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May 27, 2020 10:00 pm
Dr. Gregory Stiekes continues a doctrinal series entitled “Breath of Life” This series is about the Holy Spirit. Today’s scripture passage is Romans 8:9-11.
Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. The school was founded in 1927 by the evangelist Dr. Bob Jones Senior's intent was to make a school where Christ would be the center of everything, so he established daily chapel services today.
That tradition continues with fervent little preaching from the University chapel platform today on The Daily Platform were continuing a study series entitled breath of life, which is a study of the doctrine of the Holy Spirit.
Today's message will be preached by Dr. Greg Stites of the Bob Jones University seminary while good morning. Continuing our series on the Holy Spirit. I'm and ask you to open your Bibles this morning to Romans chapter 8 verses nine through 11 Romans 89 through 11 while you're finding your place. I want to say that I'm really glad for the opportunity to speak today on the subject of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit himself plays a key role in the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and the apostle Paul promises in this Scripture that you're looking at that. If you are a believer in Christ the same person of the Holy Spirit who gave life to Jesus to raise him from the dead is the spirit who will give life to your body to raise you from the dead. Also, so Paul says in Romans chapter 8 verses nine through 11, but ye are not in the flesh but in the spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the spirit of Christ, he is none of his other words, you're not even saved in the first place. If you do not have the indwelling Holy Spirit. The father gives the spirit to every believer. Upon salvation as the evident promise that we belong to Christ, and that we dwell with Christ. So Paul continues and if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
Your human body your mortal body will fall away and decay into decay. But the real you. The spiritual you is alive for evermore. Because of the enlivening work of the spirit, the spirit brings dead things to life. That's what he does and that is why Paul can say in verse 11.
If the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, and he does. If you're a true believer than he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken he will bring to life your mortal bodies by his Spirit. The dwell within you and that is an amazing eternal promise and always fills us with hope. We are all going to die because of sin that entered into the world, but we are given to dwell within us the Holy Spirit who gives us new life and just as Jesus burst forth from the grave, that glorious victory day almost 2000 years ago, so also you will one day hear the Lord's voice either to be caught away in the air or to come forth from the grave, never to die again, this is our ultimate hope and it's the reason that we cling to the Lord Jesus Christ every single day and think of it that same powerful spirits who can bring the dead to life. The Holy Spirit of God is at work in our lives right now by that same divine and affable power, but some of you think you know that all sounds really great but wait.
To be honest with you I'm not really feeling that power right now. I mean not the kind of the kind of power of the spirit that we read about the New Testament I we look at the New Testament and we see miraculous things happening to the power of the spirit firsters the ministry of Jesus, who ministered to the power of the Holy Spirit. That's the reason he begins his ministry at his baptism when he is filled with the spirit. When Jesus healed people. He wasn't just getting rid of little ailments. Matthew 1530 for instance, says that great multitudes came to him, having with them those who are lame and blind and dumb and maimed. That means they were missing limbs, and many others and cast them down at Jesus's feet and he healed them. Jesus open the eyes of the blind.
He healed lepers people whose skin was rotting from their bodies and made them new again. He cast out demons.
He even brought the dead back to life and then he passes these gifts onto his apostles so that the world had proof that these men spoke in his name in Jerusalem after the church began. They were laying sick people on the streets, hoping that Peter shadow would pass by them and they would be healed. Peter even raises Tabatha from the dead and then in of in Ephesus and ask 19. The spirit was working such amazing miracles to Paul that people were even taking their handkerchiefs and their aprons to touch Paul and then carrying them to sick people and those who had demons and the sicknesses were healed and the demons fled. It was also a time when the spirit gave some people the ability to speak in other languages and to interpret other languages and to make specific prophecies about the future and to receive words of divine revelation directly from God, and we read about that kind of powerful movements of the Holy Spirit in the days of the apostles, we think, wow, nothing like that ever happens in my life now. I should say that there are some who claim that a lot of these miraculous apostolic kinds of works are still ongoing regularly in the church today, but whatever miraculous things. Some people think they say are ongoing or the faith they think they see as ongoing is nothing naming nothing like what was happening in the New Testament when the Holy Spirit was working through the lives of the apostles. In fact, the biblical and historical evidence points to the reality that the miraculous gifts of the spirit died out with the apostles and no longer functions in the church today in any regular normative sense, but that only makes our observations about the miraculous events in the New Testament more palpable as we compare our experience with what we read about in the New Testament and we wonder does the Holy Spirit still manifest his power in my life today and I would say to you most definitely yes, in fact, most of our series on the Holy Spirit that we have been going through this semester has sought to demonstrate the Holy Spirit's power in our lives in the previous messages we've already seen from the Scripture that the Holy Spirit calls us to salvation and he gives us new birth and he makes us holy. He sanctifies us and he gives us the ability to walk with Christ. We think we have that ability in our own we don't. He gives us the baptism into the body of Christ. He helps our prayers to the father and he causes us to persevere in the faith, and even though we might not see this as a brilliant, unexplainable, miraculous power, the kind that was evident in the ministry of the apostles and the prophets and Jesus himself.
None of these evidences of the spirits work in our lives is natural.
They are supernatural none of the things we could've accomplished on her own and without them we are hopelessly lost.
But there is one ministry of the Holy Spirit in particular that this morning under this idea of the spirits power in our life today I want to call your attention to and that is the ministry of the Holy Spirit in giving you a powerful gifts that you can exercise for God's glory and for the Lord's church. Now if you'll turn a couple of pages further in Romans let's go to Romans chapter 12 verses three through eight, Romans 12 three through a which is where Paul addresses these gifts and he says, starting in verse three, for I say to the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, according as God has dealt to every man the measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body and all members have not the same office so we, being many, are one body in Christ and everyone members of another.
Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith or ministry, let us wait on our ministering or he that teaches on teaching art he that exhorted the next rotation. He that giveth, let them do it with simplicity.
He that rule with with diligence he that show with mercy, with cheerfulness.
This is one of six passages in the New Testament that addresses the nature and kind of spiritual gifts. There called spiritual gifts because they are special abilities given to us as a gift from the Holy Spirit in first Corinthians 12 where Paul is dealing with the Corinthian's abuse of the miraculous sign gifts. Notice in this text the word spirit how each person is given a gift by the spirit and there is no gifting apart from the spirit who verse 11 says divides or distributes each gift to everyone, as he will now.
There's so much we can say about the subject. Obviously, let me enumerate a few things that we learn in the Scripture about these gifts from the Holy Spirit. First of all the gifts of the spirit gives gifts or abilities to all believers.
So this gifting is not natural it supernatural. It's unusual it may be a new ability that you receive it.
Salvation, or it may be an ability that was lying dormant that you didn't realize you had that God created you with and the Holy Spirit brings it to life like he brings all things to life and it may be an ability that you are using for an entirely different purpose, but now you are saved. The Holy Spirit is going to redirect that ability and fuel it for God's glory. Have you ever thought about all of the apostle Paul's ingenuity and zeal before he met Jesus Christ when he was directing those abilities toward destroying the church. It's almost as if the Lord simply took all of those talents and turned them around to serve him. But the point is, every believer is given a gift to the Holy Spirit. Secondly, there are various kinds of gifts we could list all of them out this morning that the New Testament talks about in those six passages, but for our purposes. I want to call your attention to the first Peter four verse 11 which actually lists two categories of gifts. The gifts of speaking and the gifts of serving, we can almost perfectly.
List all of the other gifts with little crossover that the New Testament speaks of underneath both of those headings and on the left are some of the gifts of speaking that are listed in the New Testament and on the right are listed the more practical gifts that are not necessarily speech based. I should mention that lists of gifts in the New Testament are not necessarily exhaustive. In other words, there may be more gifts to the spirit gives than those that are mentioned because no two lists of gifts that you read of the New Testament are like and the gifts that are mentioned are sometimes very random. We have to be careful that we consider to be something us a spiritual gift that is the kind of gift that is mentioned in the New Testament when I was a youth pastor years ago, one of the mom's came to me and said my spiritual gift is drama, so she wanted to put on a play with the youth group and I was trying to figure out a way to tell her you know you may have the gift of service or the gift of helps or the gift of administration if you want to be a director of a play and you can apply that to something like drama but you cannot just assume that the Holy Spirit is supernaturally giving you a gift that is never mentioned in the Scripture, so I'm saying here is just be careful what you call a spiritual gift.
Let the Scripture does guide you in that decision and realize though that there may be other kinds of gifts similar to these. That may not be mentioned. Thirdly spiritual gifts should produce humility. Look at what Paul says in Romans 12 verse three he says, don't think of yourself more highly than you ought to think.
But think soberly, that is carefully discerning leap maturely wisely because God is given everyone a certain measure of faith. In other words, God manages what he gives to you, including in this context, what gift or gifts you have from the Holy Spirit don't bemoan the fact that you don't have the gift someone else has, or don't become arrogant because you think your gift is more important than someone else's.
As if you had anything to do with it. Be humble before the Lord, thanking him for the gifts that he has given to you. Fourthly, spiritual gifts are given for the good of the church you want to know why the spirit has given you a special ability in some area because you are to use that gift that talent that special ability for his glory, to take part in the most glorious work on earth which is the building of Christ's church back in Romans 12 the ideas reflected in verses four through five where Paul says, for as we have many members in one body and all members have not the same office so we, being many are still one body in Christ and everyone members one of another. Now Paul makes this point much clearer in some of the other passages but the idea behind what he says here is that the members of the body of Christ belong to one another and we are to use our gifts to help one another and to minister to one another and if you are neglecting your gift. If you are not exercising it in the will of God to the power of the spirit that there is something in the body of Christ that is lacking or not being accomplished.
Wayne Gruden says in his systematic theology spiritual gifts are given to equip the church to carry out its ministry, until Christ returns. Paul tells the Corinthians, you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ, and along the same lines. The writer of Hebrews, even though he's not talking about spiritual gifts, in particular in this passage says that we should consider one another to provoke until love and good works. That's what spiritual gifts are designed to do, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is, but exhorting and ends one of the spiritual gifts is exultation exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the day approaching. The writer says that if we see that day approaching. We should not be less inclined to help build the church we should be more inclined. So finally, spiritual gifts are intended to be exercise of the spirits power in another's life God wants to use your gifts in the church you want to see something amazing happened in your life then yield your gift your talents to the Holy Spirit of God and step out in faith that God is going to use you and seek to be a blessing to others because of the Holy Spirit is in control of your gift, you find yourself ministering in ways you never thought you would before I give you an example of this right from the text we are looking at this morning. Let's take this example from Romans 12 verse eight that says he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity.
So this is a spiritual gift of giving, helping people financially or materially in some way impoverishing yourself to enrich another and finding great joy and satisfaction in doing that, the word simplicity is an old English word that means genuinely in an uncomplicated way, no hidden agenda. You just do it the kind of giving. He's talking about is not motivated naturally but supernaturally and it is seen example of that. I want to look for a moment, you can turn there if you'd like to to the book of acts and look at a couple of passages here starting in acts two. This is the first week of the church after Jesus has poured out the Holy Spirit upon believers and Luke says so. Those who receive the word were baptized and were added that day about three 7000 souls, and they devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and the fellowship of the breaking of the bread and the prayers and all who believed were together and had all things in common and they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need to really appreciate what's going on here.
We have to look a little at the backgrounds of giving the first thousands of believers in Christ when the early church began were Jewish believers when 3000 were saved on the day of Pentecost. Those were Jewish believers and his Jewish believers faithful to the law of Moses.
They arguably would've paid their annual tie, especially if they lived in Jerusalem around the influence of the Pharisees.
Now many people think of the Old Testament tie means that every righteous Jew simply gave voluntarily. 10% of their income. But that's really an oversimplification of what God was asking his people to do if we read carefully the Jewish law and fact, it's more accurate to think of the Old Testament tie as a taxation system compared to the way we think about money today where many of the people depending on how much wealth they had were required to give even more than 10% because there were at least four different kinds of ties that they would be compelled to pay mention in the law. First of all, the tithe was to support the Levites and the whole tabernacle and later the temple system and you gave 10% of what your land produced to support them. If you want to give money instead of produce or something your farm produced, you could do that. But then the Lord require you to give 12%. In that case then there was a ties that the people were commanded to give that was money set aside for an annual feast in Jerusalem there was a ties that help the poor. Then there was a tithe of the king was allowed to take in order to support his servants and his army and his household. Note there is a unique set of circumstances in Israel under Roman law that impacted what kind of tithing. They dictate they practiced in the time of Jesus. But the point is, righteous Jews such as those who were in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost here next to would've been already giving to the Lord, depending on their situation and income level, 10%, 15%.
Some of them upwards of 2/20%.
But when the Holy Spirit was poured out on the day of Pentecost giving exploded.
I mean they never knew giving until then, acts 245 says they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.
And this continued in the early church the next time Luke holds up a sign to tell us how the church is doing and advancing. We read the multitude of them believed that believed were of one heart and one soul. Neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common.
Neither was there any among them that lacked for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them and brought the prices of the things that were sold, and laid them down to the apostles feet, which was assigned they were giving all with no strings attached and distribution was made, and every man according as he had need. In acts chapter 4, Luke gives a specific example at the end of Barnabas from Cyprus.
He sold land which you imagine owning land in Cyprus.
I wonder if it was beachfront property, but he made a lot of money off that land. No doubt, and he brought all of it and laid it at the apostles feet. In fact, that's where we turned acts five and we find out the Ananias. Ananias and Sapphire at get this idea from Barnabas in the first place. This this poor couple who decided to give to the church, but they wanted to get in on the action and they sell the property and keep back some of the price they're not being motivated by the spirit. In fact, Peter says it Satan that has filled your heart to lie under him and the Lord killed them that day. Now what is going on here all of their adult lives. Ostensibly, these believers have been giving the required ties faithfully and they gave some of them annually up to 20, maybe 25%, but they never knew what giving was into the Holy Spirit empowered them to give. And we don't really understand what exercising our gift looks like into the Holy Spirit empowers it easy. It's the same in your life when you step out in faith and allow the Lord to use your gifts that he is given to you. In fact, you would probably be astounded at the number of pastors and evangelists who years ago said, you know what I would never stand up and speak in front of people.
I'm one of them.
Or perhaps they didn't even have the ability to speak, but the spirit gifted them for the church you would be amazed how many people are continually working behind the scenes to help so many people with acts of mercy, giving encouragement exhortation and the Lord is using them in surprising ways, and you might save yourself. Look how do I know what my gift is that's a very good question which calls for a whole other session because many believers do not consider this question until they come to the realization that God wants to use them, but I would tell you.
Start by walking faithfully with the Lord and ask him to use you, and to enliven the gifts that he is given to you the spirit you may need to do nothing more than that, before the Holy Spirit leads you to exercise your gift but also consider how God has burdened you and giving you certain skills and talk to your pastor about this question and otherwise believers who know you I will never forget the time I was in college and I was visiting at church somewhere in the US with another group of college students and four or five of us were asked to share our personal testimony. Now I was not a ministerial major and I didn't even know what a seminary was at that time. Practically speaking before the day was over, the pastor of that church. I don't even remember what church it is I don't remember this pastor's name. He stopped me and said you know I really appreciated everybody's testimony today, but there's something different about you. There's something different about the way you talked about the Scripture has God called you into the ministry and I was stunned by his question, because the Lord had been pulling at my heart. In that sense for a couple of years before that and some of you have an unusual ability and ability to encourage others.
Some of you are really good with finances. You can already see yourself supporting ministries of the church in significant ways. Some of you are really organizing.
You can get things done to the rest of us can only think about some of you are able look at the Scripture and discern in a special way the interpretation of the text and God may be calling you to give your life to study and teaching and preaching the word I could offer a dozen more examples but let me encourage you if you want to see the power of the Holy Spirit in your life in sometimes inexplicable ways in ways that you would not have thought of before. There's no better time than now to start exercising your gift to cry out to God to give you the energy and the enthusiasm and the power from him to exercise those spiritual gifts. It will not look dramatic, perhaps to those on the outside because we imagine were going to do.
We think of this great rushing wind that's gonna happen. We step forth to serve God, God will still keep you humble and remind you that he is doing the work right now. You and your family are going through a rough time. Perhaps were all suffering in some way because of what is taking place in our nation is becoming difficult and some of you can be such an encouragement right now to your family and your church if you will look beyond yourself and start seeing how the power of the spirit can work in you and how God can use you for his glory and for the good of his church. I pray that God will lead you and give you his grace in the spirit of God will enliven and use your spiritual gifts for his glory and for the good of his people. Father were so thankful that you give us the revelation in your word that there's something more going on in us that meets the eye because of what your spirit. It wants to do in us and I pray father for every young person in adults who is reading the Scripture and seeking you for your will. I pray that you would lead them to follow that will and to enliven to exercise to the power of the spirit, what you have given us to do in your will. Father pray that you would use your church in a wonderful mighty way right now to be salt and light in a very special time and continue to strengthen and encourage one another as we look to you for the blessing will give you the praise for everything you do in Christ's name Raymond you been listening to a sermon preached by Dr. Greg Sykes of the Bob Jones University seminary.
Thanks for listening and join us again tomorrow as we continue the study of the Holy Spirit here on The Daily Platform