Friday, August 12, 2011

The Holy Spirit- His Ministries through the gifts and worship

As we have explored the personality and ministries of the Holy Spirit, the overall goal has been to show how the Holy Spirit acts in the Christian's life as "God in us".  We have seen the Spirit's work in Revelation, Incarnation, Creation and Evangelism.  In today's blog we will be finishing up our short study of the Holy Spirit by noting His work in the gifts and worship.  The reason why I chose to include these last two ministries together is because worship is the Spirit's purpose for the believer, with the gifts being given by the Spirit to accomplish that purpose.  

The Spirit's ministry of the gifts 
There are roughly five main chapters in the New Testament that speak about the various abilities or gifts given by the Holy Spirit.  Out of all of them, 1 Corinthians 12 gives the clearest and fullest treatment.  1 Corinthians 12 shows us the involvement of the entire Trinity in this work, with the Holy Spirit being the chief agent in the distribution of the gifts.  1 Corinthians 12:11 tells us - "But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as He will."  

For the sake of length, we cannot go into what all these gifts are.  However we can quickly note two things: first that there are roughly 20-30 gifts mentioned in both 1 Corinthians 12 and other passages, and second, the word translated "gifts" could also be rendered "gracings".  Really the idea of spiritual gifts is not like a box wrapped in paper.  Rather a spiritual gift (or gracing) is a manifestation of the unlimited grace of God the Holy Spirit poured out in the believer's life. (compare Romans 5:1-5)  

In 1 Corinthians 12 and 13, we discover 4 major truths about the giving of the various "gifts" or "gracings" of the Spirit:
1. The plans of the gifts is for evangelism and effective Christian living. 12:1-7
2. The pleasures of the gifts are discovered in God's glory and work. 12:8-13
3. The reasons behind the gifts is to motivate God's people for His will. 12:14-26
4. The revelation in the gifts is God's prevailing love. 12:27-13:13

I would encourage the reader to study 1 Corinthians 12 and 13 to gain a better understanding of the gracings of God.  It is through these that the Spirit accomplishes His main purpose for the giving of them - worship

The Spirit's ministry of worship
In Ephesians 2 and 4 we discover that the Holy Spirit distributes gracings or giftings to God's people for the purpose of making a living, breathing temple. (please compare Ephesians 2:21-22).   It is on the foundation of the apostles and prophets (the written word), with Christ Jesus being the determining chief corner stone that the Spirit constructs this living temple.  Then we come to Ephesians 4:9-13, where we see the Holy Spirit giving various offices  to perfect or mature the saints for the work of the ministry. (Ephesians 4:12)  The Spirit's main work as "God in us" is to bring us to the point of the worship and praise of God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.  

When we say the Holy Spirit's ministry in worship is to point the way to the Father and Son, being that He is God Himself, the person of the Holy Spirit is automatically included in that worship.  Let me close with these two thoughts of the Spirit's ministry of worship - to make the Triune God experiential in our lives, and to demonstrate the reality of the Triune God to a lost and dying world, both of which bring glory to God.