“THE GIFT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT”
(A Series on I Corinthians)
Westgate Chapel 9/27/98 a.m. Intro to I Corinthians 12
PROPOSITION: The gift of the Holy Spirit is available to all believers today for power to live for God, minister to and for God, and to be a witness of God to the world.
- IN Genesis 1:1 the Bible tells us that God created the heavens and the earth.
- IN John’s Gospel, John tells us that in the beginning Jesus was with God and that,
“Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.” (John 1:3)
- SO, the Father was present and active in creation.
- JESUS, the Son of God, was present and active in creation.
- BUT Genesis 1:2 tells us that the Holy Spirit of God was present and active in creation.
- IN fact, Genesis 1:2 says that,
“...the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.”
- GOD the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit....all present and all active in creation.
- WHICH explains why in Genesis 1:26, God says,
“Let us make man in our image, in our likeness...”
- ONE God....revealed to us in three persons.
- AND from Genesis to Revelation the member of the Godhead who most frequently is recorded as doing the will and work of the Father amongst us is the person of the Holy Spirit.
- HE is not some vague influence or force for good. He is the person of the Holy Spirit.
* I Corinthians 2:10 says,
“The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.”
• He acts with intelligence and wisdom, like a person does.
* Romans 8:27 says that He,
“...intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will.”
• He acts in accordance with the will of the Father.
* Ephesians 4:30 says to not,
“... grieve the Holy Spirit of God.”
• So, He has emotions and feelings.
* I Corinthians 12:11 says, concerning the gifts of the Spirit, that He,
“...gives them to each one, just as he determines.”
• So, He has a will and acts accordingly.
* In Matthew He is the agent of conception when Mary was with child.
* In John He fills Jesus for the work of His calling....and guides us into all Truth.
* In Acts He fills and empowers the Church.
* In Romans He intercedes for us.
* In I Corinthians He lives in the life of the believer.
* In Galatians He is the One who cries out, “Abba Father!” through us.
* In Ephesians He is the One who brings us, through Jesus, into the presence of the Father.
* In Philippians He is the One through whom we worship.
* In 2 Thessalonians He is the One who is sanctifying us.
* In Titus He is the One who brings us to repentance and salvation.
* In I Peter He is the One who empowers the preaching of the Word.
* In I John He is the One who reveals Truth to us.
* In Revelation He is the One who speaks to the churches.
- HE is the person of the Godhead, the precious Holy Spirit.
- AND even though He is the member of the Godhead who points away from Himself and reveals Jesus to us....He is still very much a member of the triunity of God.
ii.the holy spirit in the old testament
- FROM Genesis to Revelation the Holy Spirit is the One sent forth from the Father to DO the work of His purposes and plans.
- SPEAKING of creation, Psalm 104:30 says,
“When you send your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the earth.”
- IN Genesis 1:2, when the earth was.....
* Formless....without shape, without terrain, without definition.
* Empty....without life, without vegetation, without animals, without human life.
* And darkness covered the surface of the earth...without light.
- BACK when these conditions prevailed, the Bible says that the Holy Spirit “hovered.”
- ONE translation says, “brooded”.....like a hen does over an egg from which life is about to burst forth.
- ANOTHER translation speaks of the Holy Spirit “moving” over the waters of the deep.
- IN Genesis 6:3....when humankind had become mostly rebellious and sinful....
* It is the Holy Spirit who is said to “strive” or “contend” with man.
- IN Genesis 41....when Pharaoh was beside himself and no one was able to interpret his troubling dreams, a man named Joseph is brought to him.
* And verse 38 says that Joseph is,
“...one in whom is the Spirit of God”
- IN Exodus God gave Moses explicit instructions concerning the building of the Tabernacle....every detail. Building it must have seemed an impossible task.
* But in Exodus 31:3 God says that He has chosen a contractor, Bezalel for the task and says,
“...I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts.”
- IN the Book of Numbers 11:17, when providing leadership for over 1 million Jews camping in the wilderness, proved to be too big a task for Moses, God told Moses to select 70 elders to help him.
* And then God tells Moses,
“I will take of the Spirit that is on you and put the Spirit on them.”
* And a few verses later when the elders had gathered in the tent of meeting it says,
“When the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied...”
* And in verse 26, two of the 70 who had gotten left in the camp, had the Spirit fall on them too and they prophesied in their tents....scaring some of the people.
* In verse 29, when some of the people complained about the two elders prophesying in their tents, Moses answered them,
“...I wish that all the LORD'S people were prophets and that the LORD would put his Spirit on them!”
- IN Numbers 27:18, when it was time for someone to replace Moses’ leadership in Israel,
* God says,
“Take Joshua son of Nun, a man in whom is the Spirit, and lay your hand on him.”
- IN Judges 6, when God called Gideon to deliver His people from the Midianites, and Gideon felt so worthless and weak and hopeless...
* Judges 6:34 says,
“Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon, and he blew a trumpet, summoning the Abiezrites to follow him.”
- IN Judges 13:25, before Samson lost the power of God on his life through sin....
* The Bible says that when God got ready to use Samson,
“...the Spirit of the LORD began to stir (move) him.”
- IN I Samuel 10:10-11, when Israel had asked for a king, and God sent His prophet Samuel to select and anoint a king.....
* The man he found, Saul, was too young, to immature, too inexperienced to be king over Israel. He had trouble finding his father’s donkeys.
* But Samuel anointed Saul and sent him on his way with a prophecy over him...and verse 10 says,
“When they arrived at Gibeah, a procession of prophets met him; the Spirit of God came upon him(Saul) in power, and he joined in their prophesying. (11) When all those who had formerly known him saw him prophesying with the prophets, they asked each other, ‘What is this that has happened to the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?’”
- LATER, when Saul failed as king, Samuel anointed a humble shepherd boy as Saul’s replacement.
* I Samuel 16:13 says,
“...from that day on the Spirit of the LORD came upon David in power.”
- DAVID had seen Saul when the Spirit of the Lord was on him, and he had seen how pitiful Saul became when God removed His Spirit from him...which is why when David sinned with Bathsheba, he cried out in Psalm 51:11,
“Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.”
- ALL through the times of the kings and the prophets in Israel’s history, when conditions were desperate and the people called on the Lord, God would put His Spirit on a prophet or a king....and Israel would be delivered from her enemies and led back to God.
- WHENEVER there was an extreme need and desperate conditions in the Old Testament, God would pour out His Spirit on a Joseph, or a Moses, or a Bezalel or a David to accomplish His purposes for that generation.
- AND when God’s Spirit was poured out.....
* A rejected, abandoned, falsely imprisoned young man named Joseph could interpret Pharaoh’s dreams and save Egypt from destruction.
- WHEN God’s Spirit was poured out....
* A washed-up “deliverer has-been” named Moses is dragged out of a 40 year retirement in the wilderness at the age of 80 and becomes the leader of one million in the exodus of God’s people.
- WHEN God’s Spirit was poured out....
* A simple contractor named Bezalel became the builder of the Tabernacle of the Lord God Jehovah.
- WHEN God’s Spirit was poured out....
* The youngest son of Jesse who drew the short straw and was assigned his father’s sheep to tend, becomes the greatest king Israel ever knew.
- BUT in the Old Testament these were isolated cases and special individuals.
- IF you had lived back then you might have been selected to receive this special out-pouring of the Holy Spirit....and you might not have been selected.
- THEN as the time of the Old Testament drew to a close, God’s Spirit falls on a prophet named Joel, and Joel picks up the telescope of the Spirit.
* He looks into our day and writes in Joel 2:28-29,
“And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. (29) Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.”
iii. the holy spirit in the new testament
- WELL, what are the “those days” in Joel 2:29, when God said He would pour out His Spirit on ALL people?
- WE don’t have to guess about it.
- IN Acts 2:15-18, right after the 120 disciples in the upper room had been baptized in the Holy Spirit, and were worshipping and glorifying God in unknown languages...Peter preaches an on-fire sermon to the thousands that had gathered around.
- AND that sermon in itself was a miracle. This was the same blustering Peter who just weeks before had denied the Lord at Herod’s palace.
- THEN after Jesus was crucified, he made a motion that they all go back to fishing and forget this discipleship business....and the disciples passed the motion without dissent.
- AND now, after the outpouring of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost, this frightened, run-back-to mama disciple, full of the Spirit squares his shoulders in front of thousands in the same city where Jesus had been crucified just a few weeks before, and cried out,
“Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. (15) These men are not drunk, as you suppose. It's only nine in the morning! (16) No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: (17) ‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. (18) Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.’” (Acts 2:14-18)
- THESE are the days!
- FROM the day of Pentecost to now....are the “last days.”
- AND now it is not just....
* A prisoners who needs to interpret Pharaoh’s dream.
* A shy, retiring nobody who needs to defeat the Midianites.
* Or an 80 year old has-been who needs to lead Israel out of captivity.
* Or a shepherd boy who needs to be made into a king.
- NOW it is not just special individuals who are to receive this empowering baptism in the Holy Spirit for an isolated task.
- NOW it is a people called by God from every tribe and tongue and nation....called out through faith in Jesus Christ to be a royal priesthood...the Church of Jesus Christ.
- NOW it is a people called out of sin and darkness into His glorious light....and given the promise of a baptism in the Holy Spirit....every one.
- NOW, for every born again believer in Jesus, who is the residence of the Holy Spirit (I Corinthians 3:16)....there is what Jesus promised....a baptism in the Holy Spirit.
- IN John 20:22, after Jesus’ death and resurrection, He breathed on His disciples and told them to receive the Holy Spirit.
- THAT is what happens when you and I are born again and become indwelt by the Holy Spirit.
- BUT to these same disciples who had the Holy Spirit, Jesus also promised that the reason He had to go away to the Father was so that He could send the Holy Spirit (John 16:7).
- AND then, right before He went away, in Acts 1:4-5, Jesus told His disciples,
“Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. (5) For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
- THEN Acts 2:1-4 records this first Spirit baptism,
“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 enabled them.”
- LATER in the chapter, Peter tells the crowd that this “gift” of the Spirit...this Spirit baptism that they had witnessed that day was for all generations to come.
iv. the holy spirit in you
- JUST like the Spirit fell on Bezalel and he built, or the Spirit fell on Saul and he prophesied, or on David and he reigned....the Holy Spirit is now promised to baptize YOU!
- THIS Spirit baptism is the outpouring of the presence and power and glory of God on born again believers....to immerse and saturate you in God’s power.
- JESUS said in Acts 1:8 that the purpose of this Spirit baptism was POWER.
* Power to live the victorious life with the fruit of the Spirit in full evidence.
* Power to minister to others in a life-giving way so that lives are supernaturally transformed.
* Power to witness to the lost and bring them to the Savior.
- IT is the same purpose for which the Spirit fell on Bezalel and Moses and the elders....to do the purposes of God in the power of the Spirit.
- ONLY now it is not just isolated or special individuals that receive the outpouring of the Spirit....it is all people.
- IF you are a born again believer....the Holy Spirit is already in residence in you.
- IF you are hungry and come in faith, you can be baptized in the Holy Spirit.
- IT is not tongues that you are seeking for, it is the fullness of God in baptizing power.
- IT is not the gifts of the Spirit that you are seeking for, it is the fullness and majesty and power of God to change you like Peter was changed.
- TONGUES and the gifts of the Spirit are simply the evidence that the baptism has taken place...they are not the baptism in the Holy Spirit of God.
- IF you have not been baptized in the Holy Spirit, you need to start seeking Him and receive this promised dunamis that He has for you.
- IF you were baptized in the Holy Spirit years ago, you need an fresh in-filling so that you can live in the power that He has for you.