I CORINTHIANS 12:1-3: “Now concerning what comes from the Spirit: brothers, I do not want you to be unaware. You know that when you were pagans, you used to be led off to the idols that could not speak. Therefore I am informing you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus is cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.” CSB
OBSERVATION: Don’t forget the Holy Spirit! Paul begins the twelfth chapter of I Corinthians with this exhortation.
- “Now concerning what comes from the Spirit: brothers, I do not want you to be unaware.”
Many translations say, “Now concerning spiritual gifts…”. However, in the Greek the literal translation is “spirituals,” or “spiritual things” from the Spirit. It includes not only the gifts, but the ministry and operation of the Holy Spirit in our lives, and in the life of the church.
It is important that we don’t forget the Holy Spirit!
With the popularity of Star Wars, and with the familiar call – “May the force be with you,” we need to be careful that we do not view the Holy Spirit as merely the force of God. The Holy Spirit is a person, the third member of the Holy Trinity. It is through His ministry that we come to faith in Christ, grow in Christ, and minister the life of Christ – through the gifts that He gives. In fact, we can know nothing about Jesus Christ apart from the Holy Spirit!
- “Therefore I am informing you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus is cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.”
- “I still have many things to tell you, but you can’t bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth. For he will not speak on his own, but he will speak whatever he hears. He will also declare to you what is to come. He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you.” John 16:12-14 CSB
The revelation of Jesus Christ comes through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. In the Old Covenant the Holy Spirit only came upon a selected few of God’s leaders, priests, and prophets. When Jesus walked this earth He was baptized with the fullness of the Holy Spirit, without measure. And when Jesus ascended into heaven, on the Day of Pentecost, He poured out the Holy Spirit upon all believers. It is the Holy Spirit who convicts us of our sin, our need for a Savior, and who helps us grow and walk in the victory that Christ secured on the cross of Calvary.
To put it another way – if you want to grow in your faith, if you want to become more like Jesus, if you want to grow in godly character, you need the Holy Spirit! Some may respond, “But all Christians have the Holy Spirit!” This is true, but are all Christians walking in the fullness and power of the Holy Spirit? This is the question. Am I walking in the fullness and power of the Holy Spirit? This is the critical question!
When a person believes in Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and Lord, the Holy Spirit indwells their heart. In fact, more correctly, it was the Holy Spirit who gave them the ability to believe and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. All of Jesus disciples had done this before He ascended into heaven. And in John 20 we read,
- “Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, I also send you.” After saying this, he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” John 20:21-23 CSB
Yet, to these same disciples Jesus, right before He ascended into heaven, said,
- “While he was with them, he commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for the Father’s promise. “Which,” he said, “you have heard me speak about; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit in a few days.” Acts 1:4-5 CSB
In other words, they had received the Holy Spirit, but they also needed to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. The word baptized means to be fully immersed, submerged, overflowing with. It is not enough that the Holy Spirit lives in our hearts. If we are to know Jesus Christ, if we are to grow in His grace, and if we are to fulfill His Great Commission – we need the fullness and the power of the Holy Spirit! If it was true for the first disciples, how much more is it true for us?
Don’t forget the Holy Spirit!
On the Day of Pentecost, when the disciples were gathered together in prayer, and in one accord, they were greeted with the sound of a mighty rushing wind. The Holy Spirit came upon them in the form of tongues of fire upon their head. They were all baptized in the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, magnifying and giving praise to God for all of His wonderful works. Peter, now empowered by the Holy Spirit, preached the Gospel to a great crowd and over 3000 were saved, baptized in water, and filled with the Holy Spirit. And the life of the miraculous church was begun.
Today, I find that I rely on so many things, except the Holy Spirit. This morning I am reminded of my need for His fullness in my life. I cannot complete the call of God on my life in human wisdom or strength. I need all that comes from the Spirit. I need to be daily baptized in the Holy Spirit. I need to drink deeply from His well.
Lord Jesus, baptize me anew in the Holy Spirit. Open my spiritual eyes to see You, know You, and follow You through the ministry and power of the Holy Spirit. Heavenly Father, thank You so much for sending Your Son, and for fulfilling this wonderful promise in our lives.
Help me never to forget the Holy Spirit!
- “And it will be in the last days, says God, that I will pour out my Spirit on all people; then your sons and your daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams. I will even pour out my Spirit on my servants in those days, both men and women and they will prophesy. I will display wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below: blood and fire and a cloud of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the great and glorious day of the Lord comes. Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Acts 2:17-21 CSB
In Jesus Name!