Topic: The Ministry of the Holy Spirit
Series – The Fear of the Lord:
The Ministry of the Holy Spirit.mp3
2 Peter 1:16
The Ministry of the Holy Spirit…
We began by looking at Romans 12 because of Paul’s definition of worship by way of explanation in verse 1. Here Paul defines worship as a mode of life – a life-lived passionately honoring God. I therefore offered the definition…”Worship in a believer is a life style which communicates “I adore you Lord”.
Paul then He went on to show the connection between, the true worship, and transformation in our conformity to Christ’s image. Then he began to speak to them via the grace gift given to him. In so doing, Paul exhorted them to consider themselves in a clear minded way concerning their individual gifts and place within the body. That they each have received an allotment of relational trust in Christ to operate within their giftedness in a way which is both suitable and honoring of Christ.
“For through the authority graciously given to me I warn every individual among you not to value himself unduly, but to cultivate sobriety of judgement in accordance with the amount of faith which God has allotted to each one. For just as there are in the one human body many parts, and these parts have not all the same function; so collectively we form one body in Christ, while individually we are linked to one another as its members. But since we have special gifts which differ in accordance with the diversified work graciously entrusted to us, if it is prophecy, let the prophet speak in exact proportion to his faith;”
~ Rom. 12:3
Paul’s exhortation therefore, was to operate your gift within the limits of the faith allotted to you.
I then began to re-visit our fruit bearing (of which operating within the giftedness given to you is one) by reading a portion of the article I wrote in connection with last weeks teaching….
Fruit is the unavoidable result of living in joyful union with our Lord. It cannot be “produced” by self-effort or personal diligence. In fact, the harder a Christian works at fruit-bearing the less joy they will experience int heir lives. Fruit is a produce of union!
As Christians, we NEED joy to live out our union life with Him. Without it, we will become short-sighted and forget the very things Peter was stirring up the early church to not forget.
This message took a very personal turn in that as an elder I found it necessary to turn a objective bright light on ourselves as a church to examine our hearts of worship as an assembly.
Where are our hearts?
Do we long to time together as a church?
What does it take to keep us away?
What led us to the place we are now?
This led us to looking at our worship and our fruit.
Worship is a life-style, not a thing we do to “gospel music”. It is the reverence we have for and express in our lives towards Christ in our intimacy with Him.
Union, we learned, was a product of relational trust in Who He is revealing Himself to be in our lives. We all know Him as Savior, but there are times when in order to grow us in grace God needs to reveal Himself more to us in other areas. For those whose default “idol” is insecurity over money, Christ is revealed to us as our all-sufficiency. For those who struggle with covetousness or lust, He is revealed to us as our great desire.
As we receive the image of Himself that He reveals to us, we find ourselves talking with Him, sometimes wrestling with Him over these Self-revelations and if we will persevere we will arrive at a state of resting in Who we’ve learned Him to be – we are finally in a state of genuine faith. As we rest in Him – meaning Who He has revealed Himself to be, we allow His word to abide (take up residence) within us – resulting in bearing fruit consistent with His image in us…our glory.
The topics of fruit bearing and walking within your grace-gift are related in that both are the immediate result of walking in surrendered union with Him!
In closing I used a series of questions to spring board us into the next phase of teachings we will be going through.
- What do you believe the last 40 days of Jesus’ ministry were like walking and talking with Him following His bodily resurrection?
- What sense of loss do you think they may have experienced -if but for a little while – once they wre without Him in their presence physically following those 40 days?
No wonder Jesus told them just before He was offered up what He did as is recorded in John 14.
“Let not your hearts be troubled. Trust in God: trust in me also…”
We then walked through this chapter looking at His heart for His disciples and His promise to not leave them orphans. His promise was to send the Holy Spirit Who would cause them to understand what they had not grasped during his time with them. He would teaching them how Jesus is in the Father and that He was in them and they where one with the Father and that together they would come and make their permanent home within them.
This is the beginning of the Ministry of the Holy Spirit!