Church Government According to the Bible 2


The Holy Spirit and the Church

As we develop this study, let me establish first, that the church is run by the Holy Ghost. In Revelation 3:22, as Jesus is speaking to the seven churches, he uses the same expression with each one of them, “Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

We are now in the center of the dispensation of the Holy Ghost. The Holy Spirit was left in charge on this earth by Jesus Christ Himself (John 14:26). The Holy Spirit has innumerable functions that could be placed in four categories: 1) Gifts, 2) Ministries, 3) Effects and 4) Fruit. In First Corinthians 12:4-6 see the following,  

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. (NASB 1995)

Gifts

The word “gifts” is the Greek word chárisma; meaning, “To show favor. A gift of grace, an undeserved benefit. It indicates the result of grace.[1] Charisma is something we are able to see manifested through a number of gifts. A church that is not open to chárisma is a church that is lacking the power of God; is a church with a form of Godliness, but obviously denying the power of God (2 Timothy 3:5). 

We understand that there is nothing more beautiful and important in the life of a believer than to learn to love; however, we should not be minimizing the crucial importance of operating in these gifts. In First Corinthians 12:1 Paul tells us, “Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed.” (NIV) In First Corinthians 14:1 Paul tells us, “Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy.” (NIV). The focus of these gifts is the edification of the church (First Corinthians 14:1-5) 

Ministries

The word “ministries” is the Greek word, diakonía; meaning, “Deacon, servant. Service, ministry. To minister, serve. Service towards a master or guest, at table or in hospitality (Luke 10:40; 1 Cor. 16:15).”[2]

The Holy Spirit is literally servicing the Church in a variety of ways. There are countless ministries in the church; everybody is not in leadership, but everybody should be serving in some form. The gifts that are given to use are there to be use for the glory of God and for the service of God’s people. Every ministry MUST be guided and empower by the Holy Ghost; at the end of the day, it should be the Holy Ghost working through us, not us following our own agendas and inviting the Holy Ghost by name only. This is HIS job… this is His service. 

Effects

The word “effects” is a very interesting one, it is the Greek word enérgēma; meaning “Effect, working, energy. In the NT, used only in 1 Cor. 12:6,10 of the results of the energy of God in the believer. Though enérgēma is translated “operations,” it is actually the results energized by God’s grace.”[3]

The Holy Ghost does not only give us talents and ministries; he also provides de energy to do those things we are called to do. If you find yourself burned out, you are doing ministry on your own, by your own strength; you need to let go and let God. 

Fruit

The ultimate goal for a believer is to bear fruit; the ultimate goal is for us to change, to die to ourselves and be more and more like Christ. That fruit is very specific in Scripture. Galatians 5:22-23 tells us, 

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (NIV)

We are called to walk in the Spirit. Walking in the Spirit is walking in the fruit of the Spirit. That is walking in love, joy, peace, forbearance (patience), kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. It is in the Holy Ghost we find the ultimate goal for our character.

What we don’t want is to be gifted people with no character. That is the reason why First Corinthians 13 helps us to have the right prospective. Without love we become a “…resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.” (First Corinthians 13:1). 

Without love we are nothing but noise, without love we accomplish nothing and, without love we become nothing. Without love we become talk with no action, speeches without results and a form of charisma where nobody is changing… a sad and pitiful imitation of the world.

To be continued…


[1] Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2000).

[2] Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2000).

[3] Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2000).

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