The Body of Christ is divided in many ways; it seems like since Martin Luther specially, we purposely look for ways to be divided. One of those divisions that we see very clearly is the focus on the Spirit on one side and, the focus on the Word on the other. I have expressed before that I dream to be a part of a church where I can experience the fire of the Holy Spirit and the honoring of the orthodoxy of God’s Word simultaneously in a local church. It seems like I get either one or the other.
I am familiar with the arguments that, too much of either one is negative. Folks go as far as saying that a church with the Word without the Spirit is dead and that too much of the Spirit without the Word is chaotic. Lately, I am getting insight concerning this topic. The Bible tells us in 2 Corinthians 3:6,
who made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. (NASB)
This verse does not mean that we need to throw out the Word of God. That would be blasphemy! Jesus stated very clearly that if we do not abide by his Word, we are not his disciples (John 8:31). We are not trying to divorce God’s Word from his Spirit. However, 2 Corinthians 3:6 tells us that this New Covenant focuses on the Spirit; not on the Word. It also makes a very dramatic statement; it tells us that the Word without the Spirit kills, but the Spirit gives life. I am concluding these days that if we truly follow the Spirit of God, we will never contradict God’s Word. However, if we follow the Word without the Spirit, we will spiritually kill people.
See, when we approach God’s Word without the Spirit of God, we are approaching God’s Word in the wrong way; that is, we approach God’s Word with our own intellect. It is there that we start developing our own ideas and our own interpretations; it is there that we become spiritual murderers. How dare we read the Scripture without total submission to the Spirit who inspired the Word to start with (2 Timothy 3:16).
Beloved, the time of the church is the time of the Spirit, Jesus stated, “But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.” John 16:7 (NIV) There is no such a thing as too much of the Spirit; what we have is too much of us, our fake imitations of the Spirit, our trying to work out the anointing with man-made routines, emotionalism, etc. These is a list of some of the works, functions and/or activities of the Holy Spirit according to Scripture,
- The Holy Spirit glorifies Jesus (John 16:14)
- The Holy Spirt gives new birth (John 3:8)
- The Holy Spirit dwells in us (John 14:17)
- The Holy Spirit testifies of Jesus (John 15:26)
- The Holy Spirit searches the deep things of God (1 Corinthians 2:10)
- The Holy Spirit guides us in all truth (John 16:13)
- The Holy Spirit tells us things to come (John 16:13)
- The Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness (Romans 8:26)
- The Holy Spirit intercedes for us (Romans 8:26)
- The Holy Spirit searches our hearts (Romans 8:27)
- The Holy Spirit speaks to us (Acts 13:2, 16:6-7, Revelation 2:7)
- The Holy Spirit teaches us all things (John 14:26)
- The Holy Spirit reminds us of Scripture (John 14:26)
- The Holy Spirit was involved in creation (Genesis 1:2)
- God is revealed to us through the Holy Spirit (Numbers 11:17 / 2 Peter 1:21)
- The Holy Spirit convicts us of sin (John 16:8)
- We are called to walk by the Spirit, be led by the Spirit, bear the fruit of the Spirit and live by the Spirit by (Galatians 5:16-25)
- Our gifts come from the Spirit of God (I Corinthians 12)
- We are baptized in the Holy Ghost (Matthew 3:11)
- For more on the functions of the Holy Spirit please read 70 Functions of the Holy Spirit on RevTrev.com
After reading this list, do you still think that there is such of thing as too much of the Holy Spirit? The reality is that we have very little of the Holy Ghost amongst us. The reality is that we can never have too much of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Ghost should be in total control. Our job as ministers is to learn to flow, be used and get out of the way of the Holy Ghost. I know it is hard because 1) many of us have seen fake acts in the church and 2) the idea of losing control is scary. However, there is no effective church without the Holy Ghost. I don’t care if the service is one hour, two or three… the Holy Spirt MUST play the central role in everything we do, that is including all of our gatherings. In the Old Testament when the Glory of the Lord manifested, the ministers could not stand in God’s presence; they knew to get out of the way (1 King 8:10-11). How much more should we in our time?