Wednesday, March 26, 2014
“There is One Spirit”
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It’s Wednesday, March 26, 2014, I’m Robert Hatfield and this program delivers daily thoughts for new Christians. This is THE NEW YOU!
There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all (Eph. 4:4-6).
We have returned to the great pillars of unity to examine the second of this list of seven “ones” – there is one Spirit.
The Spirit is the first member of the Godhead Who is listed in these sevens. The Lord Jesus Christ is listed in verse five, and God the Father is listed in verse six.
The Holy Spirit is an eternal Being, possessing the nature of God just as God the Father and God the Son do. When most people think of God the Spirit, they likely think of the miraculous gifts of the Spirit that were given to our first century brethren. With reference to what the Spirit has done in our salvation, you will also recall Peter’s words in 2 Peter 2:20-21:
Knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
A good study of the work of the Holy Spirit would enrich our lives. Perhaps we under-emphasize the work of the Spirit because there is so much about the Spirit that we do not understand. In Romans 8:26, Paul indicates that the Holy Spirit helps us in our weaknesses in prayer. Paul says, “For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”
Shifting back to today’s text, Ephesians 4:4, why would it be important to emphasize that there is but one Spirit? The Bible’s answer is this: the fact that there is one Spirit emphasizes that there is but one divine revelation from God to man.
Let’s briefly address the miraculous deeds that get so much attention. In 1 Corinthians 12-14, Paul discussed these spiritual gifts. He noted that “there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit” (12:4). After naming the nine miraculous gifts in verses eight through ten, Paul says, “But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills” (12:11).
The unity of the Spirit was an important point to be made in the first century because only those who had the power given by the Spirit could work these miracles, or signs. They were indeed signs because they were used to prove the validity of the message that was preached, to confirm that the Word was from God. False teachers would attempt to trick other people, using smoke and mirrors to fake great abilities. But the gifts given by the Holy Spirit could not be faked! Languages were fluently spoken without any prior study, great knowledge was given again without the need for study, those with sicknesses and infirmities were healed! This was amazing! This was power that could not explained by natural causes. Yes, my friends, there is but one Spirit who gave these gifts to our first century brethren.
By the way, those miracles have ceased. Read 1 Corinthians 13 and you’ll see that such would be the case. So do those who claim to have miraculous gifts from the Holy Spirit actually have the Spirit? There’s no way! Why? Because the Spirit Himself revealed that the miraculous would cease when the complete Scripture was revealed.
But let’s go further with this: the unity of the Spirit is an important point to be made TODAY because it confirms the singularity of Scripture. Jesus told His apostles that, when He ascended back to heaven, He would send the Comforter, the Holy Spirit. “He will guide you into all truth,” Jesus explained, “for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come” (John 16:13). Why is this significant? Because Jesus says that the message of the Holy Spirit would be unified with the message that Jesus Himself had taught. And we know that the message that Jesus taught was the message that God wanted to be proclaimed.
In 1 Corinthians 2, Paul makes a bold statement regarding the words that he wrote. He says that his words are inspired! Listen to him:
Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual [words] (1 Cor. 2:12-13).
Let’s wrap it up: There is one Spirit. That one Spirit gave those miraculous gifts in the first century, and that same one Spirit revealed the will of God to mankind through human writers. What about modern claims of miracles? No way because the one Spirit said they would cease. What about latter day revelations? There’s no way because the complete will of God has already been revealed in your Bible.
Memory Verse: How’s it coming with this week’s memory verse? Let’s go over it.
Romans 1:16: For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
Sometime today: Head back to Colossians 3, that great chapter for new Christians, and reread verses ten and eleven. As you do, think about what Paul says about Christ there: “Christ is all and in all.”
Thanks for joining today me on The New You. Archives of this program and more Christian podcasts can be found online at thelightnetwork.tv.
I need your questions for the future of Q & A Saturday. Do you have a Bible question or thought? Send them to me for this week’s edition of Q & A Saturday! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or ask your question by phone via my Google voicemail number, which is 903-265-4448.
I’ll meet you tomorrow for another edition of The New You.