I am so grateful for the Godhead or Trinity and the relationship we can have with God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Their oneness and unity are amazing. They work in perfect harmony for our good. Take for example our salvation. I really like the simple formula the Holy Spirit impressed on me years ago …
· The Father planned for our salvation.
· Jesus, the Son, paid for our salvation.
· The Holy Spirit produces that salvation within us.
In recent weeks we have been focusing on the Holy Spirit and the gifts He gives us to help the members of the church be happy, healthy, and holy.
The Holy Spirit is the eternal Spirit of God – He is God. He is always God and always will be. He does not change. (Malachi 3:6; James 1:17)
The Holy Spirit, in the New Testament, is the same as He was in the Old Testament. In John 4:24, Jesus taught that God, in His essential being, is spirit. “For God is Spirit, so those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” By the ministry of the Holy Spirit, God acts, reveals His will, empowers individuals, and makes known His personal presence. Listen to the words of the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 – “Don’t you know your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought at a price. Therefore, glorify God in your body.”
The Holy Spirit enables and empowers us to do exactly that by means of spiritual gifts He bestows upon us. Let’s continue our study on the gifts of the Holy Spirit. 1 Peter 4:10-12.
19. The gift of Evangelist. This person has been given a special ability, by the Holy Spirit, to share the gospel with unbelievers in such a way that individuals become disciples of Jesus and faithful members of the church. e.g. Billy Graham, Greg Laurie. Ephesians 4:11-13.
20. The gift of Pastor. This person is gifted by the Holy Spirit to form a long-term relationship with people entrusted to him. He knows them, feeds them, cares for them, prays for them and seeks to lead them to maturity in Christ. Ephesians 4:11-13
21. Next, we have the gift of Celibacy. There are some people gifted by the Holy Spirit for a life of singleness. They enjoy being single, have healthy friendships, and not unduly impacted with sexual temptations. They see their bodies as God’s temple and live to honor and glorify Him. 1 Corinthians 7:6-9
22. The gift of Voluntary Poverty. The Holy Spirit enables certain individuals to renounce material comfort and luxury. They are not weighed down by the cares of this world. It gives them the ability to trust God for their needs and freedom, time-wise, to invest in others. 1 Corinthians 13:3
23. Some are called to Martyrdom. The Bible says that all who are true followers of Jesus Christ will experience suffering or persecution. Some will be called to pay the ultimate price and give their lives in His service. I would encourage you to read Foxes’ Book of Martyrs. Numbers of those facing death sang hymns as the flames leaped up around them. 1 Corinthians 13:3
24. Some have the gift of Hospitality. Over the years, I have watched Joyce use this gift to make people feel comfortable, welcome and special, in our home. She always had just the right snack to satisfy the hungriest. Our home is her castle and she has always loved sharing it with others. 1 Peter 4:9 says, “Be hospitable to one another without grumbling.”
25. Some are gifted to be Missionaries. I personally find this one of the most intriguing gifts of all. How does a single person or a couple begin to sense that God is leading them to a country we maybe never heard of, to a people we know nothing about and a language, customs, and culture radically different from what they know and they are absolutely joyful about it? I am so glad we are a part of the Missionary Church and that is helping to support 11 different missionaries with a variety of ministries. We may not all be called to go, but we can all pray and support those who are called to go. Acts 13:1-12
26. Thank God for the gift of Intercession. Every Christian should be engaged in prayer. God wants to hear from us. He loves to respond to us. But there are some people the Holy Spirit has given the desire and ability to pray for extended periods of time on a regular basis. How we need intercessors. They sense a need and begin to pray and they don’t stop until the burden lifts and the answer is on its way. Philippians 4:6-7
27. Lastly, let’s consider the ministry of Exorcism. I am not sure how many people have this ministry, but it is needed because demons are real and they do gain control of people’s lives in different ways. Acts 16:16-18
Over the years, there have been a number of times when it was obvious that a person was being manipulated by some evil presence and I had no choice but to confront and seek to expel that evil presence. It is not something I enjoy doing, but I praise God that my LORD is greater and to see the relief flow into that person’s life is such a blessing and worth it all.
As I conclude this three-part lesson on the gifts of the Spirit, I want to say again, that whether you have or haven’t identified your gift(s), it is the Person of the Holy Spirit that is most important. If you love Jesus and want to serve Him, the Holy Spirit will use you in the way(s) He has gifted you, even if you never put a label on your gift.
Make yourself available. Ask the Holy Spirit to fill and use you … leave the rest up to Him.
For the Glory of God,