Last week, I introduced the Spirit of God, our connection to the Kingdom of Heaven, as we await a new age when the Father and Son will dwell with all creation. Meanwhile, the Spirit instructs and convicts and gives lovely gifts. He brings comfort, knowledge, and the ability to discern between right and wrong. Here are a few glimpses into a contemporary yet ancient Spirit:
God’s Spirit was at creation (Genesis 1:1-2): In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
He filled the Jews with wisdom and craftsmanship (Exodus 31:3-5): I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with ability and intelligence, with knowledge and all craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold, silver, and bronze, in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, to work in every craft.
He enabled the prophets (Numbers 11:25): Then the LORD came down in the cloud and spoke to him, and took some of the Spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders. And as soon as the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied. But they did not continue doing it.
Even today, the Spirit’s gifts include human languages (for preaching and teaching those of other nations) and that of heaven along with interpretation, wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, and discerning spirits. But the Spirit gifts according to the Father’s purposes, not ours. He will do what He will do through the Spirit to suit His excellent pleasure (will). Here are gifts of the Spirit for the common good of the Church (1 Corinthians 12:7-11):
To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.
Here are additional resources:
Acts 2:4 – 13 (other languages to preach the Gospel).
Ephesians 4:1-6 and 11-16 (use the Spirit’s gifts for God’s purpose, equipping, and unity within the Church).
Regeneration by the Spirit enables access to the Kingdom of Heaven. Spiritual growth and equipping by the Spirit through gifts, talents, and the Church keep us heading in the right direction. Next week, we’ll uncover the discernible effects of walking by the Spirit and what the Bible calls the fruit of the Spirit.
Blessings and peace,