THE NEED FOR THE HOLY SPIRIT’S POWER IN MINISTRY/MISSIONS

Presented by Brian Holda, Jan. 19, 2012

Fruit

Eph. 1:13 – believe gospel, receive seal of Spirit
1 Cor. 15:1-5ff – gospel = Jesus died for sins, buried, raised according to Scriptures
Rom. 10:9 – belief must be in heart
Evidence of your belief is seen in fruit of Holy Spirit in your life: Gal. 5:22-24; John 5:24 & 1 Jn. 3:14 (see Romans 5:5); 1 Jn. 4:13

However…

Having a good character and the right words is not enough to fully and effectively minister gospel according to the Scriptures!

Consider: 1 Thes. 1:5; 1 Cor. 2:1-5; Romans 15:18-19; Hebrews 2:3-4

How important are power and gifts of Spirit for ministry?

The Promise

Lk. 24:44-49 – Jesus says to his disciples: “And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” (Luke 24:49);
Acts 1:4-8 – Promise…Spirit…Power…Testimony

  • Being discipled by Jesus (for 3.5 years!) was not enough! – but IS necessary
  • Having eyes opened to the Scriptures (see Luke 24:45) was not enough! – but IS necessary
  • Knowing and believing the gospel message (see Luke 24:47) was not enough! – but IS necessary
  • Physically witnessing the resurrected Christ was not enough (Luke 24:48)!
  • Praying was not enough (Acts 1:14)! – but IS necessary

The Promise Fulfilled

Acts 2 – PENTECOST

2:1-6 – picture of promise
2:32-33 – reason promise happened (cf. Jn. 14:12-14)
2:41 – RESULT: “THAT DAY ABOUT THREE THOUSAND SOULS WERE ADDED” – Now, does Jesus’ command to wait for and rely upon this Power make sense?

O.T. Picture

Ex. 30:25-32 – every vessel, priest, and all the temple must be anointed before they can serve!

The Power and Witness Spreads

Gospels

Mark 16:17-18 – Spiritual signs and wonders “will follow those who believe”

Acts

  • deacons – full of Spirit and wisdom/character (1 Tim. 3)
  • The Book of Acts (history of first 30 years of the church) – almost every chapter records an obvious supernatural sign, wonder, power, gift, etc.
  • Examples: lame walking, prophecy, sick healed, demons cast out, visions, dreams, etc.
  • The witness and effectiveness of the preaching actually and eternally changed souls!!!

Rest of N.T.

  • Romans 15:18-19; 1 Corinthians 2:4; 4:20; 1 Thessalonians 1:5; Hebrews 2:3-4 – the gospel was “fully preached” with signs, gifts, wonders, and power of the Spirit
  • 1 Corinthians 1:4-8; 12-14 – Spiritual gifts emphasized and needed for ministry
  • 2 Corinthians 12:12 – testimony of true apostle includes “signs and wonders”
  • Galatians 3:5 – God worked miracles and spiritual gifts among Galatian believers
  • James 5:14-16 – prayer for healing is commanded for Christians, and healing is expected!
  • 1 Timothy 4:14; 2 Timothy 1:6-7 – Spiritual gifts were used in Paul’s ministry and encouraged to be used by those ministering after him (e.g. Timothy)
  • Hebrews 6:4-5 – Spirit’s power was considered part of the Christian’s life
  • Jude 1:20 – praying “in the Spirit” is expected
  • Revelation 1:10-12 – John was “in the Spirit” and saw a vision of Jesus

What Does the Lord Say?

From an examination of the passages above (as well as similar passages), it is clear that the power and gifts of the Holy Spirit were absolutely essential for effective ministry in the New Testament. Today, however, there is a devastating deception among professing “Christians” in minimizing or denying our need for Christians to operate with this same power today. It is unscriptural; it is sin; and it results in ineffective ministry.

Jesus told his disciples to “wait,” until this power was theirs.

Now, for us living on the other side of the Spirit’s coming, consider what God says to us:

  • Acts 2:39; 1 Corinthians 1:4-8; 1 Corinthians 13:8-12 – Spiritual gifts are to be operating within the church until Christ returns
  • “Desire spiritual gifts” (1 Cor. 14:1)
  • “I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied” (1 Cor. 14:5)
  • “Desire earnestly to prophesy,” (1 Cor. 14:39)
  • “Do not forbid to speak with tongues,” (1 Cor. 14:39)
  • “Be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18)
  • “Do not quench the Spirit,” (1 Thessalonians 5:19)
  • “Do not despise prophecies,” (1 Thessalonians 5:20)
  • “Fan into flame the gift of God” (2 Timothy 1:6)
  • Exodus 30:25-32 shows that the temple, its vessels, and its priests must be anointed with oil before they can be of service. You are that temple (Eph. 2:19-22)! You are those vessels (2 Tim. 2:20-21)! You are those priests (1 Pet. 2:5)! You are NOT FIT for service if you are not baptized and filled with his Spirit.

Reflection & Application

Is there a gap between your life and ministry, and what you read in the Scriptures?
How effective is your witness, truly?
Are you satisfied using your methods, or will you surrender and operate in God’s methods?

Consider Jesus’ remedy:

“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit [and His gifts] to those who ask Him!” (Luke 11:13; compare with Matt. 7:11)

  • Must be a child of God
  • Ask God for His Holy Spirit and spiritual gifts
  • Believe that He gives as you ask (see also Hebrews 11:6)
  • Receive as everything He gives you

And:

2 Tim. 1:6

  • received gift through laying hands
  • may need to fan into flame that gift (for those experienced) – get yourself in a position where the gift(s) will be kindled – ministry, gathering of assembly, etc.

13 Evidences That Not All Christians Are Filled With God’s Spirit

Clarification: Though the Scriptures are clear that all Christians have God’s indwelling Spirit (see Romans 8:9, Ephesians 1:13, and 1 John 4:13, for instance), and that that Spirit should be producing fruit in all true believers lives (see Galatians 5:22-24), there are many passages that indicate believers can still lack being filled with the Spirit and having spiritual gifts.

Consider:

  1. Jesus as a pattern and example was born of the Holy Spirit (Matt. 1:18), but later was baptized/anointed with the Holy Spirit (Luke 3:22). Similarly, Christians may be born again with the Holy Spirit, but later baptized/anointed/filled with the Holy Spirit.
  2. Luke 11:13 (and Matt. 7:11) – Jesus is referring to people who are already children of God (which only comes through faith in Jesus, see John 1:12) asking for (more of) His Spirit and spiritual gifts.
  3. In John 20:22, it says Jesus breathed the Holy Spirit on the disciples, yet in Luke 24:49 He says to tarry in the city of Jerusalem until He sends the Promise of the Father so that the disciples may be endued with power from on high. Acts 1:4-8 shows that this Promise is the Holy Spirit. Is this a contradiction by the gospel writers? Of course not. It may instead show that the disciples did have the Holy Spirit when Jesus breathed on them, just as we receive it upon conversion; however, they were not yet “cloaked with the power” or “baptized with the Holy Spirit,” until Acts 2.
  4. Acts 2:38 records Peter’s admonition to all those believers of what they should do after believing (see v. 37) paralleling exactly with Jesus’ order of events: “(1) Repent, (2) and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; (3) and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” The Greek word used for receive is lambano which suggests taking. It is not a passive verb; receiving is an action one must take.
  5. Acts 2:4; 4:8,31, etc. – Peter is said to be filled with the Holy Spirit at different times. This would infer that he was not always filled with the Spirit (otherwise, the statement would be redundant). A similar statement is made of other Christians throughout Acts.
  6. Acts 4:23-31 shows a company of believers praying for boldness. V. 31 says: “…and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.” We can see that these people were believers before they prayed – a prayer for boldness, healing, and signs and wonders through the name of Jesus – and therefore had the Holy Spirit dwelling inside of them, but it wasn’t until after they prayed that they “were all filled with the Holy Spirit.”
  7. Acts 6:3 – a qualification for a deacon is that they are a Christian who is “full of the Holy Spirit”. If all Christians were full of the Holy Spirit, this qualification makes no sense.
  8. Acts 8 gives another example. Verses 12 and 13 show Simon and the other Samaritans becoming believers after hearing Philip, and then being baptized. However, verses 14-19 show that the believers in Samaria had not received a separate baptism/filling of the Holy Spirit. The key lies in verse 16, which reads: “For as yet He [the Holy Spirit] had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.” The next verse shows that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given (the laying on of hands is not a command for filling someone with the Holy Spirit, although it is a very common practice throughout Scriptures). Although verse 13 says Simon was a believer in Christ and saw miracles and signs, verses 18 and 19 tell us that Simon offered money only after seeing the power given by the baptism in the Holy Spirit.
  9. In Acts 11:15-16, as Peter is relaying Cornelius’ household being baptized by the Holy Spirit (see Acts 10:44-48), he parallels this event with the event of Pentecost that happened 3.5 years earlier. Why is this significant? Answer: If “baptism of the Holy Spirit,” and the Spirit’s “falling” on people, was something that happened every time someone was converted to Christ (a phenomena that seems almost daily for Peter at this time), why would his mind be drawn back to the “baptism of the Spirit” events of Acts 2 (see 11:15)? To me, this may be an indication that “baptism of the Holy Spirit” is not synonymous for being “born again”.
  10. Acts 19. Verse 2 records Paul asking the Ephesians if they received the Holy Spirit when they believed. The key text lies in verses 3-6. In verse 3, the disciples at Ephesus tell Paul that they have only had John’s baptism in water. Verse 5, however, shows them being baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And verse 6 hammers the point: “And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them….” The order follows: 1. Repent (v. 4). 2. Baptize in Jesus’ name (v.5). 3. Receive the Holy Spirit (v. 6).
  11. Ephesians 5:18 – Paul, speaking to Christians who have God’s Spirit (see Eph. 1:13) commands them to, “Be filled with the Spirit.” If they were already filled with the Spirit, this command shouldn’t be in there.
  12. 1 Corinthians 14 – The Corinthian Christians were told to “desire spiritual gifts” (v. 1), pray for the gift of interpretation of tongues (v. 14), desire earnestly to prophesy (v. 39), etc., even though they already were believers and functioned in Spiritual gifts (see 1 Cor. 1:4-8, for instance). These instructions would make no sense, unless there was more that believers could ask for.
  13. Another example can be inferred from 2 Timothy 1:6, which says: “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.” No one could say that it was by the laying on of hands that Timothy became a believer (since believing is something of the mind and heart of the individual alone), yet, it was through the laying on of hands (a separate act from believing) that Timothy received a gift (Greek: charisma) of God.

One thought on “THE NEED FOR THE HOLY SPIRIT’S POWER IN MINISTRY/MISSIONS

  1. This was an excellent refresher as I start Petspectives teaching season

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