The Background of
Christian Service -
are moving toward certain fraudulent activities of the
satanic world which are counterfeit for genuine activities that God has
The works of the
Spirit of God
which are genuine but which Satan is attempting to spoil what God has
and me as believers.
going to look
therefore this morning at the basis of Christian service, and
background of spiritual gifts.
is necessary to understand these in order to be able to
distinguish between what is genuine and false when it comes to
be necessary for us to
pause and take a look at this age in which we live, the age of the
To take a look at
what is genuine
And then what we
spiritual gifts which are the bases of Christian service.
age in which we live is a unique
But it is an age
in which every one
of us faces the hazard of worthless service.
is going to be disappointment in heaven on the part of
many people who are genuinely born again and who think they have
lives in a way that is pleasing to God for which God is going to reward
going to discover that
they have been deceived; that God has rejected what they have given in
the basis of Christian service must be understood, so we
begin first of all with the doctrine of the church.
do we mean by the church?
The Greek word
for church is “ekklesia.” This
is an ordinary word in the New Testament
In the ordinary
Greek word, a “koine”
Greek word; “koine” being the type of Greek word
that was spoken in New
Testament times, and it means simply “common.”
is an ordinary “koine” Greek word. It
has two parts.
We may divide it
first of all with “ekk,”
which is a preposition which means “out.”
The second part
of the word comes from the Greek word “kaleo,” and
means “to call.” We
have “out” and “to
We put them
together and we get
the meaning of the word “church” which is
“to call out.” The
church is an assembly of people who are
called out of a larger group.
what the word literally mean.
several ways in which this word is used in the Bible.
word “ekklesia” is used, for one thing, for an
of citizen who gather together to conduct the affairs of government. This
is a group of free men out of the mass
of slaves in the Greek city state who will gather to make certain
relative to politics and to the life of the state.
gathering you have described in
scriptures such as Acts 19:25, 29. It
called “the church.” It
You have it in
verse 32, verse
39, and verse 41 of Acts 18.
all uses in terms of just general groups which gather to make political
is also used of the congregation of Israel. It
was used like this in the Septuagint, the
Greek translation of the Old Testament.
In Acts 7:38, you
have Israel referred to as the “ekklesia.”
7:38 says, “This is he that was in the
church in the wilderness with the angel who spoke with him in Mount
with our fathers who received the living oracles to give unto
As we are going
to point out a little later,
the church did not begin until the day of Pentecost, yet here we have
referred to as the church.
On the basis
of this scripture, the claim is often made that the church begin with
and sometimes even as far back as Adam.
This is simply
the general use of the word “church” meaning an
Israel was an
assembly in this sense that
they were called out from the masses of humanity to be a peculiar
this does not connote that Israel was viewed in the
technical sense that the New Testament uses the word
“church,” because this is
what God the Holy Spirit did with this word.
It came with two
came from the Gentile world with the idea of a self-governing
It came from the
Jews with the
idea of a theocratic society subject to God.
Now God the Holy
Spirit took these two meanings, He put them together,
and He created a special third sense in which it is used, and that is
Testament assembly in reference to the body of Christ.
is a group of people who are called out
from the mass of Jews and Gentiles, and they form a new and separate
This is not a
assembly nor is it a Jewish synagogue.
It is a
distinctive group altogether.
This is the
technical sense in which the word “church” is used
new entity (1
the word “church” is used for the body of Christ
is used in two ways in the Christian sense.
It is used in
terms of the universal church, the invisible church; that
is the body of Christ. Ephesians
1:22-23, 5:25-27, and Colossians 1:17-18 all use the word
“church” as a
is also an organization.
For that reason
it is used of a local congregation in which there may be mixed
It is used in
terms of local
congregations in Acts 8:1, 3, 1 Corinthians 1:2, and 4:17.
the word “church” simply means a group
called out of a larger group.
In the New
Testament it is used in a technical sense referring to the body of
in its universal and its local application.
what are the terminal points of the church
When did it begin
and when did it
It began on the
day of Pentecost
you’ll turn to Matthew
16 for a moment, let’s begin reading at verse 13.
Lord makes a declaration concerning the
church that gives us a clue as to when it began. “When
Jesus came into the borders of Caesarea
Philippi (He’s on gentile ground here), He asks His
disciples, saying, ‘Who do
men say that I the Son of Man am?’ And
they said, ‘Some say that thou art John the Baptist, some
Elijah, and others
Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’ He
saith unto them, ‘But who say ye that I am.’
And Simon Peter
answered, ‘Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living
answered and said unto
him, ‘Blessed art thou Simon Bar Jonah, for flesh and blood
hath not revealed
it unto thee, but my Father who is in heaven.
And I say unto
thee that thou art Peter and upon this rock (of his
testimony), I will build my church and the gates of Hades shall not
verse 18 is what we want to direct your attention to
where the Lord said, “I will build my church,”
which is (still in the)
So at the point
of the earthly
ministry of Jesus Christ, the church was not yet in existence. It
therefore did not begin with Adam. It
therefore did not begin with Abraham. It
did not begin with John the Baptist. I’ve
actually heard some people who were
ministers with Baptist groups say that the Baptist church began with
that’s about as “kookie” as
you can get, and you have to really be blind, dumb, stupid, and death
to the word of God to make a statement like that. There
was no church during the earthly ministry
of the Lord Jesus Christ.
1:5 tells us how and when the church would begin. We
have from the Lord Himself, while He was
still on the earth, a preview of information concerning how and when
Acts 1:5 says,
Jesus says, “For
John truly baptized with water, but ye shall be baptized with the Holy
not many days from now.” It
was ten days
later, on the day of Pentecost that this baptism of the Holy Spirit
and the baptism of the Holy Spirit is the mechanics for uniting all
into the body of Christ, the church. And
thus began, on the day of Pentecost, this unique group of believers.
you will turn to Acts chapter 11 and compare with Acts
chapter 2 verses 1 through 4, I think you will see that the baptism of
Spirit occurred for the first time on the day of Pentecost, and thus
the birthday of the church.
have the church without the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
what performs it.
11, beginning at verse 15, “And as I began to speak,
the Holy Spirit fell on them as on us at the beginning.” Here
is Peter’s vindicating his ministry to
the gentiles, explaining what had happened in the home of Cornelius. What’s
he referring to when he said, “… then
the Holy Spirit fell on them as on us at the beginning.” Well,
he’s referring to Acts chapter 2, those
first four verses that speak of how the believers on the day of
suddenly found themselves fused together in one body as they were
the Holy Spirit and baptized with the Holy Spirit, and began giving
this union with the spirit of God by speaking in tongues, in foreign
16 says, “Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how
that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized
the Holy Spirit.”
What he is saying
is that what happened to us on the day of Pentecost has happened to
believers in a gentile household subsequently.
And what he says
happened to the gentiles was that they were baptized with
the Holy Spirit, which he says is what happened to us on the day of
So we know that
place in that upper room was, for the first time, the baptism of the
God, and that began the church.
cannot have the church without the baptism.
The baptism is
what joins you to the body of Christ.
the church had a totally separate and distinct beginning
Israel is not the
There is a system
called Covenant Theology which mixes Israel and the Church which
ignores the unique features, corrupts the techniques of the church age,
confuses grace, injects legalism from the Mosaic law, and completely
God has for the believer under the age of grace. Israel
and the church are separate entities. God
is yet going to pick up Israel and take
Israel to her final conclusion, as the church is going to have a
conclusion all its own.
the church is to be removed from the earth when it’s
remain because it
is a separate entity.
So the church
began on the day of Pentecost because (on) the day of Pentecost, for
in human history, the baptism of the Holy Spirit took place. Remember,
nobody in the Old Testament was
baptized with the Holy Spirit.
the Holy Spirit is a unique operation for this age in order to place a
into union with Jesus Christ.
very important to understand because it is the basis of your eternal
The Baptism of the
are regularly coming to me to talk to me, to ask me
questions because they’re concerned about not being saved. One
of the favorite idiotic statements, and
it usually comes from some sweet old relative who doesn’t
know a thimble full
One of the
statements is, “If you don’t know the time and the
hour and the day when you
were saved, you’re not a Christian.”
This tears people
If your children
are reared in a Christian climate, they’re not likely
going to know the time and the day and the hour when they were saved. But
there is a definitive point of accepting
what Christ has done, and at that point God the Holy Spirit puts you
Christ, and you’re there for good, and you can breathe a sigh
the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
does the church end?
It ends on the
day of the rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, 1 John
3:1-2, Philippians 3:21, John 14:1-3).
Christians are a
unique group of saints.
in union with Jesus Christ who is seated at the right hand of
the Father in heaven.
At the rapture,
the church is going to be caught up to meet the Lord in the air. He
will take her to heaven to become His
There she will be
her marriage to the Son of God, with the resurrection body that she
Her old sin
nature will be removed.
She will have her
human good judged, which is
filthy rags, and she will be dressed in the divine good righteousness
has produced over the years of her service in the church age. Now
that divine good righteousness is
dependent on your understanding this business of spiritual gifts.
you do not understand spiritual gifts, you’ll be open to
every fraud that comes along and it’ll cost you the divine
good that God would
produce and reward you for.
bride returns to the earth after the tribulation to execute Project
upon Satan and his demons to remove them from this earth, the church
celebrate for the millennium the marriage supper of the lamb.
the church began on the day of Pentecost. The
church age ends at the rapture of the
church and God goes back to working with the Jewish people again. This
church age was a mystery (Ephesians
3:1-6, Colossians 1:25-26, Romans 16:25-26).
uses the word “mystery” and defines it as a truth
has been hidden in the Old Testament but which is now revealed in the
What that means
the church is that the church was never revealed in the Old Testament.
Romans 16: 25-26, you have this definition. “Now
to him that is a power to establish you
according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ; according to
revelation of the mystery which was kept secret since the world began
is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets according to
commandment of the everlasting God made known to all nations for the
Paul is referring
church—that it was a mystery, and now it is made known.
the Old Testament, as you read the prophets, they didn’t
know anything about the church.
that they spoke about the Lord Jesus Christ, they never interjected the
age between His first and second coming.
For that reason,
when they spoke about Christ, they would speak about
His first coming, and then they would slap right up against the first
things that had to do with the second coming.
indicated that there was a gap of time between that first and
second coming. They
didn’t know a thing
tells us how they wondered and tried to inquire about what was going on
received these revelations from God.
couldn’t understand how Jesus could come as the conquering
the tribe of Judah and yet come as the meek and lowly lamb. The
figures don’t match.
didn’t understand that first He
came as a lamb, and at His second coming He comes as the conquering
the church age was a mystery, never revealed in the Old
no reference to the
baptism of the Holy Spirit, and that’s basic to the church
The church itself
is not called a mystery,
but all the main features are—its indwelling, the bride
rapture, and so on.
are certain distinctive characteristics of the church
which are not true of saints in other ages.
These are your
spiritual assets alone as a Christian:
Union with Jesus Christ – As we have indicated, this is
true at the point of salvation, when you permanently enter the outer
circles) the outer circle is eternal fellowship and the inner circle is
At the point of
salvation, you enter this outer circle and you are in eternal
union with Jesus Christ (1
Then Jesus Christ indwells every believer permanently for
fellowship (John 14:20 – “ye in me and I in
That was never
true in the Old
Every believer is indwelt permanently by the Holy Spirit
(1 Corinthians 6:19).
Your body has
become His permanent dwelling place. The
Holy Spirit will never leave you. In
Old Testament this was not true. In
Old Testament, the Holy Spirit came and then He left.
He would come
upon a person to perform a
The person would
perform that function, and He would leave him.
why David, in Psalm 51:11, because of his sin, prayed that the
spirit of God would not be removed from him, “Take not thy
Holy Spirit from me.”
now and then I hear somebody get up and pray that
Now this is
This is monstrous. There
are some liturgical churches that
include this regularly in their liturgy.
(At) every church
service, Christians hear this appeal made to God, “Take
not thy spirit from us.” Now
blasphemous and it is the height of doctrinal ignorance because once we
indwelt by God the Holy Spirit in this age, it’s an asset
spiritually which we
never lose again.
it was not true
in the Old Testament, and David, for sin, could indeed lose the spirit
Saul did. We’ve
already been through that séance with
Saul and we saw what happened to a man that loses the spirit of God. He
(Saul) was (had) the spirit of God and
then lost it. That
can’t happen to you. No
matter how sinful you are, you cannot lose
the indwelling presence of the spirit of God.
It is important
that you understand that because when people stray far
off from the things of God, and they get way out in left field, the
they think is that they think is that (they are) permanently scarred
through and hindered and incapacitated spiritually; i.e., they think,
have nothing more to do with me.” Don’t
you kid yourself.
God is only
for you to come around and say, “Let’s
go,” because He’s ready to go. He
will never leave you or forsake you. So
the Old Testament saints could pray Psalm
You and I cannot.
Every Christian is a priest (1 Peter 2:9). In
the Old Testament there was a specialized
It is a distinct
the New Testament saint that everybody is a priest.
the Old Testament, only the tribe of Levi
Today every one
is a priest.
Today you are
Now this is not
to say that it
is wrong for you to ask believers to pray with you about something. (It
is wrong to have the idea that somehow
you can go to a believer (who has more access to God than you have). The
pastor is usually viewed as the priest in
the local assembly, and if you want to make points with God you go to
because he has pull up in the front office, so to speak.
got all the pull that he has.
You are your own
Now if you are
going to be a priest and be a
self-sustaining priest, you’re going to have to know
You cannot be
self-sustaining as a priest if
you do not understand doctrine.
the way it’s set up.
Another asset that’s true of the church age only is that
we have a completed canon of Scripture—a completed set of
The revelation of
God is in writing and
of the Bible,
the Christian has the mind of Christ.
gives us the mind of Christ.
This mind is
essential to leading the Holy
The spirit gives
information as to what to apply, but the Word of God gives you the
that He applies.
You see why it is
hazardous to be moving without a spirit full of doctrine.
you are ignorant, there’s nothing to guide
You will then
What will happen
will be there will be a flip
inside your soul, and instead of your mind being led by the spirit of
through doctrine in your spirit, your emotions will flip up. They
will charge your mentality, and your
emotions will conquer your mind, and then you will start thinking with
The next thing
you know, you’re
going to be running around trying to jack people up to some action, and
yourself, by some inspiration push. What
will happen is that you will set up a cycling system, up and down, up
And you will
eventually phase out
in the very thing that you want to do for the Lord in service.
we have a completed canon of Scripture, and that gives
you a magnificent advantage over every Old Testament saint, for you
mind of God in writing, and it’s right there for you to take. And
it’s essential for the leading of the
spirit of God.
a certain amount
of leading that the spirit of God may lead you, but it’s a
you’re not going to have
much leading from the spirit of God.
why most Christians are being led around on the basis of public
Christians are dealt with.
with on being encouraged to think that serving the Lord is
the image and the public relations
image we are creating.
A Christian is
forever reading stories
about this spiritual leader and that spiritual leader on how he got to
Nothing is more
than to pick up a book that tells you how to be spiritually wonderful,
And you ought to
sensitive enough to reject that kind of public promotion.
OK for the business world, but it is
blasphemous and disgusting when it comes to Christianity.
we get into spiritual gifts, you will discover that
whatever spiritual gift you have (and every one of you has at least
whatever God does with that spiritual gift is what’s going to
be done with
isn’t a human being, there isn’t
a Christian on earth that’s using a spiritual gift to the
blessing and to the advancement
of the kingdom of God that has any credit coming to him for that gift. He
didn’t deserve it.
didn’t earn it.
isn’t using it.
It is God all the
It is time that
we get over reading books
about how somebody became a spiritual giant because they are misleading. You
have all the assets to be a spiritual
All you have to
do is get with
doctrine and be positive, and God will take your gift and He will use
just as marvelous and magnificent way within the sphere that He has
for your gift as anybody that may have a lot of TV advertising and
We have a
Christians are commanded to live an entirely supernatural
way of life. Ephesians
5:1 in the Greek
says, “Imitate God.” In
there were certain supernatural characteristics but they were mixed
The demand of
the church age is a supernatural way of life, and you cannot live this
without the indwelling of the Holy Spirit who operates that life for
Every believer is an ambassador representing Jesus Christ
This was not true
Testament saint was not
an ambassador of God, nor will it be true in the tribulation or the
secondly this morning let’s look at the doctrine of
you what the church age is all about—how it functions, how
unique it is, how
distinctive it is, and what your assets are as a believer in that age. Now
the doctrine of spirituality.
of all, let’s look at true spirituality. There
is a difference between the ministries
of God the Holy Spirit before salvation and those after.
His ministries at the point of
Things done for
Christian at the moment that he is saved.
Now you notice
what I said.
is done for every Christian at the moment that he is saved:
Regeneration – Every Christian experiences
He is born again. He
is given a living human spirit (John
3:1-16, Titus 3:5).
The Holy Spirit
the agent of regeneration.
Every Christian experiences the baptism of the Holy
receives the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
Now here you see
is an area of tremendous false doctrine. Thousands
of Christians are told to seek the
baptism of the Holy Spirit.
never find in the Bible that any of these ministries of the Holy Spirt
that you are to seek.
You are not told
to seek these.
Now there is a
you are told to seek, but you cannot be told to seek these because
to you automatically:
1 Corinthians 12:13, Ephesians 4:5).
Indwelling – Every Christian is indwelt by God the Holy
Spirit, permanently (Romans 8:9, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
Sealing – Every Christian is sealed (2 Corinthians 1:22,
Ephesians 1:13, 4:30).
This is the basis
of your eternal security.
God the Holy
Spirit Himself is the seal.
There is a
seal that is placed upon you.
you with this seal and says you belong to Jesus Christ.
is upon you, you can never be
If this seal was
not upon you, you
might have a ground for being lost—you might think you do. Sealing
is God’s way of saying, “I’ve stamped
You can go no
place else but
There is nothing
you can do,
once you are born again, to go anyplace else than to heaven. There
is nothing God can do to take you
anyplace else than to heaven.
He has to
be true to Himself.
His production, there is no way for you to miss out.
Then, the one that we are moving toward, this fifth
ministry (is) the distribution of spiritual gifts.
Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:11), at the
point of your salvation, determines the nature of your Christian
Some of you may
discover as we go through the
spiritual gifts that you are moving in areas of Christian service that
God’s plan for you.
You have not been
gifted in trying to do that.
you may discover that you’re right in the groove.
will be a great encouragement for you to
persist even more faithfully in the service that you’re
But everybody has
a gift, and everybody is in
one of the things that
is characteristic of this age.
is in full-time Christian service.
there are certain things which are done after salvation
by God the Holy Spirit.
is the filling, and you are to seek this.
Again and again
you are to seek to be filled with the spirit of God
(Ephesians 5:18, Galatians 5:16, Romans 13:14, 1 John 1:7). You
are to seek to be filled with the
that’s point number one on true spirituality—the
of the spirit of God at the point of salvation and after salvation.
Spirituality and carnality are mutually exclusive.
are either spiritual or you are
I find that many
to think about spirituality in this way:
They think about
this as spirituality, and then they think about this as
What they think
of is that
they have an area here that’s gray. So
they say, “Well, I am 40% spiritual today, and I am 60%
And I have an
all spiritual and I’m not all carnal.”
is not true, for you know that spirituality
is a relationship to the spirit of God; that either He is controlling
or He is not.
And confession of
sin puts Him in control.
are either spiritual or carnal at any one point. These
two blocks are entirely separate. There
is no overlapping.
You are either
spiritual or you are
You are either in
circle which is being spiritual, or you are out here because of sin and
You are still in
fellowship, but you are no longer in the inner circle of temporal
The outer circle
is carnality; the inner
circle is spirituality.
And each is an
absolute state all the while that you’re on this earth. Spirituality
in the inner circle is 1 John 1:7, 2:10. Carnality
is out of the inner circle (1 John
either negative and
in darkness or you’re positive and moving in the light.
is a matter of imitation.
matter of imitating Christ, in the
case of the spiritual Christian, because you are controlled by the Holy
(Ephesians 5:1, 2 Peter 1:5).
Christian imitates Satan because he’s controlled by his old
sin nature (1
Corinthians 3:3, 1 John 1:6).
who are out of temporal fellowship simply imitate an
unbeliever’s way of
There are certain objectives to be achieved by
One is a
the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4).
imitation of God (Ephesians 5:1 in the Greek). Third
is glorification of Christ (John 7:39,
16:14, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
glorification of Jesus Christ as a result of your spirituality. Your
spirituality will bring about a
fulfillment of the Mosaic Law (Romans 8:2-4, 13:8).
Spirituality is not subject to the Law of Moses. Some
people think that if they keep the Law
of Moses, they will be spiritual (Romans 8:2-4, 10:4, 13:8, Galatians
Spirituality produces the character of the incarnate
Christ (Galatians 4:19, 5:22-23, 2 Peter 1:4, 1 John 2:5-6).
Spirituality is obtained by confession of know sin.
think you understand that.
The Holy Spirit
is God so He cannot sin.
When a Christian
is under His control, the
Christian does not sin.
When a Christian
goes negative to the Spirit’s leading, he is under the
control of the old sin
nature, and then he can sin.
way to escape that control is by confession of sin.
There are certain results of spirituality. First,
Christ is magnified in the inner life
of the Christian (2 Corinthians 3:3, Ephesians 3:16-17, Philippians
perception of doctrine (Joh 14:26, 16:12-14, 1 Corinthians 2:9-16). That’s
why we stress at the start of every
service that unless you are filled with the Spirit you will not
produce effective witnessing.
are spiritual, you cannot witness effectively and you will phase out of
witnessing for the Lord (Acts 1:8, 2 Corinthians chapters 3 through 5). Some
people think that they witness in order to
the other way
If you are
spiritual, you will
spirituality will give
you guidance and assurance.
If you are
spiritual, you won’t be doubting your salvation (Romans
5:16-18, Galatians 4:5-6).
will enable you to worship (Philippians 3:3, John 4:24).
will enable you to pray properly
(Ephesians 6:18, compare Psalm 66:18).
help you to lead other Christians in their confession
of sin (Galatians 6:1).
What do you produce with spirituality? The
production of spirituality:
You will produce
divine good (1 Corinthians
3:12, 14) as carnality will produce human good (1 Corinthians 3:12, 15). There
is certain terminology that is used in
Scripture for spirituality.
Some are positive. Galatians
5:16 says, “Walk in the Spirit.” That
means, “Be spiritual.” 1
John 1:7 says, “Walk in the light.” That
means, “Be spiritual.
Have known sins
The Bible tells us not to do certain things in order to
“Quench not the Spirit,” which means
don’t be producing human good. Ephesians
4:30 says, “Grieve not the Spirit,”
which stresses personal sins.
A very important one:
emotions do not signal spirituality in this age (Romans
16:17-18, 2 Corinthians 6:11-12). Now
ecstatics will be characteristic of the millennium (Joel 2:28-29). There
is no religion on earth then to
There is nothing
A mind which is
God’s viewpoint and function under the leading of the Holy
Spirit is going to
have emotions that are tremendously expressive.
You will find
great joy and great satisfaction and great emotional
expression, but it will come as the result of the mind directing the
But ecstatics is
And of course you
emotions on anything.
mistake to think that emotions shows that you’re spiritual.
You’ll have confidence about being filled with the
Spirit as you come to a knowledge of doctrine (1 John 3:20-21).
there is certain false spirituality which we should
There is often a
between the means of being spiritual and the results.
say, “You should be a spiritual
what should I do to
get out and
Read your Bible. Give
to the Lord.
Come to prayer
Those things are
all properly in order in the
Christian life but they do not make you spiritual.
the results of spirituality.
You may do all
those things and be acting in
people think that spirituality is a matter of how they
And there are
some Christians who
dress in poor taste.
not a matter
clothing that is fitting and becoming to them.
feel they should walk around like slobs. One
of the defenses often for this is that
they can reach other slobs this way. The
hippie types tell me that they’re wearing their hair long,
the old flappin’
around down to the shoulder-type hair (of course which is the sign of
Now the defense
“I can reach other long-hairs.” Don’t
you believe that.
ignorant a statement and about as big a piece of human viewpoint as
ago when I was a teenager (oh, not so many years ago),
my pastor at the time, who was a very highly educated and capable man,
go down to the Pacific Garden Mission in Chicago which was a rescue
There were the
derelicts off of
Western Madison Street and South State Street dragging in for a bowl of
and a place to sleep.
But they had to
listen to a sermon before they got it. I
noticed that when he would speak to them.
down and sit up on the platform and play my trombone and take
part in the service.
notice that when I would go with him and he’d speak,
that he spoke to him just the same way that he spoke to the little
the corner back on the west side of Chicago where all the people
and drove nice cars.
And he pointed
to me one time, he said, “Some people come in here and they
They think that
when they get
up in front of these men, they should talk to them in slang, poor
grammar, and slovenly
speech in order to try to get down to their level so these men will see
you’re really one of them.”
one service in which he had spoken, a man came up to
him, and he was a bum.
And he said,
want to thank you for the kind of language you used in speaking to us
didn’t treat us like bums
even though we are.”
And from this
speech, it was obvious that he had not always been a bum.
was a man of background and of education
who had known better days, but something had happened that brought him
But I thought
was a pint well made, and it is most applicable today.
do not demonstrate spirituality, you do
not demonstrate interest, and you do not demonstrate concern by taking
aping styles that in themselves are derogatory to the Word of God and
Himself and to His principles.
not going to be spiritual by how you dress, or by how
you speak, or by your mannerisms. Some
people think that if you just say, “Praise the
Lord,” and “Hallelujah” enough that
you will be spiritual.
Some of you think
that if you have a sickening sweet smile you will be spiritual. And
all you do is make everybody else sickening
with your sweet smile. I
tried that when
I was a teenager too.
I decided one day
that I was always going to be smiling.
Always smile. I
was always going
to be pleasant.
And I was sitting
street car coming home from high school and I started smiling. I
would keep the smile because Christians
should always be pleasant.
real spiritual fellow would be.
I got a
muscle cramp in my face.
It has nothing to
false basis of spirituality is taboos. “There
are certain I don’t do.” Well
there are certain things that borderline
on not being good things to do, but you’ll not be spiritual
simply because you
don’t do certain things which maybe you should not do. Or
spiritual because I’m not as bad as
do these things
that you do:
therefore I am
That does not
make you spiritual.
rise up at a certain hour; I splash water on one eye at a time; I kneel
knee and pray on that one;
then I kneel
on the other knee and I pray on that one; then I lie on my face on the
that’s a favorite one. Every
now and then I hear some religious
leader tell about how he came to a climactic moment with God. How
he finally had his breakthrough. He
came to spiritual insight because he went
into his study and fell on his face and prayed.
picked up germs from the rug; it probably made him sick; he
probably couldn’t work for the Lord for a long
time—any number of things that
could have happened.
But this is a
favorite one, “I fell on my face and I prayed in my
Just think how
that would have been if
somebody had come in and found him there and said, “There he
The pastor is
He would have
really advanced the cause of
the Lord, wouldn’t he? You
have no idea
the insanity and inanities that people go through, and this is all
This is false
And if you
don’t understand this, you’re
going to try to exercise your spiritual gifts in these false ways. That’s
what I’m trying to prepare you not to
spiritual because I go through certain rituals.”
“I’m spiritual because of my ecstatics—my
spiritual because I have
a program of activities.” This
Get the local
in a program of activities and start getting with it and that will
going to force myself to do certain things. I’m
going to force myself to like certain
going to force myself to go
out and have lunch with somebody I loathe because this is going to make
them, and maybe you should go out and have lunch with them but it will
we have sought to establish two big things this
morning as background for the study of spiritual gifts that Satan is
and deceiving people about.
You live in
an age of grace.
You live under
tremendous spiritual assets which were never true of any believer in
age and will never be true again after this age. You
have the character of the incarnate Jesus
Christ, and all that simply by confessing of sin. No
No ecstatics. Full
No putting on
from the outside, but what God
brings to from the inside.
Now if you
this, you are in a position to identify your spiritual gift and then to
exercise it in a way that will bring great to you, great blessings to
believers around you, and great reward someday in the Lord’s
John E. Danish, 1971
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