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Learning God’s Language

LanguageIn my last post I began to talk about the Gift of the Spirit.  We looked at the following verse.

On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.  For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
Acts 1:4-5

According to Christ, the Gift of the Holy Spirit is the Baptism in the Spirit.  This gift brings up so many questions surrounding it.  Is it important?  Is this gift even for today or not?  Was it just a one time thing to get the early church going?

I believe the Scriptures answer all these questions.

For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God.  Indeed, no one understands him; he utters mysteries with his spirit.
1 Corinthians 14:2

At one point, Paul wrote that he spoke in tongues more than all who were in the church of Corinth (I Cor. 14:18).  This tells me that he had an intimate knowledge of the use and the function of the gift.  Paul wrote about his experiences in the Greek language, which is a very descriptive language.

In order for us to understand what Paul wrote we rely upon translators to help us.  I’ve had the privilege of meeting some of these translators.  I’m in awe of the amount of work they have before them and realize that I could never accomplish half of what they do.  I’m very grateful for their work.

That being said, I also have a problem with a particular portion of their work.  As I’ve said, Paul wrote to us about his experiences in the deep usage of the gift of the Spirit.  Unfortunately, the translators who worked on that passage may not have even experienced the Baptism of the Spirit, let alone the deeper works.

In reading the words that Paul wrote, these translators didn’t understand why Paul was using the words that he used.  So they tried to explain Paul’s words instead of telling us exactly what he said.

Because of this, many of the deeper truths of the Gift of Tongues were lost.  It’s my prayer that the Lord will once again restore our knowledge of these concepts through godly teachings such as this.

The verse I just quoted is one such verse.  The English words used in the translation are not the Greek words used in the original text.  After Paul tells us that the person is speaking to God, not to man, the next sentence actually reads (in Greek), Indeed, no man hears him; his spirit speaks mysteries.

This gives us fresh insight into the gift.  When I pray in tongues, I’m not speaking to man, but to God.  What is coming out of my mouth is immaterial to the spiritual communication.

According to Paul, no man even hears what I’m saying to God.  It’s not your flesh that’s communicating with Him.  There’s no correlation between what’s coming out of your mouth, and what is being exchanged with God in the spirit.

This is an important truth in understanding the gift of the spirit.

Question: How important is the Baptism of the Spirit to your walk with God?

©Nick Zaccardi 2014

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Posted by on February 26, 2014 in Prayer, Prayer in the Spirit

 

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God’s Wifi

WifiIn my last post I concluded with the truth that our spirits are now alive to God – the lines of communication are open in Christ.  This is why the preaching of the Word is so important.  The only way God can speak to an unbeliever is through the church.  God speaks to us, then, we bring His message to the world.  This in itself is a supreme privilege.

Since the Holy Spirit now lives in you, your spirit is reconnected to the Holy Spirit.  I want you to see incredible opportunity that God has opened up to us because of this gift.

Until this generation there was no easy way of illustrating the spiritual principles that are at work here.  Now, because of our modern technology, it makes it easier to picture the work God has done in us.  Let me explain.

Before you came to Christ, you were an old, broken-down, unusable, burned out computer.  Then, Christ saved you, cleaned you up, fixed you and put a brand new processor on the inside.  He also wired you up with a cutting edge wireless network adapter – His Holy Spirit in you.

Before this generation, we couldn’t conceive of being connected to something bigger than us, wherever we go.  Think about the internet.  The internet covers the earth.  You can wirelessly connect to it wherever you are, 24/7.  That’s what God has done in our spirits.  He’s hooked you into His wireless system – His network.

It’s through this network that we have access to the power of God.  It comes from the very throne of God, through the Holy Spirit, into our lives.  That’s what this series of posts is about.  I want to show you how to access and utilize the incredible power of this spiritual network.  It’s greater than any human invention.

On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.  For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
Acts 1:4-5

There is probably no subject in all of Christianity that sparks more controversy than the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.   Even among the so called Pentecostal, Full Gospel, and Charismatic churches there are many divisions, inconsistencies, and misconceptions concerning this teaching.  So many terms are thrown around without the knowledge of what they mean in Scripture.

Terms such as the Gift of the Spirit, receive the Spirit, filled with the Spirit, Baptized in the Spirit, tongues, and prayer in the spirit.

It’s through the gift of the Holy Spirit that we have access to more power than we could ever even dream about.  There’s much more to it than just “speaking in tongues.”  It’s the greatest gift that we could ever receive, yet the most underused.  It’s my prayer and desire that the church enters into a fuller and deeper experience in this gift.

In my next post I will begin to explain this spiritual gift in more detail.

Questions: Have you been baptized in the Spirit?  How often do you use this gift?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
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Posted by on February 24, 2014 in Power of God, Prayer, Prayer in the Spirit

 

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Will Your Gift to God be Returned? #greatestgift

PresentThe Christmas season is in full swing!  The stores are full of shoppers.  The TV is all about buying presents for people.  With all the hype going on around us; do we really understand giving?

I’m talking about what we give to God.  No, I’m not going to ask for an offering.  I’m thinking about how willing we are to give.

There are some things that we’re more willing to give than others.  Many are willing to give some time to the Lord on Sundays as well as a couple of hours during the week.  There are a lot of believers who give ten percent of their income to the work of God.

Here’s the problem.  Am I giving what God is asking for?  If not, then all my works count for nothing.

Is it any different than our Christmas experience?  We all get presents that we don’t want.  Check out the exchange lines the day after Christmas and you’ll see exactly what I mean.  No one wants to give a gift that gets returned.

How much more important is it to you, that God doesn’t return your gift?  We need to know what He’s looking for in a gift.

Actually, we can get some insight from the enemy.  Satan made an interesting statement while he was accusing Job before God.

“Skin for skin!” Satan replied. “A man will give all he has for his own life.”
Job 2:4

If anyone knows us well, it’s the devil.  After centuries of watching us, he came to this conclusion.

That’s how we know the value of the greatest gift God asks of us.

For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.  What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?  Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?
Matthew 16:25-26

Jesus taught the same thing.  A man will sell everything he has to save his life.  It’s the most precious possession we own.

That’s why it’s also the greatest gift we can give to God.  In reality, God doesn’t want your time or money if it’s just a replacement for you.  The Lord wants you.

This season, while we think about all the things we’re getting for others, don’t forget the highest name on the list.  Make it your first priority to give yourself fully to Christ.  Then, everything else will fall into place.

Question: How far are you willing to go for the Lord?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on December 13, 2013 in Encouragement, Worship

 

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The Right Hand of Fellowship

Galatians 2:9
James, Peter and John, those reputed to be pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they recognized the grace given to me. They agreed that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the Jews.

The right hand is important in fellowship.  Even left-handed people shake hands with their right hand.  The right side is considered the side of importance and power.  Consider the saying, “He’s my right-hand man.”  It is a position of trust.

Here Paul and Barnabas were given the right hand of fellowship – they were accepted as fellow ministers and believers in the body of Christ.  This was important, because before his salvation, Paul had a reputation as being a deadly enemy of the church.

How were the early believers able to trust him enough to embrace Paul into their spiritual family?  The answer is in this verse.  It happened when they recognized the grace given to him.  They were able to see that he had a calling from God to bring the Gospel of Christ to the Gentiles.

So often Christians find themselves unfulfilled.  This shouldn’t be the case.  We all have a calling from the Father.  Sometimes we blame God and say that He hasn’t spoken to us about our calling.  I think that in many cases it is more a problem of inactivity.  The verse above says that they recognized the grace that Paul was given to minister to Gentiles.  If he had never done anything, there would not have been any recognizing.

Today, don’t just go to church.  Make it your goal to be the church.  Do something for the Lord.  Allow His Spirit and His grace to work through you.  Who knows, maybe you or others will recognize a gift of God’s grace in you.  Then you can be fulfilled as you pass on the blessing of God to others.

 
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Posted by on March 11, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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