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Sunday, February 01, 2009

Abiding, IN THE VINE...and the Gifts of the Holy Spirit

While usually each new study in this Bible blog on Healing and the Mind of Christ has been directed towards a particular incident of healing, and most recently the healings which Jesus performed, the current study, a sort of parenthesis will deal instead with a few principles which affect all of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit.

One must begin by saying that the Holy Spirit, to do a work of God in this world, does not absolutely REQUIRE anybody, anything or any circumstance or atmosphere. When God does a work in this world through the power of the Holy Spirit, he can make a stone speak, or a foal of a colt, he can part waters, or even slay wicked men regardless of the circumstance. Samson was not your typical 'church-going' Christian, yet God made him the great defender and Judge of Israel for a season who brought down the stronghold of the Philistines. Likewise, when several of the wars of Israel were fought, God gave the soldiers of Israel through their leaders instruction or performed acts which were sometimes 'supernatural' and sometimes relied on the enemy's deception in which they thought they heard thundering hooves or one in which the light glimmered on the water in such a way as to make it look blood red and filled with dead bodies, causing the enemies of Israel to retreat. Even Israeli soldiers were alot like soldiers of the day in general: not exactly virgin stoics, yet God caused events to happen in the defense and deliverance of Israel for His Name and purposes alone to bring about His will in the world.

So, before outlining some very important principles of living and walking in the Holy Spirit, enabling and facilitating the good and right use of the Gifts of the Holy Ghost, it should be noted that these are not like 'earthly exercises' which must be conducted in order to hear from God or see Him work. That would rob Him of his sovereignty and amount to our thinking we were somehow capable of 'calling up' or even 'conjuring' the gifts, which would be a great sin and offense. However, there are real Biblical commands, straight from the mouth of Jesus coupled with promises, which show us just exactly what 'walking in the Holy Spirit' is like, or as Jesus portrays it 'abiding in the Vine'. There are things that grieve the Holy
Spirit and lessen the chance that God will answer our prayers, or that the gifts make present in a less powerful way. An example of this is fairly commonly known, such as fasting and praying before healing services, repenting of sin and unforgiveness before prayer and supplication, or fasting and praying before preaching a sermon. If a preacher was indulging in sexual sin, he would not be preaching in the power of God in the same way as if he were not. That does not mean he would not be dynamic necessarily, only that the very sovereign work of the Spirit would not be as pronounced or even present with the sin grieving the Holy Spirit. Likewise though, doing what pleases God in obedience to the Holy Spirit, with a forgiving spirit having no contention with others and 'prayed up', preaching becomes easy and a joy, with the feeling of 'living waters' flowing through, aiding everyone who hears including the preacher.

Abiding in the Vine

In John Chapter 15, Jesus expounds the teaching of abiding in the Vine, walking in the Spirit which leads to the premiere and excellent gift of Love, and the other gifts flowing out of it. ....
2. 84.