Lesson #4 focuses on being passionate about the Holy Spirit’s gifts. The believers in the Early Church had a genuine passion for the work of the Holy Spirit.The book of Acts provides a pattern for every church and every believer throughout all generations. The occurrences of the Holy Spirit’s gifts recorded in the pages of Acts should be happening in the lives of believers today.God wants us to desire the operation of His gifts in our lives, our church, and our community in the same way He operated in the Early Church.Likewise, we must give the Holy Spirit enough time to move and minister to people. Unfortunately, this is not the case in many churches today. This is not optional, but mandatory. The Holy Spirit is the most important Person in the Church. By making room for the Holy Spirit to move, we make room for people to receive exactly what they need.
No CondemnationThe lessons in this study of 10 Ways to be a Stronger Christian are based on a study I worked through by Rick Renner Ministries.The precious Word of God states in Romans 8:1 (MEV):There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.Therefore, do not allow the Adversary to bring condemnation for areas throughout this study series where you may be weak. Ask your Heavenly Father to help you become stronger and He will!
Scriptures Referenced in this Lesson
- 1Corinthians 1:4-9
- 1Corinthians 14:1
- 1Timothy 4:14
- 2Timothy 1:6
- 1Corinthians 12:7
- 1Corinthians 14:26
The Holy Spirit’s Gifts in the Church of CorinthNo New Testament church knew more about the gifts of the Holy Spirit than the church of Corinth. This is clearly confirmed in 1Corinthians 1:4-9.The apostle Paul said, “I always thank my God for you and for the gracious gifts he has given you, now that you belong to Christ Jesus.” – 1Corinthians 1:4The word “gracious” is the Greek word charis, and it describes God’s supernatural touch that empowers us to be different.It is the touch of the Holy Spirit Himself in our lives. The Corinthian believers were experiencing this regularly and in abundance!In verse 5 Paul said, “Through him, God has enriched your church in every way—with all of your eloquent words and all of your knowledge.” 1Corinthians 1:5The word “enriched” is the Greek word plousios. Hence, it describes someone with so much wealth, he is not sure exactly how much he has!Paul used this word to describe how many manifestations of the Holy Spirit’s gifts the Corinthian church was experiencing.Likewise, when it came to the operations of the Holy Spirit, the believers in Corinth were overwhelmingly rich. Actually, there were just too many occurrences to track, and Paul commended them for this.They were enriched with “eloquent words and all of your knowledge.”The eloquent word gifts of the Spirit include:
- Speaking in tongues
- Interpretation of tongues
- The word of wisdom
- Word of knowledge
- Discerning of spirits.
The Holy Spirit’s Gifts Make Jesus More Real1Corinthians 1:6 – This confirms that what I told you about Christ is true. Jesus Christ was and is:
Until the Return of Our Lord JesusHow long does God intend the gifts of the Spirit to be in operation? Paul said: “Now you have every spiritual gift you need as you eagerly wait for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ”. – 1Corinthians 1:7 Therefore, the Holy Spirit’s gifts were not just meant for the Early Church in the First Century. Rather, the gifts are for all of God’s people for all generations. They are meant to be in operation until “the return of our Lord Jesus.”Moreover, the Body of Christ today needs the supernatural presence and working of the Holy Spirit just as much as the Early Church did. One of the reasons is that the workings of the Holy Spirit will: “He will keep you strong to the end so that you will be free from all blame on the day when our Lord Jesus Christ returns.” – 1Corinthians 1:8The word “end” is the Greek word telos: describing something that is ripe or mature. Therefore, when the Holy Spirit’s gifts are in operation, they bring us into new levels of spiritual maturity. Without the gifts of the Spirit, we cannot grow properly.
The Holy Spirit’s Gifts Bring Us Into Partnership With Jesus1 Corinthians 1:9 – “God will do this, for he is faithful to do what he says, and he has invited you into partnership with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.“Partnership” is the Greek word koinonia. It describes real, legitimate business partners who work together in business.It is the same word used in Luke 5:7 when Peter called his fishing “partners” to help him haul in the miraculous catch.When the gifts of the Holy Spirit are in operation, they bring us into real, legitimate partnership with Jesus Christ Himself! Could anything be more valuable, more exciting, or more life-changing than being in this kind of “fellowship” (koinonia) with Jesus?
Be Informed About Spiritual GiftsPaul said, “Now, dear brothers and sisters, regarding your question about the special abilities the Spirit gives us. I don’t want you to misunderstand this” – 1Corinthians 12:1The word “misunderstand” is the Greek word agnosis, which means uninformed. A literal translation of this could read, “I don’t want you to be stupid or ignorant when it comes to the subject of spiritual gifts.”Paul was so adamant about the importance of spiritual gifts that he said: “Let love be your highest goal! But you should also desire the special abilities the Spirit gives … 1Corinthians 14:1In lesson #3, we learned that the word “desire” is the Greek word zeloo, which is where we get the word “zeal.”We are to follow after love and boil over with zeal for spiritual gifts. Moreover, to have such a desire is encouraged by God and blessed by God.Likewise, Paul expressed a similar sense of urgency in the book of 1 Timothy.“Do not neglect the spiritual gift you received through the prophecy spoken over you when the elders of the church laid their hands on you.” – 1Timothy 4:14The word “neglect” is the Greek word ameleo, which basically means to treat as unimportant, invaluable, or insignificant. Similarly, in 2Timothy 1:6 He declared:“This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you...”The phrase “fan into flames” is the Greek word anadzopureo, and it means to rekindle, to inflame, or to stir up as bellows are used to rekindle a fire.In other words, God wants you to stoke the coals of the spiritual gifts inside of you. Don’t let them go out; instead, fan them into flames.
The Holy Spirit’s Gifts are for Everyone1Corinthians 12:7 states: “A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.”The phrase “each of us” is the Greek word hekastos, which is an all-inclusive term that embraces everyone, with no one excluded. God wants every believer to flow in the gifts of the Holy Spirit.Likewise in 1Corinthians 14:26: “Well, my brothers and sisters, let’s summarize. When you meet together, one will sing, another will teach, another will tell some special revelation God has given, one will speak in tongues, and another will interpret what is said. But everything that is done must strengthen all of you.”Paul didn’t correct the Corinthians and tell them not to operate in the gifts. On the contrary, he said, “…everything that is done must strengthen all of you.”The condition in which the gifts were to operate was to “strengthen all.”This phrase is translated from the Greek word oikodome, and it is an architectural term meaning to enlarge or amplify a house.It depicts someone following an architectural plan to:
- Leave in an improved condition
Questions for ConsiderationThe Bible reveals nine specific gifts of the Holy Spirit. Likewise, it also reveals nine specific fruits.Read 1Corinthians 12:8-10 and Galatians 5:22-23 to identify these.What do you think the difference is between the gifts and the fruit of the Spirit?According to 1Corinthians 12:7 and 1 Peter 4:10, God has given us the gifts of His Spirit to strengthen us and bring maturity to the Church.Carefully read 1Corinthians 12:12-26.What is the Holy Spirit showing you to always keep in mind when it comes to operating in the gifts?In what specific ways has the Holy Spirit made the Person of Jesus come alive before your very eyes?How is this lesson opening your spiritual eyes to a deeper, more accurate understanding of the Spirit?In order to experience the work of the Holy Spirit in your life, you need to make room for Him.Pause and ask the Holy Spirit:
- In what specific ways have I not made room for You to work in my life?
- Have I neglected Your gifts within me?
- Have I kept them stirred up?
- Moving forward, what can I do to make room for You to move in my life and in my church in greater ways?”