Bearing Kingdom Fruit
Bearing Spiritual Fruit
What is our personal role to play?
Paul said that we have all been given the manifestation of the Spirit to profit the body (see 1 Corinthians 12:7). The manifestation of the Spirit which he is talking about is our spiritual gifts (see 1 Corinthians 12:8-10). Without those, the body suffers loss as a whole (see 1 Corinthians 12:26). Why would God give us the manifestation of the Spirit if He never intended us to walk in it to edify the body? If every man has been given the manifestation of the Spirit in the form of spiritual gift(s), then we are all intended to use them as part of our calling. To argue that some Christians are not called to walk in spiritual gifts is to call Paul a liar, but if we are all given the manifestation of the Spirit to profit the entire body, then we will not fulfill our God-given calling unless we figure out and operate in our spiritual gifts. If it's intended for us to have, then it's intended for us to use as part of God's ultimate plan for our lives.
"(7) But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. (8) For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; (9) To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; (10) To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: (11) But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will." 1 Corinthians 12:7-11 KJV
The Christian life that Jesus gave us is the most exciting life we can live here on earth. We are called to do things that would normally be impossible for us to accomplish on our own. Jesus even said that the works that He was doing were impossible if He attempted to do them Himself!
"Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise." (John 5:19 KJV)
So what was the key to all the miracles and demonstrations of the Power of God? It was the fact that He was anointed with Power from heaven, that is, He was anointed with the Holy Spirit! It was that anointing that gave Him the ability to do all sorts of powerful exploits for the kingdom.
"How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him." (Acts 10:38 KJV)
According to that scripture, we learn that the reason Jesus was able to do what He did, was because He was anointed with the Holy Spirit. My friend, we have that same Holy Spirit to equip us for ministry and to do great exploits as well!
"But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." (Acts 1:8 KJV)
My friend, with the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, we are endued with the same power of the Holy Spirit as Jesus was in His earthly ministry! That means, just as Jesus said in John 14:12, that the same miracles He did, we will be doing also.
Who were we really meant to be?
If God has called the believers to raise the dead (Matthew 10:8) and do extraordinary miracles, even greater than the ones that He performed, then who are each of us called to be? What part are we called to play in this awesome kingdom that we've been adopted into?
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father." John 14:12 KJV
What is the kingdom fruit that we are called to bear? Changed lives, saved souls, divine healings, casting out demons, raising the dead, and the list goes on and on. These are all things that we cannot do on our own, but with the Holy Spirit equipping us, we can do great exploits.
How do we get started?
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is a very important step to stepping into our ministry here on earth. Jesus told the early church to wait until they received the Holy Spirit, then they were ready to go out and operate in the power of God:
"And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high." (Luke 24:49 KJV)
Secondly, we're never going to walk in the things God has called us to, without fully discovering the two levels of our unique identity. When we are asked who we are, if we answer "Accountant!" or "Plumber!" we are wrong. That may be what we're doing for a living, but that's not who we are. What if you lost your job? Would you become a nobody? Of course not! Who you are does not depend on what you do, but rather who God has called you to be.
We all share a foundational identity in Christ; we are all washed with the Blood, adopted as children of God, and loved with the same intensity as Father God loves His own son Jesus. That is our first identity. It isn't unique, because it apples to all of us who are in Christ. Numerous promises from God's Word are for us just in our foundational identity in Christ.
The first step to living out of our identity, is to become knowledgeable of that identity. We first need to learn about who we are in Christ, and our identity in Him. There is a really good book called Victory over Darkness by Neil T. Anderson that is a great help in this area.
But then there is another level of identity that we also need to be aware of and function in. That is our unique identity; it's what makes us uniquely usable by God in the kingdom! Our unique identity includes a special collaboration of gifts, talents, and a calling that is unique to us, it's something that sets us apart from everybody else. With these gifts, you will be able to minister to certain people in ways that the person next to you is unable.
Just like with our foundational identity in Christ, our first step is to become knowledgeable. We need to study the gifts and callings in the Bible to become familiar with them. We will never be able to recognize a word of wisdom gift, if we don't have any idea what it's purpose is or what is looks like.
Many of us do not even know one of our gifts, and if we aren't aware of what is ours, then it's very difficult to operate in those gifts. Gaining knowledge of the various gifts is crucial to uncovering our own gifts, then using those gifts God has given us are the keys to developing our unique identity. Once you have an understanding of the various gifts, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to us what He has placed within us. Once you know what your gifts are, then ask the Holy Spirit to stir up those gifts in you!
Just as a disclaimer, not all of us are called to public ministry as pastors, teachers, prophets, or evangelists, but ALL of us are given at least one supernatural gift such as prophecy, word of wisdom, etc. We all have ministry work to do, even if it's just the people in our lives. The praying grandma may play a vital role in her grandson who becomes the next Billy Graham. You may save one person's life by getting them healed of cancer, only to have that person touch thousands of people with their testimony. Do not underestimate the power of the ministry that God has given you. You are needed in the kingdom!
The very first step to discovering your unique identity, is to learn of your foundational identity. It is out of revelation of who you are in Christ, that will set you up to receive revelation on your unique identity.
We are called to be fruit bearers!
"I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing." John 15:5 KJV
Jesus did not do the works that He did because He was God. He did the works (miracles, signs, wonders, etc.) because He was anointed with the Holy Spirit:
"Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise." John 5:19 KJV
"How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him." Acts 10:38 KJV
And just as Jesus was anointed and called to do the work of the Father, so also are we called to be His representatives today, going about doing the Father's good works! Keep in mind that it's not about showing off the power of God, it's about showing the love of God to the people around us. When we lay hands on somebody and they are healed, it shows them that God really does care about their health and wants them well. When we speak a word of wisdom to them, it shows them that God cares enough to give them divine wisdom about their situation. When we cast out their demons, it shows them that God wants them free to enjoy life free of evil spirits, the torments, and all the afflictions that come with having a demon. Operating in the power of God is all about demonstrating the love of God to that person!
"For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." Ephesians 2:10 KJV
We were commissioned to go forth and cast out demons, heal the sick and raise the dead, all while preaching the gospel. Preaching the gospel was never intended to be done without demonstrating the power and love of God to the people!
"And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give." Matthew 10:7-8 KJV
Notice that we aren't just called to preach, but to drive out demons and heal the sick alongside preaching the gospel of Christ! Do you have any idea how many more people's lives would be impacted if every sermon in our churches were accompanying signs and wonders? Lives would be impacted in ways that just good teaching alone cannot even begin to measure up to! Just look at Philip's ministry, and how many people believed because they saw the power of God operating through him, performing many miracles, healings, and deliverances:
"And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed. And there was great joy in that city." (Acts 8:6-8 KJV)
Continue to Part 2
This is a two part teaching, please continue to Bearing Spiritual Fruit Part 2.