Holy Spirit Pt 3: The Manifestation

Holy Spirit Pt 3: The Manifestation

The Manifestation Of The Spirit

1 Corinthians 12:1–11

A Statement of Faith is a document that illustrates the core belief of a Church. It is designed to give those who are looking for a biblical Church a glimpse into exactly what they believe the Bible teaches. Generally the more transparent the Church desires to be the more clear that statement of faith is presented. The less transparent the Church desires to be the less clear will be that statement, until you get to the Churches that don’t want anyone to know what they believe…coz they don’t know either 🙂 

We have spent time dealing with God the Father, then God the Son and now we are in the third message of the third member of the Godhead, speaking of God the Holy Spirit. What we will look to bring out today is HOW GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT manifests himself through Christians to the world.

Now when I say “Christians” I am not speaking of those who CALL themselves Christians, I am speaking of all those who are Born Again believers, they have believed the Gospel, that “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

That “He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life” (1 John 5:12)

They believe “that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures” (1 Cor 15:3-4)

They believe in their heart That “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:6), the Old Testament version of John 3:16, and so many more.

We should understand from the beginning what Christianity is and isn’t; Christianity is NOT the beliefs held by those who are Christians, that is NOT the measure. It was the late John Robbins who I think made clear that, 

quote, “Christianity is what the Bible teaches, Christianity is not the beliefs held by those who call themselves ‘Christian’

Christians are NOT those who go to Church each Sunday, they are NOT those who do good deeds most of the time, they are not those who grow up under a certain tradition or nationality, or family, there is no such thing as a “Christian Country” and there was NEVER such a thing as “Christendom”, at least, not in a physical sense.

A Christian is an individual who has believed in their heart that Jesus Christ is Lord;

Romans 10:9

9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

So how is it that we should expect the Holy Spirit to manifest himself through Christians?

Lets take another look at just a few of those verses read this morning;

1 Corinthians 12:3–8

 3 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. 4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. 8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 9  To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 10  To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: 11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

Here we see that the “Manifestation of the Spirit”; that is, how the Spirit of God is evidently revealing himself is through a range of Gifts given to those who are born again. By gifts the bible refers to abilities and desires not possessed by them before they were saved, and so we have lists developing. This list is one of three in this passage, there is another in the book of Romans and they are all a little different.

BUT, there is ONE primary “manifestation of the Spirit” that they all have in common, it is first understood by the purpose of the gifts, and yet we are also TOLD in clear terms the greatest underlying way the Spirit of God manifest himself in believers.

Do you know how?

HINT:  Last time we looked at the PURPOSE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, and we discovered that his primary purpose is to GLORIFY JESUS. We saw that he does not speak of himself but draws all attention to Christ.

Think of what Jesus did. Think of what God is. Now think of the BEST way the Holy Spirit can manifest himself that glorifies Jesus and reveals God?

What is the most “excellent way”?

1 Corinthians 12:31

31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

1 Corinthians 13:1–8

1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. 

4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; 6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; 7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. 

8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

Beloved, the greatest single manifestation of the Spirit of God shed abroad in the hearts of those who are saved, is the Love identified as “Christian Charity”, the peculiar love BETWEEN BRETHREN that identifies Christ to the WORLD.

Turn to

John 13:34–35

34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. 35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

John wrote in his first epistle saying;

1 John 2:5

5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.

Far too many Christians have forgotten of this incredible work the Spirit of God is to do in our lives if we let him. Too many have been caught up with many distractions and spend little to no time in their Bibles or before the Lord in prayer. 

Now, far too many are given over to ego, to envy, to sin in their own lives, they do not share the hope of Christ and so, like the Church of Ephesus in Revelation 2, have lost their first love.

John wrote;

1 John 4:20–21

20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? 21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

Yes, the passage from chapters 12 to 14 is speaking of Spiritual gifts and Paul is indeed rebuking the Corinthian Church for their exaggerated employments of one gift in particular, but whithin this letter is an insight to the manifestation of the Holy Spirit and how he, not only reveals that God is in you of a truth, but that the love of Jesus Christ is made evident through you who have the Holy Spirit within. 

Pray

 

Given To Every Man

1 Corinthians 12:7–11

7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man …

Before we give consideration to the nature of that which is given to every man, I just want to focus here on what it means that “the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man”.

The most incredible transformation in history occurs when the gospel is believed and an individual is born again. 

Naturally, we all heard the truth of the gospel before we believed. We heard that we are sinners, we have offended the holy and righteous God who created us all in his own image, that he created us to have a relationship with him and our sin AGAINST him has separated us from him. 

My friends this should not be unusual to us, not you nor I want to have a relationship with someone that continues to do wrong against us. Who could say you even have a relationship with someone you only disagree with; 

Amos 3:3

3 Can two walk together, except they be agreed?

Two people WILL NOT WALK TOGETHER unless they are agreed, how much less when one sins against the other every day?

So it is in the natural relationship between God and man. But God CREATED man for relationship, a relationship BROKEN by sin.

Romans 6:23

23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The “Wages of sin”, a fascinating phrase that sets the APPROPRIATE PENALTY rate received as the reward of our own iniquity. Man was created for a PURPOSE, and naturally is accountable TO THAT PURPOSE.

If you made a product that did not function according to the PARTICULAR purpose for which you made it, WHAT IS IT GOOD FOR? It is good only to be discarded. What is interesting for mankind is that WE ARE CONTINUALLY UNFULFILLED until we are FULFILLING THE PURPOSE FOR WHICH WE ARE CREATED!

But then the offering of pardon, the offering of eternal life as a “gift” is seen in that incredible text of Romans 6:23, 

but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

We believed it; once we believed that Jesus took our penalty upon himself and “with his stripes we are healed”, once we understand that, it should be the greatest victory dance in our lives! Nothing compares to this, NOTHING. It is not only the relief, it is the pure joy that we are fully forgiven and never again to be separated from God. 

This incredible vicarious atonement has secured for you and I a reconciling work and it all made sense.

Now the Spirit of God is given to “EVERY MAN” who believed the Gospel, EVERY MAN who heard of their sin and the judgement to come, EVERY MAN who understood he would face ETERNAL RUIN as a just recompense of a life that is lived in OPPOSITION to his purpose and creator. EVERY MAN who believed Jesus died specifically for him, God now gives his own Spirit to him.

 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man….

The person who is born of the Spirit is now a new creature we are told in 2 Cor 5:17, a changed person and the Manifestation of the Spirit that is in him SHOULD be EVIDENT. 

The previous message on the Holy Spirit, told of his purpose to Glorify the Son, the greatest way the Spirit could glorify Jesus is through the expression of love.

The greatest manifestation of the Spirit is the peculiar Love between those who have a share in Christ Jesus.

And it is that Love that is the greatest manifestation of the Spirit of God “given to every man to profit withal”.

 

To Profit Withal

1 Cor 12:7

But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.

Beloved, the passage before us speaks to the distribution of spiritual gifts given to every manwho is born of again, and each of those gifts are a manifestation of that same Spirit, we see this in the passage.

The ultimate benefit of those gifts given to every man is to profit withal.

That profit is both personal and public.

It is both to the one to whom the gifts are given AND to those who are the beneficiaries of the expression of those gifts. 

The one who has been given the gift however ALSO has a responsibility to faithfully express it

Those of you who are gainfully employed, you PROFIT when your employer receives the benefit of the faithfulness with which you exercise your talents and abilities. But YOU also profit when the expression of appreciation is shown to you either through; 

  • Public Acknowledgement
  • In increase in remuneration (Pay rise)
  • An increase in clientele
  • Or simply keeping your job when times get tougher. 

But notice that BOTH parties profit in the real world when you exercise your abilities faithfully.

Now, those of you who belong to Christ, to you there is an even greater blessing because your WORK is now given to you as an opportunity to express your Love of Christ, in fact, through your work, you worship the Lord.

In fact, everything you do is a manifestation of your love for the Lord, all you do is a true reflection and EXPRESSION OF your love for Jesus. 

When it is faithful, YOU and those around you “PROFIT”, when it is UNFAITHFUL, both you and those around you suffer loss.

Turn to Ephesians 6 that you may be able to see that which I express here from the scriptures themselves;

Ephesians 6:5–9

5 Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ6 Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christdoing the will of God from the heart7 With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men8 Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free9 And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him.

It is certain that when we undertake to manifest the Spirit of God to those around us, WE PROFIT and so too do THOSE WE SERVE.

Two chapters earlier than our passage the apostle wrote simply;

1 Corinthians 10:31

31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

How do you fulfil your obligations at work? Do you do your bare minimum so you can get through the day, get your wages and go home? Or do you go the extra mile as we are commanded? Are you profitable, or have you ONLY done that which was your DUTY to do?

How do you regard your brethren at Church? When you bring food, do you bring that which is best or that which is least? Is your best expression of Jesus Christ a “Not Quite Right” food store or is it one that is AN EXAMPLE OF all Jesus gave for you?

Beloved, the LOVE that best manifests the Spirit of God in you is LOVE BETWEEN BRETHREN…how do you, AS BRETHREN, evidence that love between each other?

With ALL that which God has given you, do you HELP ADVANCE THE WORK done in you through the Gospel with the pocket change you have left over? 

Are you going to be known eternally for MUZZLING THE OX AS HE TREADS out the Corn? 

Is that gospel hindered or helped by you? Do you pray for your brethren and for souls to be saved? 

Or is your provision for advancing Jesus WORK on the Cross, an expression of the joy of the ABUNDANCE of ETERNAL LIFE he gave you, while you were yet an enemy?

Beloved, WE PROFIT WITHAL when we give of OUR ALL, because there is ONE PERSON who sees that which we do in secret and will one day reward us OPENLY.

OTHERS PROFIT from our manifesting of the Gifts God has given us, and some to the point of ETERNAL LIFE AND JOY, who may very well themselves continue your good work, in ways you can never imagine!

Let me give you just ONE small example of ONE way your manifestation of the Spirit of God given you is to PROFIT WITHAL, to both yourself eternally, and others.

Have you ever heard of Edward Kimball?

What about DL Moody?

Billy Sunday?

Billy Graham?

Edward Kimball was just a normal Christian Sunday School teacher who, on a weekday morning in 1856, nervously shared the Gospel with a teenage boy who attended his Sunday School class and who was working as a simple sales clerk in his Uncles shoe store, that teenage boy was Dwight Lyman Moody who became the greatest evangelist of his time.

Well, in 1879 the Lord had called DL Moody to do some evangelism in England which greatly affected a man by the name of Frederick B Meyer (Yes FB Meyer), the same man that had great influence in the Welsh revival of the early 1900’s. 

Years later while Meyer was preaching on an American college campus, a student named J. Wilbur Chapman professed faith in Christ. Chapman went on to hold evangelistic meetings across America. He later hired a new convert (and former major league baseball player), Billy Sunday, to work in his ministry. Chapman went into the pastorate, and Billy Sunday began to lead evangelistic meetings.

In 1924 Billy Sunday preached in Charlotte, North Carolina. After the meetings about thirty men came to Christ and formed the Charlotte Men’s Club, which met on a regular basis for prayer. Ten years later the club met for a day of prayer and fasting in a grove of trees at Frank Graham’s dairy farm. Yes, Frank Graham is the father of Billy Graham who became an answer to prayer of one of the men of that group named Vernon Patterson. 

Billy Graham went on to preach to the Gospel to more people in one lifetime that any other evangelist in history. Billy Graham still holds the record for the largest crowd the MCG in Melbourne has ever hosted (Estimated at 143,000).

So, 

Because Edward Kimball Loved Jesus more than he feared man, he profited with eternal reward, and the WORLD profited by the ministries of Dwight L. Moody, J. Wilbur Chapman, Billy Sunday, Mordecai Ham, Billy Graham, and millions of other men and women the world has never heard of. [1]

1 Cor 12:7

7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.

Are you and others profiting by how you are manifesting the Spirit of God in all you do?

 

To One Is Given

1 Corinthians 12:7–11

7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. 8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 9  To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 10  To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: 11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

Clearly what we have here is a distribution of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit dividing to every man severally as he will. And every man is to express those gifts in direct accord with the Spirit of God whose fundamental and expressed purpose is to glorify Jesus (Jn 16:14). Paul tells us at the end of this chapter and the entirety of Chapter 13 that the greatest expression of each of those gifts is LOVE.

Now I need to show you that the overall context of this passage is one of REBUKE. For three chapters Paul is dealing with an exaggerated expression of a particular gift that seems more to bring attention to man than to the Lord. 

Three times Paul lays out some of the gifts in LIST FORM, not each list is exactly the same, but one item on each list is always present, twice the gift of tongues and interpretation is given last of all, but once it is given prominence both to highlight it in opposition to what he refers to as a “more excellent way” and to reveal that this is the subject of his correction over chapters 12, 13 and 14.

It is what is referred to as a “revelatory gift” and was given in response to Jesus own words at the end of the gospel of Mark, and demonstrated historically when the church began in Acts 2.

But just like the OTHER revelatory Gifts Paul speaks of in chapter 13, it was ALWAYS designed to be TEMPORARY and it was NEVER given for the sake of ITSELF.

1 Corinthians 13:3–10

 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; 6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; 7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. 

8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. 9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

The gift of tongues was given to preach the “wonderful works of God” and to glorify Jesus Christ in LOVE, it was NEVER the purpose of the gift to be and end in itself and never intended to be permanent. IT was given BEFORE THE WORD OF GOD was complete in history/

NB: The manifestation of the babbling that is seen today is NOT the tongues given as the gift in the New Testament. Each of those given as a gift were discernible, distinguishable languages and REVELATORY in nature, they were designed to spread the Gospel around the known world.

God is not the author of confusion! Babble is evidently CONFUSION. 

And Paul addresses the BABBLE of today as reflective in the Corinthian Church who were manifesting the same error.

1 Corinthians 14:6–11

6  Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine? 7 And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped? 8 For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle? 9 So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air. 10  There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification. 11 Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me.

12 Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.

The purpose of the TRUE GIFT OF TONGUES was to be for the profit and edifying of the CHURCH, not JUST TO him who is given the gift.

You all who are born again are given differing gifts by that same spirit, the revelatory gifts however (as peculiar gifts to individuals) are passed, but that which manifests the Spirit to glorify Jesus Christ remains; 

the best gifts remain.

The Most Excellent Way

Lest we be too far diverted from our task, we must remember that what we are dealing with is the nature of the Holy Spirit, the focus is related to him, and all that is expressed in these chapters is the manifestation of that same Spirit that indwells all who have believed the Gospel.

We began with verse 7 of the 12th chapter;

1 Corinthians 12:7

7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.

What we see here in Chapter 13 is what Paul refers to as “a more excellent way” to which he gives examples;

1 Corinthians 13:1–3

1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

Modern bibles have altered the word Charity here to the word Love.

On the surface they seem to have correctly given the word, but in context they have failed. For the use of the word Agape in this and every other context where the word is translated “Charity” is the most unique referencing that can only be described as the perfect manifestation of Love toward those for whom Christ died.

In other words, Charity is the Love between brethren and it is a love that is given to the profit of both the giver AND the receiver.

When Jesus said “it is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35 quoted by Paul), this is the outward manifestation of that love between brethren. 

Both the giver and the receiver profit.

Notice verse 3;

And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

If you are one who has not believed the Gospel, you cannot know this kind of love. But if you are one who has freely received it, then how are you giving it? 

How are YOU DEMONSTRATING the manifestation of the Spirit in your life?

It is CERTAIN you are evidencing something? To what extent is it CHARITY?

Does God see you giving your BEST or your LEAST? 

Your FIRST FRUITS, or your left overs?

Do you prioritise your TIME FOR others, or for yourself?

Do you give ONLY in order to receive? 

How did Jesus manifest his LOVE FOR YOU?

The greatest manifestation of the Spirit of God that should grow in your life is Charity, (love between brethren.)

John 13:35

 35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

The Lord is coming soon, when he comes all opportunity to profit eternally may indeed by over.

Edward Kimball may indeed lay claim to an eternal reward he never expected, all he did was manifest the gift of Love that was given him.

So can you.

God bless you and…. Maranatha.


[1]. Eckman, J.P. (2002) Exploring church history. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, p. 92.

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