The Holy Spirit: The Gift Giver

Last time, we presented how to achieve unity. Now, it is time to show the various parts which makes the body of Christ.

John 14:16 (AMP)
And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby), that He may remain with you forever —

Before Jesus ascended to Heaven, He promised to send another called the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit advises, comforts, and helps believers. One way the Spirit helps is by giving believers gifts and empowering their use.

Gifts of the Holy Spirit

1 Corinthians 12:4–6 (NIV)
4There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.

Do you notice a pattern in the above verses? Now, let’s analyze each verse.

Verse 4: Different kinds of gifts … same Spirit

The word “gifts” (χάρισμαchárisma) [g4386] is better translated as “to show favor”, “a gift of grace”, or “an undeserved benefit”. There are many gifts given to us by God. The most important one is the gift of salvation. This gift is only available because of Jesus the Messiah’s sacrifice at Calvary and His resurrection three days later.

In the Old Testament Hebrew, the phrase Ruach ha-Kodesh (רוח הקודש) is the term used for the “Holy Spirit”.

The meaning:

  1. Ruach: “spirit”, “breath”, and “wind”.
  2. ha: the
  3. Kodesh: “holy” and “holiness”.

Nugget: While reading scriptures, notice the words spirit, breath, and wind. Then reread those verses again putting Holy Spirit in place of these words.

Verse 5: Different kinds of service … same Lord

The word “services” (διακονίαdiakonía) [g1248] is also translated as administrations or ministries. These are made up of believers in the form of servants who serve the Master. Jesus paid the price for our sin (1 Corinthians 6:20). We are now His bond servants.

The word Lord (κυριακόςkuriakós) [g2960] is mostly used in the New Testament to describe Jesus. Jesus died for our sins. He paid a debt that we could never pay on our own.

Verse 6: Different kinds of working … same God

The word “working” (ἐνέργημαenérgēma) [g1550] means to effect or an operation. Basically, it means tasks or functions to be performed as part of a master plan.

The word “God” (ΘεόςTheós) [g2316] in this case refers to God the Father. The first two verses refer to God the Spirit (verse 4) and God the Son (verse 5).

Putting things together

Now let’s put the three verses together to see what the Word is telling us. These three verses presents the roles of each part of the Trinity.

Roles of the Trinity

  • God the Father created the master plan and breaks it down into tasks.
  • God the Son manages the workforce and assigns the tasks.
  • God the Spirit gives the gifts and provides the power to the workers.

Now, let’s summarize 1 Corinthians 12:4–6.

Gifts are given (by God the Spirit) to the assigned (by God the Son) workers to accomplish the desired tasks (designed by God the Father).

Gifts of the Spirit

The Holy Spirit’s activity in both Testaments:

  • Old Testament: The Holy Spirit came upon the individual giving the person the ability or strength to fulfill His assignment (Judges 3:10; 6:34; 11:29).
  • New Testament: The Holy Spirit abides and remains with the believer. It is not just a temporary presence that comes upon and then lifts from a person (John 14:26).

The purpose of the Holy Spirit is to furnish the believer with what he or she is lacking. The Holy Spirit provides spiritual fruits, gifts, and abilities as needed.

Salvation, Water Baptism, and Spirit Baptism

Three major events in a Christian’s life:

  • Salvation: Spirit—Man—Body of Christ
  • Water Baptism: Pastor—Man—Water
  • Spirit Baptism: Jesus—Man—Holy Spirit

Even though each of these play an important role, salvation is the most important one by far. Without salvation, water baptism is pointless. And, salvation is needed before spiritual baptism can occur.

Salvation

When a believer receives the redemptive covenant through Jesus, he or she is “born of the Spirit” (John 3:6–8). The Holy Spirit has brought that person into the new birth and created a new redeemed spirit within.

How does one receive Salvation?

  1. You must accept the fact that Jesus Christ is the one and only Son of God born of a virgin.
  2. Accept that you:
    1. have sinned,
    2. fallen short of the glory of God, and
    3. deserve eternal death.
  3. Accept that Jesus:
    1. Died on the cross at Calvary for our sins.
    2. Was in the grave for three days.
    3. Was resurrected.
    4. Lives today and intercedes for us.
  4. Confess you have sinned.
  5. With your voice, ask Jesus to come into your heart.

Sample prayer: Heavenly Father, I accept that Jesus Christ is your Son born of a virgin. I have sinned and deserve death. I believe that Jesus, Your Son, died on the cross for my sins and rose from the dead three days later. I repent of my sins. Now, I ask you, Jesus, to come into my heart to be my Lord and personal Savior. Thank you. This I pray in Jesus’ name! Amen!

That’s all. If you believed what you prayed, you are now saved! The next step is to get involved in a local body of believers to help you to learn more about Jesus and your new life.

You are not just saved from the penalty of eternal death, you now have the infilling of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will reveal truths in the Holy Bible that you have not noticed before. Also, this Spirit will be your conscience and guide. Remember, this Spirit will NOT tell you to do things contrary to what is written in the Holy Bible. So, get to know the Word of God.

Water Baptism

Matthew 3:4–6,11–17 (ESV)
4Now John wore a garment of camel’s hair and a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. 5Then Jerusalem and all Judea and all the region about the Jordan were going out to him, 6and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.

11“I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”
13Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. 14John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” 15But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. 16And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; 17and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”

Why was John baptize people? According to writer Jack Kelley at GraceThruFaith.com, the following is the reason.

John’s baptism was an adaptation of the mikvah, or ritual immersion bath, that had been part of Jewish life for generations and symbolized a spiritual cleansing. It was part of the preparation for undertaking a new beginning. Jewish men took a mikvah each Sabbath in preparation for the new week. Women took a mikvah after each monthly period as a spiritual cleansing. On Yom Kippur the High Priest took 7 mikvot (plural of mikvah) during the ceremonies in preparation for entering the Holy of Holies. Jesus came to John for a mikvah at the beginning of His ministry.

The reason John had people take a mikvah was to show that they had changed their minds (repented) about their need for a Savior and were taking a new direction regarding their salvation. No longer would they focus on keeping the Law but would look instead to the coming redeemer whose arrival John was announcing. Today, baptism is no longer an act of spiritual cleansing in preparation for a new direction, but a public declaration that the spiritual cleansing has already happened and the new direction has been taken.

Nugget: Question: When John the Baptist said, “I need to be baptized by you,” was he asking Jesus to give him the baptism of the Holy Spirit? Of course, it was not time for such to be done.

Purposes of Water Baptism:

  1. Symbolizes cleansing of sin.
  2. Linked with repentance and a change of behavior.
  3. Admission into the community of faith/fellowship.
  4. Represents the death of your old self and the birth of your new self.
  5. Symbolizes being infilled with the Spirit.

Baptism of the Spirit

The “baptism in the Spirit” is a separate event that empowers a believer with a special enduing of power (Luke 24:49). Yes, this baptism can occur at the same time as salvation. But, usually, these events occur at different times. And, usually the baptism of the Spirit must be specifically sought after.

The baptism in the Spirit provides a different measure of the Spirit than the “born again” measure. This can be recognized in the disciples before and after Pentecost.

Imagine a Gas Stove

Put it this way. When you receive salvation, the pilot light comes on. It appears as a lit candle. Remember, Jesus is the light (John 8:12; 9:5).

Lit candles can:

  1. Light the dark path before you.
  2. Be seen by others.
  3. Light other candles.

But, when the baptism of the Spirit occurs, the whole burner lights up. So, in addition to the light, there is now heat which can be felt. Heat in addition to light produces a stronger force of power. Thus, more can be done.

The amount of heat produced depends on how much gas comes in and the size of the burner. The gas is power from the Holy Spirit. The burner is our faith and trust in God.

Examples of baptism of the Spirit

Jesus commanded the Twelve Disciples to wait in Jerusalem for the promise of the Father to send “power from on high” (Luke 24:49). As the “tongues of fire” fell upon the believers in the upper room, they began to speak in other tongues. The speaking in tongues is the evidence of the promise of the Father, baptism in the Holy Spirit. On that day, the Twelve Disciples became the Twelve Apostles.

People who received the baptism of the Spirit:

  • 121 or more in the upper room (Acts 2:1–4)
  • Cornelius and his household (Acts 10:46)
  • Twelve disciples of John the Baptist (Acts 19:6–7)

Nugget: In water baptism, the Holy Spirit is living in you. Baptism of the Holy Spirit is the filling of power from the Spirit enabling the use of gifts of the Spirit in 1 Corinthians 12:7–11.

Baptism of the Spirit

  1. Empowerment
  2. Gifts being used as the Spirit discerns them.
  3. Boldness
  4. Tongues as a personal prayer language
  5. For believers only
  6. Burning embers in our spirit

John teaches that the work of the coming Messiah will involve baptizing His followers with the Holy Spirit—a baptism that gives great power to live and witness for Jesus (Acts 5:8). It was promised in Joel 2:28–29.

In John 20:22, the disciples were infilled with the Holy Spirit. In Acts 1:4–5; 2:2–4, they were filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. At Pentecost, there was three manifestations that the Holy Spirit had descended upon (filling with power) the 120 disciples (Acts 1:15).

The three manifestations:

  1. Wind
  2. Fire
  3. Tongues

In Matthew 3:12, the phrase “And with fire” shows that the fire refers to judgment, where unquenchable fire refers to the lake of fire (Rev. 20:10, 14, 15). God is a God of order—a set pattern. Jesus came first as Savior. He will come again as a Judge. In the meantime, He sent a Helper (the Holy Spirit) bearing special gifts to help us against the fiery darts and arrows of the evil one. God prepared hell for satan and his angels. But since the first Garden, men has turned away from the loving True God. The situation is simple: Repent and turn to God. He has a special place in heaven prepared for you.

Jesus will baptize in the Spirit

All four books of the Gospel emphasize that Jesus is "He who will baptize with (Greek preposition ‘en’) the Holy Spirit (Matthew 3:11–12; Mark 1:7–8; Luke 3:16–17; John 1:32–33).

In 1 Corinthians 13:8–10, God gives us spiritual gifts for our lives on earth in order to build up, serve, and strengthen fellow Christians. The spiritual gifts are for Today’s churches. Only when we are in Eternity, will we be made perfect and complete. Because, we will be in the very presence of God.

Spiritual gifts such as prophecy, tongues, and knowledge will cease at the end of this age. Until then, we need the Holy Spirit and His gifts in our churches and in believer’s lives. There is NO indication here or elsewhere in Scriptures that the manifestation of the Spirit through His gifts will cease at the end of the first century church era.

Two main lists of gifts

There are two main lists of these gifts in the New Testament.

Two main lists of gifts:

  1. Functional gifts (Romans 12:6–8)
  2. Power gifts (1 Corinthians 12:7–11)

The seven functional gifts (Romans 12:6–8):

  1. Prophesying: The special ability to discern problems within the church and propose effective solutions to resolve the problems.
  2. Teaching: The special ability to clearly and effectively discern and communicate biblical truth in such a way that people learn and grow in their walk with God.
  3. Serving: The special ability to unselfishly give of one’s time and resources to meet the needs of others, thus often freeing them to more effectively exercise their gift(s).
  4. Encouraging: The special ability to offer words of comfort, encouragement, correction in a way that others in the body of Christ respond positively and are helped.
  5. Giving: The special ability to cheerfully and sacrificially give of one’s financial resources or personal possessions for the sake of Christ and the church.
  6. Administration: The special ability to identify the immediate and long-range needs of the body of Christ and provide the organizational planning necessary to help them execute the work needed to increase the church’s effectiveness.
  7. Mercy: The special ability to express true empathy for those who are suffering physically, emotionally, or mentally and demonstrate compassion for them in tangible ways to help ease their pain.

These gifts listed above are the ones we are born with and learn to use over our lifetime. When we are infilled with the Holy Spirit at salvation, it becomes our duty to use these gifts for the glory of God. Our talents, through the workings of God, lead us to places to reach out to people who otherwise would not hear the gospel or see a true Christian witness.

Each of us tend to be:

  • Very strong in one or two of these gifts.
  • Very weak in one or two of these gifts.
  • Average in the rest.

Note, “prophesying” is one of the most misunderstood of these gifts. Prophets are the trouble shooters and tend to be the least liked by others. So, all of these functional gifts are equally important in the church.

For more information about these functional gifts, study this PDF file. It can also be found at Cottonwood Community Church website by clicking on this link. The document will help you determine your main gift(s). Not only will this document help you to better understand these gifts, it will also help you to understand each personality of the people with each different gift.

Nine Power Gifts (1 Corinthians 12:7–11):

  1. Words of wisdom: The special ability to know the mind of the Holy Spirit and apply the revelation of God’s Word to specific situations within the church and lives.
  2. Words of knowledge: The special ability to gain insights about persons, circumstances, or pertinent biblical information that is relevant to the health and growth of the church.
  3. Faith: The special ability to place one’s complete trust in the Lord and a willingness to act on God’s directions with an extraordinarily unwavering confidence in His ability to help us in every situation.
  4. Healing: The special ability to miraculously restore physical or emotional health to an individual through a divine act of God’s intervention.
  5. Miracles: The special ability to be used of God to perform powerful acts that transcend the laws of nature and demonstrate the divine activity of God among us.
  6. Prophecy: The special ability to communicate a direct and immediate message from God to His people for their edification or correction.
  7. Discerning of spirits: The special ability to determine with great accuracy whether certain behavior finds its origin within God, humans, or Satan.
  8. Speaking in tongues: The special ability to share with the church a divine message from God in a language unknown to the person sharing.
  9. Interpretation of tongues: The special ability to interpret messages spoken in other tongues into a language that the listeners can comprehend so each one may be built up.

Each of these gifts listed above are available to anyone who has experienced the baptism of the Holy Spirit (also referred as been filled with the Spirit). Just because a person has been enabled to use a particular gift does not mean the gift will always manifested in the person. Example, a preacher who has experienced a couple of healing events, does not mean that the pastor should start a healing ministry.

In fact, a person or ministry should never focus on just a couple of these power gifts. All of the gifts should be equally manifested in a ministry.

The power gifts are very situational. And, they are always initiated by the Holy Spirit and operates through us believers. We should seek to be used by the Holy Spirit in these ways. But, we should not seek a specific power gift. Example, in a hospital, we can not say, “I want to heal someone, today.” God is the healer, not us.

This is because we are not doing the work. The Holy Spirit is doing the work through us. He uses our mouth to give words of wisdom or knowledge. We simply need to be willing vessels and open to the Spirit.

You can learn more about these power gifts by studying this PDF document that our pastor has put together. Sorry, the first two pages are missing. We will update the document as soon as we find copies.

How the Holy Spirit changes the average person:

Among the twelve disciples three were selected as special “inner circle” partners with Jesus.

The three selected:

  1. Peter
  2. James
  3. John

They stuck close to Jesus going:

To the Mount of Transfiguration
The other nine remained in the valley below (Matthew 17:1–2). A good lesson to learn is stick close to Jesus.
Deeper into Garden of Gethsemane.
Eleven went to the garden. Only the three went further with Jesus as He prayed for three hours of agonizing intercession (Matthew 26:36–39).

After the Day of Pentecost:

  1. Peter: Became the Head Apostle to the Jews (called the “apostleship to the circumcised”) (Galatians 2:8).
  2. James: Appointed the Leading Apostle over the Jerusalem church.
  3. John: Rose to the position of the presiding Bishop of the Church. Beside writing several books he received the vision of the Apocalypse.

The valley disciples:

  1. Phillip: Carried the gospel message to Upper Asia. He was scourged and crucified.
  2. Matthias (took Judas’ place): Was eventually stone in Jerusalem and afterward beheaded.
  3. Andrew: Journeyed to Adesa as a missionary. He experienced martyrdom by being crucified.
  4. Matthew: Wrote the Gospel of Matthew.
  5. Bartholomew: Translated Matthew’s Gospel in India. Later in his ministry, he was beaten and crucified.
  6. “Doubting” Thomas: Traveled to India performing astonishing miracles convincing the heathens that Jesus IS the true God.
  7. Simon the Zealot: Known as Simon the Canaanite.
  8. James son of Alphaeus: Lived 5 years after Jesus. He was thrown down from the temple by the scribes and Pharisees. He was then stoned and his brains dashed out with a fuller’s club.
  9. James son of Zebedee

In Acts 1:13–14, what gave these men such boldness to come out of a locked upper room? Answer: The baptism of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost!

Other spiritual gifts:

  1. The gift of salvation (Ephesians 2:8)
  2. The gift of grace of God. (Ephesians 3:7)
  3. The gift of righteousness (Romans 5:17).
  4. The gift of eternal life (Romans 6:23).
  5. The gift of giving finances (Philippians 4:17)
  6. The gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38).
  7. The gift called the unspeakable gift (2 Corinthians 9:15).

Look at the list and ask yourself, “How many of these gifts have ceased since the time of the New Testament?”

The gifts are still available today

Romans 11:29 (NIV)
for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable.

While we are asking questions, who would want these gifts to cease? We can see the difference in the Twelve before and after Pentecost.

A Promise:

1 Corinthians 1:6–9 (MSG)
The evidence of Christ has been clearly verified in your lives.
Just think—you don’t need a thing, you’ve got it all! All God’s gifts are right in front of you as you wait expectantly for our Master Jesus to arrive on the scene for the Finale. And not only that, but God himself is right along side to keep you steady and on track until things are all wrapped up by Jesus. God, who got you started in this spiritual adventure, shares with us the life of his Son and our Master Jesus. He will never give up on you. Never forget that.

Since Pentecost, the Holy Spirit has been the power source enabling the church and believers to carry on the Great Commission of spreading the gospel of Jesus to the world. From the beginning of the first church, satan has been trying to unplug the church and believers from the Power Source. Unfortunately, he has managed to unplug a majority of churches and believers from that source. This Power Source is STILL available today for the churches and believers.

Nugget: When we say Pentecost, we are not referring to a specific denomination or a particular religious sect of Believers. This word identifies an experience encountered by the first church when the Holy Spirit came upon them. They were all filled with power of the Spirit and began speaking with other tongues (Acts 2:4). This same Pentecostal experience is still valid, practiced, and available as a gift for Believers in our time (Acts 2: 38–39).

Warning about becoming unplugged

1 Peter 5:8–9 (NKJV)
8Be sober, be vigilant; because* your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 9Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.

In Today’s world, we need that Source as much or even more than the first church (the Ecclesia). In 1962, GOD was kicked out of American schools. The generation that followed has grown up. These people now hold very high positions in many influential organizations and government. Now, they are forcing GOD out of their organizations and government. Other governments are doing the same in increasing numbers.

Exodus 1:8 (NKJV)
Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph [A foreshadow of Jesus].

Why has many believers pulled out the Power Source?

  1. Satan has fooled many believers that the Pentecost experience has ceased.
  2. It was only for the first century church.
  3. Fear:
    1. Fear of emotion
    2. Fear of rejection by family, friends and even their denomination
    3. Fear of people thinking you lost your mind by becoming to involved in Jesus.

Like the Old Testament Israelites, WE believers have left our first love and turned to enjoy the wrongful things of this world. Also, WE have grown complacent and compromised our principles with the world’s desires.

When humanity fell into sin, satan became the ruler of this world (John 12:29–31; 14:30; 16:11; 1 John 5:19). Only believers have been delivered from his power. (1 John 4:4).

Yet, as a roaring lion (1 Peter 5:8–9), he remains a threat to believers (Ezekiel 22:25) and seeks to destroy us by using his arsenal of weapons. He will spiritually destroy anyone who abandons God’s protection.

By receiving His Fullness:

  1. Faith will replace fear.
  2. Joy in times of rejection.
  3. Comfort in times of persecution.
  4. Protection from satan’s darts and arrows.
  5. Help in times of weakness.
  6. Deeper understanding of His Holy Word.
  7. Boldness in witnessing.
  8. Power to use the Gifts of the Spirit
1 Timothy 4:14 (NKJV)
Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership.

In 1 Timothy 4:14, the Greek the word for “neglect” (ἀμελέωameléō) [g372] means to be careless, make light of, or have no regard for. We will neglect what seems to be not very important to us.

2 Timothy 1:6–7 (AMP)
6That is why I would remind you to stir up (rekindle the embers of, fan the flame of, and keep burning) the [gracious] gift of God, [the inner fire] that is in you by means of the laying on of my hands with those of the elders at your ordination].
7For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.

In 2 Timothy 1:6–7, “stir up” (ἀναζωπυρέωanazōpuréō) [g329] is to rekindle a fire with the remaining embers. All it takes are a few burning embers and some fuel to cause flames to leap again and burn brightly. If you have been filled with the Spirit in past, the fire can be rekindled back into a roaring flame. Return to the use of the special prayer language in you personal prayers.

Believers, who

  1. only have the infilling of the Spirit through salvation and
  2. want the baptism of the Holy Spirit,

simply ask for it verbally in prayer.

Listen very carefully and heed these words, Churches and believers. We MUST plug back into the Power Source. The Holy Spirit has been waiting a very long time for us to WAKE up!

We have let the Holy Spirit’s precious gifts slip between our fingers. Now is the time to take back what satan has stolen from the Redeemed of the LORD.

Come Holy Spirit

There is a long music intro. So, be patient.

Next time, we will cover the topic of false teachers. In the meantime, enjoy this song.

Until then,
שָׁלוֹם (Shalom!)