Are You Holy?

It was impossible to  miss the oversized white tent in the early Spring evening with a gigantic white banner rippling in the breeze, BE HOLY BECAUSE I AM HOLY!

Adjacent to the Mid-State fairgrounds, the grassy parking lot was covered with cars as the curious and hopeful seemed to throng to this unusual meeting. Many were drawn by the harmonious music and singing as the choir led several hundred seekers with powerful, moving hymns. Emotions ran high. The air was filled with earnest expectation. Something special was happening here they felt.

The music came to an end as the tall, redheaded pastor took the pulpit. He was carrying a leather-bound bible in one hand, holding it casually like a carpenter’s tool. He did not speak. The crowd grew silent. He came to the pulpit, set his bible down and gripped both sides. Leaning forward the silence was broken with his powerful voice, “Are you holy?” He shocked them all. Gasps were heard throughout the tent. Again he said, “Are you holy? God says we must be holy to please Him. So I ask it again, are you holy. Have you been sanctified?” And so it went for the next 45 minutes as this charismatic speaker whipped his listeners into an emotional state, feeling certain they were not up to par with God unless they came forward to become sanctified and holy.

The emotional and dramatic pastor should rather have spent his time elevating the Lord Jesus Christ, explaining to the people that faith in Christ makes us holy in God’s eyes: “God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made Him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; He made us pure and holy, and He freed us from sin. Therefore, as the Scriptures say, “If you want to boast, boast only about the LORD.”  (1 Corinthians 1:30-31)


Let’s see what God’s Word has to say about our sanctification/holiness:
1 Corinthians 1:2 ~You who have been called by God to be his own holy people. He made you holy by means of Christ Jesus, just as he did all Christians everywhere.

1 Corinthians ~6:11 Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

1 Thessalonians ~5:23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Along with the unimaginable grace and mercy of God’s provision for our sanctification, He expects us to do our part; to work our faith in day to day circumstances. He has already done the impossible and has assigned us the possible such as making choices and slipping on His armor. We’re at war!

2 Corinthians 7:1 ~Because we have these promises, dear friends, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that can defile our body or spirit. And let us work toward complete holiness because we fear God.

2 Thessalonians 2:13 ~As for us, we can’t help but thank God for you, dear brothers and sisters loved by the Lord. We are always thankful that God chose you to be among the first to experience salvation—a salvation that came through the Spirit who makes you holy and through your belief in the truth.

Hebrews 10:10 ~For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time.

Romans 15:16 ~I am a special messenger from Christ Jesus to you Gentiles. I bring you the Good News so that I might present you as an acceptable offering to God, made holy by the Holy Spirit.

Sanctification is not something we can beg God for at a church altar. Sanctification is a gift from God as a result of our faith in Jesus Christ. Although a gift, God requires our involvement to make choices for purity and holiness. Even so, the Holy Spirit enables us to follow through on our Christ-like decisions.

Ephesians, Part 4

coffee cup in hand (2013_06_21 16_53_37 UTC)

“Put on your new nature and be renewed” Colossians 3:10

Ephesians Chapter 1

4 “Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes.”

Talk about a mind bender! How do we wrap our human minds around this simple verse? “Before He made the world, God loved us?” How can that be, we ask? First we struggle with the idea of whether or not God made everything in six literal days and now— we read that God loved us before we existed; prior to making any of the heavens or the earth. This is a stunning concept truly beyond human comprehension.

Of course it is beyond human comprehension, we are His creation and He is the Creator. Can you remember back to a time in school when you began a new class and your mind was in utter confusion, struggling to understand the necessary concepts? I can recall a class in which I was completely in the dark, ready to give up. As I shared my confusion with the professor one day he said, “Oh I know how hard it is to grasp this concept but don’t give up. I can tell that you are just about to break through. Don’t give up!” Fortunately I listened to his advice. Within that very week, the understanding exploded into  my mind. I was so joyful. I had faith in the professor’s observation.

In a way, attempting to understand all of God’s mysterious Scriptures while we are still living on earth is similar. But the complete revelation of God’s truths is yet to come. “Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.” 1 Cor. 13:12

The first verse of the first book in the Bible says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1 Do we understand what this means? Can we imagine this act of creation? Absolutely not. We understand the words and the idea but not literally. We are totally dumbfounded. It is beyond human comprehension. And so is the idea that verse 4, above,  expresses. Before God made our world He loved us. God loved me personally before he created the world! Then surely I owe my allegiance to Him.

Not only has God loved us before He made everything, He “chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes.” Holy and without fault? Will everyone who feels holy and without fault please raise your hand! We shrink back from the very idea. If you only knew me, we think. Holy and without fault? Far from it. And yet, through the filter of Christ’s blood, God does see us as holy and without fault. Not only that, before He created the world He saw us in this way.

God says to you, “I love you and have loved you before I created anything!”

Ephesians, Part 3

“The Word of the Lord endures forever!” 1 Peter 1:25

 

Ephesians Chapter 1

2 May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.

Paul continues with his earnest desire for all the followers of Christ; that the Lord Jesus Christ and God the Father pour out supernatural grace and peace on their lives. This is not a casual thought or passing greeting as we might say, “Have a great day!” Far more, this is from Pauls great desire that each follower of Christ walk in God’s grace and peace. Imagine those days when the whole ball of wax of our lives seems to melt before your eyes. Paul’s hope is that we will walk through the trials of life, understanding we have God’s eternal grace and peace every minute of every day.

3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ.

Stop and think what we’ve just read. Have you relished the power of these words? Go back and read them again. This is not a to-do list, a grocery list, a few reminders. These are God’s Words! The living Word of God, passed down from the beginning of time according to His holy plan.

Do you have a favorite book? One you take off the shelf once a year or so, knowing how you relish the story, the writing style, how it speaks to you with each reading? There’s just something you love about the book. You value it. As believers, that book should be the Bible; Written by God as He spoke the words via His Holy Spirit into the hearts of all the authors. Clearly then, reading our Bible should be an act of joyful anticipation, expecting the Holy Spirit to give us personal revelation.

“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,—” Not some or lots of— ALL praise to God. How many billions of people inhabit the earth? How many billions have passed into eternity since the beginning of time? If we could fill the planet with every soul who has lived and every voice would continuously sing praises unto God— that would not be too much. He is worthy of all praise. His purity and perfection should generate spontaneous peals of HALLELUJAH! (Praise You, Jehovah!)

Who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms—” What can this mean? Do we understand such a glorious proclamation from God? In short, we do not understand this promise. And it is a promise from God. This must mean that in spite of our feelings of inadequacy, inferiority, and failure, we have been blessed with spiritual blessings by God. Specifically, every blessing in the heavenly realms. Since this is so mind boggling, we are tempted to set it aside as too hard to understand. Don’t do it. God does not lie and He has written in the Bible that we have been blessed with specific heavenly blessings whether or not we can grasp this fact. Pray about it. Ask God about it. Search the bible for the answer. Have faith! “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (Heb 11:1)

No Fear!

Little Roper (2013_06_21 16_53_37 UTC)

 

“I am the Lord your God. . . so don’t be afraid!” ~Isaiah 41:13

 

Are you a Christian? Do you read the Bible? Do you believe it is the Word of God? If you answered yes to these questions then I have wonderful news for you— you don’t have to be afraid! Regardless of the mounting debt you face, your unemployment, broken down car, illness, failure in business, or falsely accused; You don’t have to allow fear to control you. Life is filled with all manner of troubles and obstacles but fear only makes the problem worse. Calling out to God and reading the bible provides supernatural peace. Here are some Bible verses which will help:

Isaiah 41:13  I am the Lord your God. I am holding your hand, so don’t be afraid. I am here to help you.

Psalm 27:1 You, Lord, are the light that keeps me safe. I am not afraid of anyone. You protect me, and I have no fears.

Psalm 62:2 God alone is the mighty rock that keeps me safe, and the fortress where I am secure.

Psalm 91:1-2 Live under the protection of God Most High and stay in the shadow of God All-Powerful. Then you will say to the Lord, “You are my fortress, my place of safety; you are my God, and I trust you.”

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 The Father is a merciful God, who always gives us comfort. He comforts us when we are in trouble, so that we can share that same comfort with others in trouble.

Romans 8:38-39 I am sure that nothing can separate us from God’s love— not life or death, not angels or spirits, not the present or the future, and not the powers above or the powers below.

Isaiah 25:8-9 The Lord All-Powerful will destroy the power of death and wipe away all tears— At that time, people will say, “The Lord has saved us! Let’s celebrate. We waited and hoped— now our God is here.”

Psalm 145:13-14 Our Lord, you keep your word and do everything you say. When someone stumbles or falls, you give a helping hand.

Philippians 4:6-7 Don’t worry about anything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking Him with a thankful heart. And God’s peace, which is beyond human understanding, will keep your hearts and minds safe in union with Christ Jesus.

1 Peter 5:7 Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.

Hebrews 13:5-6 God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” So we can say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?”

Now, you may be thinking, more bible verses? What I need is tangible, real help. I need answers not more verses. But that’s it! The Bible is God’s infallible, never ending Word designed to answer life’s questions and provide comfort, hope, inspiration and LOVE. Love greater than all your fears and insecurities. God’s love takes away all fears.

 

Selective Application

IMG_0930

Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?” Job 38:4

 

Even though we are Believers and followers of Christ, we seem to have the gift of selective application as we read the Bible (forgetting it is the Word of God). This is a version of Christianity that allows us to pick and choose what we apply to our lives rather than attempting to immerse ourselves fully into His Word by the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Selective interpretation allows the reader to decide which verses are applicable to their life and which are allegorical or historical or, perhaps, applicable to specific people of a different time and place. This heretical approach gives the reader the power to challenge God’s word, picking and choosing which verses are “for today.”

The most obvious danger in this approach to reading the Bible is the reader becomes equal to God, deciding that they have the authority to eliminate or water down the precious word of God. Left unchallenged, they freely re-translate the Bible into ideas that are more convenient or less challenging. Imagine thinking that we can decide which Bible verses are pertinent to our lives rather than asking God to give us wisdom and understanding as we read His Holy Word.

A classic example of this dangerous approach to the Bible is taught by a popular, well-known pastor who has decided that the Spiritual Gifts, as described in 1 Corinthians 12:7-11 are no longer applicable to Christians today. According to him, these miraculous gifts ended some time after the original apostles died. He says we no longer need such gifts because we have the Bible. If that is true, the Bible itself says all believers have gifts. In order to make such a decision, he has decided that 1 Corinthians 12:7-11 is no longer applicable. How can mere man make such a declaration?

2 Timothy 3:14-16  Yet you must go on steadily in all those things that you have learned and which you know are true. Remember from what sort of people your knowledge has come, and how from early childhood your mind has been familiar with the holy scriptures, which can open the mind to the salvation which comes through believing in Christ Jesus. All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching the faith and correcting error, for re-setting the direction of a man’s life and training him in good living. The scriptures are the comprehensive equipment of the man of God and fit him fully for all branches of his work. (J.B. Phillips)

The Bible is not a collection of stories, fables, myths, or merely human ideas about God. It is not just a human book. Through the Holy Spirit God revealed his person and plan to godly men who wrote down God’s message for his people. This process is known as inspiration. The writers wrote from their own personal, historical, and cultural contexts. But even though they used their own minds, talents, language, and style, they wrote what God wanted them to write. Scripture is completely trustworthy because God was in control of its writing, and its words are entirely authoritative for our faith and lives. (Life Application Bible Notes © Tyndale House)

2 Peter 1:19-21  So we have seen and proved that what the prophets said came true. You will do well to pay close attention to everything they have written, for, like lights shining into dark corners, their words help us to understand many things that otherwise would be dark and difficult. But when you consider the wonderful truth of the prophets’ words, then the light will dawn in your souls and Christ the Morning Star will shine in your hearts. For no prophecy recorded in Scripture was ever thought up by the prophet himself. It was the Holy Spirit within these godly men who gave them true messages from God.

Romans 15:2-4  Even if we believe that it makes no difference to the Lord whether we do these things, still we cannot just go ahead and do them to please ourselves; for we must bear the “burden” of being considerate of the doubts and fears of others—of those who feel these things are wrong. Let’s please the other fellow, not ourselves, and do what is for his good and thus build him up in the Lord. Christ didn’t please himself. As the Psalmist said, “He came for the very purpose of suffering under the insults of those who were against the Lord.” These things that were written in the Scriptures so long ago are to teach us patience and to encourage us so that we will look forward expectantly to the time when God will conquer sin and death.

Job 38:4-11  “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me, if you know so much. Do you know how its dimensions were determined, and who did the surveying? What supports its foundations, and who laid its cornerstone as the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?

“Who decreed the boundaries of the seas when they gushed from the depths? Who clothed them with clouds and thick darkness and barred them by limiting their shores, and said, ‘Thus far and no farther shall you come, and here shall your proud waves stop’?”  

If enough people agree on an idea it eventually becomes established as truth. Many of these so-called truths are actually myths, superstitions and outright lies. But, as we have all experienced in life, sayings learned from childhood establish themselves as fact in our minds.

Consider the Bible. Do you think of it as fact or fable? Is it absolute truth or partial truth with scatterings of myth for variety. Either you believe the Bible is the inerrant word of God or you do not. There is no middle ground; no neutral territory. By faith in God, the Bible becomes absolute truth leading us to forgiveness of sins and eternal life with God.  

Foolish Talk

 

P1050025

“Coarse and foolish talking are not suitable” Ephesians 5:4

Greg came home early to pack for his favorite twice-yearly Men’s Fellowship gathering at Camp Angelus above the Southern California Valley. Away from the wilting heat, smog and everyday life, nearly 500 Christian men gathered to sing, pray, learn, share and be changed by a desire to serve God with all their hearts.

By dinner, most of the men had checked in, found their room assignments and changed into comfortable clothes. They headed for the dining room to find a dazzling spread of snacks to satisfy their light hunger and prepare them for the evening’s speaker, Dan Wilson.

Dan was a young pastor of an impressive church with more than 3,500 in attendance. He was fast becoming well-known among pastors and book readers. His first book, Jesus Broke the Rules was selling quickly, even though some thought the cover art of a muscular Christ, punching gigantic pillars into rubble seemed rather worldly and crude as though Jesus used his powerful physique to accomplish his examples.

Obviously, the men at this conference weren’t bothered by the muscular Jesus on Dan’s book. Within seconds, the wood-paneled conference room was filled with men laughing uproariously, tears running down their cheeks. Dan was charismatic and excelled with comedic illustrations. Just before he finished, Dan managed to slip in a prayer as he released  the men with a quick reminder to “get a copy of my book while they last.”

At one of the tables, four men were still smiling, except for Steve. “That guy was fantastic,” Bill said. “His stories about wives and husbands hit the nail right on the head. But I’m not sure my wife would appreciate the humor as much as we did. But that’s the difference between men and women, right?”

As the others were nodding  in agreement Steve said, “Are you sure we should have been laughing? At first I thought he was funny too but then I was convicted by the Holy Spirit and I think most of his stories were crude and foolish. I don’t think we would have been laughing so hard if Jesus had appeared.”

Silence at the table. Steve knew they were upset so he left the table, headed for a walk to clear up his mind and talk with the Lord. This was a first for him. Before tonight, he would have been laughing just as hard as everyone else. God was changing him and he wanted the change. Allowing himself to become crude and foolish for the sake of getting a laugh paled in comparison to walking closer with the Lord.

  • Ephesians 4:29 “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
  • Ephesians 5:4 “Dirty stories, foul talk, and coarse jokes—these are not for you. Instead, remind each other of God’s goodness, and be thankful.”
  • 2 Timothy 2:15-16 “Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth. Avoid worthless, foolish talk that only leads to more godless behavior.”
  • 1 Timothy 6:20 “Timothy, guard what God has entrusted to you. Avoid godless, foolish discussions with those who oppose you with their so-called knowledge.”
  • Colossians 3:8-9 “But now put these things out of your life: anger, bad temper, doing or saying things to hurt others, and using evil words when you talk. Do not lie to each other. You have left your old sinful life and the things you did before.”
  • Colossians 4:6 “Your speech should always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you should answer each person.”

Our words can harm, hurt, divide and create sinful images in the mind. But God’s word is always pure and precise. If we choose to use each other as examples or measuring sticks, then our words will ultimately do harm. But when we choose to follow the Holy Spirit’s Guidance our words will represent God, bringing healing and comfort to all who hear.

 

He Is Able

IMG_7958 (Edited)

“To Him who is able to do far more abundantly” Eph 3:20

How much freedom do I give the Holy Spirit to guide and direct the ship of my life? Yes, I am a believer and know absolutely that I will dwell with my God for eternity. But—what about now? Is the Holy Spirit free to change the direction of my ship mid-stream? Or do I smile and say, “Praise the Lord” while holding firmly to my rudder, sometimes with both hands.

Ephesians 3:20-21   Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.”

In Christ, our lives have no limits except those which are self-imposed. Before Christ, our lives were like a series of boxes stacked upon one another. Each box had restrictions and constraints. We believed in the boxes and their supposed value to our lives. But, thanks be to God, through our faith in Christ, those boxes have been demolished. And now we can see horizons without limits.

Phil 3:7-8  “But everything that was a gain to me, I have considered to be a loss because of Christ. More than that I consider everything to be a loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.”

Phil 3:13  “But one thing I do, forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus.”

The past and its sins belongs right there, in the past. Leave it alone and be refreshed daily as God’s new creation created in Christ Jesus.

Gal 6:14-15  But as for me, I will never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For both circumcision and uncircumcision mean nothing; what matters, instead is a new creation.”

2 Cor 2:10  “For we are His creation—created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.”

2 Cor 5:17  “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come.”

You’ll notice that the Scripture doesn’t say, If anyone is in Christ he has been given a new, shiny box to live in! Quite the contrary, God tells us the elements, strategies, foundations and ideas of our old lives have PASSED AWAY! We are miraculously new creations with a fresh start. New hope. New power. Eternally forgiven. Let us leave our former burdens at the foot of His cross and walk away from them. They are no longer an option.

1 Peter 1:3-4  May the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ be blessed! On account of his vast mercy, he has given us new birth. You have been born anew into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. You have a pure and enduring inheritance that cannot perish—an inheritance that is presently kept safe in heaven for you.

 

Your Will, Not Mine

IMG_0106.JPG

 

“I want your will, not mine” ~Matthew 26:39

 

Tony waited patiently until the final person left the bible study. He had a question for Alex, one that he’d been pondering for some months.

“Well, Tony, what’s on your mind tonight. You seem unhappy or perhaps disappointed.”

“You hit the nail on the head, Alex. I am disappointed and, I guess, unhappy,” he said, feeling a little foolish now, like a child approaching the teacher. “Why won’t God bless me? I tithe regularly. I even give extra when I see a need. I never miss church service or your bible study. Any time pastor mentions helpers are needed somewhere, if it meets with my work schedule, I volunteer. I pray, repent, forgive others. I am lined right up with all the things that should make me happy but God will not bless me!”

Pouring them both another cup of coffee, Alex said, “I think you need to define bless before I can help.”

“Alright, I mean better living conditions, more money, a better car, more friends, recognition from people for my efforts; heck, I’ve missed being promoted two times in the past year and my car is always breaking down.”

“I see. You believe God sent Jesus to the earth to experience humiliation, scorning, a horrific beating, and death so we could have more stuff?”

Tony was stunned to hear his obviously petty, selfish feelings exposed in this way. He wanted the earth to open and swallow him. Am I really this petty, he wondered.

“Breathe, Tony. It’s ok, we all have those feelings some of the time. The key to shaking them off is to dive into God’s Word and to ask God to give you understanding. For example look at Matthew 26:36-39 where Jesus is praying in the garden of Gethsemane. He knows exactly what is about to happen on the following day— he will be killed! He says, “My soul is crushed with horror and sadness to the point of death. . .” Then he prays, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”

“So what do you think, Tony, was Jesus entitled to God’s blessings?”

“Of course. More than anyone who ever lived.”

“Yes. I agree. But then why was he treated so wickedly. Killed like an ordinary criminal, hanging on a cross? He is the Messiah after all.”

Tony couldn’t stop his tears. In a moment he composed himself and said, “In a way, I feel what Peter must have felt when the rooster crowed that morning. I feel petty and selfish.”

“I’ve never considered that analogy, Tony but I think you may be right. And you are feeling those things because that is how you’re behaving. Now, before you beat yourself with that self-pity club, you must understand we all struggle with this. Anytime we look at our lives and compare them to those who have more we’re using the world’s standards, not God’s. God is interested in healing our hearts, not our cars! Quite the contrary, actually. We must be like Jesus, totally surrendered and ready for suffering to continue and death to come if that is God’s will.

“Would you consider the Apostle Paul a man who followed God, Tony?”

“Of course, Alex.”

“And yet, in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, he begged God to take away his thorn in the flesh but God said, ‘My gracious favor is all you need. My power works best in your weakness.’ So, according to your list of things, can you say Paul was not blessed by God?”

“I’m stunned. I’ve never seen this so clearly, Alex. I am so wrong.”

“Let’s continue in 2 Corinthians, ‘So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may work through me. Since I know it is all for Christ’s good, I am quite content with my weaknesses and with insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

“Before we end this eye-opening moment, Tony, I want to look at one more Scripture: Philippians 3:10, ‘All I want is to know Christ and feel the power of His resurrection; to share in His sufferings and become like Him. (TEV)

“What do you think may happen in our lives if we pray this Scripture daily? How might we be changed over and over again, refined into the men of God Jesus died for? Tony, thank you for your courage to share with me tonight. I feel as though God has looked into my eyes and said, “Alex, are you willing to give all, to suffer for my name if I deem it necessary?”

Tony and Alex knelt together and prayed “Not my will but Yours be done.”

The Spirit of God

“And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people.”  Joel 2:28

      After the Bible study, Chuck sat down with Peter, the teacher, and said, “I have a friend who tells me about being “baptized in the Holy Spirit” which enables him to speak in tongues. I definitely want everything that God has for me but I’m not sure about this experience.”

      “Have you looked for your answer in the Bible?” said Peter.

      “Well no, not really. But I have asked several other Christians what they think.”

      “Funny, isn’t it, how often we seek opinions of friends instead of heading right to the Bible. Believe me, Chuck, I’ve done the same thing. But I’ve learned to find the answers to Biblical questions in the Bible with the Holy Spirit’s guidance. I begin by asking God to give me wisdom and understanding.  He never fails to answer that prayer. Let’s look at some verses that tell us about the Holy Spirit.”

  • John 14:16-17  And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.
  • John 14:26  But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
  • John 16:13  When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future.
  • Acts 1:5, 7-8  For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit. He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
  • Acts 2:2-4  Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
  • Acts 2:38-39  Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
  • Romans 8:26-27  And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.
  • 1 Cor. 12:1, 4, 7-11  Now about spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be ignorant. There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other. To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice; to another the same Spirit gives a message of special knowledge. The same Spirit gives great faith to another, and to someone else the one Spirit gives the gift of healing. He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages, while another is given the ability to interpret what is being said. It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.
  • Romans 12:6  We have different gifts, according to the grace given us.

“So, according to the bible, speaking in tongues (unknown languages) is one of the gifts of the Spirit, given as He sees fit so we can help each other. It’s ok to ask God to reveal your gift or gifts, but remember,” Peter said, “these are gifts, which means God gives them according to His plans. Don’t worry, when the time is right, you will realize that you have whatever gift you need. There is no secret password, Chuck. We can’t earn spiritual gifts, they are given to us according to God’s perfect will and pleasure.All the spiritual gifts are given to unify the Church, the people of God.”

For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.” ~Philippians 2:13