Johannesburg, South Africa
| Re: |
I truly believe you are unnecessarily differentiating between the revelation of Christ within and the gifts of the Spirit. Surely you cannot separate the Spirit from His gifts? I think that is why we seem to be saying different things. I also believe in the complete teaching of the New Testament, not certain parts, and if it seems I am overemphasizing the gifts of the Spirit, it is purely because of the current discussions and the perceived apathy regarding the empowerment of the Spirit, not only to teach us and guide us but also in manifestations of power.We have an anointing from the Holy One and we know all things (teacher) He also comes upon us and anoints us for service, just as Jesus was anointed and set people free, healed the sick, raised the dead etc. Do we all do these things? No, but we can all be empowered at least to do some of them so that corporately we become as the fullness of Jesus Christ in the earth.
Quote Jade:"I am not saying that gifts are no longer given for ministry. I am saying that we can EITHER base our ministry on gifts OR the Lord Jesus HIMSELF can work mightily in us through the Holy Spirit, by faith. He is the Head. We are His body……His hands and feet etc.
The Holy Spirit is GOD, the Holy Spirit. He is our Master to lead us and take charge, NOT our servant to help us."
1. The Lord Jesus Himself works in us through the Holy Spirit, by faith: How does He work through us? Does He not manifest in certain ways, demonstrations, administrations, and gifts?
2.Holy Spirit is GOD: Absolutely, most on this forum would not deny this. Jesus was / is GOD but came among us as a servant. Is it so hard to believe the Holy Spirit is also among us as a servant?
In fact, to love is to serve and when we take up the garment of a servant in the fellowship of believers we will find the Holy Spirit works with us in our service.
A couple of scriptures to show that gifts and gifting are included in the church, in ministry, in the Holy Spirit:
1 Thessalonians 5 verse 16 to 22: “16Rejoice always, 17pray continually, 18give
thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will
for you in Christ Jesus.
19Do not put out the Spirit’s fire. 20Do not treat
prophecies with contempt 21but test them all;
hold on to what is good, 22reject whatever is
1 Timothy 1 verse 18 to 19,5:” 18Timothy, my son, I am giving you this command
in keeping with the prophecies once made
about you, so that by recalling them you may
fight the battle well, 19holding on to faith and a
1 Timothy 4 verse 13,14:” 13Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading
of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching.
14Do not neglect your gift, which was given you
through prophecy when the body of elders laid
their hands on you.”
2 Timothy 1 verse 6 and 7:” 6For this reason I remind you to fan into flame
the gift of God, which is in you through the laying
on of my hands. 7For the Spirit God gave us
does not make us timid, but gives us power, love
Romans 12 verses 4 to 8:” 4For just as each of us
has one body with many members, and these
members do not all have the same function, 5so in
Christ we, though many, form one body, and each
member belongs to all the others. 6We have different
gifts, according to the grace given to each of
us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in
accordance with your h faith; 7if it is serving, then
serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8if it is to encourage,
then give encouragement; if it is giving,
then give generously; if it is to lead, i do it diligently;
if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.”
| 2017/8/7 9:11||Profile|
| Re: |
The church in Corinthians was a “carnal” church (1 Cor. 1:1-3). They lacked love. They were still “men of flesh” and “babes in Christ”.
To this church that lacked love, Paul had to show them the more excellent way of love. To them, he had to say, “Pursue love.”
Without love and being “babes”, they needed gifts. Therefore he said to them, “Pursue love, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy” (1 Cor. 14:1).
1 Cor. 13:10 - but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away.
Gifts are “until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ” (Eph. 4:13).
We can only have the fullness of Christ when we have His love in us:
Eph. 3:17-19 -- so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through *****faith*****; and that you, being rooted and grounded in *****love*****, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the *****fullness of God*****.
Christ in us is the hope of glory.
When we have Christ in us, we no longer need His gifts for all that are His are ours too. We are joint-heirs of God with Christ (Rom. 8:17).
1 Paul called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother,
2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both their's and our's:
3 Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
4 I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ;
5 That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge;
6 Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you:
7 So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:
8 Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9 God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
Paul seems to paint a very different picture. Saints, You are enriched in all knowledge and utterance, You are not coming behind in any gift. I think the picture of Corinth as a church that was totally carnal and very messed up is not a very accurate picture of this body, although it is a picture painted by many teachers.
But, there were some problems in the church that needed to be addressed, as we would expect of a church recently born out of paganism.
The carnality is specified as factiousness brought about by preference of one teacher over another teacher. They were dividing themselves, essentially, into groups that followed different men who had come to Corinth to minister to them. Sounds a little denominational if you ask me. And the carnality was a sign of immaturity. Paul addresses this carnality and this immaturity in the first and third chapter.
The twelfth through fourteenth chapters are not in the context of carnality. It is in the context of proper operation of the gifts of the Spirit. Some things I think we should note here. First, this is the only place in scripture where we are commanded to covet. "Covet earnestly the best gifts". The people were not commanded to grow up so they did not need gifts of the Spirit. Rather they were directly commanded to earnestly yearn to be used in these gifts.
Second, the thirteenth chapter cannot be viewed outside the context of the twelfth and fourteenth. Paul did not break his thought to insert an unrelated text. "Covet earnestly the best gifts, and yet I show unto you a more excellent way." That more excellent way is to understand that the motivation for the gifts is mutual edification, not spiritual showmanship. Paul is getting to the motive of the matter. Why do we desire to be used in the gifts of the Spirit and what motivates the inspiration and the operation of these gifts? It can only be the heart of the Father, God's love in us and through us to minister to another. This is the entire focus of chapter 13. This is why Paul just finished instructing the church that the body must work in unison without one member trying to assert it's function as more critical than another member's function. Chapter 14 then concludes the matter by enumerating nine spiritual gifts and giving some instruction on the proper use of the gifts in the body.
I feel like many teachers have made a huge, extra-biblical leap to suggest that the last few verses of 1 Cor. 13 say that the gifts of the Spirit cease when (you fill in the blank as many different things are surmised) that which is perfect is come. The entire point of Jesus sending the Holy Spirit to baptize believers is so that they may, as we read in John 14, do even greater works than these. Jesus was with us, but now the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead can dwell in us in power and authority. It is really to lift these few verses out of the entire context of what Paul is teaching throughout this portion of his letter and it is to contradict his explicit statement that we are to covet to be used in the gifts of the Spirit.
I believe Eph. 4 does not address spiritual gifts at all. It addresses the function of five specific individuals that God gives to the body to mature the body. These five are charged with ministry primarily to the body, while the body is then charged with ministry outside of itself. They are to bring the body to the stature of full grown men in God.
It has been my experience that God usually uses the most mature in the gifts of the Spirit the most often and the most powerfully. I know there is another thread right now about experience. I have seen honest, powerful, supernatural, and mature operation of the gifts of the Spirit for my whole life. I am not sure there is one gift that I have not seen in operation in someone during my life. I have also been to many places and seen flaky stuff. But the flaky never caused me to reject the real, only to appreciate it more and more.
I do TOTALLY agree that we can only have the fullness of God when His love is perfected in us. In fact, the revelation of His love is the doorway to the fulness of His Spirit and His power in us. But this does not mean we then cease to see the gifts of the Spirit operate. It means that now we have the proper perspective on the gifts and we can be used by God to minister His power to others out of the motivation of His love for others.
| 2017/8/7 21:15||Profile|
Johannesburg, South Africa
| Re: |
Thank you Travis.
| 2017/8/7 23:51||Profile|
This world is not my home anymore.
| Re: |
The people were not commanded to grow up so they did not need gifts of the Spirit. Rather they were directly commanded to earnestly yearn to be used in these gifts.
I enjoyed reading the whole post and wanted to thank you for writing it so eloquently.
| 2017/8/8 7:24||Profile|
| Re: |
Could you share some thoughts on the mature operation of the gifts, as well as on how to exercise discernment?
Anecdotes would be great!
| 2017/8/8 9:44||Profile|
| Re: |
The difference between maturity and immaturity is often manifested in the motive behind the action. A child might call adults sir and maam and say such things as please and thank you, not because he has great respect for the adults, but rather because his parents might discipline him for not doing so. But a mature man will understand that his actions are a demonstration of respect for another person. The actions are identical. The motive comes from the level of maturity.
I believe this is why Paul speaks so specifically of a more excellent way and then goes on to elaborate on the love of God. We are to covet earnestly the best gifts, but we need to do so from a mature motive if you will. Remember that our revelation of His love in the book of Ephesians is the only way that we can be filled with all His fullness. Think about Paul's admonition in 1 Cor. 14. I would that you all spoke in tongues, yet in the assembly I would rather you say a few words in the known language than thousands of words in tongues. Why? Because we are to seek the edification of the body, not the exercising of gifts through us personally.
I was in a meeting and had invited some friends to come. The man ministering that night came up to me and asked me if the visitors were friends of mine. I said yes and started to talk about them. He stopped me before I could complete even a sentence and told me not to tell him anything about them. He felt the Lord was giving him a word of knowledge about them and he did not want his flesh to intervene. Toward the end of the service he went to them and began to speak to them about their wayward son, and about a medical problem that she had. This word of knowledge opened the door for him to be able to pray for them specifically about these issues. They were edified and received ministry from the Holy Spirit.
I was in a prayer meeting a couple of months ago and a man asked for prayer for his knee. He was facing knee replacement surgery and it was giving him a lot of pain. He works construction, so his knees get a lot of hard use. During the prayer meeting I felt like I should go to him and lay my hand on his knee and pray. No super spiritual prayer. I simply asked God to heal it. He said all pain left the knee. The next day he was rejoicing and praising God that he worked all day with no pain. That has been a couple of months ago and his knee is totally healed. He was edified, the body was edified, and God gave me more confidence in hearing His voice, which edified me as well.
Discernment is twofold I think. On the one hand, we must compare what we see and hear with the written word of God. If what is happening violates the written word, then it is quite obviously not of God. But this alone is not enough. If my understanding of the word is wrong, then I will obviously discern wrongly. So we have the second part of discernment, the voice of God to our own spirit. We must spend time with God and grow in our relationship with Him so that we can learn to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit clearly.
I remember going to a meeting once where I met a woman who was part of the leadership team. (I am not debating women in leadership here. I am just saying that this was the case.) Something in my spirit just did not set well with her, but I passed it off as my own opinion. About five years later, her true colors began to show. She was manipulative and was trying to take control of the work. God gave me two very vivid dreams about her in which He woke me in the middle of the night and spoke very clearly the interpretation. I went to the pastor of the church and told him my dreams and what I was discerning and he angrily passed it off. Sure enough, what God had shown me came to pass and the church broke up and was scattered. I should have discerned this the very first time I met the woman. I know now God was trying to reveal something to me, but for some reason I was not hearing His voice very clearly. It was a real learning experience for me.
I believe we must have the two in operation if we hope to discern correctly and consistently. We must passionately pursue the word of God, but we must also passionately pursue our relationship with God.
I know this bleeds over into many other discussions that have taken place here on SI. But I believe we cannot divorce the written word of God and the spoken word of God through the Holy Spirit. Proper discernment takes both working in unison.
The other thing that is important is that we are good ground as in Matthew 13 and Luke 8. We must be careful that we do not crowd our lives with other things to the point that we begin to be hard hearted toward God. Doing so is a sure fire way to lose our ability to discern correctly.
| 2017/8/8 17:49||Profile|
| Re: |
Yehuan: I wanted to add this. My own experience has been so limited. I see so many other men who walk close to God and bless so many people as God uses them, and it makes me hungry to know God more. I remember the verse in Hebrews that says, "Labor to enter into that rest", and I make some application here. It is hard work sometimes to press into deeper relationship with God. It means denying my own flesh, and I find that hard to do sometimes...well, OK, how about most of the time. If I do not continually and intentionally spend time in His word and in His presence, I find that my hunger for Him subsides a little bit and I find myself less able to hear His voice.
I find it fascinating that people from India like curry so well. I will eat it occasionally, but I really cannot say I like it. I love smoke oysters, but most people around me do not like them at all. We do not eat what we are hungry for. We are hungry for what we habitually eat. I truly believe that if I had curry once a week, I would probably grow to love it. The same is true in our spiritual walk. There is a discipline that will lead to a romance if you will. If a man spends enough time with a woman, they will eventually have feelings for one another. If a man spends enough time with God, that man will fall in love with God in a way that will make Him continually hungry to have a deeper walk with Him and a greater understanding of His word.
So one of the biggest keys to maturity, the proper operation of the gifts of the Spirit, and to discernment is pursuit of relationship.
| 2017/8/8 18:05||Profile|
| Re: Travis|
I have not had time to read all the new posts submitted since I last posted. Will do that when free.
Coming back to the baptism with the Holy Spirit. A question:
John 14:10 -- Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but ***** the Father abiding in Me does His works *****.
John 14:19-20 -- After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also. In that day you will know that ***** I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you *****.
John 14:12 -- Truly, truly, I say to you, he who ***** believes in Me *****, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.
1 John 4:17 -- .....as He is, so also are we in this world.
Therefore, as it was His Father dwelling in Him who was doing His works in the Lord’s earthly ministry, do you disagree that it is Christ dwelling in us who is doing His works in our ministry by our faith in Him?
Point is: It is not by this experience you had that you call the baptism with the Holy Spirit.
Travis, you had a great experience and you are so blessed. But we need to establish truths by scripture, the Word of God.
| 2017/8/9 4:02||Profile|
| Re: |
Jade, I don't want to interrupt Travis from answering your post, which I'm sure he will, but you make some good points here.
That is why I think one of the 'big' errors is separating and using the term 'baptism of the Spirit' as different from 'filled with the Spirit' Careful reading of the bible shows clearly they are interchangeable and one and the same thing.
Therefore all Christians today can either be filled with the Holy Spirit or not and all can receive any of the gifts that God chooses to impart. There are NOT two classes of Christians, those with the Baptism of the Spirit and those without! There definitely are Christians that are filled and those who are not, but as you say the 'spirit filled believers' are not synonymous with those who claim to have 'had the baptism'. All believers can be filled or empty and all can operate in the power of the Spirit or the flesh. This is my understanding of scripture and also my experience of being in fellowship with both doctrinal camps on this issue.
And as has been quoted before "A man with an experience is not at the mercy of a man with an argument" Cuts both ways!
| 2017/8/9 6:59||Profile|
| Re: |
Dave: I think you made a good point. We sometimes talk past one another. Can I put it this way.
The entire intent of the sacrifice of Christ was restoration of relationship, reconciliation according to the Bible. This relationship is only possible in the Spirit. Those who worship must worship in spirit and in truth. This is the point of Jesus conversation with Nicodemus. It is your spirit that is born again. His is a spiritual kingdom, not a fleshly kingdom.
The major result of that reconciliation is that the Holy Spirit that was with us in Jesus Christ will now be in us. We may now live a life totally empowered and directed by His Holy Spirit, no by our own flesh.
Jesus died and was raised again from the dead for our justification. His sacrifice atoned for our sin, so that the barrier of sin no longer stood between us and God. Recall that the enmity between us was contained in the law of ordinances. The law revealed our lost condition and condemned us. But that barrier was taken out of the way, nailed to the cross so that we can be righteous, not by our own works, but by the blood of Christ.
But Jesus ascended and sent the Holy Spirit so that we might be endued with power from on high, so that the same Spirit that empowered Christ to do what He did might also indwell us and allow us to walk as Christ walked. Jade, the scriptures you quoted are beautiful because coupled with what Paul said in Philippians we see that Christ served as our example. He emptied Himself of divine ability or privilege and became in all points like me and lived a perfect and overcoming life empowered by the Holy Spirit. He did nothing on His own, but did only what He saw the Father do and what the Father empowered Him to do through the Holy Spirit. When He ascended, He sent that same Holy Spirit of God to baptize us and indue us with power from on high.
So when we are born again we are justified. Our spirit is born again and made alive again to God by the blood of Jesus and through a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. For by one Spirit have we all been baptized into one body. This is the baptism of death and rebirth that Paul talks about in Romans 6. We absolutely have a relationship with God through the Holy Spirit and we commune with Him through the Holy Spirit.
And when we are baptized in the Holy Spirit we are indued with power just as Jesus was when the Spirit descended upon Him at His baptism by John, and just as happened to the disciples and the early Christians as recorded in Acts 2 and in the other three instances in Acts.
Justification is the indwelling presence of the Spirit of God. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is the induing of power by the Spirit of God. Both can occur at the same time, and often do. Both can occur in sequence as happened to me. I was born again at 8 and experienced an awesome presence of God. But I was baptized in the Holy Spirit at 18 and experienced a wonderful infilling and induing of power from the Holy Spirit.
Here is my question. Why do we make it so much of a controversy? I have always wondered. Jesus taught about the Holy Spirit and said this.
9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
10 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
11 If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?
12 Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?
13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?
The context, the point of what Jesus is saying, is the Holy Spirit. It seems to me that if I read in scripture that there is something that I can receive from God, I would ask to have it as well. I think God is pretty responsive to a pure and honest heart. I am reminded of an incident with some of the apostles. They had already experienced the baptism of the Holy Spirit recorded in Acts 2 but then we read this.
30 By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus.
31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness
They were filled, but then they were filled. It shows me that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is not a one time event that we check off our spiritual bucket list, but a continual filling that allows His supernatural empowerment to flow in, through, and out of us in ministry to accomplish His will. I surely want that.
So, if I ask to receive it, and my request is a little bit off in understanding, I believe God is faithful to know my heart and give me that which I desire, which is a greater measure of His Spirit and power through me to do what He desires me to do.
| 2017/8/9 9:35||Profile|