Four Facts Concerning The Holy Spirit

Bible Book: 1 Corinthians  12
Subject: Holy Spirit; Power of God; Indwelling of God; Spiritual Gifts

Four Facts ConcerningThe Holy Spirit

Dr. J. Mike Minnix, Editor, www.pastorlife.com
Introduction

1 Corinthians 12

Tonight we are going to engage in a message – a kind of Bible study – on the subject of the Holy Spirit. We are going to look at Four Facts About The Holy Spirit. So, open your Bibles to 1 Corinthians 12 and I will read some passages from that chapter as we move along.

We need to remember that the Church at Corinth had problems, but then one can say that even the very best church has problems. Why can we say that? We can declare it to be true because every church is made up of people and people have problems – and sometimes people are the problem.

There is a story told about a town that was overrun with squirrels. The town hall had the problem and decided to bring it cats to get rid of the squirrels, but sadly the cats clawed up all the paperwork in the office, so they had to get rid of the cats and the squirrels came back. The local restaurant was overrun with squirrels as well, but they captured them and took them out of town and released them. Sadly, the squirrels came right back and invaded the restaurant. The local church had squirrels everywhere, but the pastor knew just what to do. He had the deacons to catch all the squirrels and the pastor baptized everyone of them, now they only show up on Easter Sunday and Christmas Eve. Now that is a joke - but a sad one, isn't it? Every church has problems because people have problems and people can be the problem.

God gave the Church (with a capital “C”) - the Church made up of all believers world-side -  a gift to enable God’s people to overcome the world, the flesh and devil. He provided the Holy Spirit, His presence, to indwell every born-again Christian. The fact is that God resides in a Christian in the person of the Holy Spirit, and through the Holy Spirit God enables His people to accomplish His will, do His work and live in a sinful world as His true believers.

In other words, the Holy Spirit does not only reside in us, He does God’s work in us, to us, and through us. We cannot do God’s work, but God can do His work through us by the power of His indwelling Spirit.

Let’s look at the first fact concerning the Holy Spirit …

I. The Holy Spirit Exalts Christ Through Us

1 Corinthians 12:1-3:

“Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant: 2 You know that you were Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idols, however you were led. 3 Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit.”

It is the Holy Spirit that lives within us and enables us to exalt Jesus through our praise, witness and life. In Romans 8:7-9 we are told without the Holy Spirit we cannot possibly belong to God. We are further told in that chapter and in others in the New Testament that no one cannot belong to God or serve God without the Holy Spirit. If you are not sure that the Holy Spirit lives in you, it is necessary today for you look at whether your salvation is real? Do you really belong to God?

It is important for us not to be misled by misrepresentations of the Holy Spirit being preached and taught by people today. The Holy Spirit is the presence of Jesus in the life of the believer bringing us:

  1. Comfort
  2. Guidance
  3. Wisdom
  4. Peace
  5. Spiritual gifts, and
  6. Power

Every true believer has the Holy Spirit because the Holy Spirit has that believer. God has me and I have God. I gave Him my life through confessing my sins and professing faith in the risen Lord Jesus Christ. He then gave me His life to indwell me till I am at home with Him in heaven.

In other words, we don’t just get saved in order to get to heaven, we are saved to live the life God means for us to have in the here and now. Salvation is a present work in us so that we can be and do all that God has planned for us in this world and the world to come.

To ignore the Holy Spirit is to miss the joy and effectiveness of your Christian life – and a large part of the Christian experience is to exalt Jesus. I cannot exalt Him on my own – the Holy Spirit in me will do that if I yield my life to His indwelling work.

There is a story, whether legend or not I cannot say, that Queen Mary of England went out from one of her castles for a walk one day and was caught in a great rainstorm. She stopped by a small cottage and asked the lady of the home if she could borrow an umbrella. The woman did not know that it was the Queen who requested the umbrella, so she loaned her an old one that barely worked at all. Some days later a beautiful carriage pulled up at the little cottage and a servant came to door. He asked if she was the woman who had loaned the umbrella and the lady acknowledged that she was. The servant said, “Here is your umbrella. Queen Mary was most appreciative of your kindness and sends it back with her thanks.” The woman took the umbrella with trembling hand. She told a friend, “I gave her my old broken umbrella. If I had known it was the queen I would have given her my best.”

So many Christians do not realize that they are serving the King of Kings, and He deserves our very best. He has placed His Spirit in us, so when we give Him our all He can do things in us, to us and through us that we cannot possibly accomplish on our own.

Secondly, note another fact about the Holy Spirit …

II. The Holy Spirit Exists In Us

1 Corinthians 12:4-7:

“There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all …”

Note the words, “…to each one…” in the that text. You see, God has given His Spirit to “each one” of us – to every one of us – to every saved person. Thus, we all have spiritual indwelling and we all have at least one spiritual gift. In other words, we can do what God asks us to do for it is His power working in us and not our own strength that enables us to do it.

Now why does God give His Spirit to every believer? Well, for certain He does so because we cannot be saved without HIM. We cannot serve without HIM. The Spirit is God’s presence in us and He promised never to leave us or forsake us.

One of the main reasons why the Spirit of God is in us is so that we might work for the good of all believers. He gave us to Spirit so that He might gift us to accomplish a work much like our bodies work. I have fingers that do work that my eyes can’t do. I have feet that do things that my ears can’t do. Likewise, God places us in His family and in the local church with certain Spiritual gifts so that we can do His work in unique ways. We don’t all do the same things well, but if we each does what God’s Spirit gifts us to do, we will accomplish all He has planned for us as His body in the world.

Also, the idea of the Spirit working to “profit” or “benefit” us all, means that our different gifts bless one another. People in the kingdom have gifts that I don’t have and what a blessing it is to me when they minister through God’s powerful Spirit. Have you ever had someone say to you? “I appreciate what you did at our church, you are truly a blessing.” You didn’t even know that what you were doing was noticed by anyone. You see, it wasn’t you but the Spirit working through you that was a blessing. And, yes, there are some who bless others who never hear a word of praise or gratitude – don’t worry about that, God keeps a record of your works. He knows what you are doing, even if no one ever sees it clearly or acknowledges it to you The point is that each of us must yield to God’s indwelling Holy Spirit in order for God to accomplish all He desires to do through us and for us. I can't do everything and you can't do everything, but when God's Spirit is given freedom in us, He can do everything by working in and through us individually.

Now, note thirdly …

III. The Holy Spirit Expresses Himself Through Us

Look at 1 Corinthians 12:8-11:

“8 for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.”

This part of our text reveals to us that God’s Spirit grants gifts to every believer. In the Bible there are three lists of gifts given by the Holy Spirit:

We see these in Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, and in Ephesians 4.

It is not our goal today to explain every gift from these lists, or even to go over those found here in 1 Corinthians, for that would be a bridge too far for one sermon. We do note that not every Christian has the same gift, nor is it practical for one person to have every gift. It is my belief that only one person ever had every gift of the Holy Spirit, and that was Jesus.

The important thing here is for every believer to be so devoted to the Lord that His Spirit can accomplish His work through each of us. And always remember this, we have no room for boasting in the work that is done through us – for, you see, it is God’s Spirit working in every way to accomplish His goals and purposes. Some will have gifts that are very public, and many can see them. Others will have gifts from the Spirit that are more private, and few will be able to discern them. In the end, all the glory goes to God for all that is accomplished in His name, for it is He who works in us and through us to bring about His will. We must be careful about pride when it comes to serving God. After all, if were not for His salvaiton and Holy Spirit we could accomplish nothing. Did not Jesus say, "Without me you can do nothing!" He did not say that we can a little on our own, but rather He said we can do NOTHING without Him.

What is your Spiritual gift, or your spiritual gifts? Do you know? Have you ever sought to know what God is seeking to do through your life? It is possible for God to work in us and for us not to even know what He has done, but each believer ought to ask and seek to know exactly which gifts God has given through His Spirit and how he or she might be better used for His glory and good. We will at this subject in more detail at a later.

Let me hasten to a close. Note that ….

IV. The Holy Spirit Exemplifies All Christians as One Body

Now, look at 1 Corinthians 12:12-27:

"12 For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink [a]into one Spirit. 14 For in fact the body is not one member but many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? 18 But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. 19 And if they were all one member, where would the body be? 20 But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. 21 And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. 23 And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty, 24 but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, 25 that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. 26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. 27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually."

Did you note in Corinthians 12:13 that is by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body - whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free - and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. There are some people who believe that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is an experience separate from and after salvation, and that when this occurs a person will speak in tongues. Actually, we need to understand the baptism of the Holy Spirit in three ways.

A. First, Every Saved Person is Baptized in the Holy Spirit

That is what this text tells us in 1 Corinthians. Everyone of us who is saved has had that experience. The moment I was saved, God placed me in the Spirit and the Spirit in me. We are baptized into ONE BODY – the CHURCH – THE BODY OF CHRIST. Speaking in tongues is not an evidence of salvation but rather is mentioned in 1 Corinthians as one of the gifts. Also, speaking in tongues does not mean what many think that it means. We will deal with this later as well.

B. The Spirit Enables us to do Divine Work

When we become believers we have the Spirit in us to enable us to do God's work. We are not all the same, but we are all indwelled with the same Holy Spirit. The point is that God empowers me to do a work He may not gift you to do, and He empowers you to do a work that He does not necessarily gift me to do.

C. God Baptizes us After we are Saved with the Holy Spirit

This ia great questikon. Does God baptize us WITH the Holy Spirit after we are saved? The answer is, YES! But that is not a one-time experience – it is rather an infilling of the Spirit which we all need from time to time in our walk with God. We might best refer to this as a fresh anointing of the Spirit of God.

Every Christian who serves God knows what it is like to be overwhelmed in the Christian life. What you are supposed to do and what you feel capable of doing are far from each other at times. You may face a temptation that seems to difficult to bear. You may be in a situation that you want to run from, but you know God has placed you right where you are “for such a times as this”. You may be asked to do something you don’t want to do but your heart tells you that it is God’s will. At times like these, we all need to pray for a fresh anointing – a renewing of God’s power through the presence of His Holy Spirit. We need a renewed baptism of God’s power upon our lives, which can really mean that we need to yield to the fulness of God’s Spirit already in us. As a pastor, I seek your prayers for God to always be filling me so that I can preach and serve as He desires to through my life. We all need God to always be filling us (Ephesus 5:18).

Conclusion

Let me ask you in this service tonight, are you filled with God’s Spirit? Are you able now to do anything God asks you to do? Perhaps some of us right now need to fall down before God and ask Him to anoint us afresh – to fill us with His Spirit. We have a life to live, a witness to give and a work to do that is beyond our abilities. Come, let us bow before Him this very night and submit again to His power in our lives so that we might do His work, His way, and for His glory.

If there is someone here who is now, at this moment, aware that you do not have God living in you, then you need to respond to God's call to repent and receive Jesus. You can do that during this invitation.