The Advent Part 36
Just as in our physical bodies, the hand does not pick up a piece of bread to keep it for itself, but gives it to the mouth, and the mouth gives it to the stomach, so it is within the Body of Christ, wherein the gifts that God grants us are not for our own personal use, but rather for the building up and the edification of the entire Body.
1 Corinthians 12:4-7, “Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all.”
In order for the body to be in peak condition, in order for the body to be strong, every member, every appendage, every organ must work properly and perform its given function. When one organ is ailing, when one member is out of sync with the rest of the body it weakens the whole, and it slows down the entire construct. There are instances wherein one organ, or one appendage is so far gone, and it causes so much damage to the rest of the body that it is physically removed, surgically separated from the whole for fear that it will corrupt and eventually kill off the body in its entirety.
For those of you that have been reading this weblog for some time, you know my trials and travails with both arthritis and gout. Although I’ve been able to keep my gout in check through diet, abstaining from purine rich foods such as beef, liver, and shellfish, there is nothing I can do to keep the arthritis from flaring up whenever the weather changes, or when there is precipitation. Arthritis is a localized pain, for me it is in my feet, sometimes even in just one toe, but the pain in one digit is enough to immobilize my entire body, or in the least slow it down dramatically.
It is the same with the household of faith, the family of God, and the body of Christ. The entire body must be healthy from head to toe, and every one of us must perform our tasks faithfully, using the gifts which God entrusted us with for the profit of all, that we might grow and mature, and see the promises of the heavenly Father unfolding before our very eyes.
There has been much debate as to why the Holy Spirit would give those who had been gathered in the upper room the utterance to speak in other human tongues. Personally I believe it was the only way by which those who had gathered to celebrate Pentecost from throughout the nations, could understand and perceive what was happening, or at least conclude that this was a supernatural event taking place, something beyond human comprehension or reasoning. Here were one hundred twenty individuals who had not learned the languages they were now speaking, and chances are they had never even heard some of them. These were not world travelers, they were not savvy tourists who’d picked up a few phrases here or there, they were average, working class individuals who struggled to survive from day to day never mind traipse off to other nations. Both those gathered in the upper room, and those who heard them speaking realized that what they were witnessing was a miracle that surpassed their intellect.
Jesus had told His followers to go and make disciples of all the nations, and now through the advent of the Holy Spirit He had given them the necessary tools to do as He had commanded them. God will not assign us a task, He will not assign us a duty without thoroughly equipping us, and giving us the requisite tool to carry out that which we were charged with. If God tells you to build a wall, He will provide the brick and the mortar, if God tells you to build an ark, He will provide the wood and the nails.
Jesus had also promised His disciples that He would be with them always, and the advent of the Holy Spirit was the fulfillment of this promise as well. Not only were the disciples given the power to preach the Gospel to all the nations, they were also given the wisdom, and by the unction of the Holy Spirit they were able to preach the Gospel in their hearers’ own native tongues.
Matthew 28:18-20, “Then Jesus came and spoke to them saying, ‘all authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen.”
On the Day of Pentecost, Christ had fulfilled all His promises toward His disciples, filling them with the power of the Holy Spirit, giving them the requisite tools and equipping them to be His witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria and to the ends of the earth.
It was not in and of themselves, it was not due to any special skill or attribute that they possessed prior to being filled with the power of the Holy Spirit that a handful of souls turned the world on its ear, and the message of the Gospel swept through every nation. It was because they were filled with power, and the Spirit of God spoke through them, and because miracles followed them wherever they went, that thousands upon thousands of souls came to know Jesus as Lord and King, that they were compelled to fall at the foot of the cross in repentance, and were born again, new creations in Christ.
What’s more, wherever they went, whatever miracles God performed through them, they knew that it was Him. They neither attempted to garner glory for themselves, nor attempted to build up their own personal ministries, but all was done for Christ, in Christ, and through Christ.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.