God's truth for today's world

the order of the spiritWe’re drawing to a close in our Living in the Spirit message series. Next Sunday will be our concluding message, entitled “The Work of the Spirit.” In this series, we’ve gotten an overview of how the Holy Spirit can work in and through our lives. If you’ve missed any messages, you can watch them online on our website. If you’re a regular attender and you miss a Sunday, we strongly encourage you to watch it online, so that you don’t miss out on what God has for your life.

Today, our message is “The Order of the Spirit.” We’re going to be talking about the public use of spiritual gifts in a church or small group meeting. With respect to spiritual gifts, there are two kinds of churches. The first kind believes the Bible regarding the continuation of spiritual gifts to our time. This kind of church may be referred to as a continualist, Spirit-filled or Pentecostal church. Life Church is part of the Assemblies of God, the largest Spirit-filled denomination in the world with about 70 million people.

The second kind of church doesn’t believe what the Bible teaches regarding spiritual gifts. They believe that the spiritual gifts ceased when the Bible was completed. These churches are referred to as cessationist churches. Most denominational churches are cessationist. Religious political correctness today says it really doesn’t matter what churches believe, as long as they get salvation right. One church believes one thing, another other things, it’s just diversity, kind of like what flavor of ice cream you like. It really doesn’t matter. That thinking is completely incorrect. The Bible gives us direct commands regarding what to believe. If a church gets it wrong, it is a serious issue. Lives will be lost for eternity with every issue a church gets wrong and thereby disobeys God’s word. I believe that before Jesus returns, the church will be united in Spirit and in truth.

1 Corinthians 14:1 (NIV)  Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy.

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the gifts of the spiritToday, we’re continuing our Living in the Spirit message series. We need the power of the Spirit in greater measure in our personal lives and in our church.

This morning, my message is entitled “The Gifts of the Spirit.” The gifts of the Spirit are supernatural gifts that the Spirit gives to believers to accomplish God’s purposes. The Greek word for spiritual gifts if charismata, which means gifts of grace. These gifts are not optional, they are great importance in your spiritual life and in the life of the church. Yet, they are not well understood and even less utilized in many churches, including ours. What is the purpose of spiritual gifts?

Acts 1:8 (NIV)  But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Jesus teaches us in this verse that the power of the Holy Spirit, which is manifested through spiritual gifts, is to equip believers to be witnesses. We see spiritual gifts being used in evangelism in the ministry of Jesus and the early church over and over. Not only are spiritual gifts of great use in evangelism, they are also useful for building up the church.

1 Corinthians 12:7 (NIV)  Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.

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the fruit of the spiritToday, we are continuing our message series “Living in the Spirit.” A Spirit-filled life is impacted by the Holy Spirit in every aspect. If you haven’t heard all the messages in this series, I’d encourage you to watch them online on our website or YouTube. We’ve been talking about the importance of obeying Jesus command to be Spirit baptized. If you have not yet been Spirit baptized, you should be earnestly seeking to be, just as the believers in the book of Acts did. You need the power released in Spirit baptism to live the full Spirit-filled life.

Today, our message topic is “The Fruit of the Spirit.” We’re going to start today with the teaching of Jesus on fruit bearing. Then we will talk about how you can develop the Spirit’s fruit in each of nine areas of life.

John 15:5 (NIV) “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

Jesus gives us a picture of what the believer’s life is like. Each believer is like a branch joined to the vine of a grape plant, which is Jesus. The believer/branch that remains in the vine will bear a lot of fruit. A branch that is not attached to the vine cannot bear any fruit.

John 15:6 (NIV) If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.

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the fullness of the spiritToday, we are continuing our message series “Living in the Spirit.” In this series, we’re talking about how every believer can grow in their relationship with the Holy Spirit. Our message today is entitled “The Fullness of the Spirit.”

In the last couple of messages in this series, we’ve been talking about Spirit Baptism. If you missed them, I’d encourage you to watch them online on our website. Spirit baptism is the initial filling with the Spirit with the evidence of tongues.

Acts 2:4 (NIV) All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

Notice here that on the day of Pentecost, Spirit baptism is described as being filled with the Holy Spirit. In his sermon on the day of Pentecost, Peter preached that every person needed to experience three things.

Acts 2:38-39 (NIV) Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”

The three things are salvation, water baptism and Spirit baptism. Spirit baptism is described in this verse as the gift of the Holy Spirit and as a promise, the promise of the Father. This promise was not just for the day of Pentecost, but for every believer of all time. Following the day of Pentecost, the New Testament writers assume that every believer is water baptized and Spirit baptized.

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The Spirit and Tongues

Today, we are continuing our message series “Living in the Spirit.” In this series, we looking at the importance of the Holy Spirit in the life of every believer. Last week, we studied The Baptism in the Spirit. It was a very important message, so if you missed it, I’d encourage you to watch it online. Let’s review some of what we learned, in order to prepare us for today’s topic.

After Jesus rose from the dead, He breathed the Spirit into His disciples and they were born again. However, there was still something lacking.

Acts 1:4-5 (NIV) … he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

Before they began the mission that Jesus was giving them, His disciples needed something else. Jesus commanded them to wait and pray for the promise of the Father. This promise was for them to be baptized with the Holy Spirit. They needed the power of the Holy Spirit to be witnesses for Jesus, just as we do today. The promise was received on the day of Pentecost as recorded in

Acts 2:4 (NIV) All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

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