Monday, April 10, 2017

Let The Holy Spirit Direct Your Tongue

In Acts 1:8, Jesus told his disciples, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”  It would be the Holy Spirit’s power that made them effective witnesses to the world.  He had already told them much the same thing in John 15:26-27.  “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.”   

We need both the Holy spirits teaching and his power if we are to accomplish God’s work.  In I Corinthians 2:12-14 Paul talked about How the Spirit enabled him to witness and teach.  “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.  Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”  Without his direction and power we can only appeal to the natural intellect.  We must have the Holy Spirit’s power to reach the person on a spiritual level and bring them to Christ. 

Unfortunately we tend to focus on our understanding of what will reach people rather than letting the Holy Spirit lead us.  We teach classes in Hermeneutics or homiletics and train people is how to prepare sermon outlines to make them more effective.  Paul took a different approach, as he described in I Corinthians 2:1-5.  “And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.   For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.  And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.  And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.”

Instead of studying our sermon and how we want to present it, we need to spend the time studying God’s word and let him speak through us to present the message.   Luke 21:14-15 commands, “Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer: For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.”  When he speaks through us, bringing to mind the things we have studied and learned, it will overcome any objections and preconceived ideas people may have. 

Matthew 22:15 tells the attitude of Pharisees when the confronted Jesus.  “Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk.”  They intended to trip him up.  When Jesus answered them and shut them up, the Sadducees tried.  Finally Jesus asked them a question of his own.  Matthew 22:46 tells us, “And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions.”  When we let the Holy Spirit lead us, we have the mind of Christ, according to I Corinthians 2:16, and will be able to stop the attacks the same way, and reach those we are talking to. 

Understanding what Jesus said, I wonder how much differently the Scopes trial would have turned out had they trusted the Holy Spirit rather than Clarence Darrow’s legal expertise.  As Jesus said in Matthew 13:11, “But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost.”

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