Ephesians 4:9-13 | TPT (9) He “ascended” means that he returned to heaven, after he had first descended from the heights of heaven, even descending as far as the lowest parts of the earth. (10) The same one who descended is also the one who ascended above the heights of heaven, in order to begin the restoration and fulfillment of all things. (11) And he has appointed some with grace to be apostles, and some with grace to be prophets, and some with grace to be evangelists, and some with grace to be pastors, and some with grace to be teachers. (12) And their calling is to nurture and prepare all the holy believers to do their own works of ministry, and as they do this they will enlarge and build up the body of Christ. (13) These grace ministries will function until we all attain oneness in the faith, until we all experience the fullness of what it means to know the Son of God, and finally we become one perfect man with the full dimensions of spiritual maturity and fully developed in the abundance of Christ.
Part of my responsibilities as a pastor is the equipping of the saints so that they can do their own works of the ministry.
Because of this, it is important for me to begin to teach and equip believers for this purpose and I cannot do this by just covering “surface” truths from the Word. I must go into some deeper things.
2 Corinthians 13:14 | MSG (14) The amazing grace of the Master, Jesus Christ, the extravagant love of God, the intimate friendship of the Holy Spirit, be with all of you.
The word “gifts” was added by the translators. This verse actually says,
1 Corinthians 12:1 | BBE (1) But about the things of the spirit, my brothers, it is not right for you to be without teaching.
The Spirit Within and the Spirit Upon
Jesus told us there are two distinct works of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer. One is in the New Birth where He works in us, and the other is in the Baptism of the Holy Spirit when the Spirit comes upon us.
John 4:13-14 NKJV (13) Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, (14) but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”
John 7:37-39 | NKJV (37) On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. (38) He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” (39) But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
Notice Jesus likened the work of the Holy Spirit to water in a well (New Birth) and water flowing like a river (the baptism of the Holy Spirit).
- The water in the well is for the believer’s benefit.
- The river flowing out of us is for the benefit of others.
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is an additional dimension of the work that He does in our lives. But, it is the same Holy Spirit that came in us when we got Born Again.
What About Speaking in Tongues?
- The initial evidence of receiving the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, is speaking in other tongues.
Acts 2:1-4 | NKJV (1) When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. (2) And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. (3) Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. (4) And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Acts 10:44-46 | NKJV (44) While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. (45) And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. (46) For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God. Then Peter answered,
Acts 19:6 | NKJV (6) And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.
Benefits of Praying In Tongues
- Tongues is primarily for a believer’s own personal, spiritual edification.
1 Corinthians 14:4 | NKJV (4) He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church.
Jude 1:20 | NKJV (20) But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit,
- You can’t edify people unless you have first been edified.
- God has given us this divine means by which we can speak directly to Him supernaturally.
1 Corinthians 14:2 | AMP (2) For one who speaks in an [unknown] tongue speaks not to men but to God, for no one understands or catches his meaning, because in the [Holy] Spirit he utters secret truths and hidden things [not obvious to the understanding].
- Praying in other tongues is praying in line with God’s perfect will.
Romans 8:26-27 NKJV (26) Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. 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. (27) Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
Underline or circle “helps” and “intercession”.
Helps – (sunantilambano) – three separate words which mean: The Holy Ghost in conjunction and partnership with us, becomes so enraged against whatever is causing us difficulties, He takes it personally upon Himself.
What – (ti) – the very little thing. It underscores that we don’t even know how to necessarily pray for the small things not to mention the larger issues in life. We are so limited in our view but He can see it ALL.
Ought (dei)– as the new situation requires and dictates, as the new problem demands.
Intercession – (huperentugchano) – this is the only time that this word is used in the entire New Testament.
This word paints the picture of someone who has come upon someone who has fallen into some kind of quandary. It would be as if someone has fallen into a deep cavern and is stuck. There is someone who immediately swings into action to rescue and deliver the one who is in trouble. It conveys the idea of a full scale rescue operation.
The 33 – Chilean mine accident that trapped the miners, three separate drilling teams, every Chilean government ministry, a dozen corporations and even NASA helped with the rescue. 10/13/2010 all 33 brought to the surface with no long-term physical effects and private donations covered 1/3 of the $20 million cost.
When we do not know how we should pray for that situation, the Holy Spirit swings into a full-scale rescue operation. But in order to do this, He falls into that place with you. Now you are no longer facing that situation alone, for the Holy Spirit has stepped into your dilemma and is initiating a rescue plan to get you out of that mess!
The Holy Spirit feels everything that you feel. He understands the complete inadequacy you are experiencing. He willingly joins you in your circumstances sharing your emotions and frustrations. Then He begins to put a supernatural plan of rescue into operation to get you out of that problem.
Romans 8:26-27 | TPT (26) And in a similar way, the Holy Spirit takes hold of us in our human frailty to empower us in our weakness. For example, at times we don’t even know how to pray, or know the best things to ask for. But the Holy Spirit rises up within us to super-intercede on our behalf, pleading to God with emotional sighs too deep for words. (27) God, the searcher of the heart, knows fully our longings, yet he also understands the desires of the Spirit, because the Holy Spirit passionately pleads before God for us, his holy ones, in perfect harmony with God’s plan and our destiny.
- Your weaknesses do not disqualify you from His help, they qualify you for His help.