Summary: The focus of Part 5 of this series is on the role the Holy Spirit should be playing in our lives. He is the third person of the Trinity and should have an active role in the lives of all believers.
Stronghold Beliefs Part 5
During a prayer line the minister lays hands on a person and the person faints into the arms of the deacons/ushers standing behind them. This is referred to as being “slain in the Spirit.” People get emotional during a Church service and stands and starts dancing and shouting. This is referred to as being “full of the Spirit.” A person is preaching or singing and starts “speaking in tongues.” This is described as being under the “anointing of the Spirit.” A person prays in tongues. This is called “praying in the Spirit.” A person stands up during a worship service and speaks in tongues and then another person interprets what was spoken. This is known as “prophesying in the Spirit.” There are Churches (and ministers) who hold classes to teach people “how” to speak in tongues. I am not talking about a class to teach “about” speaking in tongues; I am talking a class to learn how to do it. People stand in line at the altar during Church services to receive “help” in receiving the Holy Spirit with the evidence of “speaking in tongues.” If you speak in tongues you have the Spirit, if you don’t “shame on you” as you have not received Him. And, if you don’t receive the Holy Spirit “with” the evidence of speaking in tongues, you are not really “born again.”
Most of us have seen some of these examples in Church services and all of us have seen these exaggerated in movies. If you have seen any of Tyler Perry’s Madea movies, you have seen over and over how his movies mock, ridicule and diminishes the true work of the Holy Spirit. And one of the saddest things for me is to hear Christians laughing when it is done. Don’t we understand he’s doing this to the third person of the Trinity? It’s amazing how people will walk into a Church where there is loud singing and people are jumping around and shouting and everyone claims the Spirit is there. However if they walk into a Church where the Word is being taught in truth and they are singing hymns, then that Church is said to be dead and the Spirit is not there. People want signs of the Spirit and when they do not “see it” they “create it” and this is very dangerous. The Spirit will always be witnessed to the truth of God’s word because He is truth!
So what is the truth? What is the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives today? How do you “receive” the Holy Spirit and if you never speak in tongues does that mean you are a lesser Christian than someone who does? This is the fifth message in my series about Stronghold Beliefs. Our focus this morning is on the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, and the role Jesus says He is to play in our lives. Let me rephrase that: Jesus tells us the role the Holy Spirit should play in our lives. In this message I will clarify some of the misrepresentations of the work of the Holy Spirit and address the question is salvation based on “speaking in tongues” as some people teach.
As I go into this message, I want you to keep this Scripture in the forefront of your mind. 1 John 4:1-3 says, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world.” Remember what I said last week about what some religions and individuals are saying about Jesus? These verses do not mean that just because someone “confesses” that Jesus is the Son of God and came from Him that they are genuine. Those confessions are not mere words, but are made with a heartfelt reverence, conviction and ultimately their submission to God. So we need to examine (test) the life and works of the individual in order to “try the spirit” and we do this by comparing what is being said (and lived) to what has been written in the Bible. There are many people claiming to be filled with the Holy Spirit whose lifestyle speaks something different and we need to be aware lest we believe what is coming from their mouths. So we need to begin trying the spirits to ensure what we’re seeing displayed is the true Spirit.