Summary: To discover the Biblical the provision of the Holy Spirit.
Holy Spirit - The Provision of the
1. The Provision of the Holy Spirit – the Father’s Promise
Luke 24:49 “I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”
With the coming of the promised Holy Spirit, at that first Pentecost, their came gifts for the building of the Church. Lost to the majority of the Church after the first three centuries, their restoration has been long awaited. Indeed, over the past two decades, there has been a renewed emphasis on spiritual gifts. This is not a fad or even a trend. It is God’s plan and desire to restore His Church to His original intention for its function.
There is significant opposition to this move from within the Body of Christ. But where the Gifts are operating in conjunction with the proclaimed Word of God, there is tremendous growth – world-wide. Why? Mainly because the message is proclaimed that the Gifts were only for the start-up of the Church, and disappeared when the last Apostle, John, died.
Our own church is not dying. Some unbelievers believe this is the case with ‘Church’ in general. In the first year of this new millennium, we grew from 4 million to 5 million in one year; 95% of that growth was from new converts. In the last 18 months, another 750,000 have been added across the globe, and much of that in areas hostile to the Gospel, causing several CoG pastors to be martyred and many churches burned to the ground.
Today God is placing ministry back into the hands of every believer across all denominational and geographic barriers, as the Holy Spirit works to shape the church as a biblical community. A key passage to study is that of 1 Corinthians 12:7-11. There are others, but this is a particularly concise explanation of the Holy Spirit’s work among the people of God:
1 Cor 12:7-11 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and He gives them to each one, just as He determines.
These gifts are your privileged function within the body of Christ. Others may have similar gifts but they cannot do what you can do. No one else can do what you can do in the body of Christ.
The Scriptures are very explicit about this. In the passage that is before us, we read, “But grace was given to each of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift,” (Eph 4:7 RSV). Each of us!
2. Spiritual Gifts
Spiritual gifts are God-given. You have a gift that is your privilege to exercise within the body of Christ and remember that there are no right or wrong spiritual gifts.
Spiritual gifts answer the question “What do I do when I serve?”
a. Spiritual gift definition
* Spiritual gifts are divine endowments
* They are abilities God has given to us to make our unique contribution (1 Corinthians 12:7)
* Spiritual gifts are given by God
* He bestows spiritual gifts to us for meaningful service (1 Corinthians 12:11)
* Every believer has at least one spiritual gift
* Every believer is a minister (1 Peter 4:10)
* The spiritual gifts that God gives us allow us to serve one another better
* A major test of our use of spiritual gifts is to glorify God and edify others (1 Corinthians 12:7)
* God has carefully selected each believer’s spiritual gift and place of service within the body (1 Corinthians 12:7, 11, 18).
* We have each been given a unique role to play. Our differences are by God’s design (1 Corinthians 12:8-10).
b. How do I know what I am supposed to do?
First, turn to the Word of God, and list the Scriptures that point to the gifts of the Holy Spirit. We all need to recognise what the Holy Spirit has done in our individual lives to enable Christ’s church to become a working, powerful unit. As stated before, there are several lists of the spiritual gifts, ‘the charismata’, in the New Testament: