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1 Corinthians 9:11
"If we sowed spiritual things in you, is it too much if we should reap material things from you?"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Relationship With Jesus
The Key To Effective Ministry

Section 5, Chapter 2

The Ministry of the Holy Spirit Is
Jesus’ Key to Effective Ministry
Outreach and Release

Chapter Illustration

Study Questions:
  1. In 1 Corinthians 3:10-15, Paul talks about two categories of works: wood, hay, and straw; and silver, gold, and precious stones. Explain the difference between these two categories of works.
  2. Paul also states in this passage that these two categories will be tested by fire in the day of judgment. Which aspects of our works will survive the fire?
  3. Why shouldn't we fear getting to know the Holy Spirit personally?
  4. Why is it we cannot separate ourselves from the Holy Spirit in our relating to Jesus?
  5. What is the key to effective ministry outreach and release?

horizontal rule

Paul states in the 1 Corinthians 3:10-15,

"According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building upon it. But let each man be careful how he builds upon it. For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

"Now if any man builds upon the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it, because it is to be revealed with fire; and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. If any man’s work which he has built upon it remains, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he shall suffer loss, but he himself shall be saved, yet so as through fire."

Paul States in this passage of Scripture that there is no other foundation besides Jesus Christ that gets us into heaven, but Jesus has more in mind than just getting us saved. Jesus has works for us to do. Paul states in another passage of Scripture,

"For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." (Eph 2:8-10).

Being that we are no longer under the Law of the letter, what are these works that Jesus wants us to build upon the foundation of the cross? What is gold, silver, and precious stones? And what is wood, hay, and straw? Paul tells us in another passage of Scripture,

"Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter, but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. But if the ministry of death, in letters engraved on stones, came with glory, so that the sons of Israel could not look intently at the face of Moses because of the glory of his face, fading as it was, how shall the ministry of the Spirit fail to be even more with glory?" (2 Cor 3:5-8).

Wood, hay, and straw is anything we do out of our intellect or feelings, our soul; or our appetites and desires, our flesh. it is also anything we might do out of legalism as related to the Law. Gold, silver, and precious stones are those things that we do motivated out of love relationship with Jesus through the inner promptings of the Holy Spirit through our spirit.

In the day of the judgment of believers, the only thing that we will have to show for our lives, other than our salvation through putting our trust in Jesus Christ and what He did on the cross and that alone to save us, is what we did or spoke out of the leading and prompting of the Holy Spirit. For this reason, coming to know and understanding the person, nature, and work of the Holy Spirit and what our relationship to Him is to be as related to our relationship to Jesus, is paramount, of greatest importance, to be effective and fruitful in the Christian life.

Jesus said in John, "By this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples." (John 15:8). We are being Jesus’ disciples when we are submitting ourselves to the ministry of the Holy Spirit. The writer Jamie Buckingham states that the Holy Spirit is, ". . . the character of Jesus Christ, the holiness of God, the prime mover of the universe."10/272

Only what the Holy Spirit is doing is going to remain on the day of judgment because the Holy Spirit came not to do His own will, but that of Jesus Christ. Jesus said about the Holy Spirit,

"But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. he shall glorify Me; for He shall take of Mine, and shall disclose it to you." (John 16:13-14).

Because the Holy Spirit represents only Jesus’ instructions to Him, if we are to be effective in ministry, outside of what God clearly commands us to do in His Word, we should not move out or do anything unless we are sure that the Holy Spirit has revealed Jesus’ will in the matter concerned about first.

THE HOLY SPIRIT IS THE MINISTRY WORK OF JESUS

Kathryn Kuhlman shares in a sermon which was the key sermon that opened the door that led to the success of her ministry in the years that followed,

"I see in my mind the three persons of the Trinity sitting down at a great conference table before the formation of the earth ever took place. God, the Holy Father, gave the others the news that even though He would create men to have fellowship with Him, that man would sin--and break that fellowship. The only way fellowship could be restored would be for someone to pay the price for that sin. For if another did not pay it, then man himself would have to continue to pay the price in unhappiness, disease, death, and eventual hell.

"After the Holy Father finished sharing, His Son Jesus spoke up and said, ‘I’ll go. I’ll take the form of a man and go down to earth to pay that price. I’ll be willing to die on a cross so that man can be restored to perfect fellowship with us.’

"Then Jesus turned to the Holy Spirit and said, ‘But I cannot go unless you go with me--for you are the one with the power.’

"The Holy Spirit responded and said, ‘You go ahead. And when the time is right, I shall join you on earth.’

"So Jesus came to earth, born in a manger, and grew to manhood. But, even though He was the very Son of God, He was powerless. Then came that magnificent moment at the River Jordan when Jesus, coming up out of the baptismal waters, looked up and saw the Holy Spirit descending upon Him in the form of a dove. It must have been one of the greatest thrills Jesus received as He walked in the flesh on this earth. And I can almost hear the Holy Spirit whisper in His ear, ‘I’m here now. We’re running right on schedule. Now things will really happen.’

"And they did happen. Filled with the Spirit, He was suddenly empowered to heal the sick cause the blind to see even raise the dead. . . ."10/103

The Holy Spirit is the ministry work of Jesus and so our focus and attention needs to be on what the Holy Spirit is doing. Anything outside of what the Holy Spirit is doing is wood, hay, and straw and will be burned up with fire on the judgment day of believers, though the believer himself will be saved because he put his trust in Jesus as Savior and Lord.

Focus on the Holy Spirit is focus on Jesus and Jesus-dependence, because the Holy Spirit only acts or speaks out of the initiative of Jesus. If we are going to glorify the Father and bear much fruit for Jesus, then we are going to have to learn how to hear and know the Holy Spirit’s voice and get completely in tune with who the Holy Spirit is and what he is doing, because only what the Holy Spirit is doing is glorifying the Father and bearing fruit for Jesus. The Holy Spirit is the ministry work of Jesus and our key to effective ministry outreach and release.

We need have no fear of getting to know personally the Holy Spirit and associating with what the Holy Spirit is doing, because the Holy Spirit only speaks and acts out of the initiative of Jesus. Because this is true, getting to know and associating with the Holy Spirit is literally getting to know and associating with Jesus Christ himself, because the Holy Spirit is sent by Jesus Himself and only represents Jesus and His Character.

Jesus is the answer to our needs. We go to Jesus with our needs, but Jesus’ mailman with the answer to those needs is the Holy Spirit. Therefore, to not recognize the Holy Spirit and to not open ourselves up to the Holy Spirit is to quite literally reject Jesus Christ himself and to greatly hinder Jesus’ answer to our needs in relation to ourselves, God, and others. You cannot separate Jesus from the Holy Spirit. They are a working team and we cannot be successful in our walk with Jesus without relating to both.

The goal of Evangelism is to bring Jesus to the world and to show man his need of Jesus as Savior and Lord. Jesus said in the Gospel of John, "No one can come to Me, unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day." (John 6:44). How does the Father draw people to Jesus? Jesus said in another passage in the Gospel of John,

"But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper shall not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. And he, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin, and righteousness, and judgment; concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you no longer behold Me; and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged." (John 16:7-11).

The helper is the Holy Spirit, and it is the Holy Spirit who convicts men of their sin and their need of Jesus. If we are to be most effective in Evangelism then we need to know what the Holy Spirit is doing and saying to individuals and in groups so that we can be sure that what we say confirms what is being said by the Holy Spirit.

Jesus does not need us to save the world. In fact the prophet Isaiah states that, ". . . all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment." (Is 64:6). When we try through our own reasoning to reach the world for Jesus, we produce wood, hay and straw and get more in the way of Jesus’ purpose than become a help. When sharing the gospel, we can help Jesus by finding out what His Holy Spirit wants us to say and do in our individual witnessing situations to bring men to a place of acknowledging Jesus as Lord of their lives and their need of Him as their Savior.

The Lord, speaking through the prophet Isaiah, states, "‘Woe to the rebellious children,’ declares the Lord, ‘Who execute a plan but not Mine, and make an alliance but not of My Spirit, in order to add sin to sin.’" (Isaiah 30:1). Isaiah states that anything that we do without the Holy Spirit is sin. The Apostle Paul acknowledges this in the book of Romans as well. He states, "But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and whatever is not from faith is sin." (Rom 14:23). As outlined in Section 4, we know we are living by faith and being led of Jesus’ Spirit when we are experiencing the fruit of the Spirit of love, joy and peace in what we are doing, or of any of the other fruits of the Spirit as outlined in the book of Galatians.19 When you are being led of the Holy Spirit to do something, there will be no doubt in the rightness of what you are doing.

This does not mean that if we do not presently know what the Holy Spirit is doing in our lives that it may mean Jesus may not be wanting to use us in ministry outreach and release, whatever that will mean for the individual. Sections 1 and 3 already did away with this myth, that there are those who are called and there are those who are not called to seek and to save the lost by drawing men to Jesus. We all, without exception, in whatever capacity Jesus leads us, are called to do this work. What we are saying here is not the question of whether or not we are, but while we are how He is wanting us to respond to man’s response to the Gospel as we are sharing it with him. Jesus wants us to look to Him to open our eyes to see how He is wanting to reach out to the lost through us by opening our eyes to see how He is doing this through the ministry of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Once we recognize this, we will then know what to do and say in each and all aspects of ministry. Obedience to the leading of the Holy Spirit in our lives is the key to effective ministry outreach and release.

Jesus said to His apostles and disciples recorded in the book of Acts,

"But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth." (Acts 1:8).

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is an absolute necessity and absolute prerequisite to be effective in ministry outreach and release.

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