Greater Demonstration of Spiritual Gifts in Your Life and Ministry
- Summary: Are the supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit being manifested in your life? Come see some simple biblical principles that can open the door to an outbreak of spiritual gifts in your ministry.
Acts 5:32 We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.
- •• Be always mindful of the fact that the Holy Spirit is given to those who obey God.
•• Two sons of the high priest Aaron disobeyed God and offered “strange fire”, and they were killed by God (Leviticus 10:1-2, KJV). Aaron’s other two sons obeyed and were able to continue in their priestly ministry.
- • If we obey God’s revealed pattern, we too can expect to experience God’s true fire.
• Let’s take a look in Scripture at God’s pattern, and by obedience to that pattern experience an outbreak of spiritual gifts in our lives and ministries.
1 Corinthians 14:12, 26 So it is with you. Since you are eager to have spiritual gifts, try to excel in gifts that build up the church....  When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church.
- •• What is the motive for tongues, prophecies, revelations, and other spiritual gifts? The answer? — to build up and strengthen the church.
- • This is a God-honoring motive. We are not looking to draw attention to ourselves or our ministries. Our intent in seeking to be used in gifts of the Spirit is to benefit the Lord’s church by the manifestation of those gifts.
• It is to such God-centered, other-centered believers that the Holy Spirit can freely impart His spiritual gifts.
1 Corinthians 2:3-5 I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling.  My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power,  so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.
- •• Remember, the reason for the “demonstration of the Spirit's power” is to build people’s faith on God’s power, not on man’s so-called wisdom or eloquence.
•• The apostle Paul ministered in his human “weakness ... fear ... and trembling”. God responded with “a demonstration of the Spirit’s power”. Why? So that the listeners’ faith would be built upon God’s power, not on man’s abilities.
•• As we acknowledge our weakness and seek God for His power, the Holy Spirit can then consider us to be proper vessels in which to place His supernatural gifts.
Galatians 5:6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
KJV: ...faith which worketh by love.
- •• “The greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13b). Jesus summarized the Law and the Prophets in two great commandments — (1) love God, and (2) love your neighbor (Matthew 22:36-40).
•• Faith works by love. The underlying foundation, the empowering principle for all ministry, must be love. For us to experience an outpouring of spiritual gifts, we must be men and women who, first and foremost, love God and love people.
•• Moved by love and compassion, Jesus touched and cured the leper (Mark 1:40-42), raised the widow’s son from the dead (Luke 7:12-15), and healed the multitudes (Matthew 14:14).
•• So it is with us. Our faith works by and expresses itself through love. The man or woman who genuinely loves others becomes an appropriate candidate to be used powerfully in supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 12:31; 14:1 But eagerly desire the greater gifts. And now I will show you the most excellent way.... [14:1] Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy.
KJV: Covet earnestly the best gifts.
- •• Do you desire to experience an outbreak of God’s gifts and power? You need to long for it, to eagerly desire it, to covet it earnestly.
- • In other words, this cannot be a casual issue for you, not just a take-it-or-leave-it option. There must be a consuming desire to be used by God to bless people.
- •• I recall one anti-charismatic minister who said, “You can have your ‘gifts’; I’ll take love!” Sad to say, this man’s prejudices blinded him to the truth contained in 1 Corinthians 14:1 — “Follow the way of love AND eagerly desire spiritual gifts.” We don’t have to choose love or spiritual gifts. God wants us to have both!
Ephesians 5:18-20 ...be filled with the Spirit.  Speak to one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord,  always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
- •• Strive to be and to stay full of the Holy Spirit. Like John on Patmos, aim to be often “in the Spirit” (Revelation 1:10; 4:2; 17:3; 21:10).
•• Notice also that being full of the Spirit is associated with ongoing, heartfelt worship of the Lord, as well as with a heart of continual thanksgiving to Him.
- • The man or woman who wishes to be used powerfully by the Holy Spirit will be given to praise, worship, and thankfulness to the Lord.
Acts 3:2, 6 Now a man crippled from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts....  Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.”
KJV: ...Such as I have give I thee.
- •• “Such as I have...” — As you seek to experience the Holy Spirit’s power in ministry, remember “what you have” —
- • the indwelling presence and anointing of the Holy Spirit
• the all-powerful Name of the Lord Jesus Christ
• the powerful words of God from the Scriptures
• God’s love in your heart to share with others
• and so much more!
Mark 16:17-20 "And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues;  ...they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”...  Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.
- •• Be absolutely, unshakably convinced that “these signs will accompany...” you as a ministering believer.
- • Why? How? — because Jesus promised that it would be so for “those who believe”. Do you believe?
- •• Those disciples heard Jesus’ promise and believed it. So they “went out and preached” and, lo and behold, Jesus did what He had promised and granted the supernatural signs.
- • If we hear and believe and so act, Jesus will fulfill the same promises to us.
Romans 12:6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given us.
- •• Finally, remember that it is always by grace. We can never earn the gifts of the Holy Spirit, never deserve them, never “make them happen.”
- • So as you are forgiven by grace, saved by grace, baptized in the Holy Spirit by grace, and so much more, remember always that any outbreak of the spiritual gifts conveys the same message — that God is a loving, merciful, gracious God who delights in demonstrating His love, mercy, grace, and power among us.
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©1999, 2015, James H. Feeney.
Pentecostal Sermons and Bible Studies
by Pastor Jim Feeney, Ph.D.