Der Heilige Geist
Der Heilige Geist ist die dritte Person der Hl. Dreifaltigkeit. Er bildet gemeinsam mit dem Vater und dem Sohn den dreifaltigen Gott und ist selbst Gott. Der Heilige Geist erneuert die Schöpfung von innen her, er macht alles neu. Wer an die Kraft dieses Geistes glaubt und um sein Kommen bittet, ruft die göttliche Unruhe herbei. In der Taufe kommt der Mensch mit dem Heiligen Geist in Berührung.
Die Kirche bekennt im Großen Glaubensbekenntnis vom Heiligen Geist:
der Herr ist und uns lebendig macht,
der aus dem Vater und dem Sohn hervorgeht,
der mit dem Vater und dem Sohn angebetet und verherrlicht wird,
der gesprochen hat durch die Propheten.
Das Pfingstfest ist das Fest des Heiligen Geistes. Der Heilige Geist wird meist in Form einer Taube dargestellt, in Darstellungen des Pfingswunders auch in Form von Flammenzungen über den Köpfen der Apostel und Marias.
Erwähnungen im Alten Testament
Das Alte Testament kennt den Einen Gott zwar noch nicht als dreifaltig, doch wird aus christlicher Sicht die Erwähnung des "Geistes Gottes" (Ruach) (etwa in Gen 1,2, Ex 31,3, 2. Sam 23,2, usw.) mit dem Heiligen Geist identifiziert.
Dieser Geist schwebte seit Anbeginn der Zeiten über den Wassern.
Erwähnungen im Neuen Testament
Im Neuen Testament kommt dem Heiligen Geist an mehreren Stellen große Bedeutung zu.
Bei der Verkündigung der Geburt Jesu an Maria antwortet ihr der Engel auf ihre Frage, wie dies denn geschehen solle, "da ich keinen Mann erkenne": Der heilige Geist wird über dich kommen, und die Kraft des Höchsten wird dich überschatten. (Lk 1,35)
Bei dem Treffen zwischen Elisabeth und Maria wurde
Elisabeth vom heiligen Geist erfüllt und rief laut und sprach: Gepriesen bist du unter den Frauen, und gepriesen ist die Frucht deines Leibes! (Lk 1,41-42)
Bei der Taufe Jesu kommt der Geist "wie eine Taube" (Markusevangelium|Mk 1,10) herab auf ihn.
Jesus verspricht Seinen Jüngern, einen "Tröster" (parakletos) zu schicken, den "Geist der Wahrheit" (Joh 4,24; 6,63; 14,16-17; 14,26; 15,26; 16,13; Luk 12,12)
Nach Seiner Auferstehung erscheint Jesus den Jüngern und bläst sie an mit den Worten: "Empfangt den Heiligen Geist!" (Joh 20,22) Damit übergibt Er ihnen die Vollmacht des "Bindens und Lösens", der Sündenvergebung.
Am Pfingsttag kommt der Heilige Geist in "Zungen... wie von Feuer" (Apg 2,3) über die Jünger, woraufhin diese die Fähigkeit der Zungenrede erhalten: ihre Predigt wird den Menschen aller Völker verstanden, als redeten sie in deren eigener Muttersprache (Apg 2,6-11).
Siehe: Gaben des Heiligen Geistes
Zwölf Früchte des Heiligen Geistes
Die 12 Früchte des Heiligen Geistes sind:
Die Frucht des Geistes aber ist Liebe, Freude, Friede, Langmut, Freundlichkeit, Güte, Treue, Sanftmut und Selbstbeherrschung; dem allem widerspricht das Gesetz nicht (Gal 5,22-23)
Kann jemand denen das Wasser zur Taufe verweigern, die ebenso wie wir den Heiligen Geist empfangen haben? (Simon Petrus, Apg 10,47)
Päpstliche Schreiben über den Heiligen Geist
Leo XIII. Enzyklika Divinum illud munus vom 9. Mai 1897
Johannes Paul II. Dominum et vivificantem vom 18. Mai 1986 über den Heiligen Geist in der Kirche und Welt.
Der Heilige Geist wird jeden Christen im Verständnis der Bibel leiten!
Lesen wir 2 Petr 3,16: "es steht in allen seinen Briefen, in denen er davon spricht. In ihnen ist manches schwer zu verstehen und die Unwissenden, die noch nicht gefestigt sind, verdrehen diese Stellen ebenso wie die übrigen Schriften zu ihrem eigenen Verderben." (Einheitsübersetzung)
Eine scharfe Warnung für die also, die selbst versuchen möchten, zu einem Verständnis der Bibel zu gelangen. Eine falsche Interpretation der Bibel kann verheerende Folgen haben. Dafür hat uns Jesus den Heiligen Geist gesendet, dass er Seine Kirche dabei leitet, uns mit einer Lehre,die nicht irren kann zu unterrichten. Nur so können wir die Wahrheit in der Heiligen Schrift erkennen. Natürlich ist es wichtig und wertvoll, die Bibel auch alleine zu lesen, muss aber im Licht der katholischen Lehre geschehen. Deshalb wird die Benützung des Katholischen Katechismus beim Lesen der Bibel empfohlen.
Schauen wir uns nun 2 Petr 1,20 an: "Bedenkt dabei vor allem dies: Keine Weissagung der Schrift darf eigenmächtig ausgelegt werden" (Einheitsübersetzung)
Dieser Vers richtet sich an die Apostel. Jesus hat nie großen Menschenmengen gesagt, dass der Heilige Geist sie leiten würde. Wir sollten uns vielmehr auf die Lehre der Kirche verlassen, die als solche unfehlbar ist. Eine Lehre, die durch die apostolische Sukzession 2.000 Jahre lang weiter gegeben wurde. Man kann es vielleicht mit einem Stapellauf vergleichen - der Stock wird von Läufer zu Läufer weiter gegeben, bleibt aber immer derselbe Stock. Persönliche Bibelauslegung und -interpretation führt aber nicht zur Einheit der Kirche, sondern zu ihrer Spaltung. Sehen wir uns doch die Situation heute an: Wie viele christliche Glaubensgemeinschaften nehmen für sich in Anspruch, die biblische "Wahrheit" zu besitzen? Welche davon ist eigentlich die wahre Kirche? Nun, Jesus hat nur eine gegründet - vor 2.000 Jahren. Welche Kirche kann für sich behaupten, seit 2.00 Jahren zu existieren?
The Trouble With Tongues Acts Chpt. 2 & 1 Cor. 14
These last few studies we have been looking at disorder in the church at Corinth.
As a review, why do you think it is necessary that we have order in different functions?
Give examples of places where it is needful to have order and leadership & why.
In these two chapters today we will look at the purpose of the use of tongues, how they came to be, apply the rules governing the use of tongues & understand the work of the H.S. in the believer.
Read Acts 2
Review Acts 2
What is the day of Pentecost? Acts 2:1
The term Pentecost means 50. This term is found only in the N.T. (Acts 2:1; 20:16; 1 Cor. 16:8)
Festival is first mentioned in Ex. 23:16 as the feast of harvest & Ex. 34:22 where we are also told verse 23 Three times a year all your men are to appear before the Sovereign LORD, the God of Israel. New International Version (©1984)
Also this feast is mentioned of in Num. 28:26 called the Feast of Weeks.
The Passover Feast began on the 16 day of the month of Nisan.
Nisan - known as the month of flowers, (Neh. 2:1) - is the 1rst month of the Jewish sacred year.
The word Nisan is derived from the Assyrian word Abib meaning beginning.
The month of Nisan is mentioned in Ex. 13:4 as Abib & Ex. 2:15,
This is the 1rst of the Jewish ecclesiastical year & the 7th of the civil year.
It began about the time of the veral equinox on the 21st of March.
It became known as Nisan after their captivity mentioned in Neh. 2:1.
On the 15 day of the month, harvest was begun by gathering a sheaf of barley, which was offered to the Lord (Lev. 23:4-11) Feats of Israel mentioned in (Lev. 23:4-11).
This was an annual Jewish feast, celebrated 50 days after the Passover. Lev. 23:15-22
Many Jews were gathered together from many countries for this festival. Acts 2:5
Pentecost was a feast of the grain of harvest, an offering to God commemorating His deliverance of the people out of Egypt.
That is why the first verse says, And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. (Acts 2:1. King James Bible)
Acts 2:2-4 What happened next was the beginning of many signs & wonders, which was promised by Jesus, Luke 24:49: Act 1:4-5.
A sound like that of a rush wind v:2 and tongues of fire descended upon them & the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit.
What does it mean that they were Filled with the Spirit?
It is important to know here that there is a difference between Being Filled with the Spirit & Being Baptized with the Spirit.
Since Pentecost, the Holy Spirit performs a special work in every believer at the very moment that one believes & accepts the gospel message of Christ.
At this time, simultaneously the Holy Spirit regenerates the believer (making him a new babe in Christ beginning the work of transformation) & baptizes the believer into the body of Christ (in union with every believer 1Cor. 12:13) & with Christ Himself (Rom. 6:3-6).
The Holy Spirit also dwells perpetually within every believer (John 14:17; Rom. 8:9-14; 1 Cor. 6:19,20).
And at the same time the Holy Spirit seals permanently every believer for the day of redemption. Eph. 4:30, this verse is talking about Eternal security, once saved always saved. (Heb. 9: 11,12; John 3:16; John 6:40; John 1:12; 4:14; 3:36; 5:11; 6:47,51; 11:25; 6:27; 10:27,28; Rom 6:8; 5:17,21; 6:22; 2:7; 4:17; 1 Cor. 15:53,5455; 2 Cor. 5:1; Eph 6:8; Mat. 19:16,29; 25:46;Gal. 6:8; 1Tim. 6:12,19; 1:16; 2 Tim. 2:11; 1:10; 5:11-13,20 1 John 2:25; 3:15; Titus 1:2; 3:7; Jude 1:21; Rev. 1:18; Ps. 22:26; 37:18; 23:6; 49:15).
In addition the believer is commanded to be filled with the Spirit.
There is an implication that we are filled with the Spirit under conditions, or not filled under conditions.
Eph. 4:30 tells us: And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. (King James Bible)
The implication when we look at these two verses together is that if we are walking uprightly, pleasing God, we are filled with the Spirit, & the reverse of course is also true, if we are not walking uprightly pleasing God, then we are not filled with the Holy Spirit.
This is not to say that He leaves us completely, but rather that when we are pleasing God the Holy Spirit is having His way with us, & the believer is fulfilling his role in Gods plan at the time.
Therefore in order to be filled with the Spirit one must confess sins. 1 John 1:9
The H.S. cannot work in a life, which condones and is living in sin.
One must yield his life completely to the H.S. in all areas of your life.
By letting the Word of the Lord dwell in you, you are allowing the H.S. to abide in you because when you read, study & obey, you are walking according to Gods Word. Col 3:16, Eph. 5:19.
We must no longer live our own lives, but live a life for Christ, not for ourselves. Ga. 2:20
Give yourself wholly to the H.S.
One whom is occupied with Christ rather than self is filled with the H.S.
How do you know that you are filled with the H.S?
You will be happy and joyous.
Things will be going smoothly.
Circumstances will click miraculously.
You know that God is with you, you can feel His presence.
What was different here, which is not the normal for most believers upon being saved in regard to the relationship between the believer & the H.S?
There is a somewhat difference here in regard to the apostles here being filled with the Spirit.
Yes, they were baptized into the body of Christ & with Christ, they were regenerated long ago by belief, & they were indwelt by the H.S.
But there was also something different here; something unusual which is not the norm.
When the tongue of fire descended upon them, they began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Acts 2:4. King James Bible)
This verse is immediately explained in the following verses. V:5-12
Many Jewish men v:5 were gathered together because of the feast from many different countries with many different languages.
And each one present heard their own language being spoken by men whom were Galileans (v:7), who did not know or speak other languages up to this point.
Remember now that there were about 120 men (disciples) with Peter. Acts 1:15 who had the tongues of fire descend upon them & whom began to speak in different languages.
Therefore it is not inconceivable that all the languages being heard were being represented by the speakers.
We have a list of the many different language peoples given in verses 9-11.
We have the possibility of there being about 16 different languages being spoken here.
Were these men speaking in a strange language, which were not discernable to those present?
No, they were speaking known languages, which were understood by those whom heard them.
This is consistent with the Word of God. God is not a God of confusion, but of order.
Unlike in some circles today where many are speaking at one time unknown language which nobody present understands and also where often than not, there is nobody present to interpret what is being spoken.
Thus speaking in tongues in this manner is futile, serving no purpose other than to make the one speaking appear to be more Holier than thou.
And what were they speaking about?
v:11 gives us the answer plainly.
They were speaking about the works of God.
How again is it that they were able to speak in tongue?
The H.S. enabled them to be able to do so on this special occasion.
Last week we examined some scripture references, New & Old Testament, which showed us that the H.S. gave special powers to people on special occasions, for special purposes, to do a special work for God.
Here again is the same scenario.
The H.S. gave these certain men special abilities to perform a special work for God.
What was that special job?
They speaking about the wonderful works of God. V: 11 (King James Bible) in foreign languages to devout Jews (5) from many nations.
We are not told specifically what they were speaking about. Some speculate they were preaching the gospel, which they may have been. But the main reason that this particular incident occurred was that it was a sign to Israel.
If we take what Paul says in 1 Cor. 14:21,22 we see that indeed tongues were for a SIGN to unbelievers.
Peter later, in the 2nd chpt. of Acts proclaims the gospel message v:14-36.
So we can likely conclude that they were not preaching the gospel, for why would Peter do so directly after those speaking in tongue?
No whatever they spoke it was for a sign to the unbelievers.
This is not to say that these men did not use their special gift of tongues to proclaim the gospel message. I am sure they did, but maybe, not necessarily at Pentecost.
The sign was the power of the H.S. performing a special work on these men.
The sign was that, these men were given special gifts to perform a special task to prove the truth of God, His power, His presence, His awesome works.
Remember how in the time of Christ that the Jews demanded proof that He was whom He claimed to be. But He refused, because we are to receive the truth HOW? By faith.
Although He certainly did perform many miracles in which they still did not believe that He was whom He claimed to be.
Signs were allowed, but only on special occasions.
The sign was a special inspiration given to the 120 + men.
Peter however prophesied, taught the gospel message and it was because of the combination of the special outpouring of the H.S. by way of speaking in tongues, many other signs & wonders & because of the gospel message itself that many were saved added to the body of Christ v:41-47.
The next few verses tell how they were amazed & others accused them of being drunk.
In verse 14 & 15 Peter defends them saying that they were not drunk at all and quoted directly a prophecy from Joel 2:28-32 telling how a time would come when some of the followers of Christ would perform signs and wonders and speak in tongues.
This was to precede the destruction of Jerusalem, which in fact did happen in 70 A.D.
This prophecy was fulfilled that day at Pentecost.
Read 1 Cor. 14
In this chapter Paul concludes his discussion on spiritual gifts and gives the rules on how the gifts of both prophecy and tongues should be used in the church.
What was the problem in the church regarding the spiritual gifts in Corinth?
After having become Christians, the people at Corinth had received many spiritual gifts.
Many of them had the gifts of prophecy and tongues while others were given the gifts of apostles, teachers, miracles, healing, helps, administrations, as well as the gifts of knowledge, wisdom, faith, interpretation etc.
Because some had the gift of speaking in tongue, they thought that they were better spiritually gifted than the others and were full of pride.
They belittled those who had according to them the lesser gifts. And they also spoke in the church tongues while those hearing could not understand what they were talking about. So their special gift of tongues benefited no one, but themselves.
What was Pauls answer regarding this problem in chapters 12 & 13?
Paul said that there are indeed many gifts, but none are particularly more important than any other.
He gave the illustration of the human body saying that though there are many parts to the body, not one part is more important than any other part. Nor can any one part work properly without the association of all the other parts. All parts of the body are equally needed in order for the entire body to function correctly.
Thus it is for the body of Christ. There are many in the body, each given a gift by the H.S. Each member of the church is to use his or her special gift for the benefit of the whole church. If one member suffers, then they all suffer. If one member is unable to perform their function, then the entire body feels the absence of that one member.
We are all required to work together as a team to function as a whole for the benefit of the whole church.
We are not to be jealous of anothers spiritual gift nor desire to have another other than what was given by the H.S.
Paul also expressed to the people that these gifts were given to back up their claims, to confirm the message taught.
All these gifts given were needed to help begin the early church. Each gift was need for the purpose of proclaiming the Good News, the Gospel of Christ.
Paul also prophesied that a time would come when several of these special gifts would cease. They would no longer be needed.
They would no longer be needed because the world would have the completed Bible that we have today.
The completed Bible would have the full revelation from God that He wanted us to have, which up to that time they did not have.
Special gifts like tongues would no longer be needed because most of the educated world would have Gods written Word in the own language.
From that time forward there has been no new revelation from God.
Those who claim to have had new revelation from God are fooling themselves & are deceived.
Any man claiming to have a new revelation is to be accursed & he hath not God.
Gal. 1:7,8; 2 John 9 King James Bible
Now in Chapter 14 Paul goes on to further explain the purpose of the speaking in tongues and the proper governance in doing so in the local assembly.
He begins by telling us that we should pursue spiritual gifts, but especially the gift of prophecy. Again prophecy here is more than the telling of future events.
In this context it is the revealing of Gods Word, His works, etc. by inspiration.
By inspiration I mean that as all other gifts, the ability to reveal things of God was done so by the outpouring of the H.S. on men for the purpose of teaching, edifying and building up of the church.
In the next few verses Paul explains the differences between the speaking in tongues and the gift of prophecy. V:1-5
One whom speaks in tongues, which others do not understand without interpretation, does so for his own good, not for the good of the body and is speaking only to God.
But one who prophesies, (teaches) does so for the good of the body of Christ. In so doing the body is edified, exhorted, & built up.
What is meant by these words?
To edify is to confirm the believer in the faith of the gospel by adding to their knowledge.
In other words they are learning spiritual truths
When you read, study & pray you are edified, built up in the knowledge of the Lord & grow closer to Him.
And to exhort is to warn or advise strongly.
To build up would be to encourage by the Word taught.
So what is it like to speak in tongues if there is no one to interpret what is being said?
In verses 6-9 Paul here gives an illustration of what it is like to speak in tongue if there is no one to understand or no one to interpret what is being said.
He gives the comparison of musical instruments or the trumpet for the purpose of calling an army to war.
If the sounds made in either case are not intelligible like that of a bag pipe player whom does not know how to play it, it would serve no useful or profitable purpose other than to discourage those hearing it or to hurt the ears.
In verse 9 he talks about the use of our physical tongue in order to speak. -If all that comes out of the mouth is garble, it to serves no purpose. Therefore any message spoken in any language needs to be understood to be of any value.
In verse 10 Paul uses another illustration in that of the sounds that animals use in communication.
All the sounds that animals make have a purpose.
Some are for the purpose of mating, some for warning of danger, some for feeding.
Again each sound carries with it a significant meaning.
Without these sounds, animals would not be able to communicate with each other and their lives would be havoc.
In verse 11 Paul uses yet one more illustration.
If you try talking to me in Japanese, Chinese or any other language other than my mother language, it would be absolutely pointless.
There would be no sense for a China man to try to communicate to a Frenchman in his own language.
In conclusion then in regard to the use of spiritual gifts, Paul says to earnestly seek for gifts, which edify and build up the church such as prophesying and teaching. V:12-17
Paul does not discourage the use of tongues, but if you do speak in tongue he says to make sure that there is an interpreter so that those hearing will understand & thus be edified. V:13-19
In verse 20 Paul is telling the Corinthians to not be like children in regard to the use of tongues. That is they are not to delight in the fact that they can wow others with this special gift. This is not a gift of amusement, but of purpose.
What then is the purpose of the gift of Tongues?
Again it is plainly stated, tongues are for a sign, for unbelieving Jews. V:22 (Mark 16:17)
Paul refers to a prophecy found in Isaiah 28:11, 12 in 1 Cor. 14:21.
The historical setting in this passage in Isaiah is that at that time the northern tribe was in captivity by the Assyrians & the southern tribe soon also would be taken captive.
At that time God spoke to His people through the Assyrian language.
At that time His people would not listen to Him & again here we shall see the Jews would not listen.
Remember that these signs were for the Jews & not for the Gentiles.
We see this in 1 Cor 1:22 where it is written,For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom." (King James Bible)
We know that the signs were not for the body of Christ (church) because true believers do not need a sign.
Because believers walk by faith, not by sight. 2 Cor 5:7 King James Bible
What then? If the gift of tongues was intended for unbelieving Jews only, how is this confirmed in scripture?
We have three separate instances of speaking in tongue recorded in Acts which reveal that the speaking in tongues was for a sign to unbelieving Jews.
The first is at Pentecost.
When a great crowd gathered together upon hearing the disciples speaking in tongue, Peter preached to them.
Remember these were all Jews from various countries gathered for the feast.
These people were all confounded because each one heard these disciples speaking in their own language. Acts 2:6
The speaking in tongue was given as a sign to confirm (authenticate) Peters message, that it was from God.
2ndly in Acts 10 we have recorded that those in the house of Cornelius spoke with tongues.
The Jews up to that point refused to believe that the gift of salvation was also for Gentiles and they to would receive the indwelling of the H.S.
The speaking of tongues was a sign to them to confirm the fact.
3rdly in Acts 19 Paul met up with 12 Jewish men whom had been received the baptism of John, which is the water baptism.
They had not received the H.S. at that time as spoken in Matt. 3:11
Evidently they didnt know about Christs completed work of redemption nor of the coming of the H.S.
Paul baptized them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ Acts 19:5 and they immediately spoke with tongue and prophesied v:6 & then went into the synagogue and preached the kingdom of God for three months.
This was done to authenticate the message of salvation through Jesus Christ as well as a sign to the Jews in the synagogue.
Was the use of the gift of the tongues also a sign to the unbelieving Jews at Corinth?
We read in Acts 18:1 After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth.
& v:5 Paul was pressed in the spirit, and testified to the Jews [that] Jesus [was] Christ. King James Bible
But you read in the following verse that the Jews opposed, refused the gospel and blasphemed.
So God confirmed it.
God confirmed it with the sign of tongues spoken by the believers at Corinth.
Therefore we can see that in each case that tongues were used, it was for a sign to Jews who were present in each and every case.
This is in complete harmony with Pauls statements that the gift of tongues during the apostolic age was as a sign to the Jews that the Gospel was true.
It is safe to say then that the gift of tongues was sovereignly bestowed upon Early Church believers, enabling them to speak in languages in which that have previously never been known to confirm the message of the apostles to unbelieving Jews.
Several evidences exist to show that this was only a temporary gift, confined to the apostolic age.
And this was to precede the completed revelation of the Bible.
1) the fulfillment of Joels prophecy by the three occurrences in Acts.
2) Jesus prediction that these signs would follow those who believed the message of he apostles
3) the direct statement in Hebrews that it was confirmed unto us by them that heard [him]; God also bearing [them] witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?
Heb 2:3-4 King James Bible
Other evidences that the gift of tongues has ceased are one that Paul himself said that tongues "shall cease 1 Cor. 13:8
There are only the three occurrences of the use of tongues in Acts & once in Corinth.
There is no other reference to tongue in any other epistle.
Throughout the rest of church history there are no recorded evidences of it.
To confirm also that the gift of tongues was not for all believers, even in the apostolic age, Paul asks several rhetorical questions in 1 Cor. 12:29-30 in which the obvious answer is no.
One of those questions was Do all speak in tongues? No
Finally Paul lists the regulations for the use of tongues.
What are they? 26-40
Tongues were a sign for unbelievers & prophecy is not for unbelievers but for believers. V:22
Tongues were to be used for the edification of the church. V:26
No more than three people were to speak in tongues during a service, and each was to speak in turn. V:27
There was to be no speaking in tongues unless they were interpreted. V:28
Any confusion or disorder in the assembly was an indication of something that did not originate from God. V:v:33
Tongues were not forbidden, but the predominant command was to seek earnestly the gift of prophecy. V:39
The confusion & disorder hat had become prevalent in the church at Corinth was an indication that their undue emphasis on tongues was not from God.
The fact that all the rules governing the gifts of tongues in Corinth were not being followed was an indication that perhaps the gifts were not real at all and may have been originating from demons.
Those today who do not obey these rules yet contend to believe that they have the gift of tongues are likely deceived and again are likely being led by demons.
Nowhere in scripture are Christian today exhorted to desire the gift of tongues or to seek after it.
Instead the commandments we have written clearly in scripture are quite the opposite.
On the contrary the clear command is to earnestly desire the greater gifts.
For one to engage in the seeking after the gift of tongues is to be in the same error as were the people in Corinth.
One must be careful to not go after emotional experiences or other spiritual experiences, which do not have any Biblical foundation.
To do so is to open oneself up to satanic influence & doctrine of demons.
Christians who fall prey to false teachings allow their emotions to come under the influence of practices that cannot be substantiated by the Word of God, place themselves on dangerous ground.
We are commanded, "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God" 1 John 4:1 (King James Version)
The Blessings of the Spirit Filled Life
Please put yourself in a courtroom setting. You have just heard the final arguments of prosecution. In this case God has laid out His case against the ungodly people of the time of the apostle Paul. He has finished His condemnation of the heathen Gentiles for their lack of acknowledging His existence and giving Him the honour He deserves. They have also turned their backs on Him, and gone back to their immoral ways.
On the same docket, God has laid out His credentials and proof for judging the Jews who were complacent of the very same sins of which they were judging the heathen Gentiles.
The verdict of their sins is death. And suddenly, someone comes forward pleading on the behalf of both parties, and offers Himself as a scapegoat to take the punishment for their sins.
The guilty parties are offered a way of escape from the punishment which they so richly deserve, if they would only acknowledge and honour Him for the free gift of salvation. And they are to live in faith according to His masterful plan and respect the laws of the court. That is, they are to obey the laws without making it their religion, and to live by faith in hope that one day if they follow along with His plan, they will see the fulfillment of salvation as ordered by the judge.
And now in summary of the previous proceedings there is laid out for them the Blessings that will befall them now and future as they are Justified, that is, declared righteous before God judicially, as if they had never sinned, because He, Jesus Christ, has borne and paid the penalty of death for their sins.
Romans Chapter 8 lists several blessings of leading a Spirit filled life. The first blessing is given immediately in first part of verse 1. It reads, There is now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus. NKJV This, may perhaps may be understood in two ways. Firstly, there is no divine condemnation as far as our sins are concerned because when you become a Christian, you are now in Christ. That means, that just as when you were born into a family, you take on the family name and traits that are within the family. Likewise, when you become a Christian, you are born in a sense anew, into His family, taking on within yourself His righteous traits.
Before Christ paid the penalty of our sins, we were under condemnation of death because of our first federal head, (first father), Adam.
But now we are in Christ, and are therefore now free from condemnation as He is now our Heavenly Father. And, there is now no longer self-condemnation which we felt being under the law before Christ came. Under the law, we were unable to fulfill the requirements of the law by our own power.
A brief summary is necessitated to understand the above statement; being under the law.
The law originally signifies the revealed will of God with respect to human conduct, including all the divine commandants like we have in the Ten Commandments, and precepts which regulate mans moral life without and within. An analogy is seen in our day to day lives where we must obey laws enacted by the government and enforced by the police. Or if you will, as a child of a family, you are required to abide by rules as laid out by your parents. And likewise we must obey by the rules in work, school etc. God originated laws for people to live by when He created man. The penalty for disobeying as we know is death.
However more importantly in relation to the law of which we were under before Christ came, we must go back to the days of Moses when God gave Moses laws, instituted rules of life mediated through Moses to govern Gods covenanted people, Israel, in Canaan. This law regulated their everyday conduct and was a covenant of works. (Ex. 19:5-6) This covenant was not meant to be a permanent covenant. It is now superseded by what we refer to as the New Testament, if you like, the New Covenant. (Jer. 31:31-34; Heb. 8:8-13) The Ten Commandments as part, in a sense of the Old Covenant was done away with by the death of Christ. (John 1:17; Rom. 10:4) The Mosaic Law (age) was pre-existed (Ex. 19:4 You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles wings and brought you to myself. NKJV) and followed by grace (John 1:17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. NKJV) Grace came as a result of the atonement made by Christ by the payment of sins, by the shedding of His blood on the cross. The Mosaic Law was a temporary divine administration in effect only until Christ should come and complete His work of atonement on the cross.
The Law of Grace was indoctrinated after the death of Christ on the cross. A renewed child of God is now no longer under the Old Testament Law, but under grace. However, that does not mean that a redeemed child is free to go ahead and live like the world, and live in sin. We are now living under grace. (John 1:16; Rom. 5:1-2; 8:1-2; Col. 2:9-10) Though we no longer live under the old law we are still under the law of Christ. (1 Cor. 9:20-21) And we also still have Gods natural laws written on our hearts to help us to live according to His will. ( For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another." Rom. 2:14-15 KJV)
In other words, we all have an innate knowledge of what is right and what is wrong. We know without being told it is wrong to lie, steal, cheat etc. Gods moral laws are written within our hearts. Our conscience serves like a monitor instinctively telling us what is right and what is wrong.
Rom. 8:2 continues to explain why there is no condemnation. It says, For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. NKJV
In this verse there are two opposing laws or principles. The characteristic principle of the Holy Spirit empowers the believer into holy living. And the characteristic principle of indwelling sin drags one down to death.
Likewise is the law of gravity. If you throw a rock into the air, it comes back down with a thud because it is heavier than the air which it displaces. A bird is heavier than air, but when you throw it up into the air, it flies away. The law of life within the bird overcomes the law of gravity. And so likewise the Holy Spirit supplies the believer with the risen life of Christ making the believer free from the law of sin and death.
Verse three of Romans Chapter 8 goes on to say that the law could never get people to fulfill its sacred requirements. The law was weak, unable to produce holy living. It was weak though the flesh. The weakness was not the law itself, but with the fallen human nature. The law spoke to men who were already sinners, but had not the strength to obey the law. Therefore by grace, God sent His Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and condemned sin in the flesh.
Notice however, that Christ did not come in sinful flesh, but in the likeness of sinful flesh. We are told in 1 Peter 2:22 that He, (Christ) did no sin. He knew no sin. 2 Cor. 5:21 and there was no sin in Him. 1 John 3:5 He resembled sinful humanity, and by His sacrifice for our sins, Christ condemned sin in the flesh.
He died not only for the sins which we have committed 1 Pet. 3:18, but also for our sin nature. Nowhere does it say that our sin nature is forgiven, for it is condemned. However, it is the sins which we have and will commit which are forgiven.
Romans 8:4 tell us that the righteous requirements of the law are fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. Therefore when we turn our lives over to the Holy Spirit, He empowers us to love God and to love our neighbour which is after all the basis of what the law is and requires.
Paul has pieced together in these first four verses his arguments from chapters 5-7 where he discussed the federal headships of Adam and Christ. Now here in chapter 8 he shows us that our condemnation inherited to us by Adam is removed because of our identification with Christ. Chapters 6 & 7 list the horrible problems of our sin nature. Now he triumphantly announces that the Spirits law of life in Christ Jesus has made us free from the law of sin and death. So we now understand that the requirements of the law are met by a Spirit led (controlled) life.
Notice what verse 5 says about those who live according to the flesh. That is, non-believers, who are concerned only with the things of the flesh. They live only to gratify the desires of the flesh. But, those living according to the Spirit, true believers rise above the flesh and live for eternal things. They are occupied with the Word of the Lord, prayers, worship and service for God.
Catch this in verse 6. To be carnally minded, that is to be mentally inclined to follow after the things of the flesh (the fallen nature), is death. The wages of sin, for those whose intent is to follow the ways of the world and not the ways of God is death. For the wages of sin is death. Rom. 6:23 KJV
It is death for the present and also and ultimately eternally, alive, but eternally separated from God, with no chance of ever again being in His presence in heaven.
But Paul reminds us on the opposite side of the coin to be spiritually minded is life and peace. (Rom. 8:6 KJV) The second half of Rom. 6:23 affirms this saying but the gift of God is eternal life though Jesus Christ our Lord. (KJV) This is a guarantee. Eternal life and peace is a promise from God for those who follow after Him, obeying the prompting of the Holy Spirit, doing the will of God. What a blessing that will be to live with God eternally in peace.
What does Paul say about whose side you are on if you live in the flesh? Verse 7 gives the answer. It is "enmity against God. (KJV) Enmity against God is a deep rooted hatred of Him. It is an irreconcilable hostility towards God. Friendship with the world is said by James 4:4 to be "enmity with God. (KJV) It is a conflict, being at odds with the plans of God for the promotion of righteousness. Do not love the world or the things in the world; if anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world-the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life-is not of the Father but is of the world." 1 John 2:15, 16 NKJV The carnal mind is said to be hostile toward God. Rom. 8:7-8. Those who love the world and the things in it are opposed to His nature and will. The sinner living in the flesh is an outlaw. He is a rebel in active hostility against God. We see this clearly when Jesus was crucified. The law to the rebel is one of its own will, not the will of God. The sinner wants to be his own master, not willing to bow to the will and rule of God. He cannot therefore be subject to Gods law.
Is it therefore no wonder that those living in the flesh are unable to please God, verse 8? Just think of it for a moment. There is not a thing in the entire world that the carnally minded spirit can do to please God. He can do no good works to please Him. He can perform no religious observance, nor offer any sacrifice to please the Lord. He can do nothing, nothing at all to please God. It is only by accepting the work of Christ on the cross in faith and believing it that puts a smile on the face of God.
You are no longer living in the flesh but in the Spirit when you are born again, accepting the work of Christ on the cross in faith and trusting Him to be Lord and master of your life. (Verse #9) You are living in a totally different sphere, just like a fish lives in the water, not in the air when you are born again. A believer lives in the Spirit, not in the flesh when he/she is born again. He not only lives in the Spirit, but the Spirit lives in him.
If you have not the Spirit of God living within you, we are told in verse 9, you do not belong to Christ at all. You are disowned by Him as if you belong to another family as we are told in John 8:44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of the father you want to do (NKJV) Those who do not obey the words of Christ are of the devil, doing the lusts of him.
Now, in verse 10, Paul gives us the next benefit of A Spirit Filled life. Paul says that if Christ be in you, the body is dead. (KJV)
Oh my! This doesnt really sound like a blessing to me. But, wait now. Note, our mortal bodies from the moment they are born, have already begun to die because of sin. Did you catch that? Your body was born to die. But, the Spirit led life is life, because of righteousness. Because of the righteous work of Christ in His death and resurrection, the believers body is made alive. The life of the saint lies in his soul, while the life of the sinner goes on no further than the body. When the body of a believer dies the spirit of that believer is yet still alive. Death to the saint is but the freeing in a sense, of the heaven born spirit from the clog and load of this body, so that it may be fit to partake in eternal life.
What am I talking about you may say? Even though this mortal body that you and I possess is subject to death, yet it will live again with the Lord.
There is yet another great promise given to the Spirit led life. And what is that? Verse 11 tells us. Just as the Holy Spirit raised up Jesus from the dead, this very same Holy Spirit which lives within you will likewise also give life to our mortal bodies, raising us up and providing us with glorified bodies like that of our Saviour Jesus Christ. This is the final act of our redemption from sin. We will no longer be living with a body indwelt with a sinful nature; we will no longer war within ourselves, warring between doing what is right and what is wrong.
Now we are given a stark contrast between the flesh and the spirit. Verse 12 Now, that you a believer you are indwelt by the Holy Spirit. You are no longer in debt to do the will of the flesh. The evil corrupt nature living within us has been nothing but a bummer. It has never done us once ounce of good. If Christ had not saved us, the flesh would have dragged us down to the pit of hell. Why should you feel obliged to obey the whims of such an enemy?
Therefore the apostle Paul tells us that by living the ways of the flesh, we shall die. This is like self-examination. Are you truly saved? In contrast the true believer, by the power of the Holy Spirit is given another blessing. And that is that by the enabling of the Holy Spirit, the deeds of the body the flesh, are put to death. And you, the true believer even now are free to begin living an eternal life to its fullest, especially when we are joined with our glorified bodies in heaven.
Yet still another blessing is given to us in verse 14 for the Spirit led Life. Many people today think it would be awesome to be born or adopted into a wealthy family, living in a mansion, owning the best cars etc. But far better still is the promise and gift of the Spirit Led Life. All believers, the moment they are saved, whether they be man, woman, boy or girl are automatically adopted into the family of God, who promised to prepare a place in heaven where there are many mansions. (John 14:2) The implication in verse 14 is a promise that we shall all enjoy all the privileges of living in His family. Just as you enjoy all the privileges given you with your earthly families, you will likewise enjoy the inheritance granted you to enjoy living in the family of God.
Furthermore, according to the promise of being adopted into the family of God, we are also given the awesome privilege of addressing God as Abba Father. This is no less different than your calling your earthly father, dad or father.
According to verse 16, another blessing is that the Holy Spirit Himself makes our own spirit aware of the special relationship we have with God the Father as sons of God.
Verse 17 again reminds us that we are heirs of God, inheritors of His estate. All that our Father has is also ours. Though we do not have that inheritance yet, it will be ours one day after we are taken home to be with Him.
Just as Christ Himself has a special relationship with God the father, we to will also one day enjoy that very same relationship, being as close to the father as an earthly son should have with ones father. Yet this relationship will be perfect with no flaws at all.
And like Jesus, we may also suffer persecution. Though we may not suffer as wickedly as He did, God looks upon us as if we had incurred all the same hostility as He did, with all the shame and disapproval.
Yet, on the more positive side, like Jesus and as heirs of Gods kingdom, we shall one day inherit a glorified body perfected with no more earthly pains, sickness or sufferings of any kind. Verse 18 explains further the special blessing we shall enjoy in our relationship to our suffering with Christ. We are told, that although we may suffer for Christ in our present state, it will seem a trifle in comparison to the glory which will be revealed to us when we are joined together with him in heaven. In other words, on a balance scale, the glory to be revealed to us will far outweigh our present sufferings to such an extent that, it will seem as if there was nothing in the plate of our sufferings. As we read in 2 Cor. 4:17 the apostle Paul says it thus; For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. KJV
And it is not just ourselves who look forward to the end of these present sufferings. But, also all of creation is waiting the day when Christ shall return and renew them to the state which all creation once enjoyed. That is, that at this time all of creation is groaning because of the judgement of sin passed on to mankind because of Adams first sin. All of creation looks forward, or looks back if you will to the ideal conditions that existed in Eden, when all was as God said; Is Good Soon all of creation will be delivered from the bondage of corruption to enjoy the freedom of the day when Gods children will be revealed in glory.
In comparison, we to groan within our mortal bodies for that day of deliverance verse 23, from this present bondage of corruption. We as Spirit Led Lives, have that guarantee of the coming adoption, the redemption of the body. Although in the one sense we have already been adopted and redeemed, we await the full complete redemption of our bodies and spirits when we will be redeemed at the time of the Rapture. (1 Thess. 4:13-18)
We are also saved by hope verse 24. Even though we do not receive all the benefits of our salvation at the moment of conversion, we look forward to a full and final deliverance from sin, suffering, disease and death.
So Paul urges us verse 25 to eagerly await our deliverance with perseverance for this promised blessing. Our happiness is not with this present possession, but with what is unseen. By faith we await the full deliverance of His promise. We do well to await this hope of glory with patience.
Briefly, verses 26 & 27; likewise as the Holy Spirit sustains us with the Blessed Hope of our final deliverance into glory, He likewise sustains us in our weakness. That is, in times of prayer we know not what to ask for, so he intercedes for us in prayer smoothing out our requests to God. As God searches the minds of believers, He likewise interprets the mind of the Holy Spirit who is interceding for us according to the will of God.
The next few verses declare another amazing blessing. First of all in verse 28 we read, All things work together for good " (KJV) This at times can be a very difficult verse to understand. What good people may wonder may come from sufferings, or heartbreaks, or tragedy? We all know someone who has been suffering in one manner or another. Perhaps you yourself are going through some sort of trials and tribulation. What possible good can come from this?
The following verse gives the answer. Verse 29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn of many brethren. KJV Whatever God has permitted to come into our lives is designed to conform us into the image of His Son, Jesus Christ.
It is not by chance or luck that things happen to us whether good or bad. Our lives are controlled by Him who has a plan for each individual life. We may not understand why some things are allowed to happen. But when we are raptured and begin our eternal lives with Him, then perhaps we will understand.
Now Paul traces the majestic sweep of the divine program designed to bring many sons to glory. Verses 29-30
Firstly, God foreknew us in eternity past. This was not mere intellectual knowledge as far as knowledge is concerned. But His foreknowledge embraced only those whom He foreordained or predestinated to be conformed to the image of His Son. It is not enough to say God foreknew those whom He realized would one day repent and believe. Actually it is His foreknowledge that ensures eventual belief and repentance.
It is an amazing truth that ungodly sinners should one day be transformed into the image of Christ, to be morally like Him, free from sin and have glorified bodies like His.
Now this verse is outstanding among many in the Bible. Verse 30 tells us that everyone whom God predestined in eternity past is also called in time. That is, he, the believer not only hears, but responds to the gospel. It is therefore an effectual call. All are called, but only a few respond, or to put it another way, all are given the gift, but few keep it. And all who do respond, who keep His gift, are justified, given a righteous standing before God, made to stand sinless before Him. And being justified, we will also be glorified one day to be in the same image of Him.
Verses 31-39 I might call The Holy Triumph of a Spirit Led Life. These verse are the likely the strongest verses in all of scripture which attest to eternal security, once saved always saved.
What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.
Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. KJV
When we consider the unbreakable links in the golden chain of redemption, the conclusion is inevitable. If God is for us, marked us out for His own, then, no one can be successful against us. V: 31 if an Omnipotent God is working on our behalf, there is no less power that can defeat His program.
Listen again to the argument proving this point, verse 32: He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? (KJV)
When a world lost in sin needed to be saved from its sin, God did not hold back His greatest gift, a substitute to pay for the sins of the world. Instead He gave His son over to a death of shame on our behalf. If therefore God has given His greatest gift, would He also not hold back any lesser gift? If he has paid the highest price,
would He hesitate at any lower price? If He has gone to such lengths to procure our salvation, will He ever let us go? Will He ever renege on His promise of eternal life if we are given and receive His gift? Will He ever take back His gift?
If God has already justified His elect, who can bring a charge against them? No one can!
Another challenge sounds out in the court room, verse 34, to separate Gods love for His people. Is there anyone present to condemn if God loves His justified elect enough to pay the penalty Himself? No because Christ Himself has paid the penalty of death. Rom 6:23 And He is now raised from the dead and now sits at the right hand of God interceding for the accused. If Christ to whom all judgement has been given does not pass sentence, then who will?
Now, there yet remains one final challenge to be flung forward. Is there anyone or anything that can separate us from the love of Christ and ultimately from the promised fulfillment of our salvation? A thorough search is made verses 38- 39 for all possible circumstances. But none is found. Nothing! Nothing in all the heavens or the earth can separate you from the love of Christ if you are His child. Nothing!
For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
By faith in Christ therefore we are conquerors in this life as followers of Christ. We cannot be defeated. With the enabling power of the Holy Spirit we are led to walk a Spirit led Life. Although we may stumble at times, nothing in all the world can separate us from the love of Christ and ultimately from eternal life.
Is it no wonder then that many a martyr has died singing and a smile on his lips?
The Blessings of a Spirit Led Life are many. The destiny of one following after the flesh is death.
So my challenge to everyone is this. Choose to die, or to be blessed.
I am reminded of the song by Michael Card Immanuel (click here)
(Some scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Other quotations from the King James Version)