First of all, thank you for bearing with us last week. While it is always my pleasure to host a church in our living room, last week was probably the most challenging we’ve ever had, but your kindness and love made it possible. I told someone that I hardly remembered what I spoke about last week, as I was completely distracted and thought that perhaps I was just rambling through the message. However, the Holy Spirit knows how to get His point across, so I am glad we were able to cover some ground.
I’d like for us to remember a few key points from last week. First, according to Acts 4:29-30, the prayer of the church in turbulent times against the gospel was three-fold:
- Boldness to preach the Word
- Healing through the stretched out hand of God
- Signs and Wonders through the name of Jesus
They never asked for a place to hide. They wanted to magnify Christ even louder, even while under intense pressure to keep silent. Yet, boldness was not enough. They wanted to heal the sick. They wanted Gods outstretched hand to repeat exactly what happened at Gate Beautiful in Acts 3. Yes, they wanted the very thing that sparked persecution to happen again! They also wanted signs and wonders through Jesus Christ which would bring glory to God. Imagine if we prayed such prayers today!
Another point I would like to emphasize is that the gifts of the Spirit are not for the purpose of bringing glory to ourselves. Yes, through the Holy Spirit, we have access to the gifts of God, but they are not there to make our own name great. They are to make His name great. I would suggest that if you notice that you are becoming proficient in a particular gift (miracles, healing, prophecy, etc…), that you find a place to hide away from the glory of man, and constantly point to our Savior and King, Jesus.
Finally, we will go through several scriptures on the matter of spiritual gifts, but I want to be sure we notice the trend of love being emphasized when the gifts are mentioned:
- 1 Corinthians 12 → 1 Corinthians 13
- Romans 12:4-8 → Romans 12:9-21
- Ephesians 4:11-14 → Ephesians 4:15-16
All of these verses on the gifts and ministries of the Holy Spirit are balanced by love. We must keep this in mind as we demonstrate the gifts of the spirit. Without love, nothing you do for God matters. It is nothing more than noise – a noisy gong and a clanging cymbal (1 Corinthians 13:1). But when love is in the mix, there is unity in the faith, and the glory of the Father inside the body. So, let’s choose what is good.
Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant: You know that you were Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idols, however you were led. Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit. There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills. (1 Corinthians 12:1-11). The nine gifts of the Spirit can be categorized into three categories:
- Power Gifts – Gifts that DO something (Healing, Miracles, Faith)
- Revelation Gifts – Gifts that REVEAL something (Word of Wisdom, Word of Knowledge, Discernment)
- Utterance Gifts – Gifts that SAY something (Tongues, Interpretation of Tongues, Prophecy)
This week, we will begin covering the power gifts, which are Healing, miracles, and faith. Remember, we are not studying these gifts, just so we can know what they are. We are doing this so that we will know how to pray. The scripture says that God distributes to each of us individually, as He wills. SO, rather than filling our heads with knowledge, I pray that we are filled with COURAGE and spiritual resolve to function in our individual giftings, as there are enough of us who meet weekly to see clearly, the manifestation of the Spirit in several people, both young and old.
Question: Why do you think we do not see healings, miracles, and faith giftings in a prominent way in the churches today? Feel free to comment below!
P.S.: If you need to reach me, please text/call at 918-523-4623