Pour Out Your Spirit

A while back I was asked what made our church different from other churches in the area.  I wish that I could take back the answer that I gave on that day.  On that day, I said that our contemporary worship style set us apart.  Although it is true that our worship is different, what truly sets us apart is our belief in the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit in our midst.

I.  Pour Out My Spirit  Joel 2:28-32

“And it shall come to pass afterward
That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh;
Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
Your old men shall dream dreams,
Your young men shall see visions.
29 And also on My menservants and on My maidservants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days.

30 “And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth:
Blood and fire and pillars of smoke.
31 The sun shall be turned into darkness,
And the moon into blood,
Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.
32 And it shall come to pass
That whoever calls on the name of the Lord
Shall be saved.
For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance,
As the Lord has said,
Among the remnant whom the Lord calls.

Peter quoted this portion of scripture in the message that he gave on the day of Pentecost.  That day was the initial outpouring of the Holy Spirit that included a new phenomena, speaking in tongues.  Speaking in tongues was an important part of the apostolic age.  After the apostolic age it was a long time until there was a renewal of interest, and participation in the practice of speaking in tongues.  The modern pentecostal movement began in the late nineteenth century.  In the second half of the twentieth century it expanded into the mainline denominations with the charismatic renewal movement.  Today there are many people who accept the pentecostal experience as their own.

II.  More Than Tongues:  I Corinthians 12:7-11

But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.

The word of wisdom is when we are faced with a situation that human wisdom is not enough to know what to do.  God can give us wisdom to know what needs to be done.  A friend of mine is an engineer.  One day he was dealing with a design problem that he could not decipher.  He believes that the answer came to him, not because of his own wisdom, but as a gift from God.

The word of knowledge is when God reveals something to us that we do not know through human means.  For example; a friend of mine was at a service arguing with God about his call to the ministry.  In his mind, he told God that if God really wanted him to be a pastor he would have the speaker that night tell him.  In the middle of the service, the speaker stopped in his message, pointed at my friend, and told him to stop arguing with God, God had called him into the ministry.  Thirty years later, my friend is still serving in the ministry.  He never again doubted his call.

The gift of faith is different from saving faith.  We all must have  a measure of faith or we would be lost in our sins.  The gift of faith is when we are able to go beyond I believe that God can do something, to God will do something.  Faith helps us to move forward and attempt great things for God.

God gives gifts of healings.  Notice that it is gifts of healings, not the gift of healing.  A person is not able to simply go down a line of people healing everyone in that line.  God heals some, and does not heal others.  Sometimes we are able to discern possible reasons, but other times we must simply recognize that gifts of healings are given as the Spirit wills, not necessarily as we will.  I recommend that if we have a physical need for healing that we first pray, then if the symptoms persist, we should see a doctor, and then we should pray again.  We should repeat this process as often as necessary.

Miracles still occur today.  They can take various forms.  I remember one time when I was traveling with a group called the Christian Life Singers.  We were somewhere in far northern Minnesota.  We had arrived at our destination with our old school bus gas gage on empty.  We conducted the service, had a long prayer time and headed out probably close to midnight.  Our leader told the driver to head for home and stop at the first gas station.  Then everyone but the driver fell asleep.  We woke up in the early morning and asked where he had stopped for gas.  He hadn’t.  He had not come across an open gas station.  He drove for at least five hours with the gage on empty.

Prophecy is when God speaks to us through another person.  It may be a word of encouragement, rebuke or prediction.  It is not studied, or planned out, but is shared in the moment by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

The discerning of spirits is when God allows us to recognize something in the spiritual realm that we cannot see in the physical realm.

There are three different gifts of tongues.  The most common is a prayer language where we are able to speak to God in a heavenly language.  The next most common is similar to prophecy in that God inspires us to speak out in a gathering of believers.  It is necessary that someone then give an interpretation of tongues, which is a separate gift,  A third form of tongues is a sign to unbelievers.  This is when a person speaks out in a human language that they do not know, but someone who hears them does understand.

All of these gifts are given to individuals, not for the glory of that individual, but for the profit of all.  God uses this gifts to build His church.  They are given, not as we may desire, but as the Spirit wills.

What sets us apart?  We believe that the gifts of the Spirit are meant to be a part of normal Christian experience.  We desire to see the Spirit of God poured out in our midst, with the gifts functioning on a regular basis, as the Spirit wills.

These are the sermon notes from 6/22/14.  Any advertisements are placed by WordPress.  I have no control over them, nor do I receive any money from them.

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