Summary: Continuation of the ministries of the Holy Spirit in the functioning of the New Testament church; specifically the functions of apostles, prophets, and teachers.
This nine-part series was originally developed for a class environment, and later adapted for use in a prison ministry conducted via correspondence. Because of that background, questions were developed for each lesson for participants to use in a setting conducive to discussion, or as handouts for private use if the lessons are presented as sermons. At the beginning of each part of the series, I will include the outline of the series.
OUTLINE OF THIS SERIES OF STUDIES
Introduction, Holy Spirit as deity
Names of the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit in the Old Testament
Holy Spirit in the NT (apostles to receive power)
Gabriel’s message to Mary
Foreseen by NT characters—Jesus, John
What we learn from Jesus in John 14,16
The coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost
Baptism in, or by, the Holy Spirit
Baptism of believers
If I do not go away the Holy Spirit will not come
Men received and were dependent on the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is a Guarantee
Grieving the Holy Spirit
The Indwelling of the Holy Spirit
Being Filled With the Spirit
The Holy Spirit in the Functioning of the church (first installment)
(1 Cor 12; Rom 12; Eph 4)
Gifts of the Spirit
Grace as Gifts (did not delve into each of the gifts, or special aptitudes, given by the Holy Spirit)
Functions “God Has Appointed”
The empowering gifts of the Holy Spirit
Bestowing honor upon less “presentable” members
Order of functions (First apostles, second prophets, third teachers) Teachers discussed in Part 6
First apostles, second prophets, third teachers.
Ministries of the Holy Spirit
Are the Bible and the Holy Spirit the same?
Blasphemy Against the Holy Spirit
Fruit of the Spirit
The Spirit vs the Flesh
Attributes of the Holy Spirit
Acting in opposition to the Holy Spirit
• Lying to the Holy Spirit
• Resisting the Holy Spirit
• Quenching the Holy Spirit
• Grieving the Holy Spirit
• Defiling the Temple of the Holy Spirit
• Insulting the Spirit of Grace (doing despite)
Intercessor (though mentioned previously)
How Can I Know if I Have the Holy Spirit?
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THE HOLY SPIRIT
In Part 5, we began to examine some of the functions that were fulfilled in the New Testament through the use of the Holy Spirit’s gifts and the people who performed those functions. Specifically, we looked at the function of apostle and prophet, the first two in a sequence of three enumerated by Paul in 1 Corinthians 12:28:
And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues.
We saw in Part 5 that together, the apostles and prophets are described as the foundation of the household of God, and I shared my belief that they are so designated because in the absence of a written New Testament, the apostles and prophets together constituted the avenue through which divine truth from the Holy Spirit was revealed. The truth that was revealed through them is the same truth we learn today by reading the New Testament.
The third numbered function Paul mentions in the passage cited is teachers. Before going into the question of what those numbers mean, let us consider the Biblical function of teacher.
In the New Testament, the word teacher is from the Greek didasko which means an instructor, doctor, master, or teacher. Teaching is coupled with its counterpart, learning.
The process of teaching and learning is around about us in every activity of life--it is the natural result of being alive, alert, receptive, and exposed to people and circumstances from whom knowledge can be obtained:
• We can learn things we don’t need to know, or ought not to know.
• We can learn things we wish we didn’t know.
• We can learn things that turn out to be erroneous, and have to be unlearned.
Teaching is not confined to any particular time, format, or circumstance. It can occur with
• a speaker addressing an audience,
• a group studying together,
• a couple (e.g., Aquila and Priscilla) taking a man (e.g., Apollos) aside to impart knowledge and improve understanding,
• parents teaching their children,
• children teaching their parents,
• or as Paul wrote to Titus, mature women teaching younger ones.
The capacity of the teacher is somewhat puzzling. Generally in life we consider the experience of teaching and learning to be a good thing, especially pertaining to matters of faith. We would like to learn everything we can about God, and his desires and how his desires can be realized in our lives.