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As we begin this new series on the person and power of the Holy Spirit, in particular the gifts of the Holy Spirit in the life of the church, I want you to look with me at two articles in the Bridgeway Statement of Faith. Article 1 is our statement on the inspiration and authority of the Bible, and Article 6 is what we believe about the gifts of the Holy Spirit. 1.         We believe that the Scriptures, both Old and New Testament...Read More

“Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption” (Eph. 4:30). The idea that we can grieve the Holy Spirit is nothing short of stunning. That by our actions and words and unrepentant sin we mere humans can cause pain or distress to the eternal and omnipotent third person of the Holy Trinity is simply breathtaking. It’s scary too. I won’t enumerate the many ways in which we grieve the Spirit. That would be d...Read More

I often tell young preachers and teachers of God’s Word that much of their responsibility in communicating the truth of Scripture is wrapped up in first deconstructing and then reconstructing the beliefs of the people who sit under their ministry. What I mean is that most people come to a church service or a Bible study or a house church meeting with their belief system already pretty much in place. They don’t know that, but if you pressed them you’d di...Read More

Paula was raised in a Christian home where church attendance was commonplace. But it wasn’t until she was eleven years old that she began to take a serious interest in who Jesus is. That summer she attended a church camp and for the very first time consciously repented of her sins and put her faith in the atoning death of Jesus as her only hope for eternal life. It was a wonderful experience that brought both joy and a sense of relief. She never doubted from that m...Read More

I don’t think I would have enjoyed living during the time of the Old Testament, that era of redemptive history before the coming of Jesus Christ. I don’t think I would have enjoyed having to bring a blood sacrifice year after year after year, knowing that the offering up of bulls and goats could never truly and finally take away the guilt of my sin. I don’t think I would have enjoyed the long list of detailed and often bizarre regulations and laws that ...Read More

You probably know this, but non-Christians have their favorite Bible verses too. If I were to choose one that is probably quoted most often by those who reject Jesus, it would undoubtedly be Matthew 7:1, “Judge not, that you be not judged.” They love that verse! But there are other passages in God’s Word that non-Christians love to recite. 1 Corinthians 13 is certainly one of them. If you don’t believe me, think back on the many wedding ceremonie...Read More

Although you may not have noticed at first reading, this passage in 1 Corinthians 13 tells us a great deal about what heaven will be like. (1) It tells us first that heaven will be dominated by love. This is Paul’s point in saying in v. 9 that “love never ends.” Whereas the gift of prophecy and word of knowledge and speaking in tongues and healing and all other such spiritual gifts will one day come to an end, love will never end. Love endures not only...Read More

Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth&rdquo...Read More

There was a time in the history of the so-called charismatic movement when the most controversial and divisive topic was that of speaking in tongues. Not anymore. That’s not to say everyone agrees on the subject of tongues. Far from it. But the most volatile issue today, and probably for the past 30 or so years, is the spiritual gift of prophecy. So what is the spiritual gift of prophecy? When I use the word prophecy I’m not referring primarily to the predic...Read More

Up to this point in our study of the gift of prophecy in 1 Corinthians 12-14 we’ve looked at a number of principles that govern our understanding of what it is and how it operates. But the time has come for us to look more closely at prophecy in actual, real-life practice. And there’s no better place to do that than in Acts 21. Here we come face to face with the way prophecy functioned in the concrete affairs of life and ministry. Beginning with Acts 21, Luk...Read More

My first encounter with the gifts of the Spirit came when I was nineteen years old. In the summer of 1970, after my freshman year at the University of Oklahoma I was living in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, serving with Campus Crusade for Christ on an evangelistic project. We spent the summer witnessing to those who visited the beaches and casinos. I pumped gas in a Shell station. There wasn’t much excitement in that, except for Fridays, when the motorcycle gangs from Sacram...Read More

Questions we asked and answered last week: (1) Are the tongues in Acts 2 genuine human languages previously unknown to the speakers? (2) Are tongues evangelistic? (3) Are all tongues legitimate human languages? (4) What is the purpose of the gift of tongues? (5) Is the gift of tongues to be used in one’s private devotional life? (6) Are tongues a “sign”? According to 1 Corinthians 14:22, the answer would appear to be “Yes.” This follow...Read More

We have finally come to the end of our brief series that I entitled, “Life in the Spirit.” Our aim was to examine what Paul said about spiritual gifts in the life of the church and in the lives of individual Christians as found in 1 Corinthians 12-14. In bringing this study to a close, we’ve arrived at the final paragraph of 1 Corinthians 14, one in which Paul addresses several important and very controversial subjects. So our approach in this final me...Read More