A non-denominational English-speaking church in Haiti

SPIRITUAL GIFTS PART 1

Before we start explaining the spiritual gifts, let us distinguish between talents, spiritual fruit, ministry gifts and spiritual gifts.

A talent is a great natural ability that God gives everyone at birth. It is often considered a gift or a gifting. It is something one can do well or easily without much effort or training. Scientist would tell you that it is in your genes or genetic make-up.

Some examples of talents are a naturally good singing voice; a special ability in learning music or a language; an ability to learn math quickly and do well in this subject without any great effort; a special ability in using ones hands, a handyman, an exceptional ability in organizing or administration. These are some of the many talents people have.

The fruit of the Holy Spirit are characteristics of the Holy Spirit that God has developed in you as you yield to the working of the Holy Spirit in your life. Galatians 5:22-23 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

A ministry gift is a supernatural ability given to us by the Holy Spirit for the service or work of the church of God.

Romans 12:6-8 – “We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach;  if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.”

Prophesy is a ministry gifts as well as a spiritual gift. All who prophecy are not prophets, but all prophets are able to prophecy. The ministry of a prophet is to be able to see the future as well as call the believers back to God when they go astray. A prophet (seer) is one of the spiritual eyes of the church. The other gifts we see here are: serving, teaching, encouraging, giving, leading, showing mercy.

I Corinthians 12:28 – “And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues.”

Ephesians 4:11-13 – “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”

In these two passages, we see what some call the fivefold ministry gifts: apostles, prophets, pastor, and teachers. Other ministry gifts we see here are the gift of helps and the gift of guidance (wisdom), while tongues are a spiritual gift. In Ephesians, we see that they are given to equip God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ might be built up that we may all become mature in Christ.

A spiritual gift is a gift that God gives you when you are saved and/or when you are baptized in the Holy Spirit. It is given for the purpose of building up God’s church and empowerment to do God’s will. A person can have one or more talents or spiritual gifts.

We find a list of these spiritual gifts in I Corinthians 12:7-11.

“Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.”

We see here the gifts of the Spirit are: the message of wisdom; the message of knowledge; faith; healing; miracles; prophecy, distinguishing of spirits, tongues, and interpretation of tongues. These gifts are given for the common good. In other words, these gifts are for the help of others and for the building up of the body of Christ.

Let us look at some foundational principles or general principles concerning spiritual gifts. First of all the gifts are not earned or produced, but are free gifts given to God’s saints. It is the Holy Spirit who decides which gift you receive. (I Corinthians 12:11) This does not mean that we should not seek the gifts. Paul says we are to seek the greater gifts. (I Corinthians 12:31; 14:1) You are able to have more than one gift at a time. To function in the gift(s) God gives us, we must recognize them and use them according to our faith. (Romans 12:6) Finally, it is those who have been baptized in the Holy Spirit who are able to use one or more of these gifts. The reason that I say this is that I Corinthians 12:7 says, “to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit”. He does not say, the manifestations of the Spirit, but it is singular in form. The spiritual gifts are not manifestations of the Spirit, but rather the manifestation (singular) of the Spirit. What is this manifestation that the apostle is referring to? I believe it is “the gift of the Spirit” or rather “the baptism of the Spirit”. In other word, it is those who have received “the gift” or “the baptism” of the Spirit who will function in these spiritual gifts.

I want to conclude this part on the spiritual gifts with a word of caution. Satan is able to imitate the gifts and power of the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 7:21-23; 24:11 & 24; 2 Thessalonians 2:8-10) The scripture tells us to test the spirits or spiritual manifestations to see if they are from God or just the working of man or Satan. (I John 4:1; 1 Thessalonians 5:20-21)

The last article that I wrote on the baptism of the Holy Spirit, I taught on the three main works of the Holy Spirit: re-birth, sanctification and endowment with power from on high.

I am now going to look into more detail on the endowment with power, “baptism of the Holy Spirit”. If you recall what I said last time was, when we are baptized in the Holy Spirit, we do not receive more of the Holy Spirit, but we receive more of the Holy Spirit’s power.

Let us look at several examples in the Bible where people received the baptism of the Holy Spirit and see what we can learn from them.

The first reference to the coming of the Holy Spirit and the immediate following of the Holy Spirit is in Acts 2:3-4 – “They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.”

Take note that ALL who were waiting on the coming promise of the Holy Spirit received Him. It wasn’t only a few, but ALL. Not only did they all receive the Holy Spirit, but they ALL spoke in other tongues.

The second place we see people baptized in the Holy Spirit is Acts 8:12-19.

Here we see a group of Christians who have already been baptized in water and then the apostles send Peter and John to pray for them and lay hands on them that they might receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Now in the passage it does not say that they put their hands on them to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit, but to receive the Holy Spirit. Yet, we know the apostles did not lay their hands on them to receive the infilling of the Holy Spirit because they were already born again believers, and the Scripture clearly teaches that one cannot be born again without the Holy Spirit’s indwelling. Also, the Scripture does not teach that someone needs to lay hands on you receive the Holy Spirit in the conversion experience. Also, there is no teaching in the Word that says we are to ask the Holy Spirit to come live inside of us. Therefore, it is clear that the apostles did not leave Jerusalem and go to the Samariten believers that they might receive the indwelling of the Spirit, but that they might receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

It is important to note that Simon sees an immediate and visible evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The Scripture does not tell us what evidence it was, but we can be sure that it was the evidence of speaking in tongues. We know this because it was an immediate sign and this is what took place on the day of Pentecost. The apostles would not have expected or accepted any other sign because this was the only sign they knew. This is what they had experienced. Take note again, there was a considerable lapse of time between the believers water baptism and being baptized in the Holy Spirit.

The third place we see people baptized in the Holy Spirit is in Acts 10:44-46.

Here we see that they receive Christ and the baptism of the Holy Spirit in the same moment, and that everyone in Cornelius’ household received it. In Acts 11:15-18, Peter testifies that it is the baptism of the Holy Spirit. We see as evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit that they spoke in tongues even as they did on the day of Pentecost. Here we see that the baptism of the Holy Spirit can come on the same day as salvation. It was after they received the baptism of the Holy Spirit that they were baptized in water. This shows us that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is not a progressive thing as sanctification, and that you don’t have to have a level of spiritual maturity or holiness to receive it.

The fourth place we see the baptism of the Holy Spirit is in Acts 19:1-6.

We see here that Paul laid his hands on the Christians that they might receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. We see speaking in tongues and prophecy as evidence of their baptism experience. There are some who might question if they were even believers before Paul arrived. Yes, without a doubt, because the Bible says, Paul found disciples, and understood they already believed in the Messiah, Christ. The Bible would not have used the term disciples or believers in this context if they were not genuinely saved. Despite being saved, they had received no teaching on the Holy Spirit because they were saved under Apollos teaching. (Acts 18:18-25) Yet, though Apollos was a zealous evangelist at the time and was preaching the Gospel in Ephesus, he did not have a full understanding of the work of the Gospel; therefore, he was taken aside by Aquila and Priscilla to be taught more thoroughly on the way of Christ.

What is most important to see is that in three out of four stories of the saints being baptized in the Holy Spirit, they spoke in tongues and in one case prophesied. The one case where it is not stated, we can be assured that this happened. Therefore, it is clear in God’s Word that the initial evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit is speaking in tongues which normally takes place at the moment of the Spirit’s baptism. The evidence that is seen over the long term is one of the 9 spiritual gifts found in I Corinthians 12:7-10, and the working power of God in the person’s life to bring spiritual change in others.

Finally, why are some not baptized in the Holy Spirit if this is the plan of God for all to be baptized in His Spirit, which I believe the Bible teaches?

There are five basic reasons. First, the person does not believe in a third work of the Holy Spirit which the Bible calls the baptism of the Holy Spirit or baptism of power. Secondly, they don’t believe God intends to baptize all in the Spirit. Thirdly, the person may lack faith that it is for them. Fourthly, the person may not see its great importance or have a great desire to receive it. Fifthly, the person may fear it and be afraid to give the Spirit control of their body.

My prayer for you is that God stirs up a desire and belief in you for the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Don’t be discouraged if you have sought it and have not yet received it. You must continue to seek it and believe it is for you.

bible-reading-schedule-feb-20th

Before we can delve into the baptism of the Holy Spirit, we must lay some ground work.

First we must understand that there are three main works of the Holy Spirit: re-birth, sanctification and endowment with power from on high.

We are born into the family of God by the Holy Spirit. (re-birth)

John 3:3-7 – “Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”“How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’

After we have been born again, the Holy Spirit comes and dwells in us to sanctify us.

John 14:16-20 – “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.”

Jesus announces the coming of the Holy Spirit as a counselor or advocate to help us. The Holy Spirit is there to help us understand Christ and help us to walk in obedience to Christ.

John. 16:12-13 – “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.

The third work of the Holy Spirit is to give us power to be witnesses for Christ and accomplish His work on earth.

Jesus announces the future coming of the Holy Spirit to empower us in Luke 24:49. We must understand that this is not a prophecy concerning the coming of the Holy Spirit in believers to work out their salvation. The purpose or objective is not one and the same as that of John 16.

Luke 24:49 – “I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”

John 4:17 says that “He will be in you”. While Luke 24:49 says you “will be clothed with power”. These are two separate works with different objective. One is a work within and the other is a work from without.

Also see Matthew 3:11 and Acts 1:4-8

To help us see that these are two different works let us look at John 20:22.

 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.

After Christ had risen from the dead and been glorified, he appeared before His disciples who believed on Him and said, “receive the Holy Spirit”. It is that very moment they received the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The word “breathed” is “Emphusao”. It is the same word used in the Septuagint  (Greek word in O.T.) that was used is Genesis 2:7 where God breathed life into man. Also, we find it in Ezekiel 37:9, where God breathes life into dry bones. In other words, in that very moment, the disciples who were present received the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and received the life giving Spirit of God. They were born again and became a new creation in Christ Jesus. These are the same disciples who were later, on the day of Pentecost, received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. These disciples were indued with power on the day of Pentecost to be witnesses for him and establish Christ church. It is after the day of Pentecost that wee see those same disciples who were afraid, and not witnessing for Christ, boldly and proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ.

III. After the day of Pentecost, everyone who accepts Christ as their savior, receives the Holy Spirit in its entirety.

Romans 5:5 –And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

I Corinthians 6:19 – Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;”

The New Testament makes a distinction between the baptism of the Holy Spirit, baptism of Jesus and the baptism of John.

Matthew 3:11 –“I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. (Luke 3:16; Mark 1:8)

Baptism in water is a sign of repentance. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is a baptism of power with the objective of being witnesses and establishing God’s kingdom on earth.

Acts 1:8 – “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.”

Keep in mind this prophecy, in Acts chapter one, was spoken after the disciples of Jesus had already received the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

When we say the baptism of the Holy Spirit, we speak of one being immersed in the power of God.

To more fully understand the term “baptism of the Holy Spirit” one must understand the word baptism.

In Greek “baptisma” signifies immersion/submersion which comes from the root word “bapto” that means “plunge or dip”.  The Greek verb is “baptizo” which they used to describe dying cloth in colored water. Therefore, when we speak of being “baptized in the Spirit”, we are speaking of one who has been immersed into the power of God or enveloped in His power. When we are baptized in the Holy Spirit, we do not receive more of the Holy Spirit, but receive more of the Holy Spirit’s power.  At salvation we receive the Holy Spirit to work in us to produce the fruit of the Holy Spirit. When we are baptized in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit’s power envelopes us and equips us for works of power.

The baptism of the Holy Spirit is for all who believe in Jesus Christ.

Acts 2:3-4 – “They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.”

Take note that ALL who were waiting on the coming promise of the Holy Spirit received Him. It wasn’t only a few, but ALL. Not only did they all receive the Holy Spirit, but they a ALL spoke in other tongues.

The next article I write, we will delve more deeply into the baptism and/or filling of the Holy Spirit.

Giving out of your Need

In I Kings 17:7-16 there is the story of the widow at Zarephath. There has been many teachings on this portion of scripture concerning faith, obedience and God’s provision. I myself have read it many a time, but there is one things that I never noticed is that God commanded Elijah to go to the widow that she might supply him with food. Elijah didn’t know that she was destitute, but God did. I find it odd that God knowing this chose a destitute woman to supply Elijah’s need? Why?

I believe it is because God wanted to meet the widows need. He wanted to use Elijah to bless her. I find interesting that God had already commanded her to supply Elijah’s need before he had even talked to Elijah. Had the widow already heard from the Lord on this matter? I don’t think so, but God made her predisposed.

What would have happened if the woman had not received, believed, and acted on the Word of God to her? She would have missed out on God’s provision. Sometimes, God sends people are way who is in need while we are in need ourselves. It would be easy to ignore their need, but sometimes God calls us to supply another person’s need even as we are in need in order that God might meet our need.

The widow shared the little she had according to the command of the Lord. As result, she had enough food for her and the prophet Elijah during three years of drought. Let us be careful to not let our lack hinder us from obeying God and meeting another person’s need. This might be the very thing God chooses to give you a financial break through.

We often teach that God gives proportionally to our giving. The more we give the more we get. This is a biblical truth, but not the whole truth. The widow didn’t give the prophet much, but her return was great. Yet, God gave proportionally to her giving in that what she gave was a lot compared to what she had. God doesn’t look only at the quantity, but takes in consideration the sacrifice made in the giving. A sacrificial giver who obeys the Word of the Lord will always receive a great return on their gift.

In the weeks and months to come when you are presented with a need don’t look at what you don’t have or your need, but hear the voice of the Lord in that situation and obey Him even if it may require great sacrifice.

Have you been set apart by the Holy Spirit? I hope that you have.  If not, you are not a child of God. The first work of the Holy Spirit is to set us aside as children of God.

John 3:3-6 – “Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”

Romans 8:15 – “For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”

We are not born as children of God. We were all born into sin and are, in all honesty, children of Satan. It is only through the Holy Spirit that we are able to become children of God. It is not by good works or any other means that we become children of God. It is only through the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit that we are born again and become spiritual children of God.

The second work of the Holy Spirit is to sets us apart unto holiness.

Galatians 5:16 – “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.”

The life of holiness and righteousness comes only through the work of the Holy Spirit. We cannot live a pleasing life to God without the work of the Holy Spirit. It is as we yield to the Holy Spirit that we will find victory over sin.

Why do we need to be set apart by the Holy Spirit?

The Holy Spirit is needed for works of service. The Holy Spirit is needed to accomplish God’s work and His mission. The work of the Lord is spiritual, even though there are many physical aspects, and we need God’s Spirit to accomplish this work.

We see that the Holy Spirit set apart the prophets. We see this with Elijah and Elisha.

2 Kings 2:15 – “Now when the sons of the prophets who were at Jericho opposite him saw him, they said, “The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha.” And they came to meet him and bowed themselves to the ground before him.”

It is this Holy Spirit that enabled the prophets to speak the Word of the Lord and do miracles.

This is confirmed in 2 Peter 1:20-21 – “ But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, 21 for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.”

The leaders and rulers of Israel were anointed for the work of God through the Holy Spirit. Moses and the elders of Israel were set apart by the Holy Spirit.

Numbers 11:16-17 – “The Lord therefore said to Moses, “Gather for Me seventy men from the elders of Israel, whom you know to be the elders of the people and their officers and bring them to the tent of meeting, and let them take their stand there with you. 17 Then I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take of the Spirit who is upon you, and will put Him upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with you, so that you will not bear it all alone.”

It is important to see here that the Spirit was given to the leaders of Israel that they might through the power of God do the work of God. These leaders helped Moses shepherd the people of Israel. The leaders did the work of judging and guiding them in the power of the Holy Spirit.

The judges of the Old Testament were given God’s Spirit to rule the people of God. Two examples of this are Othniel (Judges 3:8-11) and Gideon (Judges 6:33-34).

Certain kings of Israel were given the Spirit of God to rule the people of Israel. We see this with King Saul (I Samuel 9:15-16; 10:1-7). We see this with King David as well (I Samuel 16:13).

Even the Son of God was set apart by the Holy Spirit for ministry (Matthew 3:13-17; Luke 4:17-2)

We can see as well that the Holy Spirit set apart the apostles for ministry. We see this with Paul and         Barnabas.

Acts 13:2-3- “While they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit \said, “Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then, when they had fasted and prayed and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.”

In the same way the Holy Spirit sets apart the overseers of the church.

Acts 20:28 – “Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.”

It is this same Holy Spirit that sets us apart unto Christ, His body.

I Corinthians 12:13- “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.”

We are set apart and set into the body of Christ to become one even as God is one. We are one with God and one with one another.

The Holy Spirit set apart the Church of God to fulfill His great commission or mission in this world.

Acts 1:4-5 – “Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Which,” He said, “you heard of from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

Acts 1:8 – “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”

The Holy Spirit sets apart and enables believers to function in the spiritual gifts.  I Corinthians 12:7-11

What must we do to be set apart?

We are not able to set ourselves apart. If we try to do this, we will fail. If we work in our own strength, our works are as filthy rags before God. The only thing that is required of us is to trust and obey Him.

In all this, we can see how important the Holy Spirit is in our lives and the life of the church.

SPIRIT LED LIFE #2

CHARACTERISTICS OF A SPIRIT FILLED CHURCH

The last article I wrote was on the Spirit led life as an individual in Christ. This time I want to look at the Spirit led life in relation to the church. Is your church Spirit filled? How can we know if a church is Spirit filled? How can we know if a church is led by the Spirit of God?

Like all things, we will know by the work and fruit of the Spirit. Therefore, let us look at some characteristics of a church that is led by the Holy Spirit and Spirit filled.

First and foremost, the church will show the love they have for God and others.

Galatians 5:13-14 – “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Love for God and others is the foundation of our faith. If we love, God we will not indulge the flesh. We will live holy lives. If we love others, we will walk humbly. We will not be proud or self-centered.

See to Matthew 22:37-40.

I Corinthians 10:24 – “No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.”

Secondly, a Spirit filled church will put great importance on praise and worship.

Ephesian 5:18-20 – “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

This verse is speaking about praise and worship and how through this we are able to encourage one another in Christ. This is the result of a Spirit filled life and congregation. A church that doesn’t give adequate time (large amounts) in worshiping the Lord lacks the Spirit of God in their midst. Of course it must be true worship from the heart, and worship directed by the Holy Spirit.  Heaven will be a place of continual worship. The angels and the heavenly host never cease praising God. Remember, when we speak of the church, we are not only speaking of what happens within the four walls of the church, but also the life the believer lives outside the church. One of the greatest joys of a Spirit filled believer is praising and worshiping God. A church that is fired up about worship is a Spirit filled church.

Thirdly, a Spirit filled church will put great importance on teaching, fellowship, and prayer.

Acts 2:42 – “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”

A Spirit filled believer and a Spirit filled church will give priority to solid teaching. It will consider the Bible as the infallible Word of God for us today. Therefore, they will give much place for teaching and studying the Word of God together. Along with anointed teaching, there will be precious fellowship among the saints, not only Sunday fellowship, but fellowship during the week. The saints will covet times of Spirit led fellowship. Last but not least, the believers will put great emphasis on prayer. Prayer will be one of the pillars of the church. A Spirit filled church will love to spend time in prayer, seeking the Lord.

Fourthly, a Spirit filled church will be full of the power of God and function in the spiritual gifts.

Acts 2:17-18 – “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.”

Prophecy is the key idea in this text. A Spirit filled church will give place for prophecy. What is prophecy? It is simply speaking the Word of God in a given situation under the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Often this doesn’t happen in the church because we don’t teach this or give place for it to happen.

Acts 2:43 – “Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles.”

We see the New Testament church was full of the power of God. Many healings and miracles took place. God is able and wants to do the same today.  It is through this display of power that many needs were met and many came to the Lord.

Fifthly, a Spirit filled church will have respect in the community and many will come to Christ through them.

Acts 5:12-16 – “The apostles performed many signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade. 13 No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people. 14 Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number. 15 As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. 16 Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by impure spirits, and all of them were healed.”

Non-believers will have a holy fear of the church because they will see the power of the Holy Spirit in their midst. As a result, many will come to Christ. A Spirit filled church will be well known in their community, but not through advertising or going door to door. They will be known for God’s power and holiness. A Spirit filled church will have a great sphere of influence.

There are many more characteristics of a Spirit filled church which I will share in our next teaching. I hope these teachings are a blessing to you and help you in your spiritual walk.

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