the Tower of Babel.
B. Avoid careless, superficial study!
1. Far too many preachers, and Christians in general just share what they
think, what they feel about some portion of Scripture ... and put no time into "what is God saying here!"
2. Accurate Bible study comes about by hard work. (II Tim. 2:15) We can't
just guess at what God is saying in His Word.
3. Double honor is for those who labor in word and doctrine. (I Tim 5:17)
4. There is a big difference between whimsical interpretations and the teaching of learned men who have the skill and tools to explain what the Word of God means by what it says.
C. One of greatest dangers is in spiritualizing or allegorizing from
Scripture - this should be avoided at all costs.
1. Sometimes people put their imaginations into high gear.. and then
come up with some off the wall ideas... reading into the Word of God what they want it to say.
2. Instead of getting out of the Word what it says - they put into the Word
what they want it to say.
3. Christ is an example or model of approach to interpreting the Word.
(Luke 24: ) As he walked along with the two from Emmaus just after
His resurrection, He "beginning at Moses and all the prophets... expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself."
a. The word, expound, is the word hermeneuo, or to interpret.
b. Jesus used hermeneutics... or correct Bible interpretation.
II. SOME PRINCIPLES FOR SOUND BIBLE INTERPRETATION!
A. God wants us to take the Word of God "literally."
1. Understanding Scripture is to take it in the natural, normal sense.
a. That is, what is the customary meaning of the word used?
b. God did not cloak His word in obscurity.
c. God desires to communicate with us.
d. He will do it in the most obvious and most simple fashion possible.
2. While there is figurative language, even it is dependent upon the
natural, normal, obvious meaning.
(See Matthew 5:13-16.)
(See Luke 8:12; John 10:9)
a. There are symbolisms, allegories, but even these are to be interpreted
in the understanding of the common usage of the words.
b. We are not to look for some deeper, hidden, secretive, spiritualized
c. The symbolic as seen in many prophetic portions is still dependent
upon the historical setting and must be studied very carefully.
3. Once we abandon the literal, then we discard all hope of achieving
a. Then a free-for-all approach is taken.
b. Then only imagination and personal ideas and bias rule.
c. In this manner people fashion the Word of God into whatever
they want it to say.
B. Scripture must be interpreted within the historically setting.
1. One must recreate the historical setting in which the passage was
written. If we understand that aspect, most of the time the passage will
be easily understood.
2. Historically, we could ask such questions as:
a. Who was ruling then? b. What location is involved?
c. Were there tensions, problems, crises at that time?
d. What was the culture like? e. How did the people live then?
f. What was the social, economic, and political life like then?
g. When was it written, or when did the events take place, etc.?
3. So we need Bible dictionaries, Bible handbooks, and books about
Bible customs, archeology, geography, etc.
4. We must seek to reconstruct the historical setting of the portion
of Scripture we are reading, and seeking to interpret accordingly.
C. We must ask ourselves practical questions about the text, such as:
1. To whom was this written or spoken?
2. When was this written or spoken?
3. Where was this written, or spoken.
4. Who wrote this, or spoke this?
5. About whom is this written or spoken?
6. Why was it written or spoken?
D. We must look at the Scripture grammatically! (Look at it analytically)
1. What does the portion say in terms of words and grammar?
2. Do we need the explanation of the words and their meaning?
3. Even prepositions are extremely important and can change the
meaning of a text. (words like into, or in, or by, or with)
4. Sometimes there is a big difference between "because of" or "through!"
5. We must follow the sequence of words, phrases, sentences, etc.
E. We must interpret the Word of God from the aspect of its synthesis!
(Look at the verse (s) from the basis of the whole and its inter-relationship or how does it correlate with others passages of Scripture?)
1. This means -- no part of the Scripture contradicts another part. (If is
seems as though it does to us, then we must study further.
We are wrong, and not the Bible.)
2. One Divine Author gave us the Word -- the Holy Spirit used men of
God who were moved to write the Word of God. (II Pet. 1:20-21)
a. Therefore it will be one marvelous unit.
b. Therefore there will be unity throughout the Scriptures.
c. The Holy Spirit does not disagree with Himself, He will not
contradict His own word.
3. We are to compare spiritual things with spiritual... the Word of God
it its best interpreter. (I Cor. 2:9-13)
F. We need to understand that the Word of God is very practical, and
there are practical reasons why it was given to us? (II Tim. 3:16-17)
1. We should ask the question - What does this portion say to me?
What do I need to change, or apply?
a. God gave His word for doctrine -- or teaching. This is speaking
of basic divine truth. Doctrine encompasses the biblical
principles we are to live by.
b. His Word is for reproof -- it unmasks our sin, reveals our guilt,
convicts our hearts, and causes us to confess personal failures.
Often doctrine brings this about in our lives.
c. It is for correction -- this is speaking of personal change we can
apply or put into practice because of the reproof.
d. And it is for training in righteousness -- this refers to the laying
out of new righteous paths in response to doctrine, reproof, and
2. Who works in our hearts and lives that we might understand the
Word of God? (I Cor. 2:9-13)
a. The Holy Spirit is the "Revealing Spirit." (2:9-10)
He is not speaking of prophetic truth, but the things that are wrapped up in our redemption. The Bible is the treasury of good things! The Author of the Word of God opens truth to us-- about our position in Christ, and our provisions in Christ, about all we need! For "what God has prepared... He has revealed."
b. There is inspiration and revelation by the Holy Spirit's work.
The Holy Spirit is involved in these. Inspiration is how the Bible came while revelation is what the Bible is! Inspiration is the cause while revelation is the effect. Inspiration is the inflow while revelation is the out-flow. Inspiration is the method God used... while revelation is the result of what God said.
c. There is revelation and there must be interpretation.
Interpretation must be according to the revelation. Since the revelation was spiritual, the interpretation must be spiritual.
d. There is interpretation and illumination by the Spirit's work in us.
(I Cor. 2:11-13)
Since the revelation came by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, then that revelation will be interpreted and understood by the illumination of the Holy Spirit. Inspiration (II Pet 1:20-21) came to few men, but illumination comes to all the saved. Inspiration communicated the message while illumination communicates the message to our hearts.
He teaches us!
III. SOME TRUTHS ABOUT THE HOLY SPIRIT TEACHING THE
SAINT OF GOD:(More detailed study of I Corinthians 2:9-14)
˜ Our salvation involves all three Persons of the God-head. (I Pet. 1:2, Eph. 1:3-14)
There is the Father's electing grace, (Eph. 2:8-9; Eph. 1:4-7)
the Son's loving sacrifice, ( Eph. 2:1-7, I Pet. 1:15; I Pet. 2:24) and the
the Spirit's ministry of conviction and regeneration. (Tit 3:5; Jh 3:1-7)
A. The Holy Spirit Indwells the Believer Upon Our Salvation: (2:12)
1. The moment you were saved the Holy Spirit took up His abode in you.
a. You are His temple - ( I Cor. 6:19-20, 3:15)
b. He baptized you (identified you) into the body of Christ. (I Cor. 12:13).
c. He sealed you (Eph. 1:13-14)
d. He will remain with you, (Jh 14:16) for He is God's gift to you.
2. He carries out the ministry of the God-Head three in you.
B. The Holy Spirit Searches: (2:10-11)
1. The deep things of God are not hidden to us, but instead they are
made real to us by the ministry of the Holy Spirit.
a. I can't know what goes on in your inner person, heart, life,
or thoughts -- but your spirit within you knows.
b. Neither can I know the "deep things of God" unless the Holy
Spirit makes those things real to my inner spirit.
2. The Holy Spirit knows the deep things of God and reveals them to us.
C. The Holy Spirit teaches! (2:13)
1. Jesus promised the Comforter (Holy Spirit) would teach us! (Jh 14:26)
2. Jesus said He (the Holy Spirit) would guide us into all truth. (Jh 16:13)
3. The truth of God is found in these words (God's Word) for they are
the inspired words. (See Jh 17:8.)
4. The Holy Spirit will make the vocabulary of the Spirit real to us.
And we must learn the vocabulary of the Word of God. This includes
much doctrine. . . and He compares spiritual things with spiritual.
a. He reminds us of what He has taught us;
b. then, He relates that truth to something new (new to us);
b. He then leads us into new truth and new application (Biblical
truth made real to us).
c. He shows us how the Word relates to our daily life.
D. He Matures the Believer: (I Cor. 2:14 -- 3:4) The contrast here is between the natural man, the spiritual man, and the carnal man. The unsaved man cannot receive the things of the Spirit. The mark of maturity is decernment! Are we allowing the Holy Spirit to teach us, to lead us into the Will of God, to fulfill the plan of God?
He says.."We have the mind of Christ!" that we might see life from His view!
Study, Number NINETEEN
- PART THREE -
The Holy Spirit and Rightly Dividing
the Word of Truth!
The Dangers of An Anti-Biblical Position!
It is basically an issue of "revelation -- interpretation -- and authority!"
˜ What is the authority for the believers' life? Is it the Word of God, or personal experience? (Jh 17:17; Matt 4:4; Jh 8:31; I Pet. 1:23; I Pet. 2:2;
II Tim. 3:16-17; Acts 17:11; Jh 5:39)
˜ There is no maturity, there is no sanctification, there is no spiritual legitimacy in an experience apart from the truth of the Word of God.
˜ But the "experiential wave" rolls on as doctrine and theology are being washed out the door. Many people are magnifying experience and putting it ahead of what the Bible teaches.
˜ To build a theology or doctrine upon experience is to build upon shifting sand. To build a theology or system of beliefs on God's inspired, revealed Word is to build upon rock.
The battle for the authority of the Bible is really happening.
I. THERE ARE TWO BASIC APPROACHES TO BIBLICAL TRUTH:
A. There is the historical, objective approach, which emphasizes God's message and action toward man as recorded in Scripture.
1. Objective historical theology is the position of a "Biblicist."
2. It is historical fundamentalism, or historical evangelicalism.
3. It is historical orthodoxy.
4. We begin with God's Word and anybody's thoughts, ideas, or experiences are valid or invalid on the basis of how they compare with the Word of God.
B. There is the personal subjective approach, which emphasizes man's experience of God.
1. The subjective view is the methodology of Roman Catholicism. Here
intuition, experience, and mysticism, and man-made doctrines have always played a big part in Roman Catholic theology.
2. The subjective view has always been at the heart of liberalism and
3. To these people truth is what you think, feel, experience, and claim.
They say "the truth is what happens to you,"
4. The subjective view is also the position of Charismatics or Pentecostalism.
5. Was Peter a Charismatic? Did he speak in tongues, heal people, and prophesy? Did he have any fantastic experiences? (Matt 17:1-13) Did he put an emphasis on these experiences, that Christians should seek after such?
What did he teach in I or II Peter?
When it came to verifying the faith -- he put emphasis on God's revelation, the Word of God. (I Pet. 1:2-5, 9-12, 2:9-11; II Pet. 1:3-11; 1:12-21) Peter's point was -- "All experience must be validated by the more sure word of Scripture." (II Pet. 1:1-19) For many Charismatics the only way to live the Christian life is to have something more, something better, another experience, even weekly. They have to seek continually for another emotional experience, another sensation or feeling, an "emotional rush."
If we had our choice, how would we build a theology? Would we go to the Bible or would we build it on our experiences or the experience of other Christians? If we build it on the experiences of individuals we will have as many ideas as there are people.
II. THERE ARE THREE KEY PASSAGES THAT ARE NOT RIGHTLY INTERPRETED:(There are many others as well.)
To rightly divide the Word of Truth (II Tim. 2:15; I Cor. 10:30-31) is to
interpret the Scriptures based on :
> the historical setting, > the literal approach,
> correct grammatically, > correct in correlation with all Scriptures.
A. What Does Sin Against the Holy Spirit Really Mean?
(Consider the Charismatic's teaching text -- Matthew 12:22-31.)
There are those who teach that anyone who questions speaking in tongues, or other aspects of the Charismatic movement is guilty of doing what the Pharisees did -- criticizing Jesus and attributing His work to Satan.
These say that those who stand against the tongues movement are close to committing the unpardonable sin or blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.
1. The problem was these Jews attributed Christ's miracles to the work of Satan.
2. The religious Jews declared the power by which Christ cast out devils
was by the power of Beelzebub, the prince of devils.
In this position the Jews rendered salvation impossible for themselves for conviction for the need of Christ, of sin, and of judgment to come -- is the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Hence, if the Holy Spirit's work in and through Christ was the work of devil -- how could they come to Christ? (Lk 4:14-21)
For the Charismatics to apply this today to those who reject speaking in tongues and other Charismatic doctrines is a grave error. To interpret this text in that manner does not hold up to the grammatic, historical, or literal principles of interpretation nor does it square with other parts of the New Testament.
B. Jesus, the Same Yesterday, Today, and Forever: (Heb. 13:8)
1. What does this verse actually teach?
2. Does it teach that Christ who worked miracles, raised the dead, healed
many of sickness, and performed other miracles -- was doing that yesterday, hence today, and hence forever? Tongues teachers say, YES!
3. The typical Charismatic interpretation of this verse is often used to defend their position. Among other things they teach that if Jesus baptized with the evidence of speaking in tongues yesterday, then He is doing this today, and will continue to do this tomorrow.
4. They teach that what happened yesterday (the apostolic age) is also happening now. New revelation is happening, tongues go on, healings continue, and miracles continue. Is this what the verse teaches?
5. Let's consider the verse according to the following:
Literal meaning -- This is plain, Jesus is unchanging -- yesterday, today and forever. He never changes in who He is -- He is God: omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, perfect in every moral attribute: in love, mercy, grace, holiness, etc. (In essence He is the same always!)
Then what about forever? Is Christ doing the same thing forever? No gifts are forever! I Corinthians 13:8-1 0 clearly says that gifts of prophecy, tongues and knowledge will not endure forever.
Historical aspect -- Does yesterday only go back as far as when Christ was upon the earth? What about Old Testament times? He was with the Father -(Jh 1:1-3, 14) but became flesh. He has not been doing the same in all of yesterday. Has He always had the same form?
Christ did not speak in tongues, nor do you find tongues speaking in the Old Testament. Obviously tongues were not a part of Christ's ministry. So when does yesterday begin or end? They need to rethink their position. Historically they are not correct!
In correlation with other Scriptures -- the Charismatic interpretation of Hebrews 13:8 does not hold up. They force a meaning upon this verse to justify their contention that tongues, miracles, and healings are happening today just as they did in the first century... and that it is taking place through their movement. Do you find their application anywhere in Scripture?
C. By His Stripes We Are Healed -- But From What? (I Pet. 2:24; Isa. 53:3-11)
1. Pentecostals, or Charismatics teach that healing is in the atonement!
2. They contend that Christ died not only to pay for sin -- but to keep us
well, it is not His will for YOU to be SICK. (If you are sick it is because
you do not have faith in His healing. (They use Isa. 53:5 and I Pet. 2:24)
Consider again the basic principles of Biblical Interpretation:
Grammatically: The grammatical principle applies directly regarding this verse. What is the meaning of healing in the context of I Peter 2:24? Is there mention of physical healing in this verse or in the context? He said we are "to live unto righteousness, not unto health." and it says..."You were healed..." it is past tense, not -- by His death you are being healing!
The correlation principle: As we check other portions.. comparing Scripture with Scripture, what do we find? Our souls are healed from sin sickness. . . it is spiritual healing. . . there is no guarantee of physical healing from disease. (Isa. 53:4-11; Isa. 1:4-6; Rom. 8:23; Matt 8:17; Heb. 4:15) The emphasis of Isaiah chapter 53 is upon His death as payment of our sins.
And this is the only historical interpretation that is Biblical.
III. THERE IS ONE BASIC POSITION THAT IS FOUNDATIONAL to all
Charismatic Doctrine: The saved " must speak in tongues!"
A. This is the "touchstone for the Charismatic" because it is the key doctrine in this system of theology: The baptism of the Holy Spirit is center to all they hold dear. You must be baptized by the Holy Spirit, and in this experience -- you will speak in tongues!
1. This is a cardinal doctrine with them; they do not agree how you get it.
2. Dale Bruner said, "There appears to be as many suggested conditions for the reception of the baptism of the Holy Spirit as there are, in fact, advocates of the doctrine." These included:
a. acts of obedience b. prayer and repentance c. humility
d. sinlessness e. self-purification f. "leaving all"
g. "going all the way" h. abandoning i. tarrying, faith
j. being fully consecrated
Charismatic writer Robert Dalton expressed the element of effort when he said, "This experience is not for a select few, but for all who desire it and are willing to pay the price."
But Pentecostal writer Ralph M. Riggs commented, "Seekers . . . after the baptism in the Spirit should always remember that this experience is also called, 'The Gift of the Holy Ghost.' Gifts are not earned or won by choice or merit. Gifts cannot be forced from the giver. . . the Holy Spirit is gracious. . . He is a God-sent Gift, and we receive Him by faith and by faith alone. (Often the same writer will contradict himself.)
B. We must consider some basic questions!
1. What is Spirit baptism? 2. How do you get Spirit baptism?
3. When do you get Spirit baptism? 4. What are the results?
Consider I Cor. 12:12-13 "For as the body is one and hath many members, and all the members of that body, being many, are one body: so also in Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit."
Grammatically: The English is very clear; the baptism is something the Holy Spirit does for us! The verb tense denotes it is something we merely receive, that He has done -- past tense. It happens to all the saved, not based on merit, and clearly is not evidenced by some emotional experience or something we do. It is a finished act done by God.
Christ stated that it was His will that the Spirit would baptize us into His body, the Church, the family of God. The Greek preposition "en" which denotes position (IN) is used. (Consider John 1:29-33; Acts 1:4-8)
Historically: It is a finished work. . . an act taking place at Pentecost that continues to take place when a person is saved, accepting Christ as Savior. (Acts 1: 5, 8; 2:1-8;
I Cor. 12:13)
Correlated principle: Comparing Scripture with Scripture about the church it is obvious this is a Divine act . . . baptizing us by One Spirit into one body. (Eph. 4:3-6) We are baptized "with" the Spirit for it is not a baptism "of" the Spirit!
1. We must "rightly divide the Word of Truth."
2. We do not have a right to make Scripture teach something that is not there!
3. False doctrines come about because people are not honest with the text!
4. If we apply basic principles of interpretation -- we will not embrace false doctrine!
IV. THERE IS A LACK OF UNDERSTANDING ABOUT THE PROGRESS AND PROCESS OF REVELATION:
A. Revelation of Truth is Progressive!
B. The Gospels Are Transitional!
C. The Book of Acts is Transitional!
D. The Epistles Contain The Directives for the New Testament Church -- (doctrines of the Church Age for this age of grace)
1. The unfolding of New Testament doctrines was also progressive!
2. The Epistles dealt with various problems at the beginning of this
Church age -- and they deal with basic principles that still
apply to us today.
3. Many doctrines that are the "very foundation of our faith" are
not found in the gospels nor in the book of Acts.
4. Our duty is to understand the "ways of God. " God has not deal with people the same over all that ages.
5. There are basic principles that give us greater wisdom, discernment,
Study, Number Twenty
What About the Holy Spirit
and Sign Gifts?
First I want to share an overall view of gifts as taught in Scripture:
Six Separate Lists of Gifts Appear in the New Testament:
I Corinthians 12:8-10 I Corinthians 12:28 I Corinthians 12:29-30
Word of wisdom Apostle Apostle
Word of knowledge Prophecy Prophecy
Faith Teaching Teaching
Healing Miracles Miracles
Miracles Healing Healing
Prophecy Helps Tongues
Distinguishing of spirits Administration Interpretation of tongues
Interpretation of tongues
Romans 12:6-8 Ephesians 4:11 I Peter 4:11
Prophecy Apostle Speaking
Serving Prophecy Serving
Exhortation Pastor / teacher
The Gifts in These Lists Can Be Broken Down Into Two Categories and Two Subcategories:
Motivational Gifts: These gifts serve as the primary motivation for their
recipient's service. There are two categories of
Equipping Gifts Service Gifts:
These gifts are listed in Ephesians 4:11. These gifts are primarily
They were given to certain believers to service oriented.
enable them to equip others to do the
work of the ministry. Administration
(*) Apostle. . . Prophecy. . . Evangelism Exhortation
Pastor/ Teacher Faith. . .Giving
Service. . . Mercy
(*) The gift of Apostles was reserved for the twelve men chosen by Jesus during His earthly ministry. Later, the Apostle Paul was chosen and given this gift as well.
Sign Gifts: These gifts validate the authenticity of God's messengers
along with their message. They were temporary gifts!
Miracles. . . Healing. . . Tongues. . . Interpretation of Tongues!
What About the "Sign Gift"... Speaking In Tongues?
Scripture:I Corinthians 12:1-11; I Corinthians 14:1-40; Acts 2:1-13;
Acts 10:44-48; Acts 19:6
The nature and exercise of the gift of tongues are much discussed topics today. Today there is a strong "charismatic movement" which has crossed all denominational lines and has had a great impact and influence on almost every denomination. Until recent years, the"tongues movement" was largely confined to a few rather small denominations. Those who claimed to have the gift of tongues were then found only in these groups. In recent decades the situation has vastly changed. The tongues movement did not exist over the centuries, but is a relatively recent movement.
Much confusion abounds about what is truth in regard to "speaking in tongues." Much of this problem is due to the fact that people will not accept the clear teaching of the Word of God but will accept the word or the "experience" of others. There is a reason why Liberals (who deny the blood, virgin birth, etc.), Pentecostals and even Roman Catholics can get together under the banner of the "tongues experience." You see, it is possible to have an emotional experience, and speak in tongues, (gibberish) and not even be saved. Vast numbers of people are looking for a religious, emotional experience. Even Satan and demonic work can give that to an individual.
For many, who strongly propagate speaking in tongues, it often becomes their "gospel." It becomes all consuming, and their goal is to get everyone involved. In the climate of "deadness and coldness" of the liberal-main-line denominations the door has been wide open among the laity to get involved in something that seems to have life and gives a religious emotional uplift and experience. Therefore, the tongues movement can flourish among those who at the same time deny the "virgin birth" and other basic doctrines of the way of salvation.
Some good, well-meaning saved people who, while they do not speak in tongues themselves, resent any exposure of the fallacy of the tongues position because they have relatives or close friends involved. These easily indirectly aid the cause of the false teaching. Others are involved because of some famous TV preacher whom they admire and like to hear.
Speaking in tongues allows great doctrinal deviation in a number
of areas of Biblical truth.
In this study we will endeavor to divorce ourselves from personal attachments and sentimental opinions, and face honestly the teaching of the Word of God.
Now, let's examine some very important areas of Bible truth. . .
I. TONGUES AND THE BAPTISM AND FILLING OF THE SPIRIT COMPARED:
The general accepted position held by the "Pentecostals. . . like Assemblies of God" is that speaking in tongues is the evidence of the baptism of the Spirit. To them the evidence that you are saved and are therefore "baptized with the Spirit" is that you speak in tongues. Many of them go so far as to say that you are NOT SAVED unless you have spoken in tongues. (And at the same time most of them do not accept eternal security.)
A. The Baptism of the Spirit Is Not the Same as the Filling.
1. I Corinthians 12:13 clearly states that the saved are baptized by the
Spirit, put into the body of Christ, the moment they are saved.
2. Ephesians 5:18 clearly states in a command that the saved (written to the
saved, the saints) are to be filled with the Spirit. Some were filled with
the Spirit prior to Pentecost because of their surrender and obedience.
3. In Acts 1:5 the prediction of the Holy Spirit's work of baptizing the believers is given. In the account of that day it also says they were filled with the Spirit. (Acts 2:4).
4. The Gift of Tongues was not the evidence of the filling of the Spirit.
a. Many times the book of Acts gives accounts of people being filled with the Spirit without any account of any of them speaking in tongues. (See all these: 4:8; 4:31, 33; 6:5; 6:10; 9:17-20; 13:9)
b. We are commanded to be "filled with the Spirit" but not one command is given in the Epistles for us to "speak in tongues," or to be "baptized" with the Spirit into the body of Christ. (And Christ is the author of baptism in the Spirit, He does it. Matt. 3:11; John 1:29-34)
c. While the filling and the exercise of tongues both took place in the account of Acts 2:1-4 (day of Pentecost) that does not make any necessary, universal, or proven connection between the two.
d. The ability of tongues that day was the gift to speak in known languages so that many might be saved. Thirteen languages are listed in Acts 2:7-12.
5. The gift of tongues was not the evidence of the baptism of the Spirit.
a. In I Corinthians 12:13, we are told that all believers are baptized with
the Spirit. It is His act, not something we do. (The word, baptize means to wholly put into, etc., and Spiritual baptism is the counter part of water baptism. The same Greek word is involved.)
b. In I Corinthians 12:30-31 we are taught that some believers spoke with
tongues. What about the many others who did not, were they saved?
c. Remember in only three occasions in Scripture is there an account of the phenomena of someone speaking in tongues.
You see there were untold thousands who did not speak in tongues. In Acts 2:41-42 we are told they who gladly received His work were baptized, (water baptism) and there were added unto them about 3,000 souls. We have no evidence that any of this group of 3,000 ever had a "speaking in tongues" experience. The Lord was adding daily such as should be saved. Then later 5,000 were saved without any record of speaking in tongues. (Acts 4:4) Many calculate that there were well over 65,000 saved during a brief time. The emphasis in Acts is on their witness, prayer life, persecution, dedication, and ministry.
The filling of the Spirit is for the purpose of power, victory, service, joy, fruit of the Spirit and soul-winning zeal. That is noted in every reference of being filled. It was never a matter of speaking in tongues as an end in itself.
B. Tongues As a Gift to the Believer:
1. The ability of tongues was clearly the ability to speak in a "known" language (Acts 2:6-8). The Greek word always means a known language.
2. It was a special gift for a special purpose, at a special time.
3. In all the later writings of Paul, and in the epistles written by Peter and John, we do not have one command or statement about "speaking in tongues." Why is that?
II. TONGUES, AS A GIFT, WAS NOT TO BE PRACTICED THROUGH-OUT
THE CHURCH AGE:
A thorough study (which could make a large book) would show very clearly that certain gifts were to pass away. Among these gifts which were not permanent gifts to the church is the gift of tongues, the interpretation of tongues, and the gift of prophecy (prophecy was the gift of writing revelation or the gift in which the person was used by the Holy Spirit to write the New Testament books. There will never be any new revelations or new books to be added to the Word of God.)
Why were these gifts to pass off the scene? It is in this regard that much of the confusion abounds today. The advocates of the charismatic movement would state that the gift of tongues (speaking in a heavenly. . . unknown language, they say) is to be perpetuated until Christ comes again. Is this correct, is this true?
"The gift of tongues was intended as a mighty, divine sign to Israel that their Messiah had come, that His messengers were from God and that they should accept the message of the gospel," so stated Dr. E. Pickering, president of Baptist Bible College of Pa., some years ago. Let's examine this statement!
A. The Background of the Day of Pentecost:
1. Most people are unaware that this was a special "Jewish day," that is, a fulfillment of prophecy given to them as a nation. (See Isaiah 28:11.)
2. This was "that spoken by the prophet Joel" (Joel 2:28-29), and had to do with "this people," Israel. (Israel sought for signs -- Matt. 12:38-39; 16:4; Mk. 8:12; 13:4; Lk. 11:16, 29-30; I Cor. 1:22; I Cor. 14:22; II Cor. 12:12)
3. From this we see that tongues were a sign to those "who believed not" among the Israelites. The sign was especially given to them that they might accept the truth of Christ as Messiah. (See I Cor. 14:21-22.)
B. The New Testament Account:
As previously mentioned, there were but three times that the account of someone speaking in tongues is ever given.
1. First, on the day of Pentecost: (Acts 2:1-18)
a. It was a special gift to be able to speak in a foreign language.
b. It was to give speedy progress to sharing the gospel on that special
day. There were Jews in Jerusalem from numerous countries to which they had been scattered long before. If they put faith in Christ they would return to their own adopted homeland and scatter the message of the gospel far and wide.
c. These were Galileans giving out the Word in languages they had not studied.
d. It was a divine sign to the Israelite nation, to the Jews. (Acts 2:32-33,
36; Acts 2:16-22, compared with John 20:31.) The Jews always sought for a sign! (Matt. 12:38-39; 16:4; Mk. 8:12; 13:4; Lk. 11:16, Lk 11:29-30; I Cor. 1:22; I Cor. 14:22; II Cor. 12:12)
2. Secondly, the account in Acts 10:45-46, and 19:6:
It was the manifestation of tongues which convinced the Jews accompanying Peter that a Gentile could even be saved.
(Acts 10:43-48; Cf Acts. 11:16-17) Again it was a sign to the Jews.
3. Third, in Acts 19:6 (Cf Acts 11:16-17) it again was a sign for those Israelites among whom these Jewish disciples of John lived and ministered. They could see that they received a special work of God when they believed. (Acts 19:1-10)
Peter on the day of Pentecost addressed the multitude gathered together. They were from different linguistic backgrounds. To them the gift of tongues was a sign or witness calling them to faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. This was the Scriptural account. What a contrast to what tongues is proclaimed to be today.
We could say that to prove to these hard-headed Jews that Paul's gospel was authentic, God gave the special sign of tongues and the demonstration of power as the account of Acts 19 declares. This was a special divine sign to Israel at the outset of the Church age in order to prove to them that the Gospel of Christ was from God of the Old Testament and was to be accepted and obeyed. This sign is no longer needed today since Christ has given us His full revelation in the Word of God. Now preachers (as Paul admonished Timothy) are to preach the Word in season and out of season, etc. (See II Tim. 4:1-5, nothing about tongues here, right?)
III. THE MEANING OF THE WORD... TONGUES:
While we have touched upon this, it is important that we add some basic facts.
A. The Word Itself:
1. The Greek word which is rendered, "tongue" in the New Testament does not mean an "unknown" mode of speech. (The word unknown as an italicized word added for clarity... but actually has brought confusion.)
(See I Cor. 14:2, 4)
2. The Greek, word, "glossia" means literally, a language. It was commonly used to designate the various human languages. (See Acts 2:6-11, vs 8)
B. The Event Involved:
1. This was a miraculous event, in which "unlearned and ignorant" men
were given supernatural ability to preach the gospel (share their faith,
and their praise) in languages they had never studied.
2. This caused the Israelites to marvel. You see, the gospel was for the
"Jew first" and also to the Greek. (Rom. 1:14-16) Paul always went to the
Jew first in every city. God gave the opportunity of salvation to the Jew
first through this supernatural means during the first weeks or months
of the spreading of the gospel.
3. It is noteworthy that the Pentecostal experience described in Acts, chapter two, does not give an illustration of speaking in some "unknown tongue, or gibberish or ecstatic utterances."
4. And we are told that about 120 were in the upper room. Where were the thousands of other followers of Christ not included in the upper room? Did they all speak with tongues? Of course not.
5. Acts 2:4 is used as a proof text that we are to seek after a Pentecost experience of speaking in tongues. But these tongues were the contemporary languages of many who were temporarily in Jerusalem.
There is no difference between the meaning of the word tongue in Acts 2 and
I Corinthians 12 and 14. The Greek word translated tongue is the same in all of these portions of Scripture. Most people in the charismatic or tongues movement of today say that tongues is valid to employ in private (and sometimes in public). But their practice is not the "tongues of the Bible."
IV. GOD GIVEN REGULATIONS, PROHIBITIONS ABOUT TONGUES:
A. Tongues Was An Inferior Gift --I Cor. 14:6-12
1. Paul was stating that it was inferior to other gifts, one of the last in the list.
2. It is not in the list of gifts in the book of Ephesians (4:8-14). The book of Ephesians is the final revelation about the Church and it is spoken of in every chapter. But tongues as a gift or experience is not mentioned at all.
B. Tongues as a Gift Was a Sign to the Unsaved -- I Cor. 1:22; and 14:22.
1. Tongues was not a sign to the church, or to the saved. (Not a special
sign of great spirituality as some would teach among charismatics today.)
2. In the early church God gave the gift in order that the gospel might be
authenticated to the unsaved, especially to the Jews.
3. This was not a gift constantly manifested among those witnessing to the unsaved or who were active in evangelism.
C. Tongues Was a Gift to be Used Wisely --
1. There was to be no confusion or disorder. It was NOT something they
were to strive after, or seek after. (I Cor. 13:13-- 14:5; 14:33, 40)
2. The church of Corinth had an excessive interest in this gift. (See I Cor.
14:23 and 14:40.)
D. Tongues Was a Gift to be Used ONLY When an Interpreter Was Present.
1. They were not to speak, proclaim the Word in other languages unless
someone was there in the meeting to interpret. (I Cor. 14:5-6, 13, 27-33)
Someone was to interpret so the people could understand.
2. If what was shared was unclear (like a trumpet with an unclear
message) it would bring confusion. (I Cor. 14:6-12)
E. Tongues Was a Gift NOT to be Exercised by Women - I Cor. 14:34-35
1. It may have been the women who were abusing the gift.
2. Women were commanded to keep silence in the church. (I Cor. 14:34-35)
This prohibition had to do with public worship meetings. It was a prohibition against women speaking with tongues in the congregation.
F. Tongues Was a Gift That Would Pass Away -- I Cor. 13:8-10
1. I Cor. 13:8 states, "charity never faileth: but whether there be
prophecies, they shall fail, whether there be tongues, they shall
cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away."
2. A number of the early gifts God gave to the Church came to an end.
a. These gifts were dispensational, or only for the foundation of the
church. (Eph. 2:19-22)
b. They were directed to the Jews; they might accept the Messiah.
c. They were credentials so that people would accept the gospel message,
because they saw the miraculous demonstrations and events that
accompanied the preaching.
d. This gift profited the early church and was necessary until such time as the "full revelation," was given and we no longer "saw through a
glass darkly," (I Cor. 13:10, 12)
V. AN UNDERSTANDING ABOUT BIBLICAL INTERPRETATION:
We also need to realize that you cannot make "apostolic doctrine" out of
1. We simply mean by this that everything the apostles experienced in the early church was not set forth later to be sought after or to become doctrine.
2. We do not have commands for example that we are to do the same as the event recorded in Acts 3:1-11 concerning the experience with the man at the gate, Beautiful.
3. All New Testament doctrine comes from the letters to the churches and not from the experience shared in the historical accounts of the book of Acts.
Questions That Could be Asked!
The sign gifts continue to be a source of conflict and disagreement among believers. Although I don't claim to have a solution to the division, (except to share what the Bible teaches), I do have some weighty questions and observations that may help us to clear away the fog.
1. Why is it that so many people seek the sign gift of tongues when the apostle Paul clearly stated we should "eagerly desire the greater gifts?" When Paul lists the gifts in order of importance, tongues is last. (See I Cor. 12:28.)
2. Why will some people go to such great lengths to seek after the sign gift of tongues, but not the gift of service or giving, or mercy?
3. Why don't people, who say they have the gift of healing, go to the hospital wards, and move from room to room and heal the sick and dying?
4. Why is it that people who claim to have the gift of healing say the successful exercise of their gifts depends on the faith of the recipient of their gift? (A believer with the gift of mercy can show mercy to a faithless person. A man or woman with the gift of giving uses their gift regardless of the faith of the recipient.) Why does the gift of healing require something out of the recipient? And where in Scripture do we find that no saved person should remain sick, as if healing is in the atonement and every saint should always be healed? (They say the Christian who is ill is out of God's will.)
5. Which is a greater testimony to the power of God: healing the sick within a matter of seconds or exercising self-control throughout a lifetime of temptation?
6. Do I believe that God still heals? YES, I do! Do I believe He heals miraculously? Yes. Have I ever seen anyone healed? Yes. Have I ever laid hands on people, (with others), and seen them healed? Yes, doing it according to James 5:13-16. Do I have the gift of healing? NO! I have never met or heard of anyone who has the gift of healing! By that I mean I have never heard of anyone who could heal - at will - like Jesus and His apostles. And by the way, just who does the healing? And why do today's healers screened people prior to their going through the healing line? Why not go to the hospitals and empty them?
7. Why is it that, over the years, I have been asked at times whether or not I speak in tongues? Why doesn't anyone ask me whether I exhibit the fruit of the Spirit or the love of I Corinthians 13 ? Why is it so important to certain people that any of us speak in tongues, that is, some unknown language,
or unknown to us?? Aren't the fruits of the Spirit more important than the ability to speak in a language I have not studied?
8. And why do I get the impression that they think less of me when I inform them I do not speak in tongues, have not, and don't plan to?
9. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Paul asks, "Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all workers of miracles? Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? (See I Cor. 12:29-30.) What do these
˜ The implication is that -- even in that day when the Corinthian Church put such an emphasis on tongues --not all exercise these gifts at the Corinthian church.
˜ Doesn't the Holy Spirit give gifts as He wills?
˜ Is anyone a second rate Christian because they do not have certain gifts?
˜ Are some churches failing to preach the whole gospel because they do not practice speaking in tongues?
˜ Does the Bible tell us in any portion that preaching about the necessity of speaking in tongues and about healing is preaching the "whole gospel?" Where are commanded to do so?
˜ Is there one command to preach healing, speaking in tongues? Why did the Holy Spirit fail to give such instruction through the writers of the New Testament if this was the will of God?
˜ Are all saints to manifest all the gifts?
˜ Are certain gifts more valuable than others in God's plan and purpose?
(Yes, teaching and preaching or proclaiming the Word is more valuable than any other gift!) This can be done by the mother, father, teacher, soul winner,
as well as the pastor.
˜ Are there commands in the Epistles that the saints are to seek after speaking in tongues, or the gift of healing? If not, then why not?
˜ If we could or did speak in tongues, it would be a known language that
we didn't need to study, and it would be a special gift given to us to converse in a language previously unknown to us.
10. When you carefully read the Word of God is it obvious that certain gifts
(sign gifts) were given to authenticate the message and messenger until the
revelation, the Word of God, was written? And God planned after that His Word would then authenticate the message!
11. Is it not clear that prophecy or teaching the Word of God is far better than
speaking in tongues?
˜ Paul stated he would rather speak five words that were understood and
that edified, than 10,000 words in an unknown tongue (a language indeed but the speech could not be understood by anyone there).
˜ Paul's advice to the Corinthians was that "they should desire rather to edify".... than to seek after speaking in tongues.
And the Holy Spirit teaches, that, above everything else,
we need the manifestation of divine love
as shared in I Corinthians chapter 13 !