the day the 120 disciples in the upper room received the
Holy Spirit, many believers have taken the position that
the gift of the Holy Spirit was given only to those disciples
for the inauguration of the ministry of the gospel. This
point of contention has divided the church and created doctrines
that result in a stumbling block for personal spiritual
growth and inhibited many from serving Christ in the ministry
of the gospel. This controversy is not based on scriptural
evidence, but rather in the minds of men who do not have
a complete perspective of their relationship with Christ
through the Holy Spirit.
Corinthians 12:1-3 (KJV) - Now concerning spiritual gifts,
brethren, I would not have you ignorant. (2) Ye know
that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols,
even as ye were led. (3) Wherefore I give you to understand,
that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus
accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the
Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.
would not have you ignorant" - Paul states
that he wants the Corinthians to fully understand from where
the gifts of the spirit come and to what purpose they are
given, so that each person can serve in the church's ministry
of grace and love according to the gift he has received
and according to the office, in which God has called him.
In this way, there will be no misunderstandings or divisiveness
in the church.
were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even
as ye were led" - The Corinthians were once
pagans who were led astray by pagan religious systems which
claimed to have divine wisdom from their gods. The pagan
priests and priestesses pretended to receive, by inspiration
from their god, the answers which they gave to their notaries.
As for the people who believed their pretensions, they were
led astray by their teaching.
man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed"
- No Christian, speaking by the Spirit, can call
Jesus accursed. But, the Jews called Jesus a blasphemer
and accursed (separated from God), thus they spoke without
the Holy Spirit's influence.
man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost"
- We cannot reveal Jesus to be the Messiah and the
Savior of men apart from the Holy Spirit's enabling us.
Christians reveal Jesus through faith and signs and wonders
that follow their demonstration of faith working in their
lives. God gives gifts to Christians for speaking words
of knowledge and wisdom, the working of miracles; uttering
prophecy, speaking and interpretation of tongues. Gifts
that attest to the truth of faith to them that hear Christians'
witnesses and who observe Christians' lives; which enlightens
their minds, changes their hearts, and draws them nearer
of the Holy Spirit, the church would fail as ambassadors
for Christ and the Christian is without hope and separated
lesson will help in understanding the work of the Holy Spirit
in each Christian. In the Old Testament, Emmanuel was "God
with us". Then after Jesus was crucified and resurrected,
He is "God in us" by the indwelling Holy Spirit.
This is the primary difference between the Abrahamic covenant
before Jesus' birth and the New Blood covenant after His
Timothy 1:13-14 (NIV) - What you heard [gospel] from
me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and
love in Christ Jesus. (14) Guard the good deposit [truth]
that was entrusted to you - guard it with the help of
the Holy Spirit who lives in us.
John 3:23-24 (NIV) - And this is his command: to believe
in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another
as he commanded us. (24) Those who obey his commands live
in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that
he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.
1:25-27 (KJV) - Whereof I am made a minister, according
to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you,
to fulfil the word of God; (26) Even the mystery which hath
been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made
manifest to his saints: (27) To whom God would
make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery
among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope
New Testament teaches us that "Christ is in us".
He is much more than "God with us". If Christ
is in heaven, then how does he lives "in us"?
Through the indwelling Holy Spirit, whom we receive by
faith - 1 John 3:23 (NIV) And this is his command:
to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ,
and to love one another as he commanded us.
do we know he lives in us - 1 John 3:24 (NIV) - Those
who obey his commands live in him, and he in them.
And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know
it by the Spirit he gave us. Faith and obedience
to love one another go hand in hand, providing the right
personal attitude for the full operation of the Holy
Spirit in our lives. This is what Jesus meant when He stated
in Matthew 22:37-40 (NIV) - Jesus replied: "'Love
the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your
soul and with all your mind.' (38) This is the first and
greatest commandment. (39) And the second is like it:
'Love your neighbor as yourself.' (40) All the Law
and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."
When we love those whom God loves, then we are vessels
of God's grace to them. Our hearts are open to the Holy
Spirit's influence and God can fully operate in our lives
to do His will.
we sense the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit?
physically, but we can spiritually. I am reminded of Moses
when he came off the mountain after spending 40 days with
God, receiving the Law - Exodus 34:29-30 (NIV) - When
Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of
the Testimony in his hands, he was not aware that
his face was radiant because he had spoken with the
LORD. (30) When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses,
his face was radiant, and they were afraid to come near
him. Moses was not aware his face was so radiant
that the Israelites were afraid to come near him. Why? Because
Moses, as well as all other men, was created to be filled
with the Holy Spirit. Therefore, Moses felt normal, physically
speaking. So, when the Bible tells us that when we accept
Christ as Lord and Savior, we will be indwelt by the Holy
Spirit and we should not doubt His indwelling presence because
He can't be physically sensed.
think this is the main reason Christians doubt the indwelling
presence of the Holy Spirit and it has led many to doubt
the scriptures concerning the gifts of the Spirit.
the Holy Spirit works in us
to transform our thinking and cleanse us from the things
that hinder our interpersonal spiritual growth. Secondly,
the Holy Spirit works through us
to reach those who are hurting and in need of God.
in us - Transformation
has promised to continue working in us until the day Christ
Jesus returns to take Christians to be with Him in heaven
1:3-6 (NIV) - I thank my God every time I remember you.
(4) In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with
joy (5) because of your partnership in the gospel from the
first day until now, (6) being confident of this, that he
who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion
until the day of Christ Jesus.
spiritual growth in each Christian is performed by the work
of the Holy Spirit. The power of the Holy Spirit is manifested
through the decisions we make in accordance with the Word
of God. We decide, He performs and through steadfast faith
we are changed to be like Him.
Holy Spirit works in us to raise us beyond the perception
of self (self-serving) to enable us to follow Christ and
to be like Him. Fruits of the Spirit
reveal the progressive work of the Holy Spirit in us.
through us - Servanthood
growth (fruits of the Spirit) prepare us to be vessels
God can use to work through us (enabled by the power
of the Holy Spirit). Gifts of the
Spirit reveal God equipping us so He can
work through us.
Corinthians 12:4-6 (KJV) -
Verse 4 - Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same
Holy Spirit empowers Christians with diversities of gifts.
5 - And there are differences of administrations, but the
Lord, Christ Jesus, oversees the Christian in his ministry
of grace and love.
6 - And there are diversities of operations, but it is the
same God which worketh all in all.
calls Christians into special offices of the church's operation
in the ministry of love and grace to the body of Christ.
These verses of scripture reveal
the Trinity working through Christians to reach the lost
and those in the church who are in need of God's intervention
in their lives. There can be no ministry of grace and love
apart from the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit.
the Holy Spirit given only to the apostles and 120 disciples
in the upper room?
the Word of God hangs on the commandment of love and love
is imparted to each Christian by the Holy Spirit, then no
one can say the Holy Spirit was given only to those in the
upper room. Else, there would be no power to fulfill Christ's
command to take the gospel into the four corners of the
earth. Romans 5:5 (KJV) - And hope maketh not ashamed;
because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts
by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
4:31-35 (NIV) - After they prayed, the place where they
were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with
the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly. (32)
All the believers were one in heart and mind. No
one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but
they shared everything they had. (33) With great power the
apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the
Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. (34) There
were no needy persons among them. For from time to time
those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money
from the sales (35) and put it at the apostles' feet, and
it was distributed to anyone as he had need.
4:32-37 - The prosperity of the church (Matthew
have a general idea given us in these verses, and it is
a very beautiful one, of the spirit and state of this truly
primitive church; it is conspectus saeculi-a view of that
age of infancy and innocence.
The disciples loved one another dearly. Behold, how good
and how pleasant it was to see how the multitude of those
that believed were of one heart, and of one soul (v. 32),
and there was no such thing as discord nor division among
them. Observe here,
There were multitudes that believed; even in Jerusalem,
where the malignant influence of the chief priests was most
strong, there were three thousand converted on one day,
and five thousand on another, and, besides these, there
were added to the church daily; and no doubt they were all
baptized, and made profession of the faith; for the same
Spirit that endued the apostles with courage to preach the
faith of Christ endued them with courage to confess it.
Note, The increase of the church is the glory of it, and
the multitude of those that believe, more than their quality.
Now the church shines, and her light is come, when souls
thus fly like a cloud into her bosom, and like doves to
their windows, Isa 60:1,8.
They were all of one heart, and of one soul. Though there
were many, very many, of different ages, tempers, and conditions,
in the world, who perhaps, before they believed, were perfect
strangers to one another, yet, when they met in Christ,
they were as intimately acquainted as if they had known
one another many years. Perhaps they had been of different
sects among the Jews, before their conversion, or had had
discords upon civil accounts; but now these were all forgotten
and laid aside, and they were unanimous in the faith
of Christ, and, being all joined to the Lord, they were
joined to one another in holy love. This was the blessed
fruit of Christ's dying precept to his disciples, to
love one another, and his dying prayer for them, that they
all might be one. We have reason to think they divided themselves
into several congregations, or worshipping assemblies, according
as their dwellings were, under their respective ministers;
and yet this occasioned no jealousy or uneasiness; for they
were all of one heart, and one soul, notwithstanding; and
loved those of other congregations as truly as those of
their own. Thus it was then, and we may not despair of seeing
it so again, when the Spirit shall be poured out upon us
from on high.
of the Spirit
His work in us is made known to others by the fruits of
that work in us -
5:19-25 (NIV) - The acts of the sinful nature are obvious:
sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; (20) idolatry
and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage,
selfish ambition, dissensions, factions (21) and envy; drunkenness,
orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that
those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of
God. (22) But the fruit of the Spirit is love,
joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
(23) gentleness and self-control. Against such things
there is no law. (24) Those who belong to Christ Jesus
have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and
desires. (25) Since we live by the Spirit, let
us keep in step with the Spirit.
works in us to perfect us so we can become true witnesses
of Him. Else, how will those around us who don't know Him
ever get to know Him? The life we live in front of others
is still the most effective powerful message of His grace
and love for others. Your life will become a light of God's
truth that is available for all who believe in Christ Jesus.
Your light will draw unbeliever's to God.
Christians are commanded to be witnesses of the experiences
and blessings they have in their relationship with Him.
Our witness of His grace and love for us is the most influential
message that unbelievers will ever hear! Unbeliever's will
believe what you say about God's intervention in your life,
far more than what they hear preachers preach or teachers
teach. As Christians develop the fruits of the Spirit in
their hearts, their witness to unbelievers will grow more
should conclude that the fruits of the Spirit, operative
in us, prepares us to be His true witnesses of His grace
and love for those to whom we minister to their needs. So,
the Spirit's fruits in us are evidence of our preparedness
to be true ministers. Thus, we should strive to acquire
the fruits of the Spirit through submission and obedience
to His Word.
of the Spirit
Christians are commanded to be witnesses of God's grace
and love. Those who are called into specific offices are
equipped by God with gifts of the Holy Spirit in order to
fulfill their specific calling.
of the Spirit are for personal preparation to be witnesses.
Gifts of the Spirit are for equipping those who are called
into specific areas of the ministry of the gospel -
2:4 (KJV) - God also bearing them witness, both with
signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts
of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?
Corinthians 12:4-11 (NIV) - There are different
kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. (5) There
are different kinds of service,
but the same Lord. (6) There are different
kinds of working, but the same God
works all of them in all men. (7) Now to each
one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common
good. (8) To one there is given through the Spirit the
message of wisdom,
to another the message of
knowledge by means of the same Spirit, (9) to
another faith by the
same Spirit, to another gifts of
healing by that
one Spirit, (10) to another miraculous
powers, to another prophecy,
to another distinguishing between
spirits, to another speaking
in different kinds of tongues, and to still another
the interpretation of tongues.
(11) All these are the work of one and the same Spirit,
and he gives them to each one,
just as he determines.
kinds of gifts";
"Different kinds of service"; "Different
kinds of working" - The
Holy Spirit searches the heart of the Christian and draws
him or her into areas that agree with the desires of the
heart. The Holy Spirit will not draw a Christian into an
area of servanthood that disagrees with his disposition
and personality traits. I believe God calls a person based
on the desires of his heart to serve. A Christian with the
gift of wisdom and knowledge may not be a person
that would make a good shepard of God's flock, nor would
he make a good missionary in a foreign land. But, he would
be a good teacher of God's Word and teach with a zeal to
break the bread of truth because it is the desire of his
heart, according to his gift.
a Christian acquires fruits from the Spirit, he will may
change the desires of his heart to serve in a specific area
of ministry. God will honor the desire of his heart. Every
area of the gospel ministry is to serve the common good
of those in the body of Christ - to experience God's love
and grace in their lives.
Gift of Tongues and Interpretation of Tongues
These two gifts are
the most misunderstood gifts mention by the apostle Paul
in the following scriptures.
2:1-12 (NIV) - When the day of Pentecost came, they were
all together in one place. (2) Suddenly a sound like the
blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the
whole house where they were sitting. (3) They saw what seemed
to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on
each of them. (4) All of them were filled with the Holy
Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit
Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from
every nation under heaven. (6) When they heard this sound,
a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one
heard them speaking in his own language. (7) Utterly
amazed, they asked: "Are not all these men who are
speaking Galileans? (8) Then how is it that each
of us hears them in his own native language? (9) Parthians,
Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and
Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, (10) Phrygia and Pamphylia,
Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from
Rome (11) (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and
Arabs - we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our
own tongues!" (12) Amazed and perplexed, they asked
one another, "What does this mean?"
of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak
in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them." -
Other tongues means the 120 disciples spoke in a tongue
that was not his native language. The language was given
by the Holy Spirit.
is it that each of us hears them in his own native language?"
- Those (devout Jews from many languages) heard
what was spoken in his own language. God gave those who
heard the disciples speak in tongues at Pentecost the gift
of hearing in his own native language, even though the words
were spoken by Galileans.
does this mean?" - Those who heard the Spirit's
gift of tongues were amazed at what just happened. Still
today there are many in the corporate body of Christ who
ask the same question, "What does this mean?"
They do not understand the gift of tongues and interpretation
gift of tongues and interpretation of tongues are spoken
for the benefit of unbelievers, even as it was a sign
for the unbelieving devout Jews who first heard it on Pentecost
Corinthians 14:22 (NIV) - Tongues, then, are a sign,
not for believers but for unbelievers; prophecy, however,
is for believers, not for unbelievers.
objective of tongues is as a sign for unbelievers. A sign
that God is among the congregation. But, a message in tongues
must be interpreted so the unbeliever and the rest of the
congregation is edified - 1 Corinthians 14:2-5 (NIV)
- For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to
men but to God. Indeed, no one understands him; he
utters mysteries with his spirit. (3) But everyone
who prophesies speaks to men for their strengthening, encouragement
and comfort. (4) He who speaks in a tongue edifies
himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church.
(5) I would like every one of you to speak in tongues, but
I would rather have you prophesy. He who prophesies is
greater than one who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets,
so that the church may be edified.
who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God"
- Speaking in tongues is speaking to God, not to
men. This can occur in the privacy of one's prayer closet.
Even though one prays in the Spirit and does not know what
he is saying because he utters mysteries with the Spirit,
his prayer is effectual for his personal edification. No
interpretation is needed because God knows what the Spirit
is saying. So, when do we pray in the Spirit? When words
cannot express what we have in our hearts. The utterance
of unknown tongues is a way that we can speak to God and
experience the release of what we bear in our hearts when
words are not sufficient. Unction of the Spirit is an anointing
to speak soothing, comforting, sympathetic, and / or joyful
expressions in an earnest and fervor utterance to God. Speaking
in unknown tongues should always be in response to the Holy
good Scripture reference for seeking to serve God -
Fruits of the Spirit in the following passage are highlighted
12:1-21 (NIV) - Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view
of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices,
holy and pleasing to God-this is your spiritual act of worship.
(2) Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world,
but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you
will be able to test and approve what God's will is-his
good, pleasing and perfect will. (3) For by the grace given
me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more
highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with
sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith
God has given you. (4) Just as each of us has one body
with many members, and these members do not all have the
same function, (5) so in Christ we who are many form one
body, and each member belongs to all the others. (6)
We have different gifts, according to the grace given
us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion
to his faith. (7) If it is serving, let him serve; if it
is teaching, let him teach; (8) if it is encouraging, let
him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others,
let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern
diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.
(9) Love must be
sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. (10)
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor
one another above yourselves. (11) Never be lacking in zeal,
but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. (12) Be
joyful in hope, patient
in affliction, faithful
in prayer. (13) Share [goodness]
with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality
. (14) Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
(15) Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who
mourn. (16) Live in harmony [peace]
with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to
associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
(17) Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to
do what is right in the eyes of everybody [self-control].
(18) If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live
at peace with everyone.
(19) Do not take revenge [self-control], my friends,
but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It
is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. (20)
On the contrary: "If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing
this, you will heap burning coals on his head." (21)
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
have different gifts, according to the grace given us"
- God equips each Christian to be productive in
ministry according to the desires of his heart. Desires
come from the deep parts of our dispositions and personality
traits, with which we were born and from which we choose
our direction in life. For instance, engineers and builders
are task oriented and are drawn towards wisdom and knowledge.
Social types are people oriented and drawn towards areas
of hospitality and become good servants to the body of Christ.
works in each Christian developing fruits of the Spirit.
This is the developmental stage of preparing us to serve
Him. How productive can a Christian's service be without
fruits? Matthew 22:14 (KJV) - For many are called,
but few are chosen. Not all who are called are chosen
because they lack fruit and are not prepared to serve.
God develops the minister and then He calls Him into a specific
area of ministry according to the desires of his heart [fruits].
God will not choose anyone for service who is not prepared
to serve, even though he is called.