Kingdom Builders

What is the biggest thing the Bride of Christ is forgetting?

John 14:15-26; 1 Corinthians 12; Ephesians 4:1-32

  • Who is the Holy Spirit?
  • What has He called us to do?
  • What are we missing that is so crucial?

Functions. What does the Holy Spirit do?

If we are to recognize the Holy Spirit working in the church, we must understand what He does. Some things which we can attribute to the Holy Spirit are the following:

  • Comforter (John 14:16, 26)
  • Teacher (John 14:26)
  • Intercessor (Romans 8:26)
  • Empowerer (Acts 1:8, 1 Corinthians )
  • Equipper
  • Drawer (Revelation 22:17)
  • Convicter
  • Discerner
  • Leader
  • Guider (John 16:13)
  • Counselor
  • Transformer
  • Purifying Fire (Matthew 3:11-12)
  • Strengthener
  • Deliverer
  • Protector
  • Access-giver (Ephesians 2:18)
  • Lover
  • Giver (1 Corinthians 12 and many others)
  • Sanctifier (John 17:17)
  • Revealer
  • Liberator
  • Nurturer
  • Cleanser
  • Exposer
  • Pruner
  • Covenant Keeper/Sealer (Ephesians 1:13; 4:30)
  • Turns lives around (Luke 1:17)
  • Confirmer
  • Readier/Preparer (Matthew 3:3; Luke 1:17)
  • Resurrector (Romans 8:11)
  • Quickener (Ephesians 2:5)
  • Unifier (Ephesians 4:3-4)
  • Glorifier (John 16:14)

Those are only a few we listed at The River Friday night. I’m sure you will have others course in your mind. However, let us keep going in our study. There’s something so very important that the Bride is missing.

Stewardship and the Calling

One of the things that we attribute to the Holy Spirit is spiritual gifts. However, do we focus on what they are for and how to use them for the Kingdom of Heaven? We have denied the answer to this question, which has caused one of the biggest reasons for failure.

For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

Ephesians 4:12

We are each given our unique gifts by the Holy Spirit to conform us to the likeness of Christ, to help proclaim the news of His Heavenly, Eternal Kingdom, and to build each other up. Instead, as a church, we are not utilizing what we have been given. We are bad stewards of our gifts. It’s as simple as that. We are in a tangled mess and are not doing what we are called to do… acting like a body! We are to use our gifts for the above purposes until…

Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

Ephesians 4:13

The end goal is unity. In John 17, Jesus prays for future believers. He prays for us to be unified in the Spirit so that the world may believe in Him.

That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

John 17:21

However, when we don’t utilize the gifts we have been given graciously by the Holy Spirit, the following occurs:

That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

Ephesians 4:14

This is why we have apostatized!

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; ~ 2 Timothy 4:3

The scary part

Continuing further in Ephesians 4, we come to verse 30. It contains a warning: “grieve not the Holy Spirit”. We do not do this by not receiving Christ or any other demented weird way. It goes deeper than this. We grieve the Holy Spirit by submitting to the things of the flesh and not daily dying to ourselves and leading our lives under the headship of Jesus. If we do not live the walk, we grieve the Holy Spirit. Why/How? Give me a moment, and let’s discuss the giving.

The Giving

We are ALL called to serve. “But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.” Everybody is given something to do. We are to act on it. We aren’t told to sit on it and hide our talent in the dirt like the one steward did. We are not interchangeable! We are ALL puzzle pieces in the Lord’s will for His Bride. We are called to have a servant’s heart toward those we call brothers and sisters.

The biggest thing we miss though is the purpose of those gifts (as stated before) and the function we play as believers.

To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

1 Peter 2:4-10

And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

Ephesians 2:20-22

We are the stones that the Holy Spirit uses to build the Kingdom of Heaven. That is why unity is so important. It is why acting together as a body and functioning as one under the leading of the giving of the Holy Spirit is so essential. We are the spiritual house of Jesus. When we grieve the Holy Spirit, we are not meshing together with our mortar and stickiness, but rather we are sandpapering others down with our words, actions, deeds, etc. We become stumbling blocks. We weaken the wall, thereby weakening the whole building. Notice that it says in Ephesians, “fitly framed“. We are puzzle pieces that go exactly where we fit. So, too, does the Holy Spirit place us exactly where He needs us to help grow the Kingdom. We are to have a servant’s heart of washing each other’s feet. We are to serve others, not to look for how we can gain. That is the biggest thing we are forgetting as the Bride of Christ. The Holy Spirit is a builder. He places His lively stones where He needs them. We are planted where we are needed until we are no longer needed there. We are not buried but planted.

We are each given our gifts according to how Christ fashioned us. He makes us His masterpieces so that we can fulfill what we are called to do and what only we are created to do. (Not to say that if we disobey, someone else will not do it, but that we are each commanded to do something.) Often in the darkest and the most silent times, God is working the hardest. When Jesus was buried, He was gaining the keys to Hell and Death. He was conquering the penalty. Hallelujah!

We must do what we have been called to do in such a time as this. We need to fitly join ourselves together and unify under what is important…

  • One body
  • One Spirit
  • One Lord
  • One faith
  • One baptism
  • One God and Father

That is what it’s about. It isn’t about all the secondary things that we can be distracted with. We must not let the devil plant seeds of distraction or send in little buzzing bees which sting with little things. We must not focus on petty temporal things but on eternal, heavenly things. Phil. 4:8

When we do not walk, we chip and decay. Imagine what happens to those around us in the wall. The bricks start to fumble and crumble. That is the physical picture of grieving the Holy Spirit. For we are a holy temple in the Lord. We are close to Jesus as His church. Are we showing Him effectively by living out our faith? More to come on faith this week, but the point stays the same.

Do. Not. Grieve the Holy Spirit by walking not after the things of Christ and starting to crumble the wall of believers. Let me leave you with an encouragement preceded by a warning:

Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

Colossians 1:13

When the Holy Spirit takes a living soul and uses it as a lively stone in the spiritual house of the church, He takes away from the power of darkness. EVERY. SINGLE. Soul crumbles the dominion of Satan. Makes you want to tell everybody more about Somebody who saved your soul, right?

If you made it, congrats. However, belief without action is nothing. Faith is acting on your belief. Are we uniting under the banner of Christ and His Gospel focusing on those things mentioned earlier? Or are we focusing on the little things that so easily divide?

He has made us with a plan and a purpose. We are a unique puzzle piece that, without it, the church will never be the same. That is not to give us airs, but to awaken us to the massive responsibility Christ has placed on us.

The Holy Spirit is the Builder of the Kingdom of God. Let Him bring us into Unity as we use the gifts He has given us. If we don’t, we will be children tossed by the winds of this world.

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