Spiritual Growth Lesson # 29 >>>

Spiritual Growth Lessons
LESSON 29 of 32


The church is compared to a spiritual building: "Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ" (I Peter 2:5).

"And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit" (Ephesians 2:20-22).

Because the church is a spiritual building, it must be built with the tools of the Holy Spirit. Natural talents and abilities alone will never get the job done correctly. Paul was a highly educated and qualified man, but he confessed that these were not the things that are needed to build God's spiritual temple, the church: "And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God" (I Corinthians 2:1-5).

1. The gifts of the Spirit edify (build up) the church:
a. They bring men into a deeper knowledge of God.
b. They help men to see themselves as God sees them.
c. They provide deliverance from demonic spirits that would oppress them.
d. They give physical healing, so that the saints can better serve the Lord.
e. They give emotional healing (bind up the broken hearted -- Isaiah 61:1).
f. The gifts of the Spirit build up, comfort, and instruct the body of Christ (I Corinthians 14:3-4).
g. They strengthen the faith of the believers.
h. They give direction to the church.

2. The gifts of the Spirit help us to reach the lost:
a. The city of Lydda was reached through the operation of the gift of miracles (Acts 9:32-35).
b. The city of Joppa was reached through the operation of the gift of miracles (Acts 9:36-42).
c. Sergius Paulus was reached through the operation of several gifts of the Spirit (Acts 13:6-12).
d. The city of Lystra was reached through the gifts of the Spirit (Acts 14:8-11).
e. Paul informed us that the gifts of the Spirit will convince the sinner that God is with us (I Corinthians 14:29-30).
f. The gifts of the Spirit help confirm the truth that we preach (Mark 16:20; Acts 8:5-8; Acts 4:29-30).
g. When Jesus commissioned the twelve to go forth, they were not only to preach, they were to heal the sick, also (Luke 9:1-2).
h. When He sent forth the seventy, it was the same (Luke 10:8-9).

3. The miraculous moving of the Spirit is given to all believers: "These signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover" (Mark 16:17-18).

"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these . . . And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it" (John 14:12-14).

"But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues" (I Corinthians 12:7-11).

4. What our average church service should be like: "How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying" (I Corinthians 14:26).

Is this what our average church service is like? Our teaching is Biblical and apostolic, but what about our services? Have we settled for forty per cent of what God wants us to have? Have we substituted other things for the moving of the Spirit because we do not want to pay the price? Do we have to have a lot of extra songs to fill in, because we do not have the gifts of the Spirit in operation?

Let us not accept a substitute. Let us seek for a restoration of the gifts of the Spirit in the church of Jesus Christ!

Let the Spirit of God be manifested in your life, both for personal edification, and the building up of the body of Christ. Remember that the gifts of the Spirit are the power tools necessary to build up the spiritual body of Christ--His church! ds