Celebrating 77 Years Of Ministry
To God Be The Glory
Current Sermon Series:
The Holy Spirit
June 28th: "The Leading of the Spirit"
Read: Acts 8:29. Please join us at 10:45 AM.
Each Sunday we have a program for children
K through 5th grade, from 6:00-7:00 PM.
Exercise Class on Wednesdays at 10:30 AM. For men and women of all ages. Handicapped accessible.
Each Saturday - Men's Bible Study at 9:00 AM
Third Saturday of each month at 10:00 AM - The Food Pantry is open to all who are in need.
Fourth Saturday of each month at 10:00 AM - Our Clothes Closet is open to the community.
The Evidence of the Spirit
Jesus once compared the Holy Spirit to the wind (see John 3.8). You can’t see the wind, but you can feel the effects of the wind. You can feel it blow against your face or see it push tree limbs back and forth or blow a piece of paper across the road. Actually, the Hebrew word for spirit means “wind.” The Holy Spirit is like the wind. We can’t see him with our physical eye, but we can see his influence around us. So what is the evidence of the Spirit? How can we know when the Holy Spirit is at work? How can we know if we have the Spirit or if someone else has the Spirit? That’s what I want to talk about today.
What is Not Evidence of the Spirit
First, emotion is not necessarily evidence of the Spirit at work. You can have a lot of emotion and not have the Spirit. Now there are some emotions that are connected to the Spirit’s work in our lives. If the Holy Spirit is present, we will have, for example, peace and joy in our hearts (see Acts 13.52; Rom 14.17). Yet, even here it doesn’t mean we will necessarily show a lot of outward emotion. Some people are emotional by nature, and some aren’t. The Spirit doesn’t change our personality; he changes our character. A person who is not that emotional before salvation won’t be that emotional afterward, but he will have peace and joy in his life. By the way, there is a difference between emotion and emotionalism. True emotion is good and healthy. Emotionalism is an overemphasis on emotion, a glorification of emotion. Emotion is good, but remember that God can work even in stillness and silence (see Ps 46.10).
Second, speaking in tongues is not evidence of the Spirit. The Bible clearly states that not all Christians speak in tongues (see 1 Cor 12.29-30). God determines what spiritual gifts we have, and not everyone has the gift of tongues. The Bible teaches that speaking in tongues is one of the lesser gifts, coming at the end of the list of spiritual gifts and inferior to a gift like prophecy (see 1 Cor 14.5, 18-19). Most of the great Christians in church history never spoke in tongues, men like Augustine and Martin Luther and John Wesley. Are you telling me that they didn’t have the Spirit? The Book of Acts describes Christians who spoke in tongues when they received the Spirit, but in other places in Acts there is no mention of tongues when people were converted. And nowhere in Acts does it say that all who receive the Spirit will speak in tongues. Actually, tongues are not mentioned a lot in the New Testament. And nowhere are we commanded to speak in tongues or de-Christianized if we don’t speak in tongues.
What is Evidence of the Spirit
First, a clear focus on Jesus is evidence of the Spirit being at work, and not just any Jesus—but the biblical Jesus, a Jesus that is fully God and fully man, one who alone can save us by his death and resurrection (see John 1.1, 14; 1 Cor 15.3-4). The Spirit was sent to put the spotlight on Jesus (John 15.26; 16.12-14). One of the ways to test the spirits is to see what a person thinks or teaches about Jesus Christ (see 1 Cor 12.3; 1 John 4.1-3).
Second, transformed lives result from the work of the Spirit. The Spirit is called the Holy Spirit because he has come to make us holy. Where he is at work, people are becoming more and more holy (see 1 Thess 4.3, 8; 2 Thess 2.13). A person may speak in tongues or get emotional in worship, but if they don’t live a holy life then they are not showing forth evidence of the Spirit of God in their lives. When you receive the Spirit, he makes a difference in your lives. He guides you in paths of righteousness and convicts you when you do wrong.
Finally, love is evidence of the Spirit (see Gal 5.22-23). If a person doesn’t love God or others, then the Spirit of God is not at work in their lives. The gifts of the Spirit are important and relevant to today, but the fruit of the Spirit is even more important. No one has all the gifts, though we all have at least one gift. But we can and should manifest all the fruit of the Spirit. The fruit of the Spirit is the mark of every true Christian. Are you manifesting the fruit of the Spirit? If not, receive the Spirit today.
For more devotions by Pastor Mark, visit his blog at drmarkjackson.wordpress.com.