Sunday, July 12, 2009

Revelation 3:1 explained

Alex Himaya, the pastor at The Church at Battle Creek where I have been attending for several months now, preached the first sermon of a seven week series. I found it very interesting and want to share with you what I got out of it.
I have always thought Revelation 3:1 where it makes reference to "the seven spirits of God" was a very curious verse. After all there is only one Holy Spirit, not seven, so I have never been able to satisfactorily understand what that verse really meant. Until today.
Alex explained that it refers to seven facets of God's personality, which are imparted to us, the crowning glory of all creation who are created in the image and likeness of God, in varying degrees, in what he called "the personality gifts" found in Romans 12:6-8.
They are prophecy, service, teaching, exhortation, giving, leadership and mercy. It hit me with a jolt that I hope didn't disturb those seated near me, that these seven "spirits" or "facets" of God's personality make us who we are and express God's own personality back to Him as we "fan into flames" the spiritual gifts He has given each of us "to the building up of the body of Christ." What a beautiful circle of expression, giving and service! Him to us, us to Him and then us to each other by the power of the Spirit!
Alex went on to explain that the personality gifts define who we are, while the ministry gifts (apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers--Ephesians 4:11) define where we serve. God gives us these gifts then infuses us with His power, by His Spirit, so that we can operate in both our personality and ministry gifts for the benefit of all.
1 Corinthians 12:4-7 says, "Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are varieties of ministers, and the same Lord. And there are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good."
He also made the important point that our job is to define, discover, develop and display our gifts as good stewards of that which has been bestowed upon us by Him.
These become the fulfillment of Romans 12:1 where we are encouraged to "present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship."
Beautiful. Perfect. Satisfying. Just like God Himself.
Thank You, Jesus, for creating us in Your image and likeness, for bestowing on us facets of Your own personality, and for empowering us with Your Holy Spirit to reflect You back to You and to reflect You to others for Your glory and their edification.
As the song says, "You are beautiful beyond description, too marvelous for words." Truly. I stand in awe of You and bow before You in worship, thanksgiving and praise.

No comments: