Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit [Part 4]?   Leave a comment

Spirit

Before Jesus ascended, He told His disciples to wait in Jerusalem:

Once when he was eating with them, he commanded them, Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift he promised, as I told you before. John baptized with water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” Acts 1:4

The day of Pentecost(Harvest Festival) was approaching and Jesus commanded His disciples to wait as He was planning something special on that day. If Jesus did not told them to wait, maybe they would have gone around telling people that Jesus rose again and that they had just had supper with Him. After all, they have been trained for 3 years under His ministry and were well acquainted with His teachings and why could not they start preaching?

Well, waiting for the day of Pentecost now looks evident but if the disciples did not listen they would not have had that boldness brought by Holy Spirit and would have preached out of experience, the flesh and intellect. The day of Pentecost was a special day since many people from various regions came to Jerusalem for that feast and it was the opportunity for God to reveal Himself to them in their own language. The disciples spoke in unknown languages that day and the people said:

Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, and the areas of Libya around Cyrene, visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism), Cretans, and Arabs.And we all hear these people speaking in our own languages about the wonderful things God has done!” They stood there amazed and perplexed.” Acts 2:11

On that day 3000 people believed and were baptized – incidentally a great harvest on the Harvest Festival. I believe that out of these 3000, there was at least a representative of all these nations who spoke in other tongues. Now see how quickly the gospel would spread itself!

The Holy Spirit intentionally gave the gift of tongues on that day to cause a massive movement and conversion.

Whether we minister in prayer meetings, in preaching, evangelism, worship or participate in any form of spiritual matter, if this is not done through inspiration and guidance of the Holy Spirit, it is surely done either by our carnal nature or skills.

The Pharisees are examples of religious people who stuck to the letter or law rather than the spirit behind the scripture. They were not guided by the Holy Spirit in their actions. Out of their zeal, they were quick to judge the disciples of Jesus who broke crops on the Sabbath day and ready to fire the first stone on the adulterous woman. There is no doubt that these people were well versed in the scripture, intellectuals and had some form of wisdom (be it not divine). In their wisdom, their discerned that Jesus (the Holy One of heaven) was possessed by an evil spirit or mad (John 8:48, John 10:20). They also wanted to kill Jesus and were finally able to do so at God’s appointed time. If religious leaders at that time failed to acknowledge Jesus as the Messiah despite all their scriptural knowledge, how can we expect that it is better today?

Our churches are packed with the same spirit of the pharisees or admirers of them. We are warned about such people (Col. 2:8) who are amidst us. They may use philosophy,some sort of wisdom or try to impress us by their mastery of Hebrews or Greek. They may have a doctorate in divinity or be eloquent but they minister WITHOUT the presence of the Holy Spirit. This is very alarming and at the same time this explains why many churches are dead even though packed with so many intellectuals. When the Holy Spirit was leading Paul, He not only guided Him where to preach but also forbidden him to preach in some places.

Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to.” Acts 16:6

I would like to emphasize on that situation because firstly Paul was commissioned by God to go and preach everywhere, secondly he was an apostle and thirdly he knew the Gospel and was well equipped to preach. All these 3 elements were not sufficient for him to open his mouth and preach where he wanted. The lesson we can draw here is :

  1. Even though we have been called to go everywhere to preach the gospel, we should do so ONLY if accompanied by the Holy Spirit. Otherwise, there could be a chaotic situation, even death. Going on the mission field without the approval and presence of the Holy Spirit is not only a waste of time and resources but an act of disobedience.
  2. Being an apostle, pastor or teacher does not give us a license to say whatever we want. We should preach ONLY when under the influence of the Holy Spirit otherwise, the listeners or readers will be influenced by our spirit or reasoning instead of the Holy Spirit. When you do not feel led by the Spirit to speak, it’s time to sit down and listen to Him. God does not expect you to speak each Sunday because you’re a preacher or pastor.
  3. Our knowledge of the Gospel or scripture does not automatically qualify us to go and preach, ONLY the Holy Spirit does. For it is only the Holy Spirit who convicts hearts of sins (John 26:8), not us. Some of us plant and others water but it is God who makes the seed grow (1 Cor 3:6). Think about it. No matter how much you sow or water that seed, there can be no rejoicing unless that seed germinates. The One who makes that seed sprout or take life is the Holy Spirit and without Him in vain you toil.

Being led by the Holy Spirit, in everything we do, is essential for the church’s health and our growth. We could think that it was the jealousy of the Pharisees which blinded them but what about Judas? Judas sat at Jesus’ table, was part of his close circle, heard things none of us heard and saw many miracles but yet Jesus was just a rabbi not his Lord (Mat. 26). Without the quickening of the Holy Spirit, the things of God remain veil to us.

This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments” 1 Cor. 2:13-15

 

Posted November 3, 2019 by Cedric in My writings (English)

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