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Summary: Do you desire more of the power of God in your life?

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April 10, 2016

Morning Worship

Text: 1 Corinthians 12:4-6, 31

Subject: the Holy Spirit

Title: The Greater Gifts – Holy Spirit part 1

I picked up one of our pamphlets on the 16 fundamental doctrines just to read over it and refresh myself with it. Do you know that sometimes we need to be refreshed? The very first of our tenants listed in our 16 Fundamental Doctrines is the doctrine that we believe the bible to be the inspired and unadulterated Word of God. When I say “inspired” of course I mean inspired by the Holy Spirit.

In the past month we have been experiencing an unprecedented moving of the Spirit. Unprecedented because it seems to be lingering longer than ever before and it seems that there is no end in sight. Hallelujah! But this move of the Spirit is only because there are people here who are so hungry they are willing to step out in faith to receive the power that the bible says that we are intended to have.

2 Chronicles 16:9 (NKJV)

9 For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him…

I believe this is God’s word…

I believe it is for me…

I accept it as mine…

I will appropriate it to my life today…

1 Corinthians 12

4There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.

These three verses in chapter 12 tell us about three different types of spiritual gifts…

1. The gifts given by the Spirit… those that are mentioned in verses 8-10…

2. The gifts that are service gifts given by the Father that are given us in Romans 12:6-8, … these seem to be the gifts given for the day to day operation of the church…

3. The gifts given by Jesus in Ephesians 4:11, pastors, teachers, evangelists, prophets, apostles…

31But eagerly desire the greater gifts.

And now I will show you the most excellent way.

1 Corinthians 12:31 (KJV)

31 But covet earnestly the best gifts…

Since Paul seems to be writing to the church it must be that he is referring to those gifts that are available through the Holy Spirit.

Are you hungry for the power? That power only comes through the Holy Spirit and power can be manifested in the church through the gifts of the Spirit. So are you hungry? Do you long to see the Holy Spirit continue to move in the church? Do you covet the greater gifts?

If you are hungry for more of the things of God in your life, His power, His healing, His manifestations, His glory… then you must also be hungry for or covet the spiritual gifts… You see, how can you be hungry for the things of God without being hungry for the Spirit. And how can you be hungry for the working of the Spirit without coveting the spiritual gifts?

Is the Spirit active in the church today? Is He intended to be active? How many times does the scriptures encourage to walk according to the Spirit and not the flesh… to live by the Spirit… to be led by the Spirit and not by the carnal man? Paul warns believers

1 Corinthians 2:14 (NKJV)

14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

People who don’t know God can read the bible and try to tell you what it means… isn’t that crazy? That would be like someone with no construction background coming to me or to Greg or Reuben to try to tell us how to build a house when they could look at a blueprint and have no idea what it all means… they could see numbers and measurements but have no idea what it takes to make it all work. The bible is a spiritual book and it must be spiritually discerned. 1 Corinthians 2:16 (NKJV)

16 For "who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?" But we have the mind of Christ.

We understand and believe the word because we have experienced the word.

In the same way people who have never hungered for spiritual things or have never understood spiritual gifts can come to you and try to teach you about tongues and interpretation and prophecy and healing and miracles, saying that those things ceased with the disciples. Even in Pentecostal circles people get extremely nervous when there are tongues present. And yet those very things that make people squirm are the very things that are manifestations of God’s power available to the church today.

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