“THE GIFT … of the Holy Spirit” (I apologize for the length, but this is such a loaded and important teaching. I’m preaching this tomorrow.)
BEFORE we talk about the “Gifts of the Holy Spirit” (or spiritual gifts) … I want to clarify what “The Gift of the Holy Spirit” is.
What is “The Gift of the Holy Spirit”?
What is “The Gift of Salvation?
Is there a difference?
Once upon a time, there was a young boy who had a fatal heart condition. His heart pumped bad blood. The blood was carried through flawed veins, vessels and capillaries. The entire circulatory system was flawed.
He inherited it from his father and his father’s father and so on.
Because he lived with this condition, his organs were flawed. His breathing was flawed. His energy was sporadic but mostly deeply low. His thinking was unclear and often irrational. He made decisions based on his feelings and his feelings were seriously tainted by his circulatory system.
His circulatory system affected every area of his life.
The only way he could ever live a full and abundant life would be for a complete overhaul and surgical implantation of a brand new system.
1. He needed to qualify for the surgery.
2. He needed assurance that the new system would work
3. He needed to receive the new system.
Does He Qualify for the New System?
Qualification would mean the legal work would be taken care of making him a qualified recipient – canceling any genetic disposition and any consequences of choices he has made that put him in this condition.
Note: this is the purpose of the death of Jesus. It was the required legal work that makes YOU QUALIFY for salvation.
“In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.”
Did you know that the shedding of blood was a requirement for forgiveness?
“Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought our Lord Jesus back from the dead …”
Did you know the blood of Jesus was used to raise Him from the dead? If it qualified Him for resurrection, then how much more so you and me?
Does the Surgery and New System Work? If so, then there should be some evidence of it working in other test settings. If it works, then the young man may want to see evidence that the WAY it worked in someone else is the same WAY it will work with him.
(this is one major purpose for the resurrection of Jesus. It was the evidence of functionality – assuring you that the same spirit that raised Jesus from the dead COULD and was fully capable of saving you from death TOO.)
“And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies BECAUSE of his Spirit who lives in you.”
Look at Jesus as the evidence that the work of the Spirit “works”.
(i.e. I Corinthians 15)
HOW does the Surgery actually work and how is it received?
If the new system is legally possible – if it is functionally trustworthy – then the only remaining question is – does He want the new system and how does he receive it.
NOTE: this is the purpose of receiving the Gift of the Holy Spirit. The gift of the Spirit OR ‘Baptism in the Spirit” is God’s invasion into your broken condition.
There are many fruits, evidences, and benefits of being Baptized in the Holy Spirit, but the bottom line is HE is God’s gift and work of Salvation IN you.
He also does the application work TO you. He is a really big deal.
1. The GIFT OF THE SPIRIT – is the application of salvation to you. This is a highly experiential ordeal. When the Spirit of God “fell upon” believers, the transformation was so radical their language immediately changed. Their power changed. Their perspective changed. Their life changed. God came upon them and dwelt within them. They were clothed on the inside – meaning – they were filled.
The inside was changed – and the outside was the evidence.
2. You can’t be saved without the Spirit applying Jesus’ work to you legally and practically. He has to come inside you in order to renew you and give you new birth. (John 3, Titus 3:5)
3. Receiving Jesus INTO your life – IS salvation.
The way Jesus comes in and lives … is by His Spirit, or the Gift of the Holy Spirit.
THIS IS SALVATION:
God’s Spirit applying Jesus’ blood to you – baptizing you into His Body – making you whole – coming to live inside of you and making all of God available to all of you.
Your responsibility is faith and receiving.
His responsibility is doing the work and coming in to fill you with the presence and person of God.
The Gift of the Spirit is a free gift. To receive Him is to receive Salvation.
When the young boy received the ‘NEW CIRCULATORY SYSTEM’ … his life changed. He may say, “Thank you for salvation.” – … But … – If he were to say, “Thank you for the New System”, he would be saying the same thing as “Thank you for salvation”.
Salvation is the finished work of Jesus fully applied TO you and IN you by the person and presence of the Gift of the Holy Spirit.
The promise is for you – and all whom the Lord calls (Acts 2:38-40).
You may ask:
What about the power of the Spirit over Sin?
What about the gifts of the Spirit and miracles?
What about praying in the Spirit?
What about Spiritual Warfare?
What about being Spirit Filled?
We will discuss this over the next two weeks; but it’s ALL fully available to everyone who is saved / has the Gift of the Spirit in them.
Some operate in the gifts – others don’t because they don’t know how or haven’t been taught. But – it’s all fully available to everyone who is “saved” or “has the gift of the Spirit”.
Father, today I thank you for the Gift of the Holy Spirit. Help me receive Him and empower me to live according to the flow of New Life in me. You are more than just a new system – you are ETERNAL LIFE. I receive you today. Thank you for filling me and for the work you are doing in me. Teach me more about you alive in me. In Jesus’ Name, amen.
For Further Study
Romans 8, Galatians 5, John 5, Hebrews 13:20, I Corinthians 12:13, Acts 2:38, Acts 19:1-4