Friday, February 15, 2008

Life in the Spirit - session 1

It was a joy to introduce Dr. Sam Storms tonight and hear him preach from 1 Thessalonians 5:19-22. We hope to have the audio available as soon as possible. Here are my brief notes from the talk:

Sam listed 5 things we can do to the Spirit negatively:
1. Grieve the Spirit.
2. Resist the Spirit.
3. Quench the Spirit.
4. Blaspheme the Spirit (only non-believers).
5. Insult the Spirit (only non-believers).

Sam urged us not to be part of the bucket brigade throwing water on (i.e. quenching) the Spirit.

He went on to list 7 ways in which we quench the Spirit (please note that these are not the exact words Sam used; these are my shorthand for what I heard; get the audio for the exact wording):

1. We quench the Spirit when we diminish His personality or when we speak of Him as an abstract force. The Scriptures present the Spirit as a person with a mind, feelings, a will, and other designations of personhood. Most people think of the Spirit as just a fuzzy grey blob.

2. We quench the Spirit when we neglect or overlook or deny some feature of His ministry. Some Christians believe you shouldn't even talk about the Holy Spirit. They base this on the Spirit's primary role of glorifying Jesus (John 16). However, just because that is the Spirit's primary role does not mean it is the Spirit's only role.

3. We quench the Spirit when we supress or legislate the gifts He gives. Cessationism is quenching the Spirit. We need all of the gifts of the Spirit and not just a select few.

4. We quench the Spirit when we create an immovable and sanctimonious (spelling?) structure in our corporate gatherings. We pray for the Spirit to come but do not want Him to mess things up. We want things to be neat, tidy, and sophisticated. There has never been a "neat" revival in all of history.

5. We quench the Spirit when we make other people hesitant and fearful about following the Spirit's leading. We can quench the Spirit in someone else's life.

6. We quench the Spirit when we publicly verbalize our caution and hesitation. We preach for 5 mins about a particular gift and 25 mins on the dangers of that particular gift.

7. We quench the Spirit when we are skiddish about the gift of prophecy. Sam showed the progression of thought in 1 Thess. 5:19-22 and urged us to have Biblically informed discernment.

Some other nuggets:
1. We are often fearful of yeilding to the Spirit. Sam encouraged us that the safest place in the world is under the Spirit's control.
2. Sam interpreted the "spiritual songs" of Col. 3:16 as previously unrecorded vocalizations of our passions.
3. Many people are hesitant about the miraculous gifts because of their misuse. Sam made the point that we don't throw out the gift of teaching because someone misinterpreted a text one time. Misuses should not be an excuse for quenching the Spirit.
4. Sam answered one question about the use of prophecy in the local church by pointing to small groups as the best place for the use of spiritual gifts.

Sam is going to speak more directly about spiritual gifts tomorrow. Going to bed now...

1 comment:

Jim U. said...

Point #3. Apostleship?

I wasn't there, so I was wondering how he addressed the spiritual gift of apostleship.