Pneumatology: The Gifts of the Spirit

When God works through man to accomplish His will, He adheres to a consistent principle which is recorded for us by the prophet Zechariah as spoken to Zerubbabel, when God commissioned him to complete the seemingly impossible task of rebuilding the temple in Jerusalem. That principle is: “not by power, nor by might, but by my Spirit, ‘says the LORD of hosts.’”

Christ Jesus our Lord is the perfect example of this principle, and the perfect pattern for us to follow. Jesus, being completely God chose to veil his glory, and limit himself as a man. As a man, he submitted himself to the leading of the Holy Spirit to accomplish God the Father’s will. This is recorded for us at his baptism. Upon coming up out of the water, the Holy Spirit descended upon him and remained with him. He was then led by the Spirit to be tested. Having overcome every temptation by Satan, he returned in the power of the Holy Spirit to do the work that God the Father had prepared for him to do. Nearing the conclusion of his earthly ministry, he prepared his disciples for his bodily departure, and commissioned them to continue the work of preaching the gospel, making disciples, and instructing and strengthening all those who would come to faith in him until his bodily return.

Jesus instructed his disciples on how this would be accomplished, as recorded in the Gospel of John chapter 14 and Acts chapter 1. “I will pray the Father, and He will give you another helper, that he may abide with you forever – the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him; but you know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you…you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses of me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” He also promised: “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to my Father.”

In these statements, Jesus outlines the work of the Holy Spirit. First, the Holy Spirit “dwells with” people, convicting us of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:8). Second, when a person repents and believes on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, the Holy Spirit comes “in” a person, and seals them as a guarantee of their inheritance. Jesus referred to this as being “born again” and “born of the Spirit.” When the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in a person, he imparts spiritual gifts to them in order for the person to accomplish what God has prepared for them to do as part of His ongoing work of redemption and restoration in the lives of people. The Holy Spirit also begins to produce fruit in the person’s life, the greatest of which is God’s love. Finally, the Holy Spirit comes “upon” a person, empowering them to be a witness of Christ Jesus. This is sometimes called the “Baptism of the Holy Spirit.” The Scriptures also refer to this as being “filled” with the Holy Spirit. While some people think that this is a one-time occurrence, the Bible teaches us in Acts 2:4, Acts 4:8, Acts 4:31, Acts 9:17, Acts 13:9, Acts 13:52, and Ephesians 5:18 that this is something that can occur multiple times, and that should be ongoing.

In 1 Corinthians 12 we learn that there are many members within the body of Christ, and although we have the same Holy Spirit, God has chosen to distribute various gifts, ministries, and activities to each person according to His will. One of the more controversial gifts is the gift of speaking in tongues. According to 1 Corinthians 13:1 there are tongues of men and tongues of angels. On the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples, they “spoke with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.” This exercise of the gift of tongues seems to be the tongues of men, since we further read that the Jews that were gathered in Jerusalem for the feast of Pentecost were “from every nation under heaven,” and they heard the disciples speak “everyone in their own language.” We see this again when Peter preaches the gospel to the Gentile Cornelius and his household. Unfortunately, the gift of speaking in tongues has become controversial because rather than being properly exercised as a “sign to unbelievers,” some have put undue emphasis on it, and use it to cause division rather than edification within the church. However, Paul, in writing the letter to the Corinthians and instructing them on these things imparts godly wisdom concerning the spiritual gifts. He exhorts believers to “pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy.” Paul puts the emphasis on love, and the speaking of God’s Word, rather than on speaking in tongues. His argument is that love and prophesying edify, exhort, and comfort others as well as the church. Speaking in tongues only edifies the person speaking, and can even cause problems when not exercised properly within the church.

Finally, concerning the question of whether some of the gifts of the Holy Spirit have ceased, I suggest the answer is no for three reasons. First, God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and what the Holy Spirit inspired the writers of the New Testament to write for the instruction of the church is as valid today as it was during the early church. Second, I myself have seen the proper exercise of many of the gifts of the Holy Spirit among believers in Bible teaching churches, including the gift of tongues and interpretation, the gift of healing, the discerning of spirits, and especially the gift of prophesying (both forth telling of God’s Word, and foretelling of future events.) And finally, until the church is called up into heaven to be with the Lord Jesus Christ prior to His bodily return to establish His kingdom on earth, the Holy Spirit will continue to work in the lives of every believer through the distribution of spiritual gifts, ministries, and activities “till we all come to the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.”

Bibliography
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Elwell, Walter A., Evangelical Dictionary of Theology. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House Company, 2001.

Smith, Chuck, Living Water. Santa Ana, CA: The Word for Today, 1996, 2001, 2007.

The Holy Bible, New King James Version. Thomas Nelson, Inc., 1982.

Towns, Elmer L., Theology for Today. Mason, Ohio: Cengage Learning, 2008.

The Holy Spirit Pt. 4 – He is God

“And I will pray the Father and He will give you another Helper, that He may remain with you forever, the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.”

Continuing our study series on the Holy Spirit: His Person, Purpose, & Power.

In this session we look at the Holy Spirit as God: Eternal, Omniscient, Omnipotent, and Omnipresent.

Each study is recorded and can be viewed by clicking on the video to the right under My Videos or following this link: http://vimeo.com/disciplefish

Bibliography
—————

Smith, Chuck. Living Water: The Power of the Holy Spirit in Your Life. Eugene, Or.: Harvest House, 1996. Print.

The Holy Spirit – Part 3: He is a Person

“And I will pray the Father and He will give you another Helper, that He may remain with you forever, the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.”

Continuing our study series on the Holy Spirit: His Person, Purpose, & Power.

In this session we look at the Holy Spirit as a person, with a will, intelligence, and emotions.

Each study is recorded and can be viewed by clicking on the video to the right under My Videos or following this link: http://vimeo.com/disciplefish

Bibliography
—————

Smith, Chuck. Living Water: The Power of the Holy Spirit in Your Life. Eugene, Or.: Harvest House, 1996. Print.

Father’s Day From God’s Perspective

Father’s Day – from God’s perspective

A few years ago, the LORD woke me up early to teach me something very profound from His perspective about being a father.

I had gone downstairs and sat on the floor, leaning on the couch.  Thoughts and worries raced through my mind as I confessed to the LORD that I was tired and needed His help to stay awake.

Gently I heard Him ask me to sit up on the couch with Him.  I did.  He then began to repeat a Scripture verse to me.  “You are my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased.”  Over and over again.

My thoughts sounded something like this: “Okay LORD, what do you want me to learn from this verse?  This is what you said when your Son, Jesus was baptized by John in the Jordan in order to fulfill all righteousness…”

He repeated “You are my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased.”

Finally it began to sink in.  God was telling me personally, “you are my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased.”

You see, I had an identity crisis, and God needed to fix it.  I “knew” that by the blood of Jesus Christ my sins had been forgiven, and had been taught (and even repeated to others) that by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we are made children of God, and that God sees us as He sees His own son.   But God was revealing to me that I didn’t completely believe that God really does think of me the way He thinks of Jesus, because I am in Christ and He is in me.

“You are my beloved son in whom I am well pleased.”  But what about all the mistakes and fail… “You are my beloved son in whom I am well pleased.”

I let down my defenses and began to accept what God was saying.  I am His beloved son in whom He is well pleased.  Not because of anything I have done.  But because of what He has done, and because of what Jesus has done.

I am beloved by God.  I am a son of God.  I am loved by God completely.  God is pleased with me.  God   is    pleased    with    me.   Ahhh, my soul began to rejoice and I was filled to overflowing with joy inexpressible.   My life’s worry has always been that I would do something displeasing to the LORD and would wreck our relationship (just as I thought I had done so many times before.)

God wanted me to know and believe without any doubting that I belong to Him, that I’m His son, and that He is pleased with me.

Once He established that, He asked me another question.  One I’ve never heard or considered, and have never been taught by any man.

“What is a father’s greatest glory?”

I pondered the question.  I am a father, and I’ve never really thought about that.  The answer is so simple, but so profound.

“A father’s greatest glory is to have children.
A father’s greatest glory is to raise those children in love, and bring them to maturity so that they are a reflection of their father in love and righteousness.
A father’s greatest glory is for his children to grow up and become not only his children, but his most trusted friends.  With a friendship that is closer and more special than any other friendship they have.  Friends who are entrusted by him with his most precious treasures. Not to hoard for themselves, but to share with others as he has shared with them.  Friends who will take what they have learned from Him and pass it on to others.”

That is why God has chosen to present Himself as God the Father, and God the Son.  As God’s children, born again through faith in Jesus Christ’s death & resurrection, we are meant to be His greatest glory.  Meant to grow to maturity in our relationship with Him.  Meant to be His close friends.  Meant to be entrusted with every spiritual gift in the heavenly places.  And meant to share those gifts, and what we learn from Him with others, so that they may become children of God as well.

John 1:12 – But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name

Romans 8:16 – The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.

1 John 3:1 – Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God…

1 John 3:2 – Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.

The Holy Spirit – Part 2: The Mystery of the Trinity

“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea & Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

Continuing our study series on the Holy Spirit: His Person, Purpose, & Power.

In this session we look at:
– The root words used for the Holy Spirit in the Bible
– The “mystery” of the Trinity, which includes the Holy Spirit

Each study is recorded and can be viewed by clicking on the video to the right under My Videos or following this link: http://vimeo.com/disciplefish

Bibliography
—————

Smith, Chuck. Living Water: The Power of the Holy Spirit in Your Life. Eugene, Or.: Harvest House, 1996. Print.

The Holy Spirit – Introduction

Welcome to the first disciplefish.net online Bible study.

Our current study series is on The Holy Spirit: His Person, Purpose & Power.

While this is not an exhaustive study of the Holy Spirit, it is a study designed to better understand who the Holy Spirit is, what His purpose is, and how we should properly relate to Him, according to the Scriptures.   Each study is recorded and can be viewed by clicking on the video to the right under My Videos or following this link: http://vimeo.com/disciplefish

Bibliography
—————

Smith, Chuck. Living Water: The Power of the Holy Spirit in Your Life. Eugene, Or.: Harvest House, 1996. Print.

Kickoff Bible Study

Well, the time is finally here.  Our first online Bible Study will be happening on Tuesday April 27th!

Online

We have an online meeting room ( disciplefish meeting room ) that can hold up to 50 people, and our plan (Lord willing) is to meet online at least once a month to start.

Offline

It’s also our plan to record each Bible Study and post them on this website so anyone that can’t attend the live study, can still get the info.

What’s the Study Topic?

Our first set of studies will be on the Person, Purpose, and Power of the Holy Spirit.

What’s Next?

1. Pray – As we begin this venture in faith; we appreciate & ask for prayer that God’s will is done, that Jesus Christ is glorified, & that people are strengthened in their relationship with Christ Jesus.

2. Sign up – If you’re interested in getting notified when each study will be happening, feel free to email us at webservant (at) disciplefish.net and include your name and we will add your email to our Bible Study schedule notification.


Welcome!

Welcome to disciplefish.net

Our desire is to use this website as an online resource to equip the saints & build up the body of Christ.  More information soon!