Friday, January 27, 2012

The Ministry of the Holy Spirit--The Gift That Keeps On Giving


Over the past 25 years, Pentecostals and charismatics seem to have lost their distinctive--the experience known as the filling or baptism in the Holy Spirit.  The seeker movement has caused many to think that the work of the Holy Spirit in the context of worship as outlined by The Apostle Paul in 1 Cor. 12 & 14 is embarrassing and alienating to pre-Christians (unbelievers) who come to visit a church. Is this correct?

The mission of the Church is to partner with the Holy Spirit to continue proclaiming Jesus' words, and doing his works until Jesus returns.  The Holy Spirit is the source of power, and brings the presence of God into a church service.  The best marketing efforts and planning  of human beings that go into a church service will not produce what the hearts of men are seeking most--the tangible presence and experience of God.   

Retired CEC Bishop Philip Weeks has assembled a lifetime of teaching on the Holy Spirit into a new book called "The Gift That Keeps on Giving."  If you want to learn the basics about experiencing the empowerment ministry of the Holy Spirit described in the Scriptures, I highly recommend this book!

At St. Patrick's Church, the Holy Spirit is Lord, and we expect and welcome the presence of the Spirit and the gifts he brings for us in our worship.  Contrary to Pentecostals abandoning the gifts in worship, we welcome you Holy Spirit!  Come Holy Spirit, come!

Acts 1:8 
8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

1 Cor. 12
4 There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. 56 God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us. There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord.
 7 A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other. 8 To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice[b]; to another the same Spirit gives a message of special knowledge.[c] 9 The same Spirit gives great faith to another, and to someone else the one Spirit gives the gift of healing. 10 He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages,[d] while another is given the ability to interpret what is being said. 11 It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.

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