Monday, November 28, 2011

To Each One The Manifestation Of The Spirit Is Given

If the Church is dull it is because we have made it that way. If following Jesus is unattractive and tedious it is because we have limited God. If there seems to be a lack of anything supernatural in the Body of Christ it is because we are denying the work of the Holy Spirit. We have turned God and the Church into a one dimensional thing. We have castrated, hog-tied, and thrown out the Holy Spirit from our relationship and service with Jesus. We have an appearance of godliness but we are without the power of God. There is one very simple reason I say all this:

Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. (1 Corinthians 12:7)

We lack understanding and vision of the Body of Christ. This was the plan from the beginning, as the Holy Spirit fell upon the Church in a great baptism of fire. To each of us the manifestation of the Spirit has been given. This is not an optional thing. This is a given, standard issue, part of our relationship with Jesus. It is not given for selfish gain but for the common good. There is nothing dull and empty about the Church; she is alive, vibrant and bursting with power.

I can't emphasize this enough: if you have accepted Jesus as Saviour and claimed him as Lord then you have been brought into the Church, his Body. You have been given the manifestation of the Spirit, a gift or gifts, for the purpose of serving in the Body. God is too much for us, as is his work, as is his power. None of us could handle the full power of God so it has been split up into various gifts or manifestations of the Spirit. These have been spread out among all the believers. Some of these gifts are listed here:

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. (1 Corinthians 12:8-10)

Those who want to deny the Spirit claim that these manifestations of the Spirit were given for a time and are not part of our faith now. They are deceived. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that this was for a time or that they had been removed. They are woven into the very fabric of the Body and without them we are just a lecture hall and community centre. Trying to serve Jesus without the Spirit is choosing to be blind, deaf and mute. Whatever we do without the Spirit we do in our flesh and whatever we do in our flesh is rejected by God. We are supernatural creatures and must serve him supernaturally. Everything that Paul has written to the Corinthians climaxes in these two chapters, 12 and 13. They are more important than you could possibly imagine.

All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines. (1 Corinthians 12:11)

This is the work of the Spirit so let me emphasize just how important Jesus said the Spirit is:

And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. (Luke 12:10)

Those are the words of Jesus, the one who promised us the Holy Spirit, the one who said he had to leave so that the Spirit could come. The baptism of water is a baptism of repentance which is not a complete work. We require the baptism of the Holy Spirit so that we can live in the full awareness of God and his purpose. The Word says that if we do not have the Spirit we do not have Jesus. Without the Spirit there is no life to the Church or to our service. We cannot deny what is written here, the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each believer, they have been distributed by the Holy Spirit to each of us as he has determined.

Jesus said that the Father would send this baptism on anyone who asks. It is time that the majority of believers ask so there can be life in the Body again. The world needs to see the glory of God; allow him to glorify himself through you today. Step into the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Don't be satisfied with a partial thing.

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