I Corinthians 12 4) Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5) And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. 6) There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. 7) But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
I truly believe the key to becoming the New Testament church that God desires, is dependent on how we allow the Holy Spirit to work in our lives, both as an individual and as a body.
The Holy Spirit is the giver of gifts. He gives gifts for the spirit, soul and body, but there are some gifts that are strictly set aside as ministry gifts. Now before you check out and say that you are not in a ministry so this does not pertain to you – don’t.
This week I have been writing about the Holy Spirit and his importance in our lives. Monday I talked about how he grieves for us when we veer off of the path he has for us. He doesn’t grieve because he expects perfection and control, but because he has laid out an amazing plan for us and grieves when we choose a rougher, more painful road. That is a testament to His deep love for us.
On Wednesday I wrote about how He seals our softened hearts when we genuinely and sincerely give our lives to the Lord and ask for spiritual salvation. That seal marks us as His own, boldly for the world to see. He then works to transform our hearts on the inside so that we will one day be revealed as children of God.
Transliteration: sphragizó Phonetic Spelling: (sfrag-id’-zo) Short Definition: I set a seal upon Definition: Signifies ownership and the full security carried by the backing or full authority of the owner, authorizing or validating what is sealed. “Sealing” in the ancient world served as a “legal signature” which guaranteed the promise (contents) of what was sealed. To stamp with a signet or private mark for security or preservation by implication, to keep secret.
In this “Tupperware” age we know the importance of a good ‘seal’. When things are sealed properly they don’t ‘spoil’. And with technology there have been many forms and types of seals developed.
But in the time of Christ, there was a seal that was formed by dropping wax or softened clay on the opening of a document or other container and then taking your personal signet, probably a stone carved with your personal emblem and plunging it down into the hot wax or soft clay. This pressed the wax or clay down and solidly imprinted your unique emblem onto the wax. It marked ownership.
Ephesians 4:30 30 Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
I have felt very impressed over the past year to express in my blogs the importance of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
We easily talk about God and especially Jesus. But when it comes to the Holy Spirit we are a little tentative. He is somewhat of a mystery to us and we tend to shy away from what we do not fully understand or know.
The analogy that I gave earlier this week was that of a car and its alignment. If a car is in perfect alignment then it will travel in a straight line without someone turning the steering wheel. If a car is not in alignment then the car can be made to go straight with the steering wheel.
Both ways the car will travel in a straight line, but as I discussed on Monday, God is not concerned about the straightness of our path, but the internal alignment of our souls.
Transliteration: eleutheria Phonetic Spelling: (el-yoo-ther-ee’-ah) Short Definition: freedom, liberty Definition: freedom, liberty, especially: a state of freedom from slavery.
From eleutheros; freedom (legitimate or licentious, chiefly moral or ceremonial) — liberty.
The scripture on Monday was:
2 Corinthians 3:12-18 17) Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18) But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.
The analogy that I gave was that of a car and its alignment. If a car is in perfect alignment then it will travel in a straight line without someone turning the steering wheel. If a car is not in alignment then the car can be made to go straight with the steering wheel. Both ways the car will travel in a straight line. But as I discussed on Monday, God is not concerned about the straightness of our path, but the internal alignment of our souls.
2 Corinthians 3:17-18 17) Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18) But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.
I love these two verses. Just before them Paul is talking to the Corinthians about how a veil covers those who are unbelievers so that they cannot perceive the Word, but when we receive Christ the veil goes away and we understand.
In this current age of technology we have access to more knowledge than ever before. We also have many ways to make our jobs easier and more efficient. But as we would all admit, with the increase in technology which was designed to make our jobs easier, we find ourselves having much more work to do.
Maybe it is because we can handle more work with the aid of technology that we are now doing the work of 3 or 4 people. That alone can send a person into a frenzy.
Transliteration: exagorazó Phonetic Spelling: (ex-ag-or-ad’-zo) Short Definition: I ransom, redeem Definition: I buy out, buy away from, ransom; mid: I purchase out, buy, redeem, choose.
1805eksagoráz? (from 1537/ek, “completely out from” which intensifies 59/agoráz?, “buy-up at the marketplace”) – properly, take full advantage of, seizing a buying-opportunity, i.e. making the most of the present opportunity (recognizing its future gain).
5) Be wise in the way you act toward those who are outside [the Christian faith]. Make the most of your opportunities. 6) Everything you say should be kind and well thought out so that you know how to answer everyone.
5)Be wise in the way you act toward those who are outside [the Christian faith]. Make the most of your opportunities. 6) Everything you say should be kind and well thought out so that you know how to answer everyone.
I once had a very dear mentor in the Christian faith who told me of a time when she was in prayer and saw a vision of herself and Jesus. She said that He had taken her to the edge of a great pit to view it from above. This pit was hell, but instead of the absolute darkness she was able to see all those there.
As she stood there and looked, Jesus said that those people over there were here (in hell) because of what Christians did not do. Then He motioned and said that these people there were here because of what Christians did do.
That was a sobering thought and one that I have carried with me for 30 years. Christians sociably can be quite proud and arrogant that they have found ‘the way the truth and the light’. They are so ecstatically happy because of the love of Christ in their lives that they often fail to see that their words become condemning and condescending to others. And this is not love.