New Covenant Living: Facts about the Holy Spirit, Part 4
Jesus we glorify your Name and thank you for the awesome sacrifice on the Cross. We praise and honor you tonight, and exalt your Name on high! Blessed Father we rejoice in your presence as your beloved children, delighting in your Word.
Blessed Spirit we pray that you will open the eyes of our understanding tonight so we can learn more about the glorious ministry you have in our lives. We ask that our ears be pierced so we can hear what YOU are saying to the church. In Jesus Name AMEN
We've been studying the Holy Spirit for the past several weeks, simply trying to get an overview of Who He is and what He is doing in our lives. Briefly the Holy Spirit is involved in our lives from beginning to end. It is He who woos us with God's love and draws us to the Father. It is He that takes off the blinders of sin so we can see the glorious gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is He that convicts us of sin and leads us to repentance.
It is He who baptizes us into the Body of Christ as we are born again. It is He who gives us a new spirit when we are born again. It is He who adopts us into the family of God. Ever testifying of the Lord Jesus Christ, it is the Holy Spirit who is our Counselor, Teacher and Guide, our Paracletos - the One Called Alongside to Help in our time of need. It is He who cleanses us and sanctifies us - makes us holy - when we confess our sins to Jesus. And it is He who fills us with power to witness and overcome sin.
Wow ... amazing, huh? And we talked about the fact that God demonstrated His love to us that while we were yet sinners Christ died for the ungodly. Christ demonstrated His love for us when He became sin for us who knew no sin that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
And the Holy Spirit demonstrates His love for us by doing the "dirty work" of salvation ... by indwelling us, never leaving us, and conforming us to the image of Christ. What love! Amazing grace of God revealed to us at every turn. How could you NOT believe in such a God of love?
Tonight we're going to talk more about the Holy Spirit, specifically about how He equips us for our ministry and calling ... we all have a ministry in the Body of Christ, did you know that?
19) The Holy Spirit equips or anoints us for our ministry and calling.
Luke 4:18-19 "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."
This refers to a prophecy in Isaiah that Jesus quoted and fulfilled as recorded by Luke. We are told that Jesus was anointed by the Holy Spirit to do His work, which included preaching, delivering, healing, release of the captives, and proclamation of the Lord's grace and favor. Why did Jesus need the Holy Spirit's help to minister?
We each have a ministry to fulfill... and we're gonna get to what they all are in a minute. But why did Jesus need the Holy Spirit's help or anointing to do His work here on earth? Let's look at another verse about Jesus:
Acts 10:38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.
Again we are told in Acts that God anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit and power - and because of this anointing he went around doing good and healing all under the power (or "oppressed") of the devil.
So why did Jesus need the Holy Spirit's anointing? Simply put, to take on flesh, Jesus set aside His godly power. He became a man, with no more spiritual resources than you or I. The difference of course is that He was sinless.
However, as our example, He showed us the way to please God. And He needed the Holy Spirit's power and anointing here on earth just like we do... actually we need the Holy Spirit much, much more!
I John 2:20, 27 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit--just as it has taught you, remain in him.
The Apostle John confirms that we all have this anointing from the Holy Spirit, an anointing from God that guides us and teaches us the truth. Anointing in Greek is chrisma, and in a physical sense denotes an ointment prepared from oil and aromatic herbs. It was poured upon prophets, kings and priests as a symbol of the anointing from God by the Holy Spirit to equip them for their calling.
1 Samuel 16:13 So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the LORD came upon David in power. Samuel then went to Ramah.
Do you remember when Samuel anointed David for kingship? He poured oil over David's head as a symbol outwardly of what God was doing inwardly. And we're told in Scripture that the Holy Spirit was upon David from that day forward. And if you study anointing in the Old Testament, you'll find that this procedure was used with prophets, priests and kings. It was an outward symbol of what the Holy Spirit was doing inwardly.
Spiritually, anointing refers to the gifting or equipping of the believer for service. Vines says "The gift of the Holy Spirit is the all-efficient means of enabling believers to possess a knowledge of the truth". This anointing also "renders them holy, separating them to God".
The giftings or anointings of the Holy Spirit are roughly divided into what Bernard Underwood in "Spiritual Gifts: Ministries and Manifestations" calls EQUIPPING ministry gifts and BODY ministry gifts. (Most of the information I'm sharing with you tonight is quoted from his book.)
These gifts are in addition to what normally are called the "Gifts of the Spirit" which we discussed before. Rev. Underwood calls these manifestation gifts, because they are ways that the Holy Spirit is manifested or shines forth in the Church. These are the nine gifts listed in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10: a word of wisdom, a word of knowledge, faith, gifts of healing, miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, tongues, and interpretation of tongues. Our God is a giving God! Hallelujah!
Now the gifts of the Holy Spirit are necessarily limited to what we're talking about tonight, but these are the ones mentioned in the NT. Ministry gifts are given to the church to help build us up as we will see. The EQUIPPING ministry gifts are given specifically to leadership.
The writer of Hebrews says this:Hebrews 13: 20-21 May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Do you sometimes feel inadequate for what God has called you to do? BE ENCOURAGED. God equips those He calls. Note that it says "equip you with EVERYTHING good for doing His will". God's gifts are not in short supply, nor do you have to beg for them. They are given so that He can work in us what is pleasing to Him.
2 Peter 1:3 His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.
Peter also confirms that God, by His divine power = the Holy Spirit, has given us EVERYTHING we need for life and godliness ... we don't lack anything we need. So why do many believers seem so ill-prepared and immature?
Many are ill-prepared because of ignorance ... they simply don't know what's in the Word or how to make use of it. Some are lazy. Some are fearful. But God has power to overcome all these things and equip you for what He's called you to do!
In Ephesians 4:11, Paul says that: It was he [Jesus] who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers,
These leadership positions are called "gifts" in Ephesians 4:8. The EQUIPPING ministry gifts are given to leadership to equip us for service to God and to bring us to maturity. We don't often think of our leaders and teachers as gifts from Christ, but they are. Think how much harder the Christian life would be without them!
The Greek word domata is used in Ephesians 4:8 to refer to the equipping ministry gifts. These leadership gifts are named in verse 11. Now you may or may not be called to one of these positions. As we go over them, prayerfully be open to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. And if He quickens your interest in one of these, it's something you should dig deeper into. Remember we are also going to talk about BODY ministry gifts, and you WILL have a calling in one of these two lists ... or perhaps multiple callings.
Yes I consider musicians gifts, probably in the service category, which we will look at in a minute ... but a pastor/teacher or any of the others could also be gifted in music.
Kay we are not specifically talking about the Spiritual Gifts listed in I Cor 12 tonight, but about the anointing of the Holy Spirit on each life to fulfill our calling and ministry.
Right Festuss. First we are looking at what are called Equipping Ministry Gifts - those positions of leadership given as gifts to the Church to equip or train us for ministry. Then we will look at Body Ministry gifts, which are given to us to serve each other. Everyone in the Body of Christ has one OR MORE of the gifts in these two lists.
After, Loving Him I believe, because "that which is perfect" is Jesus and He hasn't come AGAIN yet!
EQUIPPING MINISTRY GIFTS
(1). Apostle. "This is the person with the special ability to provide authoritative leadership for a cluster of churches. This often involves the founding of churches, but may also focus on giving new direction to the churches."***
An apostle (Greek apostolos) is a delegate, one sent with full power of attorney to act in the place of another, the sender remaining behind to back up the one sent.
There are three levels of apostleship in the NT. First there is THE Apostle and High Priest of our faith, the Lord Jesus Christ. Then there are the original TWELVE Apostles, who had a special place in the Church and special qualifications.
Then there are other apostles listed (11 more in fact, including the Apostle Paul and a woman, Junias). And there are apostles in the church today, primarily pioneers who invade new territory for Christ, including leaders of groups of churches and some missionaries.
Romans 16:7 ... Junias is a female name and probably the wife of Andronicus. They came to Christ before Paul, were his relatives and were imprisioned with him. They were called "outstanding among the apostles".
(2). Prophet. "This is that gifted person who has the supernatural ability to interpret the Scriptures in light of the present situation in the church. The prophetic gift is correcting, encouraging, and edifying."
Prophets, Greek propheteia, speak for God, which includes forth-telling of the mind and counsel of God, the declaration of that which cannot be known by natural means, a revelation with reference to the past, present and sometimes the future (fore-telling).
The purpose of the prophet's ministry is to edify (build up), to comfort, and to encourage believers. The effect of their ministry upon unbelievers are to show that the secrets of a man's heart are known to God, and to convict them of sin.
(3). Evangelist. "An evangelist is that person with the ability to present the gospel in such a way that people will respond to the claims of Christ by repentance, conversion, and discipleship. The evangelist also has the ability to prepare others for this ministry of evangelizing."
Evangelist , Greek euangelistes, means bringer of good tidings. These are normally those who evangelize, bring good news to the lost and new converts to the faith, specifically missionaries.
(4). Pastor-teacher. "This is the person with the special ability to take responsibility for the nourishment, health, protection, and development of a congregation on a relatively long-term basis."
Pastors, Greek poimen, usually translated shepherd, means to tend a flock. Pastors are responsible for the day to day care of a group of believers, their spiritual guidance, feeding and protection with tender care and vigilant superintendence. Today sometimes we call them "ministers" or "preachers".
Teachers, Greek didaskalos, are responsible to training believers in the Word and bringing understanding to them (some translators believe that pastor-teacher is one office, and some believe it is two.)
So the Equipping Ministry gifts are apostles, prophets, evangelists and pastor/teachers.
Ephesians 4:12 to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up
What is the purpose of the Equipping Ministry gifts? The purpose of a teacher, preacher etc. is not to exalt his or herself or build up some earthly kingdom, but to train believers for service and to build up Christ's body. How long will God appoint teachers, pastors, etc in the Body?
Ephesians 4:13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
God will keep appointing leaders for us until we achieve a unity of faith and knowledge of Jesus. And until we become mature, and have attained the measure of Jesus Christ. Now the KJV says a "perfect" man - this word doesn't mean sinless perfection, which is not an attainable goal in this life, but maturity, which is. Some Christians are content to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, be saved, and just coast until we get to Heaven. But God wants us to grow into maturity.
That takes effort, which takes accepting the teaching and training of the leaders He has appointed for us. That takes patience, not only with others, but also with ourselves as God molds and makes us according to His will.
The BODY ministry gifts are gifts given by the Holy Spirit for us to minister one to another with. We ALL should fit somewhere in either the list of Equipping Ministry Gifts or Body ministry gifts. There are two lists of Body Ministry gifts in the NT. Paul in Romans 12, says this:
Romans 12:6-8 We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his [in agreement with the] faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.
Festuss® - OT, do you think it was God's plan for all these to be in every church?
Festuss I think it is God's plan for these to be in THE Church ... the Body of all believers ... whether they are all in a specific local body is another question ...
But it does seem that these gifts we're talking about ARE needed ... and maybe the reason they aren't there is that people are not seeking their ministry and calling before the Lord. And Peter gives this list of gifts.
1 Peter 4:9-11 Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.
The second category of spiritual gifts is body ministry gifts. Here are listed seven typical body ministry gifts.BODY MINISTRY GIFTS
(1). Exhortation "the special ability to minister encouragement, strength, and hope to other members of the body of Christ."
There are certain people that can always lift us up it seems. They have a "knack" for saying the right thing at the right time. This is a gift of the Holy Spirit! To study more on this gift, look up Barnabus in a concordance. Barnabus means "Son of Encouragement" and everywhere he went, he encouraged people in the Lord. What a much needed ministry! Now notice that this gift is NOT the "ministry of condemnation", as many practice it! LOL
(2) Teaching"the ability to communicate clearly and apply effectively the truth of the Word of God."
Some say that pastor/teacher is a separate office from just a teacher ... I don't think it should be a matter of contention. But thank God for giving us teachers! I have had many godly teachers in my life (and pastors) and MUCH of my equipping for service has come from their sacrificial giving of themselves.
(3) Service (or helps)"the aptitude and ability to serve the body of Christ in a supporting role, thus releasing other workers, especially those with leadership gifts, to carry on their ministries."
Now the gift service is really a broad category that covers most everything not covered somewhere else. For example it covers the role of deacon... those set aside in the early church to wait tables and minister to the widows and orphans. Service could cover mowing the lawn at church or cleaning the lavatory. It could be driving the church van or arranging flowers or setting up chairs. Whatever is needed to help things run smoothly. THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT and often OVERLOOKED ministry to the Lord Jesus Christ!
And this gift of service given in a spirit of love, not grouching or grumbling, could lead someone to Christ. And it's often a stepping stone to an Equipping Ministry or Leadership gift. Remember Jesus said "If you are faithful in a few things, I'll make you ruler over many things".
So if you are unsure about what your gift is ... go to your pastor and volunteer! I'm SURE that he'll find something for you to do... and do it until the Lord tells you otherwise.
This gift is also called HELPS ... so ask the Lord and your pastor, deacon board, etc: "What can I do to HELP? Remember now we are talking about BODY ministry gifts... abilities, callings and giftings that the Holy Spirit gives so we can SERVE the Church and each other.
Loving Him, yes the gift of service or helps includes all those as well. It would be interesting to see a church, ANY church, strive to have the same structure as the NT church....
(4). Administration (or governments) -- "the ability to organize and direct the activities of the church so that she will fulfill her mission."
This includes, but is not limited to, elders (presbyters), bishops, overseers, the church board, Sunday School Superintendents, etc.
If you have the gift of government ... you will be good at organizing and leading people, motivating them, not being a dictator or tyrant. Also in setting goals and making a plan to meet these goals. Obviously the pastor has governmental duties as well.
One thing ... in pastors' defense though ... is that since we "pay" them we expect them to do all the work ...
(5). Benevolence "the ability and the disposition to minister loving and compassionate service to suffering and helpless members of the body of Christ."
Now Benevolence is a blessed gift - we all at times need compassionate, not grudging ministry, don't we?
But some are very gifted in this regard ... and are good at visiting the sick and praying for them, cooking food and providing transportation to the ill, visiting the lonely ... just being a friend and a blessing in an under key sort of way. Remember also that a person can be gifted in more than one area... and some overlap.
Lohan sadly I have to amen that
(6). Giving"the disposition and capacity to minister material resources to the body of Christ with liberality and cheerfulness."
Now some people are just hilarious joyful givers and can't seem to help themselves. My grandfather had a liberal hand with material resources. He simply loved to give! If we had more that sought this gift ... that saw it as their personal ministry and responsibility to support the financial needs of the Church ... wow just think! no more tearful appeals for $$$ on TV and radio, no more pleading appeals in your mailbox! YIKES wouldn't that be nice? LOL
(7). Hospitality"the God-given ability to provide a warm welcome, food, and lodging to members of the body of Christ, even to the point of "entertaining strangers" (Hebrews 13:2)."
Now this is NOT socializing ... you know giving a "perfect" party, expecting to impress others, and expecting a return. It is a sharing of resources from the heart to give comfort to those needing a "home away from home" ... and even to the homeLESS.
Kinzie AMEN when we realize it's ALL God... we just need to cooperate with HIM... things would radically change .. and I believe they are ... as individual believers like yourselves get into the Word and seek the Lord.
Does everyone have a ministry gift? That's a good question, I believe everyone has a ministry in serving Jesus and witnessing for Him, but does everyone have one of the ministry gifts listed? I think that there is ministry for everyone. It is up to each individual to find his or her place in the kingdom and his/her ministry gift.
Now your ministry gift is based on what talents and so forth the Lord has given you. I happen to know I'm called to teach. If you are good at organizing and motivation groups, your gift is probably administration or leadership. My aunt's main calling is service or hospitality - although the Lord is now leading her into a teaching ministry as well.
The Spirit leads us into our ministry, but God gives us the talents we need to perform the ministry He calls us to. And discovering your ministry involves learning what talents you have and where they fit into God's plan.
Also there is a distinction between ministry gifts, which we normally think of as a vocation, calling or "career" in worldly terms, which is usually a lifetime calling and endeavor, and manifestation gifts, such as prophecy, speaking in tongues and miracles, which the Spirit dispenses as He wills at a particular time and place.
Now we've discussed 11 ministry gifts given to the Body of Christ. These gifts all have some characteristics in common.
CHARACTERISTICS OF MINISTRY GIFTS
Characteristics of ministry gifts, whether they are of leadership (equipping) or body ministry are:
"(1). Ministry gifts are permanent. These gifts are given to believers and become a continual part of their life in Christ."
For example, God has called me to teach. We are told that the gifts and callings of God are irrevocable ... He doesn't take them back. Even when I failed God, I was still called to teach... and knowing that helped me overcome a lot of crud the devil was throwing at me.
"(2). Ministry gifts are related to natural gifts. They are not natural abilities, but are generally based upon the innate abilities of the individual."
For example, someone with the gift of government would probably be a LOT more organized than I am! LOL And someone who has a ministry of music will have some (or SHOULD) natural musical ability.
"(3). Ministry gifts determine the position one holds in the body of Christ. Ones spiritual gift or gifts should be the basis for his ministry in the church."
So if you are a pastor, you should have the gift of pastoring or shepherding the flock... If you are a teacher, you will have the gift of teaching and so on.
"(4). Ministry gifts are really gifted persons. In order for the church to receive the gift(s), she must receive the person."
"(5). Each believer is to identify and develop his ministry gift(s)."
Now YOUR JOB as a believer is to seek out your gift and calling from the Holy Spirit. You may have one ministry gift or several. Your gift(s) will be related to your talents and interests, and EVERYONE's gift is important for building up the Body of Christ.
How can you tell what you should be doing? Well here's a GOOD test ... what are you griping about in the church? What are you seeing that's not being done, or not being done well? Instead of griping, pray and ask God, "Is this what you want ME to do?"
If you're complaining ... maybe you are ignoring what the Holy Spirit is trying to get YOU to do by blaming someone else.
42n8 PSYCHICS are NOT of God, EVER!
Oh I see 42n8... but it isn't the same thing. Prophecy is speaking for God BY THE HOLY SPIRIT. Psychics have familiar spirits or demons, or they're just plain fake.
Father God show us each our gift and calling from you, and help us yield to the Holy Spirit's training and equipping for that calling. Anoint us for YOUR service Lord that the Church may be build up. And let us highly esteem each other and even the ones who's job in worldly terms seems lowly ... let us honor them as equals in Jesus Name AMEN
Now Festuss ... to your question... about the best gifts. See I remembered! In I Corinthians 12:30 Paul says to "eagerly desire the greater gifts"... Festuss wants to know what are the greater or best spiritual gifts?
In I Corinthians 13 Paul brings up the point that without love, NONE of the gifts have meaning. And Paul tells us that when "that which is perfect" has come these gifts will pass away. Well when Jesus comes, we won't need prophecy anymore, because JESUS will be here, right? And we won't need a word of knowledge, because we will have Jesus and so forth. And then Paul says that faith, hope and love will ALWAYS remain.
Then Paul goes on to say to follow the way of love. Love is the "glue" if you will that binds all of the gifts of the Spirit together. Then Paul repeats to eagerly (I Corinthians 14:1) desire spiritual gifts ESPECIALLY prophecy. So prophecy is the BEST gift according to Paul .. because it strengthens, encourages and comforts us (v.3) and builds up the church (v.4)
But notice this ... and this is the part that many do NOT like ... prophecy is the best gift and is EQUAL to tongues WITH interpretation (v.5). So the BEST spiritual gifts ... of this type Festuss, are prophecy and tongues WITH interpretation.
Prophecy is not primarily telling of the future although it can certainly include that. It is called a FORTH telling of the Word ... giving a message from God to direct our attention to a portion of the Word that is being neglected or needs emphasis, OR for our encouragement. It's purpose is to build up the church
Sergio... when you speak in the tongues of men or angels it usually is unfamiliar to your hearers ... and someone needs to interpret what the Spirit is saying in the language of the listeners.
Now an interpretation is not a word for word TRANSLATION, but an interpretation in the hearer's language of what the Spirit is saying.
Right Kay. I have also heard missionaries tell that they spoke in tongues they did not know that was the native language of the people they were ministering to.
Sergio, look atI Corinthains 14:13 "For this reason anyone who speaks in a tongue should pray that he may interpret what he says ... v. 16 If you are praising God with your spirit, how can one who finds himself among those who do not understand say "amen" to your thanksgiving, since he does not know what you are saying?"
Attitude is more a fruit kay... and the spiritual gifts listed in I Corinthains 12 are resident in the Church as a whole and the Holy Spirit divides them as He wills ... they are not resident in the believer as ministry gifts and the fruit of the Spirit are.
OK let me try to summarize this... First of all the Holy Spirit baptizes us into the Body of Christ when we are born again. As we are led by the Spirit, we produce the fruit of the Spirit. Everyone has a ministry gift from the Holy Spirit that equips him/her for service in and to the Body of Christ.
After we are born again, we can choose to let Jesus baptize us WITH the Holy Spirit, receive the Holy Spirit or be filled with the Spirit ... they all essentially mean the same thing. The gifts of the Spirit in I Corinthians 12 are gifts to the Church, they aren't resident in a believer all the time necessarily ... the Holy Spirit gives them as they are needed.
The more of the Holy Spirit we allow to fill us, the more likely He will use us in Church with a supernatural manifestation of one of His outshining gifts ... such as prophecy or speaking in tongues, or faith or miracles .
OF COURSE, satan has his counterfeits ... that's why the gift of discerning of spirits was given and why we need to seek this gift! Now I've seen and heard the true ... and the false... and believe me there's a BIG difference!
In the instances I've seen, the pastor discerned it also, and had them removed, explaining that it was NOT of the Holy Spirit.
Festuss ... pray about it ... obviously someone or a lot of people lack wisdom not only of these gifts, but of the occult ... how witches infiltrate churches to destroy them.
But above all things, the GREATEST OF THESE IS LOVE... in all our discussions about spiritual gifts ... we should never get out of love one for another ... ESPECIALLY when we don't agree!
What a lot of churches have done though, is "throw the baby out with the bath water". For fear of "wild fire" they have quenched the Spirit and lost their power. The gifts of the Spirit have caused more contention in the Church than any other topic... and has polarized the Body of Christ and almost crippled us.
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