Don’t Listen to the Devil’s Tricks

Hebrews 2:1-4

Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?

  • Don’t Disregard His Word

Hebrews 2:1-4 – Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?

  • Don’t Doubt His Word

Hebrews 3:12-15 – Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God;but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, while it is said:  “Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”

Hebrews 4:13 – And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.

  • Don’t Depart From His Word

Hebrews 6:4-6 – Once people have seen the light, gotten a taste of heaven and been part of the work of the Holy Spirit, once they’ve personally experienced the sheer goodness of God’s Word and the powers breaking in on us—if then they turn their backs on it, washing their hands of the whole thing, well, they can’t start over as if nothing happened. That’s impossible. Why, they’ve re-crucified Jesus! They’ve repudiated him in public! Parched ground that soaks up the rain and then produces an abundance of carrots and corn for its gardener gets God’s “Well done!” But if it produces weeds and thistles, it’s more likely to get destroyed. Fields like that are burned, not harvested.

  • Don’t Despise His Word

Hebrews 10:26-29 – For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?

  • Don’t Disagree With His Word

Hebrews 12:25 – See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven.

Revelation 3:20 – Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.

Listen Up!

Hebrews 2:1-4

Since all this is true, we ought to pay much closer attention than ever to the truths that we have heard, lest in any way we drift past [them] and slip away.  For if the message given through angels [the Law spoken by them to Moses] was authentic and proved sure, and every violation and disobedience received an appropriate (just and adequate) penalty,  how shall we escape [appropriate retribution] if we neglect and refuse to pay attention to such a great salvation [as is now offered to us, letting it drift past us forever]? For it was declared at first by the Lord [Himself], and it was confirmed to us and proved to be real and genuine by those who personally heard [Him speak].  [Besides this evidence] it was also established and plainly endorsed by God, Who showed His approval of it by signs and wonders and various miraculous manifestations of [His] power and by imparting the gifts of the Holy Spirit [to the believers] according to His own will.

Listen, pay attention, take note, as well as other similar admonitions, are warning signs of possible danger.  Salvation is free to all of us, but it was not free for Christ.  A great price was paid for all.  Therefore, we must pay attention to all we have heard, read and know about the things of God. 

  • Lest we drift away
  • Lest we miss out on His blessings
  • Lest we fall back into great sin.

Be sure you are on the right road.  Get out your map…the Word of God.  Watch the warning signs…the signs of the time and your own reckless conduct, and be aware of danger.

Have you ever been day dreaming and missed your turn –

  • While playing a game
  • A chance to own your own home
  • A great job possibility
  • The spouse of your dreams

all while your mind was somewhere else?

That can and does happen in regard to your spiritual life also.

Romans 12:1-2 – I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Did you hear the words “holy” and “acceptable to God?”

Ask yourself, “Am I presenting my body a living sacrifice?

In the Old Testament the lamb that was offered was to be spotless, without spot or blemish…pure… undefiled…not diseased or crippled.

When we dare to come into God’s presence with worship and praise, are we offering up a pure sacrifice?

We would not dare invite some important dignitary to our home for a great feast and prepare them a meal that was not properly cooked or was spoiled?  In fact, we would not allow our families to eat of the same kind of meal.  We would offer our best.  The best that we could afford.  We might even go out and buy new dishes, table linen, or silverware if our guest was really an important dignitary. 

Have any of you ever left out a key ingredient, like baking powder, when baking a cake, or put twice the amount of one ingredient into the mix?  How did it turn out?  Terrible!  I had a sister that baked a pumpkin pie using salt rather than sugar.  The salt had been put in the wrong container and, needless to say, it was totally ruined.

Your Christian life gets messed up too if you leave out God, or if you put in too much of the world’s practices.

Or, maybe you were distracted by a member of your family, the phone, your own negligence and you missed your warning signs. 

Should our offering of worship to God, or our lifestyle, be any less than our offering for man?

What is the good, the perfect, the acceptable will of God?  His Word.

What about the term “permissive will” of God that we all have heard.  What a copout!  Permissive will is not in the Word of God nor is it even implied.  Men have come up with that term to justify their own actions and behavior.  God’s will is God’s will.  What part of “Thou shalt not” did you not understand?

How can you hedge or change perfection?  You just ignore what God wants and do what you want.

Is that right?  NO!

God is not pleased with our doing our own thing.  He wants us to do His thing!  He wants you to live right and to live holy.  Part of my prayer normally includes the words, “In all I think, say and do, let my life be pleasing to you.”

Praise God, there is hope for sinful man.  He is not willing for any to perish.

Rejoice Now – Cry Later or Cry Now – Rejoice Later

(Seven Rules for Personal Revival)

James 4:7-10

Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.

YOUR PARTGOD’S PART
Submit to God – Proverbs 3:5-6 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.He will direct your paths.
Resist the devil – James 4:7 – Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from youThe devil must go in the name of Jesus.
Draw near to God – James 4:8 – Draw near to God and He will draw near to youHe will draw near to you.
Cleanse your hands – James 4:8 – Cleanse your handsHe will bless the work of your hands. Deuteronomy 28:12
Purify your hearts – Psalm 51:10 – Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.He will cleanse and restore – Psalm 51:17 – The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart—These, O God, You will not despise.
Lament, mourn, weep – James 4:9 – Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.  1 Corinthians 4:17
Humble yourself – 1 Peter 5:6 – Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,He will exalt you – in His time.

THEREFORE…

James 1:21-22 – Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.  But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

THEN…

2 Chronicles 7:14 – If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

Endure to the End – Enter into His Rest

Hebrews 4:11-15

Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience. For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.  Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.

Be diligent, keep the faith, hold steady, keep on keeping on.  The end is in sight, keep your eyes on the goal, the race is almost run.  Hear what God is speaking to us through His Word.  Note the signs of the times (but the real signs are as stated in God’s Word

Speculation is constantly going on about the end of the world.

  • Planets lining up – What does the Word say?
  • False prophets saying this and that – What does the Word say?
  • Apocalyptic (end time) teachers and groups and movies – What does the Word say?

Be diligent, careful, watch out, be on guard.  The Bible is our sole source.  Any other source must line up with the Word of God.  “You know not the day nor the hour.”

Matthew 24 gives us Jesus words to His disciples about the end time.

  • Verses 3-14 – Signs of the time and the end of the Age.
  • Verses 15-28 – The Great Tribulation
  • Verses 29-31 – The Coming of the Son of Man
  • Verses 32-35 – Parable of the Fig Tree
  • Verses 36 – No one knows the day nor the hour
  • Verses 37 – As it was in the days of Noah (eating, drinking, marriage, violence)
  • Verse 44 – KEY – Be ready!!!

Many of the Scriptures telling about end times (Matthew 24, Daniel, Revelation) are difficult to understand.  They are open to a lot of various interpretations.  In all of the Scriptures we can read, it comes down to this final analysis.

  • Be watchful – Be careful what you get involved in that you are not totally consumed and lose sight of the time and lose your vision.
  • Be holy – “Be holy as I am holy.”  No clothesline doctrine, no manmade rituals, no rules.  Just ask yourself “Should I or would I do this, go there, say this if Jesus Christ Himself was with me.  Well, he is.
  • Be ready – Be forgiving, be without sin, be like Christ. 
  • Have the fruit of the Spirit in your life

Galatians 5:22-23 – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

  • Put on the whole armor of God.

Ephesians 6:10-14 – Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness

Note:

Ephesians 6:17 – And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Hebrews 4:12 – For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

The Word of the Spirit – the Word of God –

  • Divides, cuts away the truth from the lies (Beware of half-truths, you may have heard the wrong half)
  • Divides, cuts away the important from the trivial
  • Divides, cuts away the specific requirements from the optional
  • Divides, cuts away the “must do” from the “can do”

The Whole Armor of God – Application

Ephesians 6:10-20

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

I have posted seven articles on the Whole Armor of God. I hope you will take time to read them. As you read them – or as you just study the passage in Ephesians listed above some application tips.

In Ephesians 6 we are told to:

  • “Take up” the whole armor of God
  • “Stand” with a girdle of truth.
  • “Stand” with breastplate of righteousness.
  • “Put on shoes” (your foundation) of the Gospel.
  • “Take” the shield of faith.
  • “Take” the helmet of salvation.
  • “Take” the sword of the Spirit, the word of God.
  • “Praying always” with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit.
  • “Be watchful” with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.

Some questions to be asked during your reading of your Bible are as follows.  

  • Is there an example for me to follow?
  • Is there a sin for me to avoid?
  • Is there a command for me to obey?
  • Is there a promise for me to claim?
  • What does this passage tell me about the Holy Spirit, about Jesus, about God?
  • What prayer should I pray in light of this Scripture?
  • What action do I need to take to avoid, to correct, to ensure my obedience to this Scripture?
  • What action do I need to take to avoid, to correct, to ensure that I will not be tempted to do wrong?

Behold I Stand at the Door

Revelation 3:20

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.

  • Behold – consider, discover, perceive, contemplate, view attentively
  • Who?  Not a magazine salesman, but THE CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE.
  • What kind of door?  Is our door a locked door, a closed door, a revolving door, an open door?
  • What will happen if we open the door?
  • Jesus Christ, the creator of the universe, the one who died on Calvary the one who rose from the dead, the only one that I can call on and confess my wrong doing and be forgiven, is only responsible for one part of the process.  The Holy Spirit does the convicting and the convincing, but he is only responsible for one part of the process. 
  • We are the one who must respond to the knock.  We are responsible for our own decision.  We can choose to ignore Him.  We can refuse to open the door and allow Him to come in and dine with us and we with him.  (Note:  dine with Him/me and me/Him – not a one sided fellowship or relationship).  The Savior of the world desires to have fellowship with us.  WOW!
  • Absolute truth

Do you believe if you were to jump out of an airplane at 10,000 feet you would eventually hit the ground?  That is an absolute truth.  The law of gravity cannot be changed.  Neither can the truths of Scripture.  He is at the door…He is at your heart’s door…If your door has been locked, closed or revolving, just open it.  If you are already a Christian, perhaps there is one thing that separates you from having the complete, open fellowship with Him that you desire to have.  Open the door!

  • There is the standing Christ – He stands at the door.  This symbolizes His readiness to enter the life of a person.  He is the One who takes the initiative to save man.  He has come to man; man has not approached Him.  Jesus Christ stands before the heart of man as the Savior of the world, as loving man so much that He has come into the world to save man.  He is the One who has travelled such a great distance from the majesty of heave down to man’s heart.

Psalm 34:18 – The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit.

Psalm 145:18 – The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth.

John 6:50-51 – This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die.  I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.

  • There is the knocking Christ – He stands at the door and knocks.  This symbolizes the seeking Christ.  Christ has not only come to earth and walked over to man’s heart, He actively seeks to enter man’s heart.  He knocks and knocks at the man’s heart and He refuses to give up.  Christ knocks so much that a person has to either open up or deaden his ears to the knock.

Matthew 18:12 – What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying?

Luke 19:10 – for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.

  • There is the pleading Christ – He pleads for entrance.  This symbolizes the compassion of Christ.  He not only knocks, He pleads and begs for man to open His heart.  He is merciful and full of compassion.  He knows what life should be for He created life.  He knows that life must be lived in wholehearted commitment to righteousness or else it is wasted and doomed.  He longs for man to have real life, abundant and eternal life.  Therefore, He knocks and keeps on knocking at the door of a man’s heart.  While He is knocking, He pleads and begs for the man to hear Him.

Matthew 11:28 – Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Matthew 23:37 – O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!

Revelation 22:17 – And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.

  • There is the penetrating Christ – This is the most glorious promise imaginable!  Imagine the Spirit of Jesus Christ living within the heart and life and body of a person.  When a person hears His voice and opens his heart, Christ enter; He penetrates the life of a person.  This symbolizes the life changing presence and power of the living Christ.  When he enters and penetrates a person’s life, He causes the most radical changes imaginable. 
  • He causes the person to be born again.

John 3:3-5 – Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”  Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”  Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.

  • He causes a new creature out of the person.

2 Corinthians 5:7 – Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

Colossians 3:10 – and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him.

  • There is the companion Christ – This symbolizes fellowship.  When Jesus Christ enters and penetrates a person’s heart, He lives forever within the life of the person.  He is always present with the person.  When Jesus Christ enters a life, he has the richest fellowship possible, fellowship and communion with the Son of God Himself.  And the person has it forever and forever.

John 17:23 – I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.

1 Corinthians 3:16 – Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?

Galatians 2:20 – I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

Ephesians 3:17-19 – that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love,  may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—  to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

The Whole Armor of God – Belt of Truth

Ephesians 6:10-20

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

John 14:6 – “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’”

John 1:14 – “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”

John 17:17 – “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.”

Ephesians 5:26-27 – “That He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.”

  • TRUTH:  Over one hundred years ago a French atheist stated that in 100 years no one would read the Bible and it would only be found in museums.  Today Voltaire is wrong – the Bible is and has been the best selling book in the entire world, printed in practically every language of the world and preached and quoted more than all the other philosophies combined.
  • TRUTH:   The Russian Revolution in 1917 was to be the beginning of a world-wide cause that would stamp out religion (the opiate of the masses) around the world.  Khrushchev stated on a visit to the United States when Nixon was President, “We will bury you.”  He was talking about the United States while banging his shoe on the desk.  Today, where is the Russian Federation called the USSR?  Disbanded…we now have military bases in some of those countries.
  • TRUTH:  We now have missionaries and churches and Bible Schools of various denominations in some of those countries.  Romania alone has a much larger Christian population in some denominations than does the US.  Indonesia, the most populated Moslem country in the world has two of the three largest Christian Churches in the world.  One of these churches has over 50,000 members and another has over 80,000 members.
  • QUESTION:    Why should we read and study or listen and hear the Word of God?  I’ll answer that question with another question.  What else are you going to read and study or listen to and hear that will do for you what the Word of God does for you?

Psalm 119:11 – The Psalmist David said “Your Word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against You.”

John 14:6 – Jesus said “I am the way, the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father except by me.”

John 8:32 – Jesus said “You shall know the truth and the truth will set you free.”

  • TRUTH:  God’s Word will stand the test of time.
  • TRUTH:  The Word of God will set you free.
  • TRUTH:  The Word of God will deliver you from all kinds of bondage.
  • TRUTH:  The Word of God will be your stay in time of trouble
  • TRUTH:  The Word of God will do for you when all else fails.
  • TRUTH:  The Word of God will do when you are dying.
  • TRUTH:  The Word of God will be your comfort in the storm.
  • TRUTH:  The Word of God will be your strength in times of stress.
  • TRUTH:  The Word of God will be your hope when all else is hopeless.
  • TRUTH:  The Word of God will be your help when all seems helpless.
  • TRUTH:  The truth is God’s Word.

When the Baptist and the Methodist disagree, when the Catholic and the Lutherans disagree, when the Pentecostals and the Nazarenes disagree, we need not look at their various denominational rule books but look at the Word of God.

God’s Word will stand the test of time.  God’s Word is the final authority. 

  • The truth is not what you think.
  • The truth is not what you believe.
  • The truth is not what you have been told.
  • The truth is not what you have heard.
  • The truth is what “Thus says the Lord.”  That truth you will find in the pages of His Word.

God’s Word is our only source.  It will keep you on track.  It will keep you from straying.  It will keep you from guessing.  It will keep you from questioning.

Hide the Word of God in your heart.  Make it your guide.  Make it your source book.  Let the Word of God dwell in you richly.

  • Truth does several things for the Christian solder.
  • Keeps him from being deceived by false teaching
  • Helps him grow up in Christ

Ephesians 4:14-15 – “that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but speaking the truth in love may grow up into Him who is the head – Christ.”

Ø  Gives him freedom

John 8:32 – “And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.”

Ø  Sanctifies him

John 17:17 – “Sanctify them by Your truth.  Your Word is truth.”

Ø  Helps him truly worship God as God requires

John 4:24 – “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

Ø  Is his protection

Psalm 91:4 – “He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge;  His truth shall be your shield and buckler.

THE TRUTH OF GOD’S WORD IS THE ANSWER!

A Study of the Gifts of the Spirit

Charisma – a gift of grace, an endowment upon believers by the operation of the Holy Spirit in the churches.

Charis – grace, that which bestows on occasion pleasure, delight, or causes favorable regard; divine favor freely dispensed.

Gifts of the Spirit – a spiritual gift of God bestowed upon the believer by the power of the Holy Spirit in and by the grace bestowed or given by belief in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior (see Romans 12:6).

Pneumatikos – plural, pneumatika; from pneuma which means spirit, breath, wind.  Literally means a “spiritual,” that which pertains to, or proceeds from the Holy Spirit. Therefore, any of the following might be applied here:  The gifts, manifestations, impartations, emanations, endowments, matters, things, effects, powers, workings, aids, graces or favors of the Holy Spirit.

Major Lists of the Gifts of the Spirit

Romans 12:6-8, 13

  1. Prophecy
  2. Ministry
  3. Teachings
  4. Exhortation
  5. Giving
  6. Ruling (leadership)
  7. Mercy
  8. Hospitality

Ephesians 4:11

  1. Apostles
  2. Prophets
  3. Evangelists
  4. Pastors
  5. Teachers

1 Corinthians 12:8-10

  1. Wisdom
  2. Knowledge
  3. Faith
  4. Healing
  5. Miracles
  6. Prophecy
  7. Discernment of spirits
  8. Divers kinds of tongues
  9. Interpretation of tongues

1 Corinthians 12:28

  1. Apostles
  2. Prophets
  3. Teachers
  4. Miracles
  5. Healings
  6. Helps (hospitality)
  7. Governments (administration)
  8. Diversities of tongues

NOTE; Only one gift is mentioned in all four of the major lists of the gifts. Attributes or manifestations that might be classified as a gift although not necessarily called a gift in scriptures

Some Examples of the Gifts of the Spirit

  1. Ephesians 2:18-20 – Apostles and prophets
  2. Acts 13:1 – Prophets and teachers
  3. Acts 15:32 – Prophets and teachers
  4. Galatians 2:8-9 – Leadership and apostles
  5. 1 Peter 5:1-2 – Elders (leadership)
  6. 2 Corinthians 8:1-2 – Giving
  7. James 5:14-15 – Faith and healing
  8. Acts 21:8-10 – Evangelists and prophets
  9. 1 Corinthians 9:1-2 – Apostles
  10. 2 Timothy 4:5 – Evangelists
  11. Acts 11:27-28 – Prophets
  12. Acts 20:28 – Overseer (leadership
  13. 1 Timothy 5:17 – Rulers (leadership) and teachers
  14. Acts 19:11-12 – Miracles
  •  Are all the gifts of the Spirit still active in the church today?

Most Pentecostal and charismatic churches say that they are still active.  Other churches (Methodist, Baptists and mainline denominations) say that the sign gifts are no longer used in the churches today.

Whatever you believe…take and use as God blesses.  Pray that the gifts of the Spirit you believe are still active are available to you and your church.

  •  Spiritual gifts are not natural talents or human abilities. These talents/abilities are God-given but not a gift of the Holy Spirit.
  •  What is the role of the Christian in his/her use of the Gifts of the Spirit?
  1. 1 Corinthians 13 – to be used with love (not gits without love, but gifts controlled by love)
  2. 1 Corinthians gives specific guidelines for the use of the gifts in the church
  3. Ephesians 4:12 – these gifts are given to to equip the saints, to edify the church
  4. 1 Peter 4:7-11 – purpose of gifts it to ultimately bring glory to God
  5. Colossians 3:23 – all we do, how we use our gifts it to be done for the Lord, not for people
  • Fruit of the Spirit:  love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, *faith (faithfulness), meekness, temperance.  These are all found in Galatians 5.  The gifts of the Spirit are exercised in accordance with the fruit of the Spirit.

Five Steps Toward Discovering Your Spiritual Gifts

  1. Explore – Study the Scripture concerning the gifts
  2. Experiment – Question, pray, ask yourself, “Do I have this gift?”
  3. Examine – Examine your feelings, makeup, personality, temperament.
  4. Evaluate – Evaluate the effectiveness of your gift.
  5. Expect – Expect confirmation from the Holy Spirit/the body of Christ.

Faith is listed as a gift of the Spirit and also as a fruit of the Spirit.  More appropriately, it should read faithfulness in the list of the fruit of the Sprit. 

Walking in Christ – in Unity

Ephesians 4:1-6

I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

THE CHRISTIAN MUST WALK WORTHY

  • Worthy means “of sufficient weight” a quality that comes from acknowledging what Christ has given us, not what worth we may feel we have or not have. 
  • With lowliness.  Lowliness means “with modesty, a sense of moral insignificance and a humble attitude of unselfish concern for the welfare of others.  A total absence of arrogance, conceit.  The word is a combination of  tapeinos – “humble” and phren – “mind.”
  • With gentleness.  Gentleness means “a disposition that is even-tempered, tranquil, balanced in spirit, unpretentious and that has the passions under control.  The word is best translated “meekness,” not as an indication of weakness, but of power and strength under control.  The person who possesses this quality pardons injuries, corrects faults and rules his own spirit well.
  • With long-suffering.  Long-suffering means “patient endurance, forbearance, fortitude.  It describes a person who has the power to exercise revenge but instead exercises restraint. 
  • With love.  Forbearing or bearing with one another means “to hold up.  It carries the idea of tolerating, bearing with, putting up with, and not losing courage under pressure. 
  • In unity.  The bond of peace speaks of the relationship in which all believers stand.  When the Holy Spirit enters a life at the point of salvation, they are bound together with other believers.  Endeavor means “to exert oneself, make every effort, be zealous, straining every nerve.  The word combines thinking and acting, planning and producing.  It sees a need and promptly does something about it.”  We are to exert ourselves, make every effort, and strain every nerve to keep unity among ourselves. 

SEVEN BASIC REASONS TO WALK WORTHY

  • One Body – There are many different denominations and many different churches, but Christ is creating only ONE body. 

1 Corinthians 12:13 – “For by one Spirit we were baptized into one body, whether Jews or Gentiles, whether bond or free; and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.”

Romans 12:5 – “so we, being many, are one body in Christ…”

  • One Spirit – The Holy Spirit is given to all Christians.

1 Corinthians 12:4 – “There are various kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit.”

Romans 8:14 – “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.”

  • One Hope – We all are striving for the same reward.

Titus 2:12-13 – “Looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.”

1 Peter 1:3 – “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”

  • One Lord – We all serve the same Savior.

1 Corinthians 12:5 – “There are different administrations, but the same Lord.”

Philippians 2:9-11 – “Therefore God has highly exalted him…that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow…every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

  • One Faith – We all have the same message – “Jesus Saves”

Jude 3 – “Beloved…I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.”

  • One Baptism – All believers give public witness to their faith by submitting to water baptism.  Each is identified with the same body. 

Galatians 3:27 – “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.”

This could also refer to the believer’s baptism into the body of Christ by the work of the Holy Spirit.

1 Corinthians 12:13 – “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body…”

  • One God and Father – If there is only one God and one Father, then there cannot be two believers in opposition to one another.  If they are, then either one or both are not following God, but rather are following their own carnal ways. 

Mark 12:19 – “And Jesus answered him, ‘The first of all the commandments is, Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.”

Living in His Fullness

Ephesians 3:19

[That you may really come] to know [practically, through experience for yourselves] the love of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge [without experience]; that you may be filled [through all your being] unto all the fullness of God [may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself]! (The Amplified Bible)

May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. (New Living Translation)

Ephesians 4:11-13

Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.  (New Living Translation)

  • He was man – yet:

Colossians 1:19 – For it has pleased [the Father] that all the divine fullness (the sum total of the divine perfection, powers, and attributes) should dwell in Him permanently. (The Amplified Bible)

  • All His loving kindness

When I say “all” I am not saying his “all” is limited, that there is no more for anyone else.  I am saying He has given us all that was needed, all that was necessary, and all that was available.  The enormity of His fullness, of His grace is beyond our comprehension (like the stars in the heaven or the sand at the seashore) and we are the recipients of all that there is.

Look at this illustration:  We are spiritually filthy dirty in our sins and we can somehow harness all the water that is in the ocean and bathe in that huge bathtub.  His grace is immeasurable and never ceases.  Once it is poured out on us it keeps on being poured out.  You may have been saved 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 years ago, but His grace has never stopped flowing upon you, over you, through you, in you, around you.  The ample vast supply is available to all who have been redeemed.

John 1:16 – For out of His fullness (abundance) we have all received [all had a share and we were all supplied with] one grace after another and spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing and even favor upon favor and gift [heaped] upon gift. (The Amplified Bible)

  • This grace in its fullness is “real love.”  At salvation I received that same fullness living in me.

Colossians 2:9 – For in Him the whole fullness of Deity (the Godhead) continues to dwell in bodily form [giving complete expression of the divine nature].  (The Amplified Bible)

  • What shall we do about His fullness in our lives?

Hebrews 10:26-29 – For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,  but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries.  Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.  Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?

We have received the fullness of Jesus Christ which is, was and forever shall be His grace.  All His grace was manifested at Calvary.  We can never, never, never, never, never, never, NEVER receive more of His grace than that which was given freely at the cross because we have received His fullness.  That is, we have received all that is available, complete salvation.  All that was necessary for the work to be done in us, for us, through us, all His riches, all His love, all His forgiveness, all His mercies. 

The fullness of His grace.  There is no past tense.  It does not say “completed” – but “complete.”  It is done!

Luke 6:27-42 – But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.  To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either.  Give to everyone who asks of you. And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back.  And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.  But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.  And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.  And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back.  But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil.  Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.  Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.  Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.  And He spoke a parable to them: “Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into the ditch?  A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher.  And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the plank in your own eye?  Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me remove the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the plank that is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck that is in your brother’s eye.\

James 2:1-7 – My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality.  For if there should come into your assembly a man with gold rings, in fine apparel, and there should also come in a poor man in filthy clothes, and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say to him, “You sit here in a good place,” and say to the poor man, “You stand there,” or, “Sit here at my footstool,” have you not shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?  Listen, my beloved brethren: Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?  But you have dishonored the poor man. Do not the rich oppress you and drag you into the courts?  Do they not blaspheme that noble name by which you are called?

1 John 3:14-17 – If we love our Christian brothers and sisters, it proves that we have passed from death to life. But a person who has no love is still dead. Anyone who hates another brother or sister is really a murderer at heart. And you know that murderers don’t have eternal life within them.  We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person?  (New Living Translation)

2 Thessalonians 1:12 – Then the name of our Lord Jesus will be honored because of the way you live, and you will be honored along with him. This is all made possible because of the grace of our God and Lord, Jesus Christ.

John the Baptist said, “I must decrease – He must increase.”  We might simply say, “It’s not about me but it’s about Him.”

One writer described His fullness this way – “Basketfuls.”  He must have had the multiplication of loaves and fishes in mind when he said, “basketsful!”

Jonathan Edwards – “Nothing was done after His resurrection to purchase redemption of men, nor is there anything more to be done through all eternity.”

John 1:16 – For out of His fullness (abundance) we have all received [all had a share and we were all supplied with] one grace after another and spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing and even favor upon favor and gift [heaped] upon gift.

                        He is all my righteousness – I stand complete in Him and worship Him.