The presence of the Holy Spirit is not an option but a must. Without His presence, the local church assemblies would be little more than a social gathering. The Holy Spirit is the one who gives life and liberty to our worship experience.
I believe most local Christian churches appreciate the importance of the basic works of the Holy Spirit in their midst. But some of these same churches are thumbs down on the subject of the manifestations of the Holy Spirit. I am referring to the spiritual gifts mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12. In fact, some Christian denominations teach and believe that these gifts no longer exist. They argue that such gifts were only for the apostles or the apostolic era.
“But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good,” Paul the apostle writes (1 Corinthians 12:7). The he follows by listing the various gifts of the Holy Spirit. These gifts are referred to as manifestations of the Holy Spirit because He manifests His presence in our midst through these gifts.
To me, we can take two important points from this verse. One is that spiritual gifts were never intended to be only for the apostles. According to the verse, some manifestation of the Holy Spirit is given to each one of us and not only to the apostles.
Secondly, the manifestations of the Holy Spirit are given to us “for the common good.” In other words, when we come together as a local body, the gifts that have been imparted to each of us should work together for the good of the body as a whole. But again, some churches and denominations oppose such manifestations of the Holy Spirit in their gatherings.
Whenever we gather in the name of the Lord, the Holy Spirit is present among us. He is the one who illuminates our understanding of the Word while it is being ministered. It is He who brings about conviction in the hearts of unbelievers to accept Christ. The Holy Spirit is the means by which new converts become born again. We can’t physically see the Holy Spirit doing these vital things but He is.
Moreover, the Holy Spirit can manifest His presence among us through the spiritual gifts He imparts to believers. And I believe that what Paul the apostle wrote concerning the church at Corinth applies to the Church today. The Holy Spirit still uses men to heal and work miracles among us. He still uses our sons and daughters to prophesy. When genuine, these gifts are visible signs that the Holy Spirit is in our midst.
These visible works of the Holy Spirit are essential if we are to fully become the Church God as called us to be. One reason is because God has seen the need to give these spiritual gifts to the Church. Secondly, there are many things the Word of God will do for us. But then there are some things God reserves for the Holy Spirit to accomplish through those who have been appropriately gifted by Him.
It is good for us to welcome the presence of the Holy Spirit in our midst. But it is even better if we also welcome the various ways the Holy Spirit manifests His presence among us.
Copyright © 2018 by Frank King. All rights reserved.
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