This message was preached at Word Of Grace Church on January 16th 2022 by Navaz D via zoom. For the audio & video please click here. To listen to the worship please click here.
GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT – PART 2 –
Last week, Colin took us through some points on what our attitude ought to be with regards to the Gifts of the Holy Spirit and how we need to respond.
In brief – we are all called to eagerly desire the gifts, not just one gift. We need to find out our gifts and then fan them into flame and be faithful in using them to see fruit from it.
Today we are going to further expand our general understanding and approach towards the gifts of the Spirit.
Think about all the superheroes – Superman, Captain America etc. Their story is that they encountered this power or forces that made them superhuman. They are just regular guys with a normal day job but when the need arises, they are able to tap into this superpower and do extraordinary things.
Does this sound familiar? One day we encountered the power and might of the creator of the universe and we were changed. He came to live in us and baptize us with His power. So while we look and talk the same and have regular lives with regular jobs we get to tap into this divine power/gift anytime we need it.
John 14:16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be[c] in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
John 16: 7 -7 But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.
13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”
1. We looked at the Kingdom lifestyle through the Beatitudes. Living in the power of the Holy Spirit is also a part of Kingdom culture.
2. Understand the high privilege and honour it is that God chooses to use you and I. (Eph 2:9-10) Please don’t think that you have earned it because you are living a righteous life or are more holy than others. These are pure grace gifts
3. To understand the gifts better get to know the giver of the gifts. Jesus baptizes us with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit always seeks to glorify Jesus.
4. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are also what the Holy Spirit Himself does.
5. Our goal as Christ-followers is to become more like Jesus.
Becoming like Jesus is what Kingdom lifestyle is. That we reflect Jesus in our lives more and more.
2. FELLOWSHIP BEFORE FUNCTION To function well, you need to know the Holy Spirit well. This comes through fellowship. 2 Cor 13:14
14 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Paul encourages us to have fellowship with the Holy Spirit. The Greek word used is:
fellowship of intimate communion or partnership. Get to know the Holy Spirit if are going to partner with Him.
Learn to recognize His voice so you can filter out all the other voices. It is unnatural for a Christ-follower not to hear the voice of God. Why do I say this? A relationship involves communion – talking and listening. You need to ask yourself what other voices I need to dial down so I will be able to hear the voice of God.
The partnership means knowing each other’s moves, intentions, habits, etc. If you are playing doubles in badminton – you must play with your partner often to understand how they play and communicate well in order that the shuttlecock does not fall between the two of you because each thought the other will take the shot.
Intimacy –Fellowship is like hanging out and learning to make conversation. Intimacy takes the conversation to deep heart issues where you are open, vulnerable, transparent, and honest.
Remember the onus is on us to get to know Him. He already knows us completely.
3. PURPOSE OF THE GIFTS
God’s method has always been to function through people. He used Noah, Abraham, Moses, Joshua etc.
As I said in the beginning it is an honour to be a channel of His grace and blessings to the nations. This is for ALL of us and not a select few. The devil has dulled our thinking and tricked us into a clergy-laity divide rendering most of God’s people useless. It’s time to reclaim our call and commission.
It is God’s nature to give and bless. So, the purpose of the gifts is to be a blessing.
Knowing that everyone can function in the Gifts of the Holy Spirit helps make my Christian calling clear i.e., the unique part I play in the body of Christ.
So, the gifts are given not for our benefit but for building up and strengthening the Body of Christ. (1 Cor 14: 26)
Do not seek the gifts so that you will become famous – Simon the sorcerer (Act 8:9-25) did that.
4. WHAT’S SO SPECIAL ABOUT THE GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT?
We live in a special time – post-resurrection. We live in the age of the priesthood of all believers. 1 Pet 2:9-10. We are all Christ’s ambassadors.
In the Old Testament – God used specific people for a specific task for a specific time. The Holy Spirit would come upon them for that time and then depart.
So, the Old Testament had a visitation of the Holy Spirit. We have the habitation of the Holy Spirit. He lives in us 24/7.
Joes prophesied that God would pour out His Spirit on all flesh (Joel 2:28) that all would prophesy, see visions, dream dreams. This came to pass on Pentecost.
When we are born again the Holy Spirit comes and lives in us – because the Trinity cannot be separated. However, we need to be then baptized in the Holy Spirit as well.
5. CHARACTER AND CHARISMA
Both Holy Spirit gifts and natural talent come from God. Natural talent is a common grace given to every human being. Holy Spirit gifts are given to Christ-followers who eagerly desire them.
God may or may not use our natural talents but often they do complement our spiritual gifts.
· These gifts are grace gifts – not a reward for good behaviour.
· They are given despite our humanity- our weaknesses
· God is the giver of gifts, and HE gives as He sees fit All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines. 1Cor 12:11
· Just because someone is gifted it does not mean that everything, they do is right or that their character is above reproach.
· Because the gifts are for the benefit of others it makes us interdependent and deals with our pride and cultivates humility in us.
· All gifts will test our willingness to serve others. This is not about self-promotion.
We need to work on our character, our sanctification so that the gift given to us will not be discredited.
The Gifts primarily function with the context of a local church even if it has a trans-local influence.
In even the NT very few had a trans-local gift. Be faithful in your local church.
We must walk in humility and accountability. Be accountable and submit to your pastor and leadership. This is for your safety.
We all need to watch out. The devil prowls around waiting to see who he can devour, and he is patient. He won’t get you when you are unknown. He will aim to discredit you when the impact of your fall has a domino effect on others.
If we do not grow up into maturity and Christ-likeness we will blow up because we did not steward the gift well. That is why there is a season of preparation.
Grieving the Holy Spirit
What does this mean? It means to make Him sad. It saddens His heart because He is a person, not an “it”. To have pure communication with the Holy Spirit we need to get rid of whatever will block that communication, block you hearing God: unforgiveness, bitterness, anger, sexual sins, addictions.
All addictions are idolatry – it says that whatever I am addicted to is able to satisfy my need more than God can.
Do I need to be without sin to serve God? No – then it would not be a grace gift. Timothy was encouraged to fan into flame the gifts given him, and he was also encouraged to watch his life and his doctrine.
So, while God graciously uses us just as we are, we continue to work out our salvation.
Therefore, we have a responsibility to step out and step into the gifts to grow.
So, get to know the person of the Holy Spirit so that you can partner with Him.
Remember the gift is not for your benefit but for others.
Watch your character growth so it does not become a hindrance to your calling
Don’t compare your gift to someone else.
The gifts are best used within a local church context where there is accountability.
God is about great work, and He wants all His sons and daughter to rise to their full potential – to be his image-bearers, to be salt and light; to bring Kingdom life here on earth as it is in heaven.
Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again), Spirit-filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that has people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service. Word of Grace is a part of a wider international family of Churches called RegionsBeyond.To know about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.