The Ministry and Demonstration of the Spirit

 

Exodus 34:29 “It came about when Moses was coming down from Mount Sinai (and the two tablets of the testimony were in Moses' hand as he was coming down from the mountain), that Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because of his speaking with Him. 30So when Aaron and all the sons of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone, and they were afraid to come near him.…”

 

Moses was in the presence of God so long that his face radiated with the glory of God.  

 

Thayer’s Greek Lexicon states that “Anointing” literally means “anything smeared on” something, such as “oil.”

 

When we are in the presence of God, His presence smears upon us.

 

2 Corinthians 3:7-9 says that the ministry of the Spirit is more glorious than Moses.

 

7 “But if the ministry of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not steadfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away: 8How shall not the ministry of the Spirit be rather glorious? 9For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more does the ministry of righteousness exceed in glory.”

 

Acts 6:15 states that Stephen’s face appeared like that of an angel.

 

15 “All who were sitting in the Sanhedrin looked intently at Stephen, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel.”

 

I strongly suspect that his face was also radiating with the glory of God in a similar way that Moses’ face shone from the presence of God.

 

1 Corinthians 2:4 informs us that the Spirit of God will demonstrate His power through us when we completely yield our lives to Him.

 

“My message and my preaching were not with persuasive words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, …”

 

1 Corinthians 12:7-11 states that the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every member of the body of Christ.

 

“But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit; 9to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10and to another the working of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues. 11But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.”

 

According to scripture, “each one” of us “is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” The gifts of the Spirit are not human talents, as they are supernatural manifestations of God’s supernatural power. If God is not using us in at least one of these nine gifts of the Spirit, we need to pray and believe God until we all receive and operate in at least one of these gifts.

 

God said in Ezekiel 36:26, “I will give you a new heart and A NEW SPIRIT …”

 

26"Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27"I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.…” Ezekiel 36:26-27

 

Here we can see that it is God’s Spirit within us that causes us to be able to walk in His statures and to observe His ordinances. So the only way to be holy, is to allow the indwelling Spirit of God to recreate new hearts and new spirits within us. This process starts in our new birth experience of water and Spirit, but continues throughout our lives.

 

2 Corinthians 3:17-18, “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

 

The Lord Jesus is the indwelling Spirit and we are changed into the same image by the Spirit of the Lord.

 

 

EARLY CHRISTIAN HISTORY REVEALS HOW THE EARLY CHRISTIANS MANIFESTED THE SPIRIT’S POWER

 

About 12 years after the death of the apostle John, Pliny the Younger was the Roman governor of Pontus and Bythinia (Asia Minor) from about 111-113 AD. Pliny sent a letter to the Roman Emperor, Trajan, about the habits and practices of the early second century Christians of Bithynia and Pontus,

 

“… they (the early Christians) were accustomed to meet on a fixed day before dawn and sing responsively a hymn to Christ as to a god, and to bind themselves by oath, not to some crime, but not to commit fraud, theft, or adultery, not falsify their trust, nor to refuse to return a trust when called upon to do so. When this was over, it was their custom to depart and to assemble again to partake of food--but ordinary and innocent food.” Pliny the Younger and Trajan on the Christians 10.96-97 EarlyChristianWritings.com

 

The earliest Christians were willing to wake up well before sunrise to gather together for prayer and worship to Christ as to God, in order to “bind themselves by oath” to obey the commandments of God.

 

The early Christians bound themselves by oath to be led by the Spirit of God and to follow the commands of God.

 

About the same time period when Pliny wrote about the practices of the early Christians (about 100-117 AD), Ignatius of Antioch wrote to Polycarp of Smyrna,

 "A Christian has no authority of his own but spends his time for God.” (Polycarp 7:3)

 

Spending our time for God in prayer, the word of God, and doing the things that please God is the key to living a holy Christian life.

 

TO MANIFEST THE SPIRIT’S POWER WE MUST THINK LIKE GOD

 

1 Peter 1:13 “Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind …”

 

2 Corinthians 10:3 “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 6And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.”

 

Hermas was a prophet in Rome during the first century while some of the original apostles were still alive.

Hermas wrote in The Shepherd of Hermas 1:29-31,

“… a righteous man commits sin when an evil desire arises in his heart? There is sin in such a case, and the sin is great … for the thoughts of a righteous man should be righteous. For by thinking righteously his character is established in the heavens, [30] and he has the Lord merciful to him in every business. But such as entertain wicked thoughts in their minds are bringing upon themselves death and captivity; and especially is this the case with those who set their affections on this world, [31] and glory in their riches, and look not forward to the blessings of the life to come.”

 

Proverbs 23:7 says, that as a man “thinks in his heart, so is he.”

 

We cannot be holy if we do not think holy.

 

Romans 12:1 “Therefore I urge you, brothers, on account of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.”


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