PRINCIPLE-CENTERED LEADERSHIP

Scripture:    

My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body. Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil. – Proverbs 4:20-27.

 

Message:

When we center our lives on correct principles, we become more balanced, unified, organized, anchored, and rooted. We have a foundation for all activities, relationships, and decisions. We also have a sense of stewardship about everything in our lives, including time, talents, money, possessions, relationships, our families, and our bodies. We recognize the need to use them for good purposes and, as a steward, to be accountable for their use.

Centering on principles provides sufficient security to not be threatened by change, comparisons, or criticisms; guidance to discover our mission, define our roles, and write our scripts and goals; wisdom to learn from our mistakes and seek continuous improvement; and power to communicate and cooperate, even under conditions of stress and fatigue.

  1. SECURITY

Security represents our sense of worth, identity, emotional anchorage, self-esteem, and personal strength. Of course, we see various degrees of security – on a continuum between a deep sense of high intrinsic worth on one end and an extreme insecurity on the other, wherein a person’s life is buffeted by all the fickle forces that play upon it. – Isaiah 26:3-4.

  1. GUIDANCE

Guidance is the direction we receive in life. Much of it comes from the standards, principles, or criteria that govern our decision making and doing. This internal monitor serves as a conscience. People who operate on the low end of the guidance continuum tend to have strong physical addictions and emotional dependencies, conditioned by their centering on selfish, sensual, or social life-styles. The middle of the continuum represents development of the social conscience – the conscience educated and cultivated by centering on human institutions, traditions, and relationships. On the high end of the continuum is the spiritual conscience, wherein guidance comes from inspired or inspiring sources – a compass centered on true principles. – Proverbs 3:5-6.

  1. WISDOM

Wisdom suggests a sage perspective on life, a sense of balance, a keen understanding of how the various parts and principles apply and relate to each other. It embraces judgement, discernment, comprehension. It is a oneness, an integrated wholeness. At the low end of the wisdom continuum are inaccurate maps, which cause people to base their thinking on distorted, discordant principles. The high end represents an accurate and complete life compass wherein all the parts and principles are properly related to each other. As we move toward the high end, we have an increasing sense of the ideal (things as they should be) as well as a sensitive practical approach to realities (things as they are). Wisdom also includes the ability to discern pure joy as distinct from temporary pleasure. – Proverbs 8:12-16 & 32 – 36.

  1. POWER

Power is the capacity to act, the strength and courage to accomplish something. It is the vital energy to make choices and decisions. It also represents the capacity to overcome deeply embedded habits and to cultivate higher, more effective habits. At the low end of the power continuum we see people who are essentially powerless, insecure, products of what happens or has happened to them.  They are largely dependent on circumstances and on others. They are reflections of other people’s opinions and directions; they have no real comprehension of true joy and happiness. At the high end of the continuum we see people with vision and discipline, whose lives are functional products of personal decisions rather than of external conditions. These people make things happen; they are proactive; they choose their responses to situations based upon timeless principles and universal standards. They take responsibility for their feelings, moods, and attitudes as well as their thoughts and actions. – 2 Kings 1:1-17.

These four factors – security, guidance, wisdom, and power – are interdependent. Security and well-founded guidance bring true wisdom, and wisdom becomes the spark or catalyst to release and direct power. When these four factors are harmonized, they create the great force of noble personality, a balanced character, a beautifully integrated individual.

CHARACTER

Above all these four principles, Security, Guidance, Wisdom and Power; Character is the greatest element of leadership principle. of The issue of character is debated hotly in leadership circles today. Traditionally, character has been defined as the moral constitution of a person. Popular descriptions today are, what you are when no one is looking or who you are in the dark. In other words, character reveals the true substance of a person – who that person really is, day in and day out, in good times and bad times – over the course of a lifetime. Contrary to some opinions, character is not one’s title, role, or position.

Leadership is not a position, it is a lifestyle. Those who have made the greatest mistakes are leaders who have assumed that their position was more important than their lifestyle. For some of them, the consequences have been tragic.

Some years ago, America dealt with the sexual improprieties that occurred by President Bill Clinton with an intern in the White House. A resulting impeachment trial did not lead to any conviction, but perhaps a greater verdict was rendered to the nation. The notion that character was essential to leadership was muted by the message sent that popularity and prosperity had become the defining measures of a good leader. But character is the essence of leadership. Several news items still fill the screens and airwaves about leaders whose character flaws have led to their downfall and sometimes the collapse of companies and nations they lead.

Trusted leaders seek to be consistent in their lives publicly and privately, are authentic in their concern for their followers, and are true to their word.

 

Leaders cannot lead unless they have the full trust of their followers. When that trust is betrayed, support is withdrawn.

End Piece

Leaders cultivate character by acquiring wisdom and understanding. These of course come at a great price because they require the kind of dedicated and patient leaders must diligently “search” for wisdom treasures covered by the layers of earth and rock.

Stay blessed!

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THE HOLY SPIRIT (PART VIII)

Scripture:

“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit.  There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.  There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.” – 1 Cor. 12:4-6 (NIV)

 

 

INTRODUCTION

We continue our study of the Holy Spirit this week on “His Ministry Concerning the Fruit of the Spirit.” We have studied so far, His personality, names and emblems, His ministries; His ministry concerning the spiritual gifts; and the eleven permanent gifts.

 

Please enjoy and pass it on!

 

 THE HOLY SPIRIT MINISTRY CONCERNING THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT

We now come to the eleventh and final recorded ministry performed by the Holy Spirit of God.  In a very real sense it best demonstrates His ultimate goal here on earth, namely, to bear fruit for Christ through believers.  “But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.”  Rom. 6:22. “so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, Col. 1:10.

 

  1. THE COMMANDS TO BEAR FRUIT
  2. God desires His new creation to do the same as He ordered His old creation to do.

God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth

            and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every

            living creature that moves on the ground.”  Gen. 1:28.

 

  1. God desires the believer to fulfil the prophecy concerning Joseph.  “Joseph is a

             fruitful vine, a fruitful vine near a spring, whose branches climb over a wall.” – Gen.

            49:22.

 

  1. God desires His children to experience the blessings of Psalm 1.  “That person is like

            a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does

            not wither—   whatever they do prospers.”  –  Psalm 1:3

 

  1. God desires His children of light to function today as His tree of life will function

in eternity.  “Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as

            crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great

            street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops

            of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of

            the nations.”  Rev. 22:1-2

 

 

  1. THE PREREQUISITE FOR BEARING FRUIT
  2.  One Must Die to This World

“Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains

            only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.”John 12:24

 

  1. One Must Abide in the Saviour – John 15:1-5; 16

In the Old Testament the nation Israel was God’s chosen vine vessel.  “You

transplanted a vine from Egypt; you drove out the nations and planted it.”Psalm 80:8“Israel was a spreading vine; he brought forth fruit for himself.  As his fruit increased, he built more altars; as his land prospered, he adorned his sacred stones.”Hosea 10:1

 

Thus, the nation was eventually set aside by Jesus.  ““Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.” Matt. 21:43.  In the Gospel, Christ was God’s chosen vine vessel while He was on this earth.  “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.” –  John 15:1.  “A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.”Isa. 11:1.

 

Jesus told His disciples they were to be branches.  The only useful function of a

branch is to bear fruit.  A branch does not produce fruit, it simply bears it.

 

  1. THE TWO KINDS OF FRUIT

 

  1. Outer Fruit:  Soul-Winning

“Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.  Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together.” – John 4:35 – 36 (See also Rom. 1:13; Prov. 11:30)

 

  1.  Inner Fruit:  Christlikeness

“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.”  Gal. 5:22-23

 

It should be noted that the word fruit in both of these passages is in the singular.  Paul does not say “the fruits of the Spirit are,” but rather, “the fruit of the Spirit is.”  The reason is this:  all the fruit of the Spirit, unlike all the gifts of the Spirit, are to be possessed by every believer.

 

  1. THE ELEVEN FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT
  2. LOVE: “And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect

             unity.” –    Col. 3:14

 

  1. JOY:  “ But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness,

              faithfulness,” – Gal. 5:22. “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and

            drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,” – Rom. 14:17

 

  1. PEACE:   There are two kinds of peace:

(1)   The Peace with God:  “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we

                               have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  Rom. 5:1   This peace is

positional peace and includes all believers at the moment of their salvation.

 

(2)   The Peace of God:  “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will

                  guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Phil. 4:7.  This peace is

experienced, and includes only those believers who are filled with God’s Spirit.  It

can be defined as reassurance in tribulation.

 

  1. PATIENCE:   The ability to cheerfully bear an unbearable situation and to

patiently endure the unendurable.  “Or do you show contempt for the riches of his

            kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to

            lead you to repentance?” –  Rom. 2:4

 

  1. GENTLENESS:   A quiet and respectful kindness. “to slander no one, to be peaceable and

             considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone.”  –  Titus 3:2. “And the Lord’s

            servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not

            resentful.” – 2 Timothy 2:24

 

  1. FAITH: “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.” –   

          Gal. 5:22-23.

 

To be continued!

Stay blessed!

Source: Wilmington’s Guide to the Bible

All Scriptures are from the New International Version.

RIGHTEOUSNESS

Scripture:

Ill-gotten treasures have no lasting value, but righteousness delivers from death. – Proverbs 10:2

 

INTRODUCTION

Proverbs 10:2 contrast the blessings of right, godly living with the dissatisfaction of wicked, ungodly living.

3 EXAMPLES OF RIGHTEOUSNESS DELIVERING:

  1. Noah;The Lord then said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation.” – Genesis 7:1

“By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.” – Hebrews 11:7

  1. Daniel (Daniel 6)
  2. Three Hebrew Children (Daniel 3)

Crime does not pay! Sin will not succeed! Wickedness cannot profit, no matter how much wealth you temporarily pile up. You cannot buy God off from judgment in this life or the next. Righteousness is the key to a successful life, and it will deliver you from several deaths. Are you committed to righteousness, even if it means earthly poverty?

Wicked men may prosper for a while. Do not envy them. It is an illusion – terrible judgment is coming soon (Proverbs 3:31-32; 23:17-18; Psalm 37:1-3; 73:1-20). Do not copy them. Sin will not work, and you will lose (Proverbs 11:4; Psalm 49:6-14; Luke 12:15-21; James 5:1-3). The rich man fared sumptuously every day, but he could not prolong his life or buy his way into heaven. He could not even buy a drop of water for his tongue (Luke 16:19-21). 

Ahab and Jezebel murdered Naboth to steal his vineyard, but the wine it produced could not cheer the heart of a holy God or comfort the sinners He condemned. Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord. This wicked couple appeared to be gaining in real estate holdings by their wicked conspiracy against Naboth, but a chance arrow killed Ahab, and dogs licked his blood from his chariot and ate Jezebel (I Kings 21:1-16; 22:37-38; II Kings 9:30-37).

If you get ahead by wickedness, it is only for a moment. Judas pleasure at thirty pieces of silver did not last long, as his scattered bowels have testified for two millennia (Acts 1:18-19). Achan’s family regretted the day he took of Jericho’s riches (Joshua 7:19-26). Gehazi could not trade his theft for the cure of leprosy (II Kings 5:20-27). Ananias and Sapphira held back some money by deceit, but they did not take any of it with them (Acts 5:1-11).

 

The King of Assyria, whom God sovereignly used to punish Israel, heaped up treasures of wickedness by his greedy, conquering heart (Isaiah 10:5-14), but the same God tore him and his army to shreds when his usefulness was over (Isaiah 10:15-19). The harlot church of Babylon – Roman Catholicism and Protestant daughters – has taken treasures by wickedness, but Jesus Christ is coming to grind her to powder (Revelation 17:1-6; 18:1-24).

Crime does not pay. Sin will not succeed. Hear God’s word. “A fortune made by a lying tongue is a fleeting vapor and a deadly snare. The violence of the wicked will drag them away, for they refuse to do what is right.” – Proverbs 21:6-7. “Like a partridge that hatches eggs it did not lay are those who gain riches by unjust means. When their lives are half gone, their riches will desert them, and in the end they will prove to be fools.” – Jeremiah 17:11.

But righteousness delivereth from death,” Solomon wrote. The righteousness of Jesus Christ will deliver His elect from the second death – eternity in the lake of fire – by the book of life (Revelation 20:11-15; Romans 5:19; II Corinthians 5:21). But it is by personal righteousness you avoid death of your fellowship with God (James 5:19-20; Revelation 3:1), bodily death by chastening (I Corinthians 11:28-34), and lay hold of eternal life (Psalm 15:1-5; I Timothy 6:11-12).

While many do not understand the importance of personal righteousness, it is the certain emphasis of God’s word. The modern invention of a mere decision determining your eternal destiny is heresy. Believing and calling on the name of Jesus Christ are nothing without obedience to His commandments (Matthew 7:21-23; Luke 6:46; John 5:29; Acts 10:34-35; Philippians 3:8-14; I Timothy 6:17-19; Hebrew 5:9; James 2:14-16; II Peter 1:5-11).

Do you envy the treasures of the wicked? Do you wish for their pleasures, riches, and comforts? The exchange is not nearly worth it. Solomon judged, “Better a little with righteousness than much gain with injustice.” – Proverbs 16:8. And Jesus confirmed it by teaching, “And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?”Matthew 16:26.

Remain Blessed!

Please continue to join us on Asempa 94.7 FM – Sundays 5.30 am., Sunny 88.7 FM – Tuesdays 5:30 am; and Uniiq 95.7 Fm – Saturdays 7:30 pm; for our Radio Bible Study as well as Sunny FM 88.7 FM every Sunday at 3:30 pm. for Hymns and their Stories.

THE HOLY SPIRIT (PART VII)

 

 

 

“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit.  There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.  There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.” – 1 Cor. 12:4-6 (NIV)

 

INTRODUCTION

Last week, we studied “The Eleven Permanent Gifts of the Holy Spirit” and ended on the 5th gift – “The Gift of Ministering” and said Dorcas and Phoebe had this gift. We continue this week with the remaining permanent gifts of the Holy Spirit.

 

Please enjoy and pass it on!

 

(6)    THE GIFT OF THE SHOWING OF MERCY 

if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.” – Romans 12:8

Often untrained laypeople possess this supernatural ability to minister to those sick and afflicted.

 

(7)      THE GIFT OF RULING OR ADMINISTRATION

if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.” – Romans 12:8.  This is the supernatural ability to organize, administer, and promote the various affairs of a local church – Titus 1:4,5.  A local church will not grow beyond a ministry of those individuals empowered with this gift.

 

(8)     THE GIFT OF FAITH

The Bible describes three kinds of faith:

 

  • Saving Faith: given to all repenting sinners.

They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved -you and your household.”  – Acts 16:31

 

“However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness.” – Romans 4:5

 

  • Sanctifying Faith:  available to all believers.

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me”. – Galatians 2:20

 

“Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law. “ – Galatians 3:11

 

  • Stewardship Faith:  given to some believers.

”For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.” – Romans 12:3

 

“To another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit,– 1 Cor. 12:9

 

(9)         THE GIFT OF TEACHING

The supernatural ability to communicate and clarify the details of the Word of God.

 If it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach”; – Romans 12:7.  The gift was given to:

 

  • Paul – “For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God.” – Acts 20:27

 

  • Apollos – “Meanwhile a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was a learned man, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and he spoke with great fervor and taught about Jesus accurately, though he knew only the baptism of John.” – Acts 18:24-25

 

  • Aquila and Priscilla“He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately”. – Acts 18:26

 

While no one can present a better gospel than that in the Bible, there are those who can teach that gospel better.  This is the gift of teaching.

 

(10)     THE GIFT OF EVANGELISM

The supernatural ability to point sinners to Christ and to burden  Christians about soul-winning.  All believers are to witness for Christ whether Timothy, for example, was not an evangelist, but he was a soul-winner.  “But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.” – 2 Tim 4:5.

There are others, however, who were given this gift.  Philip, among others in the book of Acts, possessed it  – “Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.”  So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of the Kandake (which means “queen of the Ethiopians”). This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the Book of Isaiah the prophet. The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.” Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked.  “How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. This is the passage of Scripture the eunuch was reading:

“He was led like a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before its shearer is silent, so

he did not open his mouth.  In his humiliation he was deprived of justice. Who can speak of his descendants?  For his life was taken from the earth.”   The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?” Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.  As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?”  And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing.  Philip, however, appeared at Azotus and traveled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea.” – Acts 8:26-40

Leaving the next day, we reached Caesarea and stayed at the house of Philip the evangelist, one of the Seven.”Acts 21:8

 

(11)      THE GIFT OF PASTOR-TEACHER

The supernatural ability to preach and teach the Word of God and to feed and lead the

flock of God. “To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed:  Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because  you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve;  not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.”1 Peter 5:1-4

 

“Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which He bought with His own blood.” – Acts 20:28. 

 

This is the only “double portion” gift of the eighteen gifts.  Thus, all teachers are not called to be pastors, but all pastors are to be teachers.

 

To be continued!

Stay blessed!

Source: Wilmington’s Guide to the Bible

All Scriptures are from the New International Version.

 

For further inquiries please contact us on Tel Nos. 0302-772013 or 0268130615

Email:  saltnlightministries@gmail.com

Website: saltandlightgh.org

 

 

FREEDOM TO LIVE TO PLEASE GOD.

 

What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?  By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?  Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.  If we have been united with Him like this in His death, we will certainly also be united with Him in his resurrection.  For we know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been set free from sin. – Romans 6:1-7.

INTRODUCTION

The death He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life He lives, He lives to God. – Romans 6:10

Although Christ was sinless, He suffered from ad was humiliated by the power and punishment of sin for our sake. He endured this to restore our opportunity to have a relationship with God. In His death, Jesus died to the influence and effect of sin; in His death, Jesus died to the influence and effect of sin; in His resurrection, He triumphed over its power. As a result, Jesus makes His life and power available to all who accept His sin-forgiving sacrifice and yield their lives to His leadership. Those who enter this personal relationship with Jesus are united with Him in death to sin and are freed from its power so they can experience a new life as God planned. Today we have quoted directly from Romans 8:1-39 using the new Living Translation.

LIFE THROUGH THE SPIRIT

So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.  And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.  The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit.  Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will. That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God. But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.)  And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God. The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you. Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as His own children. Now we call Him, “Abba, Father.” For His Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children.  And since we are His children, we are His heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share His glory, we must also share His suffering. – Romans 8:1-17.

 

FUTURE GLORY

Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory He will reveal to us later. For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who His children really are.  Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay.  For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies He has promised us. We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.)

And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.  And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.  For God knew His people in advance, and He chose them to become like His Son, so that His Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And having chosen them, He called them to come to Him. And having called them, He gave them right standing with Himself. And having given them right standing, He gave them His glory. – Romans 8:18-30.

NOTHING CAN SEPARATE US FROM GOD’S LOVE

What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since He did not spare even His own Son but gave Him up for us all, won’t He also give us everything else? Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for His own? No one—for God Himself has given us right standing with Himself. Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and He is sitting in the place of honour at God’s right hand, pleading for us.

 

Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean He no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?  (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8:31-39.

Remain Blessed!

Please continue to join us on Asempa 94.7 FM – Sundays 5.30 am., Sunny 88.7 FM – Tuesdays 5:30 am; and Uniiq 95.7 Fm – Saturdays 7:30 pm; for our Radio Bible Study as well as Sunny FM 88.7 FM every Sunday at 3:30 pm. for Hy

THE HOLY SPIRIT (PART VI)

“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit.  There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.  There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.” – 1 Cor. 12:4-6 (NIV)

 

INTRODUCTION

We continue our study of the Holy Spirit this week on “The Eleven Permanent Gifts.” We have studied so far, His personality, names and emblems, His ministries; and His ministry concerning the spiritual gifts.

 

Please enjoy and pass it on!

 

THE ELEVEN PERMANENT GIFTS

(1)    THE GIFT OF WISDOM  

“To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit.” – 1 Cor. 12:18.  If the definition of the gift of knowledge is correct, then the gift of wisdom would refer to that supernatural ability to rightfully apply and spiritually employ that information gathered through the gift of knowledge.

 

(2)     THE GIFT OF THE DISCERNING OF SPIRITS

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 interpretations of tongues.” – 1 Cor. 12:10.  “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” – 1 John 4:1

 

This gift is the supernatural ability to distinguish between demonic, human, and divine spirits in another person.  Both Peter and Paul possessed this gift.

 

(3)     THE GIFT GIVING

“If it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.” – Romans 12:8

 

This is the supernatural ability to accumulate and give large amounts of one’s finances to the glory of God.  In the book of Acts members of three local churches apparently possessed this gift.

  • The Jerusalem Church: – “All the believers were one in heart and mind. No-one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had.  With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all.  There were no needy persons among them.  For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.  Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas which means Son of Encouragement, sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet.” – Acts 4:32-37

 

  • The Galatian Church: – “What has happened to all your joy? I can testify that, if you could have done so, you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me.” – Galatians 4:15

 

  • The Philippian Church: – “I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you have been concerned, but you have no opportunity to show it.  I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.  I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.  I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want, I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.  Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles.  Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid again and again when I was in need.  Not that I am looking for a gift, but I am looking for what may be credited to your account.  I have received full payment and even more; I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent.  They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God.” – Philippians 4:10-18

 

A pre-Pentecost foreshadowing of this gift is seen in the account of the widow’s mite. – “As He looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury.  He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins.  I tell you the truth,” He said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others.  All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” – Luke 21:1-4

 

(4)    THE GIFT OF EXHORTATION

“If it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.” – Romans 12:8.  “A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” – Prov. 25:11

Several New Testament individuals had this gift:

  • Barnabas – “He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord.” – Acts 11:22-24

 

  • Judas – not Iscariot and Silas – “Judas and Silas, who themselves were prophets, said much to encourage and strengthen the brothers” – Acts 15:32

 

  • A believer referred to as “yoke-fellow” – “Yes, and I ask you, loyal yoke-fellow, help these women who have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my fellow-workers, whose names are in the book of life.” – 4:3.

 

  • Paul –   So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to visit you in advance and finish the arrangements for the generous gift you had promised. Then it will be ready as a generous gift, not as one grudgingly given.” – 2 Cor. 9:5.  “Strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith.“We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said. – Acts 14:22.   “ For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children,  – 1 Thess. 2:11

 

  • Peter – “To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed”- 1 Peter 5:1

 

  • “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.”- Jude 3

 

(5)       THE GIFT OF MINISTERING

The supernatural ability to render practical help in both physical and spiritual matters.

if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach;” – Romans 12:7.  ”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.” – 1 Cor. 12:28

This gift is called the gift of helps in 1 Cor. 12:28.  How sorely churches today.  There seems to be and colorful evangelists, but where are the helpers?

  • Dorcas had this gift : – “In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (in Greek her name is Dorcas); she was always doing good and helping the poor.  About that time she became sick and died, and her body was washed and placed in an upstairs room. Lydda was near Joppa; so when the disciples heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two men to him and urged him, “Please come at once!” – Acts 9:36-39

Peter went with them, and when he arrived he was taken upstairs to the room. All the widows stood around him, crying and showing him the robes and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was still with them.”

  • Phoebe had this gift: –“I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant of the church in Cenchrea. I ask you to receive her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints and to give her any help she may need from you, for she has been a great help to many people, including me.” – 16:1-2

 

To be continued!

Stay blessed!

Source: Wilmington’s Guide to the Bible

All Scriptures are from the New International Version.

THE HOLY SPIRIT (PART VI)

“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit.  There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.  There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.” – 1 Cor. 12:4-6 (NIV)

 

INTRODUCTION

We continue our study of the Holy Spirit this week on “The Eleven Permanent Gifts.” We have studied so far, His personality, names and emblems, His ministries; and His ministry concerning the spiritual gifts.

 

Please enjoy and pass it on!

 

THE ELEVEN PERMANENT GIFTS

(1)    THE GIFT OF WISDOM  

“To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit.” – 1 Cor. 12:18.  If the definition of the gift of knowledge is correct, then the gift of wisdom would refer to that supernatural ability to rightfully apply and spiritually employ that information gathered through the gift of knowledge.

 

(2)     THE GIFT OF THE DISCERNING OF SPIRITS

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 interpretations of tongues.” – 1 Cor. 12:10.  “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” – 1 John 4:1

 

This gift is the supernatural ability to distinguish between demonic, human, and divine spirits in another person.  Both Peter and Paul possessed this gift.

 

(3)     THE GIFT GIVING

“If it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.” – Romans 12:8

 

This is the supernatural ability to accumulate and give large amounts of one’s finances to the glory of God.  In the book of Acts members of three local churches apparently possessed this gift.

  • The Jerusalem Church: – “All the believers were one in heart and mind. No-one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had.  With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all.  There were no needy persons among them.  For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.  Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas which means Son of Encouragement, sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet.” – Acts 4:32-37

 

  • The Galatian Church: – “What has happened to all your joy? I can testify that, if you could have done so, you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me.” – Galatians 4:15

 

  • The Philippian Church: – “I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you have been concerned, but you have no opportunity to show it.  I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.  I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.  I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want, I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.  Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles.  Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid again and again when I was in need.  Not that I am looking for a gift, but I am looking for what may be credited to your account.  I have received full payment and even more; I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent.  They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God.” – Philippians 4:10-18

 

A pre-Pentecost foreshadowing of this gift is seen in the account of the widow’s mite. – “As He looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury.  He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins.  I tell you the truth,” He said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others.  All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” – Luke 21:1-4

 

(4)    THE GIFT OF EXHORTATION

“If it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.” – Romans 12:8.  “A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” – Prov. 25:11

Several New Testament individuals had this gift:

  • Barnabas – “He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord.” – Acts 11:22-24

 

  • Judas – not Iscariot and Silas – “Judas and Silas, who themselves were prophets, said much to encourage and strengthen the brothers” – Acts 15:32

 

  • A believer referred to as “yoke-fellow” – “Yes, and I ask you, loyal yoke-fellow, help these women who have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my fellow-workers, whose names are in the book of life.” – 4:3.

 

  • Paul –   So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to visit you in advance and finish the arrangements for the generous gift you had promised. Then it will be ready as a generous gift, not as one grudgingly given.” – 2 Cor. 9:5.  “Strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith.“We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said. – Acts 14:22.   “ For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children,  – 1 Thess. 2:11

 

  • Peter – “To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed”- 1 Peter 5:1

 

  • “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.”- Jude 3

 

(5)       THE GIFT OF MINISTERING

The supernatural ability to render practical help in both physical and spiritual matters.

if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach;” – Romans 12:7.  ”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.” – 1 Cor. 12:28

This gift is called the gift of helps in 1 Cor. 12:28.  How sorely churches today.  There seems to be and colorful evangelists, but where are the helpers?

  • Dorcas had this gift : – “In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (in Greek her name is Dorcas); she was always doing good and helping the poor.  About that time she became sick and died, and her body was washed and placed in an upstairs room. Lydda was near Joppa; so when the disciples heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two men to him and urged him, “Please come at once!” – Acts 9:36-39

Peter went with them, and when he arrived he was taken upstairs to the room. All the widows stood around him, crying and showing him the robes and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was still with them.”

  • Phoebe had this gift: –“I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant of the church in Cenchrea. I ask you to receive her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints and to give her any help she may need from you, for she has been a great help to many people, including me.” – 16:1-2

 

To be continued!

Stay blessed!

Source: Wilmington’s Guide to the Bible

All Scriptures are from the New International Version.

HUMILITY – THE SCANDALOUS VIRTUE

Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.  Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus – Philippians 2:1-5

By recommending “lowliness of mind” (Philippians 2:3), Paul fired a broadside at the Philippian culture – and our own. Like us, the Greeks and Romans exalted the lifestyles of the rich and famous!

Lowliness in mind? Who would want that? A “lowly” (or humble) person meant a slave – a servile, groveling, wretched individual. And for Paul to associate the word “lowly” with “mind” was a laughable contradiction: everyone assumed that lowly people had no intelligence, and everyone honoured higher thinking and self-conceit.

The idea of humility seemed especially out of place in Philippi. The town hosted a military colony by the pretentious-sounding name of Colonia Augusta Julia Philippensis. Unlike other conquered towns, it enjoyed the jus Italicum (law of Italy), which made it a sort of small, self-governing version of the empire. Pride and self-importance were part and parcel of Philippian life in Paul’s day.

Yet Paul insisted that Christians there cultivate humility – but not a groveling, abject demeanor. No, biblical humility means not thinking of oneself more highly than is true (For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. – Romans 12:3), but rather acknowledging what one is – with all of one’s strengths and weaknesses, pluses and minuses, successes and failures.

Far from self-loathing, real humility makes people so truthful that they don’t hesitate, when necessary, to tell about even their good qualities.

Do you want true humility? It comes from seeing yourself in relation to God. No wonder, then, that this virtue ran counter to the Roman worldview. Their concept of a god was grossly similar to their concept humanity, and the mythological Roman gods were hardly noble.

By contrast, Jesus praised the humble, “the poor in spirit,” (literally. “the destitute,” Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven – Matthew 5:3).

What would that attitude look like? David expressed it in Psalm 39:4-6:

“Lord, make me to know my end, And what is the measure of my days, That I may know how frail I am. Indeed, You have made my days as handbreadths, And my age is as nothing before You; Certainly every man at his best state is but vapour. Surely every man walks about like a shadow; Surely they busy themselves in vain; He heaps up riches, And does not know who will gather them.

Likewise the prophet Micah warns that humility is one of three main virtues that ought to govern our lives.  He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God? – MICAH 6:8.

Humility is not an option for us believers – it is an essential if we want to walk with God. Over and again, Scripture insists that we either walk humbly with Him, or not at all. “Though the Lord is on high, Yet He regards the lowly; But the proud He knows from afar.” – Psalm 138:6.

“Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” – 1 Peter 5:5-7

In short, a biblical lifestyle knows nothing of looking out chiefly for ‘number one’. Just the opposite. With John the Baptist we need to say, “He must increase, but I must decrease” – John 3:30.

HUMILITY AFFECTS FOUR CRUCIAL AREAS OF EVERYDAY LIFE:

  1. Our view of ourselves.
  2. Our attitude toward controlling our circumstances.
  3. How good or bad we think we are.
  4. Our perspectives on status and power.

Culled from The Word in Life Study Bible.

Remain Blessed!

Please continue to join us on Asempa 94.7 FM – Sundays 5.30 am., Sunny 88.7 FM – Tuesdays 5:30 am; and Uniiq 95.7 Fm – Saturdays 7:30 pm; for our Radio Bible Study as well as Sunny FM 88.7 FM every Sunday at 3:30 pm. for Hymns and their Stories.

THE HOLY SPIRIT (PART V)

 

 

“He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.” – Titus 3:5 (NIV)

 

INTRODUCTION

Last week we indicated that there are eleven ministries of the Holy Spirit and started with His

ministry concerning the spiritual gifts.  We ended on “not using the gifts in love” and said that

those who are blessed with gifts often abuse it and that only eternity will reveal the number of

men in the ministry who should never have been there.

 

We continue our study this week on the Holy Spirit ministry concerning the spiritual gifts as

follows:

 

  1. THE NUMBER OF THE SPIRITUAL GIFTS.

In three main passages, the Apostle Paul lists eighteen separate spiritual gifts for us.  These passages are:  Romans 12:6-8; 1 Cor. 12:4-7; Ephesians 4:11.

 

  1. THE NATURE OF THE SPIRITUAL GIFTS

It would seem that these eighteen gifts can be placed into two basic categories, the permanent stationary gifts and the temporary sign gifts.

 

  1. THE DESCRIPTION OF THE SPIRITUAL GIFTS
  2. The Seven Temporary Sign Gifts.  These would include the gifts of apostleship,

prophecy, miracles, healing, tongues, interpretation of tongues, and knowledge.

At this point it is relevant to ask by what right do we designate the sign gifts as temporary in duration.  The answer is found in the miraculous nature of the gift itself.  Imagine yourself to be a spokesman sent from God some twenty centuries ago, before most of the New Testament was written.  You have a message from the Lord.  But how can your listeners be sure you are not one more false prophet among the many of the day?  One dramatic indication of your genuineness would be the ability to perform miraculous signs.  Note the following verses which bring this out. “He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.” – John 3:2“Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book.” John 20:30   “I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done”Romans 15:18.  “I persevered in demonstrating among you the marks of a true apostle, including signs, wonders and miracles.”  – 2 Cor. 12:12.  “God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.” – Heb. 2:4

The sign gifts were given primarily to validate the authority of the Saviour and His apostles prior to the writing of the New Testament.  Afterwards, this miraculous proof was no longer needed, for the Scriptures themselves reveal the true from the false.

(1)   THE GIFT OF APOSTLESHIP

A reference to certain men called by Christ Himself and endued with special power to function as the official “charter members” of the newly organized church.   So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers,” – Eph. 4:11.  “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.” – 1 Cor. 12:28

(a)   Apostolic Requirements.  One must have seen the resurrected Christ.  “Beginning from John’s baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection.” Acts 1:22.  “Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not the result of my work in the Lord?1 Cor. 9:1.

(b)   Apostolic Number.  The total number of the early apostles  was not limited to twelve – Luke 6:13; Acts 1:26; 14:14; Romans 1:1; 11:13; Gal. 1:19; 1 Cor. 9:1; 15:7; 2 Cor. 11:5; 12:12.

(2)   THE GIFT OF PROPHECY

“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 Cor. 12:10.  “ Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.”  “During this time some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch.  One of them, named Agabus, stood up and through the Spirit predicted that a severe famine would spread over the entire Roman world. (This happened during the reign of Claudius.)” – Acts 11:27-28.  “After we had been there a number of days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea.  Coming over to us, he took Paul’s belt, tied his own hands and feet with it and said, “The Holy Spirit says, ‘In this way the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem will bind the owner of this belt and will hand him over to the Gentiles.” – Acts 21:10-11

 

(3)  THE GIFT OF MIRACLES

A supernatural ability to perform those events outside and beyond the realm of nature; the ability to set aside for a time the regular laws of nature.  “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.” – 1 Cor. 12:28

 

(4)   THE GIFT OF HEALING

A supernatural ability to cue human ills, whether of physical, mental, or demonic origin. “to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit,” 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.” “Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? 31 Now eagerly desire the greater gifts.” – 1 Cor. 12:9, 28,30.

 

  • The purpose of the gift of healing. As in the case of miracles, this gift was apparently given to attest to the authority and power of the one doing the healing.

 

  • The limitation of the gift of healing. Christ did not heal all those He encountered –

Luke 4:25-27; John 5:3-9.

 

Paul was limited in his healing abilities as seen in his own affliction – 2 Cor. 12:7-10.

 

As seen in the case of Epaphroditus – Phil. 2:26-27

As seen in the case of Timothy – 1 Tim. 5:23

As seen in the case of Trophimus – 2 Tim 4:20.

 

(5)        THE GIFT OF TONGUES

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 Cor. 12:10.

 

Until the completion of the New Testament God used the gift of tongues to act as a sign to the unbeliever (both Jew and Gentile) and as a means to edify the believer.  “Anyone who speaks in a tongue edifies themselves, but the one who prophesies edifies the church.” – 1 Cor. 4:22

 

(6)        THE GIFT OF THE INTERPRETATION OF TONGUES

1 Cor. 12:10 This is the supernatural ability to clarify and interpret those messages uttered in an unknown language.

 

(7)        THE GIFT OF KNOWLEDGE

The supernatural ability to receive by revelation and transmit by inspiration, a portion of the Word of God.  “To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit,” – 1 Cor. 12 8

 

To be continued!

Stay blessed!

Source: Wilmington’s Guide to the Bible

 

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LET US BE CAREFUL HOW WE LIVE

We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin.  And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with Him.” – Romans 6:6-8 (NLT)

 

INTRODUCTION

People should be able to see a difference between Christians and non-Christians because of the way Christians live.  We are to live full of light.  Paul told the Ephesians to leave behind the old life of sin, since they were followers of Christ.  Living the Christian life is a process.  Although we have a new nature, we don’t automatically think all good thoughts and express all right attitudes when we become new people in Christ.  But if we keep listening to God, we will be changing all the time.  As you look back over last year, do you see a process of change for the better in your thoughts, attitudes and actions?  Although change may be slow, it comes as you trust God to change you.

 

Our old way of life before we believed in Christ is completely in the past answered – “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:  The old has gone, the new is here!” – 2 Cor. 5:17  We should put it behind us like old clothes to be thrown away.  When we decide to accept Christ’s gift of salvation, it both a one time decision, as well as a daily conscious commitment.  We are not to be driven by desire and impulse.  We must put on the new nature, head in the new direction, and have the new way of thinking that the Holy Spirit gives.

 

We have decided to quote straight from scriptures today to remind us that the word of God is indeed “living and active.”

 

LIVING AS CHILDREN OF LIGHT

With the Lord’s authority I say this: Live no longer as the Gentiles do, for they are hopelessly confused.  Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him.  They have no sense of shame. They live for lustful pleasure and eagerly practice every kind of impurity.  But that isn’t what you learned about Christ.  Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.  Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.  So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body. And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.”Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil.

 

If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need.  Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.  And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.

Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” – Ephesians 4:17 -32

 

LIVING IN THE LIGHT

Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children.  Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.  Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people.  Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes—these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God.  You can be sure that no immoral, impure, or greedy person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God. For a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world.

 

Don’t be fooled by those who try to excuse these sins, for the anger of God will fall on all who disobey him.  Don’t participate in the things these people do. For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light!  For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true. Carefully determine what pleases the Lord.  Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them.  It is shameful even to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret. But their evil intentions will be exposed when the light shines on them, for the light makes everything visible. This is why it is said, “Awake, O sleeper, rise up from the dead, and Christ will give you light.”

LIVING BY THE SPIRIT’S POWER

So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days.  Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do.  Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts.  And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”Ephesians 5:1-20.

 

 

All Scriptures are from the New Living Translation.

 

Remain Blessed!

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