Grace Bible Church
The Tree of Life
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Week ending 061012
The New Testament analogy of the Fish Gate and the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Part 4.

We have been noting some of the fantastic privileges which come from understanding the seven different ministries of God the Holy Spirit at the moment of salvation. There are actually seven salvation ministries of God the Holy Spirit. First there is what is known as regeneration or being born again as taught in TIT 3:5; 1PE 1:23.

Secondly, there is the baptism of the Spirit which is the ministry of God the Holy Spirit in taking every new believer and entering him into union with the person of Jesus Christ. We are in union with Christ forever. 

JOH 14:16-20, “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; {that is} the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Him or know Him, {but} you know Him because He abides with you, and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. After a little while the world will behold Me no more; but you   {will} behold Me; because I live, you shall live also. In that day you shall know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.

The third salvation ministry of God the Holy Spirit is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, 1CO 3:16; 1CO 6:19-20; 2CO 6:16, Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, “I will dwell in them and walk among them; And I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

The Holy Spirit dwells in the body of every believer as of the moment of faith in Christ for the purpose of making the body of the believer a temple of the Holy Spirit. 

The fourth salvation ministry of the Holy Spirit is the sealing ministry of the Holy Spirit, EPH 1:13-14; EPH 4:30. This is a guarantee of His ministry of eternal life, eternal security, our invisible assets, and of a resurrection body.

EPH 4:30, And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

The fifth salvation ministry of the Holy Spirit is the one we will begin this morning which is the distribution of spiritual gifts which occurs at the moment of salvation.

The sixth salvation ministry of the Holy Spirit is efficacious grace; EPH 2:8.

The seventh salvation ministry of the Holy Spirit is the filling of the Holy Spirit, EPH 5:18.

So we are looking at the fifth salvation ministry which is the distribution of spiritual gifts which occurs at the moment of salvation. Spiritual gifts are simply an illustration of the grace policy of God and one of the forty things that God gives to every believer at the moment of salvation.

Point 1. The Source of Spiritual Gifts is a Fascinating Subject Because it Involves All Three Members of the Trinity.

  1. God the Father as the source is documented in Heb 2.

HEB 2:2-4, For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? After it was at the first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard, God also bearing witness with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles [which means works of divine power] and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His [God the Father’s] own will.

God the Father uses the ministry of God the Holy Spirit for giving spiritual gifts. The distribution of these gifts are according to God the Father’s very own will because He is the author of the divine plan.

  1. There is also the ministry of God the Son in the distribution of spiritual gifts, as in EPH 4:7-8.
  2. Then there is the ministry of God the Holy Spirit who gives to each one of us at salvation a spiritual gift as He wills, 1CO 12:11.

In HEB 2:4 notice that the distribution of these gifts are to be used as what HEB 2:4 calls a witness. The word witness is the pres-act-part of the verb sunepimartureo which means to attest together with, to join in bearing witness, to unite in adding testimony.

That’s what you do when you operate in your spiritual gift. You support and agree together with God. You join in bearing witness of the divine plan and the glorification of the Lord Jesus Christ. You unite with other believers in adding testimony by building up and edifying the body of Christ. This falls under such biblical principles as AMO 3:3, Can two walk together, except they be agreed?

ECC 4:9-12, talks to all of us concerning this principle. First of all, just a simple statement of fact in ECC 4:9, Two are better than one.

This does not refer to marriage; this is for the married and the unmarried. Marriage is never mentioned in this passage. This is for people who are human on this earth wondering what’s the purpose, and how to survive in our dog-eat-dog culture of trying to survive and driving for success especially in the spiritual realm. It says in ECC 4:9, Two are better than one…and then it tells us why, because they have a good return for their labor. The Living Bible puts it even more simply, for the results can be much better. You see, we gain perspective and objectivity by having others by our side. In other words, Solomon is saying it’s better not to work alone. It’s better not to minister alone. It’s better to hurt with someone else. It’s better not to face a crisis alone.

1CO 12:13-26, For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body.” And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired. And if they were all one member, where would the body be? But now there are many members, but one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; or again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary; and those members of the body, which we deem less honorable, on these we bestow more abundant honor, and our unseemly members come to have more abundant seemliness, whereas our seemly members have no need of it. But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked, that there should be no division in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it;

Please notice it doesn’t say all the members attack and kick him while he’s down. If one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. You see, this is the same thing Solomon is saying. Now, we have a hard time admitting this. We are tough-minded individuals. We are a rock, we are an island…and a rock feels no pain and an island never cries! Many of you remember that song by Simon and Garfunkle! We have a hard time admitting that we need people. We are tough-minded individuals. We think that we’re rocks. We think we would be happy to be an island. The rock feels no pain and the island never cries. But that’s not living. The greatest man who ever lived sympathizes with us.

HEB 4:15, For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.

No matter who you are, when the rug gets pulled up from under our lives, not one of us can go it alone…not fully, and stay balanced, Two are better than one. It is not good for the man to be alone says the Lord! One writer states, To man, friend­ship is indispensable and to that one who has no need and feels no need for it, he must be either much above the human nature or much below it. This principle also rebukes the religious solitaire, that isolated being who belongs to no Church, because no Church is perfect enough for him or her. This is the crowd Paul talked about in1CO 1:12 when he said, Now I mean this, that each one of you is saying, “I am of Paul,” and “I of Apollos,” and “I of Cephas,” and “I of Christ.”

Surely it is better to belong to an imperfect church than to none at all! By that I mean a church that is making mistakes along the way but is still doing what it can to glorify God. In ECC 4:9 Solomon writes, Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up.

When our Lord was sending out the twelve disciples, we are told that He sent them out in pairs, MAR 6:7, And He summoned the twelve and began to send them out in pairs; and He was giving them authority over the unclean spirits;

This is why there was Moses and Aaron!

ACT 13:2, And while they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”

REV 11:3, the Lord will send the two witnesses during the Tribulation period, And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.

Solomon gives us some reasons for this that are very simple to grasp. You don’t have to give a lot of clever or insightful or linguistic input, all you have to do is read what’s said! If you want three reasons why two are better than one than you’ve got them in verse 10-12. Here’s the first reason: ECC 4:10, For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion.

In times of personal failure. In times when we would be easily ensnared, when we stumble or become entrapped, not if but when! When we fall flat on our faces, when we have gotten into trouble, it’s good to have a companion there to keep us from getting too wounded and bloody. True companionship is very profitable for one another and that’s why it is rewarded by the grace of God as in 2TI 1:16, The Lord grant mercy to the house of Onesiphorus for he often refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chains;

True friends do not forsake you in times of disaster, humiliation or defeat. Solomon says that a true companion will not leave you when you fall. Men that are raised by well meaning parents and teachers and a whole culture that thought sought to teach us that we were tough! We are rugged! We can make it! But the truth is that we may sound strong, but we’re really not! When we make wrong decisions it’s good to have people in our life who support us and who pick us up when we fall!

Solomon put it in his way in ECC 4:10, For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion.

But then verse 10 concludes, But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up.

PSA 37:24, When we falls, we shall not be utterly cast down because the Lord is the One who holds our hand.

How does the Lord hold your hand or cause you to stand? Does He come down from heaven and do it personally?

No, He uses people! And if you say, no He uses doctrine! Where did you get that doctrine from? People! Who supported that doctrine and provided the finances for a local assembly to come to you so that you could learn that doctrine? People!

Who made the tapes and the CD”s, the publications or the internet that you listen to? People! Who supports the ministry?

There’s no way around it…God uses people to minister to our need! Remember we’re not talking about marriage! Marriage can be a wonderful thing especially if the two people that are married are best friends! However, the strange part of it all is that in many marriages those who are married are still lonely! Perhaps one of the greatest of all disillusionments is to marry thinking one is getting a companion and instead one gains an adversary.

Solomon says in ECC 4:9-11, Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up. Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm {alone?}

Here again it’s our tendency to make passages be what we want them to be or think that they should be! Therefore, it’s easy for us to miss the symbol of the whole thing! What we have here is an element that you can’t change! You can’t make it hot if it’s cold! To put it another way this is saying, It’s better to have two than one because mutual support helps us when we’re vulnerable. So in verse 10 we have mutual encouragement! In verse 11, mutual support! Look at verse 12, we have mutual protection.

ECC 4:12, And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him [this is mutual protection when we’re attacked].

Remember that there is an adversary that we have to deal with who is invisible who is called the devil! We believe that he is a real being. He has a demonic force that if we could see, we would even be more intimidated! But we cannot see them. We feel their presence and at times we are under onslaught if they attack. However, sometimes a companion will be there to say; this is a satanic attack or a demonic attack and the companion helps us through those times! I’ve had it happen in my life…many of you have had it happen to you as well! Or perhaps the adversary is some other person, some vicious person who spreads some vicious rumors, some pack of lies that have been built up against you…or someone who doesn’t agree with what you’re doing. It is simply a disagreement or a misunderstanding but, you have become the face on that person’s dart board, and there is no way through it except to endure it.

Well that’s when ECC 4:12 becomes a comfort, And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him.

The verse concludes with the phrase “A cord of three {strands} is not quickly torn apart.”

This speaks of having more than one friend or companion. David had what the Bible calls three mighty men who were willing to put their life on the line for him!

2SA 23:16, So the three mighty men broke through the camp of the Philistines, and drew water from the well of Bethlehem which was by the gate, and took it and brought it to David. Nevertheless he would not drink it, but poured it out to the Lord;

They were mighty men who made a pact with each other and they were not easily torn apart. In the book of Daniel, we have a cord of three strands which could not be broken, DAN 3:16, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed‑nego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to give you an answer concerning this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king.”

1SA 20:23, “As for the agreement of which you and I have spoken, behold, the Lord is between you and me forever.”

It’s also reference to having more than one friend or companion!

ECC 4:12, And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three {strands} is not quickly torn apart.

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